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    148: Healing Your Gut Issues With Enzymes w/ Steven Wright

    If your body isn’t producing enough of the right digestive enzymes, you might need a little bit of help. Supplementing the enzymes you lack will help improve your digestion and overall health. I’m joined bySteven Wright, co-founder of The Healthy Gut Company, to talk about how he healed his gut issues by experimenting with enzymes.

    Or listen & subscribe for free on Apple Podcasts | Android

    About Steven Wright

    Steve is an engineer who developed the Specific Carbohydrate Diet to help combat the incredible digestion issues he had since he was 13 years old. Then, he ordered his first supplements and started his first diet, but by 23 he was crying daily in bloating pain. The panic attacks, depression, and constipation were threatening his “successful” life as a consultant.

    After years of struggle, Steve discovered the secret to gut health and started the SCD diet with his co-founder, Jordan. They’ve now released their own strain of enzymes and give detailed plans of the SCD diet so that other people can feel the benefits of good gut health, too.

    In this episode, Steve explains what the ancient power of enzymes is. We’re all born with a certain amount of enzymes in our bodies, but years of antibiotic use and poor food choices can lead to the enzymes not necessarily working as they should. Plus, as we age, the level of enzymes we’re born with inevitably declines, which leads to further problems with our digestive health.

    Steve tells us what the signs of an enzyme deficiency are. From low energy and fatigue to food sensitivities and allergies, there are a number of symptoms that could be signs of this deficiency. Steve recommends that everyone should take a digestive enzyme supplement to combat these kinds of problems.

    Our bodies have different types of enzymes that work to break down food. Enzymes start working as soon as food enters our mouths and they don’t stop until it leaves our systems. 

    It’s because of all these different enzymes that should be present in our bodies from birth that Steve recommends taking a blended supplement. He lists some of his favorites beforeproviding you his own enzyme blend, HoloZyme.

    Finally, both Steve and I wholeheartedly recommend that you stop taking PPI medication. Proton-pump inhibitors are often prescribed by doctors to help reduce symptoms of too much acid in the stomach and you should take them for a maximum of 8 weeks!

    How long have YOU been on PPIs? Do you think you might have a larger issue with digestive enzymes? As always, you can ask me anything and let me hear your thoughts in the comments below. If you have questions, email team@drannacabeca.com.

     

    In This Episode:

    • What the ancient power of enzymes is
    • What happens to our enzymes as we grow older
    • What the signs of enzyme deficiency are
    • How enzymes work to help your body break down food
    • What the blest blends of enzymes are
    • Why you should stop taking your PPI medication

     

    Quotes:

    “You can eat the best Keto-Green, the best organic, you literally could be spending thousands of dollars on your food and your supplements and if you can’t break them down into the molecule sizes that your gut needs to absorb them, you will, unfortunately, be putting them in the toilet.” (14:14)

    “If you’re following Keto-Green, you’re getting a lot of minerals and you’re getting a lot of charges. That’s probably going to make your enzymes work better. But, if you don’t have an enzyme product that has an activation mineral blend in it, you’re essentially going to have to steal nutrients from either your food or your body to make the enzymes work.” (31:05)

     

    Resources Mentioned

    Grab Your HoloZyme

    Find Steven and the Healthy Gut Company Online

    Find Healthy Gut Company onFacebook |Instagram |Pinterest |YouTube

    Join theKetoGreen Community on Facebook

    BuyKeto-Green 16

     

    Transcript: 

    Steven:
    Just keep trying. If you're listening to this show and you're still struggling with something that you want to eliminate, just never give up. I mean, the difference between the people like Anna and I, who keep aging backward, I think is we just don't stop trying. We have all kinds of issues that we run into even 10 years as experts or longer, but we just keep trying. And so I know you've probably been let down before, I know you've probably got your hopes up before and something didn't work, this diet didn't work, this pill didn't work, this drug didn't work, just keep trying. As long as you keep trying, you'll find what you're looking for.

    Dr. Anna:
    Have you suffered from digestive issues, taken antacids, had bloating, gas or other uncomfortable symptoms like that? Well, I can tell you how devastating that can be to your health in the long run. It's not just a simple symptom as gas or belching. It's not. There's so much more underlying this. And we're going to get to the bottom of it in today's episode with some real solutions to help you recover and heal from these troublesome digestive and gut issues. Hi everyone. It's Dr. Anna Cabeca. I am the Girlfriend Doctor and it is my mission and my passion to help women live better lives before, during, and after menopause. So welcome to the Girlfriend Doctor Podcast, an intimate place for intimate conversation. And I am here for you. You can ask or tell me anything. I read your responses, your questions, your comments, and I love it.

    Dr. Anna:
    And don't worry. No apologies are necessary. No shame, no guilt. We pull back the curtain on all things related to our sexual health, hormonal health, and health in general. You name it, we talk about it. Our goal is to shine a light on your overall wellness, mind, body, and spirit. In today's episode, I am talking with an old friend and former colleague that I have known for many, many years, for over eight years. And he's just brilliant. Today's guest is going to be talking about his story with irritable bowel syndrome. Embarrassing, tear-jerking, painful symptoms that were taking him as a young educated man to basically a brick wall and a life that was going to be full of struggles. But he was able to turn that around. I'm going to share a little bit about his journey today and get to some real underlying solutions to help us through that. So our guest today is Steven Wright, who is a medical engineer. He is also a graduate of the esteemed Kalish Functional Institute, and he is a gut health specialist.

    Dr. Anna:
    He spent close to over $400 of his own money overcoming his own health challenges, using everything from Western medicine to shamans. He now lives in Boulder, Colorado with his partner Shea, and is a self-proclaimed snacks-pert and poops-pert. Well, and he is definitely a gut expert. So happy to introduce you. And here we go. Let's get started. Hey there Steven. How are you?

    Steven:
    Hey Anna. I'm great. Thanks for having me on.

    Dr. Anna:
    I am thrilled to have you on. I am thrilled. As we were talking before we started recording, it's been way too long since I was out visiting you and hanging out in your mastermind in Boulder, Colorado. Right?

    Steven:
    Yeah.

