Hack Your Health: The Secrets of Your Gut (2024) Movie Script

[birds chirping]
[gentle music playing]
[woman] As humans, we've discovered
so many new things on this planet.
We've even flown to the moon.
But hardly anyone has really adventured
into their own gut.
We feel a lot of shame about our gut.
But it influences
so much about our health.
About how we feel,
if we are overweight or not,
what kind of diseases we can get,
how our immune system is being trained,
and, really with that,
the course of our lives.
["Gut Feeling" by Devo playing]
The nation got a report card
on obesity today, and the country flunked.
- [reporter 1] Rates of colorectal cancer...
- [reporter 2] Heart disease...
- [reporter 3] Irritable bowel syndrome...
- [reporter 4] Increase in autism...
[reporter 5] ...depression, anxiety
are skyrocketing.
[woman 1] What is healthy?
Why is eating painful?
[man] What changes
do I need to do to get healthy?
Why's it so hard for me to lose weight?
[woman 2] How do I still not know
what's right for my body?
[in Japanese] How do I fix my gut?
[in English] Do I have to spend
$100 a month on supplements?
[Giulia] There's a lot of noise
thrown at us.
[blender whirs]
Is it diet?
Is it carbohydrates? Is it no diet?
- And if you just look at...
- [all]...the gut...
...all this gets much easier to understand.
[man] We really just think about our gut
as a place where our poop comes from.
But it turns out to be
the center of a biomedical revolution.
[microbes cheering]
["Gut Feeling" continues]
[man] Diseases like anxiety,
and depression, cancer,
autism, Parkinson's
are all related to the gut.
[microbes] Huh?
This is new science, tip of the iceberg.
There's another 97% left to discover.
I've got a gut feeling
We're getting to the point where
we can make a more precise definition
about what you should eat.
I've got a gut feeling, feeling
The gut is flexible. It really changes
when we change the way we eat.
And once we've realized that,
everything changes.
[music ends]
[Giulia] Until I was 16 or 17,
I was just as confused by my gut
as everyone else.
[pensive music playing]
[Giulia] I couldn't deal with lactose.
I had a skin disease.
I was suddenly chubby as a child,
although there was
no apparent reason for it.
And so I read a lot about the gut,
and I realized that
when you really look at the organ,
you find so many of those answers.
One morning, my roommate
came into the kitchen and asked me,
"Giulia, you love the gut.
You talk about it all the time." [laughs]
"How does pooping work?"
And I had no idea.
So, I went up to my room,
and I looked in, like, three books,
and when I found out, I was like, "What?"
"Even this part is really cool about it."
There's nothing to shy away from, really.
All of it is cool.
[doctor speaking German]
[Giulia] We feel guilty and shame a lot
when it comes to our gut.
And it's completely crazy
when you think about it,
'cause this is the organ
that keeps you alive.
And as soon as you just know a few facts,
you feel a lot of respect for it.
Science can help us navigate
the questions about our health.
I remember when I did this the first time
with Professor Krammer, and he just said,
"See? Everybody looks the same inside."
We start with the esophagus.
It'll transport food to the stomach,
which passes it on to the small intestine.
What's left goes to the large intestine,
the colon.
And whatever we really don't need
goes out of the butthole.
And then we're done.
Gut science has been the hottest area
in all of biomedicine
for the last decade or more.
It is the missing part of the puzzle.
Our gut affects our whole body.
It can even affect
certain conditions in the brain.
[John] We've known for hundreds of years
that this is so important.
All we have to do is look to our language.
When we're disappointed, we're gutted.
When we're brave, we make gutsy moves.
When we have... we're nervous,
we have butterflies in our tummy.
The gut really is the second brain.
And from an evolutionary perspective,
our brains have never existed
without signals coming from the gut.
I'm being swallowed by my gut.
I mean, you know,
it's the gut fights back.
This whole field
is disrupting modern medicine.
[serene music playing]
[Giulia] This is an exhibit
that's based on a book
that my sister and I did about the gut.
And the purpose of it
is to just turn the inside out.
[upbeat ethereal music playing]
This is probably better.
[laughing] This is much more accurate,
actually, when you look at it like this.
The intestinal tract,
it's not a straight thing.
It's a bit, you know,
crooked here, crooked there.
The stomach, for example,
it goes like this.
So on top of it, there's an air bubble.
So when you really have a lot of air
in your stomach,
and you want to get it out,
lay on your left side
because then the air bubble
actually can go out quite nicely.
- [display belches]
- [laughs]
Whee! [laughs]
And then if I were a food particle,
and I would arrive at the small intestine,
then all these folds and villi
would stick out,
and I would be like, "Ah!"
And I could be, like, digested
and be taken up into the blood.
What's interesting is that
we can't digest on our own.
We need microbes
in order to do that properly.
The tiniest virus
works with the small bacteria,
works with a much larger yeast,
works with a super big human,
and this is what we call the microbiome.
[microbes chittering]
[Giulia] Most people think
that bacteria are bad,
but, actually, 99% of them
don't do anything to us,
and some can even help us.
[microbes chittering]
Some bacteria have more important roles
than we could have imagined.
If we let them live on us,
they'll actually lend us their skills.
They help with digesting our food.
[microbe] Yummy!
They help to quiet inflammation
and make the immune system less likely
to cause autoimmune disease.
[man] Approximately 70%
of our immune system lives in our gut.
Bacteria train that immune system
to respond to bad organisms
that might have a consequence on health.
They help produce chemicals
which we can't.
[woman] Microbes can shape our hormones,
and they can make us feel hungry or full.
They can be communicating with the brain.
They're communicating with other organs.
They shape our brain
early in life and as we get older.
- [beeping]
- [electricity crackling]
[John] If you looked at the genes
in and on our bodies,
we would be more than 99% microbial.
[Giulia] We oftentimes believe that
our human genes determine our health,
but now we know that the microbiome
is very central to being obese,
being depressed, having allergies,
or how stressed or relaxed you'll feel.
We don't know how big is the part
that it plays in these entities.
For some people,
it might be really relevant,
and for others, it might be smaller.
[male producer] Take one.
[laughs] Thank you.
[John] We may not want to admit it,
but we all have problems with our gut
from time to time.
[Jack] People differ
in their relationship to food,
in their diseases,
in their response to medication,
in their overall life history.
[Maya] If I eat pretty much anything
that's not vegetables,
I start getting stomach pains,
which makes my job incredibly difficult.
[Daniell] You realize
how much you took for granted.
Like something as simple
as being able to poop.
I've had to learn
to become grateful for the tiniest things.
[Kimmie] I've tried
to control my weight all kind of ways,
but I would lose a lot,
and I would gain
a whole lot more. [chuckles]
[Kobi, in Japanese]
I hear people say they're hungry,
and they look very happy
after they've eaten.
