Hype or Hope? The Betr Health Method to reverse anxiety, diabetes and unwanted fat for good

When Betr Health first came out, some considered it quackery – but with over 25,000 members and a 4.9 star rating, something must be working. Today, Dr Bill Ferro, along with Erin O’Hearn, Cee Cee Huffman, and Kim Stauder talk about the origins of Betr Health, why it works, and the impact it has that goes way beyond weight loss.


Dr. Bill Ferro: Welcome to the Quacks and Hypochondriacs podcast. I’m your host, Dr. Bill Ferro. I started my career as a chiropractor in health clubs, turned into a gut health expert. So, if you want to call me a quack, you wouldn’t be the first. On this podcast, we will give you the inside scoop on the so-called quacks of the world, quackery claims, who you should and shouldn’t listen to and why, sometimes, hypochondriacs have every right to be paranoid about their health. With me always, my co-host Erin O’Hearn. Boy, is she lovely, beautiful dark glasses today.  According to her Instagram, as we know, she’s a mother of three amazing kids- and they really are amazing- married to this super handsome guy, uh, with a great sense of humor, really nice arms and upper shoulders as well.

She’s a runner, yoga lover, new puppy owner- maybe not so new anymore. Journalist for ABC news in Philadelphia. Erin, how’s it going today?

Erin O’Hearn: It’s really good. I’m multitasking. Sorry, one of my three kids, um, the school called and I had to respond right away, but everything’s going great. There’s a lot of snow.

The school wanted to know why I didn’t send a note in saying that someone was coming home with me.

Dr. Bill Ferro: Yeah. Why? You can’t get that right?

Erin O’Hearn: I can’t get it right. There’s too many things to juggle. The kids are too busy. There’s too many notes. There’s too many forms to fill out. There’s too many emails to respond to.

It causes a lot of anxiety, and anxiety causes you to want to eat badly. And, eating badly causes you to gain weight, and gaining weight causes you to live an unhealthy life. So, Dr. Ferro, it’s a good thing that we’re on this podcast together today.

Dr. Bill Ferro: Absolutely. I mean, we’ve discussed so many different episodes.

Uh, we talked about diving deeper into our skincare- which by the way, I got all my products. My son Jet, as you had mentioned, um, about Sienna, worried about kind of the acne. So, he started getting some acne at the top, right. And, we use the face cleaner and I put his- whatever his product is the, I don’t know, skin, skin so lighter, anti-aging on one side of his face. The next day, it was like, clear. Even he was like, “This is like, a miracle.” And I’m like, well, obviously we’ve also been dealing with his diet and making him drink a lot of water. And he, you know, so anyway, Really, really good stuff. We talked about gut health and more importantly, its relationship to COVID-19 and how studies are showing that you’re 50% less likely, potentially, to get COVID-19 if you have a healthy gut. And now, new strains coming out of California, I would say it’s probably important to revisit that one. We talked about trauma, how to heal past trauma, which is basically unresolved pain and, uh, ultimately about being whole and complete with John Cerquria that was really cool and, and unleashing the giant within, and we made fun of some diets and fads and some of the failures that are out there.

Erin O’Hearn: Yeah. But all in good fun, and all a way to educate our listeners on don’t- I feel like this is a great time investment to save you money and time in the long run, because there’s so much out there right now. I mean, health and wellness is an enormous industry. Right? And probably, you correct me if I’m on the wrong percentage here, but I would say 90% of it is sort of just the cyclical fa right?

I mean, and, and, and more geared towards just weight loss and your physical appearance, as opposed to being whole and complete.

Dr. Bill Ferro: Yeah, I would say that, um, to let them off the hook, it’s just a paradigm that’s wrong and they just don’t have the latest research and science.

So, everyone’s talking about digestive health, and they just don’t know how to harness it.

And also you know, this is the chance for people to kind of break up with their past relationships with all those fads and processes. So, I always give them a little names. So there’s Keto Keith, who, uh, always starts off real promising, but then you end up sick in bed uh, and the weight just comes back after you guys break up.

Uh, so he’s, he’s on my list and I see why-

Erin O’Hearn: I never liked the name Keith. I, I avoided dating Keiths at all costs.

Dr. Bill Ferro: Well, listen, that’s a personal preference. If they had a cool last name though, like, uh, Richards maybe that would be a-

There are times that keto can really help people, and I see that they get so into it because they lose this weight when they haven’t lost weight in a long  period of time, but it’s not great for the biodiversity. And of course, you have a cardio crazy Sally who-

Who I used

Erin O’Hearn: to be.

Dr. Bill Ferro: Yeah, who has like, ripped clothes and like,  looks really cool and screams at you for the whole cardio class.

And then when you’re done, you’re just so ravenous that you’re in the parking lot, eating Chick-fil-A and a mocha frappe. Um, and she’s like in the car next to you doing the same exact thing. So, it’s not that cardio is bad. It’s just a lot of times, it’s just too crazy and too intense for someone who’s not ready for it.

Um, what’s my other guy’s name. Oh, supplement Sam.

Erin O’Hearn: Oh, yeah. Supplement Sam.

Dr. Bill Ferro: Yeah. Guy doesn’t have a job. You spend all your money on him, and it doesn’t work. That’s that’s a supplement Sam. Uh, then of course you have a medication Mike, which, uh, it, it never ends, but always you’re always chasing medication. Mike, one day, he’s got this gun put on.

So, the goal here is to realize that it’s just the paradigm. When we look outside for our health, we’re missing, we’re missing the evolutionary process here. We’ve evolved to have these microbes in our body and it just works really, really well if you just allow your body to unleash it.

Erin O’Hearn: And it all makes sense, too. But, um, I just wanted to sort of take this opportunity because I think sometimes, you know, with these podcasts and especially talking to you, which, you’re a wealth of knowledge. And that took a lot for me to admit today. Um, and I said it and I kind of got anxiety after it came out of my mouth, but we’ll leave that.

How so, Erin? How so, my wealth of knowledge? Please go on.

I don’t think we need to do that. But I did, I- sometimes I like to revisit things from the basics, like go back to the beginning. What’s that? What’s that Coldplay song. Let’s go back to the start or something? I can’t remember. But anyway, I think of that song and I can’t sing it. The point is, is like, I’d like to revisit, how did we get here? You know, what are the basics of the program? What was the Genesis of the program? Uh, why did you make the transition from being a chiropractor to getting into gut health?

And do you wish that you had made some sort of bet with people that you wouldn’t be a quack because way back when you started it, when it back when it was proactive, um, but I don’t know. No one, everybody thought of microbiome was like Elon Musk’s house on Mars or something.

Dr. Bill Ferro: Right.

Erin O’Hearn: But, so can you remind everyone, you know, how you got started, how you were inspired, um, by your kids, by your friends, by what you saw in your chiropractic offices?

Dr. Bill Ferro: Yeah, I think I’ve always looked for the shortcut in life. Uh, you know, my mom’s like the shortcut King, you know, if, if you had to mow the lawn, I’d find a way to have to push two lawn mowers side-by-side so I could get it done in half the time. Uh, so when I was in chiropractic school, I looked very clearly and I said, “You know, I don’t want to be someone that um, gets just working on people, constantly trying to get them out of pain when physically there, they just not, not going to change and that I’ll just keep doing the work over and over again.” So, I really got into that kind of preventative type process. And I got out, and I started a chiropractic office and boy, life hit you very quickly to realize you don’t know business at all.

