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The Relationship Between Gut Health & Viral Illnesses | Dr. Robynne Chutkan

The Relationship Between Gut Health & Viral Illnesses | Dr. Robynne Chutkan

When it comes to gut health, the importance of the microbiome can’t be understated. Modern medicine tends to push antibiotics for every infection. But the truth is, antibiotics can actually make you more susceptible to viral illnesses. Antibiotics wipe out the bacteria in your microbiome– which are essential to keeping your immune system functioning properly. 


Dr. Robynne Chutkan wants to help us understand our gut health. Website Quote - "The health of the host matters. If you’re a healthier person, you’re going to have a better outcome.”

As one of the most recognizable gastroenterologists in America, Dr. Robynne Chutkan knows a thing or two about gut health. Her latest work, The Antiviral Gut: Tackling Pathogens From the Inside Out, tackles the importance of the terrain of the gut microbiome. Dr. Robynne earned her Bachelors of Science from Yale, and her M.D. from Columbia. She’s also a faculty member at Georgetown University Hospital. As the founder of the Digestive Center for Wellness, Dr. Chutkan wants to make reliable, actionable, scientifically valid gut information more accessible for all. 

Something that really sets Dr. Robynne apart from mainstream medical thinking, she always put an emphasis on the importance of being healthy “from the inside out”. What this means is that the bacteria in your gut microbiome plays an essential role in your immune health. So when you go to the doctor for some sort of illness or infection and get prescribed antibiotics, although you may get better initially, you’re making yourself more vulnerable to viral illnesses. The bacteria in your gut is essential for keeping you healthy. And one round of antibiotics can wipe out up to ⅓ of the bacteria in your microbiome.

In this episode, 

Dr. Robynne and I get into the basics of Germ Theory vs. Terrain Theory, and what it all means for gut health. Like me, she wishes there was a bigger focus on diet, lifestyle, and sleep for fighting illness, instead of prescription pills. You may have heard me warning about the effects of antibiotics on the microbiome, but Dr. Robynne explains and breaks it all down beautifully. While there’s nothing wrong in trying to prevent catching viral illnesses, as Dr. Robyn says, the health of the host matters. If you are unhealthy to begin with, a virus can wreak havoc on your health. But if you put an effort into building and maintaining your gut microbiome, your body will be able to fight off viral illnesses much easier. This is such an important episode, packed with actionable advice for anyone who wants to help boost their immune system. 


[00:04:45] The challenges of writing a book about gut health

[00:07:30] Germ Theory vs. Terrain Theory

[00:12:00] Empowering personal responsibility

[00:16:28] How to improve elder care

[00:28:37] The dangers of antibiotics

[00:36:18] How to break the cycle of killing the microbiome

[00:40:27] Why some people are more resistant to viral illnesses


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