Thyroid Hormone Harm, Important Update, & News on Probiotics - Dr. Michael Ruscio, DNM, DC

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Thyroid Hormone Harm, Important Update, & News on Probiotics

New findings reveal the outcomes of using T3 and T4 together and taking probiotics for weight loss, depression, allergic rhinitis, and other health conditions

How does using T3 affect your heart health? How can you spot the truth behind a catchy, clickbait headline? What’s new in probiotics research? Don’t miss out on the many discussion points in this episode, all of which can help you interpret true clinical findings and use the information to better your health. Tune in now.

In This Episode

Intro… 00:08
“The Truth About Turmeric, Fish Oil, and Probiotics”… [1] 09:11
Evaluating health claims…  12:00
Probiotics & BMI… [2] 14:24
Synbiotics for blood pressure… [3] 17:49
Probiotics for antibiotic-associated diarrhea… [4] 18:33
Probiotics & binge eating after gastric bypass… [5] 19:36
Probiotics & treatment-resistant infection… [6] 20:28
Probiotics & eczema prevention… [7] 21:09
Probiotics & eczema treatment… [8] 22:03
Probiotics & bacterial vaginosis… [9] 22:23
Probiotics & psoriasis… [10] 23:28
Probiotics for stress… [11] 25:16
Probiotics & allergic rhinitis… [12] 25:59
Probiotics & fatty liver disease… [13] 27:49
Sponsor… 29:09
Nasal administration of probiotics… [14] 30:20
Probiotics & IBS… [15] 32:18
Synbiotics & cow’s milk allergy… [16] 33:04
Probiotics & depression… [17] 35:08
More guidance for gut healing… [18] 37:22
Recap… 38:42
Outro… 39:31

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Intro:

Welcome to Dr. Ruscio Radio, providing practical and science-based solutions to feeling your best. To stay up to date on the latest topics as well as all of our prior episodes, make sure to subscribe in your podcast player. For weekly updates, visit DrRuscio.com. That’s DRRUSCIO.COM. The following discussion is for educational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose or treat any disease. Please do not apply any of this information without first speaking with your doctor. Now, let’s head to the show.

Dr. Ruscio:

Hey everyone. Welcome back to Dr. Ruscio Radio. This is Dr. Michael Ruscio, and today there’s a few different directions I’d like to go. I would love to share with you a number of new studies on probiotics, but before we do, I just can’t help myself– I really want to cover this study that was just published on thyroid hormone replacement therapy. Now you’ve likely heard my perspective on this, which is that the functional medicine field is a bit too quick to run right to something like WP Thyroid or Nature-Throid (some sort of desiccated thyroid hormone that has T4 plus T3), or using something like levothyroxine (T4) plus Cytomel (T3). And it’s not to say that these desiccated or combination approaches of T4 and T3 should never be used, but again, we’ve been repeatedly showcasing the research literature and the clinical outcome datas that we’re documenting at the clinic that support we shouldn’t make this the first thing that we do.

Dr. Ruscio:

And boy, it just seems to be this human constant that people have a hard time evaluating risk, right? And they jump to extremes– all or none. And it’s harder to just have this simple codification of, well, start with T4, plus– as we’ve advocated so many times in the podcast– the diet, lifestyle, and gut health foundations work. Now one way of thinking about this, because I want to be sensitive to the people who say “Well, you know, it makes me feel so much better. I need it.” I’m not arguing, right? I’m with you. And if it’s the best thing for you, I’m behind you all of the way. However, if we give the body T4, and we have a healthy system, we then allow the body to convert it as it sees fit.

Dr. Ruscio:

So the most favorable outcome we should be reaching for is creating a body and a system that is not inflamed, that is not underfed, that is not under-slept, that has good absorption, and that therefore can use the T4 the way the body sees fit. Give this upstream hormone, and allow the body to convert it the way that it wants. Now, it’s also important to clarify that some patients do clearly have a preference for T4 + T3. So how do we reconcile this? Well, we start with the most optimal approach, which is really leveraging the body’s own ability to convert T4 into T3 and getting out of the way things that can deter that: stress, inflammation (many times inflammation coming from problems in the gut), malabsorption (the gut), sleep, their macros (are you undereating because you’re afraid of food or are you too low carb because you’ve heard some of the messaging about how people overeat carbs, and even though it doesn’t apply to you, because you’re doing a super healthy diet, you’re so good about doing things for your health, and sometimes you do too much and you go too low carb?).

