The Perfect Approach For A Child’s Healthy Gut, How To Help Your Body Make Its Own Natural Antidepressants, The Problem With Probiotics & More With Seed’s Raja Dhir.

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gut bacteria and its influence from birth
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Ever wondered if babies born via C-section are missing crucial gut bacteria? Discover the answer to this question and more as you journey through the intricate realms of gut flora and fermentation, uncovering their profound impact on your health and vitality. 

Today's show dives into the essence of probiotics — live organisms that bestow remarkable health benefits — and delves deep into how to improve and restore your (and your child's) gut health. 

Several years ago, I interviewed probiotic expert and Seed co-founder Raja Dhir in the show: “Dangerous Probiotic Myths, The Probiotic Ben Greenfield Uses, Anti-Aging Effects Of Probiotics, Should Males Vs. Females Take Different Probiotics & Much More.

Today, Raja's back.

A life sciences entrepreneur, Raja has unique expertise in translating scientific research, including scaling up both facultative and strict anaerobic organisms. He leads research and development, academic collaborations, manufacturing, technology development, and intellectual property strategy.

Raja has designed clinical trials with leading academic institutions including the teaching hospital of Harvard Medical School and the Trial Innovation Unit of Mass. General Hospital (MGH), and is actively developing technologies with academic labs for the oral microbiome (Harvard) and skin microbiome (UCLA).

Raja serves on the Board of Directors for the Microbiome Therapeutics Innovation Group (MTIG), an organization that works directly with the FDA on the regulation of microbe-based therapies. His work has been recognized in CNBC’s “Upstart 100,” TIME’s “2018 Best Inventions,” Forbes, Fast Company, BBC, TechCrunch, Barron's, Xconomy, Boston Business Journal, and Business Insider.

He also founded and oversees SeedLabs to develop novel applications for bacteria to solve complex ecological problems, most recently inventions to protect honeybee populations (Apis mellifera) from neonicotinoid pesticides and pathogen colonization.

Their consumer innovations are commercialized under Seed with a mission to bring much-needed precision, efficacy, education, and perspective-shifting science communication to the global category of probiotics. Founded to realize the potential of microbes, Seed platform enables the translation of breakthrough science across a portfolio encompassing both indication-specific and preventive applications for gastrointestinal and digestive health, women's health, skin and oral care, pediatrics, mental health, metabolic function, and nutrition.

Additionally, LUCA Biologics, Seed Health's biotech company co-founded with Dr. Jacques Ravel, develops living medicines targeting the vaginal microbiome for urogenital and reproductive health.

Join me and Raja as we bust myths and unearth the science behind optimal gut health, all through the lens of cutting-edge research and practical insights. Get ready to be enlightened, empowered, and inspired to optimize your own microbiome for peak performance and well-being.

During this discussion, you'll discover:  

-Who is Raja Dhir?…05:50

-What is a probiotic?…08:10

  • Probiotic: live microorganisms, which when administered in adequate amounts confer a health benefit on the host
  • Most off-the-shelf probiotic products use low-diversity strains

-Is it true that babies born via C-section have inadequate gut bacteria?…12:39

  • Seed article: “5 Microbiome Myths, Busted in 2023”
  • 3 factors to have an optimal gut microbiome
    1. Vaginal birth
    2. Breastfeeding
    3. No antibiotics
  • A perfect infant microbiome (2 to 3 weeks after birth) is dominated by Bifidobacterium infantis (B. Infantis)
    • B. Infantis does not allow potential pathogens to take hold — metabolizes human milk oligosaccharides (HMOs), which are essential prebiotics that promote the growth of beneficial bacteria in the infant's gut and support overall health and development
    • Trains the immune system to promote tolerance to conditions like allergies, asthma, and inflammation
  • The healthiest infants have guts dominated by B. infantis until diversification (introduction of foods)
  • B. infantis dominates the baby's guts when exclusively breastfed
  • Consumption of HMOs as an adult is not necessary when on a rich and varied diet
  • Seed article: “How Your Microbiome is Made — and How It Informs Your Lifelong Health”
  • HMO food sources:
    • All rough plant matter (fiber), fruits, vegetables, and tubers have versions of HMOs
    • Carbohydrates from plants mostly have saccharides
  • The carnivore diet does not provide any oligosaccharides

-Does the fermentation process applied to meat help with issues like inadequate fiber?…21:12

-Can a probiotic replace what you're missing when reducing fiber intake?…27:56 

-What is the difference between the pediatric and the adult synbiotic?…32:30

  • DS-01 is the adult synbiotic
    • 24-strain mixture
    • Multiple strains from within the same species — called transient probiotic consortia
    • Designed for adult consistent usage
  • Transient in the sense that they don't displace or alter the native microbiome in a healthy state