    Dr. Anna:
    That's been a few years. That was Hurricane Matthew for us. That was 2016.

    Steven:
    Yeah. It's been a long... A lot can happen in four years. It seems like with everything that's happening in the world, even three months seems like a year.

    Dr. Anna:
    Well how are you navigating? How have you been navigating the time during the quarantine and COVID, and now the much better liberation during the summer?

    Steven:
    I mean, I've been trying my best. I don't know what your experiences or the people listening to this. But I've had my fair share of fear and anxiety around all kinds of things. Whether or not we could figure out a medical treatment plan that actually works for the majority of people without side effects, preparing my family for this, trying to communicate with my followers about things, and also not getting in the crosshairs of various government agencies who have various points of view. And so yeah. I've decided to kind of double down on things. And so I've been meditating more, exercising more than ever, and I am so ready to hang out with other people again and start hugging.

    Dr. Anna:
    Well, you are a big naturalist. You love camping and hiking. Were you able to do that?

    Steven:
    No. Nope. I haven't been out at all.

    Dr. Anna:
    Oh, man. I know you miss that.

    Steven:
    Yeah. I have an upcoming birthday and I think I'm going to kind of piece out and grab my tent and go away for two days into the mountains.

    Dr. Anna:
    Well, I have to share something fun I've done just recently for the first time in my life at nearly 54 is hammock camping. So slinging up the hammock, and sleeping out under the stars. And that's just been amazing, honestly.

    Steven:
    That sounds awesome actually. Yeah. I've been roughing it a little too much in the past couple of years and I think with everything that's happened this year, I could go for a little more leisurely camping.

    Dr. Anna:
    That sounds good. Well, one thing that we're really going to talk about is about getting back to our roots. We are created in a certain way that is designed to thrive in certain conditions. Being out in nature and experiencing nature is one of them. And the other relates to how we assimilate nature within us. And that includes how we eat and how we digest our foods. And I'm really excited to talk with you about this. Because I know you have had a significant journey and your own personal history that brought you to work in this field and to create these amazing products that you've created and programs. Will you share a little bit about your journey Steven with us?

    Steven:
    Yeah. Sure. I think as we look at health and wholeness, there were a lot of things that happened in my life. I got fortunate in many ways and I had some pain and traumas in many ways. And all of that added up to moments when I was a consultant working at KPMG down in Chicago. I was living the dream life of a small-town boy. I had a hundred people in my graduating class. But at the same time, while I had these suits and I was making more money than anyone in my family history had ever done, I was getting called into my boss's office and being threatened that if I didn't control my gas and my bloating, those bad things were going to happen.

    Steven:
    And I would try to go to work parties and eat pizza with everybody and then I would end up... one of the darkest moments was canceling a date and basically just crying on the toilet all night, just having diarrhea and just wondering like "Who's ever going to be in relationship with me? How am I ever going to have a family if I can't be out there in the world let alone..." I had an accident and pooped myself on a commuter bus. And just lots of embarrassing, painful things. And I went to Western medicine people, they ran my genetics. This is back in 2008, 2009. And so where we are today, it's just amazing how fast we've come.

    Steven:
    And back then I went to the "top doctors," I could find in Chicago, and they just said, "Look, man, you don't have celiac disease, your family history is riddled with IBS and you've had this basically on and off throughout your life, it's genetics. You need to relax. You need to take Metamucil, take some antibiotics, suck it up, man. This is part of your life's journey." And yeah. I tried that and had much more painful experiences. And then I just broke. I just got really angry. And I'm trained technically in electrical engineering. And basically that training is just brainwashing into problem-solving. Systems thinking and problem-solving.

    Steven:
    And so after the doctors really several of them let me down I was like, "You know what? I can do this. I can find people who have beat these conditions and I can just reverse-engineer. I've been doing it for seven years now, this isn't different than troubleshooting a giant set of robots." I used to work at general motors and we have like 60 robots all working in unison and $50 million machines. And they would break and they would call me and my team and we would try to figure it out. And I'm like, "If I can do that, the body has to be at least comparable to that. So you don't need a doctor's degree to figure this out. But I do need to find doctors and nutritionists and whoever and just figure out how they did it." And so that's just launched a 10-plus-year journey here, probably close to 400,000 Western medicine, Eastern, shamanism, nutrition, supplements. It's not for everybody to do it my way, but I'm the kid who you tell me it's hot and I'm like, "Oh yeah." I just keep touching it-

    Dr. Anna:
    You just touch it.

    Steven:
    ... because I'm not sure. Through that, doing the Kalish Functional Medicine Institute and just really working on myself and helping others for the last 10 years, that's why we're here today.

    Dr. Anna:
    Well, I think that's just such a fabulous journey and story. And I love that you just kept looking for answers. Right? You said a systematic approach and problem-solving. And then also ended up with the Kalish Institute. I highly admire Dan Kalish. I've seen his work way back, right, as a pioneer in gluten sensitivity versus celiac disease, and how he really brought that to the forefront too in functional medicine as well. So some great knowledge there. And you can just see your vibrantly healthy, you're doing amazing. The story, back then, if you hadn't found this journey, can you imagine what your life would have been like?

    Steven:
    I think I would have been... I come from Michigan, I come from the Midwest, and we're not super adequate in the Midwest around dealing with trauma and pain. And we like to use a lot of coping mechanisms, nicotine and alcohol and all types of things. And I think I would have just continued using those substances and sucking it up and trying to make a life of it. And in general, I think if you play these things out, I probably would have ended up with a diagnosis of Crohn's or ulcerative colitis. I probably would have been on a biologic drug. I would have been headed to the fast track of all the nasty side effects of biologics, whether that's a short life span, cancer, or something else. And this probably would have happened to me.

    Dr. Anna:
    And the work you've done, now you've influenced in your community, hundreds of thousands of people, men, women, youth, and all ages, in really getting to the root of this problem and fixing it with diet, not very dissimilar to a Keto-Green diet, I will say. So again, always ahead of the curve, Steven. And a really big part of this is digestion. Right? When your gut is that messed up, when you have irritable bowel syndrome when you have digestive issues when you have the gas, the belching, the burping, the farting. Right? All of these things, we in medicine, we call it eructation for burping, flatulence for farting.

