Everything You Need To Know About Healing Your Gut, Mood, Energy, Libido & Sleep With A Little Known Bacterial Strain (& An Amazing DIY Yogurt Recipe!) With Dr. William Davis, Author of Super Gut.

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Body, Diet & Nutrition, Digestion, Podcast, Podcast-new, Recovery & Sleep

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I first became familiar with the brilliant Dr. William Davis and his impressive body of work when I interviewed him for an episode about heart attacks way back in 2009.

Later, he joined me for a podcast about his book “Wheat Belly,” in which we discussed why you're not eating the same kind of wheat your ancestors ate, whether wheat bread is really better than white bread, if wheat is ever OK to eat and if so, when, and good substitutes and alternatives for wheat.

Today, Dr. William Davis is back to discuss his new book Super Gut: A Four-Week Plan to Reprogram Your Microbiome, Restore Health, and Lose Weight. In Super Gut, Dr. Davis takes his research and findings a step further and shows that because of highly-processed diets, pesticides, and overuse of antibiotics, it's likely that your gut is missing many good bacteria required to be healthy. The result is a loss of control over health, weight, mood, and even behavior.

The ancient bacteria that keep your gut in alignment and your digestion easy have been dying off, replaced by harmful microbes that don’t serve to keep you physically healthy and mentally fit. With cutting-edge research, Dr. Davis has connected the dots between gut health and modern ailments and complaints. There are entire species of microbes that have disappeared, creating health issues that were uncommon one hundred, or even fifty, years ago. A major consequence is SIBO (Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth). This silent and profound epidemic affects one out of three people and is responsible for an astounding range of human health conditions.

Super Gut teaches you how to eliminate bad bacteria and bring back the missing “good” bacteria with a four-week plan to reprogram your microbiome. The program is based on research and techniques that not only get to the root of many diseases but improve levels of oxytocin (the bonding/happy hormone), brain health, and promote anti-aging, weight loss, mental clarity, and more restful sleep. Super Gut explains the science clearly and includes more than forty recipes, a diet plan, and resources so you can pinpoint your gut issues, correct them, and maintain your long-term health and well-being. Dr. Davis provides solutions to health problems by addressing the microbiome, massively disrupted in modern people. He shows readers in his Super Gut book, for instance, how to restore important lost microbes such as Lactobacillus reuteri, restored by using a unique method of yogurt fermentation that smooths skin and reduces wrinkles, restores youthful muscle and strength, deepens sleep, reduces appetite, and provides many other youth-preserving and anti-aging effects. He also provides do-it-yourself-at-home strategies for benefits such as improved mood, improved athletic performance, better sleep, heightened immunity, and improved body composition.

Dr. William Davis is responsible for exposing the incredible nutritional blunder made by “official” health agencies: Eat more “healthy whole grains.” Today's wheat is different from the wheat of 1960, thanks to extensive genetic manipulations introduced to increase yield-per-acre. Eliminating wheat yields results beyond everyone's expectations: substantial weight loss, correction of cholesterol abnormalities, relief from inflammatory diseases like arthritis, better mood, and reduced blood sugar, with many type 2 diabetics being freed of insulin and other drugs. Dr. Davis articulates his theories and solutions in his Wheat Belly series of books. He is also a champion of individual self-directed health, as discussed in his Undoctored book.

In this episode, you'll discover:

-The key to healthy bacteria and how Dr. Davis assesses and repairs gut issues…6:30

  • Conventional medicine ignores the negative effects of antibiotics (amoxicillin and penicillin, etc.) affecting the microbiome and says nothing about how to rebuild
  • How different biotics impact the gut, brain health, and cognitive performance
  • Stanford study by Justin and Erica Sonnenburg:
  • Fermented foods like fermented vegetables, kefir, kombucha, and yogurt contain microbes that restore other healthy microbes
  • Microbes like Pediococcus Pentosaceus sets the stage to allow other healthy microbes to persist
  • Fermentation of foods (controlled rotting process) that is good for human health was sidelined with the invention of home refrigeration
  • Viome

-What is L. reuteri and why focus on it?…11:12

  • The lost microbe, L. reuteri
  • L. reuteri is susceptible to antibiotics; mass kill-off of our healthy microbes
  • Effects of modern-day antibacterial
  • Indigenous diets vs. modern diets; indigenous populations and wild animals still have the microbe, while most western populations have lost L. reuteri
  • Oxytocin
  • L. reuteri promotes a surge of oxytocin production, which positively affects:
    • Mood and REM sleep
    • Restoration of muscle and skin
    • Bone density and acceleration of healing
    • Suppression of appetite for snacking
    • Increased libido and testosterone production
  • L. reuteri and cancer
  • BioGaia