I'm jealous of those people
because I no longer feel hunger.
[Jack, in English] We're trying
to understand what's going on
with all this variance
that makes people different.
We think the microbiome is key to that.
[microbes chittering]
In order for us
to understand our differences,
we have to first look at
where our microbes come from.
[microbes chittering]
[woman] You're born
largely without microbes.
Microbes colonize you
once you enter the world.
[baby cooing]
[Giulia] When we're born, this is really
the moment where it tips off everything.
[Erica] When a baby is born vaginally,
they're being exposed
to the bacteria in the mom's vagina.
[Giulia] And then, when you come out,
the face is going down
in the direction to the butt.
You also get some gut bacteria
because you're so close by the butt
that you already get
your first microbial colonists.
And they start making this
a habitable place to live
for other microbes.
[uplifting ethereal music playing]
[microbes chittering]
[Giulia] We shape our microbiome
by all the little choices and adventures
we have in our life.
Whoever we kiss, what we put
in our mouth, where we travel.
[Annie] The food you eat,
the relationships you have
with your siblings,
whether you have pets, exercise, stress,
your experiences when you were a child,
whether you had adversity or not.
[Jack] Because of this,
everybody has a unique microbiome.
[Giulia] So it's sort of this collection
of microbial memories.
[man] Knowing that the microbiome could be
the key to health is really exciting,
because you can't change your genes,
but all of us have the ability
to change our own microbes
through simple changes
to our diet and our lifestyle.
[upbeat music playing]
Perfectly greasy. Oh my God.
The industrialized microbiome
is probably pretty unhealthy
and may be pushing us towards a lot
of our most common and serious diseases.
[stomach gurgling]
That could result
in a lot of these chronic diseases
that are very, very prevalent,
like obesity, diabetes,
hypertension, food allergies.
So, I think the way we think
about disease needs to change.
- [woman gasps]
- [man gulps]
[Justin] Big changes to our environment,
Western diet,
the way babies are born, C-sections,
baby formula,
sanitation, antibiotics
all lead to decreased
microbiome diversity.
Exactly what we see
in the industrialized microbiome.
I was a C-section baby,
who was breastfed for...
I'm not entirely sure for how long.
I'm always running
for my children or my job,
so I'm always super stressed out.
Five-time Nathan's Famous champion,
Takeru Kobayashi!
[Kobi, in Japanese] I don't think
there's anything healthy
about what I do. [laughs]
I wonder what damage I've done to my body.
[Homer gulps]
[Maya, in English]
It does make me kind of wonder
how that affects your health
and what that does to your microbiome.
[microbes chittering]
[Justin] We've lost hundreds of species
in our gut.
They've gone extinct.
And what we're realizing now
is that the most important factors
of determining the health
of this microbial community is your diet.
There are some major deficiencies
in the typical American diet,
even the typical American diet
that's healthy.
[pensive music playing]
Currently in the States,
nearly 60% of all the calories eaten
are ultra-processed food.
The food is ultra-refined.
It's been stripped of all its nutrients
of the original natural ingredients,
and then they add back in
all types of chemicals
and large amounts of sugars.
But people are confused about what to eat
because it's made to look healthy
by adding labels on the packet
that say this is low-cal
and therefore healthy,
or this has extra vitamins.
When you look at
some of these labels in detail,
really hard to work out
what's actually inside them.
That's actually not too bad,
that one. [laughs]
[director] It's not?
I looked at it. It has tons of sugar.
[Tim] Does it? I couldn't see.
It's 30% sugar. Yep.
Just looking at this, it's fiber-packed,
it's got fruit and nuts, it's got
dark chocolate, it's got sea salt.
This to me, first look,
it looks pretty good.
It's only when you
look into the ingredients,
you see, "Oh! That is far too sugary."
[chuckling] You... You see? I was fooled.
[Maya] It's hard to navigate
what you should be eating
because you go to the supermarket,
and the lists of powders and tonics
and things that you need just grows.
[reporter 1] Can chlorophyll
prevent cancer?
[reporter 2] Medicinal mushrooms...
- [reporter 3] Red wine's healthy...
- [reporter 4] Probiotics for your vagina.
[reporters overlapping]
Spirulina. Chocolate.
Collagen. Blueberry extract. Coffee!
So, yeah. I find the food world
and wellness culture incredibly confusing.
[young Maya in video]
Today we're gonna make teriyaki chicken.
We have... We have garlic, ginger, sugar,
soy sauce, sesame oil, and onions.
- First, you...
- You have great confidence, I have to say.
- I was a confident cook when I was four.
- [laughing]
Some soy sauce, a lot of ginger because
we can't get enough of that ginger.
All of the garlic,
because we never can get enough
of garlic either.
Cooking and food is truly in my blood,
and it's something
I've been doing since I was really little.
And now it's my passion
and my art and my career.
I received my first Michelin star
when I was 23.
I won Eater's Hottest Chef.
So ridiculous that that was even a thing.
But you do feel the need
to cultivate this image
of the goth, cute pastry chef
with tattoos.
There was just a massive amount
of pressure on me,
and so then I kind of
just let it get out of control.
[gentle music playing]
[Maya] I was really anorexic
for a long time.
But now, my eating disorder
has kind of shifted to orthorexia,
where I'm very obsessed with wellness
and maximizing your nutrition.
So this is, yeah, like,
guarana, suma, reishi, lion's mane,
Cordyceps, the spirulina,
Chlorella, moringa.
Basically, I eat a lot of vegetables
and then supplement it
with potions and powders
and things that the Internet tells me
that I probably need.
I have taken so many things out of my diet
and tried to reintroduce,
you know, "fun foods."
But when I eat sugar,
pork, butter, things like that,
then I feel bloated,
and I feel like I have to throw up
for three, four days afterwards.
Which is really hard because I am trying
to fix my relationship with food.
And then when it feels like
your body is betraying you,
it's, um...
It's hard to... to get past that.
[gentle music continues]
[Maya] I think ultimately
I would really love to know
what I should be eating,
or what I shouldn't be eating,
and what healthy is for me, specifically.
[Giulia] When my patients ask me,
"What makes a microbiome healthy?"
I like to compare it to a forest.
You can't put a few healthy plants in it
and expect everything to change.
A forest needs a healthy balance
where the plants and the life can be okay
with the circumstances,
with the light, with the water,
with the nutrients from the soil
and function together.
Our gut bacteria,
they want just a few grams of fiber
from vegetables and fruits every day,
and it's weird
that it's so hard for us to manage this.
[Justin] Current recommendations
in the United States suggest
that we should be eating
28 to 40 grams of dietary fiber per day.
And we're only eating
15 grams in the average American diet.
The field of microbiome science
is realizing
that we probably should be eating
in excess of 50 grams per day.
