Dr. Joel Rosen: All right. Hello, everyone. And welcome back to another edition of the truth about your health podcast where we teach exhausted and burnt-out adults the truth about their health so that they can get their energy back quickly.
And what a joy it is to have Martha Carlin here today, who is the founder, and I love the term the chief executive revolutionary for the bio collective company where it aims to accelerate microbiome research by supporting robust, reproducible, and reliable results that allowed the field to realize its full potential of life-saving discoveries. And she has a very unique story in 2002, her husband, John was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. And well, I’ll let her tell her the story from there. So, Martha, thank you so much for being here today.
Martha Carlin: Thanks for having me, Joel.
Dr. Joel Rosen: Yeah. So I’m excited because you and I and I say this in an enduring way. I think both nerds and nerds found each other at the biohacking Congress. And we started talking. And we probably could have talked for hours and hours. And I think we had a couple of the times, maybe the presenters look back at us during the talk and say, like, Hey, keep it down, back there in the back row.
So here we are today. And I want to hear and have you share with our listeners, just the genesis of where you got to today, and maybe sort of a shortened version so that we can spend more time explaining what you’ve discovered along the way. So why don’t you just tell us about your journey, Martha?
Martha Carlin: Sure. Well, Matt, my typical background is in business operations, I was a turnaround expert and head of operations for a large Real Estate Investments trust, so I was totally out of the science field, in 2002, my husband, John, at the age of 44, was diagnosed with Parkinson’s. And, you know, that’s pretty shocking when you’re young, we had two small children, and I had an older child.
And, you know, I being a turnaround expert, I sort of looked at how the doctors, I mean, it was kind of like, they just drop a bomb on you and say, here’s a pill, we’ll see in six months, there’s nothing you can do. And that’s just not who I am, you know, I looked at it, I said, this is a systems problem, I need to understand the system in the same way I do a business. So I’ve got to start teaching myself science.
So I started. And I looked at food first because that’s, you know, food and water are the major flows through the body that get ignored by traditional medicine. So I spent about 10 years studying food, nutrition, you know, how we grow our food, the chemicals that are used on that, and then along the way, came up to 2014 and read Dr. Martin blazars book, missing microbes, about the rise of chronic disease, post antibiotics, and how the antibiotics were destroying the microbiome.
And a few months later, the first paper was published showing that you could map the symptom phenotypes in Parkinson’s, to the microbiome. And I was like Eureka, that’s it, I quit my job. We sold our house and started funding research at the University of Chicago looking at time series and part of my interest, in the type of sequencing we were doing, which very few people at the time were doing whole genome sequencing, the microbiome has about 300 times more genes than the human genome.
And I felt that that was going to be the map to tying out some of the problems from genetically engineered food, to be able to see that, you know, all the genes on the map. And so, you know, we’ve done over 150 whole genome samples of John’s microbiome and I went from there to founding the bio collective with the researcher from the University of Chicago and a virologist, Dr. Suzanne Vernon, who had spent 17 years at the CDC studying chronic fatigue, and viruses so that we could build a biobank of fecal samples to connect the dots across disease, not just in Parkinson’s, but along the way, I have become an I think, a pretty good scientist. I mean, you call me a nerd. I’m a super nerd.
Dr. Joel Rosen: I said that with love so So to break it down just for my brain to understand this. I love what you said in terms of food and water and taking it from a lay person at that time where you’re certainly not now where okay, my husband has this I got to break down the system and look at the food and the water and how that is is I guess a simulated did it in where it meets the inside of our system, which is our microbiome. Can you explain what you meant in terms of mapping the biome and seeing when you had that eureka moment?
So so so repeat that, again, in terms of an easier way for the person that may be lay? And they want to understand okay, so what did you do you found that there was a model that shows that these are the Parkinson patients type biome, and this is what a normal biome is, and then compare the two is that pretty much like how did it go wrong? Or what was the difference between the two?
Martha Carlin: So you know, the initial study by Dr. Philip Shepper, Hans in Finland took so they take fecal samples, and they sequenced those and compare them to a healthy microbiome. And what he was able to show is, you know, there’s a difference in a Parkinson’s microbiome. And then within Parkinson’s, can be subdivided into the people who have tremor dominant symptoms, versus people who have posture and gait.
And from that point, there have been hundreds of microbiome papers in Parkinson’s, since that time, you know, advancing looking at proteins looking at, you know, other mechanisms related to, you know, nutritional deficits, and, you know, how the microbiome produces neurochemistry. So, you know, it’s just been a crazy emerging field since 2017.
