The Natural Evolution Podcast

Season 2

Episode 24

S2E24 – Balancing the Microbiome Through Innovative Methods

With a rich background in research, Microbiologist Kiran Krishnan co-founded Microbiome Labs with Dr. Tom Bayne. On the observation that numerous supplement companies had very little sufficient clinical data, Kiran set out to develop trials that were more accessible and relevant to the supplement industry. Eventually, he opened up the door to product development, and later, probiotics – which sprouted the company he supports today. Since then, they have reinvested operational profits into research. Subsequently this has raised the bar for other companies to follow suit in creating and believing in a product that makes sense, not just purely for profit. 

During this episode, Kiran dives into the approach his company uses – and why it makes sense. This includes discussions on their method of creating micro-fermentations, adding nutrients to substrates, and developing different enzymes, vitamins, and prebiotics necessary for a healthy gut microbiome. He helps us better understand how our microbiome plays a role in age-related degeneration while providing solutions to the symptoms and deficiencies created by the modern diet.

Learn more about the research, providers, and products behind Microbiome Labs here.

Head over to https://rebelhealthtribe.com/kit to get a free download of our loaded quick start guide to help you along your healing journey.  If you like us, subscribe, review, and share us with your friends, and come join our Rebel Health Tribe group on Facebook.

Listen to Episode #24

Kiran Krishnan is a Research Microbiologist and has been involved in the dietary supplement and nutrition market for the past 20 years. He comes from a strict research background having spent several years with hands-on R&D in the fields of molecular medicine and microbiology at the University of Iowa.
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About our Guest

Kiran Krishnan is a Research Microbiologist and has been involved in the dietary supplement and nutrition market for the past 20 years. He comes from a strict research background having spent several years with hands-on R&D in the fields of molecular medicine and microbiology at the University of Iowa.

He left University research to take several leadership positions in global companies in Business Development and Product Development. Most recently, Kiran is the General Manager for Novozymes One Health America & Microbiome Labs, a leader in microbiome and probiotic research. He is a frequent lecturer on the Human Microbiome at Medical and Nutrition Conferences. He is an expert guest on National Radio and Satellite radio and has been a guest speaker on several Health Summits as a microbiome expert. He is currently involved in over 18 novel human clinical trials on probiotics and the human microbiome. Kiran is also on the Scientific Advisory Board for 7 other companies in the industry. Kiran has published clinical trials in peer-reviewed, scientific journals and several global patents in his name.

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Podcast Transcript

Michael Roesslein: And we are live. And one of these days, I’m seriously going to start recording the pre-recording conversations, because I think that could be a whole other podcast.

Kiran Krishnan:

Totally.

Michael Roesslein:

I am here with our good friend, Kiran Krishnan. Welcome back.

Kiran Krishnan:

Hey Michael. Good to be back. Good to be back.

Michael Roesslein:

Yeah, a little different format this time. We don’t have a live audience. We don’t have Q and A. I don’t have to man a chat box. We don’t have a designated subject. For those in our audience who don’t know, I don’t even really know the title properly to use for you. You were chief science officer at Microbiome Labs. I believe you’re now CEO at Microbiome Labs, and you hold an office with Novozymes out of Denmark. Are you chief of North American operations? Did I get that right?

Kiran Krishnan:

Yeah. I head up all of North America’s business for Novozymes human health division, which is called One Health. Novozymes One Health. Novozymes is the largest enzyme producer in the world, and really underneath all of that, they are a massive biotech company. The enzymes are all derivative of the biotech research that they do. It’s amazing, the investment that they’ve made. They are a company that spends a much higher percentage of their total revenue on research than almost any other company out there.

Michael Roesslein:

It’s fun?

Kiran Krishnan:

Yeah. Oh my God. Yes. It’s like a nerds dream. You go there… We have in one of the facilities in Copenhagen, we’ve got… The thing that was impressive was these robots that you have in the lab that are so fun to watch because they do what we call high throughput screening. It’s like, what would take 10 researchers to do in an entire day, a robot can do it in two minutes, three minutes. That’s plating and samples around and all of that. You can do so many more experiments in a very short amount of time. It takes the researcher to design it, a programmer to program the robot, and then you release the robot and then they’re in these big boxes almost, if you will, sterile environments and the robots are just moving things around just super-fast and screening and plates and moving plates into incubators, doing all kinds of stuff. And you see-

Michael Roesslein:

I’m sure the scientist doesn’t miss doing all that stuff either.

