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In this episode, you will learn about cutting edge approaches to support children dealing with autism.
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About My Guests
My guests for this episode are Dr. Christian Bogner and Alex Zaharakis.
Christian Bogner, MD, FACOG, CFMNP is a lecturer, educator, and experienced practicing clinician. He has four children, with his oldest affected with autism. He is a certified Functional Medicine physician with additional board certification in OBGYN. He has obtained his certification in Plant-Based-Nutrition from Cornell University. Dr. Bogner is a clinical consultant for MaxGen Labs, LLC, a nutrigenomics lab analyzing genetic data, utilized by over 800 practitioners around the world. He has lectured throughout the United States and abroad regarding integrative approaches to disease with a focus on genetics, the microbiome, and toxicities.
Alex Zaharakis, MA, MS, DABR is a grateful husband and father of two beautiful children. His interest in the microbiome and biomedical healing is driven by his son's regressive autism at 17 months, after a culmination and spark of several timely medical insults several of which were microbiome focused. Alex has devoted his spare time and efforts to researching and learning about the microbiome while helping other parents to navigate the biomedical and microbiome issues experienced in autism to develop strategies for intervention. Alex is a licensed and board-certified Medical Physicist in Radiation Oncology, a scientist with background in physics, mathematics, and biology who has utilized his life experiences to develop an analytical method for quantifying and intervening with intestinal dysbiosis which he believes to be significant in the development and severity of autism and other disease states. He has devoted his personal time to studying the microbiome through analysis of 16s type sequencing, and he has developed software to analyze raw 16s data and provide suggestions to improve dysbiosis in a targeted manner. Alex feels that providing support for dysbiosis is a direct window into increasing the quality of life for all individuals, including his own son which has been the driving force in the work that he does.
- What are the top contributors to autism?
- What is the role of 16s microbiome balancing?
- What role might mold and mycotoxins play in autism?
- How might cyanide play a role in autism?
- What is the role of ammonia in autism?
- What tools may be helpful for neuroinflammation?
- What are the mechanisms by which sodium thiosulfate may support the body?
- How might sodium thiosulfate assist the body in increasing reduced glutathione?
- Is sodium thiosulfate generally well-tolerated in those with sulfur sensitivities?
- Might the body need additional detoxification support when starting to use the sodium thiosulfate lotion?
- How important is constipation when attempting to support detoxification?
- Is the potential for glutamine to convert to glutamate a real concern?
- How well-tolerated are herbal products in those with sensitivities to phenolics or salicylates?
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November 15, 2023
Transcript Disclaimer: Transcripts are intended to provide optimized access to information contained in the podcast. They are not a full replacement for the discussion. Timestamps are provided to facilitate finding portions of the conversation. Errors and omissions may be present as the transcript is not created by someone familiar with the topics being discussed. Please Contact Me with any corrections.
[0:00:01] ANNOUNCER: Welcome to BetterHealthGuy Blogcasts, empowering your better health. And now, here's Scott, your BetterHealthGuy.
The content of this show is for informational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose, treat or cure any illness or medical condition. Nothing in today's discussion is meant to serve as medical advice or as information to facilitate self-treatment. As always, please discuss any potential health-related decisions with your own personal medical authority.
[0:00:34] SCOTT: Hello, everyone. And welcome to episode number 192 of the BetterHealthGuy Blogcasts series. Today's guests are Dr. Christian Bogner and Alex Zaharakis. And the topic of the show is Cutting-Edge Approaches in Autism Spectrum Disorder.
Dr. Christian Bogner is a lecturer, educator, and experienced practicing clinician. He has four children with his oldest affected with autism. He is a certified functional medicine physician with additional board certification in OBGYN. He has obtained his certification in plant-based nutrition from Cornell University. Dr. Bogner is a clinical consultant for MaxGen Labs, a Nutrigenomics Lab analyzing genetic data utilized by over 800 practitioners around the world. He has lectured throughout the United States and abroad regarding integrative approaches to disease with a focus on genetics, the microbiome, and toxicities.
Alex Zaharakis is a grateful husband and father of two beautiful children. His interest in the microbiome and biomedical healing is driven by his son's regressive autism at 17 months after a culmination and spark of several timely medical insults, several of which were microbiome-focused.
Alex has devoted his spare time and efforts to researching and learning about the microbiome while helping other parents to navigate the biomedical and microbiome issues experienced in autism to develop strategies for intervention. Alex is a licensed and board-certified medical physicist in radiation oncology, a scientist with a background in physics, mathematics, and biology who's utilized his life experiences to develop an analytical method for quantifying and intervening with intestinal dysbiosis, which he believes to be significant in the development and severity of autism and other disease states.
He has devoted his personal time to studying the microbiome through the analysis of 16s type sequencing and he has developed a software to analyze raw 16s data and provide suggestions to improve dysbiosis in a targeted manner. Alex feels that providing support for dysbiosis is a direct window into increasing the quality of life for all individuals including his own son, which has been the driving force in the work that he does.
And now my interview with Dr. Christian Bogner and Alex Zaharakis.
[0:03:04] SCOTT: I'm excited today to have Dr. Christian Bogner and Alex Zaharakis on the show to talk with us about cutting-edge treatments in autism. Thank you both for being here.
[0:03:14] DR. BOGNER: Thank you, Scott.
[0:03:15] ALEX: Thanks so much.
[0:03:16] SCOTT: First, let's talk about how each of you got into working with children on the spectrum. Did you have a personal experience that fuels your passion for the work that you're doing today?
[0:03:27] ALEX: For me, it was my son. My son has autism. He had regressed around 17 months. At that time, we were kind of naive just because we were trying to seek out what was going on and get doctors and physicians involved. It became apparent to me over those – during that regression period that the behaviors and the changes in him had a cyclical nature to them that was not explainable with my background. I think of kind of a disorder as something being kind of somewhat static and having some kind of continuity in its features.
But I noticed very early on that there was a kind of a time-dependent relationship between things that he ate and also when he went to the bathroom. And that's how I kind of got involved into researching. Trying to figure out what was going on with him.
Then, obviously, made it my mission and my goal to spend every moment of my free time even when I was at work just researching trying to make those connections. And I found some things that were helpful with him. We consulted a lot of practitioners. I was always listening. Trying to basically suck up as much knowledge as I possibly could.
There were things that certainly helped him. And over time, that kind of evolved. And I realized that there was other people that had the same situations that didn't know anything about the biochemical components, the GI components, the medical component associated with autism.
Very slowly, it was kind of awkward for me. But people that were kind of in the circle that I knew that had kids with autism, I would say, "Hey, you should look into doing this or this and you might see some improvement." And I got some positive feedback from just some small suggestions.
I wasn't really an avid Facebook user, but I realized that there was a huge community for this on Facebook. And I started a group. And basically, along the same lines of work, trying to help people the things that I knew were helpful. And that kind of involved into other things. But I found that it was therapeutic for me. Because not only could I help other people potentially, but I could also get insight to the things that they were seeing and make some more connections and say, "Oh, maybe this is what's going on here."
It's really exciting for me. It's taken over my life in a good way that it's my primary interest now. Prior to this, I was focused really kind of in physics and pure math-type of science. But this really has interested me. And I try to leverage all my skills for that.
[0:06:23] DR. BOGNER: Yeah. I have a similar background. My son is autistic as well. He's 18. His name is Phil. And he also regressed. I think that's a big component of what made me interested in researching autism. Because he was developing fine. Had some words. And then something happened. I think it was the inoculation that he got. Just like 90% of parents that I consult with echoing that.
And so, I couldn't accept that. I found myself immediately, like what is autism? And how could that have happened? And so, I, in a way, became obsessed like Alex said. And, at the same time, fascinated of how this could then happen to so many others? And that there's not more done about this. And just basically got sent through the grapevines through ABA therapy, speech therapy. Two years of speech therapy, not one word was gained.
And so, I started to research other more biomedical approaches that were available at that time. Back then it was called the DAN doctors. And we only had really one in the state here. And I saw him and we started with some methyl B12 injections. And then he did very bad with it. And I was wondering why is some kids doing really well with it? Why are some doing bad with it? And then learned about methylation and genetics. And one thing led to the next. Genetics led to the immune system, to the brain, to the liver, to the GI ultimately as the, I think, final frontier that we have to tackle.
But yeah. That led me into hours and nights spent researching this and eventually switched my entire career. I was a board-certified, and still am, OBGYN. And busy practice. Doing surgeries. Doing delivering babies. And I completely left that about six years ago to focus solely on helping other parents discuss autism. That's been my life for the last six years from Monday to Sunday.
And over the six years, I've been consulting extensively with families affected with autism. And like Alex said, we've seen everything under the sun of what they have tried. Gained insights into what works. What doesn't work? And done tons of testing with different tests.