-Dr. Davis' reaction when told he cannot make yogurt with L. reuteri…16:15

-How do you make yogurt?…24:55

  • Started with 2 BioGaia strains (DSM 17938 and ATCC PTA 6475)
  • The only strain not used is the 30242 (UAL-RE16)
  • L. reuteri resides in the entire GI tract and produces bacteriocins, natural antibiotics effective against stool microbes like E. coli and Klebsiella (SIBO)
  • AIRE SIBO device breath tester registers hydrogen gas; works for testing SIBO
  • Dr. Aonghus Shortt – developer of AIRE
  • SIBO yogurt recipe
  • Tests in clinical labs capture breath in a vial and tested maybe hours later leads to false negatives
  • Are there ways to combine microbiome to apply effects?
  • BioGaia strains still available on Amazon
  • Only 5 strains are tested at a time because of the cost ($70,000 per batch)
  • Cutting Edge Cultures LR Superfood is also a good source

-What to do once you get the strains?…35:30

-How you ferment yogurt?…39:40

  • Sous Vide slow cooker
  • Reuteri and most lactobacilli are adapted to mammalian temperatures – 97-98°F
  • Can also use a dehydrator, yogurt maker, or instant pot
  • 36-hour fermentation
  • Different microbes prefer different temperatures, but most Lactobacilli and Bifidobacteria prefer human body temperature
  • Spore formers like Bacillus Coagulans prefer 115-122°F to produce yogurt
  • Dr. Davis also makes sparkling juices with the fungus Saccharomyces boulardii
    • Empty a capsule of Florastor probiotic put into a juice without preservatives (which are anti-microbials), set aside for 48 hours
  • Saccharomyces boulardii helps rebuild a healthy microbiome and helps correct the adverse effects of antibiotics
  • Pre-heating milk to 180°F for 20-30 minutes and allow to cool down then adding inulin gets a better texture
  • Use a thickener like guar gum when using coconut milk

-When is the best time to consume yogurt?…45:25

-Using an older batch to seed a newer batch…52:45

  • Use curds or the whey
  • A few hurdles:
    • If you use dairy (whole milk), preheat
    • Half and half, you do not need to preheat
    • Devices with preset temperatures need to be run for 2 hours to verify the temperature
    • Reuteri dies at 108-109°F

-For someone with SIBO, what is a sample daily diet and supplements? Besides the yogurt, what should they be doing and avoiding?…55:20

-Big wins with probiotics…1:02:05

  • Probiotics are helpful, but most only help a little
  • Importance of fermented foods; consume fermented foods with every meal

-And much more…

-Upcoming Events:

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

Resources from this episode:

Dr. William Davis:

    • Lactobacillus Gasseri BNR 17 – colonizes the small intestine and produces up to 7 bacteriocins, a virtual bacteriocin powerhouse
    • Lactobacillus Reuteri DSM 17938 and ATCC PTA 6475 – also colonizes the small intestine and produce up to four bacteriocins, including the powerful Reuterin. (L. reuteri is such an effective antibacterial that a microbiologist with 40 years experience told me that they sometimes clean their bacterial production vats with this microbe. I was skeptical and checked with my friend, Raul Cano, PhD, also with 40 years of academic microbiology experience–yup, he confirmed: L. reuteri can clean vats of unhealthy microbes.)
    • Bacillus Coagulans GBI-30,6086 – produces a bacteriocin. It does not colonize the upper GI tract but has been shown to substantially reduce the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome that is virtually synonymous with SIBO.

– Podcasts:

– Other Resources:

Do you have questions, thoughts, or feedback for Dr. William Davis or me? Leave your comments below and one of us will reply!

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Ask Ben a Podcast Question

28 thoughts on “Everything You Need To Know About Healing Your Gut, Mood, Energy, Libido & Sleep With A Little Known Bacterial Strain (& An Amazing DIY Yogurt Recipe!) With Dr. William Davis, Author of Super Gut.

  1. Margaretta Snell says:

    I’m just confused as the recipe in the book states to use 10 tablets and guar gum and heat for 48 hrs at 100.4. The Luevel recipe calls for 3 tablets, agar agar, no blending with the stick blender and only 36 hours….
    The first issue is that the Sutek yogurt maker, recommended in the book, only heats to even numbers. I used 100 instead of 101 for the 48 hrs. The yogurt tastes fine, no separation but there is no tangy taste or any indication it has fermented. How do I know if it worked?? and what should I do next time??