Kiran Krishnan:

Exactly. And that’s all mundane [inaudible 00:02:29]

Michael Roesslein:

Because they just want to get to the point. They want to get to the result. They want to get to the thing. It’s moving that stuff all around and doing all of that, that’s not the fun part of the job.

Kiran Krishnan:

Not at all. And that used to be the stuff that you would try to get interns from the university and all that to come, and people that are low cost people that are trying to start off in science. It’s the grunt work in the research. And so it’s wonderful for them to be able to design a study, programming it in, leave it and let it go and then go and work on something else. And then I thought that was impressive. Then we go to the basement and in the basement, we have lasers. Lasers [inaudible 00:03:06] and you’re like, laser. Interesting. What are they doing with lasers?

Kiran Krishnan:

If anyone’s familiar with fermentation, fermentation typically occurs whether you’re doing it at home, which is happening in a mason jar where you’re fermenting things, or in the case of a factory, it’s happening in a big, huge 20,000 liter tank where you’ve put a bacteria in there, you’ve put some substrates in there, things for the bacteria to eat. And the hope is that, if you have the right bacteria, the right substrates, then you get certain byproducts out of it, whether it’s vitamins or enzymes and things that the bacteria’s making. Or, the whole point is to grow the bacteria and use that as a medium to grow the bacteria for probiotics.

Kiran Krishnan:

We have this capability of screening hundreds of thousands of microbes in little tiny fermentation systems that are the size of a single droplet of water. If we want to see, let’s take bacteria A and we’re like, what if we change the amino acid profile for the fermenter for bacteria A, let’s say we have 50 different variables we can alter. We can either, in the old fashioned way, have 50 different flasks in the lab with small tweaks to the fermentation media to see what the bacteria produces.

Kiran Krishnan:

Or, in this case with the laser, we can do a fermentation experiment in a single drop of water and using a laser, we can beam into that water droplet, nutrients that we want to study that may cause an impact on the fermentation media. You see this machine shooting little drops of water and each drop of water has one bacteria in it and has substrates in it for the bacteria to ferment. And then it goes by this laser and the laser will shoot an active ingredient into it. Let’s say it’s a B vitamin, or it’s a vitamin K or it’s salt or something like that. It shoots something into it, and then you can create millions of fermentation variables in a very short amount of time. I mean, it’s absolutely insane.

Michael Roesslein:

This can get out of control. I pictured Dr. Evil, but this is actually good.

Kiran Krishnan:

Exactly. It’s good [inaudible 00:05:22].

Michael Roesslein:

Lasers and I didn’t know you could deliver nutrients with lasers. Does that mean at some point human beings could receive supplementation via laser?

Kiran Krishnan:

It could be. You could stand in front of a thing and it could beam you with all kinds of stuff to increase your intake of things. The technology-

Michael Roesslein:

It’s on the podcast in 2041.

Kiran Krishnan:

Exactly. Episode 17 million will be on laser nutrition.

Michael Roesslein:

You get all your vitamins and you get a tan. You’re talking about microbes, you’re talking about enzymes and you started with MegaSpore, that’s the probiotic that a lot of our audience is familiar with. Now, most of the world of people who are into functional medicine, integrative health, are familiar with it. Changed the landscape on probiotics. I know that when we first found out about it and started chatting, you guys were, I think, three or four people in a very small little office trying to sling boxes of MegaSpores together and I was trying to manually order them for people through PayPal and we did webinars about it. And now, you’ve got tens of thousands of practitioners using the product worldwide.

Michael Roesslein:

It really led to the growth of Microbiome Labs as a company and as a brand and allowed you to get fun and creative with some new formulas and new products and rapid fire, really, the last couple years. It was slow goings at the beginning. I remember MegaQuinone came out and then yeah, I think it was Mucosa or Mega Prebiotic, but those were the first few. And then now, I can’t even keep up. Last time I had you on a webinar, I found out 12 hours before the webinar that there were two new products that I didn’t even know about, was the PyloGuard and the MegaMetallic. And so now I’m guessing with that crazy laboratory and tools and all of the things that you guys have over there, that’s not really going to slow down.