And kind of over time, I would say over the last six years, really from like an overwhelming mountain of things that you could do, from chelation to HBOT, to stem cells, to antiviral PANS, PANDAS. All of these things that were out there. Kind of narrowed it all down to almost kind of one final thing that we think we need to do, which is the microbiome.
And we've been focusing on that. I met Alex about two years ago while I was consulting and primarily focusing on mold toxicity, and genetics, and neurotransmitters, and of those sorts. And blood work. And Alex was focused on the microbiome. We kind of joined forces. We saw both in our children. All of a sudden, this kind of extra spike of gains that we saw in our boys. And we're like, "Hey, we got to join forces and come up with something that's easier. Learn from our mistakes.'
Like you said, I'm surrounded by probably 300 different bottles of supplements that I have now meanwhile boxed up. But it's ridiculous. And really started to minimize testing. Because the test is going to be abnormal. And I saw so many abnormal tests. And you act on them and there was no improvement.
And so, I think, finally, we got somewhere. After all of these years. I've been – again, for 16 years now. For the last six years very extensively. And it's exciting. Because kind of the hard work seems to be paying off. Because we finally have some answers.
[0:10:11] SCOTT: It is very exciting. And I think many children and parents are benefiting from and will continue to benefit from your collaboration. Let's talk a little bit about that, the core issues that you've kind of come to believe are drivers of autism. What do you see as the top contributors to autism? Are we talking about primarily dysbiosis? The microbiome? Are we talking about mold exposure? Or chronic infections? Or something else? How do you view autism today?
[0:10:42] DR. BOGNER: That's an excellent question, of course. In regards to the top contributors, just to give it to you straight up, it's the microbiome. I don't see another reason for autism – everything from the microbiome turns a lot of different knobs and people causing different issues depending on their environmental exposures to their genetics and the diet, of course, as well.
But I think the microbiome, I believe early in life or already in utero there is an insult. May it be medications such as antibiotics. May it be inoculations or some – maybe not so much dietary sources or other toxicities. And so, I believe that the microbiome is really the target because of us seeing good results by targeting it.
Of course, there's much more to it in regards to the approach. A lot of things start happening when the microbiome is in imbalance. GI inflammation that leads to leaky gut, which leads to trafficking of protein toxins into the liver. And depletion of glutathione in the liver with spilling of toxins into the blood causing these immune reactions. And then the effects on the brain.
In between, a lot of things need to be addressed and looked at in my opinion. But again, I think Alex had that in his recent blog article mentioning, if you stand in front of a house and there was a fire and inside you see some rodents and some animals that are in there and you see that there's a water leak and there's also an electrical problem with a wire, what started first? What caused this disaster? You see mess. But where do you start to investigate of what could have caused this in the beginning?
And oftentimes, we don't know, but we know what we're working with. And again, I think by going to the root, which we believe is the microbiome, at least we can start there and see what trickles down from that. What positive effects trickle down from that?
And so, I cannot point to one single reason. I'm very suspicious of the aggressive inoculation schedule that we have in the United States and other countries as well. I mean, if we look at the rates of autism in the 1990s and compared to now or even compared to 1980s, I mean, there's what? 100,000% increase of autism rates over the last three decades. It's been about 2,000% increase in autism. One in 28 boys are affected according to the latest CDC statistics. It keeps going up. There's no help from academia. And so, that's why Alex and I, it's our life mission to investigate and see what we can do to help our kids.
[0:13:39] SCOTT: And when you use the term microbiome, are we talking primarily about beneficial organisms? Are you also using that to consider things like parasites, and pathogenic bacteria, and other organisms that might also be part of the microbiome that need to be considered?
[0:13:55] ALEX: Yeah. I think we kind of in a place where we're hostage to the information that we know. And right now, the testing is really, I would say, more complete at the bacterial level. And obviously, you can test for things like fungi, but it's significantly – it's a much more complicated type of sequencing. There's a lot more challenges.
We have technology that makes bacteria – think about it from the perspective of the therapeutics have come out, right? Antibiotics were something that kind of were invented first. And then antifungals and things like that. I mean, obviously, there's issues with viruses, fungi, parasites.
My kind of school of thought is, is that the bacterial microbes play a significant role. And if we can bring some sort of balance to them and we know the most about them, the library of sequencing is most complete for them, we know we have the most literature about them, we know how to kind of shape things with herbs, and prebiotics, and probiotics, that we can start to bring balance of those other areas.
I'm willing to admit that there's a lot that we don't know. But I think that if you just try to bring your microbiome at the bacterial level closer to someone in the middle of the population, that chances are you can get some improvement and healing just from that. And whatever improvement you get there, then you could leverage and carry on to see. Maybe it's appropriate time to go after the fungal issue a little bit more.
And I honestly think that if you don't do it in that order, it's not as efficient. I don't think you're going to get the same effect that if you try to kind of stamp out all of these things that might show up on the testing. That just because we have tests for them, I think if you were to kind of work on the gut first, bring some sort of balance that those interventions become more successful.
[0:16:01] SCOTT: Let's talk then a little more about what you refer to as gut balancing. And then, specifically, what is the 16s microbiome testing that you use? Talk to us a little bit about this gut-balancing system that you've put together.
[0:16:14] ALEX: Yeah. The 16s technology is not new. It's been around for a while. And basically, you're looking at the 16s gene in this prokaryote. It makes up of archaea and bacteria. It's a gene that's conserved. What that basically means is, is that if that gene has any alteration in it, it's very crucial to the function of the ribosome and that particular microbe just kind of dies.
The conserving property of it is, is that you can sequence it and not really have to worry about mutations in it evolving over time. Because that microbe won't function if it's mutated.
The other advantage of looking at the 16s gene is, is that from beginning to end, in terms of the sequencing of the base pairs or the nucleotides, it's not very long. Typically, when you're looking at sequencing, let's say in like the V3, V4 region, which is a variable region in that gene, it's 300-ish base pairs or 250 base pairs.
You can use technology that was basically around from PCR. And PCR is involved in it to basically amplify this DNA and not have to worry about sequencing long pieces of DNA. There are challenges in sequencing long pieces of DNA. Very simply, it's like trying to count to a million and not fouling up. The reader has to sequence the next base pair and there could be errors in doing it the longer that it gets.
It's a nice conserved region. Certainly, there are technologies out there that are more – people would say advanced. But the advantage of 16s is that we have so much information. The library of sequences of those microbes are very complete. The majority of the literature is based on 16s.
With each technology, there will be slight changes. Because of what's going on, you're looking at the DNA coming from the ribosome or not. But it's an affordable – it's an affordable type of sequencing. It's conserved. It's very quick. It's very reliable. It gives you specificity most often to the species levels.
And the other advantage that a lot of people don't realize is that the way that sequencing works is that you have to know what that sequence is in your library to really identify. I have this particular Clostridium. This is what the sequence of my library is. It matches. I know that I have this species in my sample.
Well, it's kind of a Goldilocks region with 16s that the differences between species are enough that you can kind of resolve to the species level oftentimes, but they're similar enough that when that sequence isn't in your library you can at least identify at a higher level of hierarchy.
I know what this genus is. Or I know what this order is. I get some information when I don't know what it is based on the similarities to other microbes. And you lose that when you go to higher level testing like metagenomics. The sequences are just so vastly different that you don't know what it is.
It gives you a picture of the entirety of the sample in terms of percentage abundances. And you can see kind of really what is going on there. Are you walking into a garden where it's entirely full of weeds? Is entirely full of you know some kind of tree? Or is there some you know balance that's already existing in there?
And what the gut balancing is, is basically an approach where I combine three concepts. There's an analytical analysis on the dysbiosis that I've kind of made some software and put together. I tack on some literature based on the abundance of the microbes that you have. These papers suggest for instance, "Hey, if you take curcumin, it would be appropriate in bringing down this particular overgrowth."
And then I combine some kind of expert, I would say clinical and practitioner information out there on what do you do in certain situations that have really kind of come from those clinical experiences? I really borrowed a lot of it from Dr. Jason Hawrelak who's an expert on the microbiome. And he really had – he was kind of the first practitioner that really tipped me off to the power of the prebiotic and what that could do for rebuilding beneficial microbes.
[0:20:57] SCOTT: One of the observations that you've seen in some children has been high levels of Prevotella. Talk to us about your observations with Prevotella and mold patients specifically. Could it be that external environmental exposure to mold or mold metabolites might have some impact on Prevotella? And can external exposure to mold in our environment negatively affect our overall microbiome?
[0:21:22] ALEX: Yeah. It's really interesting. And I think that we're going to figure this out over time. But the connections that we have are when this particular prev – and it's Prevotella copri. But there's other Prevotellas that exist out there that seem to have the same kind of dynamic.