Right? Cause when you start at this, you know, you just want to help people. And here you are starting a practice and also you want it to align with your philosophy. So, my philosophy was to get people healthy. And yet, the conflict is if I got them healthy fast, I couldn’t bill more to the insurance. And I’m like, how is this a business model? Like, I don’t like that type of- that just does not work.

Erin O’Hearn: Did you feel like, yeah, it was like almost to, like, you were bamboozling people.

Yeah. And

Dr. Bill Ferro: listen, it’s rampant in our middle and our healthcare system. It’s like, yeah, do another test. And I’m not saying doctors go in, into it thinking that way, but ultimately the pressures they have now that those corporations, like you have to make a living.

So, and also you have to cover your butt because you’re going to get sued if you don’t run every test as well. So there’s a lot of dynamics there that have just made our healthcare so expensive and it’s really not healthcare, it’s sick care. We’re not getting any help out of it. So, I looked at an opportunity to grow the, grow my own practice.

And by luck, a guy that owned a gym came in and he had terrible shoulder issues. And I was actually really good at working on shoulders. And he’s like, “Oh, this really helped me. Thank you so much.” He’s like, “You know, I have a gym down the street, I’ll give you a free gym membership.” So, I got a free gym membership and trade for the chiropractic services.

Well, then I’d be working out at the gym and I loved health, fitness, nutrition, and working out. And he’d say, “Can you just work on me here?” And I said, “Well, I really need my table.” He’s like, “I’ll buy one and put them in the drink closet.” So, here I am with the chiropractic table in a drink closet with all these huge ABB drinks.

I don’t know if you remember the drinks from the past, like the muscle milks, like the bottle looked like-

Erin O’Hearn: I was on that table.

Dr. Bill Ferro: Yes. Uh, yeah, I remember. Yeah. So what ended up happening is all the gym members started saying, “Hey, I would like to get aligned and I’d like to learn more.” And I started talking about diet and nutrition before you knew it, that kind of sparked the business opportunity.

So I was able to live true to what I wanted to do, which is health and wellness, put this office in a gym and I actually grew it to 30 locations across the country. So you would think awesome um,

Erin O’Hearn: I’ve done it. I have arrived.

Dr. Bill Ferro: I’m here. What killed me was I watched people fail constantly. I watched him join the gym, gung ho. We sat in front of them. I mean, I’ve sat in front of hundreds, if not thousands of people, when they first joined the gym, some of these gyms would sign up two to 300 new people per month only to not see them in six to seven weeks. Right? And of course we always blame the person’s willpower motivation, and I’d sit there and I’m an enthusiastic guy and I believe in everybody.

So I would give them everything. I’d write up meal plans. And at that the time was all calories in calories out work with the Fanny pack trainer over there with a can of tuna fish hanging out of his pocket and let him beat the crap out of you. And then, and I’ll tell you what to eat. And I just watched people fail over and over again.

And truthfully, I blame them. I was like, you know what? These people are not motivated. It’s not that difficult because I was young. I was 26 at the time. And-

Erin O’Hearn: You weren’t that young.

Dr. Bill Ferro: Yeah. Okay. So 26 at the time, and I’m sitting here thinking “This can’t be that hard.” Well, I hadn’t lived on the planet that long.

I haven’t had been exposed to all the toxins that the people that I was governing in their thirties and forties and fifties, I didn’t have kids. And the other stressors that, that were upon them. And you don’t really think to make that connection back then. And then a woman came in and she’s like, well, she was pissed at me. She’s like “I followed everything you’ve said. I’ve done this religiously for four to five months.” She worked out, she literally did a spin class in the evenings. She did a, like a, uh, at the time it was a step class in the morning and worked out with a trainer three times a week. If you watch what she was eating, it’s literally everything that is in every magazine possible, you know, the whole wheat with the turkey and the banana and all the stuff that they tell you to do. And she wasn’t losing a pound. So of course we send it to like five different doctors to get this Phantom diagnosis and it all comes up empty. So she’s anxious, she’s depressed.

And I had a friend at the time that was kind of my out there friend. Then he gave me a book on digestive health, basically microbiomes. And it was really small, but I was like, “Hmm, let’s talk about our history.” And I was really good at asking people about their history. And she had mentioned that she was sick a lot as a kid and always on antibiotics, a lot of ear infections, strep throat.

And I said, “Huh, I wonder if you’re still having the effects from that.” So, we got some off the shelf probiotics, um, and I started just, I put her on an elimination reintroduction process and she lost like 32 pounds in a month.

Erin O’Hearn: Oh my gosh. That’s crazy.

Dr. Bill Ferro: Right.

Erin O’Hearn: That was, that was your come to Jesus moment.

Dr. Bill Ferro: Absolutey. But then I was like, well, is this replicable?

Right? So then I started- because changing your diet,  when you look at it, it’s difficult. It’s the something you’re doing two to three times per day, right? It’s the biggest habit you have and it’s is it replicable? And then, because I had always watched so many people not follow through with what diets I’ve given them or nutrition plans that I’d given them.

And then what happened was, she said it was easy. And I was like, “Oh, okay.” So we put another person on it, and they said it was easy, too. Put another person on, they said it was easy. And the more I started looking at the microbiome, I realized, “Oh, that’s because all your body’s serotonin is made in your gut and that’s your happy hormones, so you get happier.” Uh, you’re seeing quick results, so that makes you happy. You’re lowering inflammation and insulin resistance, so you’re converting fat to energy, much easier. You’re actually doing it in your sleep without being cardio crazy or, or hooking up with keto Keith and supplement Sam, you’re doing all these things.

And each day, it gets easier. When, in the past, what I’ve done for them is I beat the crap out of them and counted their calories and lowered their calories and actually made it harder for them. And, uh, and that was it. Once I started doing that, I was like, “I just don’t want to work on people physically anymore when I can work on their physiology,” it was much more rewarding. And, uh,  it was direct to consumer. And basically, that’s how Betr Health the idea and the paradigm shift, no more punishment, all nourishment and your body will, will flourish.

Erin O’Hearn: So you say no more punishment, nourishment. There’s two things like, if you were to look at the mission statement of Betr Health, right, and sort of the idea behind it, there’s two things going on, which is, one, rethink what you put into your body and two, rethink how you sort of retrain yourself. In other words, it’s not, I mean, explain that a little bit about how you, you, you change people’s mindset and how they think of success versus failure. It’s not just the food part, it’s also the approach to food.

Dr. Bill Ferro: So it’s,  it’s what you’re feeding that’s important. Um, you’re feeding the microbiome. So your, your microbiome, as we discussed on the last podcast, outnumbers your human cells tend to one.