[in Japanese] How much fiber
is in one hot dog?
[scoffs] What? Zero grams!
[Tim, in English] Whether you have meat
on your plate or not...
You can be vegan, non-vegan.
Doesn't matter.
The key is getting the diversity
of plants in all their forms,
as many as you can
on your plate to feed your microbes.
Why should I eat my veggies? You know?
I'm a big fan of understanding this.
Of course, there are many nutrients in it,
and not so many bad things
that are in processed foods.
But also if the front part
of your body was see-through,
you could actually see digestion,
and you would be able to very easily see
the difference
between processed foods and vegetables.
With processed foods, you could see
that within the first centimeters
of the small intestine,
it's basically all taken up in the blood.
There's a surge of sugar
in the bloodstream,
and we have to pack it
in the cells really fast.
It's, like, almost a stressful event,
actually, for the body,
because, "Where should I put
all this sugar?" You know?
It has to really push it everywhere.
But with the fiber
that we have in vegetables,
it's just more stable.
It would be taken up a little bit,
go further,
be taken up a little bit, go further.
It would even land in the colon
and would be a good source of food
for the microbes there.
[microbe] Delicious!
[Giulia] So it's
a completely different mode of digesting.
You know,
like a long walk instead of sprinting.
If a gut microbiome is very diverse,
has many different kinds of bacteria,
it'll just have
this bouquet of possibilities
to react to what life throws at us.
[tense music playing]
[upbeat, quirky 1960's music playing]
[announcer] Kobayashi continues
to just pound 'em down.
Putting on a clinic.
Look at him go. He's moving his arms and...
[John] So what happens if we don't eat
enough fiber to feed these microbes?
[announcer] Takeru Kobayashi!
If you're not feeding
your gut microbes dietary fiber,
your gut microbes will start eating you.
[microbes chittering]
[Giulia] All these microbes are great.
They help your body a lot.
But they're also microbes.
So there has to be a friendly border
of respect, and this is produced by mucus.
Mucus is a good way of doing that
because it's also a bit permeable,
so nutrients and everything
can come through,
but the microbes
are being held a little bit distant.
[Justin] Well, it turns out
if you stop eating dietary fiber...
[microbe] No! No! No!
[Justin]...the gut microbes
still need to eat something,
so they will start eating
that mucus lining as a backup food source.
And gradually, over time,
they'll deplete that mucus lining.
Your bacteria are going
to places in the body
where they're not supposed to go.
[Giulia] And when immune cells
that reside there see that,
- they go into a defense mode.
- [horn sounding]
[Giulia] And this can cause
a battle of inflammation,
and it can change
the microbial composition of your gut.
And that is one of the things
that can lead to many diseases
like inflammatory bowel disease,
or some types of irritable bowel syndrome.
[foreboding music playing]
[Giulia] When we started
to explore chronic inflammatory diseases,
scientists had this thought of,
can we find the microbe
or the microbial community
that makes this disease
or creates that feeling that's bad?
But now when we think about
how this ecosystem interacts,
we have this newer approach
where we also ask ourselves
if we are missing certain bacteria
that are usually there to protect us.
[chainsaw running]
My name is Daniell Koepke,
and I am a clinical psychology
doctoral student.
It's really hard for me to remember
what it was like to eat food
before it became associated
with anxiety and pain and discomfort.
When I was in undergrad,
I had a pretty bad diet.
And that diet, the high-sugar foods
and the absence
of more fruits and vegetables,
led to IBS-like symptoms.
So I was experiencing indigestion,
stabbing pains from trapped gas,
constipation, not being able
to go to the bathroom at all.
When you have multiple gut symptoms
that can't be easily put into a box,
a lot of doctors don't know what to do.
[video game sound effects]
[Daniell] Antibiotics are given out
like candy.
"You don't feel good
or think you might have this thing?"
"Here. Take some antibiotics."
In the last five years, I've been on
six rounds of antibiotics in a year.
I lost a lot of weight
when I started getting sick
and had to cut all of these things
out of my diet.
I don't know
how many things I can eat now,
but it's probably
anywhere between 10 and 15.
It feels really limiting,
and I often feel really deprived.
So I have to take these supplements
to maintain my baseline functioning.
These are even more supplements
that... [chuckles wryly]
...I've taken in the past
that no longer work. Um...
I know that pills aren't the answer,
but I feel stuck because I don't know
how to grow these new bacteria that I need
when I can't eat a lot of these foods, uh,
that are required
to, like, have a healthy gut microbiome.
[somber music playing]
[Giulia] If we cut foods out of our diet,
we'll change our microbes drastically,
because who can live there
if you don't feed them?
[sighs sadly]
[Giulia] And if we want
to reintroduce fiber,
we'll have a far more difficult time.
[microbes gagging]
[Giulia] So people who suddenly
eat healthy again will be bloated,
will have some stomach pain.
So it's a process of changing their diet,
but not too drastically,
in a way that all the microbes
in the gut can adjust.
[Maya] Since I've had
such a restrictive diet,
I wonder was I also starving
the microbes in my body at the same time?
And has that changed
how my body can process foods,
and does that mean, like, my future,
I'm always going to have issues
with eating something,
or is it partially a mental block?
I'm not really sure... [chuckles]
...what's going on.
It's something that I would love
to actually learn more about.
Oh. Cool.
[phones dinging, beeping]
- [engine roars]
- [brakes screech]
[doorbell rings]
[upbeat synth music playing]
[Maya] It's like Christmas.
[in Japanese] I wonder what this is.
[in English] Oh no.
It's weird. All of a sudden,
I don't care about being healthy anymore.
"Collect one scoop of solid stool..."
"...or four scoops of liquid..." Ooh!
"...into tube."
"Mix well."
It's like the world's grossest recipe.
[in Japanese] Ooh! This is like a spoon.
I guess you do this.
[Maya, in English]
I've always found the idea
of gut testing really fascinating.
It would be awesome if I could understand
what's happening in my own body.
[Kimmie] I've tried
so many different things to lose weight.
Hopefully, this might be the thing for me.
[Kobi, in Japanese] I want the test
to tell me why I don't have an appetite.
And about the relationship
between my organs and eating.
[Giulia, in English] I've never had
my gut microbiome tested.
I don't think, at this point of time,
it makes a lot of sense.
All the things you can do
to have a healthy gut,
eating differently,
treating your gut nicer,
you can do them
without having an analysis first.
[toilet flushes]
But if you just want to do
a fun experiment, go ahead.
And for research, it's a great tool.
[Jack] At the beginning
of microbiome science,
we were really our own guinea pigs.
So myself and my colleagues
were collecting our own poop
and sticking it in freezers.
So you take a little piece of used
toilet paper, you color the piece you swab
with a little bit of poop,
make it a bit brown,
then we extract the DNA from that.