When you find it overgrown in a particular microbiome – and what we're talking about overgrown is I've seen it as high as taking 90% of the entire microbiome, which is a number that is just absolutely – I mean, you don't really need to know much about the microbiome other than you should have several hundred species in there. And if you have one taking up 90%, that just doesn't sound right.
That was kind of very shocking. And it wasn't quite 90% for my son. But it was very high. And that's what piqued my interest in the analytical component of it. But I started to make some connections anecdotally that many of these individuals had some exposure to mold and mold environment.
And it became so concrete from my perspective that I was telling Dr. Bogner – I was referring them to Dr. Bogner after they would do a GI test and say, "Hey, this person's going to have high mycotoxins. And it was like 100% every single time.”
There is literature out there to show that Prevotella in the vicinity of different fungal species feeds on arabinose and mycotoxins. There's actually is literature out there to support that already. There has been found Prevotella overgrowths in people that have HIV. And we know that they can succumb to fungal issues.
There was some testing in animals done where it's known that Prevotella overgrowths are very common rheumatoid arthritis. And what they were trying to do was they were trying to colonize these mice with Prevotella and reproduce their model of rheumatoid arthritis. And they were unsuccessful until they injected them with a fungal component, which was very interesting to me.
There's also from the agricultural world, they do a lot of studies on mycotoxins in pigs and feed and stuff like that. And they found large relationships between animals that were fed food contaminated with mycotoxins and having these excessive blooms of Prevotella.
For me, there were certainly all of those pieces of evidence there and what I was seeing on these mycotoxins’ tests. But also, it had a very unusual dynamic and that it did – it's very difficult to treat and it didn't really respond this overgrowth in the same way that other microbes would.
There was several situations that I personally had witnessed where an individual had done a test and their level of Prevotella was quite low. And typically, in the poor population, it's like a tenth of a percent is what I would say like 80% of the population has it at that level.
They would have it at that level and they would do some kind of intervention. Sometimes it wasn't even through me. But they had two tests. Either they took a probiotic or they got some kind of sickness and then they did another test. Or they did FMT. And this happened probably about seven times. And the second test had elevations of Prevotella 20, 30, 40, 50, 60%. Going from near zero to 60% of the microbiome.
To me, there was this mechanism that we must be hitting on some kind of fungal component that is feeding this micro. And then the other things that really stood out to me is I had come across three infants, a microbiome at the age of eight months, 12 months, and 18 months where there isn't even a dietary component involved there. I mean, the child is primarily on some kind of formula. Or they're being breastfed. I mean, there's no solid foods. Because there's always a big pushback from many of the microbiome researchers that Prevotella is highly geographically registered in terms of the diet despite these kids having completely opposite diets.
And in these microbiomes of the infants, I saw them at 50, 60, 70% taking up. And they were cases coming to me because there was suspecting of autism. There was oddly behaviors. And there was also confirmation that there was mold in the home. We have visible evidence. Taking pictures of it.
And oftentimes, it involves several people in the family. There's three people in the house. Two of them have very high elevated Prevotella copri. I've seen that tons and tons of times. There's certainly a connection there with a fungal component. I even think that there's a connection there with a viral component.
There's some literature that came out recently that mentioned that there may be a phage component or a virus that infects the Prevotella. But to me, it's very interesting. And it's something that I think would be directly in line. That if you can try to treat this, you can certainly see improvement in symptoms.
[0:26:26] SCOTT: I want to come back to the mold conversation in just a minute. But I want to touch a little more on the prebiotic topic before we move on to the mold conversation. Talk to us a little bit about using prebiotics to optimize the microbiome. Can we use prebiotics like GOS, for example, maybe to help fortify our Bifidobacteria? And why is Bifidobacteria so important today?
And then the other piece that I want to touch on as well is do you find that people tolerate prebiotics? My observation in working with adults has been that, a lot of times, if they're dealing with SIBO or some other small intestinal overgrowth, maybe they can't tolerate prebiotics early on. They need to do some other work first.
[0:27:11] ALEX: It's a good question. Yeah. There's certainly prebiotics that I would put in the class of SIBO-safe or SIBO-safer. The pH in the gut is something that is – there's literature out there show that it's heavily implicated in controlling the pathogenic state of what grows in the microbiome. It's kind of like the temperature almost for kind of growing a plant or something like that.
I mean, the body temperature is pretty stable. The only other thing that you can really control is the pH. And the pH is – there's been studies shown that the level of Bifidobacteria scales with the pH. Having lower levels of Bifidobacteria creates a more alkaline environment in the gut.
And there's a lot of information out there about going alkaline and having it be healthy. And people should understand that there isn't necessarily a direct relationship between drinking something alkaline and actually changing the pH component in the gut.
More often, you want to have a more acidic type environment that's going to kind of keep pathogens out. There's also certain fungi that will, in a pH environment, tend to behave more like molds. Some yeasts start to form colonies in a more alkaline environment. That's why I think Bifidobacteria is so important. And bringing it up can just be a significant game changer in trying to battle perpetual dysbiosis.
And to your question about the prebiotics now, there's kind of a school of thought out there that probiotics were on the scene first. Really, they were the things that were most advertised. That's the way that you're going to fix your gut. But most probiotics are not going to colonize. You have to really feed these beneficial microbes to get them a place at the table.
Prebiotics like PHGG, partially hydrolyzed guar gum, are very appropriate for situations for SIBO because they help to kind of improve the motility. They draw water in the colon. You don't want to kind of start taking a spoonful of it. But it's something that you can introduce slowly.
And I would say the next probably most appropriate one would be GOS. GOS is actually helpful in hydrogen sulfide SIBO formed by Desulfovibrio species. It's not something you want to jump into. I tend to kind of layer my gut balancing program where we start with herbals and some probiotics to kind of damp things down. And then we slowly introduce and ramp up the prebiotics.
But it's always important to know, are you walking into a case where there is this SIBO overgrowth? Because the patient at the very least will be much more reactive to things. And you certainly have to support motility and keep things flowing. There are certain prebiotics that are going to be contraindications. Like lactulose will make certain types of SIBO even worse.
But lactulose is a very, very helpful prebiotic once you get past that. It's amazing what it can do in kind of repairing the gut. All of these things have kind of like a tool. Just as if you were making a soup, there's an ingredient that you put in a certain time and a certain place.
[0:30:32] SCOTT: I want to get some thoughts now from Dr. Bogner around mold in his clinical practice. What portion of your population of kids with autism would you say do have mold as a contributor to their autism? And then how are you – at a very high level, how are you approaching treatment? Do you find that many of these kids have fungal colonization and maybe need antifungals? When they do, are you using more herbs or pharmaceuticals? I would love to hear how you're approaching that component of autism.
[0:31:02] DR. BOGNER: Yeah. Great question. And I have to say, I probably – I learned the hard way. Because I jumped on the bandwagon with many other practitioners and parents. But it all started for me in 2019 when Sidney Baker with William Shaw, as you know, the CEO of Great Plains Laboratory, which is now Mosaic. They had this case report reporting a complete recovery of this four-year-old boy affected with autism while using high doses of Sporanox for a parent mold. They tested the urine and there were mold toxins there.
The conclusion of the study was, and I quote, it says, "The lesson of the case we present here is that the child's microbiota may be the source of toxins that, once identified, will lead to the cure with antimicrobial drug." That was their conclusion. And they treated this kid for 8 months with high doses. Even higher than adult doses of Sporanox.
And so, many practitioners jumped on that bandwagon. Everybody was like, "Hey, I want to cure autism too. Can we try?" And so, I was on that bandwagon for about two and a half years having explored every type of anti-mold medication that's out there. From Sporanox, to Ampho B, to Voriconazole, Nystatin, Diflucan, all of these. And it seems like the community, not just in my practice, but in the community in general, we couldn't reproduce these results.
And especially when you look at what is the end result? And my end result for these kids is functional speech. And so, it didn't have that. Yeah, some patients got better. Sure. But was it worth all of the testing, consultations, treatment? I don't think so. And that's why I don't do that anymore.
In regards to testing, there are two companies that do the urine analysis of mycotoxin which is Mosaic, which was formerly known as Great Plains Laboratory and then there's RealTime Laboratories. And what they assess is the mycotoxins in the urine. And so, we don't have really any evidence that there is colonization. It's just a concept. A theory.
Is that actually the case? And I consult with some of the biggest names out there in regard to experts, Neil Nathan, or Andrew Campbell, some others. And I don't believe anymore personally that necessarily that the problem is colonization. That we actually have mold growing in our kids. I don't think so.
And the reason is when you think about that there's mold colonization, mold is literally trying to compass you. It's trying to kill you. Mold has no mercy. It doesn't like to coexist. Really, it wants to invade and put you six feet under.