    Dr. Anna:
    So we have these other long words just for the same thing. But anyway, it's a consequence where we're constantly doing band-aids. The antacids, and then of course pain medicines because of the inflammatory issues that often all of these clients have, as well as getting what is necessary to get to the root of the issue, because we're not digesting then well. And I really want to get on this because what you talk about is the ancient power of enzymes and how important enzymes are for our body. So this ancient power of enzymes, and why should we even care?

    Steven:
    This is an interesting time to do an interview like this because we are being forced to reckon with an ancient style of microscopic thing that we can't touch or feel called a virus. And so there are these things like viruses and bacteria and enzymes that were around way, way before us. And they will inherit the earth no matter what happens. They will be here well beyond us. And so that's why I kind of call it the ancient power because it's these really little things that have been here before us that really make the world go round. An enzyme really is at its physics or at its physical chemistry level, it's just a catalyst. Meaning it speeds up the reaction of something. And so if we did not have enzyme function in our body, we would literally die the next moment.

    Steven:
    There are thousands of enzymes. Many of them are highly specialized and they do certain things in our cells or in our organs that basically speed the reaction up and keep us alive. Otherwise, it might take a hundred years to digest one bite of Keto-Green food. We don't know, but it would take a long time. And so that's really what enzymes are. They are catalysts. They're small compounds that take a mineral to activate them. It could be calcium, magnesium, something like that. They turn on and then they speed up a reaction and then they kind of chill and they wait for another opportunity to speed up a reaction. And so that's kind of what enzymes are, that's where they come from.

    Steven:
    And then I think the important thing is we have five different really main areas of enzymes in our body and specifically our digestion that I really want people to know more about. Because if you aren't aware of these things, and if you don't cultivate their power, you can eat the best Keto-Green, you can eat the best organic, I mean, you literally could be spending thousands of dollars on your food and your supplements, and if you can't break them down into the molecule sizes that your gut needs to absorb them, you will, unfortunately, be putting them in the toilet. And that's a lot of work. That's a lot of effort for people who I know value their health, that I just don't want to see wasted.

    Dr. Anna:
    Yeah. I know that's a big one. And also again, enzymes to kill parasites. Right? Also bacteria parasites. They act in our defense as defense mechanisms as well as the function of digestion. But yeah. And whether how good our food is, it's only as good as how well we're able to digest it.

    Steven:
    That's the main message. And I think a lot of people don't necessarily want to hear it because they want the new super probiotic or something like that to make everything click in for their digestion. And my hypothesis or proposition to someone listening is that the answer you're seeking there is actually in enzymes, whether it's the enzyme that I've created or the proper dosing of a professional-grade enzyme from somebody else. I'll tell you why I think ours are better, but I think at the end of the day as you said, enzymes help degrade almost everything. We'll talk about it, but they go systemic, there's lineages of cancer treatment that you take like 180 capsules of enzymes a day.

    Steven:
    Cancer makes a heavy coating of fibrin around the cells that cloak it from the immune system, enzymes come in and they eat the fibrin a way so the immune system can find it. You have elevated circulating immune complexes found in lupus and rheumatoid arthritis and many other autoimmune conditions, enzymes help eat that up. It's pretty amazing that they can help us eat a steak and then they can help us... Nattokinase, for instance, is studied for heart disease. It's really cool.

    Dr. Anna:
    Well, I have to share with you, I did a video... Because in our Keto-Green community, I want to do things as naturally as possible, but there are certain key supplements I typically add. So we would add on definitely enzymes to this, but starting with enzymatic foods. We have our fermented foods like kimchi and sauerkraut, but we also have in the morning taking some apple cider vinegar and maybe drinking it with meals and, or different foods that support digestion like ginger and spices. Right?

    Dr. Anna:
    That can all help with digestion. But often it's often not enough as we get older because our natural levels are decreasing as we age. So I think I read one place, I'm not a hundred percent, but by the time we're 50, in our 50s to 60s, we have about two thirds the enzymes production that we had in our youth. And again, it depends on the quality of our health, for some more, for some less.

    Steven:
    Yeah. So there's a prevailing theory that enzyme function is kind of like stem cells. So if you're familiar with the idea that we're born with the amount of stem cells we'll get for our lifetime, there's this enzyme reserve theory that we are born with essentially all the number of enzymes, pancreatically that we'll have for our lifetime. And so yeah. As we live longer and longer, and as we want to age better and better and be sexier and sexier, I sort of see enzymes as an antiaging tool. We're going to just generally use them up as we go, and if you happen to have had an issue as I have, I probably burned through quite a bit of enzyme there just trying to get through my gut stuff.

    Dr. Anna:
    And really that shouldn't surprise us. Right? Ovarian function, testicular function, enzymatic function, all of these things decline with age. And so okay. We think, "Okay. What do we do to preserve it as long as we can and then supplement as needed." Really I agree with you on that as well. I think that's a really important component in enzymatic health. Again, if you're taking handfuls of supplements, but you don't have the enzymes, you're not going to be absorbing them. If you're eating the best organic food, perfectly prepared, and you're not able to digest them fully, you're not benefiting completely as well as you could be. Certainly benefiting, but not as well. And we really want to optimize what we're doing. Now I wanted to tell you what I did in my Keto-Green 16 group. And I do these little three to five-minute videos a day, and for our 16-day challenge.

    Dr. Anna:
    And one of the videos I shared about digestive enzymes was here's a piece of meat, and you pour hydrochloric acid on it, right, the pH of zero to three and it should start breaking down. You see it hemolyze right away. But take another piece of meat, same meat, pour the hydrochloric acid on it, and then pour a tall glass of water, beer or wine or whatever it may be. Right? You've completely diluted your digestive enzymes. And this is slower to break down, it doesn't hemolyze as well, you're not even breaking apart to get all those nutrients out of the food you've eaten. And then there's the three-bite rule, is not a three chew rule. Right? We have to chew our food completely. So let's talk about how do we, first of all, know that we're deficient?