But now we've expanded
to thousands of thousands of samples
from thousands of people
around the United States
and, indeed, around the world now.
If you gave me your microbiome sample,
I wouldn't be able to tell you
a hell of a lot
about how sick or healthy you are.
I can only do that by comparing you
to a really large group of people
and seeing how you fit.
Does your microbiome
look like people who have asthma?
Do you have asthma?
Does your microbiome
look like people who are obese?
Are you obese?
If that's true,
then I can find a signature,
which can help me unpin that.
[man] Each teaspoon of stool contains
terabytes and terabytes of information
encoded in the DNA of the microbes.
So each dot on the screen represents
all the complexity of the microbiome
of one person distilled
just down to one point.
So what this display shows you
is what kinds of microbes
are shared between samples.
So two samples that are close together
are ones that have
very similar microbial communities,
whereas samples that are far apart
have entirely distinct communities
from one another.
[Justin] When we started
studying the gut microbiome,
the field assumed
that if we looked at the gut microbiome
of healthy Americans,
we would get a good picture
of what a healthy microbiome is.
This visualization shows
the differences between microbes
of the industrialized world
down at the bottom,
versus the less industrial world
up on the top there.
What you can see so clearly is how,
in the non-industrialized microbiome,
you have more diversity.
[Aashish] So if we only focus
on the Western world,
then we are not getting a full picture
of what a healthy gut microbiome
composition looks like,
or looked like in the past.
[in Nepali] It's difficult to walk here.
[in English] We're going
to traditional communities
and asking people
to donate their... their... their poop.
- Namaste.
- Namaste.
[Aashish and woman speaking Nepali]
[Aashish, in English]
When we go to communities
and say "Can we collect your poop?"
Most of the time people are like,
"Oh no, no, no. Poop? No. Poop, no."
But when I explain to them what I'm doing,
they're like, "Sure. Why not?"
[toilet flushing]
[Justin] It turns out that
the gut microbiome of rural populations
have hundreds of more species
that we just don't see
in the industrialized gut microbiome.
By studying populations that are
still practicing traditional lives,
we will begin to understand
what microbes have been lost
from industrial populations,
and how this is influencing
our overall health.
[video call ringing, connects]
We ready? [laughs]
Hi, Maya. Nice to meet you.
So would you like
to discuss your results now?
Sure. Yeah.
What we found in our studies
is that overall, you're pretty healthy.
It's definitely above average.
All those vegetables you're eating
every week have not gone to waste.
[chuckles] Cool.
You know, I've also struggled with having
a disordered relationship with eating.
I've always been very,
kind of, restrictive in my diet.
So, Maya, yeah,
many people think like you,
that just having
a really healthy kale salad every day
is going to keep them healthy.
That's not as healthy as we thought.
The more diversity you consume,
the more rich your microbiome will be,
the more species of bacteria
that will be present inside your gut.
[Tim] And that does allow you to deal with
allergies and intolerances better.
- Yeah.
- It's not about restricting things.
It's about enlarging your world of foods
that are possible for you to eat.
Well, I think part of the problem is that
I have some kind of, like, mental blocks
for some foods, like pork,
and occasionally my stomach
just reacts really poorly to it.
Is that something that I can overcome,
or is it just I'm never gonna eat bacon
ever again in my entire life?
Oh! Don't say that. Sounds horrible.
- Yeah. It's a struggle, right?
- Yeah.
We do think to alleviate it,
introducing these things
in very small doses, microdosing,
and then building it up over time
into large doses can play a role.
Try small amounts,
you know, bring them into your diet.
And if you do that gradually over months,
you might start to regain the ability
to eat a much wider range of foods.
I do really love the idea
of microdosing chips, though.
Oh man. So do I now.
[laughing] Yeah. Yay, that's so exciting.
[voice breaking] I'm getting emotional
thinking about it. I'm sorry.
[uplifting music playing]
But yeah, it's...
it's been a really long, hard road.
I'm really excited by the idea
of microdosing potato chips.
You know, just changing my diet
a little bit at a time.
And it's been fun.
I mean, I eat, like,
three potato chips a day sometimes,
and I don't feel bad.
It does make me wonder
if I'm eating the right things,
or is it, something's changing chemically
in my brain?
[chips crunching]
- [buzzer sounds]
- [electricity crackles]
[Kimmie] According to the world
and all these graphs and charts,
because of my height and my weight,
I'm considered morbidly obese.
I tried to control my weight before.
I went and got
this expensive gym membership.
I've tried diets.
I've tried the weight loss medicine,
and it didn't work for me.
I would lose a lot of weight at first,
and then it just comes right back.
Diabetes runs in my family.
So even though I'm healthy now,
I wanna lose weight before any of that,
you know, onsets in my life.
I wanna be here
as long as I can for my kids.
Society, you know,
makes women feel less than
because they're larger,
and I'm not looking to be skinny
or 120 pounds, just more healthy.
I'm just gonna be this plus-size diva
till the end.
I'm feeling myself
Living it up, straight to the top
I'm flexin', I'm flexin'...
[motorcycle engine revs]
[tire screeching]
[Kimmie] You can be positive
in the body that you're in,
but also be conscious of your health
because you ultimately need that.
I'm flexin', flexin'...
[Kimmie] So my question about eating is,
what in the world are y'all eating
that I'm not eating
that cause y'all to lose weight
and not me? [laughing]
[tire screeching]
[music fades out]
[doctor] As a physician,
when we try to explain to our patients
why they're having
such a hard time losing weight,
we have a tendency of blaming
the individuals, blaming the patients.
[comical music playing]
[Eran Elinav] The population
has been doing what we were recommending
for many decades,
yet the obesity epidemic
has not slowed down or reversed.
[all chomp]
[all gobbling]
[man] The word "diet" is really confusing.
Low-fat versus low-carb.
Most people understand it
to be really a sprint that I'm gonna do
for some period of time to lose weight,
and then I can go back
to my previous patterns
of eating whatever I want to eat.
[comical munching]
[Eran Segal] But a diet, it's really about
changing your lifestyle for life.
Another reason why diets don't work is
that they really focus on the wrong thing.
And in that sense,
they actually could be misdirecting us.
When we put these calorie labels on boxes,
we think, "Okay,
this is the amount of energy
that we will all extract
if we ate that same food."
But of course, that is not true.
[playful music playing]
[Eran Elinav] If you would give
an identical apple
to three different people,
each of these individuals would show
a different response to the same apple.
You know I can't eat this, right? [laughs]
[Eran Segal] They will each process it
in a different way.
They will each extract
different nutrients from it.
They will each extract
different amounts of energies.
[Kimmie] You go your whole life thinking,
"Okay, it's calories."