We don't see any fatalities in autism of severe mold sepsis. Look at an AIDS patient. They don't have an effective T-cell system to take care. Their natural killer cells are tanked and they have literally mold growing in their brain. They come into the ER. They end up in the ICU with an IV drip of Amphotericin. we don't have that.
if we would have children with autism affected with mold overgrowth in the gut, then any further trigger such as an infection, they get sick or they get treated with a drug like steroids, you would think that the mold would invade. And we just don't see that. And so, where could it be coming from? Because, remember, we're measuring mold toxins. Not mold.
And so, when we consider that the United States along with India and China has the worst crop quality on the planet with, for example, corn. More than 90% of United States, corn is contaminated with more than one mold toxin. You can see that when you have nine out of 10 cereals in the aisle contaminated with mol toxins, it's a big challenge. They found mold toxins in the breast milk of mothers in Brazil and in Egypt.
And why is that important? It's important because of the approach. When you have mold toxins in the urine, what does that mean? That means, well, if it comes through dietary sources, whatever it may be, why does it end up in the urine? Because it still has to from the gut through, the gut barrier, through the liver, and then ending up in the blood.
Mold toxins should not be in the blood. If they're in the blood, they get filtered and end up in the urine. And that's where we measure them. And certainly, I would say maybe two out of hundreds of mold tests that I've have seen had no mold toxins in the urine.
In regards to the percentage of autism, I would say all of them have mold toxins in there. But the reason for that is different. And the reason for that is a dysfunctional gastrointestinal system. There's dysbiosis. And we have significant issues in the liver to grab these toxins. And that has to do with genetic processes such as binding these toxins, glutathione, synthesis of glutathione, glutathione binding proteins as well as sulfation.
Stephanie Seneff for 10 years has been preaching, our kids with autism have sulfation issues. And it's not just her. There are other literature supporting that sulfation is the issue. And as you know, sulfation is very important for detoxification. And so, that's why a lot of these toxins end up in the blood. And when they end up in the blood, we have these immune reactions. We have histamine reactions. And as we know now, we have the suppression of the immune system with these mold toxins. That's what they do. They suppress the immune system.
But what was most striking for me is then to eventually find out that, actually, the most common worldwide crop contaminant in regards to mold toxins is DON, which is also called vomitoxin. And interestingly, neither Great Plains or RealTime check for that toxin even though it's the most common one. And it's a very bad one to have too.
Those pigs that Alex mentioned, they fed these pigs corn infested with this DON toxin. And we have a lot of insights into that. These pigs lost weight. They were socially withdrawn. They had immune dysregulations. And we saw that this DON toxin is a strong inhibitor of natural killer cells and also antibody-producing immune cells.
And I see that reflected in the blood work of these kids. They have lower levels of these IgG subtypes that are responsible for processes like phagocytosis. And if you don't have that, then these toxins will eventually make their way to the brain and cause inflammation.
But I started to use then, because they didn't check for that toxin, was to check Andrew Campbell's MyMycoLab. To check actually the blood. And what he does, he checks 12 different mold toxins, including the DON toxin. And he checks IgG and IgE antibodies against those.
And sure enough, the first five patients that came back, boom. All of them had high levels of IgE antibodies against this DON toxin until I eventually stopped doing that too. Because at the end of the day, if you see that and I have that clinical experience of having seen that, they have mold toxins in it. Why do I need to test for it if treatment is not antifungals, but correcting the dysbiosis, and correcting, and helping the liver, and supporting the liver to grab these toxins to keep them out of the blood?
Jimmy over here has the same exposures of mold in the diet or environmental exposures, but why is he fine? What makes him different? Why is he not autistic, let's say? And that has to do with exactly those mechanisms that he might have working different.
Now in regards to testing in your home, of course, there's mold behind your washer, your furnace, your fridge. I use the ImmunoLytics plates. I'm sure your listeners know that you can buy on Amazon. You can test whatever room you have. And they get you a nice report back.
I mean, if there's obvious mold, of course, you should remediate. But do I think that mold is growing in your basement or behind the drywall and that's why there's autism? No. Absolutely not. Of course, if there are cases where you have successful progress and then you discontinue the therapy and then you have relapse and there is maybe some mold. And I've certainly found – parents have found yeast in the bed of the kid because they dropped the banana in between the bed and the drywall and nobody found it and grew mold. Yes, those are cases. but the majority, I don't think that we need to spend thousands and thousands worth of dollars to have these companies come in, do a deep sweep, and check, and then treat. I think it's on an individual basis. If you have signs, check these areas that are moist in your house. But otherwise, I would say I would focus on different areas first.
[0:40:14] SCOTT: Cyanide is a topic that we don't hear discuss much particularly in chronic illness. I recently had a conversation with someone that shared with me that this is an area that you are exploring in your patient population. Tell us a little bit about cyanide. What role you think it may be playing? How can we test for it? And where do you believe it's coming from? And then related to that, if someone has elevated levels, what are some of the things that we potentially can do to help reduce it?
[0:40:44] DR. BOGNER: Yeah, cyanide. I didn't know much about cyanide other than, oh, death. Right? Cyanide, for listeners, just a review, is a chemical compound. It's consisting of a carbon atom triple bonded to a nitrogen atom. And the forms that are found in nature mostly are hydrogen cyanide, which is the gas and sodium cyanide.
The gas is commonly used in the industry, for example, for the production of plastics, textiles. Or it's used in fumigation processes. But what we know about cyanide mostly is acute toxicity such as from intentional or accidental exposure in the industry, suicide. Or the most common reason in the United States, which is house fires.
Firefighters and burn victims virtually always have cyanide poisoning. Carbon and nitrogen is what cyanide is. If you burn your couch, you're going to have cyanide poison. When you come to the ER as a patient and you're a burn victim, you always get treated for carbon monoxide and cyanide poisoning. They don't even test you for cyanide. They just treat you based on clinical suspicion.
But in regards to testing for an acute patient like this, they don't. And I've called Poison Control Center here in Michigan. I called Detroit Medical Center. I talked to an attending in the ER, I'm like, "Walk me through this. How do you approach a patient?" They said, "We don't test for cyanide."
And the reason also is because cyanide, once you draw the blood, it quickly turns into hydrogen cyanide, the gas. And you would literally have to flash-freeze the blood immediately before you run it through your sequencers. And so, it's very, very difficult. In fact, it's a huge problem in forensic medicine. We talked to a forensic pathologist in Texas that says, "All right, this patient died through burn – through a house fire two days ago. And I need to determine did he died by carbon monoxide poisoning or cyanide poisoning?" Sometimes it's – I guess, for the courts, it's important. And they can't test the cyanide.
And so, there's a lot of research into that and finding markers that are specific for cyanide. But now, I'm telling this is because we don't really know anything about chronic cyanide poisoning. All the literature is about acute. And so, there is no real good test.
And despite the FDA having an antidote approved since 1939, there's not much known about cyanide poisoning. And the FDA has approved sodium thiosulfate in 1939 for cyanide poisoning. But the question is where could we possibly get exposed to cyanide was the question. And that came kind of through a back door. Because we've been using the antidote in a lotion form. And the question came up and like what could it be? That this lotion with the sodium thiosulfate, could it be that it potentially target cyanide?
And so, we explored that idea. But because of the testing difficulties, it was difficult for us to prove. And so, we still don't know if that's the case. However, anecdotally, and I certainly don't want to say that this is a fact, but there are these cyanide testing strips that test water. And we've kind of validated the methodology of these testing strips with an expert in South Dakota that has a patented cyanide analyzer.
These testing strips, we thought, "Well, why wouldn't it pick up cyanide in saliva but picks up cyanide in water?" And certainly, once we experimented with that, every patient that came back had elevations of cyanide on these testing strips. And so, then we were like, "Oh, my God. Could this be a true issue?"
And we started to explore. Where could it be coming from? And so, what we found is, well, we know cyanide is in our food. The EPA and FDA don't even deny that fact. Such as foods like cassava, or lima beans, or bamboo, or dark chocolate. From lint, they found cyanide. Or even cruciferous vegetables contain cyanide.
Now I agree that, with the FDA and EPA, it's not enough in our food to cause disease. Because we have mechanisms to deal with those low levels of cyanide. However, knowing that, for example, there's also mold species, Aspergillus niger can produce cyanide. And we have such mold-contaminated crops in this country. And it's not routine practice in the United States to check our crops for cyanide. Could we underestimate this? I don't know.
But is it the food really that causes autism? No. Because so many patients and parents that have changed their diets to extreme organic, everything free kind of ice cube diets and didn't see any magic. And so, what we did discover is that there are bacteria in the microbiome that can produce cyanide. Two examples, Pseudomonas and Prevotella.