Michael Roesslein:

And so I’d like to talk a little bit about that journey, I guess, and we shared it. We did an interview a couple summers ago where you shared the story of why you created MegaSpore, and it’s because you saw the research behind these Bacillus species of probiotics and you didn’t see anybody on the market really doing it really well, and you thought there was a huge potential there so you created that. And I’ve noticed that with the creation of these products, it always just fills a void or a hole, and where there are products that are really good in some areas, you guys just don’t make one, because there’s really good stuff out there. And it’s just looking at, where are the gaps in the gut healing, health support, microbiome digestion world, and how can they be filled? And I mean, is that an accurate description of how you came up with some of those formulas?

Kiran Krishnan:

Yeah, absolutely. Our philosophy from day one has been that if somebody else does it well, we’re not going to get into it. They’re doing it already, there’s no reason for us to do it. Especially with this whole idea that things that are hot and every supplement company jumps into. Collagen is hot, so everyone wants to launch a collagen product. To me, there’s so many good collagen products out there. Pick one of those. There’s no reason for us to get into it. We exist to solve problems. And if something’s not a problem, then we shouldn’t be involved in it. And for us, the way we look at problems is we consider therapeutic gaps. When we look at how a doctor treats a patient or the types of conditions they’re dealing with, and when we look at disease pathology, we go, okay, we can solve this problem, this problem, but there’s still a big gap here that we don’t have a tool for.

Kiran Krishnan:

And then the first thing we do when we identify a gap is we look to see if somebody else has a tool. If somebody else has a tool, we’re happy to recommend that and talk about that tool. But if there isn’t a tool out there, then that’s where we see that as an opportunity to solve a problem. And so, you’re absolutely right in that when you look at a lot of our products, and eventually what will happen, is they’ll start fitting into protocols for different conditions, because then we’ll have enough tools that cover enough pathologies that allow us to create more of a protocol like approach. Until that point, they’re all individual tools that do somewhat specific things. Some of them are rather broad, but some of them do very specific things to fill a therapeutic gap.

Kiran Krishnan:

We’re unique in that way, because now with the whole partnering with Novazymes, we’re the only company in our space that’s completely vertically integrated. Meaning, we develop all our own technologies. We manufacture them, we study them, and then we do full finished products as well. Most of our competitors are companies that formulate with ingredients and technologies from other people, which is fine, but we’re the only ones that have the capability to develop technology.

Michael Roesslein:

So they go get their ingredients over there and over there and over there and put the things together and source it that way, where you guys are making the ingredients, making the technologies that make the ingredients, so it’s from idea to creation of the ingredients, to putting the product together, to sending it out is all one organization.

Kiran Krishnan:

It’s all one and of course, investing in a clinical researcher along the way to prove that the products work or do something. It’s a different, we’re a very different kind of supplement company. And we set out to be different from the beginning. I mean, the world didn’t need another supplement company. The world didn’t need somebody else to come out with their own version of vitamin D or their own version of vitamin C. There’s plenty of those options out there. But we saw from the beginning, significant gaps in the therapeutic landscape for people to get better. And that became our sole focus, was how do we make people better? How do we empower them and give them the tools that they need? And then we primarily work through healthcare practitioners because we think that it’s really important for people, especially if they’re not the type that are just, oh, I feel fine and I’m well, and I’m just trying to be the best version of myself, but the people who are suffering.

Kiran Krishnan:

The people that are dealing with conditions, they can use supplements. They can use natural medicine, they can use functional medicine, but you should do it under the guidance of someone who’s a professional in that space, versus just trying to piecemeal things together by yourself and figure it out. That’s why we supported the healthcare practitioners to begin with and obviously, that’s how we met as well, because you were in that space helping people.

Michael Roesslein:

Yeah, and we’ve done so much education around the products. I feel like I could, if I needed to, I could switch careers and become a rep for you guys because I know all the answers to all the questions on all the products, because we’ve done so much education on them, and that was because we want people to make informed decisions. We want them to know what they’re doing. We want them to understand. And a lot of practitioners have learned through our stuff that we’ve done with you as well, and then they reach out to us. We send them to you guys and because at the beginning, I mean, you didn’t have tons of educational stuff. Now you guys have a ton of stuff on the site. But I think a lot of practitioners were watching our interviews for a while there and that’s where they were getting the learn on.

