In this podcast we talk about a new study looking at the effects common medications have on your gut bacteria.
Statin drugs, anti-depressants, and anti-inflammatories all negatively affect your gut bacteria.
This is important because the health of your gut bacteria is directly related to the health of your joints, skin, and brain.
This study also showed the these common drugs can also lead to an increased risk of developing antibiotic resistance.
TRANSCRIPT OF TODAY'S EPISODE
Dr. Martin Jr: Hello I’m Dr. Martin Junior.
Dr. Martin Sr: And I’m Dr. Martin Senior.
Dr. Martin Jr: And this is The Doctor Is In podcast, and this is episode 128. And today on this episode we’re going to talk [00:00:30] about a study that was just published recently that looked at non-antibiotics and the effect that they have on your micro-biome, you know, your gut bacteria, but also the bacteria that lives everywhere in your body.
We’ll talk about the importance of the micro-biome in just a second, but we’ve always known that a lot these drugs can have an effect on other parts of your [00:01:00] body. It’s interesting … When a drug goes through the safety testing, a drug goes through whatever they have to do to get the approval from the FDA or Health Canada to be sold, this is not an area that they look at. I mean, never. They never, ever have to look at the impact that these drugs have on your micro-biome in any way. So a lot of this stuff has not been done in the past, and to be honest with you, they never really thought of looking at this stuff until more recently. [00:01:30] They’re starting to find out that, as you and I have been saying for quite a while, your micro-biome is essentially another organ. It behaves … You need it to live, you need it to be healthy, and when your micro-biome isn’t healthy, you’re not healthy. So in a lot of ways, it interacts with different things and provides you nutrients. You need it for your immune system. It provides nutrients to your cells. So there’s lot of things that your micro-biome does.
Dr. Martin Sr: And you were saying too .. [00:02:00] I remember one of the times that you were flying solo here on the podcast, you were talking about the micro-biome of a 90 year old that was healthy, was like the micro-biome of a 20 year old, right? So that bacteria, his profile, the DNA sort of thing of his bacteria was a lot younger than that particular person because they were healthy.
Dr. Martin Jr: Yeah and it’s-
Dr. Martin Sr: They were good, right?
Dr. Martin Jr: You know it’s interesting, we [00:02:30] do know … and research has shown this over the years, we do know that the micro-biome changes as you move from health towards disease. So somebody that’s sick has a different micro-biome than somebody that’s not sick. Also, it’s interesting, somebody who’s obese has a different micro-biome than somebody who’s lean. And that’s the thing. So, a lot of research has been done in the area of looking at the micro-biome and returning that micro-biome towards [00:03:00] what it should look like in a healthy individual. And it’s amazing to see the impact that that’s having-
Dr. Martin Sr: Because most people are always thinking is just stomach, right? Digestive issues-
Dr. Martin Jr: Well it’s … most people don’t even understand it.
Dr. Martin Sr: But we try to put that to bed, right? In the sense that a lot of people do have digestive issues, and if you have any kind of digestive issues, you got leaky gut. I mean that is 100% for sure.
Dr. Martin Jr: And, you know, let’s be honest, talking about micro-biome is not the most interesting stuff. It really isn’t. I know my wife, she listens to all [00:03:30] of our podcasts, and-
Dr. Martin Sr: She falls asleep when we talk-
Dr. Martin Jr: Yeah, just because it’s tough to understand the importance necessarily, and we talk about leaky gut and bacteria so much, even my kids, they all know about what it means and everything. It’s so funny to listen to them. My daughter, she’s everyday taking her probiotics routine every morning on the way to school, it’s so funny, you know? She’s very routine, she listens to these things, but let’s be honest. The concept of a micro-biome or gut bacteria is not the most interesting [00:04:00] thing. However, it is honestly one of the most important discoveries and changes, really, in the field of health in the last so many years. It’s incredible the advancements that are being made in this area. Now we’re starting to understand the importance of having a healthy micro-biome, right?
You know, you and I have said this for a while, leaky gut, leaky brain, because there is a definite connection between the gut and the brain. There’s a definite [00:04:30] connection between your gut and your joints, there’s a definite connection between your gut and your skin, and that’s that micro-biome, right? Now we know it’s the micro-biome. It’s the-
Dr. Martin Sr: Well, I think you would agree with me, because you and I are a different generation, but if you look at when I was in school, the emphasis was on cells. Right? Your cellular health, and so in the ’70s, you heard a lot about free radical damage. You and I talk about that, oxidative [00:05:00] damage, very significant, it’s very important. But there was big emphasis. When you were in school … not that you … obviously you studied all that, but one of the things that you were studying that I didn’t study so much in the ’70s, was genetics. You know genetics became a big, big, big study, right?