    Steven:
    We've mentioned a lot of it. I mean, if you are already listening to this and you're wondering, "I might be deficient," then that's a pretty good sign that you intuitively already know that you're deficient. But the main signs of it are gas, bloating, acid reflux, constipation, diarrhea. If your digestive system isn't producing amazing, perfect bowel movement every morning, you're at likelihood. Also, like you mentioned, if you're over 50 or if you have a number of chronic conditions that you're kind of managing naturally, these are all good areas to sort of assuming that potentially or you definitely are having low enzyme function.

    Steven:
    Another one would be what you just mentioned too. If you do know that you have low stomach acid. Because enzymes are these weird creatures where they have to have the right environment to work, especially in our body. Our bodies, these systems of systems, and one of the reasons why we are still struggling to really find all the perfect cures for everything is because it's so intricate. Each component has such a beauty to how it works and doesn't work. And when it comes to enzymes, for instance, the pancreatic enzymes we make internally, they only work in a narrow band of pH range, usually about five to seven.

    Steven:
    And so if your stomach acid is too low and it dumps into the small intestine, and then you dump in bake... It's not baking soda, but it's basically baking soda, it raises the pH too high to say eight or nine, then your pancreatic enzymes that you make naturally won't even get the job done, sadly. And so there's all these little nuances to digestion, the mechanical aspects. And that's the super sexy microbiome and the cool new strains of this or that. But the actual mechanics of digestion are this really wonderful thing, but it can be really well thrown off if you're scarfing food down, or like you said, having a second glass of wine at dinner, which I mean is lovely sometimes, but you're going to pay a price.

    Dr. Anna:
    Right. And it's just thinking about that. Being conscientious about it. When do we do things and traditionally what systems have evolved so that we do it in the healthiest way possible? So I definitely want to touch back on this because one of the things that oftentimes, because we're so acidic, I have clients do is alkalinize in the morning, first thing. But they're on an empty stomach, and if they're having trouble getting alkaline, we'll do a quarter to a half teaspoon of baking soda. Now that's on an empty stomach, typically hours before your breakfast. Right? We want that. We're going to have higher fluctuations and lower fluctuations.

    Dr. Anna:
    And also depending on the food we're eating, our digestive enzymes should come into work at different areas in the stomach, right? Within the intestines. And will you explain some of that? And also one thing that we're going to touch on, what I really want to talk with you about to Steven is the effects of, antacids and how to get off these deadly antacids that people have been on. And I can tell clients that have been on antacids or PPIs for years because of many health problems from tremors to forgetfulness, to joint pain, back pain, headaches, you name it.

    Steven:
    Yeah. That's a big topic right there. So let's first start with... Just so you understand your body a little bit more. I think people really do better with health behavior change if they kind of understand the coolness and the amazingness of their body. So the first couple of bites of food you eat, there's an enzyme called amylase that will be released in your saliva. So one of the reasons they say and even Anna and I say, chew your food properly... even though I don't always follow that advice, I'm just as guilty as most people, is that it gives amylase more time to work on your food and break down the starch or the carbohydrate content before you swallow it. It goes down into the stomach. It keeps working there, but not as well. And then the stomach, as soon as the food starts to come in, your stomach starts to release gastric acid, which is a mixture of HCL, an enzyme called pepsin and intrinsic factor, which binds to B12 and it helps us get our energy nutrient there.

    Steven:
    But Pepsin's the main rockstar of the enzyme world in the stomach, and so pepsin starts to break it down. As you mentioned in your science experiment, which is so awesome, basically hydrochloric acid starts to break apart and unfold protein structures. Without that the enzymes would be just attacking like a big ball of something that they can't really get at. They need it to kind of open up. So it kind of opens up, the pepsin comes in and starts cleaving the protein up, amylase is kind of working on things, and then your food after about two to four hours it should be down to about a 1.0 pH maybe 0.5 pH in your stomach, and it slowly starts to let go into the small intestine. When it goes into the small intestine, you have two sets of really important enzymes.

    Steven:
    You have pancreatic enzymes and you have brush border enzymes. And they all mix together. And the pancreatic ones are kind of the standard ones that most people are aware of. If you know enzymes protease, amylase, lipase, that's protein, fat, and starch or carbohydrate. But the brush border includes all these really cool ones that work on the little strings of things. They help us with the nuances of legumes or broccoli like cruciferous vegetables. The brush border is where all the fancy enzymes are at. The pancreatic enzymes are the powerhouse ones. And if you happen to have celiac disease, if you happen to have SIBO, if you happen to have any number of conditions, leaky gut, where there's inflammation inside your small intestine, your brush border, if you don't remember is kind of like fingers, and it's totally coating this too. And these get smashed and mangled and when this happens, they don't function. They don't release enzymes anymore.

    Steven:
    So brush border enzymes, I think are one of the first ones to go in this whole consequence of issues. And I think that's why we see such bloating and gas and heartburn and all these things. But anyway, that's kind of how the enzymes work. Now, if you have extra enzymes or you take enzyme supplement and you have extra ones, they will pass into the bloodstream and they become systemic enzymes. And so we have lots of systemic enzymes that sometimes are called metabolic enzymes as well. And like I said, most of these are super-specialized. You can't supplement with them. We're not even aware of what they are at this point in science. But lipase, amylase, and protease do both systemic and protease is usually the rock star here. And that's the one that can work on... It's been shown to lower inflammation, it's been shown to improve blood flow, it's been shown to help regulate these circulating immune complexes. Like you said, it helps clean up debris in the blood, which includes parasites and other foreign invaders. It includes food intolerances. That's one of the biggest ones. If you have food intolerances, you probably definitely should have enzymes for a really long time. Because basically that means two things.

    Steven:
    One you're not properly breaking your food down in the digestive tract. Two, it's getting across the digestive tract barrier into your blood and your immune system is not able to clear it effectively. Normally the liver, the spleen would do their jobs here. But we live in a toxic world, we're stressed, we're older, I don't know, things happen. And like, "Let's give the liver a break." Enzymes can do that. So, that's kind of science overview of enzymes. I think that hopefully, it gets people excited about them a little bit more.

