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dr__milton_mills-150x150Dr Milton Mills combines an encyclopedic knowledge of human biology, anatomy, physiology, and pathology with a passion for health and justice for all creatures. Plus, he's a top-notch debater with a flair for analogy.

I attended a talk he gave this spring on the human microbiome, and scribbled notes furiously as he spoke. Later, my notes looked like they had been written in a runic alphabet beyond the bounds of recognition. All I remembered was, “This shit is amazing!”

I brightened when I thought about this podcast; maybe I could persuade Dr Mills to tell me again, this time with a recorder running.

What you're about to listen to is the happy result of our effects.

Dr Mills and I discussed:

  • the limitations of the traditional “conveyor belt” view of digestion
  • the three major organs of digestion
  • the significance of food retention time, and how to measure yours
  • who lives in our colon, and why
  • the crucial importance of plant fiber for the bacteria in our large intestines
  • why it took science so long to figure this out
  • the difference between fermentation and putrefaction (and what that says about our natural diet)
  • the two known strategies mammals use to break down fiber
  • why we don't digest fiber in the stomach
  • the health-promoting effects of the short-chain fatty acids produced by our colonic bacteria
  • the stunning contribution of butyrate to our health
  • the root cause of auto-immune disease
  • how poor diet leads to chronic inflammation
  • the origins of type 1 (early onset) diabetes
  • the link between microbiome health and mental health
  • evidence that maternal diet during pregnancy can affect the child's later risk of behavioral problems and mood disorders
  • lessons from fossilized human poop
  • why a compromised microbiome makes us hungry all the time
  • and much (much!) more…

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


Dr Mills' free video lectures:

Are Humans Designed to Eat Meat?

What's Wrong with the Paleo Diet?

The Biology of Disgust

The Traditional African Diet vs Today's Plate of Plantation Food

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Thanks to Plant Yourself podcast patrons
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for your generous support of the podcast.


Check out my online TV show, Triangle Be Well. This week I talk about disabling the tripwires that trigger our unhealthy habits:

I can help you navigate the medical system and adopt a healthy lifestyle

I'm available for one-on-one consulting and coaching to help you navigate the medical system, make informed decisions, take control of your health destiny, and achieve true wellness and not just medical management of disease.

Ask your questions or share your feedback

Comment on the show notes for this episode (below)
Call 919-794-3735 to leave a voicemail

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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,


This post may contain amazon affiliate links. I may receive amazon gift certificates from your actions on such links.

5 comments on “Dr Milton Mills on Our Marvelous Microbiome: PYP 168

  1. This was a FANTASTIC interview! I had the pleasure of hearing Dr. Mills speak at an Advanced Study Weekend put on by John McDougall this past March and was blown away by his presentation! I was delighted to see this epidosde pop up on Stitcher, and it was an absolute pleasure to listen to this interview. I only I wish that I had been able to take notes along the way, but use my commute time for podcasts. I will certainly re-listen to this one! Thank you, Howard, for inviting Dr. Mills to speak on your podcast about such an important, but often ignored, topic. Thank you, Dr. Mills for your time and sharing your knowledge! Keep up the great work!

    1. Howard says:

      Timaree, glad you enjoyed the interview. I’m continuing to bug Dr Mills to write his book 🙂

  2. Kirby says:

    So, does this mean Probiotics are good for people who eat primarily meat products and the SAD, but Prebiotics, which are found in plant based food are at work for folks who eat whole food/plant based and that taking Probiotics by whole food/plant based folks isn’t really beneficial or necessary?

    1. Howard says:

      I don’t have access to all of Dr Mills’ research, but I’ve seen enough plant-based eaters benefit from taking probiotics that I still recommend them for anyone who is likely to have a damaged microbiome, whether from years of bad diet, or repeated courses of antibiotics, or caesarian birth, or bottle-feeding as an infant.

  3. Emily says:

    I also LOVED this lecture. I had not heard of Dr Mills before but will definitely be looking for more of his work. I also wanted to ask a question for his next interview. I’ve heard about how great fasting is to “reset your immune system” (your previous True North interview, as well as reading info from the Blue Zones Dr Valter Longo interview). This seems to contradict the message about feeding your gut flora. Is a 5 day fast harmful to your gut flora? Do they starve? What about 5 days of mimicking a fast (700-1000 cal daily, low protein as advocated by Dr Longo)?
    Thank you!

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