#39: Dave Asprey- Balancing Gut Bacteria, Mold, Lectins, Leptin and the Bulletproof Diet

by Mike Mutzel


Sound Cloud


Watch the Interview

About Dave Asprey

Learn more about Dave at


Lose Weight, Balance Hormones, and Stress Less with the Adrenal Reset Diet

Favorite Nutrient


#1 Health tip

Bring heathy fats back into the diet.

Top Books and Resources Discussed in this Episode

The Bulletproof Diet: Lose up to a Pound a Day, Reclaim Energy and Focus, Upgrade Your Life


Show Notes

0:59 Mold:  Mold is everywhere.  It seems to be in a constant struggle with bacteria for supremacy.  We have waged war on bacteria, but not mold.  Mold not only infects you, it creates poisons.  One is alcohol; another is penicillin, which transforms your gut bacteria.

02:09 Mold in our Food Supply:  Long ago, when we came across moldy food, we discarded it or we ate it and became sick.  Now, when food is harvested in mass, moldy items are mixed with fresh.  That means that in processed food, there is always a small amount of fungus and mold toxin.  We are constantly exposed to this low level stressor.

4:41 Top Mold Toxin Offenders:  Grains are the number one source of mold in our diets.  About 98% of corn is infected with mold as it is growing.  When sprayed with Roundup, toxin production increases by about 500 times.  Nuts are generally protected by their shells, keeping it fresh.  In primal days, we cracked them and ate them right away. Nuts spoil easily and should be refrigerated after opening.  Bulk food in the bins at the store is moldier than non-bulk food.   Peanuts not only have mold, they have very long chain fatty acids that do not fit well in your cell membranes. These are the fats that are over-represented in people with Alzheimer’s.  Other nut butters are a better choice.  Coffee and chocolate are also major sources of mold.

8:18 How Mold Affects the Body:  When we consume food containing mold, a few hours later we begin to feel the effects.  It raises havoc with our gut microbiome. Then it affects your liver or kidneys, taxing blood sugar.  This causes sugar cravings. If there is not enough energy in the body, the prefrontal cortex of the brain, which contains the most mitochondria density, is taxed.  You may feel it in the cardiac system or the gut.  Mold also causes the body to pull water from your plasma to excrete the toxin, causing dehydration, even more than from caffeine.

13:33 Alcohol, Wine and Mold:  Dave’s stack ranking infographic of alcohol is on his web site. Unfiltered alcohol contains yeast metabolites which trigger candida growth in the body.  It also contains a substantial amount of mold toxin.  Wine, and especially beer, contains ochratoxin A, which impacts the kidneys.  It is linked to cancer and DNA damage among other harmful things.

14:30 What Your Body Needs:  Your body requires good quality macronutrients in the right ratios.  You have to stay away from antinutrients.  These are chemicals used in a plant’s defense, mycotoxins from processing food or manmade additives and chemicals.  You also need good quality protein.  You need micronutrients, like calcium, magnesium, B vitamins and the like.  So we should examine our choices to determine whether we have gotten our macronutrients, avoided antinutrients and received our micronutrients.

17:43 Red Wine and Beer:  In the case of red wine and beer, the antinutrients far exceed and benefit in macro or micronutrients.  There are hundreds of studies on PubMed showing a correlation between baker’s and brewer’s yeast and cancer.  Coffee, and then chocolate, has far more polyphenols than red wine.  Dave rarely has red wine, but when he does, he takes his product, a fine particulate activated charcoal.  It has been proven to bind to one of the 3 classes of mycotoxins. It helps to reduce the hangover and inflammation from drinking red wine.  If he is going to drink, he also takes his product, Glutathione Force.  Glutathione is the primary detox substance in the liver.  Whiskey, tequila, gin and vodka are on the safer end of the spectrum, should you decide to drink.  They do not contain the mycotoxins of beer and wine, because they are distilled.  Alcohol is not a health food.  In fact, it is linked to cancer and expedites aging.  Alcohol has a biological cost, so if you drink, you will want to counter that cost with supplements.

25:50 Mycotoxins and Appetite Signaling Hormones:  Dave used to weigh 300 lbs.  His food cravings were so intense that he was losing his ability to think. He was angry and agitated. His body felt like it was going to die.   Most people in this situation just feel tired, cranky and unfocused.  Many different hormones affect hunger.  You will crave sugar within about 5 minutes of breathing mold or chemical toxins.  This is a result of the liver trying to dump the toxins.  Many foods, like grains, beans, celery, and kale, evolved to reproduce and evolved various chemical protections/toxins to prevent being eaten.  Creatures, which evolved to eat these foods, also evolved digestive processes to negate those toxins.  We did not evolve to eat these things and we are effected by them. Lectins are one of the primary defense systems used by plants.  When we eat lectins, depending upon our gut health, gut microbiome and genetics, they can affect leptin, which is a hormone that helps to control hunger and cravings. It also contributes to the inflammatory response.  If you react to lectins, you can become leptin resistant. This is a precursor to insulin resistance and diabetes.

