Intestinal permeability with Dr. Tom O’Bryan
You’re about to learn about:
- Intestinal permeability
- Molecular mimicry
- How all autoimmune diseases have a similar underlying cause
Disclaimer -the information on this site is not medical advice. Before making any changes to your lifestyle, diet, exercise, drug or supplement routines you must first discuss the changes with a licensed professional.
Clint: Thanks for joining me today. I’ve got Dr. Tom O’Bryan, who is on the teaching faculty for the Institute of Functional Medicine. He’s an expert in intestinal permeability, and so he’s perfect for our audience. So thank you, Dr. O’Bryan, for joining us on this episode.
Dr. O’Bryan: Oh, thank you so much. It’s a pleasure to be with you. What you’re doing is so important in the world for people who are suffering, so I really appreciate the work you’re doing also.
Clint: We actually have a lot in common with our goal for the world. We hope that one day when someone walks in with an autoimmune disease to their doctor, they might be having a discussion first and foremost about their diet and their lifestyle certainly in parallel to medical treatment. So let’s get to that at the end of the call. Let’s start by learning a little bit more about you first for people who haven’t come across some of your work in the past. Tell us your history and how you got into becoming an expert in intestinal permeability.
Dr. O’Bryan: Well, it’s really an interesting journey. Thirty-six years ago my ex and I, my ex-wife and I, we could not get pregnant. And I was an intern at the time, and I called the seven most famous doctors I’d ever heard of, holistic doctors, and asked, “What do you do?” And as an intern, they ask, “You know this? You know that?” I say, “No.” They say, “Learn.” So I’d write all this stuff down, and I’d put a program together, and we were pregnant in six weeks. And my neighbors in married housing heard about this, and she had been through artificial insemination, nothing had worked. And she asked if I’d work with them and I said, “Sure, why not? Sure. Won’t hurt you.” And she was pregnant in three months. So before I got out into practice, I was really excited to help everyone, every couple get pregnant that wanted to get pregnant.
Clint: For sure, yeah.
Dr. O’Bryan: And we’ve had hundreds of couples with infertility or recurrent miscarriages, hormonal imbalances. And there’s not much in medicine that’s all or every. This is an every. What we learned early was that every person with hormone-related symptoms, whether it was infertility, miscarriages, estrogen dominance, testosterone deficiency, every single one of them, when tested properly had a sensitivity to foods that they were eating, that they did not know were making them sick. But when you eat a food that you’re sensitive to, it triggers inflammation in the body. The immune system responding to try to protect you from something for whatever reason considers as an invader, and it creates an inflammatory reaction.
So we said this so many times over the years, “Mrs. Patient. If you pull at a chain, the chain always breaks at the weakest link. It’s at one end, the middle, the other end, your heart, your brain, your liver, your joints, your kidney. Wherever your weak link is, that’s where the chain’s gonna break. So the first thing to do is to learn what’s pulling on the chain.” And we found that food sensitivities were every time a component of what had to be addressed. Often there was more, but it was an important component. And I found that the most frequent food sensitivity was wheat. And so I started reading the literature on wheat back in 1980. Our daughter was born in 1980, and I started talking about it shortly thereafter because the studies were blowing me away.
And by 2004, I was lecturing professionally onstage about wheat sensitivities with or without celiac disease. And that progressed and progressed until 2008 there was a nutritional company called Metagenics that sponsored me to go around the world. And I went to 26 different cities, and gave full eight-hour presentations on wheat sensitivity in 2008. Dropped everybody’s jaw. No one had ever seen these studies before about different types of spondyloarthropathy, or rheumatoid, or psoriasis, or multiple sclerosis, or attention deficit, or autism, or Alzheimer’s that would benefit… some of those people benefit just by getting off of wheat. They started to get better, sometimes dramatically but often to some degree.
So I just read the studies. I’m a geek on this stuff. So that led to… in 2009, I did the same 28 cities for a full eight-hour presentation on the development of autoimmunity. And what triggers the development of autoimmunity? And what do you do to address autoimmunity? And so I’ve been talking about that ever since and now we have our major event that will talk about this coming up very shortly on autoimmunity. And we’ll talk about… But that got me into this whole world. It was infertility, successfully addressed by looking at food sensitivities and a couple of other things that led me into learning about wheat sensitivity, and gluten sensitivity, and the trigger of intestinal permeability, and all of the impact.
