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Jonny Bowden, Nutritionist Talks About Probiotics And Same

May 24, 2008
This interview is an excerpt from Kevin Gianni's The Healthiest Year of Your Life, which can be found at http://thehealthiestyearofyourlife.com. In this excerpt, Jonny Bowden shares on probiotics, SAMe and more.

The Healthiest Year of Your Life with Jonny Bowden, author of many books including The Most Effective Natural Cures on Earth and a board certified nutrition specialist.

Kevin: What about probiotics. I've heard two different camps that one, you want to get just a good quality probiotic and the other one is you have to get something that actually releases and your small intestine and not in your stomach.

Jonny: Well, I'm going to differ on this, because there are people whose entire nutrition career are spent on the minutia of probiotics and when to take them and what stream is most affected and which ones adhere to the gut. As you know, there's bifida bacteria. There's Lactobacillus. There's a dozen different strains and different proponents of different strains and even some discussion about when the best time is to take them, on an empty stomach, at the end of the meal and that sort of stuff. Actually, it's not my area of expertise. I know that over all we want to find a formula we can believe in and take and I think it's a good thing to take as a supplement. I think it's a good thing to look for foods that contain them naturally. Again, fermented foods like the olives in the olive bar at the store. The bigger health food stores have the ones that are sitting out there on the counter. Those are naturally fermented, unlike the little green olives in the chemicals that are sitting in the jars. Naturally fermented food, naturally fermented soy sauce, these things are rich -- and sauerkraut -- these are rich in the probiotics that we need and the other thing is, just as yeast are living organisms, so are probiotics and they also require food and their food is called prebiotics and those are also found in supplements and in foods and those are the things that feed these little probiotics that actually live in your gut once you get them in there. So I think this it's probably worth an entire discussion on probiotics alone, but let's leave it by just saying that they're very important and they help your gut occology and they help you balance your whole inner system that allows you to assimilate and digest nutrients.

Kevin: Great. I want to talk about SAMe.

Jonny: Yes.

Kevin: It's something I don't know much about so I'm going to open the floor up to you to talk about that and explain what it is and how it can help.

Jonny: Well, I put it in my Desert Island Cures (chapter in The Most Effective Natural Cures on Earth), because again, I think it's such an important supplement. Again, it's not for everybody, but because it's not cheap. It's not one of the cheaper supplements and usually people turn to it when they have a particular condition that it can help and there are a number of them that it's very helpful with.

The thing is, some of this frankly boring biochemistry, but I'll try to put it in terms that at least won't make your eyes glaze over. We have sparkplugs in a car. SAMe are like sparkplugs. Basically, there is a process called methylation and if you've ever seen a relay race, these guys when they do the relay race and they pass that torch, well, methylation is like that passing of the torch in a relay race. One guy runs and they get to the finish line and he hands the torch to the next guy. The next guy runs and they do that at the opening of the Olympics. Well, methylation is like that and it's like this sparkplug passing of the torch from molecule to molecule and it's very important in the biochemistry of the body, because it keeps production going and it keeps toxic waste from accumulating. For example, one called homocysteine, which you may have heard of, which is getting a lot of press recently, because it's a risk factor for heart disease and stroke and I talk, also, in Natural Cures about how to bring homocysteine down. It's very easy to do, but that's something that even conventional doctors are beginning to pay attention to, your homocysteine levels. It's a very, very telling and important blood measure. Well, homocysteine is a byproduct of not having enough methylation, not having enough of this relay race kind of sparkplug action going. SAMe is basically a methyl donor. It basically comes and says this guy didn't make it to the relay race in time. Here's the torch, an extra torch for you. Here's an extra torch for you. It keeps the torch going and keeps the waste product of homocysteine from accumulating and in doing so keeps a lot of metabolic processes going smoothly. It has a profound effect on depression. It has a profound effect on arthritis. It has a profound effect on the liver and it has a profound effect on fibromyalgia. Those are the four conditions that it's been used for it and there is considerable research on SAMe and depression and SAMe and arthritis and some on SAMe and liver disease and some anecdotal stuff on fibromyalgia, but this whole methylation process, which again, is way boring and way into the depths of biochemistry that nobody's interested in and nobody wants to talk about, but basically the take on all this is that SAMe contributes to this metabolic process that's involved in pain reduction, depression reduction, liver detoxification and that's why it's such a useful supplement.