And to give you a good example to kind of validate this, there is actually something that was brought up to our attention from the lab director in South Dakota. He's like, "Man, this is interesting that you guys think that cyanide might be part of the ethology of autism. Have you guys looked into Konzo disease?" And we're like, "Konzo disease? What's that?"
And so, when we looked it up, Konzo disease is a disease that develops in the deep Congo. In very poor areas of the Congo and the tribes there that grow casaba flower. And casaba, usually, you need to treat that for about three days and water, it's called watering, to get rid of the cyanide. But because of the economic situation, there's wars, there's often violence, they don't have the ability to do that.
And so, the question comes up, "Do you want to starve to death? Or do you want to eat that cyanide food?" And of course, I would eat the food and take my chances. But this disease called Konzo developed. And they found that these children were poisoned with cyanide.
And interestingly, when you look up Konzo disease, the first picture that comes up on Wikipedia is a kid that stands on his tippy toes, which is a common feature that we see in autism, for example. And also, when you look at some of the reports when the doctors came in there, rapid hand movement and lack of speech.
And so, it's interesting that we find now when they analyze the microbiomes of these individuals that they also had high levels of Prevotella copri in Konzo disease.
And so, yeah. I think the origins of cyanide are the microbiome. I mean, there are more fascinating things about cyanide. If you stimulate a neuron with opioids, the brain generates cyanide from scratch. It's not the cyanide that comes from the outside. The neuron can develop – can produce cyanide from scratch if it's stimulated by opioids. It's fairly fascinating.
Last but not least, there are some concerns – again, I have no proof of this. But some concerns that we're looking into in regards to the use of cyanide in the development of inoculations, such as Hepatitis B, the Prevnar, also the MMR. Again, I don't have any proof. It's just something that we're interested in researching to see if there could be potentially cyanide in those.
[0:48:11] SCOTT: From a microbial perspective, it sounds like some fungal organisms, some bacterial organisms may produce or contribute to cyanide in the body. Parasites are not uncommon in children with autism. Some also dealing with Lyme and coinfections. Do we know if any of those might also be contributors to the cyanide burden in the body?
[0:48:33] DR. BOGNER: Yeah. And I think a lot of this probably hasn't been studied yet. I mean, Alex, maybe you have an opinion about this. But I know that nematodes are able to generate cyanide. But other than that, I think it's just some very under-studied area of research in regards to chronic cyanide toxicity in general.
[0:48:52] ALEX: Yeah. I think if you look at the totality of the evidence, someone kind of listening to this from the outside probably thinks that this is the most ridiculous-sounding thing in the world. How do these kids have bacterial issues? Fungal issues? Mycotoxins? Parasites? They have immune issues, dysautonomia, heavy metal toxicity, Lyme, Bartonella. How is it possible that you're pinning this all on – and I think that what it comes back to is, is that if you take two individuals, one that has let's say an immune system that's just depleted or the microbiome was depleted and you expose them to the world, the threats of the world, right?
I mean, there's going to be a house that you're going to go into that's going to have mold. But if you don't have your shields up, are you going to be able to withstand that burden? In the same way, I think that there's people that could be exposed to Lyme that are able to fight it off.
When you start seeing these things pop up at a test as being positive, I think it's just a feature of the immune system not functioning well. I mean, you're going to build up sign – there's modes of detoxification for sign in the body. Some of them involve bacteria. And like Dr. Bogner was saying, the liver is heavily involved. But if your liver is burden with everything else that has to get rid of the LPS, all of the toxicity, it's going to have a hard time. You're going to start to accumulate just like someone that doesn't have enough money to pay their rent. You're going to start to accumulate debt in different areas.
I think that all of these insults are entirely possible. And some people have all of them and some people have some of them. And the way that I think you fight it is by bringing back your immune system and bringing back that balance rather than trying to do the Whac-A-Mole approach.
I think that those – not to say that you're going to fix the gut and it's going to fix the entire of the issue. but my core thing is, is that I think if you can bring back that balance to some degree, now these therapeutics have more powerful, they're more effective. Your detoxification becomes better.
It's like having a strategy at play rather than trying to treat something with antibiotics for two years or trying to attack something with antifungals for two years. I think that those prescriptive would be more effective. Because I think the dominant effect, honestly, from a killing perspective in the immune – is the immune system in the body. I think it's misunderstood entirely that you take an antifungal and it goes and it kills the yeast. It does.
But then, what gets released? Your body mounts and attack to that. And that's the dominant effect, at least in somebody that's healthy, right? That's what's going on there. It's your immune system responding to those antibodies that are produced. Those antigens that are produced.
If you don't have that behind you, then it's kind of like a gun that just fizzles and you keep on taking it. And no one really talks about the other effects that taking those prescriptions are. Everyone thinks like in this linear dependence, "Hey, this antibiotic is going to go after this bacteria. But what does it do to the fungi?"
And similarly, I could take something like Diflucan. But no one ever talks about its power to actually affect the bacteria. Just because it's patented as an antifungal doesn't mean it has antibiotic properties to it.
We find looking at all of these herbs is that they affect everything. There's herbs that they have antimicrobial, antifungal, and antiviral properties to them. You kind of have to really just have balance in the forefront there. I've seen lots of cases where there's Lyme involved and things like that. But is it the spark? It's possible. But I really think that having a depleted immune system, it's not the cause, but it's the shields going down. And now anything can come in and make that spark and just tip you over the edge. Whether it'd be like Dr. Christian – Dr. Bogner said inoculation. Or you get some kind of swarm of mycotoxins. Or you have some exposure to heavy metals. They tip you over. And not having that shield up is what makes or breaks the difference.
[0:53:16] SCOTT: Yeah. I mean, I think early on in my own personal journey with Lyme disease, I had the perspective that we can just kill these bugs, I would be healthy. I think now killing the bugs really is quite low on the list of things that I think about to your point that we need to find ways to bring tolerance, and integration, and modulation. That those things are really more important.
Another contributor that we hear in the autism realm commonly is ammonia. I'm wondering if you can talk just a little bit on where is the ammonia coming from? Is this more genetic? Is this also coming from infections? And then how do you, if you do, work on reducing ammonia in these kids?
[0:53:59] DR. BOGNER: Again, there's the chicken and the egg, I think. Is it the excess ammonia that we produce? Or is it the inability of our body to deal with the ammonia and break it down properly?
In general, protein, dietary protein contains nitrogen. And when we break down food, the nitrogen undergo a process we call deamination. And the ammonia, basically, it's a nitrogen atom and three hydrogen atoms, which makes it very highly soluble. And so, we start to absorb it.
And so, when we absorb the ammonia, the liver converts ammonia into urea, in the urea cycle. And the urea is what we are able to pee out. And we can measure that. But in order to convert the ammonia to urea, there are genes involved. And these genes respond to cofactors. Things like AKG, citrulline, arginine.
And so, when we talk about that, I mean, there are bacteria, Clostridium, Bacillus, Enterobacter bacteria that can produce ammonia. And certainly, higher in dysbiosis. As far as I know, yeast and mold can produce ammonia as well, as well as parasites. Parasites – ammonia as parasite pee, right? That's what they say.
Yeah. In that regards, in general, when we do microbiome balancing, I think that will eventually be taken care of. But we can support the body. We can support the liver with these three acids, with the citrulline, arginine, and AKG. But as we know that if the liver doesn't have the ability to do that, the ammonia starts to end up in the blood. And, of course, ammonia is highly toxic.
And so, in the brain, unfortunately, the brain doesn't have these mechanisms that the liver has to get rid of ammonia. And so, in the brain, it needs to be looked at different. In the brain, ammonia binds actually to glutamate and it forms glutamine. And the problem is that when maybe get into the glutamate discussion, glutamate is absorbed by the astrocyte. And in the astrocytes, it binds to ammonia to form glutamine. But if the glutamate is not absorbed by the astrocytes, we have two things happen, we have glutamate toxicity in the synapse and we have ammonia toxicity in the astrocyte, which causes swelling.
And that's why, there, we need to have a different approach, which is when we get to the glutamate discussion, we can touch upon that. But basically, we need to look at ammonia from three aspects. How can we support the liver? How can we support the brain? And how can we decrease its production?
And so, the microbiome balancing is one. The liver, we mentioned. And for the brain, we'll get into that. But we do have a product we have developed for that. It's called Ammonia Away. and it has all of these ingredients in there. Arginine, citrulline, AKG. But also, has some other things like royal jelly, carnitine, and milk thistle, and some of the B vitamins and minerals to support that process.
[0:57:07] ALEX: I just wanted to add one thing on the ammonia piece. The other aspect of how we know it's ammonia. I mean, you may have heard of Rett syndrome. And that's a genetic syndrome. Affects girls. And the status of that syndrome, there's a feature of hyperammonemia. There's elevated ammonia in the syndrome.