For example, this is in the US. I don’t know in Australia what the number is, but in the US, 78% of the prebiotic diet in the US is wheat, 78%. So if you take wheat out of their diet, which is a very important thing, what you’re also taking out is the major source of their prebiotics. The prebiotics feed the probiotics, the good bacteria in your gut.
So, wheat is not all bad for you. There’s some good benefits to it. Unfortunately, in the balance, there’s more bad than good, but there are some good benefits. It’s a prebiotic, it’s a good prebiotic. And 78% of the total prebiotics in the US that people eat are wheat. So you take wheat out of their diet, they lose the prebiotic, so the probiotics in your gut, the good bacteria that need that food all of a sudden they start starving. And they’re starving for food for prebiotics, they don’t get it. They start to die off to some degree, and the bad guys in your gut that have been kept in check to some degree by all the probiotics, now the bad guys start to rear their ugly head. And that’s people who go on gluten-free diets and they feel better at first but after a while, they don’t feel any better.
Clint: Okay, yeah.
Dr. O’Bryan: And sometimes they feel worse.
Clint: This is fascinating. So what you’re saying is that it’s the vehicle in which the wheat is provided that we still need, but the wheat itself which is containing the gluten is the problem?
Dr. O’Bryan: Yes. It’s a component in the wheat food that’s very beneficial for us. See, there are many components in wheat, and the immune system reacts to not just the gluten family of proteins because there’s… gluten is not bad for you, bad gluten is bad for you because there’s gluten in rice. There’s gluten in corn, there’s gluten in quinoa. So you may be sensitive to corn, and then it’s no good for you, but in this topic about wheat sensitivity, what we call gluten sensitivity, we’re referring to wheat. But not only is there gluten proteins in wheat that are not bad for you, there’s also the gluteomorphins in wheat. There’s the lectins called wheat germ agglutinins. There are the FODMAPS, which are the fermentable carbohydrates.
There’s a lot of different components in wheat, not just gluten, not just the protein. And some of the components in wheat, the prebiotics are really good for you. Our bodies need them, so you have to…when you go on a gluten-free diet, you have to replace your source of prebiotics. So all of our patients get the same instruction and that is, “Go on Google. Type in, ‘list of prebiotic foods.’ Here they come. And just have at least two of them a day every day. So you have some celery, or you have some banana, or you have some chicory root, or you have some radish, or you have some sweet potato.” The list goes on and on, but the concept is, “I’ve gotta feed the good guys or the bad guys are gonna rear their ugly head.”
Clint: In my program, what we concentrate on as prebiotics are leafy greens, so this is baby spinach and bok choy, like the Asian vegetables. I mean anything that’s green and leafy, I found personally to be absolutely outstanding as a prebiotic. And the way that I measure that was simply through pain reduction. I found that the more leafy greens that I ate, the better that I felt. I found that those in particular were outstanding for pain reduction. So massive salads, but without dressings seems to work exceptionally well. So yeah.
Dr. O’Bryan: Well, my friend Dr. Terry Wahls, she’s a brain neurophysiologist at the VA system in Iowa, and she developed MS. And being a brain neurophysiologist, she knew exactly what the cutting edge things to do were, so she did the cutting edge things. She kept getting worse until seven years into this she couldn’t walk. She was in a wheelchair. And her friend said… She’s about to retire because she couldn’t think very clearly also. And her friend said, “What you’re doing isn’t working. Wake up. You’re so smart, go find another way. This isn’t working.” So she went back, and she looked at the literature, and she saw that with animals when they change their diets, they could reverse the MS that they had. So she applied the principles from the animal studies to her own diet, and the result was one year to the day of that she started the diet change, she rode 20 miles on her bicycle with her family.
And so now she treats our veterans when they come home from war that are shell-shocked and post-traumatic stress, or they’re addicted to narcotics because they’ve lost a limb, but our vets who were on disability for whatever reason. And she has tremendous success with them. What she does… We’re on stage together about six weeks ago in Chicago, and we’re talking afterward. She gives them 12 cups of vegetables a day, 12 cups a day every day. She said, “There’s no room for pasta because you can’t eat anything else until you eat your vegetables, right?”