    Dr. Anna:
    Well, I love it. I think you described it really well, just as that engineering brain of yours is working. It really does help us look at what is happening from beginning to end and understanding a little bit about that this is something that once we know what's... Right? What's broken, we can fix it. Right? If we don't it's broke, we can't fix it. But if we know it's broken, we can fix it. And we can definitely supplement with a natural way. So let's talk about how do we look for a great enzyme? And I know you created an amazing enzyme product, which I'm really, really... I've been really excited about sharing this with my audience. But let's talk about how do we look for... How our enzymes... We talked about how they're correcting the digestive issues because we're just breaking down these proteins, fats, carbohydrates into the little pieces we can use and assimilate. Right? So how do we know what's a good enzyme and what's not a good enzyme?

    Steven:
    There's basically animal-based enzymes you can supplement with. And they have all the same issues that our enzymes have, which means they only work in a very narrow pH band. And of course, they come from animals. And so if you have any issues with that, or if you're unaware of how the animals were grown or raised, you might take issue to supplement with them. I'm not necessarily against them. My only thing is, let's say you're having food intolerances or you're having gas or bloating or heartburn, no one, I don't think, could tell you that, "Oh. That's a pancreatic enzyme issue," or "That's a brush border enzyme issue."

    Steven:
    Now, if you have an oily toilet, let's say you've gone Keto-Green, you're having a little bit of loose stools with more fat on Keto. I mean, we pretty much know that's lipase. That's a pancreatic enzyme and you could start there. But if you don't have these really specific symptoms, we're not sure if it's a brush border issue or if it's a pancreatic issue. And so I really would suggest that people get an enzyme product that includes both. That's step one. And then step two is, don't be afraid to supplement at much, much higher doses than what is on the bottle. Because A, we have a lot of supplement companies who... Enzymes are one of the most expensive raw ingredients in the market, and they're really hard to work with.

    Steven:
    And so they don't put a lot in each capsule. And so, as I mentioned, if you look to other domains about what is "potentially safe," I can't say that everything's safe, but we know that in cancer, there's plenty of people dosing themselves at 180 capsules per day on an empty stomach.

    Dr. Anna:
    Wow. That's a lot.

    Steven:
    Yeah. That's Dr. Gonzalez's lineage of cancer. So if you're sitting there and you're suffering with some digestive upset, some food issues, you have enzymes at home and you've only been taking one or two and you're like, "These enzymes don't work. I can't believe those guys got me. And Dr. Anna, she told me..." It's probably not the case. Just double or triple your dosage and start experimenting with your dosage. Because a lot of enzymes may not have the highest amount of ingredients in them, but also here's the other big issue is that, as I mentioned earlier, enzymes need an activation charge.

    Steven:
    They need a mineral to donate electrons, to basically spark them on. That's like the spark plug in your engine. It's called a cofactor. And people have maybe heard of that. But it's a very weird term and you're like, "What is that?" Well, it's a mineral that's donating a charge to make this work. So if you're following Keto-Green, you're getting a lot of minerals and you're getting a lot of charges. And so that's probably going to make your enzymes work better. But if you don't have an enzyme product that has an activation mineral blend in it, you're essentially going to have to steal nutrients from either your food or your body to make the enzymes work. And so that just adds one layer of complexity into the, "Hey. Is this going to work for me? It's not going to work for me. How reliable can I count on it?"

    Steven:
    And so that's where our enzyme, Holozymes has made quite a big leap forward is that I found a Ph.D. researcher who spent many, many hours in the lab dropping various enzymes and various minerals in Petri dishes, trying to figure out how activated they got. And then he made a patent on that. And so I licensed that patent from him because honestly, I wasn't going to do it. Because if you talk to the supplement people, they all say that their enzyme's best. And I tried like 30 brands last year because I wanted to have the best enzyme in the market. I'm an engineer and I want the best. And after being let down many, many times over trying all the famous brands we can name, I got referred over to this guy. And he's like, "Nope. It's not about necessarily having the most amount on the back of the label. It's about where that came from and if it's turned on."

    Steven:
    And I was like, "What?" And so yeah. I got some of the Holozymes mixtures and started testing them on myself. And I had a few too many glasses of wine and some chips one night and I was like, "Wow. I don't have any of the symptoms I normally have. This is weird." And so then I started giving them out to my friends and they were like, "You notice anything?" And yeah. It does appear that there's something to this activation and making sure that it works right away, as soon as it hits your body. Now that being said, if you already have enzymes, maybe you've already spent a lot of money on them or maybe your enzymes are... you kind of like the brand like I said, you can always try to double or triple or add a mineral supplement. And I think actually your greens powder would have a lot of those in there. Right?

    Dr. Anna:
    Yeah. It definitely does. But again, I think it's also the combination. What's the next right step for us. Right? What's the next right step? I always say, if you're doing the same thing every day, we sometimes have to change that up a little bit too. Add to it, take away from it.

    Steven:
    Yeah. Keep experimenting. I mean, our experience and the experience of the customers of Holozymes has been, they are very affluent and very into health. Meaning not affluent as in they're rich, but affluent in they spend all their money on health, and they are still searching for that no bloating, or they're still searching for the ability to eat the foods they want to eat. And Holozymes has been the one that people are switching to. And so we're picking up doctor's offices around the country, carrying... And it's just really cool. It's really fun because I use them every day. I take them with every meal, I take them before bed, systemically they also work that way. And we can talk about how that's related to PPIs if you want to circle back to that. But I think enzymes are amazing. I don't want people to think like, "Oh. Holozymes is the only way," but I do want you to know that if you're not getting your needs met, I think we've found a solution.

    Dr. Anna:
    Yeah. No. I think that's great. And I'm excited. I've been in this field in functional medicine for decades now and I definitely carry an enzyme brand, but I was excited about your enzymes because of that combination of the minerals. Because also too, when your digestion's so torn up, you're on this road to recovery, you need to come at it double-barreled sometimes as well. Right? And just change things up, give it a try. Digestive enzymes are critical. So also experimenting. So I would take yours with mine and that's a perfect combination. And then just going on to do a course of your enzymes and just see the difference, see how you feel. Because that can make a really big difference especially as we get older and we're having hormonal issues or maybe we've had some medical issues or we've been on a course of antibiotics or we've had yeast infections. Now we have additional... We worry about the biofilms, which are such a hard thing to get through. So would these enzymes help with some of those issues of biofilms?