And there are some core symptoms that associate with that disorder. Some of them are teeth-grinding and giddy laughter. And for me, when I saw that, I was like, "Whoa." Because I was trying to track – my son had these symptoms. What these symptoms were coming from? And I had an idea of some things that were helpful, but it wasn't really kind of on the fence between two or three things that could be the reason why he was doing these. Then I started to support, like Christian said, the urea cycle. And I saw that these symptoms essentially vanished.
The teeth-grinding, actually if you look at literature, there's some literature out there for animals and then horses. Apparently, horses can succumb to bacterial dysbiosis and they get these states of extreme ammonia burden. And they will do this feature of teeth grinding and head pressing. And head pressing is another thing that the kids do at different times. And it was really interesting taking these amino acids, you'd see these symptoms basically evaporate.
The other thing too with the giddy laughter, it's really a combination of like overload of ammonia and nitrogen-rich compounds too. Because I found that if it was timed right that ammonia burden with heavy, rich nitrogen foods like meats or even chocolates would promote this giddy laughter, well, that's basically the urea cycle backing up the nitric oxide cycle and you get nitric oxide building up into the blood, which is laughing gas.
In some of these kids, these states of laughter where it is so pronounced that you know they could literally fall off the couch, hit their selves on the floor in the face and be unfazed by it by how much nitric oxide is in their blood.
And it's very difficult to measure ammonia. Because it peaks. It's not like it's always elevated. This thing comes in waves. Even in the same day, I've seen people test and have both normal and abnormal levels of ammonia. It's very much related to the whole GI cycle, and the liver function, and the processing.
[0:59:44] SCOTT: You mentioned earlier the idea of mast cells and histamine. I want to talk a little bit about neuroinflammation and the role that plays in autism. What are some of the tools that you maybe find most helpful for reducing neuroinflammation? And then since we're talking about the microbiome, about the gut, and about inflammation, is there a role for butyrate in addressing inflammation? How much of this inflammation in autism is maybe driven by mast cell activation? By histamine intolerance? And what are some of the tools that you're using to address the mast cell and histamine component in these kids?
[1:00:18] DR. BOGNER: In particular, in regards to histamine and MCAS, there's a lot of factors involved with it. Of course, where do we start? We start with the gut again. Too many toxins. The liver can't grab the toxins. And then we have histamine responses in the blood. If an antigen reacts with a mast cell, histamine is released.
There are genetics responsible for histamine regulation within the mast cell called HNMT. If you have SNPs in that, then the mast cell releases too much. If you have problems with the DAO plasma enzyme breaking down histamine or you have methylation problems, the histamine keeps being elevated.
And certainly, histamine has been associated with autism among many other disease process, anxiety disorders, panic disorders, schizophrenia, memory issues, and so forth.
And so, ultimately, I think it comes down to the amygdala. The amygdala has histamine receptors. And so do microglial cells. Microglial cells have all four histamine receptors that we aware of. And hyperstimulation of these receptors causes chronic hyperactivation of the amygdala or fight-or-flight center. It's meant to be just for situations to get you out of, but not chronically be elevated.
And so, this overactivation of histamine receptors causes inflammation of the amygdala in my opinion, which we know causes all of these behavioral issues. It can interfere with social queue decoding, speech, as well as just general anxiety, aggression, suppression of melatonin being able to act to get into these deep sleep cycles.
But yeah, I think in regards to how to address it, again, we need to reduce the histamine and just strengthen the liver to keep these toxins out of the blood. But there are also other tools that we have in regards to... Amygdala has other receptors. It has endocannabinoid. It has GABA receptors, dopamine, serotonin receptors, oxytocin receptors. And so, there's a lot to work with in that regards.
For example, just that we talked about the glutamate, glutamine ammonia axis not working reduces the ability for the brain to produce glutamine. And glutamine is the precursor for GABA. And so, if we have these issues that we talked about previously, then we just don't have the ability to produce GABA to cause this inhibition of the amygdala to restore homeostasis.
But yeah. I mean, those are some key factors. Many other factors, of course, of histamine opens up the blood-brain barrier. We have other toxins like LPS or mold toxins possibly inflaming the brain. We have heavy metals. From a perspective of that is how do we address it, is, well, let's bring up our glutathione. Let's address that. Let's help the liver to not get drained anymore by closing that leaky gut and fixing the dysbiosis. But yeah. In short, it would be the microbiome and the glutathione levels to bring them back up. And we have tools for that.
[1:03:27] ALEX: Yeah. And from an approach with working on the microbiome, I think some of the most important things are histamine and inflammation. I think they kind of just go they – almost synonyms of each other. And if you can bring on therapeutics with the flavonoids, like quercetin and the luteolin. And perilla is one that we like. We have a product that has all of these together with some anti-inflammatory components like bacopa, boswellia, stuff like that. Those are really the best ways to kind of keep inflammation down, inhibit the mast cells from releasing more histamine.
And then you just have to kind of have a strategy of make sure that the bowels are moving. That you kind of evacuate things. Because as you start to tame the dysbiosis, you're going to get shedding of LPS. You're going to get stuff debris kind of flowing.
I mean, when the immune system kills a pathogen, it's like an amoeba. It kind of swallows it and it digests it. And it does it in a way that is ideal so that there isn't a collateral damage. But when you're going in there and trying to change the ecosystem with probiotics, and prebiotic, and herbs, there's a lot of stuff flying around and you get inflammation and his being responding to that.
You have to do it in a smart way. Pulsing is a way that you can kind of mitigate some of the damage. But then a lot of people will shy away from taking things just because it causes a reaction. You just want to make sure you have the best supports on board know that that reaction is somewhat inevitable, but it will diminish with time.
And the same goes with the sensitivities. A lot of people have sensitivities that just come out of nowhere. And they'll stay away from food. You have to kind of pick like a happy medium of not excluding everything. Supporting your body. But don't go into this little corner where you're eating one thing and then you're just ruining the diversity in your gut.
It really needs kind of a handholding. But as you start to get improvement, things become more accessible. Things become more feasible. And I think that that's just the journey. You have to get to that first couple weeks. First two, three weeks. And then you start to see kind of the magic start to take place.
[1:05:45] SCOTT: And for listeners, I think the product you were referring to was the Histamine Reprieve from Researched Elements. Correct? We'll talk a little bit more about those later in our conversation.
I'm excited now to talk with you about the new Thioguard lotion that we talked about just a little bit earlier. The sodium thiosulfate has many different mechanisms of action in the body. I'm wondering if we can just talk first a little bit about the history of it. How did you become interested in it? What is the history of sodium thiosulfate? Are there any clinical trials that have been done? And then what are you seeing clinically in those patients in your practice that are using this lotion?
[1:06:21] DR. BOGNER: About eight months ago, I was introduced to a family with a 9-year-old boy that was non-verbal and on the autism spectrum. And what was unique about this individual – his name was Jacob. I shared a story on my Facebook. A beautiful family.
And the boy was able to communicate through typing. And it turns out he was extremely intelligent. And that's not uncommon. Some of your listeners might know about this documentary called Spellers where they talk about six individuals in the teenage years with non-verbal autism that effectively communicate. Oftentimes, we find they actually have higher intelligence than their peers.
But I started to engage with this individual boy on a more conversational level. I asked him questions. The parents asked him. Gave me the response. And when asked, is there cure for autism? He said yes. And asked and brought the abbreviation. He mentioned SOS, which when we researched this, it know turned out to be sodium sulfite. And he confirmed.
And the sodium sulfite was actually the decontaminant in that study that Alex mentioned where they fed these pigs this DON corn-infested food and they reversed the symptoms in the pigs. And so, we asked him, "Hey, is it sodium sulfide?" And he says, "Yes. Yes. Yes." But that's not it entirely.
And so we started to – I continued to discuss chemistry with this nine-year-old boy until we got to one of the breakdown products of it, which is sodium thiosulfate. And I've never heard of it. And that's how we got to it. And he said, "Yes. Yes. Yes. That's it."
Interestingly, two weeks after I met that boy, another 15-year-old non-verbal boy from Italy that I've known and I've seen him here in Michigan in person that just moved to Italy, he mentioned the same thing two weeks later, which is bizarre. Because they didn't know that I had that conversation with that boy here in the US.
And so, it was very interesting that both of them mentioned this molecule. When we started to look into it, sodium thiosulfate is, as I said before, it's a sodium, it's salt and sulfur. It just has a very special bonding property with it. And it's actually been – it was discovered in 1624. It's been a known molecule since 400 years. Again, since the last 80 years or so, the FDA has approved it for cyanide poisoning and this autotoxicity in these cancer kids that take chemo.
Patients started to use it and we saw these results that I have not seen in my practice before. Again, my goal is speech. Functional speech. And we started to see that come back. Previously, non-verbal kids starting to make sounds or kids that had just words started to string sentences together. It was truly magic.