Dr. Ruscio:

So we want to get all these things out of the way. One of the reasons why I’ve also criticized and recommended temperance with this jumping to the combination therapy is because it’s not without side effects. Now I want to be careful to say, not every study finds that there’s a higher likelihood of side effects with the addition of T3, but there is a signal there. There is definitely a signal there that if you give T3 to someone who doesn’t need it, paradoxically, it may make them more fatigued or have more problems with insomnia or make them more anxious.

Dr. Ruscio:

And one other area that may be negatively impacted, along with the anxiety can come a racing heart or palpitations, and you may lead to excess wear and tear so to speak on the cardiovascular system. Enter a recent study that looked at 5,342 patients who are on thyroid hormone. And it broke down the analysis to look at those who are on T4 alone, as compared to those who are on T4 + T3. Now, compared to those who were only taking T4, here’s what was found in the T4 + T3 group. A 1.6x increased risk of heart failure, a 1.7x increased risk of stroke, and these risks were greater for those who were on the combination (including the T3) for more than one year. So I think this is a really important data point to put out there. Now, if you’re on a combination hormone and you feel better, I am not trying to talk you out of it.

Dr. Ruscio:

And I also should be careful to say that this observation hasn’t been found in every study or in every analysis. So I don’t want to contribute to undue hysteria if you will. But what I would like to encourage anyone on thyroid hormone or anyone who is considering it– maybe you’re going through a diagnostic workup right now, trying to figure out if you are hypothyroid, and then if you are truly hypothyroid, you’ll go on hormone– I’d like you to keep this in mind. Also, if you “felt better”, you know, I’m using air quotes here, not making fun, but if you noticed you felt better on the combination therapy, reflect back on… ‘Well, did I go to my endocrinologist? Was the endocrinologist kind of a jerk, did they slough me off… I went to see a naturopath or I went to see an integrative functional MD… and now they put me on the combination therapy, but at the same time, since I was frustrated with my endocrinologist, I did some reading, I changed my diet, I went on fish oil. I went on curcumin. I went on a probiotic…’ That’s one scenario.

Dr. Ruscio:

Or maybe you just went on the combination therapy, noticed you felt better, and between then and now you’ve cleaned up your health. You’re eating better, you’re exercising, you’ve lost weight, you generally feel better because of other things that you’ve done. You may want to revisit just the T4. I wouldn’t say this is something like “oh, you gotta do it!”. But it’s just something to consider so as to be intervening minimally with the hormones that you take. Because again, remember, when you give the T4 alone, it allows the body more of an opportunity to convert it as it sees fit. That being said, about 10% of the population are not good genetically at converting. So there will likely be some who always feel better on the combination therapy. I’m with you, fully behind you. You have my support. We want to have that on our radar screens. However, knowing that the commonplace recommendation in the field is combination therapy (desiccated), I think this study is worth extra reverberation on the podcast just to make sure you are thinking through this with all the information. So I just wanted to touch on that study. I’m going to leave it in my feed for when when we do the full-on hormone-centered podcast, but I just really felt that was important and wanted to bring that up.

“The Truth About Turmeric, Fish Oil, and Probiotics”

Dr. Ruscio:

So shifting gears here, I also want to kind of call out this terribly written article by South Shore Health. I came across this– every once in a while I make the mistake of reading on social media– and this came up. It’s “The Truth about Turmeric, Fish Oil, and Probiotics”. And what I find really disheartening and distasteful is this person is debunking… apparently the entire field of probiotic supplementation, turmeric supplementation, and fish oil supplementation, and she has three references, and they’re not really great references.

