Dr. Justin Sonnenburg: How to Build, Maintain & Repair Gut Health | Huberman Lab Podcast #62

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My guest this episode is Dr. Justin Sonnenburg, Professor of Microbiology & Immunology at Stanford University. Dr. Sonnenburg’s research focuses on how microbes in our gut impact our mental and physical health and how diet and your environment shape your gut microbiome. We discuss the architecture of the gut microbiome and microbiota variability in different regions of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract and how these can change in response to diet, environment or genetics. We explore the early establishment of your microbiome and how your mode of delivery into the world (C-section or not) shapes your gut. We also discuss lifestyle factors that can alter your microbiome and the integral role the gut microbiome plays in communicating to other organs, including your brain. Dr. Sonnenburg details his recent clinical study, which found that diets rich in fermented foods (but not fiber) increase microbiota diversity and reduce signals of inflammation. Additionally, we examine how foods typical in Western Diets (e.g., high fat, low fiber, processed foods) can negatively impact the gut microbiome. Throughout the episode, we discuss actionable tools from peer-reviewed clinical findings that anyone can implement, regardless of budget, in order to optimize their gut microbiome and health.

#HubermanLab #Microbiome #GutHealth

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Dr. Justin Sonnenburg Links:
Center for Microbiome Studies:
Dr. Sonnenburg’s Lab:
Dr. Sonnenburg’s Published Work:

Article Links:
“Gut-microbiota-targeted diets modulate human immune status”:

Book Links:
“The Good Gut: Taking Control of Your Weight, Your Mood, and Your Long-Term Health”:
“The 4-Hour Chef: The Simple Path to Cooking Like a Pro, Learning Anything and Living the Good Life”:

Other Links:
NIH Human Microbiome Project:

00:00:00 Dr. Justin Sonnenburg, Gut Microbiome
00:02:55 The Brain Body Contract
00:04:16 AG1 (Athletic Greens), ROKA, Helix Sleep
00:08:30 What is the Gut Microbiome?
00:12:49 Gastrointestinal (GI) Tract & Microbiota Variability
00:16:00 Breast Feeding, C-Sections & Pets
00:21:56 The Human Microbiome Project at Stanford
00:26:30 Traditional vs. Industrialized Populations
00:28:58 Resilience of the Microbiome
00:35:10 Regional Differences Along Your GI Tract
00:42:04 Fasting, Cleanses & Gut Health
00:51:19 Dietary Differences
01:01:24 Simple vs. Complex Carbohydrates, Processed Foods
01:07:03 Artificial & Plant-based Sweeteners
01:12:44 Cleanses: Useful? Harmful?
01:14:50 Your Microbiome & Your Immune System
01:20:17 Dietary Fiber & Fermented Foods
01:32:13 High-Fiber vs. High-Fermented Diet; Inflammation
01:41:33 Ripple Effects of a Healthy Diet
01:45:00 Does a High-Fiber Diet Make Inflammation Worse?
01:47:22 Over Sterilized Environments
01:50:15 The Gut Microbiome’s Effect on Physiology
01:56:45 Gut-Brain Connection
01:59:30 Probiotics: Benefits & Risks
02:04:20 Prebiotics: Essential?
02:07:00 Tools for Enhancing Your Gut Microbiota
02:11:12 Dr. Sonnenburg’s Research, Zero-Cost Support, YouTube, Spotify, Apple Reviews, Sponsors, Patreon, Thorne, Instagram, Twitter, Neural Network Newsletter

Please note that The Huberman Lab Podcast is distinct from Dr. Huberman’s teaching and research roles at Stanford University School of Medicine. The information provided in this show is not medical advice, nor should it be taken or applied as a replacement for medical advice. The Huberman Lab Podcast, its employees, guests and affiliates assume no liability for the application of the information discussed.

Title Card Photo Credit: Mike Blabac –
Audio Engineering: Joel Hatstat at High Jump Media