Dr. Martin Jr: And that was, in my opinion, that was the great distraction, period, in health care, right?
Dr. Martin Sr: Yeah.
Dr. Martin Jr: Where they spent a lot of money looking at genetics, genetics, [00:05:30] genetics, and all, your parents had this, so you’re gonna have this, and for some things that’s absolutely the case.
Dr. Martin Sr: So that was your generation, that wasn’t so much my generation, right?
Dr. Martin Jr: [crosstalk 00:23:49]Yeah, we spent a lot of time in genetics. No.
Dr. Martin Sr: And I’m talking about when we were going through our doctorate and this kind of thing, right? So, ’60s, ’70s, was cells. We were learning more and more about cells, and how the mitochondria works, and all this and that-
Dr. Martin Jr: Well it’s funny, cause the mitochondria is making a comeback now, right? Now, they’re really looking at … [00:06:00] there’s a few areas of that era that’s coming back, which is mitochondria, they’re finding out … and for those that are listening that don’t know what mitochondria is, it’s basically the battery pack of your cells. And they’re finding out that if your mitochondria isn’t healthy, you’re more likely to be diseased. Cancers really affect your mitochondria. When they’re unhealthy you have no energy, so there’s a lot of aspects to the mitochondria that they’re looking at now, which is interesting. But you’re right, I mean, back then-
Dr. Martin Sr: Yeah, so if you go from the ’70s, [00:06:30] and you were in school in the ’90s, like when you did your bio-chemistry in your doctorate-
Dr. Martin Jr: Yeah.
Dr. Martin Sr: And then you look at today. So the big emphasis today … Well, I’m not saying there’s no emphasis on cells, there is, and like you say, the mitochondria is making a comeback. Genetics, like you say, the big distraction, I agree with that 1000%, by the way. But now, because we get all the studies, and it’s interesting because we look at these studies, and they’re catching [00:07:00] up now to what we’ve been talking about, and that is, they’re looking now at the significance of your bacteria, your micro-biome, right? Because we all have a different one, but they’re seeing now … what research is looking at, and you know we’re getting something once, twice a week on the micro-biome, that’s coming in the studies, and it’s incredible! You know, the one we’re talking about is incredible!
Dr. Martin Jr: Yeah, and what’s interesting is that [00:07:30] they never had to show the effect that these drugs are having on your micro-biome. Now, you know we’ve talked about this before. You look at sweeteners for example. Right? A lot of questions … we’ve gotten so many questions over the years about, is this sweetener safe, or is this sweetener safe? And one of the things that they’re finding out about some of these sweeteners, the synthetic stuff, is that it actually kills your good bacteria. Or it changes your micro-biome. By definition, is that healthy? I don’t think [00:08:00] so. I think if your micro-biome is changing as a result of something you’re taking, and not changing for the good, that’s not a good thing.
Now the problem with that is, if you change your micro-biome, or you start changing your micro-biome, you don’t necessarily have instantaneous symptoms, right? But imagine you start taking a drug, and we’ll talk about this with drugs in a second, but you’re taking a medication and it’s starting to affect your micro-biome and you’re on it for a long time. [00:08:30] You’re on these things for years, let’s just say. Well, it’s really hard to tie your joint pain directly to that drug, because it’s like, “No, I’ve been taking this drug for a long time, and my joints only started hurting a couple of months ago.” However, that slow process of killing your good bacteria, and allowing the bad bacteria to take over, and then because you don’t have that good bacteria, it’s not providing the proper nutrients to your joints, nutrients to your cells. I mean, it’s just a long, slippery slope [00:09:00] that can happen, which is why they’re starting to look more at the effect that these things are having on your micro-biome.
So, we’ve done this before. We have some great articles written on all the things that can kill your good bacteria, and there’s some surprising stuff out there. You know, a lot of the chlorine that we drink in the water, the chemicals that we drink, there are a lot of things out there that can do that. However, there was an interesting study that we referenced at the start of this podcast that came out, and the title of the study is this. It’s called “Extensive Impact [00:09:30] of Non-Antibiotic Drugs on Human Gut Bacteria.” So what they did is they looked at a bunch of drugs, different types of drugs, and they wanted to see what it did to your gut bacteria. Now, that’s important, because as we mentioned, if your gut bacteria isn’t healthy, you’re more likely to grow, as you age, and have Alzheimer’s or Dementia. That’s the reality. Your brain health is tied into your gut. You can’t disconnect [00:10:00] the two. If you have an unhealthy gut, as you age, you’re much more likeLY to have problems with your memory as you get older. You’re much more likely to have joint pain. You’re more likely to have a whole host of problems. So this is not without significance. These are important things. So when something is said to kill or have an extensive, like the title says, extensive impact on your gut bacteria, that’s important.