Michael Roesslein:

And so that grew my network of practitioners too, because in the functional medicine space, they’re like, you’re the guy that does the Microbiome webinars. And I’m like, well, Kiran does the Microbiome webinars. I’m just there, but yeah. And then it’s been cool to watch. And now, I know you do a lot more speaking now and speak at a lot of conferences and conventions and do hundreds of thousands of airplane miles and took a break for a little bit due to the pandemic, but if you haven’t, if you’re listening to this and you haven’t checked it out, we’re going to have… It’ll be up probably in mid-July.

Michael Roesslein:

We’re rebuilding the whole site and we’re going to have a searchable video library in addition to all of the blog content and everything, because we have so many videos over the years. Right now it’s actually hard to find them all on the site, so we’re organizing them, categorizing them, searchable. It’s going to be like a YouTube of gut videos and Microbiome and health things. So if you’re listening to this, go check that out.

Michael Roesslein:

And the MegaSpore has been transformative for tons of people and you guys created the Mega Prebiotic, which is interesting, because there are a lot of prebiotic products on the market. And so people ask us too, what’s the difference and why can’t I just take Inulin? And I say, how you feel when you take Inulin, or one of those other fibers? And they’re like, bloated. Or resistant starch, they’ll read an article about resistant starch, so then they’ll go eat a bunch of cold rice or whatever, I think that’s resistant starch.

Kiran Krishnan:

Plantains, yeah.

Michael Roesslein:

And then plantains, yeah. Green plantains, which man. I love plantains, not green plantains. And then they get bloated and they feel terrible and then they write off prebiotics. And that’s where your guys’ product is different. Can you talk about that just a minute?

Kiran Krishnan:

Yeah, and every product has a big why to it. When we first start thinking about a product, we have to answer that question to ourselves as to why will this product exist? And if there isn’t a compelling answer and that’s not an economic answer, then we won’t do it. And when we looked at prebiotics, we realized very quickly that number one, prebiotics are critically important for a big issue with the microbiome, which is diversity. And then the second issue with most people’s microbiome is the lack of production of short chain fatty acids. There’s so many disease states that can be tied back to a inadequate production of short chain fatty acids.

Kiran Krishnan:

Our gut has been designed by nature and through the course of evolutions to have this critical signaling molecule called short chain fatty acids, butyrate, propionate, and acetate, that controls metabolic processes, immunological processes, neurological processes. And the reason we’ve outsourced so much of it to the function of short chain fatty acids is because nature never thought that there would exist a day where mammals didn’t have fermentation occurring in their bowel adequately. And so here’s this post biotic that’s so important, and then there are diversity issues within the microbiome where we’re reducing diversity-

Michael Roesslein:

And post biotic, you mean the thing made by the bugs, right?

Kiran Krishnan:

Exactly. Yeah. Now, there’s a second new definition for post biotics as well, which is dead bacteria.

Michael Roesslein:

[inaudible 00:16:23] a response.

Kiran Krishnan:

That elicit a response indeed. Even though they’re dead, they’re acting like a metabolic response modifier. But when I’m saying post biotics, you’re right. It’s the byproducts made by bacteria in the gut itself. These are critical nutrients that we need to function, but we cannot get directly from our diet. And there’s lots and lots and lots of those in nutrients. So when we looked at prebiotics, we’re like, okay, the biggest problem we see is the intolerance of prebiotics, and that’s why people don’t take enough of it. The other problem we see is the lack of specificity in prebiotics, because a lot of people who make prebiotic supplements are using the cheapest sources of prebiotics and fibers, things like cilium husk and so on. I mean, you can buy that stuff by the tanker load for almost nothing.

Kiran Krishnan:

And so we’re like, that is a problem because it’s not providing people with tolerance, the ability to utilize a prebiotic. And then it’s not also providing people with enough specificity for certain groups of microbes within the gut that will increase short chain fatty acids and all that. We created a category we call precision prebiotics, and the idea was to identify oligosaccharide based prebiotics. And I’ll explain why that’s important. Oligosaccharide based prebiotics that specifically feed certain groups of good bacteria. We also saw an issue, if you have more general prebiotics, if your gut is dysfunctional, you could very well be feeding the dysfunctional bacteria as well as you feed any good bacteria, because most general prebiotics are general bacterial food that many different classes of bacteria can consume. We said-

Michael Roesslein:

Which is why most of the people that talk to us will say they feel terrible when they consume prebiotics.