Dr. Joel Rosen: Right, you know, and then the next thing that you mentioned, in terms of how much orders of magnitude the DNA for the microbiome and bacteria is compared to the human DNA, and it’s, like you said, an emerging field, and it’s almost overwhelming to be aware of what you don’t know, right? It’s like, oh, my gosh, like, as soon as you’ve had that eureka moment, and now you find out all these other rabbit holes, and you’re not just comparing a Parkinson’s patient to a, quote, unquote, normal sample, but Parkinson patients that have this versus that, and then there are so many different other rabbit holes to go down.
And so I would love to discuss with you what you’re learning sort of from there, which is a slippery slope because there are so many ways we can go. But just to recap, you said, Okay, I have this eureka moment. And so I’m going to do like the turnaround person that I am, I’m going to go all in because it’s my husband and his health and life are on the line. And I want to make sure that we figure this out. So you started, you’re the bio collective, and you have different testing procedures and different ways to figure things out. So kind of go from there, like, tell us what sort of what was the next how things unfolded? And where we are?
Martha Carlin: Sure. So we started, I mean, it was just really early in the microbiome space, but we collected whole fecal samples. So you know, we designed to kit and patented it and started collecting a biobank, if you will. And you know, one of the more interesting things we learned in the process, our lab, people could tell a person with Parkinson’s from looking at their fecal sample without knowing they had Parkinson’s, it was that distinct from other samples coming through the lab, and the key tell was a lack of water homeostasis.
So the fecal samples were more like concrete and a diagnosis of a well, chronic constipation can precede a diagnosis of Parkinson’s by 10 to 15 years. So I think, and there is nothing in the published literature about this water issue. So that was interesting learning that sort of provided some clues for us of where to look. But you know, we were doing the genomic sequencing and providing almost a 50-page report of all these genes and information and people would take it and try to have their doctor look at it.
And it’s just, it’s too much. So after we built our biobank to a point where we had a sufficient amount of samples and data to start to connect the dots, kind of across diseases, but you know, we had 100 Parkinson’s patients. We stopped collecting samples and then really started digging deeper into the analytics of what is going on in the microbiome what can we see indicators and from that, You know, one of the more interesting things we did some machine learning with the Polish company called the origin, where we found these biomarkers.
And one of those, one of the key markers was in glycosylation, which, you know, for people, if they’re not familiar with that, it’s the decorating of proteins with sugars. And, you know, one of those is hemoglobin. So it ties back to hemoglobin a one C. And, you know, from that we went back into the literature and saw this connection in the Parkinson’s research of, you know, comorbidities and glucose metabolism. And there’s, I think about 65% of people with Parkinson’s have some insulin dysregulation component. And, you know, there there’s even an area of research called, looking at what’s called type three diabetes, which may be insulin resistance in the brain.
Dr. Joel Rosen: Yeah, I mean, again, I’m loving the Genesis and the growth of it, then I’m following that, you know, as you tell me, okay, so we started to produce a collecting method. And as the samples came in, we were able to know without even comparing them to the norm, that this person had a Parkinson’s presentation, because there’s so much similarity to what Parkinson’s I guess the characteristics of that sample look like, to the point where we finally had enough and now let’s do some studies and figure this out.
And this is where we are now and looking at the inborn error of energy production, right, which we look at as cancer as a metabolic disease. And ultimately, any neurological disease or any health challenge is a metabolic breakdown. And ultimately, your cells are not converting the food you eat with the air you breathe into water and energy. And on top of that, you’d like you just said, the foods are adulterated.
There’s not a lot of minerals in there and unfortunately Well, tragically, there are so many chemical disruptors and things that you were just talking about. And then your body isn’t able to use oxygen effectively to produce energy. And then it has a, a way of making energy more efficiently by fermenting glucose. And then that has an imprint on the biome. So let’s talk about where you want to go from there. Martha, there are so many ways we can go.
Martha Carlin: Yeah, well, you know, one of my early focuses, you know, going back to the beginning, was looking at the herbicide glyphosate and how glyphosate is used in farming. And there, you know, it translates out in several ways, because the bacteria in our gut are producing a lot of those vitamins, hormones, and neurotransmitters. And glyphosate selects for a more pathogenic profile in the microbiome and destroys some of those key vitamin producers. And so, you know, that was an area that I was, you know, really interested in is trying to sort of figure that out, you know, the glyphosate connection.