And she does a quart of bone broth a day with these people. And these vets, young men, vibrant strong men who are completely dysfunctional come back to life again. And the VA has just awarded her $1.5 million to record what she’s doing because they said, “What are they doing out there in Iowa? They’re getting great results. What are they doing?” Because they wanna reproduce it around the country now. So it’s the vegetables, 12 cups of vegetables day.
Clint: A hundred percent vegetables, that’s right, with all that fiber. Is it fair to say that all fiber that originates from a plant is going to be a prebiotic?
Dr. O’Bryan: As far as I know, that’s true.
Clint: That’s my understanding.
Dr. O’Bryan: As far as I know.
Dr. O’Bryan: That makes a lot of sense. And the critical nature of that, of course, one example is butyrate or butyric acid that’s made in the gut. “Mrs. Patient, you have an entire new body every seven years. Every cell regenerates, every cell. Some cells really quickly, some cells really slow. So within seven years it’s a whole new body.” The fastest growing cells in the body are the inside lining of the gut. Every three to seven days, you have a whole new lining to the gut. Now, the fuel for those gut cells to rebuild themselves is butyric acid or butyrate, same thing. How does the body make butyrate? It’s the action of the good bacteria in the gut on vegetable fiber. So if you don’t eat vegetables, you don’t have good butyrate levels, and when you don’t have good butyrate levels, that’s why the studies are very clear of a very high increase in risk of colon cancer when you have low butyrate levels, that’s why. It’s because you’re building your house out of straw instead of brick if you don’t have enough of the fuel to rebuild healthy cells.
Clint: Fabulous. I love it. So we’ve gotten into the gut lining. So let’s stay there and talk about intestinal permeability and lead us into what’s going on when we have an autoimmune disease. I know that we have a similar view on this which is good because I know you’ve researched it for many more years than I have, so I feel like I’m on the right track.
Dr. O’Bryan: Great.
Clint: So if you could tell us about intestinal permeability, and what’s going on when we have an autoimmune condition?
Dr. O’Bryan: Sure, this is about a 7- to 10-minute explanation.
Dr. O’Bryan: But your listeners will have a big picture view. Mrs. Patient. Think of a doughnut. If you could stretch a doughnut just out and you looked down the hole of the donut, it’s one long tube. That’s your intestines. When you eat food and you swallow food, it’s not in the body, it’s still in the tube. It’s gotta go through the walls of the tube to get into the bloodstream. [inaudible [00:13:40] goes in one and out the other, right, just down the tube. The inside of the tube is lined with shag carpeting. It’s called microvilli. This shag is where calcium’s absorbed, this shag vitamin C, this shag the good fats, this shag the proteins. All the shags absorb different nutrients.
The shags are covered with cheesecloth. The reason for the… Remember your grandmother when she’d make gravy, she’d pour the gravy into the cheesecloth and only the liquid comes through. The clumps get stuck on the other side, right? Because in the tube when food’s coming down, our enzymes act like scissors to cut the food smaller and smaller and smaller and smaller and smaller until it’s small enough to go right through the cheesecloth into the shags into the bloodstream.
That’s one of the reasons why our intestines are 20 to 25 feet long, is because some foods take a whole lot longer to digest, to break down than others do, right? So some foods break down very quickly but like pot roast, beef might take longer to digest, so you need more room to do it. That’s why you have a cheesecloth so that these large molecules that haven’t been broken down yet, they’re called macromolecules, they can’t get in. They have to go further down, be broken down further, smaller, smaller, smaller. Nope, they can’t get in yet. Keep going down further, smaller, smaller, smaller. Nope, not yet. Keep doing down further. Smaller, smaller, boom. Now it goes through, and it gets absorbed. When you get tears in the cheesecloth, that’s called intestinal permeability, or leaky gut.
Now you get these larger molecules of food called macromolecules going through the tears in the cheesecloth into the bloodstream. They’re not supposed to get in there yet. It’s just a banana, the pieces of banana, but it’s not supposed to get in there until it’s smaller, until it’s been broken down smaller. But now you have this macromolecule in your bloodstream and your brain says, “Whoa, I can’t use this to make new bone cells or new brain hormones called neurotransmitters. I better fight this.” And you make antibodies to that macromolecule.