    Steven:
    Yeah. They would. So they'll only work that way if you take them systemically. And this is for other enzymes as well. So when someone says a systemic enzyme, basically all they're saying is take this product without food. So not all systemic enzymes include digestive enzyme mixtures. So there are systemic enzyme blends like a famous one is Wobenzym, that's probably the most famous one in the world. It's got like 160 research studies on it. They've done amazing work just saying, "Hey. Enzymes are as good as some prescription steroids for certain conditions." They help with infertility, they help with endometriosis, they do amazing things for cancer. I mean systemic enzymes, basically taking your enzyme without food is ridiculously powerful. And one of the things that it can definitely help with any sort of gross fibroids, endometriosis like I said, it helped me with uric acid.

    Steven:
    So I was suffering all the signs of gout at the age of 33. I'm not 33 anymore, but about to turn 35 here. But I was this fit supposedly expert and I'm like, "I can hardly hike right now. I don't want to go camping. What is going on?" And so I tried releasing my emotional traumas and shamanism and some psychedelics. I tried stem cell injections, I tried PRP injections, I tried everything. And finally one of the bright doctors I was working with, he was like, "Dude, we've done everything. I think you might just need to go ahead and accept that you have gout." And I was like, "What. No. I don't fit the profile. I don't... No." Sure enough, I got the Holozymes. I tried a lot of other things like cherry and all kinds of other things, nothing worked.

    Steven:
    I took the Holozymes systemically and literally, under 14 days, my pain had gone. And again, I can't say that this treats gout. It does have a pilot clinical trial of six people, and it lowered uric acid by 40% for people who were high on. So it does have some systemic trial data behind it. It's very new, which doesn't prove anything, but I would really encourage anybody... I kind of call it a protein cleanse in away. If you have enzymes sitting around at home, even the ones you have Anna, take four to six on an empty stomach for a week and just see if you notice your skin clear up, if you notice whatever achy joint you have kind of gets looser, you sleep deeper, your hair's better, whatever it might be. Less heartburn, that's a big one. Because I do think that there's some miraculous powers in systemic therapy.

    Dr. Anna:
    [inaudible 00:38:19] you think about peptide therapy. Right? I mean, isn't that kind of what enzymes are doing? It's breaking things into peptides. Think of that as a function of what we're doing. Now we're taking peptides or even oral peptides, like BPC-157 I think that it's very interesting. But again, could we accomplish the same thing or very similar by increasing our enzymatic load? I don't know [inaudible 00:38:42]. I don't know.

    Steven:
    I mean, it's a great question. I mean, clearly peptides are in the future of medicine. I mean, they're one of the biggest futures in medicine. We have this funny thing in medicine, right? We discover something and then we get sidetracked by something shinier. It's like the squirrel phenomenon or shiny object syndrome or something. And I think enzymes are going to have their day here again. They're going to come back around as well, just because they're so... They're like vitamin D. They're so essential to the everyday operation, they're not as sexy as psychedelics or peptides, but I do think that they're going to come back around as something that you're going to want to probably be on if you want to live a vibrant, beautiful long life.

    Dr. Anna:
    Well, and I think it's one of the foundations. Omega-3s, Mighty Maca, Julva, hey, those are some foundations too, but enzymes are a foundational product. Absolutely. So how we can do that with good habits. And so let's talk about dosing and also dosing for it and weaning off of PPIs, in this last little bit of time that I have here.

    Steven:
    You're just as familiar with this as I am, but the PPIs are getting recalled due to cancer substances being in with the generic drugs due to the terrible way our generic drugs are made these days. There's new research in the last few years, showing that essentially one round, even a week of a PPI usage will basically create small intestinal bacteria, overgrowth, or SIBO. It's normally the longterm usage. These drugs were never approved for more than eight to 12 weeks of usage.

    Dr. Anna:
    Eight weeks according to the PDR, physician drug reference. It says eight weeks. Right? With rare exceptions, could they go on another cycle with extensive monitoring? And what they don't say is that once you wean off or once you stop it, you have this tremendous rebound effect, which makes you get right back on it. So when we're talking about PPIs it's proton pump inhibitors, so because of increased... Typically, it's thought it's because of increased acidity, but it actually often cases the opposite.

    Steven:
    So PPIs came about because of ulcers and heartburn and acid reflux and GERD and all those things. And the narrative that we've been told for 30 years is that we all have high acid. If you experience those things, you have high acid. And the integrative doctors and functional medicine doctors well before our time who were railing against this phenomenon... Dr. Jonathan Wright up in Washington wrote a book almost 20 years ago now called Why Stomach Acid is Good for You. And he talked about the fact that if you do stomach acid testing, one of the main ones and the longest-running one is called the Heidelberg test. And you swallow a pill on a capsule. It's not super pleasant, but you can find it someplace. It's pretty hard to find and it's like $500. So it's not awesome. But anyway, he found that in his clinic, approximately 80-plus percent of people who complained acid reflux or heartburn or IBS actually had low acid.

    Steven:
    And so they began to do some research on this. Also, Dr. Steven Sandberg-Lewis, who's a gastroenterology professor of naturopathy, he suggests around 75% to 80% of his people also have low acid. And basically, what happens if you have low acid, studies show that your transit times all increase. And what happens Anna if I throw some food on the sidewalk, does nature respond to it?

    Dr. Anna:
    Oh yeah. Eventually.

    Steven:
    Right? So ants are going to come, maybe a dog comes, a little kid, a bird. If you give nature food, it responds. So if we give our stomach too long, there are bugs in our stomach that will ferment. The byproduct of fermentation's what happens when you crack your fermented foods, you get gas. That gas pushes against the closure at the top of your stomach, and then we get these openings. And who knows if it's stomach acid, if it's pepsin, if it's something else if it's just gas that comes through, but it causes what feels like high acid, even though the root cause is typically low acid. And so then, it's such a... Right. Intuitively if you feel high acid, and I tell you, "Hey, I have this pill that takes away high acid," intuitively we get hundreds of millions of people who've taken these drugs now, even though maybe only those with ulcers should have taken them. Like 10 million people should have taken them, and should have done it for eight weeks only.