The other thing, and I know, you talked about this on some of your other shows is, you know, glyphosate was originally patented as a chemical to clean scale from pipes. It’s a very powerful key later. And so it’s not only chelating metals from our body, it’s chelating metals from the soil, it’s chelating metals out of plants. So, you know, we’re just getting less and less nutrition. And I discovered a book by a researcher from the Cleveland Clinic. Dr. I think it’s Derek Lonsdale.
He’s no longer alive, but he has a book called I think it’s called high-calorie malnutrition, and thymine deficiency. So, again, back to those B vitamins, which are made by the gut bacteria, you know, you have this interconnection of what’s going on in the food supply and how that’s impacting the microbiome. Also in the, you know, in that same pathway in the bacteria, the first enzyme in something called the shikimate pathway is a copper-dependent enzyme. And you know, copper is depleted because of glyphosate. And then further downstream of that biochemistry is dopamine production.
So you’re impacting, you know, dopamine production as well through those foods. And so along the way, just trying to figure out, okay, how do I maybe solve some of these problems, actually attended a conference where researchers from Israel were showing that the sugar alcohol mannitol could stop the aggregation of the proteins that are the hallmark in Parkinson’s.
And in this animal model, they could pull them out of the brain. Well, mannitol is a really interesting molecule. It’s a very powerful free radical Scavenger. It’s used to treat brain swelling. It’s used like, the delivery of meth to enhance the delivery of medication across the blood-brain barrier. It’s also used in scientific research to keep the mitochondria happy.
So, you know, I came back and started studying mannitol chemistry and found Oh, wow, there’s, there’s a small handful of bacteria that produce mannitol from glucose and fructose, I wonder if we could put a factory back into the gut to make mannitol. And so you know, we prototyped a product, and it converts glucose and fructose into mannitol, which humans don’t use, we eliminate it.
And so that was sort of my first step in trying to figure out how can I do something to help John and at the time that we made that formula to test for him, he was walking with a cane and not doing as well as he had been, and within a month, we’re measuring his microbiome, and we could see it moving back closer and closer to the healthy human microbiome profile. And in about 30 days, he was no longer walking with a cane. So, you know, we took that concept of, you know, how can we start to look at the microbiome as something that can be supported and modulated. And in our formula, we actually had a focus on identifying strains of bacteria that were
good vitamin producers, but could also withstand glyphosate because you can’t get away from it in the food supply, and break glyphosate, all the way down. Because in the biochemistry of glyphosate, when it breaks down, most bacteria break it down to something called the AMPA, which is toxic to the brain, even more, toxic than glyphosate. Whereas we have a strain of bacteria that breaks it all the way down to carbon, phosphate, and water. And so you know, you’re back down to your elemental level where you can eliminate something without harm.
Dr. Joel Rosen: No, it’s, it’s amazing information. So the way that I think about the next question is, is that okay, the how, how, if we have something new, again, just sort of a quick response from you? What, what would be the purpose from a why would they even put glyphosate in our soils? Was that because they want to make sure that they’re killing pests and things so that they get better crops? Is that what was the purpose, I mean, from a, just an outer light laying, sort of feedback?
Martha Carlin seems to be discussing the use of glyphosate, a powerful herbicide, in agriculture. Glyphosate-resistant crops have been engineered to simplify farming practices by allowing widespread spraying to eliminate weeds while sparing the engineered crops. This method was intended to make crop production more efficient by reducing the need for manual weeding.
However, Carlin points out that over the past few decades, weeds have developed resistance to glyphosate, leading to an increased use of chemicals. She mentions that glyphosate is not the only chemical used on crops, and there are various mechanisms at play. Carlin also touches on the historical context of certain herbicides, mentioning their origin as nerve gases from World War I and II. These chemicals were repurposed for agricultural use, and she expresses concern about their potential impact on human health when consumed through food.
It appears that Carlin is raising awareness about the unintended consequences and potential health risks associated with the extensive use of herbicides and chemicals in agriculture, particularly those that have historical ties to warfare. She emphasizes the development of resistance in weeds, leading to a cycle of increasing chemical use.
Dr. Joel Rosen: Yeah, I mean, it’s, it’s helpful for you, thank you for sharing the beginning of what the thought process was to ultimately comes down to the dollar, and how could we get better yield, but the ignorance of okay, well, it’s going to be resistant, so nothing else is going to be problematic with that. Ultimately, when we eat it, then we have the same engineering in our microbiome that’s been designed to impact the crops and make them resistant to glyphosate.