-Why take DS-01 if you have a healthy microbiome in the first place?…35:10

-Why should kids take Seed's pediatric product PDS-08?…39:10

  • PDS-08
    • Has a different composition and different outcomes
    • Has fewer strains, but also includes multiple strains from different strains of the same species
    • More redundancy
    • More diversity within individual species
  • Addresses pediatric constipation or regulates the GI system of children
    • One in three kids has pediatric constipation
  • Can start as early as three years old and continue as long as regulation of the GI system is a goal
    • Until kids can balance out carbohydrate and fiber intake

-From a microbiome standpoint, what should you feed a young human?…40:44

  • Has to do with the development of the gut and the brain
  • Exclusively breastfeed for at least four months (six months would be better)
  • Raja gave his son an inoculation of B. infantis at around 3 or 4 months
    • Raja works with and grows a lot of different strains
    • Took 2 or 3 strains of B. infantis and put it on the tip of his son's tongue right before he was breastfed
  • At diversification, you want to get carotenoids — a group of pigments found in plants, algae, and some bacteria — and N3 fatty acids
  • The mother should be taking very high doses of at least docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) — omega-3 fatty acids that are essential nutrients in human health
  • The mother should be eating a diversified diet of carotenoids
    • Carotenoids go directly into the eye and the brain, crossing the blood-brain barrier
  • Food sources rich in carotenoids
  • Raja is also getting his son polyphenols like blueberries and bilberries — most of the bright, relatively lower-sugar berries
  • Fish oil

-Why are natural anti-depressants in the body destroyed by an antibiotic regimen?…47:25

  • The microbiome has around 500 different neuroactive metabolites
  • Seed article: “How Gut Bacteria Help Your Body Produce ‘Natural Xanax'”
  • DS-01 should be started alongside the completion of a course of antibiotics
  • Susceptibility to heavy metal absorption when on antibiotics
  • Exposure to very small particles of plastic
    • 90% of microplastics you consume are in fish, water, and anything you eat that's heated
    • A lot of the small particles won't get absorbed if you have the right intact barrier that supports it
  • SeedLabs — bioremediation using organisms like bacteria
    • Ecological division of Seed
  • SeedLabs has considered microbial applications that relate to ecologies and certain environments, like:
    • Marine environments and diversity
    • Pollination environments
    • Waste degradation
    • Nutrient uptake
    • Symbiosis in marine ecosystems like densely populated coral reefs

-What is Seed's impact on bees and the work between bacteria and bees?…53:16

-How do you improve the vaginal microbiome?…57:17

  • The vaginal microbiome is quite unstable, but very stable when it is optimal
  • Lactobacillus crispatus — the hallmark of an optimal vaginal microbiome
    • Has anti-inflammatory benefits
    • Inhibits pathogens from existing
    • Associated with fertility and reduction of spontaneous pre-term birth
    • Promotes positive outcomes in STIs
  • IND (investigational new drug) approved by the FDA to study the composition of cervical cancer as a result of HPV
  • LUCA Biologics is developing a therapeutic product that could clear HPV
    • HPV is a very prevalent viral infection which is also learning to resist vaccines
  • The product would be a vaginal suppository

-Why is Seed's daily synbiotic a capsule within a capsule?…1:00:41

  • Human native strains sensitive to water and other plant materials
  • DS-01 — an inner capsule with all the probiotics and live organisms is put into an outer capsule filled with punicalagin-rich prebiotic polyphenol
  • Punicalagin, found in pomegranate, is a part of the ellagitannin family
  • Ben started taking DS-01 after discovering pomegranate in its profile

-What are the best practices for the daily synbiotic?…1:03:56

  • 2 a day as a daily regimen for maintenance
  • Ben takes 3 capsules a day
  • It has, for most, the same efficacy taken with meals or in a fasted state
  • Some can tolerate it better after a meal versus on an empty stomach
  • Raja threw up the first time he took it
  • Ben uses it when he travels; it's stable non-refrigerated
  • Probably the best-formulated probiotic
  • Seed (use code 25BEN to save 25% on your first purchase of Seed’s DS-01® Daily Synbiotic and PDS-08® Pediatric Daily Synbiotic)

-And much more…

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Click here for the full written transcript of this podcast episode.

Resources from this episode:

– Raja Dhir:

– Podcasts:

– Books:

– Other Resources:

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Do you have questions, thoughts, or feedback for Raja Dhir or me? Leave your comments below and one of us will reply!

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2 thoughts on “The Perfect Approach For A Child’s Healthy Gut, How To Help Your Body Make Its Own Natural Antidepressants, The Problem With Probiotics & More With Seed’s Raja Dhir.

  1. Derek says:

    My son was born vaginally via surrogate and she did not want to breastfeed / pump ; he’s had a sensitive tummy from day one (already allergy tested high for cow’s milk) so been giving him a hypoallergenic formula with HMO’s…wondering if you recommend any resources to provide him with the bifidobacterium you suggest on podcast?
    Many thanks!

  2. Glenn Thomas says:

    If someone has a food allergy, like gluten issues, would nuking with a antibiotic and then seeding help relieve that intolerance??

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