Dr. Ruscio:

So something to be aware of, when you look at this article, there’s a link to the Food and Drug Administration reference, there’s a reference to the US National Library of Medicine… “ooh, sounds official”… but <laugh>, it’s like go to the library. What is your reference? There’s a ton of references in the said library, and also a link to the International Guide on Nutritional Products. And there’s one link to an article from JAMA citing that we have to be careful with supplements. So what irritates me about, I’m not sure if I would call this journalism or what, but when people make these very broad arguments and they have poor references. Fact check me, look at any of our articles, you will see that there are multiple references, and they’re high quality references, and the references are put in-line. Meaning when we make a statement, there’s a reference, or two, or three.

Dr. Ruscio:

So as a healthcare consumer, when you see an article– I mean, sure, catchy title, “The Truth Behind Turmeric, Fish Oil, and Probiotics”. Okay. There could be monkey business. I’ve done videos entitled “The Truth About Functional Medicine” where I point out some of the craziness in the field, but then there is a very specific narrative with specific data points, supporting my claims. And in this case, it’s just really lazy. I mean apparently this person is either too lazy to footnote the references supporting their claims, or they just have their mind made up and they do a quick search and there’s some article somewhere in the National Institute of Health database <laugh> that supports them. And so they just link out to the main website.

Evaluating health claims

Dr. Ruscio:

So it’s important to look for specificity in an argument. Now, to play devil’s advocate here, you should also be careful about the person who gets so down into the details.

Dr. Ruscio:

They make this pleonastic argument with a gazillion details and they get so down into the minutia of mechanism. And it sounds fairly smart, almost like you’re reading an engineering paper or something, and that can mislead people, because if you get so deep down into the weeds, you can spin an argument to convince yourself of almost anything. And I say this because this is part of what I did early in my career. And I became more and more disciplined as I tried these things that I had learned from educators making specious arguments, and they didn’t work in the clinic. And eventually I started questioning things and I started getting a sense for what worked and what didn’t work. And, what do you know, most of the time what works is reflected by what the clinical trials have found. Now, also important to mention that we don’t always have good clinical trial evidence for everything that we’re trying to do.

Dr. Ruscio:

I would say that the area of mold treatment is where there’s a real paucity of clinical data and it’s more based upon inference. But nevertheless, in an area like probiotics, and in many of the areas in gut health, there’s a lot of research to pull from, which is why it’s sad. Just as one aside, to beat my drum here a little bit, when people still warn off about using probiotics in SIBO. There’s ample data to answer that question; there should not be any debate. Now, could we debate on something where there’s one small clinical trial and that’s the only treatment data point that we have? Yes. That would be an area that should have a degree of contention because there’s not great evidence to guide us. And so some people will cite one mechanism for one treatment. Other people will argue back that this other mechanism for this other treatment is better, what have you.

Dr. Ruscio:

But when we have well over 20 clinical trials, as we do for probiotics and SIBO, that’s where there shouldn’t be the contentious nature of that. And thankfully, that tide is really starting to turn. But, as I ramble here, just a few things to think about when you evaluate articles that you read online.

Probiotics and BMI

Dr. Ruscio:

Okay. So getting into the meat here, there was another meta-analysis this one was an umbrella meta-analysis, which is essentially a meta-analysis of meta-analyses, and it looked at 29 meta-analyses. So instead of saying, it looked at 29 clinical trials, this umbrella meta-analysis brought together 29 meta-analyses of over 14,000 patients. And they found that probiotics lead to reductions in BMI (Body Mass Index)– albeit imperfect, it is a decent crude marker– body weight, and waist circumference. But the thing here to be careful about is the effect size. And why this really matters is, I would just hate for someone to go on a probiotic with the expectation of significant weight loss.

Dr. Ruscio:

And I should probably say clinically meaningful weight loss because there’s this important distinction between statistically significant versus clinically meaningful. And this is why one of the things we try to do, and as I’ve learned more and become more sophisticated in how I analyze information, we want to be looking at: Okay, is there a statistically significant impact? First checkpoint. Yes? Good. Second to that, is that effect meaningful enough to be considered clinically relevant? And that’s where the effect size comes in. So it’s kind of this one, two checkpoint. And then the third would be: Is this intervening at the appropriate level? We’ve talked about bile acid diarrhea or bile acid malabsorption, and how– and we talked about this on the podcast months ago– but how that was found in one well-performed study to be more common than SIBO, and a more common cause of diarrhea than SIBO.