"Me and you can eat the same thing,
and we should both have
the same results, ultimately,"
and that's just not what it is.
So, rather than measuring the apple,
one needs to start measuring
the people who eat the apple.
[Eran Segal] Now we focus
on blood glucose levels
in the two hours after you eat a meal
because we understand
that your blood sugar levels after a meal
are directly connected
to weight loss and weight gain,
and also to the development
of multiple diseases.
[woman] Good, good, good.
Some cream cheese.
[Tim] I ought to check
my sugar levels this morning.
[Veronique] Especially after that.
Let's see if I beat you.
Oh my God, you're going up really fast.
- Definitely beat you this time.
- [Veronique laughs] Yeah.
[Tim] Bagels have that effect on me.
[Veronique] That's okay for me.
[Eran Segal] One of the seminal works
in the field of microbiome
was a study led by Jeff Gordon
in which he took identical twins,
but one twin was obese,
and the other was lean,
and he transplanted
the gut bacteria from the obese twin
and the lean twin into mice.
The mice that received the bacteria
from the obese twin
gained more weight on the same food
as compared to mice
who received the bacteria
of the lean twin.
[Jack] And that's helping us to understand
why some people experience more difficulty
losing weight.
For some people,
you lose weight, put on weight,
lose weight, put on more weight,
lose weight, put on even more weight,
and it keeps going up.
We think the microbiome is key to that.
You may have to go on a diet
for 9 to 12 months
to reshape the ecosystem,
to prevent the weight
from coming back with a vengeance
when you start eating a hamburger again.
[pensive music playing]
[Eran Segal] Using the microbiome data
that we collected from individuals,
we can start to predict
which foods are the best for each person.
At least as far as blood sugar levels go.
[Maya] Oysters, that's good.
Can't have eggplant sandwiches,
that's bad.
For somebody like me
where obsession is an issue... [laughs]
...having scores
is not necessarily helpful for me.
[in Japanese]
We should put hot dogs in there.
The hot dog and bun
on its own is rated yellow.
- But that's not too bad, right?
- It's not too bad, but also not good.
But it's better
when it's with cheese and avocado.
[Kobi] Oh, I like avocado.
It's amazing.
The more toppings
you add to it, the better.
[Kimmie, in English]
Oh my God. Pork tenderloin.
So you mean to tell me pork is good?
Nobody better not tell me nothing else.
[video call ringing, connects]
Hi, Kimmie!
Hi, Annie!
- Hi, Kimmie.
- [Kimmie] Hi, Eran.
You know, you had asked before, like,
why is it that
when you try to lose weight, you can't.
So when we looked at your microbiome,
we saw that you had
a less diverse microbiome.
In particular, we noticed
a specific type of bacteria,
it's known as Prevotella, you had zero.
Oh my goodness.
So people who have
that pattern of no Prevotella
have a hard time losing weight.
Then the other thing we found
was that there were
three other specific bacteria in your gut
that were in low amounts.
They're associated with the production
of a specific type of gut hormone
that makes you feel full.
It could be why you're always hungry.
But it's never as simple as one bacteria,
because no bacteria acts alone.
So you really need to understand
how they act within an ecosystem,
which is why we analyze
the microbiome as a whole.
Does that make sense?
Absolutely. I mean,
I'm kind of amazed, actually.
I mean, just to be able to find out
all those different things about myself,
simply from testing poop.
But I don't know.
I guess it just seems so difficult.
Why does it seem like... like I'm stuck?
- Am I stuck?
- Yeah. No, you're not... you're not stuck.
So, the good thing is you got here,
but you can also get out.
You really want to do,
I would say, a lifestyle change
where you really change your food,
such that it better matches
your good bacteria.
Oh yeah.
[Eran Segal] And we might be able to find
something that is enjoyable,
something that could be sustained
for a long period of time,
and would also be good for you.
You know, we talked about ABCs,
"always be counting,"
not calories,
but always be counting
the number of fruits and vegetables
that you have per week.
Between 20 and 30
is usually considered good.
[Kimmie] It definitely clears things up
a little more.
Different bacteria,
you know, different lifestyles,
just different things happening
for different people at different times
just creates different outcomes.
My life is pretty hectic.
I'm responsible for a lot of people.
I have a sick mom
that I'm constantly taking care of.
I'm a single mom
to three beautiful children.
My baby boy, he's autistic,
so I'm always teaching him.
[all chattering indistinctly]
[Kimmie] Eating in a household
with different age groups
that all want different things,
you gotta cook for you,
and then you gotta cook for them, and...
It can be difficult,
and it can be expensive.
So getting my kids on board
with one meal that everybody likes,
that's my project.
[in Japanese] I'm sure
that I've eaten 10,000 hot dogs
since the beginning of my career.
[rock music playing]
[whistle blows]
[rock music continues]
[whistle blows]
[rock music ends]
I am Japanese,
but I've eaten like an American.
I think that's what's damaged my body.
[pensive music playing]
[man] Wow, this aroma.
[Maggie] This is real Japanese food, huh?
So beautiful.
[in English] So beautiful.
- Mmm!
- [man speaking Japanese]
Is competitive eating
damaging your stomach?
When we go out together,
I mean, the rest of us
eat more than you do.
[Maggie] Yeah, it's true.
Kobi thinks he might be broken.
He doesn't feel hungry or full.
- He doesn't feel those things at all.
- [man] Oh really?
There are times when he realizes that
he hasn't eaten anything in three days.
[man] It's that bad, really?
I feel like the more you eat,
especially junk food,
the more you damage your body.
[man 2 speaking indistinctly]
Ever since I started this career,
I've wondered
what damage I've done to my body.
I want to know how it is damaging
my brain and nervous system.
[in English] Earlier, I think
I had this image of myself,
like, I'm this head and brain, and rest,
and this is how I go about life.
My feelings and everything,
my thoughts, are just produced up here.
And this is a bit silly,
and it reminds me even about the way
my little nephew draws people.
[chuckling] It's just this head
with two little feet on it.
And we now know that the gut
is an important adviser to the brain.
It'll collect this information,
send it up to the brain,
and it'll become a part of how we feel.
So we all know our first brain up here,
but we have a second brain
in here within our tummies.
And there are more nerves
in this second brain
than there is in our spinal cord.
The gut-brain axis is
the two-way street of communication
between what's going on in our bellies
and what's going on in our brains.
[Annie] Think of the brain
and the gut as BFFs.
So if either one is not working,
the other eventually is gonna follow suit.
It may be what allows us
to enjoy the food we eat,
to tell us what to eat, when to eat,
and it's not only
that the microbes could affect your brain,
but it's the food you take that can affect
the microbes that can affect your brain.
[uplifting music playing]
[John] So, today we're
at the English Market here in Ireland,
and this is where I go shopping
on a Saturday.
