About Dr. Cheryl Burdette :
Cheryl K. Burdette, ND, received her Doctor of Naturopathy degree from Bastyr University in 2001. She completed her residency at Cancer Treatment Centers of America and the Family Health and Wellness Center. While practicing in Atlanta, GA, she worked at a laboratory that specializes in nutritional and metabolic testing. She has lectured internationally and believes that education is a critical component of empowering others on their journey to wellness. Dr. Burdette has been a member of XYMOGEN’s Medical Board of Advisors since 2009.
Dr. Burdette is also the cofounder of Dunwoody Labs, an advanced boutique laboratory.
Contact Dr. Burdette:
Dr. Burdette at Progressive Medical Center: http://www.progressivemedicalcenter.com/
Dunwoody Labs: http://dunwoodylabs.com/
01:41 Dr. Burdette’s Gut Health Journey: She saw a drastic clinical need to find the element that tied together the wide range of inflammatory problems that plague us. She knew that patients who made dietary changes had more positive outcomes across a range of conditions. When leaky gut was mentioned naturopathic school, she could find little to no research on it. Across the board, she found that practitioners who focused on gut health, had more positive clinical outcomes.
07:22 Dysfunctional Gut: The gut is the heart of wellness. It is where we make 95% of our serotonin. We used to think of the gut as a filter. It is much more. The gut plays a large role in detoxification. The health of the gut determines how we will receive certain compounds: the form, how inert, or how bioactive.
08:42 Zonulin: Dr. Alessio Fasano discovered the biomarker zonulin. It is a protein that is released when we come in contact with a pathogenic bacteria, an endotoxin produced by that bacteria or a food sensitivity. The zonulin is released into the gut, binds to receptors and tells tight junctions to open. Now that it can be measured, we can begin to associate it with clinical outcome. When zonulin is high and the gut is more permeable, we are more at risk for certain neurologic conditions, autoimmune conditions and even cancers.
12:00 Impacts of Leaky Gut: When the gut wall becomes more open, we are exposed and defenseless. An intact gut wall helps to break down particulates into micromolecules, nutrients that your body can use. When the gut wall is open, particulates flood through intact. Your immune system does not recognize this as friendly and begins to upregulate. The inflammation created is similar to what happens in the autoimmune process.
13:35 Treating Autoimmune Conditions: Approaches of the recent past have been to suppress the immune system. When we treat the gut, we balance the immune system and rebuild the gut wall.
14:43 Zonulin Triggers: Gluten or gliadin, a compound found in wheat and other grains causes an increase in zonulin. Beyond GI issues, gluten can affect people’s moods, level of depression and trigger autoimmune processes. Celiac is an autoimmune disease that reacts to gluten.
15:35 Increase in Gluten Sensitivity: There is more exposure to gluten due to hybridization to increase gluten content. Another reason could be intake of Roundup from grain. Roundup interferes with gut lining and can create more sensitivities and more intense symptoms of the sensitivities. It also disrupts our microbiome. Good bacteria places a protective coating over the gut and microvilli. When this breaks down, we become more reactive.
18:03 Your Microbiome: We receive our gut flora at birth through the birth canal. C-section birth does not have this seeding. In addition, we have less beneficial gut flora because we lack exposure to dirt and we try to keep things sterile. Certain medications and toxins from your environment may be culprits. Conditions of western-itus, high cholesterol, obesity, and fatigue correlate to the condition of our gut.
20:27 Symptoms: Even minor diarrhea or discomfort, are associated with inflammation in the gut. The more we control what is happening in the gut, the more we are reducing the inflammatory burden.
21:43 What about Beer? Hops has a compound that blocks zonulin and will reduce some of the leaky gut. Beer can also contain beneficial yeast. If your beer uses organic grains, it exposes you to fewer toxic compounds. Avoiding or minimizing beer consumption is best.
22:36 Probiotic Bifidobacterium Lactis hn019: Pre-treating with this bacterium can help to offset gluten induced inflammation. A study placed certain probiotic strains in baked goods that contained gluten and fed them to known celiac patients. The grains did not give them GI upset. They used an aged homemade sourdough. The hn019 began to break down the gliadin, the most reactive component of wheat, in the bread.
25:01 Candida Albicans: The structure of the gliadin molecule is similar to the structure of the outside wall of candida albicans. Bifidobacterium lactis hn019 targets candida albicans as well. Gliadin is cross-reactive with yeast overgrowth.
26:22 Histamine: Sometimes our food sensitivity tests show that we are not reactive to something, but yet we have symptoms from it. Not only do we have an individual reaction to individual foods and the histamine that it will create, we have an individualized ability to degrade that histamine. Another way we can develop leaky gut is from substances that irritate the gut lining and cause atrophy of the microvilli. Diamine oxidase is an indicator. If Diamine oxidase in the blood is low, your microvilli are atrophied, your gut is worn down and you have a type of leaky gut. It also means that you will not degrade histamine as effectively. This means that you can eat a food that does not create a big reaction, but since you have an inability to break down histamine, you get more symptoms. It can also mean that you are reacting to things that aren’t food sensitivities or allergies, you can be reacting to the histamine in the food. Since foods create more histamine as they age, a piece of fruit that didn’t bother you two days ago, will cause a reaction today. Taking diamine oxidase helps your body to create more diamine oxidase. This is because the supplemental DAO helps to fight gut inflammation and helps to restore microvilli, which creates your own DAO.
30:33 Methylation to Rid Histamine: Methylation increases the enzyme Methyltransferase and increases phase 2 methylation of the liver to help to remove histamine from the body, intracellularly or hepatically.
31:04 High Histamine Foods and Beverages: Healthy foods like cantaloupe, mango, berries, avocado, certain types of fish and fermented foods, like beer, wine, cheese and alcohol are high in histamine. If you get a headache from red wine or your mouth tingles when you eat tuna, you may have low DAO. Lowering histamine is part of the strategy for healing leaky gut.
32:13 Dr. Burdette’s Dunwoody Lab: Naturopathic, integrative medicine and functional medicine doctors need a high burden of proof to shift paradigms. By putting zonulin, diamine oxidase and lipopolysaccharide together in testing, we have 3 ways to look at leaky gut, thus influencing differing targeted therapies. Lipopolysaccharide is a transcellular (moving through the cell) dysregulation of leaky gut.
36:29 Leaky Gut Patterns and Trends: If you see inflammatory mediators involved in the condition you are trying to treat, you should be doing a thorough gut workup. A medication for MS blocks interleukin 17, however interleukin 17 can be prevented from elevating by keeping white blood cells/T cells from being activated by decreasing leaky gut. These inflammatory pathways are upregulated in other chronic diseases as well. Weight gain is a condition of inflammation. Diet induced obesity increases reactive oxygen species/free radicals in the brain. Increased free radicals in the brain, increase risk of Alzheimer’s, dementia and Parkinson’s.
41:27 Dr. Burdette’s New Projects: She will be on the faculty of George Washington University. It will be one of the first degree programs out of an accredited university in integrative medicine. It will build into a masters and eventually a PhD. Dr. Burdette is also delving into pharmacogenetics, the study of how each individual handles different medications/compounds so medical choices can be made tailored to that individual. She is also excited to study the cross-talk between our genetics and the genetics of our microbiome and how that influences genetic expression.
44:29 Dr. Burdette’s Favorite Lifestyle Change: Exercise is important to health and healing, but sick people are especially challenged to exercise. The more you shift the inflammatory load, the more we can do the real things that maintain health.