[00:10:30] So now, you have to look at these common drugs that people are taking and say, alright, is the short term gain … or are you getting a proper return on investment on this drug? Is the risk outweigh the reward, or vice versa. So it’s important to understand that, right?
Dr. Martin Sr: Yeah.
Dr. Martin Jr: So, let’s go through a few of the drugs that they’ve found in the study that had pretty significant impact on your gut bacteria. Now, the drugs that were most often represented that affected [00:11:00] your gut bacteria were the anti-psychotic drugs. Which makes sense, right? Your gut’s a second brain. So any drug that you take for your brain is gonna affect your gut.
Dr. Martin Sr: So any anti-depressant, any anti-anxiety medication, they’re culprits in this, right?
Dr. Martin Jr: That’s right. And they were massive culprits in affecting gut bacteria. Which begs the question … a lot of studies have shown that for example, probiotics help people with depression and anxiety, or improving [00:11:30] gut health helps people, and B12, if there’s an absorption problem. We talked about brain and depression. We had a lot of good feedback on that depression and anxiety podcast we did a few episodes ago, so you can go back and listen to that one there. But it begs the question, if somebody is taking a medication like an anti-psychotic medication, like a mental health drug for depression for example, and it’s slowly killing their good bacteria, it’s almost kind of like they’re taking the very thing that’s helping them but it’s going to hurt [00:12:00] them down the road and cause more depressive issues. Because the micro-biome is important. There’s a lot of research that backs that up. If you’ve got an unhealthy micro-biome-
Dr. Martin Sr: You’ve got more serotonin in your gut-
Dr. Martin Jr: Yeah, 90%.
Dr. Martin Sr: -the feel good hormone, than you have in your brain.
Dr. Martin Jr: Yeah, 90% of your serotonin is made in your gut.
Dr. Martin Sr: And the connection between your gut and your brain goes through the Vagus nerve, which connects the two. And you know, it’s interesting because there was a study out this week that [00:12:30] I read, too, and I was just looking for it because I saved it, but it talked about … generally here’s what it said. Once you’re on an anti-depressant it does help. It can work. In the short term, it does. You’re showing … that study shows yeah, but in the long term it affects … but I think maybe the mechanism of how it’s affecting is when it’s destroying the micro-biome or changing the micro-biome, one of the problems of it is now you’re never [00:13:00] secreting … and this is why they’re saying, too, the study was saying, is once you’re on an anti-depressant, you never really feel like you used to feel. It never brings you back to the point of, “Oh! You know what, now I don’t have depression anymore.” And because somehow there’s a mechanism, they’re saying, that your serotonin levels never come up to where they were. Right? And that could be a lot has to do with-
Dr. Martin Jr: And the [00:13:30] body works that way in a lot of things, for example. One of the problems, for example with, let’s talk about even steroids for example, right? That question always comes up around the Olympics, there’s … people spend a lot of money to try and figure out how to cheat the system. But one of the things that happens for example, to somebody that takes testosterone, a synthetic testosterone, like a-
Dr. Martin Sr: Mm-hmm (affirmative), not a booster.
Dr. Martin Jr: No, that’s right. Like a synthetic, steroid testosterone. One of the things that happens is your body stops making it on its own, so you have all these guys that have [00:14:00] massive, massive muscles, but without a synthetic testosterone they can’t make it anymore. It’s almost like the body says “Alright, I don’t need to make it, you’re getting it”, and it just kind of stops making it. And you do that enough times, and then you don’t make it anymore and you need a synthetic testosterone for the rest of your life. So that’s one of the issues people have when it comes to steroids. So, it makes sense, even when it comes to a drug that messes with a hormone like a neurotransmitter like serotonin, makes sense that the body may just say, “Hey, you know what, [00:14:30] I don’t have to make it”. And the body runs on this principle.
