#124: Vincent Pedre, MD- How Meditation, Antibiotics & Pets Affect Gut Health

by Mike Mutzel


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About Dr. Pedre

Dr. Vincent Pedre, medical director of Pedre Integrative Health, is a board-certified internist and a Functional Medicine–certified practitioner in private practice in New York City. Dr. Pedre’s integrative medical approach combines both Western and Eastern traditions. He is a clinical instructor at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine, and is also certified in yoga and medical acupuncture. His holistic philosophy is patient-centered and focuses on uncovering the root causes of illness to create long-term wellness. Dr. Pedre based his Gut C.A.R.E. Program on his own recovery from irritable bowel syndrome, becoming an expert on healing the body from the inside out with an emphasis on the gut microbiome. He believes the gut is the “seat of all health.” He is also the founder of Dr. Pedre Wellness, which offers health-enhancing programs, content and lifestyle products, dietary supplements, and weight loss programs. Dr. Pedre is a sought-after speaker at medical conferences around the world.

Connect with Dr. Pedre




Learn About Dr. Pedre's New Book

Happy Gut: The Cleansing Program to Help You Lose Weight, Gain Energy, and Eliminate Pain

Related Research Mentioned in this Interview

Stewardson, A. J., Gaïa, N., François, P., Malhotra-Kumar, S., Delémont, C., Martinez de Tejada, B., et al. (2015). Collateral damage from oral ciprofloxacin versus nitrofurantoin in outpatients with urinary tract infections: a culture-free analysis of gut microbiota. Clinical Microbiology and Infection, 21(4), 344.e1–344.e11.

Ownby, D. R., Johnson, C. C., & Peterson, E. L. (n.d.). Exposure to Dogs and Cats in the First Year of Life and Risk of Allergic Sensitization at 6 to 7 Years of Age. JAMA: the Journal of the American Medical Association, 288(8), 963–972. http://doi.org/10.1001/jama.288.8.963

Blum A, Balan SA, Scheringer M, Trier X, Goldenman G, Cousins IT, Diamond M, Fletcher T, Higgins C, Lindeman AE, Peaslee G, de Voogt P, Wang Z, Weber R. 2015. The Madrid statement on poly- and perfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs). Environ Health Perspect 123:A107–A111

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Show Notes

02:30 Multiple Microbiomes: We have multiple different adapted microbiomes and they vary depending upon the conditions under which they live. We are learning how this microbiome interacts with us, how it creates health, and how an imbalance creates disease.

3:21 Microbiome and our Minds: In animal studies, we find that the microbiome controls how our minds work. A mouse experiment took gut bacteria from risk taker mice and placed it in anxious mice, the anxious mice took on the bolder mice characteristics.

4:17 Directed Probiotics: Dr. Pedre thinks we are heading toward having probiotics directed at specific conditions. A patient of his was in urgent care in Sweden and was prescribed an antibiotic with a prescription of a probiotic that will protect the patient from the consequences of a decimated gut microbiome. The alteration of gut bacteria from antibiotics can last anywhere from 4 months to 12 months, though mouth bacteria can normalize in a week. The medicine of the future is going to take in consideration the effect of gut bacteria.

08:07 Probiotics and Antibiotics: Dr. Pedre will often put his patient on a probiotic while they are on the antibiotic, but dosed at a different time. He might temporarily increase the dose of the antibiotic when the patient is off the antibiotic.

09:01 Resistant Antibiotics: Different antibiotics affect the microbiome differently. Clindamycin causes a 4 month shift. Cipro caused a 12 month gut microbiome shift. Cipro is commonly prescribed for UTIs and gastroenteritis. Cipro with Flagyl is a favorite of GI doctors. It was used so often on gonorrhea that gonorrhea is resistant to Cipro and an injected antibiotic must be used. Because of the heavy use of antibiotics, 2 million Americans each year develop an antibiotic resistant infections. Out of those, 23,000 people die. Among the deadliest are C. diff (clostridium difficile, which has become resistant to both Flagyl and Vancomycin, but can be resolved within 48 hours with a fecal transplant.) CRE (Carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae infection) and neisseria gonorrhoeae. Today’s medicine attacks the microbiome with no regard or respect.