You come to the market with a list.
[chuckling] But I end up
throwing it out every time.
The smell, the colors,
everything here, you're drawn to,
but your gut is also drawing you
to things maybe it shouldn't.
Our food choices, you know, we think
about it all being driven by our brain,
but what if it's actually
the signals from our gut
that are really pulling the strings?
Now, this is what my microbes really love,
and I have to have this internal struggle
because it's just a recipe
for me to gain weight.
[Giulia] How hungry you feel,
how much you want to eat something,
could come from a tiny bacterial
population in your gut being like,
"I really would like to eat those fries,"
or something, you know?
You eat a lot of sugar,
you get sugar-loving bugs.
You eat a lot of fat,
you get fat-loving bugs.
So when I go to China,
and I'm not consuming so much sugary food
because there's very little sugar
in the Chinese diet,
I completely lose my desire
to eat chocolate, for example.
Normally, in North America,
I'm craving chocolate every single day.
- [John] Morning.
- [woman] Morning.
- How are you?
- [woman] Good, and you?
Good, good.
Ah! [chuckles]
Today, my microbes win,
so it's gonna be the chocolate
that we're gonna go with.
[Maya] I get cravings a lot.
Sometimes, literally,
the only thing that sounds good
is, like, a super rare steak.
I kind of try to just push it
into the back of my mind and ignore it,
but I'm trying to listen to my body more.
My body craves ice cream
or sweets or hamburgers.
[sighs heavily]
I really wish I could eat this.
I love seafood.
I try to eat as much seafood as possible.
[in Japanese] I used to crave
cakes and curry when I was little.
I don't feel that joy
about eating anymore.
[Giulia, in English]
Digestion was very much likely
the first form of thinking
that animals developed.
It was there so that the nerves
could tell the quality of the food,
how the surrounding tissue was doing,
the immune cells that were passing by.
And only after that worked really well,
it was like a nice add-on
to also have this brain up there
that can coordinate senses.
[woman] Hi, Kimmie, we're ready for you
if you wanna come on back.
[Kobi, in Japanese]
I'm going to get my MRI done today.
I'm a little worried.
But I'm looking forward to understanding
what's going on in my body.
[Kimmie, in English]
I'm still a little confused.
I'm just trying
to figure out how my body works,
so moving forward, I can be a better me.
[woman] All right, Kimmie.
How you doing in there?
[Kimmie] Good.
[woman] We're gonna go ahead
and put up a slideshow for you
of a bunch of pictures.
And we're just gonna ask you to watch it
like you would watch TV or a movie, okay?
[Kimmie] Okay.
[Annie] What we're looking at
is activity in the brain.
Seeing how Kimmie and Kobi respond
to a stimulus. In this case, food cues.
We have high-calorie sweet foods,
or high-fat, high-calorie savory foods.
And what we see with Kimmie's brain
is that when Kimmie sees food,
the emotional part
of her brain gets activated,
but more importantly,
the ability to control
these emotional responses are diminished.
With Kobi's situation,
it's definitely more complex.
Hunger is a complicated process.
There are multiple systems involved.
The brain, the gut microbiome,
but also your mood,
your memories, your environment.
There are so many things
that are related to hunger,
and we need to think about the whole body.
[Jack] Doctors are divided up
into specialties
where they just focus on this one organ,
and they ignore
the entire rest of the body, essentially.
It's minimizing our understanding
of how everything is connected.
The beautiful thing about
the microbiome is it's everywhere,
and its effects are felt everywhere.
We have to think more holistically.
And so, one of the things
that I'm really interested in
is when we have co-occurrences
of gut problems with brain problems,
and it's very common.
It's very common
in autism, in Parkinson's disease,
but also in stress-related
psychiatric illnesses
like anxiety and depression.
And so, which came first
is always the question.
[Jack] In the last five or so years,
we found that people
with certain depression-like symptoms
are missing bacteria in their gut
that produce chemicals
which shape brain chemistry.
That changes how you feel.
And it can lead, we believe,
to the onset of depression-like symptoms.
[John] When you give a normal mouse
microbes from a healthy person
and give them the opportunity to explore,
they'll want to see bright areas
and be generally inquisitive.
Whereas if you give them
the microbes from a depressed individual,
they'll huddle into dark areas,
and they will develop
stress, anxiety, and depression.
[whimpering, crying]
[John] There was changes
in the chemicals involved in serotonin,
the mood molecule,
- in their gut and in their brain.
- [electricity crackling]
[Jack] When we added bacteria
into our animals
that's often missing
in people who are depressed,
it actually dampens down
that depression response.
So they may still have depression,
but they don't feel it as severely.
[mouse squeaking]
[Kobi, in Japanese] Yeah, it makes sense.
When I'm training for a competition,
I feel aggressive,
and I don't feel like
talking to other people.
It's scary to think that the brain and gut
are so closely related.
It makes me want to be more careful
with what I eat.
[rapid tapping]
[video game character grunts]
[Jack] That's really cool.
Ah, man. You're doing really well.
As a father with a son with autism
and another son with ADHD
and having depression in my family,
I've been very interested in seeing
if there's maybe a link
to disruptions in the microbiome.
And that's shaped my research career.
And I've gone after looking at
which bacteria might be playing a role.
We found that in many cases of autism,
there are children who have diarrhea
or severe constipation.
[Giulia] In other diseases in the brain,
like Parkinson's,
we often see an onset of constipation,
sometimes even decades before
the actual brain disease manifests.
To understand this connection,
we take bacteria from humans
with a certain disease like Parkinson's,
and put them in mice.
[Jack] When we add missing bacteria
into the mice, their symptoms improve.
[upbeat music playing]
[Jack] It's a natural thing.
Just naturally rebalancing that ecosystem
and that chemistry inside the body.
[upbeat music continues]
- [music ends]
- [applause]
And so, we're really starting to see
that the relationship,
our study of the body as a whole unit,
is essential
if we're really gonna get a handle
on some of these chronic conditions.
[video call ringing, connects]
Well, very nice to meet you, Kobi.
Hi, doctor.
- Hi, Kobi. Hi, Maggie.
- [Kobi] Nice to meet you.
[Annie] So I have some results.
We were excited to see that,
that your bacteria
actually looks pretty good.
[in Japanese] Wow.
That really surprises me.
[in English] So even though
the competitive eating,
you know, may have had an effect,
the fact that you eat
a normal healthy diet, Japanese diet,
it influenced your microbiome.
Because the bacteria in your microbiome
responds, like, within 24 hours of eating.
But when it comes to the loss of appetite,
it could be a combination of many things,
like the actual stomach stretching,
your hormones,
some sort of slight inflammation,
or also the speed of digestion.
- Just to name a few things.
- Okay.
But the other part is the head.