And in fact, in 1624 when Graubner discovered it, he called it miracle salt because it had cleansing properties. And for 315 years, it was known as miracle salt. Just when the FDA started to approve it, it was no more miracle salt. Right? Maybe for those that got saved from cyanide poisoning, right? but it kind of lost its magic. And that's why probably none of us have heard about it really. Because it's just that single treatment that we have for it or these two treatments that we have for conditions that we can treat it with.
Anyway. Alex and I, we started to embark on this journey of finding out everything we could about this. From reading ancient texts that were published with this molecule even before it was approved by the FDA from the 1920s. To more current work and research along with it.
But yeah. I mean, that's kind of how we got to it. Maybe, Alex, you can talk more about the mechanisms that we discovered with it? But yeah, the history behind it goes all back to the autism community. I guess we're just a vessel that transmits this information. But I probably would have never come up with this to be honest with you, especially also because I was kind of thrown back. I didn't even know that the DON toxin is the most common mold toxin. And all of the tests that I did never even tested for it. I don't know. Maybe it would have taken another 10 years until we would have stumbled upon it. Maybe. Maybe not. but all credit to those boys.
[1:10:48] SCOTT: Before we jump to the mechanisms, interested in whether or not there's been any clinical trials or maybe will be any clinical trials. And then since you've been using the sodium thiosulfate in your practice, what are some of the clinical changes that you've seen in these kids?
[1:11:05] DR. BOGNER: First, we didn't know how to use it. And we were like, "Okay, what about its safety?" In the safety, we know that it's been around for a long time. But we only had it approved in the IV form.
When we looked at the potential oral forms, we saw that the FDA actually classifies it as a food chemical. It's in that category or considered a grass. Generally recognized as safe. They add it to salt, alcoholic beverages. And it's used in the dried fruit industry to prevent browning of fruit. It's a strong antioxidant.
There's a lot of clinical research in it. There are no randomized control trials in certain conditions as far as I know, but there's a lot of research into different conditions, such as preeclampsia. COVID has some studies attached to it. There's studies in regards to it being cardioprotective, neuroprotective. there's a lot of kind of more laboratory research along with it. How does it work? What does it do?
And some of the discoveries come from that. What we know in regards to the mechanisms and the potential that it has. But in regards to like large clinical trials, no. We know it works and it still remains after 80 years the treatment of choice for cyanide poisoning. Now we have hydroxocobalamin and sodium nitrate in the ER for cyanide poisoning. Yeah. I mean, like I said, there's not much going on in regards to actually studying certain conditions for it. And that's unfortunate.
[1:12:37] SCOTT: Maybe, Alex, if you can walk us through some of the mechanisms through which this compound, this lotion might be supportive of the body.
[1:12:47] ALEX: Yeah. I think the way that really – at that time when Dr. Bogner had kind of discovered this, we were really on the mycotoxin wagon and we were trying to figure out what was going on there. And I think it was even the DON toxin that kind of led us – that was part of that conversation that he had with Jacob.
And we found that this molecule was effective. It was used in agriculture for reducing mycotoxins. They would feed it to the animals. We knew that there was a mechanism there. But we weren't quite sure that that was the thing that we were seeing. Because when I started giving it to my son, and I was taking it before that myself, it seems to have an efficacy that you see something very quickly like in the same day or the next day. And to me, that there's no way that can remove mycotoxins that fast.
There must be something else going on there. And we started to look at the different mechanisms of how it could affect what was going on. We realized that it was heavily implicated in recycling oxidized glutathione and to reduce glutathione.
And just from my perspective in not only with my son, but the individuals that I kind of work with, I've always felt that glutathione was kind of hit or miss. That it did something or it didn't. And a lot of practitioners attributed to the form. And you got to get the right form in there. And it's oxidizing. All that stuff.
But for me, knowing the deficits that my son had, he always had a deficit in his methylation cycle around the SAMe pathway. And I found that if you had a very high burden of – the literature supports this, of oxidized glutathione, it can inhibit that pathway.
I started to think maybe this is what's going on here in these kids that you can give somebody an infinite amount of glutathione, but then you start to build up all these little wrappers of oxidized glutathione. What does the body do with that? If it can't get rid of that, you start to inhibit other processes.
We think that that is a significant component there of not only recycling the glutathione, but taking burden off parts of the ventilation cycle that might be inhibited by having too much oxidized glutathione.
The other thing that really stuck out is, is that – and it's well known that B12 is something that's used in autism and with varying results. And getting these methyl B12 injections or different other forms of it. But it's also known that one of the counterarguments against it from many of the Western medicine physicians is, is that if you measure the serum B12, it's very high even without giving them a methyl B12 shot. And there's a misunderstanding in terms of the form of B12 that's bioavailable there.
Well, we were looking into the mechanisms, and we found that if you have sodium thiosulfate, it can actually convert your cyanocobalamin into a more bio-available form, hydroxocobalamin. We were starting to speculate maybe that there's a deficit of sodium thiosulfate for some reason. Maybe it's being used somewhere else to detoxify something else and that's causing these high levels of B12, serum B12. That could further improve the methylation status in itself.
It's an antioxidant. It has antioxidant properties to it. There's also an antifungal component to it. But if you're taking it topically, you're really not seeing that. And we went along the topical mechanism because it's primarily significantly destroyed by the stomach acid. And it has the potential to even change some of the microbiome there. We didn't quite think that it would work.
But once we were able to give a stable form of it, we were seeing that the lotion in some cases was actually more beneficial than trying to kind of take sodium thiosulfate and suck on it and get it through the mucosa so that you're going to preempt that stomach acid.
And some of the improvements. And like I'm saying, this is anecdotal. This is what people have shared with us. We have screenshots of these things. But it's really in the area of cognition and speech and kind of overall calmness. And it seems to happen fairly quickly.
And like Dr. Bogner was saying, I've never come across something that has provided that kind of gain and benefit in such a short period of time. There are some other mechanisms involved there with regard to iron and oxygenation. But we think that, overall, this is just hitting it on multiple places. And we're excited to explore and learn about it more. We have plans to do a study on it. We're trying to do a lot at once. But hopefully, we can get things going there.
[1:17:48] SCOTT: And you mentioned earlier, Dr. Bogner, that Dr. Stephanie Seneff talks about sulfate deficiency. Some people use Epsom salt baths to get magnesium sulfate. Wondering if you, with this sodium thiosulfate and the excitement around this, have you been in contact with Dr. Seneff to get any of her thoughts?
[1:18:07] DR. BOGNER: Yeah. Initially, when we started to discover this and we saw these good results, actually, she was the first person I reached out to because of her extensive work over the last decade in regards to telling us practitioners that autism is a sulfation problem.
And I don't know. Many of us maybe didn't really know what to do from that point on. Okay. What do I do? Do I give sulforaphane from broccoli extract? And didn't have good results from that. And what did it really mean?
And the truth to it is there's a difference between sulfites and sulfates, as you know. The sulfites need to be converted to sulfates. The sulfites are usually where you have to kind of watch out for allergic reactions. If you say, "Oh, you have a sulfur-sensitive patient." It's because of sulfites. Because the sulfites, if they don't break down how they should be break down or be breaking down with the SUOX gene, they form sulfur dioxide, which is causing these hives and allergic reactions.
But it is truly the sulfates that we need. And so, the conversion is done by this gene called sulfide oxidase, which the cofactor is molybdenum. But we didn't really see – or I didn't see much results with just giving molybdenum to those patients even if I saw those SNPs on the genetic report. And so, there must have been more to it.
And so, we know that if you have SNPs in the SUOX gene to make that conversion happen, we know that there are triggers such as arsenic and tungsten, probably other metals that just haven't been studied yet, that can inhibit that gene even more. As well as Seneff was kind of demonstrating is that glyphosate is inhibiting the sulfation processes.
In that regard, we have less ability to produce sulfates. Sulfates are important for many things. Part of keeping your collagen healthy and for detoxification purposes. But in general, it is really the form of sulfur that helps with detoxification, including the regeneration of the glutathione that Alex mentioned.
And so, in that regard, yeah, she was very helpful. In fact, she found it fascinating that she wanted to write a paper about this molecule sodium thiosulfate and autism, but didn't end up writing it. We started to write the paper, but we wanted to do that clinical trial with Brian. And so, we kind of didn't discuss that any further. But we thought that the clinical trial might be more beneficial to show what can we actually do.
[1:20:38] SCOTT: In those people that are sulfur sensitive, don't tolerate onions, or garlic, or glutathione, do we need to be concerned at all that maybe they'll be intolerant to the sodium thiosulfate? Do we need to be giving more B6 or molybdenum? Or is that not an issue since this is sulfate?