But yet, at the same time, expose them to glyphosate and mess up the diversity in our microbiome, to not be able to break down the glyphosate or impact the dopamine and different areas in our body that ultimately helps us make energy at the level that we need to, and then becomes neurotoxic, and a whole slew of other downstream impacts. And then from your research, you saw that mannitol is one of these things that can help break down glyphosate more effectively, and how can we or not so much more effectively deal with it better or be able to?
Martha Carlin: Yeah, well, the mannitol is not what’s breaking it down. It so we have a species of Lactobacillus Plantarum that has a specific genetic function that enables it to break the glyphosate down.
Dr. Joel Rosen: Right. So good, I appreciate your scientific mind, because well, that’s not true at all. It’s this that does that, but the glyphosate helps this and that area, so that I mean, the mannitol. That helps. Yeah, the mannitol.
Martha Carlin: Actually, mannitol is a free radical Scavenger, it’s a six-carbon sugar, and it’s, it’s picking up hydrogens, but it also modulates pH. And if you look in, you know, the literature on fermentation production of proteins, you actually, the more acidic the pH is, the more protein production you’d get in a fermentation. So the mannitol is a neutral molecule. And it’s modulating pH, which is probably part of that mechanism. Altering pH is altering the proteins in the gut.
Dr. Joel Rosen: Right. And then there, I’m sure, as we continue to talk, there are other important ingredients and formulations to get and continue to, grow to be able to address as many as many physiological impacts or breakdowns or improvements as possible. I just had an aside and I know there’s the VIOME company that does the whole sequencing what’s your feedback on that? What’s your sense of what they do?
Martha Carlin: So, you know, I think there’s, there’s VIOME, there’s, there’s a company called day two that was, you know, based on some research between the Weitzman Institute and the Mayo Clinic, you know, they’re taking different approaches. And it was interesting to me, because I sent samples to both days two and VIOME from the same fecal sample, and got very different food recommendations. Now, that was four years ago. And I think the, you know, the field has continued to advance and certainly, VIOME has, you know, they, they have a lot of funding, and they’re doing a lot of research.
So I think it’s an interesting concept. I do think that we’re still several years away from being able to, you know, perfectly and ideally map a solution for somebody from looking at, you know, certainly not a single microbiome sample because, you know, the gut changes based on your diet, and, you know, from week to week, I mean, you can alter your microbiome in less than a week by shifting you’re you know, shifting your diet to a high fiber diet or, you know, going to a ketogenic diet, you’re going to change your microbiome dramatically.
Dr. Joel Rosen: Right, and again, I appreciate it. I always say I do these interviews for myself that were information and then everyone out says listening to it gets to hear me over my shoulder and like I’m taking notes. So, so as far as the concept with the biome company is hey, we’ll do the sequencing of your current real-time Mike Grow biome, which would be different from days and weeks and months and years ago based on what you ate, what your stress levels were, where you traveled to all of the above. And there are so many dynamics, but how, what’s the thought process? Martha in terms of how are they extrapolating that sequence and saying, Okay, these are the foods that you’d be better to eat versus not eating?
Martha Carlin: Well, you know, biomes are its proprietary, they do something called transcriptomics. So, you know, there’s is a, quite a bit different than somebody who’s looking at genomics. So, no, I think it would probably be better if you could maybe get somebody from Viacom just for me to speculate about what they do. I mean, it is interesting, because I think it may tie in a little bit too, you know, some of the work I’ve done in Parkinson’s in something called molecular mimicry.
Because you know, that they are looking at RNA viruses. And there were some, there were some things that like, they told me not to eat green beans because there was a specific mosaic virus from the green bean, that might be a problem for me. And I got interested in molecular mimicry from the research by Dr. Robert Friedland, at the University of Louisville, who showed that people who smoke don’t get Parkinson’s at the same rate. And I’m not recommending that anybody go out and smoke.
But what Dr. Friedland found was there is a tobacco mosaic virus that does mimic something that is connected with Parkinson’s disease, and in a way that, you know, if you’re, if you’ve come in contact, and you’re carrying that tobacco mosaic virus, it’s almost like a vaccine against Parkinson’s. So that was a really interesting area, as we started looking at different microorganisms in the Parkinson’s got, and sort of mapping that into this molecular mimicry concept, you know, bacteria produce something called a heat shock protein, I don’t want to get too nerdy on you, but you know, it’s a little peptide sequence.
That is, it’s kind of a danger signal, you know, if the bacteria are under stress, you know, they’re putting out this little peptide. And those sequences, you know, it’s a series of amino acids basically, are the body then recognizes that creates, you know, the immune system reacts, and you get antibodies to this heat shock protein? Well, as it turns out, there are a number of those that are similar to human proteins.