11:58 It’s Not Just About Diet: We are shifting from our sterile world where we think that germs are the enemy. Eat a diet that is varied in all different types of vegetables. It is what the microbiome uses to create short chain fatty acids, which are anti-inflammatory. Get dirty. Get out in nature. Eat a little dirt, without putting yourself in danger. Dr. Pedre puts some patients on a soil-based probiotic. Dr. Pedre calls his dog his Microbiome Reconstitution Assistant.

15:08 Are We Becoming Too Clean? It may be that our immune system is not encountering the different bugs that it needs to encounter in order to create tolerance. There is a worldwide increase in autoimmune disease. India used to have the lowest rates of autoimmunity in the world, but that is shifting as they become more westernized. Get a little dirty. Take you shoes off and walk on the ground. Get out in nature.

16:40 Soil Microbiome: There could be a billion organisms in just one tablespoon of soil. It is the soil’s microbiome. When glyphosate is sprayed on the soil, it acts as a chelating agent to starve weeds of minerals, but also kills and alters the microbiome in the soil, which we need to bind nitrogen and make into food that the plants use. The majority of the oxygen is made from small organisms like green algae and phytoplankton in the ocean, and even cyanobacteria.

18:39 The Gut C.A.R.E. Program: Dr. Pedre has a 360-degree approach to health. C is for a global cleanse, cleansing your diet, your kitchen, your water, your environment, your cookware and other ways toxins enter your life, and cleansing the mind of negative thoughts. The strongest way to cleanse you mind of negative thoughts is to find what you are grateful for. You cannot be negative and grateful at the same time. Dr. Pedre begins the day with yoga and meditation to set his intention for the day and ends his day with gratitude.

24:48 The Physical Gut and the Emotional Gut: Research has shown that gut flora impacts behavior. A probiotic supplement can help with depression, but Dr. Pedre embraces a holistic approach to treating depression, and other issues. It is not about one treatment, but how a great number of tools can work together to give optimal health.

27:03 Energy Blocks: People with digestive issues might have energy blocks. It is our digestion and assimilation. It is the way we take in the world, but it can also represent holding back. This is not science, but his empiric observation. According to many cultures, the seat of energy is below the navel. Meditation can be done with your eyes closed or open and focused on an object, but not judging the object. When Dr. Pedre focuses on the abdominal energy spot, he can bring heat there. The brain is a muscle and needs practice to be able to meditate. Your monkey brain is not only skipping around when you try to meditate, but throughout the day. Meditation helps you focus throughout the day. You have to find what style of meditation works for you. HeartMath biofeedback can help those of us who are meditation-challenged. You can train yourself to go to a quiet place in an instant.

34:57 Spirituality and Meditation Improves Gut Health: Dr. Pedre partnered with renowned yoga instructors who focus on organ-centered yoga and on mantras and chanting, to create yoga poses and breathing for the gut. They developed one yoga pose for each day of the week. Each has different benefits and different effects on the nervous system, as well as on the digestive system and digestive health. It tunes you into the rhythm of the body. A study found that people, who have disturbed circadian rhythms, also do not eat on a regular schedule. This creates a shift in the gut microbiome that promotes metabolic syndrome and weight gain. It is as though certain bacteria are expecting to be fed at a certain time of day.

40:03 Fat Soluble Toxins: Non-stick surfaces on cookware have flame retardants. Your food will pick up some of this when you cook. You will see it when you notice that the bottom of the pan is wearing away. Many of these chemicals are fat soluble, so they accumulate in our fat. The theory is, as you accumulate fat soluble chemicals, you gain weight so your body can sequester toxins into your fat. As you lose fat, you can put some of these chemicals back into circulation. It is best to detox as you lose weight. Dr. Pedre uses 360 Cookware.