Now you’re allergic to bananas, or tomatoes, or chicken, or parsley or carrots. And this is the person that does a 90 food sensitivity panel and they come back sensitive to 25 foods. “Oh, my God. That’s everything I eat.” Well, of course it is because your body’s trying to protect you. It’s trying to protect you from this invasion of all this stuff that shouldn’t be getting into the bloodstream. So what do you do? You have to heal the tears in the cheesecloth. Stop eating the food for a while. Most of those foods, just stop them. Here’s what you eat instead. Create the environment to heal the tears in the cheesecloth. Go back and check six months or a year later, now you’re sensitive to two foods, maybe three, instead of 20.
So that’s the big picture. Now, you make antibodies to the food. You make antibodies to the food, let’s say wheat, gluten. You make antibodies to the gluten, and the antibodies are going through the bloodstream. The bloodstream is just a highway. It’s just got a lot of traffic, all kinds of traffic, but it’s a highway. It’s all going the same direction but there’s no lanes of traffic, so everything’s bouncing around in there, but you got these antibodies, they’re soldiers, and they’re trying to go after, “Beef over there.” And they fire their chemical bullet but they’re bounding around. “Oh, over there.” And they’re trying to do it, but they’re bouncing around in there. If you get this visual, it starts to make sense, right?
Now, the proteins of the food that your antibodies are going after, that’s the signaling mechanism that the antibodies are trained to go after certain pieces of protein. So the pieces of protein are made up of the amino acids that haven’t been broken down small enough yet. So it might be 20 amino acid clump macromolecule, 15 amino acid macromolecule, and only one or maybe two amino acids should go through the walls of the intestine. But now you have these 15 amino acid, 20 amino acid, 60 amino acid; way too big, and the body’s fighting it.
But when the antibodies are trained, what they look for, “Okay, look for all the soldiers with red helmets. Shoot the ones with red helmets.” So you get soldiers that are trained to look for guys with red helmets, right? The antibodies are going after that particular protein sequence in your bloodstream. Let’s say it’s AABCD. The most common one with wheat is 33 amino acids long. That’s how big the clump is, 33 amino acids. I’m just gonna say AABCD. So now you have antibodies going after AABCD.
Now your bloodstream in the blood… the blood’s going by, it’s going through the joints, and as it’s going through the joints, the antibodies are going through like everything else is going through, and they’re looking for AABCD anywhere they find it in the bloodstream. The surface of the joints facing the bloodstream is made up of proteins and fats. The proteins are made up of these amino acids. They’re hundreds of amino acids long but the sequence may include AABCD as part of the structure of your joints.
So you’ve got the antibodies looking for AABCD. “Over there…” Oh, they’re getting bounced around, “Over there. Oh, look, over there.” And they fire the chemical bullet at your joint. Now you have a damaged joint cell. Now, your immune system makes antibodies to all of our tissue, to your thyroid, to your brain, to your joints, to your skin. Why? Because you have to get rid of the old damaged cells to make room for new cells, right? So we’re always cleaning up the damage from radiation and from just old cells or exercise that you’re breaking down the muscle protein. Antibodies have to get rid of that muscle protein. So the antibodies serve a purpose to get rid of damaged and old cells. That’s why there’s a normal reference range to antibodies to your joints or to your thyroid or to your brain. There’s a normal range, but now you’re making elevated levels of antibodies, not just the normal [inaudible [00:20:19] now you’re elevated.
So you don’t know, but you’re eating beef every day, but you’ve got this tears in the cheesecloth and you’ve made the antibodies now they’re going after beef all the time or to wheat, and going after wheat all the time. So you have toast every day or a sandwich every day, and it doesn’t make you sick in your stomach, you can’t tell. But because of this thing called molecular mimicry, which is the antibodies or wheat going after the antibodies of your joint in this example. That’s called molecular mimicry. Because of this molecular mimicry, every time you eat wheat you make more antibodies to wheat. If the weak link in your chain is your joints, you make more antibodies to your joints.
And so the result is eventually, and when you make more antibodies to your joints, that’s when you do a blood test looking for antibodies to your joints and it comes back with an H. H stands for high, but the doctor says, “Well, this is not too bad. It’s a normal variant. Nothing to really worry about, not too bad.” No, H means high. And so when you have elevated levels, high levels of antibodies, you got a problem. And your immune system is killing off that tissue. So you have to ask the question, “Why is the body going after the issue?” And with different diseases, there are different foods or different triggers of antibodies that may be a problem. But this mechanism, this underlying mechanism of molecular mimicry is the same.