    Steven:
    But now we have this narrative that is not true biologically in the majority of cases, it appears. And I wrote an article five years ago, suggesting this is the biggest malpractice that's happening. It doesn't kill people like opioids. And I'm not trying to say that one's worse or on the same level at all, but I'm just saying that we have a nation of people who are prescribing these drugs against the actual FDA's recommendations on how they're supposed to be used. And they're hard. They're hard to get off of, they cause a rebound effect, while you're on them you're not going to absorb iron, B12, minerals. All the things that stomach acid does for you and pepsin does for you, won't work for you. And probably your enzymes are going be off, just due to the pH levels being off throughout your whole body.

    Steven:
    So, I can't tell you if you should get off yours, I can't tell you how to do it. I can tell you that if you Google it, you'll find out that you slowly taper and you kind of come off of them and you get down to a certain point and then you jump off of them. You have to expect that if you've been on them for a while, you will have a rebound effect. If they're kind of new to you, I've found that that doesn't happen to everybody. The best way to avoid this I found is to do a pretty hefty dose of enzymes throughout the whole journey as you're sort of tapering on and off of them. And then if you are off of them for a few days, you can begin to try betaine HCL supplementation to begin to correct your stomach acid levels.

    Steven:
    And just have known, if you have Barrett's esophagus, if you have ulcers, hydrochloric acid is not for you. You've got to get that fixed first. You've got to fix your mucosal linings first. But as long as that's not happening, your next step and this has been shown in studies, you can use 1500 to 4,500 milligrams of HCL, and that will bring stomach acid that's been artificially lowered... this is research done in humans, back up to its normal strength.

    Dr. Anna:
    Yeah. And in my clinical practice... And I thank you for reminding me about Wobenzym. They were one of my favorite enzymes. And I think they were on a shortage for a while and I substituted out. But I definitely love those, so I was excited for the reference. But one thing I did in my practice is that HCL titrating. Right? So for a client to find out how much HCL do they really need. It is you take two before your meal and then take it every 10 to 20 minutes until you feel a slight warmth. And then you're like, "Okay. Next time, just go two less than that," and not to exceed seven of what we had with the betaine HCL tablets. So it really will depend on the brand that that is received.

    Dr. Anna:
    So we had that titrating thing and then gradually you're able to wean down to a minimum dose. But something to consider with your functional medicine doctor to really look at that, if you've been on these for a long time, you've been on PPIs or antacids for a long time, we really have to correct the inciting issue. And another thing I did with my patients is the modified elimination diet with a 72-hour fast. And clients that were on... I had this beautiful woman, Steven, she came to me at 23 years old. She was two years postpartum. She had significant depression. Her husband brought her in. She'd been on PPI. She was on Nexium since she was 15. All throughout her pregnancy, she couldn't get off it. On Nexium since she was 15. And she had such significant depression, which is a side effect of these medications. Again, you're not absorbing the nutrients that your body so needs.

    Steven:
    Yeah. You don't get the amino acids.

    Dr. Anna:
    She was a mess. She was a basket case. So it took me working with her again, hand in hand, practically working with her for three to four months to recover her bowel and get her to normal. And for some, it takes longer and for some it's quicker. But included in that was a complete seven-day just working on a protein shake at that time, my Keto-Alkaline Protein Shake, which has gut rebuilders on it, adding in some aloe in between and extra glutamine to help rebuild the gut lining. But five to seven days of just that. No solid foods. And that's the extremes you have to go to rebuild. But what a difference. Right? What a difference that can make in someone's life. And it's really tragic when you see this situation going on. And again, people are self-medicating with it because you can get so much over the counter. That's really, really destructive to our primary line of defense. And that's our gut, that's our gut health. So I love that we're talking about this enzyme. So, you've got your Holozymes coming up and tell us what's in your Holozymes.

    Steven:
    Yeah. So Holozymes, they're dual strain. So they work at all pH levels, no matter when you take them. They'll work in your stomach, they work later, they work as systemic. So that's another thing that's the difference between a vegetarian enzyme and animal enzymes. Animals have a small pH window. So the great thing about Holozymes is that if you're on a PPI or your stomach acid's all messed up, they're going to work. And then Holozymes include a pancreatic and a brush border blend. So they cover both of those sides. And then they come with the AES patented activation blend. And so basically again, every enzyme per milligram is matched with the perfect mineral to activate it. And so as soon as you take it, you know a hundred percent of the time it's already working. In fact, part of the ingredients in there are kelp.

    Steven:
    And the kelp includes some amazing nutrients and minerals. I mean, kelp is a superfood, but part of the reasons why it's in there is because the ions are activated, they actually need something to eat while they're waiting in the capsule. Otherwise, they would basically eat through the capsule. That's kind of the makeup of Holozymes. They're all U.S. enzymes. They're highest grade pharma. They come from Virginia. If your enzymes come from other parts of the world, they use different activity scales. Basically enzyme function is measured on how aggressive or active it is. And so we use US-based stuff because we have the most aggressive scale in the world. Meaning we have the highest stringency around those. That's kind of the makeup of Holozymes.

    Dr. Anna:
    And then how many? How about dosing?

    Steven:
    So to get the patent, the guy originally was turned down by the patent office. And so he had to run clinical trials to prove that this was a better or different enzyme than what's on the market. And so in the clinical trials, they did two per meal and two before bed. So use it digestively and systemically. And the six of them were all pilots, nothing more than 30 people. But in general what it showed was a reduction in blood sugar, a reduction in cholesterol, a reduction in uric acid. And yeah. Basically proving that it's systemically absorbed, but it's also working digestively. So you can start there, two, two, and two. I typically tell people, try four or try six just for a few days, just to see. What I've found, and I think this is kind of true for Wobenzym as well is that, if you do a loading phase for two to four weeks, you can have miraculous things happen.

    Steven:
    It's weird. You'll be like, "Oh my gosh. That weird pimply thing went away," or "That weird rash thing went away." And then just taper back down to two. But we also have people who have gastroparesis. So basically their stomach does not empty and they're in a really bad place. And again, Holozymes does not treat any of this stuff, but they use eight to 10 or up to 15 capsules. And they've been able to get off of various situations that you would be stuck on feeding tubes and things like that potentially. So you can go high, you can go low, I've tested it pretty high on my empty stomach, just to make sure that I'm not going to hurt anybody. I like to do all the testing myself.