And usually, I am not a fan
of doctors telling people
it's in your head,
but when I looked at your brain scan,
everything was firing.
Basically, every area in the brain
that can have something to do
with eating, with food,
with feeling nauseous or full,
like, everything is on.
It's almost like it's confused.
[in Japanese] Okay,
I don't like the sound of that.
[in English] The only way
this made sense for me was
if everything has to work together
to suppress
so that you don't feel full,
so that you don't get disgusted
by more and more food.
You can see how far your body goes
for what you want,
even if it has to harm itself.
[speaking Japanese]
He said, "I know."
He said, "I'm already scared."
He's like,
"I don't know if my brain is okay."
Yeah, but it's not that something
is turned off, or gone, or broken.
It's all there. It's all turned on.
It's just wired differently maybe now.
Your brain is still trained
to think that you're competing
or eating those highly processed foods.
[Giulia] Here I think
the situation is very complex.
Something that would be interesting to try
- would be to learn to listen to the body.
- Yeah.
If it's just a smell,
or just sensing very basic things,
and just learning to feel it, sometimes.
[in Japanese] It's a long journey.
A long one indeed.
[in English] He said, "This is gonna be
a long journey though, right?"
[in Japanese] I overeat because
I am a competitive eater.
But ordinary people overeat too sometimes.
When you eat too much,
you don't savor the taste
or fully enjoy the smell of the food.
You ignore your body's signals,
like fullness.
[Giulia, in English] It starts early.
Many kids are raised telling them,
"Clean your plate. Eat the whole plate
'cause that's what good kids do."
So we learn to ignore our appetite,
but get accustomed
to just times where we eat.
We're on the phone the whole time,
or on the computer
with the brain and screen.
Reconnecting, it's really more about
just listening to your body.
[Kobi, in Japanese]
I hope to live a long and healthy life.
Good morning.
I've decided to retire
from competitive eating.
It's all I have done
for the last 20 years.
I am worried about
what my next step will bring,
but I'm also excited about my future.
I have mixed feelings.
But first,
I want to fix my brain and my gut.
[in English] We're actively working
to enhance the number
of different microbiome therapies
that are out there.
If your microbiome's damaged,
can we actually use poop to fix it?
This is very, very valuable,
more valuable than gold.
What would you say if a doctor told you
someone else's feces could save your life?
[reporter] A Fecal Microbial Transplant,
simply called FMT,
puts feces from someone else
into the body of an infected patient.
He offers a treatment through
colonoscopy, an enema, or pills.
Fecal microbiome transplant
is the first FDA-approved therapy
which involves the microbiome
that's available to clinicians today.
However, it's only allowed to be used
for one particular type of disease.
[reporter] C. diff. When bacteria inflames
the colon and causes extreme diarrhea.
[Jack] We take the bacterial community
from a healthy person,
just spray it
up inside the colon, literally,
in order to re-poop-ulate,
repopulate your gut bacteria inside there.
[reporter 2] It's a procedure
that has a 90% cure rate.
[reporter 3] Scientists are now trying
to figure out
if it can treat hundreds
of other conditions, mental and physical.
[Jack] With fecal microbiome transplants,
there is really compelling evidence,
but the science is still developing.
We're still working on
if it actually has benefit
in wider populations,
if the benefit is long-lasting.
[Drew] Here it is,
next to the food we're gonna eat later.
- [Daniell] Is it in the healthy range?
- [Drew] This is a good one.
[Daniell] I think for most people,
it would be scary
to do a fecal transplant,
especially when it's DIY.
I also think that most healthy people
don't know what it's like
to get to a place
where your quality of life is so low.
I felt like I had no other options.
[director] Is this love?
[Drew] Yes, true love.
The first time I did a fecal transplant,
I used my brother as a donor.
I slowly started gaining weight,
despite not changing my diet at all.
And I was able to go to the bathroom
for the first time in, like, three years
on my own.
But I started getting worse acne,
and my brother has a history
of hormonal acne.
And then I decided to use
my boyfriend as a donor.
He has no physical health conditions,
but he does have
some mental health issues.
I took my boyfriend's pills
for several months.
Stopped getting the acne.
But over time, I noticed
that my depression
was worse than it's ever been in my life.
I got whatever bacteria he normally has,
and it exacerbated
the depression that I already had.
I went back to using
my brother as a donor.
Within a week,
that depression completely went away.
[Drew] Going right in there...
with the ice cream.
There are risks with FMT.
[microbes chittering]
[John] When you get an FMT,
you get the good bacteria,
but the bad bacteria
could also come along for the ride.
- [roars]
- [microbes exclaim]
[Giulia] I would love it
if this was the perfect solution.
[Giulia] But all the gastroenterologists
I know are extremely cautious.
We could transplant the susceptibility
to all sorts of diseases.
So I ask people,
don't try and experiment on yourself
with some of these
more aggressive therapeutics.
[interviewer, in Japanese]
If a fecal transplant would give you back
your feelings of hunger and fullness,
would you do it?
Yes, if it could help me with my problems,
I would definitely try it.
I'll be the guinea pig.
[reporter 1, in English]
Someone else's feces could save your life.
[reporter 2] Fecal microbial...
I thought it was weird as hell,
but all this talk about poop
just kind of helped me understand
that pooping is normal.
It's everyday life.
It's something everybody goes through.
So why not talk about it?
I'll bring it up, and it's just
a random poop conversation. [laughs]
And when I hang up the phone,
I'm like, "Was that weird?"
Before it was,
but now it's like, "No, it's normal."
[pensive music playing]
[Jack] Fecal microbiome transplants
are quite a blunt tool.
We prefer to use a targeted approach,
like a precision probiotic
to improve health in a very specific way.
Most probiotics you can buy in the store
aren't really gastrointestinal bugs.
They're not designed
to live inside our guts.
They're normally bugs that you would find
associated with fermented milk or cheeses,
Lactobacillus organisms.
So they're not really designed
to take up residence.
It'd be like taking a houseplant,
and throwing it into the Amazon jungle,
and hoping beyond hope
that it would suddenly grow.
Modern medicine is very much
about treating the symptoms of a disease
rather than the underlying problems
that lead to it.
[John] Moving forward,
we want to have a smarter approach
to target the microbes in our gut
to actually have positive effects
and prevent many of the problems
from even starting.
[Tim] And so, the microbiome
is a game changer for medicine
because everyone
can be their own pharmacist
just by picking the right foods to eat.
[Rob] Inspired by our findings,
one of my colleagues decided
to start drinking smoothies
with 60 different kinds of plants a day.
And so what you can see is he's over here
in this red region with his regular diet.
But now,
he's moved over to this orange region
after eating the smoothies.
Took a few weeks, but he's really changed
to this completely different region
of the plot.