So, you have 300 trillion natural bacteria that all make their own genes, they’ve 3 million genes themselves. And that microbiome is responsible for how you think, your mood, your sleep, your regulation of your blood. So, I’m not trying to change anybody’s mindset. I’m actually just trying to change their environment. Much like if you take an inner city child that is just in the stress and the chaos of an inner city life, and they’re not eating great food and you move, you take them on a camp. That’s why they do this. They take them on a camp for two weeks out in the, out, in the woods and they’re eating right. And that, they’re like a different person, just like all of us. That’s why we go on vacation, right? To change our environment. Why won’t we just change our internal environment for a little bit? Why won’t we just give the microbiome a chance? And then rather than saying, you’re, you gained, you are a bad person. You have to change your mindset.

You have to commit, you have to commit, you don’t have to commit to anything. You just have to feed the microbiome and the microbiome will, will reduce all your cravings. When you’re you heard from Sudhir on our skincare. He said, “When you’re craving bad food, that’s your microbiome craving it, not your brain.” Your brain is not like, “Oh yeah, I want to punish myself and I want crappy food.” Uh, and so I don’t spend time changing people’s mindset. I spend time helping them fuel their microbiome. And the best part about it is, think about how fast, if you would say, does bacteria grow fast or slow? Everyone knows, it grows back super fast. Right?

Erin O’Hearn: Right.

Dr. Bill Ferro: That’s good news. That means that if I feed it right within 24 to 48 hours, the populations are just ramping up very quickly. So, you can get such quick results, and that’s been something we shied away from. Quick results, that means it must not be good for you. Well, yeah. Quick results if you are punishing yourself and doing the cabbage soup diet, and running around with keto Keith, and, oh, I forgot about CrossFit Fat Freddy.

This guy is responsible for making your shoulders look like a linebacker, and blowing out your knees at the same.

Erin O’Hearn: Can I, can I ask you something? The CrossFit thing I don’t get. And you know that I’m really into fitness, right? Like, I, I am willing to try anything not, I don’t want to bash CrossFit because there’s plenty of people who really enjoy it.

Sure you do. You like

Dr. Bill Ferro: it. This is a pastime of yours, to bash things. And I-

Erin O’Hearn: It sure is, especially celebrities. Um-

Dr. Bill Ferro: CrossFit is great when you’re ready for it. When you’re doing CrossFit and you are ready for it, and you like maybe just left the Marines, right, CrossFit’s phenomenal. But what happens is, and I used to have, uh, one of my doctors, we had an office right next to a CrossFit and we used to call it “Cross Fix.”

Because the guy was constantly busy with shoulders and knees because people just weren’t sharing. So it’s not that cross fit is bad, the issue is, is that the mentality is again, punish, punish, punish, and not nourish. Uh, and then they got onto this whole paleo thing for a while as well. But because you got a bunch of lunk heads throwing around tires, my mom does not need to throw around tires for longevity.

In fact, if there’s anything that’s going to put her in a wheelchair faster, it’s that. Yeah, she needs to fuel and nourish. Uh, so I, I guess back to the point is it shouldn’t be this difficult for people to express health, and it’s not because somebody has a better mindset that somebody else. So, the mission statement for me is let yourself off the hook.

This isn’t your fault. It’s the environment. There’s 80,000 chemicals. Um, we talked about that on the skincare, how quickly the skin- the petrochemicals, uh, go right into your skin within 60 seconds of people say, really? And I say, have you heard of the nicotine patch? If they can put a patch on you and put nicotine through your skin, into your body, what do you think is happening with all those chemicals you’re putting on?

So it’s harder for women to lose weight. Why? Because on average, are you losing using 16 more personal care products than a man? Men are not slathering themselves with this stuff? You guys are literally putting it on every single day, day in, day out, destroying the external microbiome as well as the internal microbiome.

And then you go, my “My stupid ass husband did the same program as me. He lost 32 pounds and I am struggling to lose 15.” It happens everyday on my- every week, every week. They’re like, “Oh, he, you know, he can eat whatever you want.” No, he’s also not as toxic, believable it or not, and that’s, my cancer has really has affected- uh, I’ll just internally, not emotionally.

Some women can- the mission is to really let people off the hook and then show them step-by-step how easy it is to restore your microbiome. And once that happens, you’re going to come off your diabetic medication. Your acid reflux is going to go away. Those migraines you’ve been dealing with for decades? They’ll be gone too.

And it’s not a, it’s not a miracle. This is- the miracle is your evolution of your body and how it works on impeded when given the opportunity.

Erin O’Hearn: But who, so, who is Betr Health for, because  like all, what, what you’re saying is making sense, but I always try to play devil’s advocate because as a reporter, you’re trying to show both sides and, and really ask the questions for people who can’t ask them directly.

So if you had a person was sitting today and they said, “Yeah, yeah, yeah, fine. This is like another quack that’s going to restrict what I eat. Life’s too short. How am I supposed to avoid all those chemicals? If it, you know, in as far as the skincare? Well, if it doesn’t have those chemicals and it doesn’t really work.” Like what are, what is your answer for who this is for, and how do you combat some of the cynicism?

Dr. Bill Ferro: Yeah. I mean, the first reason why people seek us out is generally because they see weight loss and it’s usually because their friend or family member has done it. Um, usually weight loss is like the number one motivator why people say, “Oh, look, look what Sheila, you know, I’ll have what she’s having.”

Um, the funny part about it is. Sometimes our members don’t shut up. They shut, they talk about it so much that the person thinks they join some type of multi-level marketing scam, and there are boxes and boxes of crap show up at their door.

Erin O’Hearn: Right.

Dr. Bill Ferro: Just by saying yes.

Erin O’Hearn: Or be branded.

Dr. Bill Ferro:  Yeah. Because there’s so, but there’s so yeah, branded is one, um, that would be cool. A B. Uh, but anyway, they get, so they’re just like, this works, this works.

And then the person, the other person’s like, all right, you’re you’re too much. And then the person starts to save things like,  “Yeah, that’s great. I did this elimination, reintroduction, I’m drinking tons of water,” and the person goes, “Whoa, I don’t know if I could do that.”

Erin O’Hearn: Right.

Dr. Bill Ferro: And the reason why they, they say that or, or, or what you said, like life’s too short is because they’re not experiencing how good they feel, right?

Once you start experiencing good, they feel an air. And I brought this up once to you. It’s like you, if someone told you to stop running, you would die. Some people say, if you made me start running, I would die.  And differences is they know physiologically, they’re not ready for it, but you’re ready for it.

Your body craves that. Craves that activity. We’re just gonna shift that, that craving. So when someone gets to like cynical and skeptical, which I almost wish we had, I don’t wish this, but our reviews are, I think we average 4.9 stars on Google and Facebook, and we have a thousand of them. People are cynical and skeptical of that, right?

How do you have so many five star reviews? And like, that’s just because we use the body to do work and we let people do it at their own pace, too. Erin, it doesn’t mean just because you get started, you have to do everything it’s called Betr, not perfect health. We kind of meet the person where they’re at, right.

Instead of arguing, like if I had 200 expert dietitians on this phone and expert doctors, they would never come to one conclusion on what’s the best protein, what, it’s the best this there would be five different ways that they could say, “Well, tofu is terrible for you.” And then I have five other people saying how amazing tofu is.

I don’t argue over that stuff. That doesn’t make sense to me. What makes sense is meeting in the middle and starting with the microbiome. And then once you get this education and this knowledge, you can eat pizza a couple of times, you know, you can enjoy yourself.