Kiran Krishnan:

Totally. Yeah.

Michael Roesslein:

Especially if they have a upper bowel SIBO overgrowth situation, right?

Kiran Krishnan:

Yep. A hundred percent. And that’s because what the non-beneficial bacteria will do with prebiotics or fiber, is they’ll convert them to problematic ingredients like hydrogen sulfide, ammonia, methane, all of these other things. They’ll convert it to gas rather than to short chain fatty acids. What we want to do is say, okay, is there a category of prebiotics that is much more precise and is designed to only feed good bacteria that will convert them to short chain fatty acids? And sure enough, oligosaccharides play that role. Oligosaccharide are important from day one. Mother’s milk contains over 200 different types of oligosaccharides. So that’s often the baby’s first food and the baby can’t digest any of these oligosaccharides for energy. It’s all there purely to seed the microbes in the baby’s gut, the newly forming microbiome. Oligosaccharides are super important prebiotics from the first moment you’re born and they continue to be incredibly important and they continue to be able to shape the microbiome.

Kiran Krishnan:

So we didn’t see any properly formulated, precision probiotic, oligosaccharide products out there that should provide tolerance for people that don’t normally tolerate fiber and prebiotics that should drive diversity, and equally importantly, should increase short chain fatty acids. And so that’s why we formulated Mega Pre with four different, highly specific prebiotics that only feed beneficial keystone bacteria, and that lead to increased diversity and increased short chain fatty acid production. And to no surprise to us, but surprise to a lot of people, people with upper GI issues tolerate it very well. They can consume the Mega Pre without all of the disruption to their system and discomfort. Another product born out of necessity because it’s solving a big, big problem, and that’s the lack of diversity and lack of short chain fatty acid production.

Michael Roesslein:

Yeah, and I’d like to just say, if you do react really strongly to fibers and prebiotics and things like that, definitely start low with it, but we have seen challenging people do pretty well. Even some diagnosed SIBO folks that are able to tolerate that. And I like how you mentioned that never was there a time where mammals did not consume things that were causing the fermentation in the gut and now our diet has become so simplified. It was one of the first webinars we ever did. I remember you had numbers for it, but it was how many varieties of foods the average American actually consumed. And the answer that they would give when they were asked was actually way higher than what the number actually was that they eat. And people were usually stunned to figure out how few ingredients or foods that they actually eat. And then what anthropologists will say that our ancestors actually ate as far as variety, and it was like going from hundreds of things to nine. Or, I don’t know. Some ridiculously small number.

Kiran Krishnan:

Yeah. The estimation is that through the course of human evolution, humans typically consumed around 600 different types of foods annually and that’s seasonal eating and so on. You only eat things that are available during that season, which also indicates that there is some seasonality to the microbiome, but we don’t experience that anymore, because we can get almost anything at any time. But then yes, when you look at the average American, they’re really eating 10, 12 different types of foods because there are basically four or five staples. Corn, soy, wheat, that make up the base of most foods that people eat. And then now in the gluten free world, it’s expanded a little bit, fortunately. There’s more use of rice. There’s more use of things like casaba and so on, but still, the average person really doesn’t eat a very diverse diet and our microbiomes were built on diversity in food.

Kiran Krishnan:

This is an important evolutionary lesson, in fact. One of the key steps in the evolution of species, when you think about, everything’s stemming from single cell organisms. Every living animal out there, insect, arthropod, whatever category of living thing you look at, they all stem from a single cell organism. And then how a single cell organism diversified into all of these different types of living organisms is a good complex evolutionary biology study. But an important aspect of that is the evolution of mammals and the movement of mammals up the evolutionary ladder and up the food chain. And the definitive development in mammals is the creation of a large fermentative base in the GI tract.

Kiran Krishnan:

Many simpler forms of animals like, arthropods and crustaceans and all that, they don’t have these fermented bases, so they are limited in the types of compounds they can produce in their bodies. When you take a mammal that has incorporated hundreds of trillions of microbes into their system, and then you feed those microbes with a huge variety of food, which the host, us humans, can’t absorb and break down, all of that food is going into the microbial fermentative base. And then the microbial fermentative base converts that into compounds that we have learned to use for important functions. And those compounds become critically important at the cellular level for human function.