I remember when I was treating sports injuries, I used to tell people all the time, if you don’t use it, you lose it. That’s how the body works. It’s amazing, back at one point in sports injuries somebody used to hurt … like let’s just say for example they twisted their ankle. They got a grade 2 or whatever sprain of their ankle. The old advice used to be stay off it. Right? Just stay off it completely. Then they found out that that’s [00:15:00] not necessarily the best thing because you don’t use it you lose it, and there’s a lot of muscle wasting that goes on. The body, if you don’t use it, you lose it, quickly. So when you’re taking a drug that’s bringing up levels of something, it kind of makes sense that, whatever mechanism that does that, that the body just says, “I don’t have to make it anymore”. It gets lazy really quickly. So that is interesting, but unfortunately it does have an impact … which is why again if you’re on an anti-depressive medication, you absolutely [00:15:30] 100% need to be taking a probiotic. There’s no question. You gotta be taking a probiotic.
Now another class of drugs that do kill the good bacteria in your gut are the drugs that are part of the biggest scam … and I hate using that word, that’s a strong word. But-
Dr. Martin Sr: I know what you’re gonna say.
Dr. Martin Jr: For a lack of better word, the largest scam in drug history-
Dr. Martin Sr: That I talk about every [00:16:00] day in my office.
Dr. Martin Jr: Drug history, I don’t think there’s been a bigger scam than cholesterol lowering drugs. Statin drugs.
Dr. Martin Sr: And now we find out what? Not only does it lower your CoQ10, not only that you can get a condition called [rhabdomyolysis 00:23:49]. You and I talked about it a lot, we used to see it, well, we used to? We still see it every day in the office.
Dr. Martin Jr: Oh yeah, we get emails from people and it’s just like people are sore, and you ask them the question, it’s almost like a reflex now, “Are you taking a [00:16:30] Statin?”. Yes. Okay, well. The literature says it’s not that common, but they don’t go talk to people, because it’s very common. But yeah, at the end of the day … you and I were actually talking about this right before lunch today, how they’ve moved the goal post, and they did the same thing just recently on blood pressure, right? They moved the goal post, so they say if this number used to be high … I’m sure they sit around, the drug companies, I’m sure they sit in a board room and they’re like, “Well, we gotta make more money this quarter, and [00:17:00] pretty much every other human on the planet is taking a Statin drug, so how are we going to get the other half to take it?”
Dr. Martin Sr: Well one of our patients sent in a thing, that’s what we were discussing.
Dr. Martin Jr: Yeah, so they-
Dr. Martin Sr: I said, “Okay, well give me your cholesterol.” Cholesterol, schmolesterol. I don’t care what your cholesterol numbers are-
Dr. Martin Jr: No, but people always give it to us.
Dr. Martin Sr: But I said, do you know that 10 years … I told this patient, I said that, did you know that 10 years ago those were normal numbers?
Dr. Martin Jr: Yeah, they just keep on lowering the normal number, right?
Dr. Martin Sr: So the goal posts are changing, right?
Dr. Martin Jr: The goal posts change. They [00:17:30] bring the number down and guess what? A more per cent of the population now have “high cholesterol”, so they go see their doctor for a physical, you get a blood test, and it’s like, “Hey, this blood test two years ago used to say normal, but now it’s flagged as high.” And then they give you the Statin drug talk, right? Like, “Okay it’s time for a Statin drug.” And the reality is, I’ve heard somebody say this before and it’s so true, nobody has a Statin deficiency. It’s not like you have a deficiency of Statins in your body, and you gotta take this drug. But that’s how they treat it. [00:18:00] However, they do kill your good bacteria. They do affect your gut composition. So again, you add that to the list of things that Statins do to your body. They affect your good … And again, there’s always been a kind of a correlation between Statin drug use and brain health.
Dr. Martin Sr: Yeah, memory.
Dr. Martin Jr: Memory!
Dr. Martin Sr: Yeah. Early Alzheimer’s almost, right? They just get to the point that their memory is-
Dr. Martin Jr: And there has been a connection to that. Again, this only cements that connection again, [00:18:30] where you take a drug that kills your good bacteria, it’s going to affect your brain at the back end. There’s no question. So if you’re taking a Statin drug, you need CoQ10 as you mentioned, that’s a must, and you gotta be taking probiotics. Now listen, you and I say this, pretty much everybody on the planet should be taking probiotics everyday now, because of all the things that we do in a day to kill our good bacteria.
Dr. Martin Sr: If you’re on medication, really get on probiotic, right? Big time.
Dr. Martin Jr: That’s the reality of it. So, just to kind of summarize or wrap things up [00:19:00] here in this episode. Basically, the study shows once again, that many of the created things, like chemicals that we take, alters our good bacteria. Kills it.
Dr. Martin Sr: Yeah. Can I say something?