Erin O’Hearn: Yeah. And you know what? So I have been- I first did the Betr program, I don’t know, years ago. Right. And so my motivation was mostly because I have Crohn’s disease. So it was less about weight loss, um, and more about just making my gut feel better and having a healthier approach to food because my- because I adopted a healthier lifestyle.

And with that, I noticed some, the symptoms started to go away. But then when I really followed the Betr program, you know, I haven’t had Crohn’s symptoms in more than a decade. Um, but what I realize is that once you get into the habit of, maybe habit isn’t the right word, but once you get into the practice of eating and sort of go through this initiation period where, you know, you are referencing the, I don’t want to say rules, but the guidelines and, you know, and you’re understanding what choices to make and what choices not to make. Then fast forward a year down the road, or even a few months down the road, when you feel like you’ve established that, right, that internal balance, then all of a sudden, it’s kind of easy to toggle back and forth.

Like you can have a weekend where, you know, you have a pizza or you have, you know, ribs or tequila. Well, tequila is, that’s not once in a while. It’s an anti-inflammatory, lets not get carried away. Um, but you and you don’t have a problem going back because you actually feel better knowing that, “Oh gosh, when Monday hits, I’m going to feel so much better when I get on track”.

It’s like it’s similar to exercise in that you take a day off or a couple of days off. And I know that sounds like crazy, but that’s really all I can take off because I, I just enjoy it so much and it just helps me mentally. But you know, like sometimes on a Sunday night, I’ll think I cannot wait to get up and like start eating right again.

And that sounds ridiculous, right? To some people because well, not to you.

Dr. Bill Ferro: But I can picture you walking into your family. They can see some signs on your face and say, “Hey, ma how about a run and an Apple?”

Erin O’Hearn: Yes. Yeah, no, no.

It’s not how about, it’s please for the love of God, take a run and have an Apple.

Dr. Bill Ferro: Yeah. Okay. She’s running. Okay. She made it down the block. Okay. We can all relax now.

Well, you, you asked the question. I think I answered it. It’s for people that are dealing with IBS, Crohn’s. We have people in diabetes, too. I have people that are 350 pounds or the people trying to lose their last 10. I have Olympic athletes. It’s for everybody who is really trying to get the most out of their vitality and their immune system. The rest is easy. The weight loss, all that other stuff, the sleep, those are byproducts. We have people with PCOS. I have people, uh, PR infertility. We have an infertility clinic sending people to us and we’re able to help them have babies naturally.  As  our guest, uh, Dr. Simmons was talking about with cancer by keeping a healthy gut microbiome, we are reducing the estrogen load and, and helping prevent cancer. So, always the main motivation or the reason why people see us as like,”Ah, I want to lose some weight. I want better sleep.” Some people have given up on weight loss, actually. You’d be shocked at how many people in their fifties and sixties come to me and say, “I just want to feel a little bit more energy and not so tired all the time. If I get the weight loss great, but I don’t even think I’m going to get it.” And then three weeks into like, “Holy Moses, I’m down 32 pounds.”

Erin O’Hearn: Right.

Dr. Bill Ferro: “I haven’t been able to lose this weight, you know? Ever.” And the research, um, I’d love for you to, we’ll just kind of comb through this research and then we’ll take some questions. Cause we have Kim and Cee Cee on  the line, and Kim’s actually done the program, and so have her family members, and Cee Cee  never has. So I’d love to hear kind of her take in her questions, but,

Erin O’Hearn: Well, I’d love to hear about before we get to them because they do want to hear their questions, but I also want to hear this, this, the research that I think is the most reliable.

Um, from an outstanding institution. Um, really that is enormously selective in who it accepts the standards. So, so I’m talking about a Cornell University study.

Dr. Bill Ferro: Oh, wow. Interesting enough-

Erin O’Hearn: Uh, ironically or coincidentally, I should say. Um, I am a graduate, uh, with a bachelor of science from Cornell University. It is, uh, may I remind you, um, and everyone listening, a, an Ivy league school.

Dr. Bill Ferro: Is that right? It’s the lowest Ivy. It’s the one you can reach and you-

Erin O’Hearn: I think, I think what the, what they do, Dr. Ferro, and you wouldn’t know this because you didn’t attend an Ivy league school. Um, is it they’re tiered, uh, and certainly Cornell sort of makes up for that, um, it has, uh, it it’s one of it’s the largest, I think the largest Ivys, or one of the largest.

It is, does have the reputation as the easiest get- to get into, but it is the hardest to stay in. So, you know, I would say I’m what, um, you’re out of one in 100. I’m I’m a graduate.

Dr. Bill Ferro: Okay. I have, I have questions for our audience. So CC, I have a question for you. Um, do you know how you can always tell if someone does CrossFit?

Cee Cee Huffman: How?

Dr. Bill Ferro: Don’t worry. They’ll tell you. Hey, Hey Kim, do you know how you can tell if someone’s gone to Cornell? Don’t worry, they’ll tell ‘ ya.

Erin O’Hearn: Touché. Anyway, so what was some of the research?

Dr. Bill Ferro: Well, ironically, research out of Cornell had to do with mental health, shockingly.

Erin O’Hearn: Well, is it ironic or a coincidence?

Dr. Bill Ferro: Coincidence? So the researchers at Cornell University got the idea to disrupt the microbiome of laboratory mice to see what the impacts might have on their mental health.

And what they found is similar to anxiety disorder in humans, a lack of a healthy microbiome was associated with continuous stress with when there was no threat around. Uh, in a similar study, researchers worked with, uh, the gut flora project to study stool samples of over a thousand patients, a little over a thousand.

And what they found is individuals with symptoms of depression, uh, consistently had lower amounts of specific types of gut bacteria and that’s, and that’s a lot with Dr. Wischmeyer was saying about even COVID patients 24 hours into the ICU, uh, or the hospital, uh, they were, um, already saw that the bad bacteria was now outweighing the good bacteria, right?

Taking that one step further, the researchers found that, uh, these missing a load species of bacteria produce substances associated with lower anxiety and increased positive feelings. So it’s really- the mental health to me is the cornerstone of all of this, because we’re all feeling this anxiety. I mean, before the pandemic, we had a pandemic of anxiety, mental health, and diabetes and hypertension.

We already had a pandemic of health issues. We had more, we have more kids now with food allergies. When I was growing up, there was one kid in the whole school that had a peanut allergy, and now it’s take half of a table. Uh, there was no such thing as ADHD. Right? A few kids that with the class clowns, but usually they have to do with some stuff that was at home and yes, mom, it’s not you.

That was at home. It was me. I was the class clown. I’m sorry, but it wasn’t this rampant attention deficit disorder. So what has happened to us? Why are everybody in their twenties? You know, I have these parents that are 40 and 50 years old, and they’re saying, yeah, you got to work on my daughter. She’s 22.

Her and all of her friends is depressed and miserable yet, they have brand new cell phones, cars. I paid for their college. They’ve been on more of spring break vacations than I’ve ever even gone on vacations in my life. What do they so depressed about? What do they have to be depressed about? And it actually creates this stress between the parent and the child and the child’s like, “Well, what do you have to be so stressed about you weren’t so bad.”