Dr. Ruscio:

However, in the clinic, we almost never see non-responsive diarrhea. Well, why is that? Because we’re intervening to help heal the lining of the intestine, which absorbs bile and prevents this bile acid diarrhea, or this bile acid malabsorption. So the third checkpoint is: Is this piece of science telling us something that allows us to better treat the individual and, and heal dysfunction as far upstream as possible? Or, as in the case of bile acid malabsorption, could that be misread? And now an integrative gut and SIBO clinic is pumping people full of bile binders, totally missing the boat that if they got the diet triggers out, if they healed the gut with things like gut resetting via elemental or via fasting, probiotics, antimicrobial therapy, if or when needed, immunoglobulin therapy if or when needed, and all the other therapies we talk about… could you then resolve the cause of the bile acid malabsorption and therefore make that interesting finding of bile acid binders helping diarrhea irrelevant because you’ve addressed the cause of that problem, you’ve intervened upstream.

Synbiotics for blood pressure

Dr. Ruscio:

The next study looked at synbiotics (a combination of probiotics and prebiotics). They looked at 11 clinical trials, and they found that synbiotic treatment led to a three point reduction in systolic blood pressure when used for more than three months. So, that’s something. It’s also pretty small. We talked about that meta-analysis on hibiscus. So you could just do a glass (or a cup, I suppose) of hibiscus tea per day. And that led to a 15 point reduction in systolic blood pressure. So as much as I am an advocate for probiotics, they’re not going to be a cure-all for everything.

Probiotics for antibiotic-associated diarrhea

Dr. Ruscio:

This next study looked at antibiotic associated diarrhea in elderly (those who were over 65). This was a meta-analysis of eight randomized control trials. And the finding here was interesting. Essentially, they found that probiotics did not reduce antibiotic-associated side effects if they were given 48 hours after the antibiotic. But if they were given within 48 hours, then they did have a positive effect. So this tells us that the earlier you can use the probiotics, potentially the better. Now, if you’ve missed that window, let’s say you started taking antibiotics four days ago, I would still use probiotics. But this just gives us one data point to try to be proactive and take them at the same time. It may lead to a better outcome.

Probiotics & binge eating after gastric bypass

Dr. Ruscio:

And this next study was interesting. It may not be hugely applicable to our audience, but they looked at whether probiotics could reduce people who fell back into binge eating after having gastric bypass. And interestingly, after one year on probiotics, those who were on probiotics as compared to placebo had a greater improvement in food cravings and these overeating episodes. So does that map onto you if you have not had gastric bypass? I’m not sure. I mean, perhaps to some extent it would, but I want to be careful not to broaden out that claim too much, but I just thought that was an interesting finding nonetheless.

Probiotics & treatment-resistant infection

Dr. Ruscio:

And another study looked at 48 elderly hospital patients who had a vancomycin-resistant enterococcus infection. They were given either placebo or a lactobacillus probiotic. And after four weeks, compared to the placebo, the probiotics did not lead to a significant difference in infection clearance rate. So, you won’t see a benefit from probiotics all the time, in all cases. We’ve talked about many studies that have found counter to that, but in this case, the null was found, there was no difference between placebo and the probiotic group.

Probiotics & eczema prevention

Dr. Ruscio:

There was also an interesting study looking at 22 trials, so this was a meta-analysis looking at 22 trials in infants, and they found that probiotics reduced the risk of infants developing eczema by 24%. Now, I also want to flag here that this is a meta-analysis. And so there were different probiotic formulas used in the studies. Yet another data point finding that different probiotic formulas produce a similar outcome. And I just want to keep echoing this because I do think it’s not in your best interest when you’re given this narrative that probiotics have to be incredibly species, formula, or strain specific to have X, Y, Z outcome. It just makes probiotics harder than they have to be.

Probiotics & eczema treatment

Dr. Ruscio:

And there was another systematic review looking at seven studies on patients with eczema. And again, when compared to placebo, the probiotic group had improvements in skin itching and in severity of eczema.