    1. Tufte says:

      I make it with 10 tablets crushed the first time, then 2-3 once’s of the yogurt as the starter after that., and I add 1 heaping tablespoon of Inulin. I put 1/2 gallon of half and half evenly into 4 one quart jars. I put the starter into one of the jars and heat all of the jars to 100 for 20 minutes, then stir the starter liquid and distribute evenly into the other jars. Then back into the water bath at 100 for 36 hours. Thick like custard every time. 2 years reusing a bit of the previous batch as the starter.

  2. Robert says:

    Anyone notice any histamine or mast cell activation problems using this method. I’ve been experimenting for several weeks now with l-reuteri and fermenting. I’ve noticed a gradual decline in HRV and an uptick in welts which I haven’t had in over 20 years. Not sure its related, but it’s my best theory at the moment.


    1. Kiley says:

      I was going to ask about histamine issues as well. Anything fermented triggers me. Would taking a l.rueteri probiotic straight work the same vs yogurt?

  3. Luke says:

    Can this be done with Almond Milk? I have been making this yogurt with whole milk but it tends to cause my cholesterol to go quite a bit higher. My body doesn’t do all that well with saturated fat. I have been trying to find a recipe that uses Almond milk and a thickener. The whole milk recipe works great! I tried with almond milk and guar gum and it did not work well.

  4. Annie G says:

    I have SIBO and I really want to try the SIBO yogurt recipe!
    I see that the ingredients are listed in the notes but not the quantities. As my gut is sensitive, can you help in providing this or a link to the recipe?

    1. Ben Greenfield says:

      If you would like to give the SIBO Yogurt a try, you will find the full recipe, where to source the microbes, and fermentation details in the Super Gut book by Dr. William Davis: https://amzn.to/3B3dimu

  5. A says:

    Hi Ben, awesome podcast, thanks for interviewing Dr. William Davis!

    There’s some research and articles on the internet stating that the Bacillus genus might not be 100% safe to take, because in certain scenarios it might become opportunistic.

    Moreover it look like it’s very difficult to eradicate should that happen.

    Here’s a couple of an interesting articles with quite a few scientific references:

    Do you have any thoughts?

    Thank you!

  6. Diana says:

    Have you ever tried growing the R. Strain at room temperature like you would kiefer? I would predict the microbe division process takes much longer, which I would be fine with. I understand that there’s an optimum body temperature.

  7. Nick Urban says:

    I’ve been using his yogurt recipes for 4 months now and love them. Far better than the store bought stuff. I like the anti-dysbiosis recipe in particular. Interested in the emerging research into other strains too.

    Has anyone tried using a similar process to amplify BiOptimizers’ products?

  8. Trish I. says:

    Great podcast. Some clarification needed because there seem to be different L-reuteri yogurt recipes. I noted Dr Davis L-reuteri original half & half yogurt recipe calls for use of 10 Bi Gaia tablet, per liter quantity, whereas the luvele company revised his recipe, holding(warming) whole milk, and calling for using only 3 tablets per liter recipe. My question is – What is Dr Davis’ opinion of the recipe alteration, and does the reduction is total number of L-reuteri tablets per liter have significant impact the total colonies achieved in the recipe? Have both of these recipes been verified for total colony counts? How do the strain counts in the luvele improved recipe (using 3 tablets per liter), vary from the original half & half recipe (using 10 tablets per liter), if at all?

    If one is investing time and effort in making this L-reuteri yogurt some clarification on any differences between recipes and total colony counts would be helpful. Thank you.

  9. Jane says:

    I just purchased Super Gut book after listening to your podcast. Can Dr Davis explain why Bio Gaia probiotics were never designed to be fermented, according to the company? . Also in the book he recommends taking curcumin for the 4 week program, but then in another part of the book says only take it for 2 weeks. He doesn’t explain when to take the clove mucus tea and curcumin, on an empty stomach? Are they compatible with the yoghurt? I’ve also looked into the AIRE device to test individual gases, but I’ve been told it does not test for SIBO. I have actually done the 3hr SIBO test, it requires a special prep diet and the breath tests every 30 mins.
    Although I really like his book, his program is unorganised and not very thorough. I will make the yogurt for fun even though Dr Davis has no idea the CFU yield from fermentation. I will also take the Bio Gaia tablets seperatly as they were intended.

    1. Kiley says:

      Hi, did you see improvements with just taking the probiotic capsules?