And then the grandfather saying, “Screw all of you. I was in Korea.” Right? I mean, like everybody has their, their cross to bear, but really what we don’t understand that’s happened to our 22 year olds is they grew up on Lunchables and chemicals and dyes and way more bad stuff than we have. And so their microbiome is so off, they don’t even know where they’re anxious, depressed. And then to make it worse, we spend hours and hours of counseling as, as Dr. Petram was telling us, right, just reliving the trauma, but that’s the old methodology when that, you know, we need to reset it from the inside. And this research speaks to that very clearly.

Erin O’Hearn: Yeah. And I, you know, I actually think that this is, this gives me an idea for another podcast. And I really think that we should have a podcast focused on helping parents educate their kids on better eating, because- so, and I know you do this too, but I really try to, to feed my kids food, not food- like Dr. Simmons said not food-like substances. I mean, we don’t keep junk in the house. Like, yes. Do they eat potato chips? Yeah, but they don’t eat Doritos. They don’t eat Cheetos. They don’t have little bites around. So I won’t say my kids are perfect by any means, but like my kids are really happy kids like they are, and, and that they’ve. And, you know, I think that has to do

Dr. Bill Ferro:  Anything to do with the pool in the backyard and the-

Erin O’Hearn: You just said- well, whatever the pool’s, salt water, so there’s no chemicals.

So anyway, I do think that that has to do with some of it because they eat really well, but they complain to me a lot about, “Well, my friends have this and they don’t, and I don’t get that at lunch. And why can’t we have this?” And, you know, as a kid, it’s hard to understand.

Right. So I think we should do-

Dr. Bill Ferro: Maybe. So, I’ll tell you how I’ve handled that with my kids. And you’re really good at making fun of other people. So, I’ve showed my kids that it’s just, uh, I make them look at the other lunch and, um, not say anything to the other kid, but look at the kids’ behavior and I’m telling you, my my kid’s like, “Oh, that one, uh he’s he can’t sit still. He’s always up. The teachers-” and I said, Oh, what did I say? What does he get for lunch? He goes, “Oh, he eats Lunchables. One of them, one of them gets a Pop-Tart each day and a juice.”

Erin O’Hearn: Um, that’s amazing.

Dr. Bill Ferro: Don’t- I just have them observe that. And again, like you said, it doesn’t mean they don’t eat potato chips in my house or have pizza, so I don’t go crazy like that, but I just make sure they have a tiny salad each day at minimum.

Some fruit and vegetable, lean proteins, and then I’m not going to, you know, not let them have pasta and all this other stuff, you know, but sure. Lunchables and things like that.

Erin O’Hearn:  No, I don’t have those in my, yeah. I mean, listen, there’s a difference between veggie straws and pop tarts, right? Like there is.

Dr. Bill Ferro: Oh, it it’s life in moderation.

And the key though, is that my kids understand the microbiome. And, and last night’s call. So every Tuesday night I do this live Zoom call with all the community members that are going through the Betr Health method. And the method is basically of course for you to help figure out number one, let’s restore your digestive system and microbiome, and then help you figure out what foods work best for you.

So everybody does it differently, but what’s interesting is if you look at the Zoom calls, you see mom and daughter. A husband and wife and kids on, on the Zoom calls now. And the kids are watching because as much as you think that they’re like, “Oh, I don’t care about it.” They care. They, they see the difference in themselves.

Um, this one little boy, he was 12, two weeks ago, three weeks ago. And he got on and um, she’s like, “Yeah, he wanted to say something.” He’s like, “It’s been really great.” He’s like actually chokes me up because he was so sweet. He just goes, “I just feel calm now.” And I was like, “Oh, buddy.” He meant it. Like, he was just like, it was almost an internal struggle, but the kid’s never going to come to you like, “Look, I’m really anxious. This is really getting to me this algebra.” They, they just won’t give you that. So he and the mom, you could see, she was kind of like. I didn’t realize this guy, he was feeling it and they can’t always articulate it. So, yeah.

Erin O’Hearn: Well, it’s also their stress being this, you know, they pick up on your stress.

So if you’re not-

Dr. Bill Ferro: Hey Kim, so you you’ve watched the Genesis of this, this, uh, method. And, um, I, if you could remind us how you first actually, cause now in full disclosure, now you’ve now work, you’re the creative director for Betr Health, but you started as a client. Um, and did your mom start first? Did you start first?

Tell us, tell us your, kind of your background here.

Kim Stauder: I actually found, um, Pure Proactive proactive through, um, the Institute for Integrative Nutrition because I also really wanted to help people. And I struggled a lot with my weight cause nothing worked for me at all.

Dr. Bill Ferro:  So Pure Proactive was the previous name of Betr Health, just so the listeners know.

Kim Stauder: Yeah. So I found, I found an, ad for health coach and I had just graduated from the Institute Institute for integrative nutrition. And, um, I hadn’t lost any weight, like going to the program, like going through that school. I have learned how to like, sort of run a business, but I didn’t have any like formula that worked for people, which was very frustrating.

So when I came on as a health coach, I went through the method myself and I  was shocked because I had lost so much weight in the first month, and had never been able to do it, but more than the weight loss, like it was I knew how it was working and I felt so educated and empowered by it that my mom was inspired to join me with it.

And she had gone to the same struggle, so it was kind of a generational struggle that we’ve had. We just didn’t. I mean, we just didn’t know how to eat. We didn’t know what was working and what wasn’t working, and I didn’t feel empowered by. Um, IM to know how to help people. So I was, I started as a health coach and, um, it’s, it’s a method that always worked.

I mean, I was getting, I got some five stars from clients because I, you know, th there was something that was working for them and I could just care about them as a person and not have to worry about not like knowing I wasn’t going to help them reach their goals. I knew for sure, like if you follow the method and you’re going to achieve what you’re looking for, like at last, but more importantly, you’re going to know how you did that.

So you can replicate it any time. And you know, the magic sauce is in like, “We’ll help you implement it. We’ll help hold you accountable and like help support you.” But the, the real gem of it all is that you’re going to get an education about what really works in your body and what doesn’t. So, um, it was really great going through with my mom and actually we’ve gone through the program again together, like since COVID started, because all of the stress really got to us, both.

And my dad is like, was like an X linebacker, like big dude, but he was so scared by like the pandemic and he’s never scared of anything, cause he’s six foot, three linebacker looking, dude, you know, and there was- but he’s scared of the virus, you know? So like he, and he was overweight.

Um, and also his father was diabetic. So, uh, this last time my mom decided to go through the program with me. My dad joined because it was really the first time in his life he was like, Oh my God, like, I need to like, listen to this. And he’s, he’s lost a ton of weight, he knows what to do. He’s really embraced like, food is actually medicine. It can really help support his body. So it’s really cool to see him eating well, my mom eating well and like, it’s the best thing to see my niece and nephew they’re grant their grandkids, like eating carrots and like snacking on bell peppers and like, just cause they have such a great environment to be supported in. So like, it’s just, it’s just so cool to see how, um, um, mom is involved really the whole family gets involved and just seeing viruses affect  my dad’s mentality towards food as medicine like, embracing preventative medicine has been like, a game-changing.