And so you can get this autoimmune reaction. And the same thing is, you know, there are also similar heat shock proteins in plants. So you can sort of get this perfect storm and one in particular that has been of interest to us is something called Alpha crystallin. It turns out that wheat has the most closely aligned Alpha crystal in the human alphabet. crystallin.
And mycobacteria species also produced that and they produce another chopped protein, or they produce another peptide sequence for something called a cardio lipid. And so we started looking at those pieces in this concept of molecular mimicry, and what might be going on in the immune system, with people with Parkinson’s having kind of what I characterize as a chronic low-grade infection of multiple organisms, you know, bacteria, fungi, viruses, and all of that goes back again to an unhealthy immune system because our nutrition we don’t have the minerals we don’t have, you know, we don’t have the vitamin production, you know, the body is just not well tuned to fight off these pathogens.
Dr. Joel Rosen: Yeah, amazing. Thanks for bringing it back to that. And that’s what we talked about earlier is that if you don’t I do believe we have the inborn innate power to heal ourselves when we have the right minerals and nutrients that are grown from our Earth and not from a lab and patented and made millions of dollars from But then on top of that, The downstream effect of chelating minerals from herbicides and pesticides not only stripped the foods we eat of these healthy, healthy in vital ingredients, but it also messes up our factory and our ability to, to make the minerals from our microbiome.
And then ultimately, we have stress responses or beacons sent out by our bacteria. And we ultimately create a response to that, which is perhaps an immune response, which is an antibody, just as if I had an exposure to a virus, my body creates an antibody to it or, you know, just the way that vaccines works are that concept, if you give a small little attenuated dose, or whatever new ways they’re doing it, you get an antibody.
So you’ve developed an immune response, which isn’t your inheritable immune response, it’s an acquired immune response, which now you have an antibody to. And the mimicry is very similar if the protein structure in wheat is very similar to the protein structure in your gut, in your brain or your skin, or wherever they may be. And you’ve developed an antibody to that peptide or the protein structure in the food source, because of a stress response, because of adulteration of our food supply and lack of minerals, now you’re creating an attack against your tissues. And that can cause fill-in-the-blank autoimmunity. So where I guess from a bear, take us wherever you want to go Martha on that?
Martha Carlin: Well, you know, I think if we go back again, you know, you hear a lot of discussions in, you know, in the last, say, four to five years about something called leaky gut. And, you know, part of that mechanism of activating the immune system is when these are crossing the gut lining, because it’s quite leaky, well, if I, if we go back and look at the bacteria that, you know, that we find more prevalent in the Parkinson’s get, there are several organisms there that produce something called pore-forming toxins or different kinds of toxins.
And what those toxins can do is no form little holes in your cells that can affect, your gut lining. And so, you know, that’s just kind of another piece of that puzzle, that is exacerbating that, you know, vicious cycle loop from the gut, the immune system, you know, the over-activation, and the, you know, dysregulation of everything in the microbiome.
And, you know, we tell, you know, I say, I knew instantly, you know, when I read that Parkinson’s paper in the book on the antibiotics, that, you know, that was just such a eureka for me, that my training is as an accountant, and the gut is the general ledger, I mean, it is that record, and we can start to see, especially, you know, when we have this very detailed genetic information, you can start to, you know, map these pieces of the puzzle, you know, back into the contributing factors to, you know, what’s going on, not just with Parkinson’s, I mean, it’s evident, you know, across diseases in our data.
And we’ve looked at that, in, you know, we’ve looked at IBS, we’ve looked at smokers, we’ve looked at cancer. So, you know, I think what we’re going to see as this field continues to emerge is, you know, an incredible acceleration of understanding how these things are impacting
Dr. Joel Rosen: You know, I love it. I have a quote down the gut is the general ledger. That’s an awesome quote, and as far as a couple of things that I think about it again, as complex as this is, the solution is to get nutrients and minerals that we’ve been made to have and as best we can get them from what’s grown in our healthy soils.
And you don’t have to be a scientist to just have nutritionally dense foods that allow our body to recognize that and not create stress alerts and not create antibodies, arteries, and have cross-reactions and create auto immunities, but actually, get the food from our sources and let the body heal. That’s, that’s one thing I think about for people that are listening to sounds, you have something you want to add to that.