Probiotics & bacterial vaginosis

Dr. Ruscio:

Now coming from the skin to the vagine <laugh> as Borat would say, the next study was another meta-analysis looking at 20 randomized placebo-controlled clinical trials in bacterial vaginosis. And they found that antibiotics plus probiotics were 23% more effective than antibiotics alone. Probiotics were 12% more effective than antibiotics, and probiotics were 1500x more effective than placebo. So what this is showing us is that probiotics can help with bacterial vaginosis, and what may be the best is a combination of the two. So even more reason it’s important to… I mean, I can’t think of a case when you would not want to use probiotics while you’re using antibiotics.

Dr. Ruscio:

And there’s more and more data pouring in that supports that.

Probiotics & psoriasis

Dr. Ruscio:

Now what about quality of life and how that pertains to psoriasis? Well, this next study looked at 46 psoriasis patients (again, placebo-controlled) and at two months, probiotics led to improvements in psoriasis severity scores, in c-reactive protein (an inflammatory marker), and in quality of life. I should mention here that not all of the studies that look at dermatologic or skin outcomes with probiotics show benefit, but there’s enough signal here I think to at least consider it. And you know, the other thing here that I always think of, I think back to that 60 minutes exposé with, I believe her name was Patricia Hibberd, who was just really hating all over probiotics. And I could see someone like that saying “well, there’s no official consensus statements recommending probiotics for psoriasis. There’s no official meta-analysis published in JAMA recommending probiotics for psoriasis.”

Dr. Ruscio:

Okay, true. But what about the person with psoriasis? Are you going to tell them that cleaning up their diet– and there may not be any officially sanctioned diet for psoriasis– or trying something like probiotics is not worth considering in a rational, reasonable application? No. Now, devil’s advocate here, when the natural medicine and functional medicine enthusiasts go too crazy with their claims, I think that creates a reasonable pushback from the establishment, if you will. But in any case, here’s one more data point showing that probiotics help with, in this case, psoriasis.

Probiotics for stress

Dr. Ruscio:

We’ve also discussed how probiotics can help with stress. We’ve discussed that one of the models this is assessed in is exam stress. So there’s another study that was published looking at 391 healthy participants who were given a placebo or a probiotic. And in this case, there was no difference between stress or anxiety levels between the groups. So this study did not find what some of the other studies have found, which is that probiotics can reduce stress. So again, important to have a healthy understanding of the benefits and limitations, and never look at a therapy as having a 100% success rate.

Probiotics & allergic rhinitis

Dr. Ruscio:

And there was another study published looking at allergic rhinitis. We’ve talked about how probiotics, even though most of them contain histamine, tend to have this net antihistamine effect. And it’s why I’ve said you don’t need to spend more money or get a fancy histamine-free probiotic. As much as I appreciate those who are making those products and trying to help people, I think it misses the bigger mark, which is that probiotics tend to be net antihistamine. Enter this meta-analysis of 28 studies, and probiotics led to improvements in allergic rhinitis (so just running nose from allergies) and improvements in quality of life. Now, what’s interesting here is there was no change in serum IgE or immunoglobulin E. So it’s just another data point showing us that you can see the people improve (quality of life), symptoms improve (runny nose), but a biomarker may not always improve.

Dr. Ruscio:

So this is another echoing of why we use labs, but we want to have the appropriate constraints about how much we lean on labs. There are exceptions to this rule. Again, I want to be careful about continually issuing that caveat. But in this case, if a patient reported back to their doctor and they were, let’s say, happier, that’s their improved quality of life, and they had less runny nose, but their follow-up blood work was the same, sometimes clinicians have gotta just take the win <laugh> and not treat the lab markers instead of the patients. So this is a good example of that.

Probiotics & fatty liver disease

Dr. Ruscio:

Okay. And we’ve also talked a lot in the past about how probiotics can help with liver health, and they can even help with this hepatic encephalopathy, which can essentially cause brain fog via the liver via the gut.

Dr. Ruscio:

So there was a network meta-analysis here looking at 26 randomized-controlled trials in about 1300 patients who had fatty liver disease. And they were given placebo, or prebiotics, or probiotics, or synbiotics (probiotics plus prebiotics). The synbiotic led to a better improvement in AST, total cholesterol, LDL, and fasting blood sugar. The probiotics led to better improvements in ALT (a different liver enzyme) and triglycerides. So there’s some nice options here in terms of probiotics can help multiple things, and probiotics and prebiotics can also help multiple things. Stemming back to why it’s important to improve your gut health, because the gut impacts the liver. And whether we get there with probiotics, prebiotics, or both, just keep that in mind.