Dr. Bill Ferro: If you remember, Erin, Dr. Simmons also went to the, we say, they say IM but the integrated Institute of nutrition, and this is a year long course is that right? Year-long course, it’s over $5,000. It’s done all remotely. Really great. Uh, as she said, a lot of speakers, Dr. Hyman, you get a lot of great information, but what’s  super interesting is most of the people going through it are really just seeking help for themselves.

Right? They’re seeking answers. Right. But it does a great job of giving a lot of different perspectives and a lot of different approaches. And yet, um, it’s still doesn’t really address the methodology that everybody has to figure out this on their own. And so for within 30 days of, 30 to 60 days of following the Betr Health method, you figure all this out on your own because your body already has the blueprint. You don’t need any more knowledge. Like you don’t need to go out there and learn all this crazy stuff. You just, your body already knows what to do. It already has the blueprint to heal.  If you get a cut in your mouth, do you have to like, tell it, tell it to do something you have to like talk to yourself and say, this is how you heal now?

The lymphocytes come in now. No, it’ll orchestrate. So why cloud your brain with all of this? When you just say “I feed the microbiome. The microbiome gets me healthy. The microbiome keeps my cravings at bay. It helps me reduce my anxiety, my stress, my blood pressure, and the body works. I’m just getting out of it’s way.”

It’s much easier and we don’t have to even think, think about it. Now we can take time to think about how we can plan our future. How we can get our finances in order, how we can plan great experiences in our life, because we, for one time, don’t have to obsess about our weight or health or any of those things.

And so it’s really-

Erin O’Hearn: Clearing the cobwebs so to speak so you can.

Dr. Bill Ferro: Yeah. And, and another study, uh, when it comes to chronic disease like diabetes, they did a study, the national Institute of health and research called the predict one study and the research about, uh, evaluated about 1100, uh, diet volunteers.

And they found a significant relationship between a plant-based high fiber diet and the amount of bacteria known to help prevent the development of type two diabetes, which Betr Health is now a fully recognized diabetes prevention program, which means our outcomes demonstrated that anyone that goes through the program and hits the outcomes, their likelihood of getting diabetes in the next three years goes down by 60%.

That’s incredible. And again, it’s not me, it’s just their body. Their body is able to do this.

Erin O’Hearn: We know it’s not you.

Dr. Bill Ferro: I know. And then it’s my coaches. And then another analysis research has looked at results from several studies to see if the microbiome really did have an effect in the way our bodies process sugar.

So, what they found was that certain species of bacteria in the healthy gut microbiome played a significant role in producing anti-inflammatory substances, which improve your glucose, metabolism, insulin response, and increased feelings of fullness. And reducing fat cell production. I mean, you can’t bottle if all those things in a bottle and really what are you doing?

Erin O’Hearn: Well then medicine Mike would be rich and we don’t want that.

Dr. Bill Ferro: Medicine Mike and supplement Sam.

Erin O’Hearn: Oh, sorry. What are the programs that are approved or what is Betr Health approved by? Am I saying this, right?

Like what are the programs? Can we talk about diabetes prevention? Yeah. Tell us like, what has the stamp of approval?

Dr. Bill Ferro: Yeah, so we started out direct to consumer, uh, from 2008 to 2017. So it was just, people came on, they enrolled. We basically tell everybody the same thing, work with us for 30 days. If you’re not a success, we’ll just give you your money back.

We’re really good about holding true to our word, which is probably why we have so many five-star reviews. I just believe in helping people and if not, give them a high five and move them on. Um, and so most people have come to us direct consumer. In 2017, we started submitting our data to the CDC and it became fully recognized.

Uh, and so what they did was they started- about 40 different health plans started sending us all of the people that are showing a pre-diabetic it’s like one, almost like one in three Americans right now are pre-diabetic, pre-diabetic. Then we had such good results with the prediabetics health plans, like Blue Shield of California Blue Shield of South Carolina.

Some Anthem plans,  some employer groups started sending us people with diabetes, hypertension, and obesity, and now they’re sending- which they probably should have sent first- now they’re sending us their digestive health issues, auto-immune issue folks, those medications so expensive. So these health plans that are covering this or saying, “Hey,”  Paul Mark is the CEO of Blue Shield of California said at  a big health conference, the guy was grilling him, like  you said, cynical and skeptical. The moderator is like, “Come on, we’ve been promised these wellness programs are going to deliver such an amazing things.”

You know, he said to the guy, Paul, he said, “Paul, what has you so excited?” And he said he had 70 different providers and he had, they have over 4 million members. Out of  70 different providers, Betr Health is actually reversing diabetes  and on top of that, saving them $150 per participant per month.

So, the financial incentive is now there for these health plans to cover it. And the way we got it covered, if you don’t think we believe in what we do or believe in what you are, your microbiome, we believe more than the person is. We take them at risk. So our, our, our structure, just like, if I take a person who pays for the program at risk, if it doesn’t work for them, they give their money back with the health plans.

We take the person on risk and if they don’t hit certain key outcome metrics,  drop in A1C, blood pressure medications, certain weight loss, then we don’t get paid. And it’s called pay for performance. So that’s really how we, um, the same way we’ve allowed people to do the program without risk, the same thing for the health plans.

And we are saving them thousands and thousands of dollars, which is why they keep adding onto the folks that they’re giving us.

Erin O’Hearn: Awesome. And that’s nice for everybody to hear how that system works because you know, everybody has, you have a stake in it too, but in the results always beneficial- that the positive result for people who are on the plan is positive for everyone involved.

Dr. Bill Ferro: Yeah, I think, I think, uh, coach a client recently said to me, she said, “I know my success builds upon the success of the  person that hasn’t even come yet because I wanna, I wanna make sure I’m doing a good job so that my aunt can do this, too.” Because when you look at your health, your brain automatically starts to think about the health of other people around you.

And you’re like, this could help so-and-so this could help so-and-so and you’re like, yeah, but you got to start with you first, and if you’re successful, then they’ll, there’ll be successful.

Erin O’Hearn: Right. So Cee Cee. Yeah, go ahead. You have not been on the plan.

Cee Cee Huffman: No, I have not.

Erin O’Hearn: Well, what are you waiting for?

Cee Cee Huffman: Um, honestly, I don’t know, because I think that initially to me, which is a question that I had for you, like hearing how much these little things can have a major effect on us is kind of scary.

And it just kinda makes me want to, like, I don’t even know what to do about it. I don’t even want to think about it. And then it’s like, you get into the cycle where I don’t even want to change it because it’s too exhausting to think about. So like, what are little steps that people can do to start working in the right direction?

Dr. Bill Ferro: Yeah. So it’s normal to me that you’re feel overwhelmed by it because your microbiome is off.

Cee Cee Huffman: Probably. Yeah.

Dr. Bill Ferro: Well, you have a response to these types of things is going to be over inflamed or over responsive. Right?

Cee Cee Huffman: My hands are getting sweaty, just thinking about it.

Dr. Bill Ferro: Uh, unfortunately that translates into every part of your life and it can also reduce your performance and everything.

Right? Your work from relationships, just a relationship with your yourself. And so you’re at that heightened state of anxiety and mental and physical physiological inflammation. So what I would say to you is that it’s as, as, as, as you can imagine, that it’s really not that difficult because if the baby step approach that we take is we give you a coach and we say, give us three good days.