Whether it attacks the myelin in your nerves in the brain and you get MS, whether it attacks your skin and you get psoriasis, whether it attacks your joints, you get arthritis, that the mechanism underneath this is the same.
Now, what is the mechanism? There is a trilogy in the development of autoimmune diseases. Across the board, there is a trilogy. There is a genetic vulnerability. You can’t do anything about that. That’s the deck of cards that you were dealt in life. That’s the weak link in your chain. Don’t pull on the chain. So there’s the genetic vulnerability, there’s an environmental trigger that sets it off. That’s the straw that breaks the camel’s back. In this example, it’s been wheat that I’m talking about. The straw that breaks the camel’s back and there’s intestine permeability, the leaky gut. Because it’s the leaky gut that lets the environmental trigger get through the walls into the bloodstream, the body makes the antibodies to that trigger, but because of molecular mimicry, it looks like some other tissue in your body wherever the weak link is, and that’s what the antibodies go after. So the mechanism in the development of autoimmune diseases is very similar across the spectrum of autoimmune diseases.
Clint: I love it. That was absolutely fantastic. And it’s just so reassuring to hear a very, very eloquent description of that. That compliments so nicely with what I’ve been teaching my audience, and I think that my audience…
Dr. O’Bryan: Nice. High five, man. High five.
Clint: Yeah, high five. I mean that was just brilliant. Now, given that we’re already on the same page with that. And as I said, I’m so pleased to hear because I’ve been saying the right things for so many years to so many people, because like you, I speak from stage to audiences who often are naturopaths and health practitioners.
Now, what I’ve observed is that when you cut off the supply of food and you do a water fast, or in my case I encourage folks to do a one to two days of alkalizing juice cleanse like celery and cucumber juice, what I find is about 9 out of 10, potentially 19 out of 20 people after 2 days, all the pain has gone, or most of the inflammation has gone. So in the absence of the food traversing through the lumen, there is no pain resulting in the joints for most people. But there’s that 1 in 20 where they still have pain even in the absence of food. And my theory on this is that those people are reacting to the proteins that are present in the lining of the bad bacteria that is still leaking into the blood. What are your thoughts on this?
Dr. O’Bryan: Well, that’s an interesting theory, and there’s a lot of validity to that, that we now know in the world of the microbiota, the bacteria of the gut. The big picture view is called the microbiome which includes the bacteria and the viruses and the bugs and the whole environment of our gut.
Dr. O’Bryan: A critical component is the microbiota, the bacteria. But there’s also lots of viruses. Viruses aren’t all bad for us. Many viruses kill bad bacteria in our gut. So they can protect us. So if there were only one system of the body that a patient was going to work on and say, “I’ll do one thing, doc. Don’t give me anything else. I’ll do one thing. What is it?” “Get a healthy microbiome.”
Clint: There you go.
Dr. O’Bryan: Nothing is more important, nothing. For every message from the brain going down to the gut, there are nine messages from the gut going back up to the brain. The ratio is nine to one, and it’s not just nerves, it’s the chemicals produced by the microbiome. They get into the lymphatics and into the bloodstream, and they go up right to the brain, and they trigger the production of different nerve hormones and cravings or to feel satisfied that it’s the microbiome in the gut that controls so much of that. So your premise is right that in a lot of those people, I would agree that they have an altered microbiome that’s continually throwing gasoline on the fire in the body.
Clint: Right, right. Okay, now you also mentioned antibody tests. Now, I’ve, for a long time, taken objection to a lot of food sensitivity tests that are available, personally because I spent a lot of money on them and it sent me in a wrong direction for a long time. And then I’ve had clients who have terrible diets and then they will actually do a food sensitivity test, and it tells them that their cheese and their milks and various things did not show up on a sensitivity test. And so it becomes argumentative or it becomes a little bit of a roadblock. And so if people wanted to have an antibody test, how should they go about it? How can they get the right results? Because clearly you’ve spent a lot of time working this out.
Dr. O’Bryan: So many people have had experiences like you, your personal experience. And it’s because our testing is archaic. That if you were to go to your doctor because your child seems to have allergies, what type of a doctor do you go to? You go to an allergist. And what does the allergist do? The allergist does skin prick testing and to see if your child’s reacting to a whole series of things. It’s a really good test that was developed in 1954. It’s the same test, and, “Mrs. Patient, your immune system is the armed forces in your body. It’s there to protect you. There’s an army, an air force, marines, a coast guard, a navy. IGA, IGG, IGE, IGM, IGD.” There are many branches of the immune system.