      1. Ben Greenfield says:

        The Seed Daily Synbiotic is the best new probiotic, period. I’ve been popping two every day. Their website is pretty fun to explore too — bengreenfieldlife.com/ben-recommends/gut-health/seed-daily-synbiotic/

  10. Ann Wilson says:

    Has anyone tried ‘McGyvering’ around buying another expensive kitchen device for lack of storage space to try this L. reuteri yogurt recipe ?
    I grabbed the one thing that most everyone has tucked away somewhere. A heating pad with a low/med/ high setting. This pad is a CVS brand pad. To avoid possible excessive heat build up on top of this heating pad during the 36 hour wait, I placed a wire mesh cooling rack on top of the heating pad with a few metal canning jar rings directly onto the heating pad surface under the mesh cooling rack to hold a one half inch airspace evenly across this puffy pad and then set the temp control to LOW heat.
    Filled glass pint jars with the yogurt recipe mix and placed them on top of the cooling rack with my devised airspace gap. To hold in the warmth, I threw 2 folded fluffy Turkish towels on top of the whole contraption. I could not find my cheap temperature gauge at that time to monitor the temperature inside my devised ‘cocoon’ so I used my hand to slide under the towels on top of the mesh cooling rack to occasionally check the temp feeling the body temp warmth. If it felt a little warm/feverish, I removed one towel and checked again later.
    I think it worked……
    At the 36 hour mark, I found delicious, thick yogurt to add to my bio-hack lifestyle.
    Ben… Thank you so much for finding these wonderful people and bringing them on your show. But , if you or anyone out there gets a chance, would you see if this also works for you? I am still looking for that stupid temperature gauge and a spot I could store a souse vide. A heating pad is very easy to roll up tuck out of the way till I run out of yogurt.

  11. Mo says:

    For Dr Davis: I was very inspired by this podcast, bought your book, reading it voraciously. Also, purchased the BioGaia Osfortis on your recommendation. Do you realize it has maltodextrin? Something you state should be avoided.

  12. Jason B. says:

    This is great info! It references Hydrogen SIBO, what about Methane dominant SIBO? Same SIBO yogurt protocol?

  13. Robert Resz says:

    i suspect i have sibo and I listended to this podcast wondering if but Would the L. reuteri yogurt by itself help with sibo ? It looks like from my short reasearch that the sibo strains have to be sourced separately from different products and companys, and is the instructions for the sibo yogurt the same ? Also i know someone suffering from parkinsons, can the sugar shift product be made into a yogurt to multiply the probiotics ?

  14. Alex Lowery says:

    Thanks for mentioning Sugar Shift and how it has been beneficial for Parkinson’s. I have Parkinson’s due to mold toxicity. I am at the beginning of testing and treatment with a Functional Medicine Doctor, so I’m at the binder phase, getting my bile production moving and sauna for detox. I know gut health will be a part of it and I’ve added Sugar Shift to my wish list for that phase.

  15. Trevor says:

    Hi Ben, great podcast! For those of us who track macros, how do we figure out the estimated macros of the yogurt? Thanks.

    1. Ben Greenfield says:

      this might be a helpful resource: https://bengreenfieldlife.com/article/nutrition-articles/how-to-track-calories/

  16. suzanne says:

    Ben, Davis mentions that Akkermansia is low or missing in 5% of the population and the other 95% have enough. I thought sure I heard Joel Greene say the exact opposite – that 95% of population is low on Akkermansia. I thought I read it in his book also, but darned if I can find it there or on your podcast with him. I don’t want to use the apple peelings, HMO, etc. if we have enough Akkermansia. Can you clarify please?

  17. Joe says:

    Yogurt ingredients:
    BioGaia Gastrus comes in tablets; crush 10 tablets of each strain to a powder. Unless I’m reading the description wrong, the tables contain both strains (DSM 17938/ATCC PTA 6475) Do you use 10 tablets that contain both strains or 20 tablets?

  18. em4life says:

    the universe is fractal in nature. What’s good for the soil, is good for the colon, e.g. Effective Microorganisms (EM)


    I take it with psyllium husk, as a last meal for the gut in the evening. There are “human” versions of EM, but it’s not as effective as the original one. For best effects ferment it yourself.

  19. Tyson Gaylord says:

    can you use raw milk or raw cream?

  20. Lara Butler says:

    One of the reasons I’m such a fan of your Podcast is the availability of transcripts. Words matter! After listening to every minute of it, this Podcast is one of the ones I want to dive into further by reading it with a yellow highlighter in hand. However, I don’t see a transcript link. Will that be coming at a later point? The Show Notes are awesome, by the way, but I still want a transcript!

    1. Ben Greenfield says:

      Hi Lara. The transcript is now available: https://bengreenfieldlife.com/transcripts/transcript-william-davis-podcast/

  21. Chase K says:

    Hi Ben and Dr Davis! I have been waiting for this pod for a minute, thanks for doing this!

    My question is, does having a colectomy leave me at risk of SIBO (I think I already have it) and how does one fix this issue? Without a colon, where does the biome congregate. Will Dr Davis’ yoghurt help with this? Thank so much

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