Can you give up, um, you know, slathering chemicals on your skin for three days? Can you, uh, give up alcohol for three days? Uh, if you can give us a good three days. Then, chances are that microbiome will kick in, and you will start to crave more and more of this lifestyle because you’re going to see results.

You’re going to feel better. So don’t think of it. Like, I got to get rid of all this stuff in my life. Just start with a baseline of three days and the outcomes drive the habit, right. Drive the drive, the newbie behavior. But I do have a question for you. Uh, would you mind sharing how old you are?

Cee Cee Huffman: I’m 23.

Dr. Bill Ferro: Okay, great.

Cee Cee Huffman: Don’t sigh, Erin!

I wish I was 23.

Dr. Bill Ferro: If we could go talk to that girl, uh, but if you were to think about your friend group and your family group, what percentage of them are dealing with anxiety and stress issues?

Cee Cee Huffman: Oh my God. Most of them.

Dr. Bill Ferro: Yeah. And, and that’s, that’s, that’s your, your football player on the, the captain of the quarterback is feeling it and the person in band and the teachers, I don’t even know how we’re not, um, like destroying each other as much as we are. That that’s what, that’s what social media shows how anxious we are because of all the polarization that happens because we just need to get it out. Like, um, I think John Sequeira said at best Erin on our podcasts, he would sometimes he scrolls through looking for a fight because he didn’t know why, but he, sometimes he’s looking for that.

And so, Cee Cee, I would say to you that you have initially the ability to give yourself three days, I can pamper myself for three days and nourish myself with three days that could prevent you from having to struggle with anything health-related for the rest of your life. And that you also could, then people around you would start to see how easy it really is, and then you would also be able to help those that you love the best, because this is not about weight loss. That’s, you know, this is not about a certain tangible benefit you want out of the next 3 days. The only thing you want in the next 3 days is we all need a reset. There’s too much crap in our environment.

We all, we all- it’s producing cancer. The by-product will be, yeah, I’ve lost weight. I looked great. I mean, my cousin, Alison. She was working out three times a week. You’ll see her pictures on our Instagram. She was working on more than that. She was an instructor and most people say, “Oh, you’re in shape. You’re okay. But she still was carrying extra weight and she’d come visit.” And I’m not somebody that pushes my stuff on you. Like, I don’t talk about it. And I just let them come to me. And finally she said, “Hey, I was on Facebook and so-and-so my aunt, you know, my other cousin did the program and said, “Oh yeah, well try it for a few days.”

You got to see her now. I mean, she looks like a fitness model and she’s so empowered and she dealt with so much anxiety and so much stress and all of that has gone away. And now it’s showing up in her physical appearance, but it was really the behind the scenes. That was so important.

Cee Cee Huffman: Yeah. That makes a lot of sense.

Erin O’Hearn: Um, so I’m going to do a rapid fire drill with you.

Dr. Bill Ferro: Okay.

Erin O’Hearn: So if you could, so I’m going to give you an emotion that people are feeling or a problem, and then you, if you could associate a food choice that would help start to alleviate that problem.

Dr. Bill Ferro: Sure. Okay.

Erin O’Hearn: Okay. Are you ready?

Dr. Bill Ferro: I’m ready.

Erin O’Hearn: Okay. I just, just preface this with, he didn’t get to go to Cornell.

So everybody needs to give him a break if it takes him a few extra seconds, right? Okay. Anxiety.

Dr. Bill Ferro: Wine.

Erin O’Hearn: Jesus Christ. Really? Thank God, God that you’re going to say avocado. Yeah.

Dr. Bill Ferro: So, uh, anxiety, you have a few different ways you can do. You can do this. Um, anytime you pour a cup of coffee or even a hot tea, drinking hot tea and drinking a cup of coffee, uh, releases dopamine within the body.

And that can just naturally just calm, calm anxiety. From a physio- so that’s more of a mental, emotional state. So that is one food that if you want to call it a food would, would be a good opportunity. Another thing to do is to realize that when you’re anger, anxiety, it’s almost like a leg cramp, a muscle cramp when you’re running.

So I always tell people to take a little of the adrenal cocktail, which is some four ounces of organic orange juice, half a teaspoon of cream of tartar, which is what they scraped from the wine barrels would follow the potassium and some Himalayan sea salt. And you mix that together and that can actually help calm down the physiology.

It’s also good and prevention, so you can take it before bed. So you don’t wake up at 3:09 in the morning, you know, ripe with anxiety.

Erin O’Hearn: Yep. I do. I do that at night, actually. Okay. Fatigue.

Dr. Bill Ferro: Apples.

Erin O’Hearn: And why.

Dr. Bill Ferro: Uh,  you’ll get the fiber immediately and your body will have to go to work to utilize it. And it will just give you a very quick rush of, of energy without the spike that will then drop you just as fast because it’s time released sugar.

Erin O’Hearn: Right? So not -so  an Apple, not an Apple jolly rancher.

Dr. Bill Ferro: Not an Apple smoothie.

Erin O’Hearn: Right. Okay. Got it.

Dr. Bill Ferro: You want to eat that Apple to get that time release of the fiber.

Erin O’Hearn: Uh, anger.

Dr. Bill Ferro: Marijuana

Erin O’Hearn: Marijuana.

Dr. Bill Ferro: There’s edible marijuana.

Erin O’Hearn: That’s fine. That counts.

Kim Stauder: Yeah.

Dr. Bill Ferro: But I would say anger might be a starch, like a, uh, sweet potato, fill you up, calm, calm me down. You know, get the, get the body from stop shaking into that fight or flight mode as the starch might be a good, good one if you’re really feeling angry.

Erin O’Hearn: Okay. Uh, depressed.

Dr. Bill Ferro: Uh, so like roots, root teas, like ashwagandha root. Those are really, really good for depression.

Erin O’Hearn: It’s not really an emotion, but it’s a state: hungover.

Dr. Bill Ferro: Um, so without a doubt, the adrenal cocktail for that, cause your body’s going to be dehydrated from the night before, which means you’ll be flushing out your electrolytes.

Um, water is essential  in any type of hangover situation and then, you know, any type of food that could give you a lot more vitamin B replenishment, vitamin D replenishment. So any of your fruits and vegetables will, will help.

Erin O’Hearn: So even though your tendency is to go towards fried foods, heavy fat foods, to absorb you know, that old method to absorb the alcohol, you really that’s really gonna make it worse.

Dr. Bill Ferro: Well, it’s not a myth. So when you have all that alcohol, what did you, who else who also drank all that alcohol?

Erin O’Hearn: Your liver?

Dr. Bill Ferro: Your liver, and then who else? Your 300 trillion-

Erin O’Hearn: Oh, microbiomes.

Dr. Bill Ferro: Microbiomes. So what ends up happening is, is that they’re depleted and then they have the poor cravings.

Erin O’Hearn: Those poor little microbiomes. I’m really, I feel bad sometimes.

Dr. Bill Ferro: You know, the analogy I can give you, if you really want to know how impressive they are is it’s basically like Whoville.

Erin O’Hearn: I was going to say, Smurfs.

Dr. Bill Ferro: It’s this whole little community down there that is, they laugh. They’re laughing at you all the time. Like, what are you, what are they thinking?