When you do the skin prick test, you are looking at IGE. That’s a very important… That’s the air force. It’s very important to check the air force, because if you have a severe reaction, it can be fatal. That’s like peanut allergies causing anaphylactic shock. It’s very important that you check that. But if you do a skin prick test, IGE or a blood test for IGE, and it comes back negative, can you tell that patient, “You don’t have a problem with those foods”? No. All you can say is that the air force hasn’t been called out. “What about the army?” “Well, I don’t know I didn’t check the army.” “What about the navy?” “Well, I don’t know, I didn’t check.”
That we’re still testing mono. Monoculture, mono-thinking, one way, only one way. Some doctors do IGG testing and they give great results to some patients and other patients come back completely normal on an IGG, and they’re eating garbage. Well, that doesn’t make any sense. And it’s because their IGG system may be worn out. They can’t respond anymore. It’s called an immunoglobulin deficiency, and that’s very, very common. IGA deficiencies are very, very common and they’re the marines, they’re the butt kickers, but a lot of people have IGA deficiencies. So you cannot look at just one branch of the armed forces anymore and make a conclusion statement that “The food is fine for you.” And there are very few labs that are looking at army, air force, navy. There are very few.
In the US, a lab opened in 2010 that looks at IGA, IGG, and IGM. So they’re looking at more in some of their panels. Other panels are IGA and IGG, they’re looking at the two big ones, but they’re looking at more. That’s the concept here. If everything comes back negative, which doesn’t happen very often at all, if the doctor’s clinical suspicion is, “There’s a food sensitivity here.” If you see indicators of it, rarely does it come back negative. It may come back and show no response, but then you check and you see, “Oh, they’ve got an IGA deficiency.”
So the immune system is just worn out, it just can’t do it. “It can’t respond to the problem and that’s why you’re sick, Mrs. Patient. It’s one reason why you’re sick is because your immune system is so beat-up and worn out that it just can’t respond. So in your case, we have to build up your immune system.” But in most cases when it comes back and it says, “You got a problem with this, you got a problem with this, you got a problem with this.” “Oh my God, that’s everything I eat.” You don’t try to suppress the immune system, you heal the tears in the cheesecloth, and in six months you’re fine, right? But it takes that kind of big picture overview.
Clint: Now, let’s talk about what you’ve been up to now in the last… Well, for some period of time you’ve pretty much discovered this autoimmune situation is not just limited to a small section of society, but it is becoming an epidemic, isn’t it?
Dr. O’Bryan: Oh my.
Clint: Can you talk us through your current project that you’re working on? Because it is quite time sensitive as we’re recording this here in Australia we’re a day ahead, it’s the 7th of November. You’ve got a launch coming up for a very big project that we wanna make people aware of.
Dr. O’Bryan: Yes, thank you so much for that. Yes, I’ve been traveling the world for the last year. Put about 165,000 miles, air miles flying. London three times, Barcelona, Lisbon, Leipzig, Germany, Madrid, interviewing the world leaders in autoimmunity, the top people in the world, the people that are on the…the geeks. And I can talk geek with them, right?
Clint: We love geeks.
Dr. O’Bryan: Yes, right, right. And we’ve interviewed them on autoimmunity, and when you hear them say that Dr. Marta Vives Pi in Barcelona is regenerating beta cells of the pancreas by giving patients diet and nutrition. Regenerating the people are making the cells again that produce insulin. Type 1 diabetics that have to take drugs because they wore out their pancreas or whatever… Actually, where a lot of the pancreatic problems come from is AABCD with the sensitivity to milk. That’s where they came from for a lot of people. But Dr. Pi is regenerating beta cells by diet and nutrition, and people are requiring less insulin. This is not in animals. This is in humans. They’re requiring less insulin.