32:18 Stable Energy All Day Long, With No Food Cravings:  Your body is an exquisite instrument that responds to the environment around you.  You can control much of the environment around you, giving you control of your own biology.  The infographic that accompanies Dave’s book and The Bulletproof Diet book spell out the foods and beverages to consume to help get into that zone of controlling your own biology.

35:08 The Gut Microbiome and Cravings:  One of the things that grow in your gut, which assists with weight loss and reducing food cravings, is something that you feed. In Dave’s research, he came across FIAF (Fasting Induced Adipose Factor).  When you fast or when you eat, your liver uses this hormone, along with others, to control fat storage. Not all of the bacteria in our gut work to our advantage.  Some modify behavior, impacting social behaviors and risk taking behaviors.  We are a walking support system for out gut biome.

36:59 Bacteroidetes and Firmicutes:  The bacteria family of firmicutes has learned to produce its own FIAF as a survival mechanism.  It wants you to survive, so it instigates more fat storage.  Fat people have more firmicutes than thin people.  You want to have a balance of bacteroidetes, the thin people bacteria, and firmicutes.  Dave found an animal study that supported his hypothesis about why Bulletproof Coffee has a slimming effect.  He believes that consuming fat, in the way of butter and brain octane oil in Bulletproof Coffee in the morning, suppresses bacterial activity.  If you are consuming no sugar and no protein, they have no food.  They stop telling you to store fat and start telling you to burn fat.  He supposes that the bacteria believe there is a famine and want the host to burn fat stores to survive.  Antioxidant rich coffee is packed with polyphenols and is fuel for bacteroidetes.  Polyphenols from foods like chocolate and dark leafy greens feed bacteroidetes.  Consuming sugar feeds firmicutes.

41:51 Impacts of Cooking Methods:  Dave approaches diet from an antiaging perspective.  We want grass fed meats because they have fewer antinutrients.  However, cooking meats over open flame cause fats to fall onto charcoal where they cause oxidized lipids that cause inflammation.  If you cook your foods at high temperatures, especially proteins and fats, they denature in such a way that your body is not able to reap many of the benefits.  Grilling, deep frying and microwaving your foods will make you weak compared to when you lightly cook or steam your food.  Dave often cooks his meat at lower temperatures in the oven with antioxidant spices, like turmeric, oregano and rosemary.  This is to reduce oxidized fats.

51:06 One Health Tip To Improve the Lives of Americans: It is vital for our children and our elderly that our bodies be able to burn both sugar and fat for fuel so we can help ourselves with diseases of aging and even things like autism.  The way Dave knows to do that is with the daily consumption of coconut and olive oil, such as in his Brain Octane Oil.  Get the right fats into our diets.


  1. Great video. I have on my frig an article "Deadly Carcinogen Found In Nuts and Seeds…..Even If They are Organic!" I got from Dr. Nan Fuchs along time ago about mold in the grains and nuts. She recommends you buy only prepackaged nuts, not from the bins. The same goes for grains too. She also recommends if you buy organic peanut butter, it should be preserved with sorbic acid. I have never seen peanut butter with that preservative. Bulk bin containers are filled from the top. You fill your bag from the bottom. That means you are getting the oldest food first, the food that has been sitting in the container the longest and you don't know how long the food has been sitting in the container or when it was last cleaned. I never knew about this until I read that article. She recommends if you are exposed to Alflatoxins to take a chlorophyll supplement. I like coffee but it doesn't like me so I started taking Pomexel that Dr. William Douglas sells. I love vodka and buy potato vodka because I am on a gluten free diet.

  2. Help, I can't understand the name of your website you said to go to for more info. & videos on leptin & lectins at about 34:36 – belly fat eat I did several searches & didn't find anything… can you post the link here? Thank you!!

  3. This was a great interview. I am inspired by both of you. I appreciate your role in this health revolution. This information is so valuable and pertinent and easily received when translated through your knowledge filters. Mike your an incredible host and conduct such great interviews, emphasizing the important take home messages and clarifying the complexities. I look forward to more. Thank you

Leave a Reply