Dr. Martin Jr: You’ve got your hand up, so I’ll call on you. Yes, you can say something. I’m just sitting here looking at your hand goes up, I’m like, that’s pretty cool.
Dr. Martin Sr: Well just because talking about medication I just want to make sure … because people, I think a lot of … [00:19:30] you’re talking about common medications, right? One of the biggest selling medications today is anti-depression medication. We talked about those. One of the huge, huge seller in medication are Statin drugs, cholesterol lowering medication. The other one, and I don’t know if it’s in that list, I don’t know if they studied it, but I know it’s been studied in the past, and that is non-steroidal anti-inflammatories. RiBght, because people live on Tylenol, Advil, they’re over the counter so [00:20:00] they don’t need a prescription. Those ones, these are non-prescription ones, people think they’re safe. They’re not safe AT ALL. And-
Dr. Martin Jr: No, they do the same thing. Studies have shown –
Dr. Martin Sr: The same thing, they kill the bad … and folks, even people that are listening … and I’m not telling you not to take the medication, I’m not saying that. Some people are … a lot of my patients come in, they do bio-markers and they list their medications, and they’re taking Aspirin for example. An 81 milligram Aspirin because prevention [00:20:30] of stroke and heart attack and blah blah blah. And it ain’t candy, folks! It ain’t candy. Just understand that there’s an effect on that because that’s a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication. It changes your good bacteria. So if you gotta take that, you better be taking a probiotic.
Dr. Martin Jr: And there’s one aspect of this study that we didn’t talk about. So not only did they look at the effect that these drugs had on the micro-biome, they also came to the conclusion [00:21:00] that they actually contribute to antibiotic resistance. And one of the problems that hospitals are having today, and one of the things that they don’t talk about that’s kind of behind the scenes, is there are these super-bugs that are out there that they cannot .. you’re hearing of people losing limbs because of these bacterial infections that they cannot control. Imagine, here we are, 2018-
Dr. Martin Sr: There’s so much more than cellulitis today-
Dr. Martin Jr: And they can’t control these things. They can’t save the limb [00:21:30] because of the infection, because of these antibiotic resistant bacteria. And you wonder, the over-prescription of antibiotics definitely contributed-
Dr. Martin Sr: Yes. They know about it.
Dr. Martin Jr: They know. But this is, they’re gonna find-
Dr. Martin Sr: This is significant.
Dr. Martin Jr: They’re gonna find out that a lot of these drugs that people take everyday have contributed to these super-bugs that are out there as well, because it’s killing the good bacteria, it’s creating more bad bacteria. These things are getting stronger. Anyways, very, very interesting [00:22:00] even the implications of a study like this has.
So, we know this is kinda the beginning. A couple years from now, this will be common knowledge in the sense they’ll be talking about the effect that it has. And you know at some point that a pharmaceutical company is going to come out with a probiotic, in a sense, right? Like a patented probiotic of some kind that will probably cause side effects. Because most of this stuff that they do, they create, do.
Anyways, we’re out of time so we want to [00:22:30] thank you for listening to this episode. If you have any questions, you can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can go to our website. If you’re not a newsletter subscriber, go there, sign up. We talk about a lot of these studies throughout the week. And then also, you can join … You do a live Facebook every Thursday morning-
Dr. Martin Sr: Thursday morning, yep, at 8:30 in the morning.
Dr. Martin Jr: Yeah, every Thursday morning, so you can go there. You have questions, you can go there, type them in, and you answer them. You interact, that’s good. Last time you only had the camera upside down for five minutes, so not too bad. [00:23:00] So now you’re getting better at that, right?
Dr. Martin Sr: I couldn’t figure out why-
Dr. Martin Jr: No, believe me, I know. I was texting Mom. I was texting her, I was like, the camera’s upside-down, camera’s backwards, sideways, and anyways. By the way, it causes a lot of stress for Mom, by the way. She’s the producer of the show, and she can’t control the camera, but she’s stressed, right?
Dr. Martin Sr: Well I tried to blame her, but it was me.
Dr. Martin Jr: No, yeah, it’s funny. But anyways, you can join you every Thursday morning and ask questions.
Dr. Martin Sr: We have a lot of fun, and it really is-
Dr. Martin Jr: Oh [00:23:30] yeah, people ask you questions and you go above and beyond answering all those questions so it’s awesome. That how we do Thursday morning.
Dr. Martin Sr: I do my rants every Thursday.
Dr. Martin Jr: So that’s awesome. So again, thank you for listening and have a great day.