Kiran Krishnan:

I’ll give you one good example of that. We’ve talked about this on some of the webinars, we’ve done urolithins. Urolithins are these critically important compounds that dictate the health of our cells because they initiate processes like mitophagy, which is the removal of damaged mitochondria and replacing it with new mitochondria. Mitochondria are the little powerhouses of each cell. And age related degeneration and age related disease formation is directly associated with damaged mitochondria and damaged cells and the inability to recover it.

Kiran Krishnan:

And so in order to age properly and keep at bay disease and age related degeneration, you have to be able to repair your mitochondria on a regular basis. So at the most fundamental level, at our cellular level, being human, and being a healthy human, is defined by the ability of your cells to regenerate their engines, and we’ve outsourced that stimulus to a bacterial byproduct. So if you think about how crazy and important that connection is, at the fundamental level of cellular function for humans, we have our mitochondria and we have to be able to remove damaged mitochondria, replace it with functional mitochondria, and if we don’t, our bodies degenerate and we end up with disease. And the signal and the compound that’s critical for doing that comes from microbes that live in your gut.

Kiran Krishnan:

We’ve got this beautiful symbiosis where we say, okay, you can live in our gut and our immune system will tolerate you, but you have to produce this compound in return. And so loss of that type of symbiosis and loss of functionality within that fermentative base is a big driver of modern day disease formation. And so that’s why it’s almost understating to say that it’s crazy to think that we’ve compromised this fermented base because it’s one of the most important aspects of our functionality. It’s an organ system that’s equally important to almost any other organ in our body.

Michael Roesslein:

It’s like it’s own endocrine system, but it doesn’t just make a hormone. It makes nutrients and hormones and metabolites and vitamins and enzyme and so it’s, yeah. Wow. I didn’t expect to be taking notes and I’m writing it on the back of a receipt right now, because that’s all that I had on my desk, but it says, mitochondrial repair process, bacteria byproduct does this, get the name, write an article symbiotic relationship. So there’s going to be a blog post that comes out of that little story on our site, I’ll be following up.

Kiran Krishnan:

Yeah [inaudible 00:27:17] is a beautiful example of what we call symbiogenesis. Symbiogenesis is the forced development of relationships between different species and different organisms because they’re forced to live in the same proximity. And over time, every living organism, whether you’re a plant or bacteria or virus or human, realizes that collectively, you have a better chance of surviving than as an individual. And so biology is designed to find symbiotic overlaps and urolithin is a perfect thing. Are these bacteria, if we give them a place to live and we tolerate them, they will in turn, provide us with some of the most basic compounds to make our cells work. And it’s a beautiful relationship.

Michael Roesslein:

And that’s a micro scale. On a macro scale, I think of the clown fish and the poison little things in the water that they hang out in and the things, it doesn’t sting them. They don’t get killed by it, but it lures in other fish that thing gets to eat totally. Or the little fish that stick on the sharks or the…

Kiran Krishnan:

Yeah, the pilot fish. Yep.

Michael Roesslein:

There’s so many different examples of this and humans think we don’t fit that and that there’s us and everything else and I think we need to change that perspective a little bit, but. And you mentioned diversity a lot and it’s the diversity of the diet, the diversity of the microbes, a healthy diversity of this. And that’s why just the last thing I want to touch on before we go, is that when people ask me, oh, you guys, I learned about MegaSpore or you guys or whatever, but it doesn’t have this and this and this bacteria in it that we want to populate in our gut. It doesn’t have any lactobacillus, it doesn’t have any bifidobacteria. And those are the ones I want to populate, or it doesn’t have the acromancia.

Michael Roesslein:

I saw there’s a new probiotic on the market, there’s an acromancia product and it costs like a zillion dollars. It was like a hundred and something dollars a bottle for 30 servings. And it doesn’t have this and it doesn’t have this, but I don’t even see Bacillus species as the ones that need to colonize the gut, so why is this even a probiotic? And then I have to go back and I think I have it down pretty much word for word now, but it’s all about creating the environment in which there’s the healthy diversity where these types of metabolites and others that we need are being created. The spores, the Bacillus spores that are in MegaSpore and HU 58 and the probiotics you guys make, it’s not about these organisms colonizing the gut themselves. It’s about what they do when they get there and it’s about creating an environment that more resembles what our original microbiome environment would be. Right?