And you hear Dr. Shoenfeld, the Godfather of predictive autoimmunity, talk about vaccinations and the development of autoimmunity, and who’s at risk and who isn’t. And Dr. Alan Ebringer. You’ll love Dr. Ebringer. He’s the guy that wrote this book which is Proteus Infections and The Development of Rheumatoid Arthritis, which is the same mechanism with the bug, proteus, is that there’s tears in the cheesecloth, the proteus goes in, the immune system fights the proteus bug in your bloodstream, it’s called a lipopolysaccharide. And the immune system’s making antibodies to the LPS of proteus which looks a whole lot like your joints. And so the antibodies going after the proteus go after the joints, and you develop rheumatoid arthritis over the years.
So you check early for these people. Do you have antibodies to proteus right now? And if you do say, “Oh my gosh, Mrs. Patient, this is the mechanism that causes rheumatoid arthritis, one of the mechanisms.” And they go, “My aunt had rheumatoid arthritis.” “Well, you got the gene, right? So let’s figure out how to stop pulling on the chain so that that link doesn’t break for you and you develop that disease.” So those are the conversations I’ve had, 85 world experts and patients who have reversed. I have three with rheumatoid in the series. A couple with MS in the series, lupus. All these patients who came right up against their disease couldn’t walk, or whatever their symptoms were, found a functional or a holistic or an integrated program to do that started guiding them into better foods and stopped drinking Coca-Cola. “What’s the matter with you?” kind of thing, right?
Clint: Yeah, yeah.
Dr. O’Bryan: And so we put together this docuseries, and it’s called BETRAYAL: The Autoimmune Disease Solution They’re Not Telling You. Because it seems like your immune system’s betraying you when it attacks you. Now, how important is this?
We know that cardiovascular disease is the number one cause of death in the world. Cancer is number two, and autoimmune diseases, rheumatoid nowhere near as many. But when you put the autoimmune diseases together because the mechanism is very similar, the platform mechanism is very similar for all of them, when you put them together they’re number three. The number three cause of getting sick and dying in the world is your immune system attacking cell.
However, in the last 10 years, papers have been coming out, the research papers coming out. Now, there is no question with the experts. Cardiovascular disease, the plugging up of your pipes is autoimmune. Cancer is initiated with an autoimmune going after your cells. So what becomes the number one mechanism in getting sick and dying in the world? It’s your immune system attacking self. Generic vulnerability, environmental trigger, intestinal permeability. It’s the same across all of the autoimmune diseases. So here we’re talking about rheumatoid. This is a platform mechanism. What Dr. Ebringer talked about in his book is the molecular mimicry of proteus with your joints.
Now, he doesn’t know about intestinal permeability or all that. He’s a geek that just studies joints, but he’s the guy that did this, right, that wrote about it, and was ostracized by the rheumatologist because it wasn’t commonly known so they thought he was a nutcase. No, he was right on the money.
So, BETRAYAL: The Autoimmune Disease Secret They’re Not Telling You is going to air over seven days starting Monday, November 14. And it’s free, it’s free. All of these extras for seven days it’s all free. And you can tune in. It’s about an hour, maybe a little bit longer than an hour every day. So episode one comes up on November 14th, and it’s up for 24 hours, and it comes down to make room for episode number two, and we’ll go for the whole week with that. And people can register from you, from your site, and they just click on it, give their name, their email and we’ll send you the “Hey, congratulations. Here’s the link. Click here. Here we go.”
Clint: Yeah, that’s outstanding. Now, I’m really looking forward to that. I’ve seen part of part one when you sent that through to me and it’s really… it has a wonderful setup at the start of just how volumous [SP] this is going to be. I mean you have just an enormous amount of information that’s available for people, and I think that’s tremendous.
Dr. O’Bryan: Thank you so much. Thank you. My friend and mentor, Dr. Jeffrey Bland, who is the godfather of functional medicine, he told me that if I can get a million people in attendance, a million people, we will move the needle of awareness in traditional medicine that so many people will be coming in and asking the questions about their prodromal period. And you’ll understand what all that means. It will be very clear during the series what that is, and everybody wants to know about that one once you learn about it. Am I developing an autoimmune disease now? It means before symptoms begin when the antibodies are elevated killing off your tissue, but you don’t have any symptoms yet, you don’t feel it. That goes on for years.