    Dr. Anna:
    That's perfect. No. I love it. And it looks very, very safe. It's a great formulation. I'm excited about offering this to my community to try and to experience the results. And you've got a special offer for our community too. And then we're just going to tell people, really, a hundred percent everyone needs enzymes. Everyone needs enzymes. And I've known Steven for many, many years. And you can just see salt of the earth. Right? Knows what he's talking about, looks into the science really cares about the outcome and the safety of the products. And that's one of the reasons I admire you so much, Steven. Plus you're such a giver. Right? You really do. You give your knowledge, your education. I mean, abundant, abundant help and help, and in so many ways. And I want to thank you for that.

    Dr. Anna:
    And I just want to encourage everyone. I'm excited about these. When I heard that you were formulating this and working with us, I was really, really excited, because I know your journey and I know what you've experienced and I know your standards. And so I'm excited. So everyone definitely gets a few bottles because it's while supplies last. There's an issue with staying in stock and at the level... And I have the same issue with Mighty Maca Plus. Staying in stock at the level of quality that we demand for our products is often a challenge.

    Steven:
    Yeah. And so today I got a $10 off coupon. You can go to healthygut.com/anna, A-N-N-A. That'll redirect you to the Holozymes order page. It's $10 off whatever. We do have bulk discounts, so you can get a super super discount if you buy more bottles and then get even more 10 bucks off to give it a shot. And then we also have a 180-day refund policy. I took a really long time to start selling supplements. In fact, these have only been on the market for six months. We've already sold out once, we've been out of stock for six to eight weeks and we're back now. But the point is that I was not going to start a company that didn't take care of the people who put their money on the line for their health.

    Steven:
    That's who I am. That's one of my highest values. And I think if you're going to spend money on a supplement, that means that's one of your highest values. And let's be honest, everything doesn't work for everybody. And so for whatever reason, if these don't get you the results you want, even if you take the whole bottle, you just send us an email, give us a call and we'll get your money back. So you can hopefully take that money and go buy Mighty Maca or buy something else that does work for you. Because I want you to keep spending that on your health and just keep getting better.

    Dr. Anna:
    Well, I thank you. I thank you so much for this and this offer. And also again, this great product, and definitely for sharing some of this with our community and all your knowledge. And thank you for your time. Any last words of advice or wisdom that you want to close with?

    Steven:
    Just keep trying. If you're listening to this show and you're still struggling with something that you want to eliminate, just never give up. I mean, the difference between the people like Anna and I who keep aging backward, I think is we just don't stop trying. We have all kinds of issues that we run into even 10 years as experts or longer, but we just keep trying. And so I know you've probably been let down before, I know you've probably got your hopes up before and something didn't work, this diet didn't work, this pill didn't work, this drug didn't work, just keep trying. As long as you keep trying, you'll find what you're looking for.

    Dr. Anna:
    Thank you. And on closing, I ask a question, which one of my products is your favorite?

    Steven:
    Well, I'm loving the new book. I told you before we started that we are on day five. We just made the crispy salmon ginger skin recipe last night. So I'd never done crispy salmon and I always bake it because I'm lazy. But they turned out great. So yeah. I mean, I've been a Mighty Maca fan. I don't use Julva, but I feel like I could try.

    Dr. Anna:
    I thought you were going to say Julva.

    Steven:
    We do have Julva in the house. We do have Julva in the house, but I don't apply it personally.

    Dr. Anna:
    That's so funny. Thank you. And I'm so glad that you guys are doing Keto-Green 16. So we'll see you in that challenge group too and appreciate you. And with you being back in stock, we will have you live in that community as well. So again, I thank you so much for all you do and all you've done for health and for people who've been struggling with these mysterious illnesses, diagnoses and despair, because there is hope and you're certainly living proof and with all the hundreds of thousands of people you've helped. I just want to encourage everyone. Again, that is healthygut.com/anna to get $10 off. Again, I have my own digestive enzymes. Right? But I am taking Steve's as well because this is a fabulous compliment, a fabulous addition and a great way to change things up in my regimen.

    Dr. Anna:
    So it's not stagnant and I'm always up-leveling. Always up-leveling. So this is definitely something we want to have in our cabinet. We want to go ahead and start using it. You guys know if I don't do it myself, I'm not recommending it. And let me know how you like it. But this whole concept of improving digestion, increasing enzymes, enzymatic strength within our body, especially as we get older, it's biohacking 101. It is essential and foundational. And so with that said, I want to encourage everyone to love this episode, give me your reviews, I love reading them and share this with a friend. There are so many people... Right? The number one and two over the counter medications in the U.S. are antacids and anti-inflammatories. Right? Because when we're taking antacids, we are opening up, creating leaky gut, creating an inflammatory... definitely creating more inflammation for us. So that one and two. And we have to stop that. And that makes a huge difference.

    Dr. Anna:
    And no matter how long you've been on these products, substances, et cetera, that's something that we can definitely fix and reverse. And whether it's hiatal hernia or... That's another big issue that many people experience and say, "Well I can't get off my antacid because of hiatal hernia." There is actually osteopathic manipulation, chiropractic manipulation that can help with this as an adjustment too. But also when we decrease the pressure from our gut, the distension, the gas and bloating, there's less pressure up on your diaphragm, up on your stomach, contributing to the hiatal hernia as well. With that note, I want you all to just keep sharing and I look forward to seeing you next time. Remember I am here for you and so happy to be your Girlfriend Doctor. So bye till next time.

    Dr. Anna Cabeca

    Dr. Anna Cabeca

    Dr. Anna is a Triple Board Certified OB/GYN, Anti-Aging Medicine expert, and author of the best selling book, The Hormone Fix.

    Dr. Anna helps women heal the 9 most dreadful symptoms of menopause with natural, safe solutions. Follow her for content on hormonal imbalances, vaginal dryness, menopause (and more) that are medically backed, and created to empower women — not just treat them.