44:40 Water: Dr. Pedre lives in New York City where you can smell the chlorine in the water. Chlorine will negative impact your thyroid. It competes for binding sites with iodine. In his book, he discusses water purification systems.

47:34 Detoxification: Fiber, like brown rice fiber and chlorophyll (dark leafy greens), binds to toxins to flush them out of the body. Green tea helps with the excretion of toxins. Combine nutrients together, like adding polyphenols like blueberries, pomegranate, raspberries and black berries.

49:56 Fiber and SIBO: With SIBO, one must be careful not to have too much fiber. For many, with SIBO sugar is a big issue. Is it the fiber in the diet? Is it fiber with not enough water? Is it the mix of soluble vs insoluble fiber? Is it really SIBO, or is it yeast overgrowth causing the symptoms? Or is it both yeast AND SIBO? Testing for yeast is limited and often diagnosis is a matter of exclusion. We eat too little fiber. Men should consume at least 35 grams per day and women should consume at least 25 grams per day. Most Americans eat between 10 and 15 grams per day of fiber. Today’s primitive cultures have a much greater biodiversity of gut bacteria than those of us on a western diet. Cutting fiber may be a temporary tool for some.

54:35 Finding Dr. Pedre Online: Check out http://www.happygutlife.com/ to learn about the book, see testimonials, learn about the cleanse, get recipes and find other resources on gut wellness and total body wellness.

  1. Mike-
    I love your show, and I really appreciate this summary of the content of the show.

    I have a suggestion/request, though. While all this basic information about the microbiome, the importance of fiber etc is valuable, I’m guessing that the average listener of a show such as yours is already aware of all of this. But what about all the people such as myself, who are unable to eat like this due to (diagnosed) SIBO. or other such problems? All these enthusiastic endorsements for kale&co just feel frustrating when it’s the very thing, along with other fibrous foods, that provoke the symptoms. I for one would appreciate interviews with practitioners who understand the importance of individualization – one diet/approach doesn’t work for everyone. I should know, I’ve tried them all :^).

    Similarity, I would caution healthcare practitioners and others not to project their own experiences onto others. Juts because some people do not tolerate what and dairy it doesn’t mean that these foods are the culprit behind everyone’s gastrointestinal problems. Finding success with something and projecting this onto everyone is a common, but very unscientific, way of looking at health.I bought the “wheat and milk are bad for everyone” thinking for over ten years. It made not an ounce of difference for me. I’m lactose tolerant due to my heritage and don’t notice any ill effects of dairy, and after adding wheat back to my diet (after a strict avoidance for 10 years) i notice no I’ll effects either. Actually, I haven’t felt as good in a long time as I did on a recent trip to Italy when I finally reintroduced wheat in order to be able to enjoy the local food.

    So to try to summarize I would be very grateful for interviews with practitioners that would go into greater detail about how people with gastrointestinal problems can reach that stage where they can actually tolerate the ideal diet (and yes, I have consulted with numerous practitioners, more and less known, including functional medicine practitioners). Simply telling people to eat fiber, plenty of greens etc only works for people who already enjoy good health. SIBO an other GI-disturbances are incredibly common, so I am probably not alone in looking for this type of information.

    Thanks again for a great show overall!

  2. Hello Mike: I appreciated this interview and Dr Pedre’s heart-felt instructions and considerations regarding the individual’s and the planet’s physical and spiritual “health”.
    On a different note, I would love to hear about cutting edge help and discoveries for people who are addicted to drugs and/or alcohol. Though I haven’t had this affect me personally, several people I know have children (some grown) who are very caught in addictions. Are there any treatments or studies involving gut bacteria and addictions with humans. I feel these people have many issues, but the urge is so strong – it feels like more involved than just brain pathways……maybe gut microbiome here too. ?

    • Hi Jill!

      Thanks for your kind feedback! Much appreciated.

      I have some folks lined up to chat about addictions; it’s a topic that needs to be addressed indeed. I”m confident microbes play a significant roll here, but I don’t know that the research has fully teased that out.

      Appreciate you insights and suggestions,


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