Alzheimer’s is autoimmune, and Alzheimer’s, you don’t get Alzheimer’s in your ’60s or ’70s. You get it in your ’20s and ’30s, starting to kill off your brain cells. You just don’t kill off enough cells to have symptoms yet, but the mechanism is going on. Rheumatoid, the mechanism is going on. We now know that if you have the antibodies elevated for rheumatoid, you don’t have any symptoms, but you have the antibodies elevated, the positive predictive value that you’re getting disease depends on the antibodies is between 42% and 78%. Within 14 years you’ll have rheumatoid.
Clint: Are you talking about anti-CCP and rheumatoid factor?
Dr. O’Bryan: Yes.
Clint: As a combination or just one or the other?
Dr. O’Bryan: Individual. Individual. But each one’s different. CCP was in the 70 percentiles, and the rheumatoid factor was in the 40 percentiles. If you’ve got those elevated… You do a test and it’s H because you wanted to check because your mother has rheumatoid and you’re fine, you feel great, but it comes back with an H and the doctor says, “Well, you’re fine, you’re fine. That’s just a normal variant for you.” No, it’s not. It’s an H. That means high. You just haven’t killed off enough tissue yet to where those symptoms are obvious. It’s gonna take years of killing off tissue. One day it won’t be symptom-free anymore. Then you start worrying about it and then you’ve killed off so much tissue it’s really a challenge to stop it. You can, but it’s really a challenge.
Clint: Most definitely.
Dr. O’Bryan: So that’s what BETRAYAL is about, is to wake people up to this platform dynamic that is at the base of every degenerative disease across the board. Cardiovascular disease, cancer, all the autoimmune diseases. Degenerative diseases, this is the mechanism that starts it all off. AABCD because of some molecular mimicry tears in the cheesecloth. So as you understand, well you say, “Wow, this just makes sense. This just makes sense.” And then you’re empowered to learn to do something about it like your program. You know, start eating more vegetables, all those kinds of things that are critically important. People have to wake up. We have to wake up. If you look at the numbers in the increase in the different autoimmune diseases, it’s so scary. Now, I’m gonna tell you something that just scared the heck out of me that happened a couple of days ago. We shared this off-camera beforehand.
I was flying home from Austin… lecturing in Austin, and reading the paper on the plane, and there’s an article that the World Wildlife Federation, in conjunction with two universities, just published that there’s a 57% reduction in wildlife species since 1970. And I said, “Oh, that’s too bad. That’s just too bad.” And I read another article. And I get to San Diego, I live in San Diego, and I get to the…at the airport, go to the parking lot, get in the car and I’m driving home on the highway. And I almost slammed on the brakes. I was like, “Wait a minute. Wait a minute.” It was about 45 minutes later that it just hit me.
We’ve wiped out over 57% of everything that lives on the planet in the last 46 years. It’s gone? What are we doing? And when you learn about this platform mechanism as a family for you, your spouse, your children, when you learn about this platform mechanism you’ll understand it’s the most critical thing you can do for your health, is to make sure that the platform is solid, that you’ve got a good functioning gut, you’ve got a great healthy microbiome. Critically important for survival in the future, critically important. So that’s our goal here is to let you listen to the scientist talking about each little piece that they do of it and then the ones that put the whole thing together and then you go, “Oh, that just makes sense.” So that’s gonna happen over seven days. It’s all free. It’s all free to the world.
Clint: Is there something that can be seen right now or do they have to register and sit and all ready to go and to be notified by email?
Dr. O’Bryan: When they register, there’ll be an introductory video, and then we’ll say, “Congratulations, you’re in.” And then there’s another video we send you in preparation for it, yeah.
Clint: Okay, okay. All right, fabulous. Well, you’ve been very generous with your time, and it’s been fascinating to chat. We’ve covered nearly 45 minutes, and it’s felt like that. So hopefully listeners have enjoyed this as much as I have. Dr. Tom O’Bryan, thank you very much for coming on this episode, and I’m hoping we can have you back on again down the future because you have so much to share, and my audience base would, I’m sure, love to hear more from you.
Dr. O’Bryan: Oh, thank you very much. It would be a pleasure, a real pleasure to come back. Thank you.
Clint: Thank you. So to grab the link now to Dr. Tom O’Bryan’s series, BETRAYAL, just go to the show notes for this episode which is going to be at the paddisonprogram.com blog or click on the link podcast, and you will be able to find this episode, and be able to link through, and watch this outstanding series, and learn everything that there is to know at the moment from some of the world’s leading experts around autoimmunity. Thanks for listening, and we’ll talk again soon.