Sponsored Resources

Hi, this is Erin Ryan from the Dr. Ruscio team back with a couple of quick answers to some frequently asked questions about our elemental heal. You asked, is it safe for children? Yes it is. I actually give it to my son who’s just two years old. We refer to it as his chocolate milk. It’s great because I can put things like probiotics or extra protein powder or avocado, you know, just different kinds of healthy things in there. And he can’t really taste the difference. So yes, it’s safe for kids and it’s also useful.

The next statement is, I get bloated when I drink it too fast. So this formula is created to drink very slowly. You wanna sip it over a couple of hours and if you’re still hungry after that, you can just make another shake versus drinking it all at once, which might not be too comfortable. You can learn more about our elemental heal formulas at drruscio.com/EH. And you can also order right from that page as well.


Nasal administration of probiotics

Dr. Ruscio:

This next study was interesting. It looked at nasal administration of probiotics in allergic rhinitis. 24 patients with allergic rhinitis were given placebo or a nasal probiotic. And after three weeks, the nasal probiotic had no effect on allergic rhinitis or quality of life. Now we do, in some cases, use a nasal spray probiotic in the clinic, but we don’t use it for allergic rhinitis. I think that’s where the gut is a more important window to intervene because the gut is going to have almost for certain the strongest effect on the immune system, because of the tie-in between the largest density of immune cells in the entire body being in the small intestine, and of course your systemic immune tone, if you will. Where I think the nasal spray application has merit is in those who have either mold exposure, or you’re expecting some sort of oropharyngeal candida.

Dr. Ruscio:

And I’m seeing more of these cases lately (either that or I’ve become more attuned to it) where many symptoms are improving, but they’re still having congestion, they’re still having this feeling of postnasal drip, they’re still noticing a white tongue, they’re still noticing many of their symptoms flare from things like fruits and starches and definitely from sugar. And so when you’re seeing this constellation of upper GI symptoms and maybe upper upper upper (your nose and your throat), that’s when I think it can be beneficial to use a nasal spray probiotic in combination with the oral capsule probiotic.

Probiotics & IBS

Dr. Ruscio:

The next study here looked at IBS. 27 subjects were given either placebo or probiotics. And after six weeks, the IBS symptom relief was 94% for the probiotics and 62% for the placebo. So about a 30% better outcome with the probiotics. And there was a 20% better improvement in diarrhea frequency, and there were better outcomes for abdominal pain and for bloating. So, just another study showing that probiotics can help with IBS. There’s probably no shock there, but just to put that out there.

Synbiotics & cow’s milk allergy

Dr. Ruscio:

And the next study looked at a synbiotic infant formula. 29 infants with cow’s milk allergy were all treated with a synbiotic containing whey formula. So they were given a probiotic plus prebiotic in their whey formula, which should probably be a problem if they have a cow milk allergy. After one month, those receiving essentially the synbiotics had improved abdominal pain in 57%, improved burping in 46%, improved gas in 79%, improved constipation in 14%, improved rhinitis (there it is again) in 41%, and improved itching in 73%. I want to echo this because while this is getting much better, there are still people who are, I think, unjustifiably scared of whey protein. And this is another good example with infants that probiotics, plus or minus prebiotics, can help with dairy tolerance. So especially given the very insightful conversation we had with Dr. Gabrielle Lyon on the bioavailability and the favorable amino acid profile of whey, I think all the more reason not to be scared away from whey, if you haven’t really given it a due trial. Also, remember that if you had a negative reaction years ag and you’re healthier now– you may have used probiotics in the interim– you likely can now tolerate many foods you couldn’t before, including whey. So we shouldn’t just lump whey in with this group of foods that you’ll never be able to eat again, because that doesn’t tend to be the outcome for most people.