Like, remember the rap, like you would put this stuff on your belly to shrink your abdomen away, all these concoctions, none of it is working. Yeah. And that’s why everyone’s so upset and stressed out.

Erin O’Hearn: Well, thank you. Sorry. I will, uh, end your rapid fire quiz for today. You did an excellent job.

Dr. Bill Ferro: To bring it home, cause people do always want to know kind of the weight loss part of it. So in the research on weight loss, you know, we’ve talked about COVID, which is really what I want you to get out of this is, this is you’re tied to your immune system, your anxiety, depression, that’s the most important. When it comes to weight loss, this is kind of a no brainer. Researchers of Washington University in St. Louis were able to breed mice with zero gut bacteria. So they’ve made mice that have zero gut bacteria, just like a baby, a baby’s born without zero gut bacteria. As we learn, and you get it from the mom, but when they transplanted the gut bacteria of an obese mice into mice with no gut bacteria, then the new gut bacteria cause the non obese mice to gain weight.

So, literally just by giving them this microbiome  of an obese mouse was contributed to their weight gain. On the flip side, certain strains of gut bacteria when transplanted into the mice, contributed to weight loss. They’re doing this now. They’re doing fecal transplants now in humans to help with more advanced, uh, like C diff issues that people can’t get rid of it, or, uh, uh, uh, IBS and Crohn’s type issues.

They’re already doing this. My thing is before you have to shove the poop of another human into your body, you should just start eating your own way and make a diverse microbiome yourself. That would be fun.

Cee Cee Huffman: I don’t even want to think about that. That, I could, I might have to go for a second.

Dr. Bill Ferro: And, and then scientists, lastly took, uh, bacteria from guts of human, identical twins. One of whom was obese and one who was lean, and transferred those bacteria into the guts of the lean germ-free mice. And the bacteria from the obese twin made the mice become fat, but the bacteria from the lean lean twin did not.

And I want to really, this is a really important one because they’ve done this Swiss studies on these 90,000 sets of twins. And so when people come to me like, “Oh, it’s just my metabolism. It’s my DNA, my genes.” What they found was they took this set of twins and, and people always saying, “Well, it’s in your genes.”

Well, they found that in different study that the twin that avoided the risk factors. For, you know, heart disease, cancer, stroke, diabetes, we’re less likely to get it- they only got at 9% of the time, even though they lived a healthy life. So you’re G you’re your own twenty-three thousand human genes are don’t compare to the 3 million genes of the microbiome because 99% of your gene expression comes from your microbiome.

And so, uh, case closed on that,

Cee Cee Huffman: I just don’t understand why I never learned anything about this. Like, I’ve helped produce this podcast for like what, five, six episodes now. And like, I went to high school, I went to college. I didn’t go to Cornell. I went to UNC, but I went to college and like, I didn’t, I didn’t know anything about it. Like, nobody ever taught me.

Dr. Bill Ferro: Well, the reason why is that the scientific instruments have finally come to the point where they can actually study this correctly. This is ancient wisdom. Hippocrates is the one who said, look well to the gut for all disease. He also said, let food be thy medicine, but they didn’t really have to focus too much on gut health up until the industrial revolution when they could start- or a farming, ancient farming when they realized that they started talking about, uh, Crohn’s disease and IBS. But now when I first did this, they didn’t have this information. They knew there’s been studies going on since the seventies, they had an inkling, but they really just didn’t have the instruments to study it. And I’m telling you that even three years ago, there’s still some probably MDs out there right now and research still will, if you get them. And they don’t know about it, still think it’s quackery. We were talking to a large health system and they have this chief medical officer, um, not- this doesn’t mean age discrimination, just been on the job a long time and was like, “I just don’t get the whole gut health thing.”

And I’m like, well, why would you, you went to school in 1968, right? You haven’t kept up on it because every researcher, including Duke University and Harvard. And so it’s one of those sciences that is so emerging so fast that now you’re seeing four or five different pharmaceutical companies building these probiotic libraries.

So of course, they’re going to try to make a pill form of this. That’s going to just change the world. But as you know, I have a supplement line, but I tell everybody those supplements, the probiotics, the enzymes they’re just to support the good, healthy food you’re eating. If you’re not eating, you’re just sprinkling seeds on the desert and they always want to like pinpoint it.

Well, this is the bacteria. Like the one they just found poop from someone like six, 650,000 years ago. When we diverge from a Neanderthal to homo sapiens and they found that they is difference in the, in the bacteria. And so what the, the unique part of that finding is, is that they found some bacteria in the Neanderthals that are obviously died off because they were just hunters.

And, and we became, gathers in society makers as homo sapiens. They’re like, Oh, well, what if we could get that bacteria back into our system maybe that’s the, as Sudhir had said, uh, like with Ayurvedic  medicine, it’s about the wholeness, it’s about the completeness of something and letting that biosphere do the work, let it decide what we need and what we don’t have.

So by having a diverse food group, your body will have a diverse microbiome, but of course the scientists want to say, “Nope, this is it. It’s still us. And we got to give everybody this pill,” and that could actually offset the balance, right? If you, if you do too much of it or not enough. So it’s more important to me, like, do as much natural as you can have an overarching probiotic and digestive enzyme that can just give you a little bit of everything and then your body will, will, will do it so quickly and easily.

And I mean, we have people that most people lose three to five pounds a week. Uh, and they couldn’t lose at all. We have people couldn’t sleep through the night, sleeping through the night, their skin looks better. And again, that’s from the, that’s just healing from the inside out, nothing that we’re doing other than giving them the coach and they have a stressful life.

So the coaching is the secret sauce. The fact that we give you a one-on-one coach to walk you through this, but then you have the community, the support we give you all the recipes. If you don’t like to cook, we now send the meals straight to your home. So we made every way to this, make this so easy so that you can express your best health.

Kim Stauder: Yeah. It’s like a vacation for your microbiome.

Erin O’Hearn: Thank you for all you teach us every podcast and every day.

Dr. Bill Ferro: Oh, my pleasure. I really appreciate you guys getting on and, um, I can’t wait to the next week, so yeah. Thank you for listening everybody to the quacks and hypochondriacs podcast. If you’d like to show, be sure to rate review, subscribe to all the things that help us and help you find the show when the next episode comes out and don’t forget to visit our sponsor, who the heck could be our sponsor? That’s www.betr health.com. This episode is produced by Earfluence. It got much better tonight cause we had Cee Cee on as a guest. I think  Jason should not ever come back on, but thank you for producing this. Thank you, Cee Cee. Thank you, Kim, for being part of this, to create a director of a Betr Health and my beautiful, lovely sister, Erin O’Hearn, and she’s not really my sister, but I –

Erin O’Hearn: Sort of. I’m your microbiome sister.

Dr. Bill Ferro: That’s it. You’re my micro sister, Quacks and Hypochondriacs podcast. We’ll be back next week. Thanks so much, everybody have a great night.

Full Episode Transcript

Visit our sponsor, BetrHealth.com, a gut healthy, effortless, food-as-medicine approach to whole person health . Try BetrHealth risk free at https://betrhealth.com/risk-free-trial/.

Quacks and Hypochondriacs is hosted by Dr Bill Ferro and Erin O’Hearn, and is produced by Earfluence.

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