Martha Carlin: Well, I mean, so I really when I started seeing what was going on here and tying it back to my original digging into nutrition and food and how our food is grown, had a clear understanding that it’s going to be very difficult for us as a population, to fix our guts if we don’t also fix our food. You know, and I’m very fortunate, the chief scientific officer of my company, is a real jam. Dr. Raul Khanna was a professor of microbiology at Cal Poly for over 30 years. And he was a pioneer in using microbial ecosystems, you know, putting microbes together to clean up oil spills.
And so we have another company outside of the bio collective called paleo biotic that took that has taken a collection of his ancient microbes that he revived out of amber occlusions and deep-sea cores and has combined those into agricultural products that we’re bringing to the market this year will be the will do a small scale test. But, you know, we have filed a patent for the bioremediation of glyphosate and soil and water using our microbial systems, and for improving nutritional uptake in plants, plant growth, all that because, you know, we’ve destroyed the biome of the soil.
And all of that is, you know, it’s a chain reaction. So we must restore the soil, to restore the plant nutrition to restore the animal nutrition to destroy to support our new nutrition. And, you know, you can start growing some food in your backyard. And we were we’re doing a little sample on our biotic quest website where the product is called yield and shield. So in your backyard garden, if you, you know, are interested in trying a microbial solution to help support your soil health, we’re going to have that launched here and probably in another week.
Dr. Joel Rosen: Not it’s awesome. And that’s an I love the rabbit holes and just how you’ve gotten more bitten off more than you can chew when you start to realize, Oh my gosh, now it’s the implications on saving the Earth. And it is, from the point of view, you can’t just yeah, you could try to grow your food, but as a society and as a world you have to restore your earth to be able to get those soils back together and heal. So I love that, Martha, as far as you know, I don’t know if you stick around for the whole conference.
But Dr. Pompa had talked about how when we had the oil spill in the oceans, and we had Chornobyl and we thought our Earth was and probably even, what was it in Japan? Yeah, Hiroshima, we feel that that will impact the Earth to the point of no return. But then we have this inborn ability of hormetic stress, right, where our body gets a little exposed to something, but it makes it stronger. And we found that it ultimately did. So I guess the question is, how much does hormetic stress, even though the fundamentals need to be replaced? Does that impact our ability to deal with this so that it’s not like the sky is falling? And we’re forever past that point of no return?
Martha Carlin: Sure. Well, you know, if you look at something like whether it’s Chornobyl or Fukushima, you know, it’s a, it’s an aggressive assault, and then stepping back from that, and so the ecosystem rebounds, you know, through a selection and you know, microbes evolve much faster than we do. So they’re able to, you know, evolve and figure out what needs to be done and help restore the ecosystem better when we just leave them alone. Where, you know, where our biggest issue we have, I think, is still this you know, on our food supply side, it’s, it’s still this sort of, oh, you know, these chemicals we’re using or not a problem.
And so it’s not hormetic stress, it is constant stress. So, you know, the hormetic stress is like, I’m going to, I’m going to, like push you or I’m going to fast for 48 hours or, you know, something like that, as opposed to constantly assaulting my system, you know, with something toxic. So I do think we have to be, you know, very thoughtful in the, in what we put in our body, we are made of the molecules we eat.
And so, you know, when you’re putting something about to put something in your mouth, you should think do I want to be made of this. And, you know, one of the things I talk to people a lot about is sugar. Because, you know, glucose and fructose are, you know, such damaging molecules in the way that we’re ingesting them. And I know, you talked to Morley Robbins about how fructose blocks copper uptake.
But, you know, one of our key markers in Parkinson’s again, is, you know, this glycosylation. And, you know, I know many people with Parkinson’s who have, you know, sweet tooth, sugar cravings, their car bloaters, my husband was a marathon runner, so he was trained to be a carbohydrate engine to run those marathons.
And, you know, I think, just really starting to, to think about this lower carb, low carb living and what sugars are doing to us. And that sort of brings me back around to that the mannitol product that we made for John, I mean, one of the key things that we found from it, you know, I made it to make mannitol, but it alters glucose metabolism in such a way that we did a small study where people dropped fasting blood glucose, but 10 milligrams per deciliter over about eight weeks.
And we now we have that in a diabetes clinical trial. Because I think, you know, sugar feeds cancer, sugar is a problem in Parkinson’s and neurological diseases. You know, glycation is an indication of, you know, aging. So all of these sorts of pieces, come back to, you know, what we’re putting in our body and sugar, certainly carbohydrates being one of those things that we need to be more mindful about.