Probiotics & depression

Dr. Ruscio:

And the next study looked at what effect could be vectored by probiotics as an add-on therapy in depressed patients. 47 patients with depression received either normal therapy plus placebo, or normal therapy plus probiotics. And after one month, treatment with the probiotics led to reduced depressive symptoms. Now this shouldn’t shock you, we’ve discussed meta-analyses in the past that have found this, but just one more data point illustrating the gut-brain connection. And the final study here looked at the effect of a probiotic, a lactobacillus-based probiotic, on SIBO in patients who also had depression and diabetes. So 60 SIBO patients with depression received an antidepressant or an antidepressant plus a probiotic. And the probiotic plus the antidepressant led to better outcomes in anxiety, depression, inflammation, and fewer medication side effects like constipation, nausea, and dry mouth. So we’ve talked about this many a time in the past, but as I learned myself with my brain fog and some depression, your gut is a major source of various cognitive impairments or alterations, whether that be MCI (mild cognitive impairment, AKA brain fog), or depression, or anxiety probiotics have been shown to be helpful with all of those.

Dr. Ruscio:

So certainly something to keep in mind that the gut seems to have quite a significant impact on the brain and on one’s brain health.

More guidance for gut healing

Dr. Ruscio:

And I guess while we’re on this topic, just want to plant a brief reminder here that if you’re trying to improve your gut health, which obviously I would highly, highly recommend, please consider grabbing a copy of Healthy Gut, Healthy You. I spent three years writing that book, trying to give you everything that I do in the clinic in this kind of choose your own adventure, personalized guide, to help you find your way out of the maze to the optimum health you’re trying to hit on the other side. And we go all the way from the foundations of diet and lifestyle through probiotics and elemental dieting and potentially antimicrobials, potentially even get as fancy as an anti-biofilm protocol.

Dr. Ruscio:

There’s a section where we consider: Do you want to use fiber and prebiotics? And then we attempt to get you on the broadest diet, a minimal amount of supplements, and give you some reminders to have fun. And I think we do, if I may say so myself, in the book, a pretty good job of making sure to empower you so that you don’t feel like– let’s say as one example of what I see in the clinic– you have to be afraid of gluten forever, or dairy forever, or whey forever, or carbs forever, or like you have to take XYZ supplement forever. So anyway, just a reminder there on Healthy Gut, Healthy You.

Recap

Dr. Ruscio:

Okay guys, hopefully you found this helpful, really interesting study there on the thyroid. Don’t forget about double checking or trialing that experiment of switching to T4 alone if you feel you meet those sort of loose criteria that I laid out. And if you’re someone considering starting based upon some pending diagnostic lab work, first, be careful with who interprets your thyroid lab work. Second, if you do need to start on hormone, consider the T4 first for the reasons that we outlined above, and again, behind that, there is a number of studies on probiotics and a reminder for Healthy Gut, Healthy You. Alright guys, I hope you’re all doing fantastic, and I will look forward to speaking with everyone next time.

Outro:

Thank you for listening to Dr. Russo radio today. Check us out on iTunes and leave a review. Visit Dr. Russo.Com to ask a question for an upcoming podcast, post comments for today’s show and sign up to receive weekly updates. That’s D R R USC I o.com.


➕ Dr. Ruscio’s Notes

Thyroid Hormone Harm 

  • A recent study shows an association between T3 and increased risk of heart disease and stroke. 
  • Always consult with your doctor to know about medication side effects and what works best for you. 

 

The Truth Behind Catchy Headlines 

  • Articles should always back up the claims presented in their headlines. 
  • Be sure to look for multiple high-quality sources referenced throughout what you’re reading or watching. 

 

New Findings for Probiotic Benefits

  • A recent meta-analysis shows probiotics are beneficial for allergic rhinitis and quality of life. 
  • Symbiotics (a combination of probiotics and prebiotics) may improve blood pressure, although the effect size is small. 
  • Probiotics may be an effective preventative measure for eczema in infants and may help treat eczema in adults.
  • Probiotics were shown to be helpful for depression. 
  • A study found that probiotics helped relieve IBS-D symptoms. 
  • Probiotics were effective in improving psoriasis symptoms, inflammation, and quality of life.

Another study found probiotics may help with food cravings and consuming less food in gastric bypass patients.

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