And by the time this ends,
which is a few months later,
he's now got a much more diverse
microbiome configuration
than he had at the beginning.
[director] But you haven't started
drinking these?
No, I tasted them. [chuckles]
I think this is one of those things
where you really need a collaboration
between scientists and, say, chefs
to not just get all the things
you want in there,
but to make it taste good as well.
Well, I have no idea
what that means, but that's cool.
Um, all right, let's get started.
[upbeat, whimsical music playing]
[Maya] Red and green lettuce, check.
Spinach, check. Purple kale, check.
Carrot-top greens, check.
Tomatoes, carrots,
zucchini, some avocados.
Radishes and dates
is a combination I have yet to try,
but maybe that'll be
my new macaron flavor, who knows?
How much smoothie does he eat?
The produce out here is about
what I eat in produce for, like, a week.
So one cup of water.
It does feel a bit like doing
a science fair experiment.
I'm going to throw in
a whole knob of ginger.
'Cause you can't get enough
of that ginger.
I mean, my initial reaction is,
who has time to do this?
We'll do a whole fig. I like figs.
I feel like the pink color is probably
extra good for you or something.
Oh, the potato. I'm also...
It's going to be so, like... Ugh!
First time for everything.
And a teaspoon.
I think that's it.
I think this is going to be
an incredibly interesting color.
[blender whirring]
Doesn't look bad.
I mean, it doesn't look great.
But I've drank grosser smoothies.
Smells real green.
[laughs] Oh, it's so thick.
It's got texture to it.
It's actually not bad.
It's fine. It tastes healthy.
[director] How would you make this better?
[Maya] Just, I mean, removing things
like the brussels sprouts
that will kind of, I think, overpower it.
Or if you're gonna do that,
just turn it into gazpacho.
I think a lot of the green smoothies
I eat would be so much better
if they embraced what it is
and added some salt
and, like, a little bit of vinegar,
and you're just drinking gazpacho.
It sounds great, but they just need
to season their smoothies, I guess.
[grunts] Mm-mmm.
It is kind of spectacular
what food can do to you,
and how what you eat
really does change your body.
What you eat today will impact
your microbiome tomorrow, within 24 hours.
My rule is ABC, always be counting.
Always be counting the number
of fruits and vegetables you're eating.
If you eat about 20 to 30
different fruits and vegetables each week,
I think you're good.
[Justin] If you want
some simple rules to follow,
think about what
the generations before us ate.
I mean, vegetables, fruits, nuts, beans,
even fermented foods that are teeming
with different types of microbes.
Fermented foods
were really the original probiotics.
You can just take vegetables, add salt,
and let them sit at room temperature,
and you're gonna have this delicious
fermented food in a couple days.
- Doing great.
- [Kimmie] You doing great?
- Uh-huh.
- [Kimmie] That's good, baby.
[boy] Is this what corn looks like
when it's just not corn?
[laughs] You mean when it's fresh
and not out of the bag? Yes.
There's corn in here.
[Kimmie] Yeah.
I was definitely confused in the past.
Learning the science
helped me to know that,
"Okay, you can't just say I'm on a diet."
You literally have to change
your lifestyle
and doing little things every day.
- [boy] Potatoes cut and rinsed.
- Cut and rinsed.
[Kimmie] My kids are super competitive.
I get them to help me.
I've made it like a cooking competition.
I get them to go
to the grocery store with me.
Then we get to cook.
So we've been spending
a lot more time together while doing it.
What are you doing?
[boy] I'm helping you.
I wanna be a chef, forever.
You wanna be a chef?
Yeah, I wanna cook every single day.
I want to be a chef.
I've experienced
how people talk about their body,
and what way of relationship
they have with it.
[Maya] Two eggs and two egg yolks.
[Giulia] There's not one super health food
that you can eat,
or this one advice that you can follow
so everything gets better.
It's really more about
building up a relationship to the gut.
[Kimmie] Y'all are doing
such a great job. High five.
Reconnecting can be done by science,
and can be done by knowledge,
but only also if you,
you know, get a feeling,
get a smart feeling for it.
Carbonara is kind of like
the complete realization
of the foods that I am most scared of.
[Giulia] Since I've gotten into
the topic of the gut,
I have become much more relaxed, actually.
I feel like I know how resilient
and strong and stable this organ can be
if I treat it right most of the time.
It's really more about
just listening to your body
to create a smarter body feeling.
[Kobi, in Japanese] Throughout my career,
what's influenced me
more than competitive eating
is the hot dog.
[Maggie] Okay, we're adding avocado,
shiso, shiitake, and garlic.
[in English] Yeah! It's so good.
[Kobi, in Japanese] I want
to create a healthier hot dog
by combining it
with healthy Japanese ingredients.
Mmm! This is good.
Very delicious!
This is something new. Unstoppable.
[Giulia, in English] You can eat something
and then see, how do I feel,
one and a half, two,
or two and a half hours later
when it's being taken up in my blood.
A piece of cake or fries, chips,
tastes great in the first second.
You'll be like, "Ah! More of these,"
but later on, you'll feel really tired,
or foggy, or whatever.
And a meal of, like, rice and vegetables
might not be as addictive,
but it'll make you feel more stable.
Or it might not with you. You can check.
[Maya laughing]
[Maya] It feels very validating
that I can allow myself
to enjoy food more.
The idea that I could have
a bowl with my husband
and not punish myself
by not eating the day after,
it would be nice. [laughs]
Mom, good job on the corn.
We're gonna do a cheers
towards Mom's good cooking.
- [Kimmie] All right.
- Yes!
[upbeat music playing]
I'm feeling myself
Never give up
Straight to the top...
[engine revving]
[Kimmie] The only thing that matters
is how you feel,
what you think, what you do.
Nobody else matters.
And maybe my body being different
is the best thing for me.
I'm flexin', I'm flexin'
[Giulia] Your body is really the expert,
and you should listen to it.
Knowing more about the gut
made me feel more proud of it.
[laughing] I guess I could even say
I have a feeling of loyalty
towards my gut,
and even my butthole. [laughing]
[pensive music playing]
[Giulia] Not everybody should talk
about their poop all the time,
especially if they don't feel like it.
But I think you should know
something about it.
[poop chittering]
[Giulia] There are, for example,
seven different consistencies of poop,
neatly described
in the Bristol Stool Scale.
Seven and six are a rather liquidy stool.
This can happen if digestion was disturbed
by something like an infection.
Four and three is what
you want to find in the toilet,
and is described as a sausage or snake,
smooth and soft.
[poop chittering]
[Giulia] And then we get
to the droppings of a goat,
and these are the areas of constipation.
So the consistency or shape
can be a very helpful solid information.
Like a little text message from your gut.
So you might as well sometimes
just turn around, check it out,
and then, you know, take the hint.
[music continues]