Dr. Joel Rosen: Yeah, no murder. That’s an awesome answer, especially as far as the hormetic stressor goes, it’s not meant to be constant stress. It’s meant to be a short exposure to be able to stimulate that homeostatic Allah stasis load in the body. And I love the other answer in terms of microbes. And bacteria are designed to do that their intelligence is to mimic what’s being exposed to them and account or accommodate for that. So that’s an awesome answer.
And then I love how you’re going down the idea of well, how can we harness that, like, notwithstanding everything being equal like that doesn’t change the onus on us understanding what we’re eating and making sure that we work to change our soils. And really, I think even deeper purposes, have legislative changes as well, which is a is a Samsung or David versus Goliath type. But as far as so maybe talk well, I want to talk a little bit about that the sugar because I think that’s a really important point.
And as far as what are you what is it that’s inherent in the product? And not just is it just the mannitol in the probiotic or are there engineered? Other you were mentioning other the lactobacillus like, what is in that product that is doing direct impact on glucose?
Martha Carlin: Sure. So you know, there are three primary organisms in the formula that do the conversion of glucose and fructose into mannitol. And that is a strain of bacteria that you don’t find in a lot of probiotics called Luca nostoc. mesin Troit ease that actually, that strain.
Dr. Joel Rosen: That three times fast. Let’s hear you say it right.
Martha Carlin: Yeah. Luke and I stopped meson Troys. It’s, it’s found in a lot of fermented foods. We isolated it from sauerkraut from cabbage. It grew in my garden, and fermented and stored for over four years before we isolated that organism, It has lactobacillus Rudra, which is also an oxytocin producer. And Reuter I also makes mannitol.
And then a strain of bacteria called Bacillus subtlest, which is a spore-forming organism that also makes mannitol. But these organisms, so we have a computational model called Bio flux, where we can predict how these organisms work together. And what we see is we designed the formula to make mannitol.
But it also increases the production of butyrate, which feeds the lining of the gut and supports that. It’s also altering something called siderophores, which is sequestering iron from pathogens and eliminating that from the body. The planetarium, strain of planetarium came from fermented elderberries from my neighborhood.
And so we’ve tried to look for and select strains with genetics, natural genetics, so none of our organisms are engineered, that, you know, have those functions that we see that we need, and then we put them together and run them through our computational model to make sure that, you know, as a group, they’re going to collectively do what we want them to do.
And so, you know, that’s kind of it’s an eight-strength formula. But those are some of the key strains that you know, are powerhouses for us, there’s also lactobacillus Pierrick KCI. And I think that one also helps with the breakdown of proteins, which, you know, could also be helpful in Parkinson’s.
Dr. Joel Rosen: Yeah, and listen, I don’t think it’s just helpful for Parkinson’s, you know, 88% of our population is metabolically sick. And ultimately, Parkinson’s, even though it attacks certain tissues in the body, it’s the same mechanism of being metabolically sick.
And it’s the same mechanisms of the different strains that impact the physiology favorably, that would help anyone and I’m excited about that, for sure, especially the oxytocin just as an aside, when we do genetic test interpretations, one of the main genetic tests, snips that we look at is the oxytocin receptor.
And when people have polymorphisms, with that, they tend to be more empathetic people. And I always explain that as the first thing that I explained when we go through a genetic test interpretation. Because when you have the antenna sticking out of your head a lot more and it’s bringing in all these frequencies, it’s going to drive that oxygen consumption rate super high.
And if you’re not respiring, at the level you need to, and you’re fermenting glucose. And that’s creating all the things that we’ve talked about, given that your microbiome can’t do this, that, and the other. It’s going to make things a lot worse.
On top of that what’s amazing about oxytocin is it suppresses the NADPH oxidase that creates the free radicals that create the mast cells that creates the histamines. I love the idea of fermented foods. You know, unfortunately, a lot of people that have these major gi challenges, it’s a catch-22, because they are already fermenting from a biological point of view.
So any other foods that they get that are fermented typically kick that ocean floor, and I know you got to say something here in a second. But at the same time, the fermented foods, if you look at longevity, Barians, or blue zone countries, I think they’ve worked it into their dietary supply to have the microbiome to be able to deal with the fermented foods.
And instead of that could be another general ledger, as well in terms of if you can tolerate fermented foods, you know, you’re on the surplus or you’re in the black and if you can’t tolerate it, you’re in the red right? Does that make sense?
Martha Carlin: It does. The only people that I’ve had that have had an issue with the sugar shipped product are people who are super sensitive to FODMAPs. But you know, the way our product works, you know, a lot of probiotics are using new capsules and designs to try to get it past the upper GI tract and down into the colon.