Kiran Krishnan:

Yeah. Yeah. That’s exactly right. I mean, they are facilitators of diversity in the microbiome. It’s a misnomer to think that we can somehow supplement with the probiotic that directly imparts diversity by colonizing different strains. And again, this is a lot of ideas that came up before people really understood the microbiome. And I’ll still get that question from very qualified doctors. And so, but just don’t understand the basics of it. When you look at a probiotic, let’s say you’ve got a probiotic in hand and it’s got 15 different lactobacillus species in it. And then it’s got two or three different bifidobacteria species and you go, well, that’s a diverse probiotic and that’s the kind of thing I need to take to increase diversity. Well, that’s not true because when you look at lactobacilli, as important as it is in the microbiome, it makes up about 1% of the total microbiome organisms. Even if you’re getting every single relevant micro lactobacilli organism out of a bottle, you are only impacting less than 1% of the total microbiome. What about the other [inaudible 00:31:23]?

Michael Roesslein:

You would never know that if you paid attention to the probiotic market. You would think that our gut is made up of about 48% bifidobacterium and 48% lactobacillus.

Kiran Krishnan:

Totally. Yeah. And there was a time where people actually believed that. And the reason is because before we had this sequencing technology, where you can actually use genomic sequencing to identify what was there or what is there, we only had plating technology. And I remember doing this because this is one of the things that we were doing at university in early microbiology studies, is you basically swab, either you swab your butt or you take a stool sample and you start plating it. And the problem is, 98, 99% of the microbes that show up in your stool cannot be plated. Most of them are anaerobic. They can’t grow in an oxygen rich environment. You’ll end up with seven, eight species that are growing and lactobacilli are one of those that can be facultative, meaning they can grow in oxygen and non oxygen.

Kiran Krishnan:

For a long time, as you keep plating your stool, you go, wow, there’s tons of lactobacilli in here. That must be the predominant species in the gut. As it turns out, when you use genomic sequencing, you go, nope. It makes up 1% or less. And so, we have to change our ideology. We cannot supplement with enough probiotics to increase diversity in that way. That’s why we went to fecal transplants, because fecal transplants really saw its heyday with C. diff. The whole idea of people who had chronic C. diff is that they had diversity issues that’s allowing this opportunistic pathogen to take over and cause problems. The idea is, let’s crowd it out.

Kiran Krishnan:

They started the first experiments on C. diff, and with regards to the microbiome was using probiotics, oral probiotics. They were using a trillion CFU doses in oral probiotics. 25 different lactobacilli species, bifidobacteria and so on. They couldn’t make a dent in it because those things, they’re not changing the diversity directly. They figured that the only way you can get enough bacterial load into the system to impact diversity, if that’s the route you’re taking, is to take human poop, concentrate the bacteria so there’s literally trillions of bacteria in the sample and then go in and then even then, they realized going into the oral cavity didn’t work, so they had to go the other route. So you [inaudible 00:33:59]

Michael Roesslein:

Capsules by the way, if anybody just threw up in their mouth.

Kiran Krishnan:

Yeah. In capsules. Yes. But still gross when you think about it. [inaudible 00:34:06]

Michael Roesslein:

No, we’ve gotten that question in the chat a couple times. What do you mean oral? But the fecal transplants have had… I mean, there are people in our community that have had awesome results with it. It’s difficult to find it done in a safe and responsible way. There’s not very much predictability with it. And some people don’t get great results with it, some do. You told us a couple crazy stories about people’s… Some things changing in people that you would never think. What was it? What was the crazy…?

Kiran Krishnan:

The biggest one was the weight change. One very well known case. And the point there is that you can’t impart diversity through supplementation with probiotics, if your goal is to implant those probiotics into the gut and create diversity. You’d have to literally take a probiotic that has 150 different species, maybe 50 different geneses in it, and you’d need trillions of those [inaudible 00:35:04] to do that.

Michael Roesslein:

And like 50 trillion. You’d have to eat a dump truck of it.

