The Ultimate in Gut Health with Will Bulsiewicz, MD: PYP 277

Will Bulsiewicz, MD MSCI, trained to become a gastroenterologist at some of the top hospitals in the world: Georgetown, the University of North Carolina (go ‘heels!), and Northwestern. He's board certified in both gastroenterology and internal medicine.

Why am I trotting out Will's credentials to introduce this podcast? Because even with all that education, Will found himself unable to answer even his patients' most basic questions about what they could do about their own GI conditions.

What should they eat? What should they avoid? What causes gluten sensitivity and celiac disease? Why eat local and organic?

None of that was covered in his medical education or subsequent internship and residency. Instead, he and his profession were trained exquisitely in the cellular and molecular minutiae of pathology.

It's like someone studying to become a highway safety engineer spending a decade learning what happens when a car bumper strikes different kinds of concrete barriers, and the best ways to repair those barriers following an accident. And never getting any training in how to design safe roads.

Will grew unsatisfied with his role as diagnoser and pill promoter, and dove into the scientific research on the link between nutrition, lifestyle, and the newly emerging understanding of the microbiome. What he learned, he implemented. And through his teaching and social media outreach, he taught.

With a popular Instagram channel (10k+ followers, baby!), he's educating the world about the power of diet and lifestyle to give us a healthy gut and a healthy life.

Will and I covered a ton of ground, including:

  • training to become a plant-based gastroenterologist – and finding out that things were missing
  • unable to answer patients' basic questions about nutrition and GI conditions – even after studying at the top programs in the country
  • the power of a vegetarian wife
  • “the way we are eating in the US is a tremendous mistake”
  • “we don't have to wait for better science”
  • sharing the information on gut health via Instagram and public speaking
  • the 1500-page pathology textbook that doctors know backwards and forwards
  • medical training focuses on disease and treatment on a cellular level, and missing the obvious causation
  • “our training system isn't designed to prevent disease”
  • “we wait until you have disease, and then intervene”
  • the conversations that need to happen at ob/gyn, pregnancy, and pediatric visits
  • the three-part etiology of celiac disease
  • the new science of gut health
  • 99% of our DNA isn't our own
  • genetics didn't pan out like we thought when we unlocked the genetic code – predispositions, not predictions
  • 95% of our serotonin is produced in the gut – the link between GI health and depression?
  • how animal foods compromise our microbiome diversity
  • thousands of chemical preservatives in our food with no long-term safety studies
  • the move from an ancient to a modern lifestyle in a very short time
  • the importance of fermentation
  • why healthy soil is necessary for healthy plants – and healthy humans
  • “drink two monstrous glasses of water every morning”
  • why his son enjoys bitter broccoli sprouts
  • the immense benefits and reversible dangers of chlorinated water
  • why and how to filter drinking water
  • what about kombucha: healthy beverage or dental nightmare?
  • the true significance of the Blue Zones data
  • how to make sauerkraut without fancy equipment
  • how exercise and sleep affect gut health
  • why hugging a tree isn't just for treehuggers
  • Dr B's Instagram “Tournament of Plants”
  • and much more…

Enjoy, add your voice to the conversation via the comment box or audio recording box below, and please share – that's how we spread our message and spread our roots.

Talk Back


Dr B on Instagram and Facebook

Pickle Pebbles on amazon

Fermentation Weights on amazon

Blue Zones research

Elena Verdú's Gluten Intolerance research

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The Plant Yourself Podcast theme music, “Dance of Peace (Sabali Don),” is generously provided by Will Ridenour, a kora player from North Carolina who has trained with top Senegalese musicians.

It can be found on his first CD, titled Will Ridenour.

You can learn about Will, listen to more tracks, and buy music on his website,


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4 Responses to “The Ultimate in Gut Health with Will Bulsiewicz, MD: PYP 277”

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  1. Nigel Davies says:

    This was even more interesting than usual – thank you, Howard!!
    If you are still battling with your sauerkraut 🙂 , I’ve found “Fermented Vegetables” by Kirsten and Christopher Shockey a great resource with simple recipes and practical advice.

  2. You don’t need to court sodium or sugar risks in kimchi, sauerkraut or kombucha, if you want to incorporate fermented foods into your diet. Make your own soy-based yogurt, which you can also use for dressings, sauces, in baking, and strain into creme fraiche and cream cheese.

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