But I, you know, because you’re eating the sugar up here, and so many people have SIBO small intestinal bacterial overgrowth You know, you want to get those sugars out before they get down to feeding, you know, the SIBO organisms.
So, you know, for the most part, people don’t have it a challenge with the product even though you know, mannitol is a sugar alcohol, it’s making a small amount of it. But you know, you’re doing this conversion and, you know, helping to address I think, the feeding of the sugars in the upper GI tract.
But you know, what I do tell people if they’ve got a high level of fermented food sensitivity, they need to deal with that, first by, right, like, addressing the pathogens in their biome.
But you know, one of the interesting things in the data when we did before and after, you know, first off, John, and then another group of people who took the product is streptococcus. Going back to some of my observational stuff, and talking with people with Parkinson’s, people with Parkinson’s, quite a few of them had this history in their childhood, of having frequent strep infections and taking antibiotics a lot.
And so that was sort of interesting to me, I looked at. So I talked to 23, and I and they also looked at their data, and there was an increased risk of Parkinson’s disease in people who had had four or more strep infections.
Dr. Scheper, Hans went on to show this correlation with antibiotics. And strep is also an interesting organism. And in minerals, and iron, in particular, it uses its iron to feed crossfeed. Some other pathogens, I’m probably going way down that rabbit hole here.
But the preferred food for streptococcus is glucose. It loves to grow on glucose. And what we found, in our before and after testing with the sugar shift formula was that streptococcus was almost disappearing completely.
And when we did machine learning with all of our samples across the population, we found that people who had more than 1% relative abundance of streptococcal species in their gut, were in some kind of disease category. They weren’t all in the same disease category, but the healthy people, had below 1
Martha Carlin: You know, I think just very early on, I wish I had deeper knowledge about the food and the chemicals that were in the food. You know, I look, my, my oldest son who works for me is in his 30s, and he has a lot of allergies and inflammatory issues. And, you know, I looked back at, you know, when he was little, you know, eating Kraft macaroni and cheese, and, you know, things that, or, you know, cereal, you know, there’s just a lot of things about the food that, you know, I was just ignorant.
And so I think that is the one thing that in the, in the water, so when we started looking at the water and filtering the water, and, you know, making sure that we’re taking minerals because we’re now filtering the minerals out of the water. You know, if I had known what I know, now, 25 years ago, you know, maybe none of this would have happened. But, you know, hindsight is 2020 and, you know, I’m on this journey.
And, you know, sometimes John and I talked about, like, we were brought together in some time, I’ll tell you that story. Because it’s a pretty amazing story. You know, we were brought together on this planet to make a difference. And you know, I say it with all honestly I feel that I’m here to save the world.
And you know, I’m doing that through the soil and the human microbiome and through you know, all On my mission to educate people and help people to understand we do have the power to heal ourselves. And we have the power to say no to what’s being pushed at us. And, you know, we can take back our land and our lives and our health.
Dr. Joel Rosen: Awesome answer. And I’m glad that our frequency is aligned and gotten to coherence because I’m on board to help in any way that I can. I think part two will entail water, the story of how you met John, and then all the other things that we have in terms of other epigenetic, perfect storms if you will. But I agree with you, Martha. It’s never a curse, in that you have this ailment or affliction because what comes out of it is, is better is the world benefits.
But also, you’ve come closer and you’ve developed things that are helpful for John and continue to because I’ve liked the term healing or Parkinson’s or life is a verb. It’s not a noun, right. So, Martha, thank you so much. I’m looking forward to part two. And I guess we could end there and set up a time for time to reconvene.
Martha Carlin: I appreciate you having me.
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Martha Carlin, is a “Citizen Scientist”, systems thinker, wife of Parkinson’s warrior, John Carlin, and founder of The BioCollective , a microbiome company expanding the reach of science and BiotiQuest, the first of it’s kind probiotic line. Since John’s diagnosis in 2002, Martha began learning the science of agriculture, nutrition, environment, infectious disease, Parkinson’s pathology and much more. In 2014, when the first research was published showing a connection between the gut bacteria and the two phenotypes of Parkinson’s, Martha quit her former career as a business turnaround expert and founded The BioCollective to accelerate the discovery of the impact of gut health on all human disease. Martha was a speaker at the White House 2016 Microbiome Initiative launch, challenging the scientific community to “think in a broader context”. Her systems thinking background and experience has led to collaborations across the scientific spectrum from neuroscience to engineering to infectious disease. She is a respected out of the box problem solver in the microbiome field and brings a unique perspective to helping others understand the connections from the soil to the food to our guts and our brains.
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