Kevin: We've been talking about supplements this whole time, but there are actually just foods. We don't have any time to deal with four or five, but maybe you could just pick one that you think is just a great food. You also have the book, 150 Healthiest Foods on Earth.

Jonny: I'd use that as a reference in the food section.

Kevin: Right.

Jonny: Let's just throw the book like the I ching and see where it opens; celery. Four sticks of celery will lower blood pressure.

Kevin: Wow.

Jonny: Four sticks of celery a day will lower blood pressure. Maybe not as much as a drug, but you add that to some of the other things, for example, that I talk about and again, you have to understand, I guess the take home thing about Natural Cures and the point I continue to try to make in the book, The Most Effective Natural Cures on Earth, is natural edicine, nutritional medicine, the medicine of food, the medicine of spirituality, of some of the techniques I talked about, like reflexology and things like that, they're never met to exist in a vacuum. They're not in the model of, "Doc, I've got a headache. Give me a pill." It goes away. They're not in that model. That's not the model that they work in. They work synergistically. They work as if it takes a village. It takes a program to heal someone. In the same way, so celery, yes, celery will lower blood pressure a few points. Now, if you add to that some magnesium, some fish oil and a couple of other things, a few other changes in the diet, you can bring your blood pressure down. Maybe a little stress management, maybe a little meditation, maybe a little bit of the deep breathing exercises that I talk about in Natural Cures. Put these things together and all of a sudden you've got a program. All of a sudden, you don't need blood pressure medication. So it's not that one of these things by themselves takes the place of a strong pharmaceutical drug. We can't compete with that stuff. That stuff works instantaneously. It's fast, but there is a cost to those drugs, a huge cost to those drugs. If I have a point of view about any of this, it's not that it's anti- medicine. It's just that I think we're better off taking as little medication as we can get away with. Not that we should never take it. Not that it doesn't save lives, but when I was in private practice people would come in. I had one very famous composer whose songs there is no one listening to this would not know. It's a household name. He died recently. He came in at age 70 with a crippling gate, tremors and he had a list of medications he was on that was like a full page of one of those yellow lined pads that took up the full page.

Kevin: Wow.

Jonny: Each doctor had given him something for blood pressure, but not looked at the stuff he was on for cholesterol and the cholesterol guy hadn't looked at what he was taking for depression and the depression guy hadn't looked at the stuff he was on for sleep and he was on these 19 different medications. My point of view is, if you cannot do that, it's probably a good thing and not that there aren't medications that save lives and that once while we need them, but there are natural things that you can do that the body knows how to handle and knows what to do with. Our bodies know what to do with vitamin B12. I'm not so sure that we know what to do with Prozac.

I'm not so sure we know what to do with a standard drug. They may have benefits, but they're not things that are naturally found in our diets. Why not start with the stuff that's right there in nature that you could pluck, or gather, or fish, or hunt, or grow and things that are made from those and nutrients that come from them and maybe are delivered through supplement, or herbs, or sometimes through foods, or whatever? Why not start with that and see if you can heal it mustering all these amazing properties the body has to heal itself and then start there and then if you get stuck, you can always go to medicine.

Kevin: I think that's a great point and I think that's a great way to end this call.

Jonny: Thank you.

Kevin: What I've done with Jonny is provided you a link that you can go and follow and learn more about him and get his awesome book. Like I said, I keep it on my desktop now as a reference when I'm writing or working with people. It's simple to use and a valuable tool to have for any health enthusiast, or health practitioner. I really appreciate you sharing it with me here.

Jonny: Oh, it has been an absolute pleasure. You are a great interviewer. I hope that people have gotten something out of this that maybe inspires them to do something for their health like I did for mine 20 years ago and really, I can't recommend it highly enough. It changes your life.
About the Author
To read the rest of this transcript as well as access The Healthiest Year of Life experts just like Jonny Bowden please click here! Kevin Gianni is an internationally recognized health advocate, author & film consultant. He has helped thousands of people take control of their own health naturally. For more information visit raw food diets and holistic nutrition.
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