Kiran Krishnan:

Totally. And that’s hence the whole… That’s why they said, Hey, probiotics aren’t doing this. Let’s do the fecal transplant instead, which does have trillions of organisms. But the interesting story there is because the microbiome imparts so much information, genetic information, into the person, that even though you’re trying to solve one problem like C. diff, you’re not really sure what else you’re bringing to the table. And that one very famous case that they wrote a number of articles about was a lady that had, I think, pretty bad. I think it was colitis that she had, or some form of inflammatory bowel condition, but she was an athlete. She was really lean. She came from an athletic family. And so she always had this GI issue.

Kiran Krishnan:

So then they found a donor that did not have that problem, did a fecal transplant to her. It made the problem better. She didn’t have the same inflammatory conditions, but in the first 30 days, she started putting on weight for the first time in her life. She didn’t change anything about her diet, her exercise routine, and all that. She just started getting overweight. And then they realize that the donor that gave the samples has always been overweight. So they imparted obesity onto this fit, athletic lady, who’s never dealt with weight before. They did it through the microbiome. And there’s been many of those actual studies on dis coordinate twins. Identical twins where one twin is obese and one twin is lean. What they’ve done is they would take the obese microbiome and put it in a mouse. And then they take the lean microbiome, put it in the same kind of mouse. And then no matter what they feed the mouse, the mouse with the obese microbiome will always gain weight, and the mouse with the lean microbiome will always stay lean.

Kiran Krishnan:

And so, at the end of the day, when you look at diversity, the proper way to impact diversity is to change the terrain. And that’s what the spores do. The spores change the landscape to allow for the growth of multiple species. Now, when we say diversity, there is also a common misnomer. People think that they don’t have the species at all in the microbiome. It doesn’t exist. But you could have it, but it’s at such a low number where it’s not functional at all. But if you change the environment, you start to see that organism start to come back. And so, because of that, we can actually increase the number of viable organisms in someone’s microbiome by just changing the ecosystem. And so that’s one of the key things that we do with MegaSpore. And then Mega Pre basically doubles that effect, and then the Mega Mucosa, which is part of the total gut restoration, helps rebuild that mucosal lining, which is another therapeutic gap that we sell.

Michael Roesslein:

Yeah. I wanted to get to that, but we’re out of time. The spores though, yeah. That’s why we’ve seen such a wide range of, do you think it could be the MegaSpore? Which the first thing was my mother-in-law’s pet allergies she’s had her whole life went away. And she called me crying because she was able to pet a dog for the first time in 15 years and she loves animals. And she’s like, do you think that could be the probiotic? And I said, I don’t think so, but let me find out. And then we had a phone call and then we had a podcast and then we did a million webinars and here we are. But thank you for that explanation. Very interesting. I’ve heard a story about somebody’s eyesight or some other really weird thing changing after a fecal transplant too. [inaudible 00:38:34]

Kiran Krishnan:

No, one was a… That could happen. I could see that happening. Another very famous case was someone’s gate. This person had a really-

Michael Roesslein:

Started walking differently.

Kiran Krishnan:

[inaudible 00:38:47] walking gate. Yeah. It was almost like a palsy gate, and that’s not why they had the fecal transfer. They had it for other reasons. And it completely corrected their walking gate, which is crazy. And there’s a lot of-

Michael Roesslein:

That means there’s a nervous system component to it then too, the microbiome and the nervous system. All right, we could talk crazy facts for a million hours. I know you’re busy. You got to run. I appreciate the time. It’s always fun to connect. I didn’t expect to take notes from a podcast that I didn’t think we were teaching anything, but I have notes and new ideas. Microbiomelabs.com is your company’s website. If you’re a practitioner and you want to check out the products and fill all these gaps and use them in your practice, go there, get an account set up. You guys have distributors in the UK. I know you’re working with others in Europe now, too. And so it’s much easier for practitioners around the world to get the products.

Michael Roesslein:

We’ve got a ton of educational stuff. Check out the video library on our site and our blog and everything, just search around. We have tons of webinars and videos and tons of education around that. And so thank you very much. Always super fun to connect. I want to go check out this laser beam, so if laypersons are allowed in that area, I need to make a trip to Copenhagen while you’re going to be there and we can film these bots, experiment doing robots and laser beams. And I might volunteer to be the first one to try to receive B vitamins via laser. Next podcast, you’ll see me get zapped with a laser in Denmark. Thanks a lot, Kiran. It’s always fun. We’ll connect soon.

Kiran Krishnan:

Thank you.