[1:20:56] DR. BOGNER: No. In general, sulfates are very well-tolerated by individuals. And it's fine in general to consume sulfates and sulfur-sensitive patients. Of course, always take precautions. Start with low doses of that. But in general, we do not see allergic reactions with sulfate. Again, because it's not able to form the sulfide, sulfide dioxide. I don't think that there is a problem in these individuals.
[1:21:23] SCOTT: If we're using this sodium thiosulfate to help with the glutathione side of things, that's going to then support detoxification, do we have the potential then to further or initially stress the organs of elimination? The liver? Do we need to be supporting the liver while we're using the lotion? And how important is kind of foundationally supporting our detoxification pathways? Our drainage pathways when we're considering using something like sodium thiosulfate?
[1:21:52] ALEX: Christian and I, when we started taking it ourselves first we noticed that in the first couple of days we got slightly constipated in doing it. And I had never been constipated before. And I was like, "Whoa. Something's going on here." And I don't know that we kind of connected the dots and things were kind of like fine after that point. But some of the initial feedback that we were getting in some of the individuals is that it was aggravating constipation.
And what we were envisioning was going on is, is that you're just basically dumping – drawing out toxicity and it's going directly into the gut. And this is a class of individuals that classically have higher issues with constipation problems as it is. It became very apparent to us from the beginning is that no one should be using this without having supported motility before going into it or at least have a handle on that. Because you can conjugate as much as you want. If you can't actually get rid of it through the bowels, then you get this backlog there.
The general approach that we have in the collaborations, we kind of have the same ideas, is that these kids – and we're often dealing – we deal with some adults, but often with kids. They need to be supporting these pathways even before starting any intervention. So, the gut balancing. They're usually on a broad-spectrum vitamin. Possibly some kind of adrenal support. Some kind of ammonia support. Something for histamine. If those symptoms are very, very apparent, certainly, constipation and motility is at the top of the list in terms of the symptoms, we need to make sure things are flowing and moving before doing anything. Before doing gut balancing.
That would be kind of the precursor to anybody that wants to use it particularly in this class. Make sure that constipation isn't something that you deal with. And if it is, you should try to tackle that first. We have some products for that. Because detoxifying too fast is a problem. And then there's also the – you can also start to draw out some mineral content too as well.
We find that this is a tool that pairs well with the microbiome balancing. Although some people have just started taking it themselves and seeing benefits. But we think that really pairing them together, that's how you can avoid any of those potential complications and really maximize the improvement.
[1:24:14] SCOTT: Your constipation product, I believe that's the MotilityMax, which I'm excited about is another tool in the arsenal. Wondering if there is a place for binders when we're talking about the use of the lotion. Obviously, binders, generally speaking, can be somewhat constipating. I think we'd want to address and improve the constipation issue first.
But then to minimize some of these potential detoxification-type reactions with the sodium thiosulfate, should we also be incorporating some binders? Is that going to help minimize some of that enterohepatic recirculation of these toxins in the digestive tract?
[1:24:54] ALEX: I've kind of gone back and forth with the binders. I think that they're a good idea. And the reason why I go back is just because of the complexity of the program and having to take too many things. But typically, what I would tell the individuals would is I just like kind of something simple, like activated charcoal rather than kind of getting complex with specific targeting binders and worrying about maybe sources of contaminations. Different clays and stuff like that.
I would find that I would just tell them to say, "Hey, do activated charcoal maybe two or three times a week before going to bed so you kind of stay away from any food content or wearing about reabsorbing any minerals that you might have eaten with a meal."
I know that you can get very exotic with it and timing it after taking something. And that's probably offers slightly little bit more advantage. But it gets very difficult feasibly to implement that. And you start to kind of lose sight of I think what's important.
I mean, I think activated charcoal, that's kind of my favorite one that I like. It's slightly constipating. It's simple. It's hard to really get a bad activated charcoal, I think. I think it's something that we need to look into. And Christian and I have talked about maybe coming out with a specific binder that we like.
[1:26:14] DR. BOGNER: Yeah. I used to use binders even Welchol. And then looking at these charts. Comparing which binder is for which mycotoxin. And I don't use them anymore. I didn't see much with that, to be honest with you. At least personally. I'm sure others have different opinions. But glutathione is my favorite binder. Glutathione binds everything.
We live 100 years, if we're lucky, on this planet. Because we get exposed to thousands of toxins in our life. And glutathione does its job. It binds mold toxins. It binds heavy metals. It binds food chemicals and everything. That's what it's designed to do. And so, I don't think – I don't use any binders anymore.
[1:26:55] SCOTT: Talking then about glutathione. We've talked about the sodium thiosulfate as potentially being able to help recycle or move our oxidized glutathione back to reduced glutathione. Is it possible if someone is using exogenous glutathione that they might need to reduce that once they start using the lotion?
[1:27:15] DR. BOGNER: Yeah. I think it's a fine balance. The cycle needs to keep moving. And so, we have a certain capacity of course of how many toxins can we bind. And so, when you get to that point, I think you need to really know what you're doing in regards to watching your symptoms. Listen to your body. What can you take? What can you not?
If you take the lotion and you see more symptoms, you have to kind of differentiate. Is it because of histamine? Or is it because more toxins got liberated? And you could benefit from maybe more glutathione or NAC. I think it is in certain situations very beneficial to add a little bit of glutathione to it. You just have to be careful not to increase the pool of deoxidized glutathione.
The question that I could never answer, and I talked to the experts that I've talked to, that why do some individuals not tolerate glutathione and NAC? These are compounds that without them we would be dead. How is it that some don't tolerate them? And that is exactly the issue.
We have one glutathione molecule that you take orally. It binds one toxin. And then it becomes oxidized and it's not usable again. It's like your car is empty from gas, what do you do? You go buy a new car? Or you're going to refuel it? And so, we do need to constantly stimulate the recycling. But if we have – at any time the oxidized going up to high, we inhibit the methylation like Alex said. And methylation is there to what? Break down histamine. Methylation is there to stimulate COMT to break down adrenaline.
And then, all of a sudden, you have these exacerbated symptoms based on these toxicities based on your SNPs. Yeah. It's a fine balance. I think, at the right time, it can be beneficial, especially when your glutathione pools are depleted because of other issues of CBS and low homocysteine, or general low cysteine reservoirs in the body. And so, all of that needs to be looked at as well.
[1:29:09] SCOTT: When we're using the sodium thiosulfate lotion, are there other substances that might synergize or amplify the effect of the lotion? And how are those substances bolstering the effects of the lotion itself?
[1:29:24] ALEX: I mean, one of the things that I found to be helpful, but it's just in general, trying to push the methylation cycle can be tricky. There's a lot of different things out there. You can take something like trimethyl glycine or dimethyl glycine. Obviously, the B12's and the phenolic acid are implicated in there.
And I found that just by using something like beet – I found beetroot powder to be kind of a broad spectrum of minerals. It has some nice TMG content to it. But it's not overbearing. I think that there's some very useful amino acids in it. And it has a lot of positive microbiome properties to it. The polyphenols are really good for the gut.
That's kind of one of the core suggestions that we tag along with it. We put that heavily in our products because of that. Because we do think that you're going to need some supplementation there. And this kind of fits the bill. It's not something that's potent like taking direct TMG or DMG. It'll have kind of a broad function to it.
I think along the lines of that, if you can find a food source that's heavy in some of these minerals and compounds that are very integral, there's a methionine content to it, but it's not like taking pure methionine, I think those are really the most helpful things. Beetroot power is certainly one of those things.
But I would say probably the most important thing that we found really has just been the motility aspect of that. Making sure that things are flowing. Taking a Spectra vitamin. I really like the nicotinamide riboside molecule in terms of helping with NAD levels. I know there's other options out there. But for some reason, that one just seems to be helpful without incident in a lot of people. And we put that heavily in our product as well. And that's also implicated in helping to kind of bolster glutathione in itself.
[1:31:16] SCOTT: You mentioned going with the flow. The topic of constipation. You have created the MotilityMax product. Has some very interesting ingredients in it. Wondering if you could tell us a little bit about some of the explorations that you've had on finding specific substances that were helpful. And then how you created that product, MotilityMax?
[1:31:34] ALEX: Yeah. I would have basically a list for the people that I worked with, say, "Here, these are the 10 things that I think that are the most effective in supporting motility." Because there are certainly individuals that are extremely constipated where they need daily enemas, or they don't go for several days, or they even get taken to the hospital in some extreme cases.
Not everybody will need everything. And sometimes, starting at the top of the list, it doesn't – that you check that item off. We're taking it. But there's still no improvement. We've kind of put these things together into one. And you can basically scale the dosing as needed to kind of get that therapeutic benefit.
Something as simple as prune juice is really, really helpful for motility. We included some prune powder in there. Fennel seed I found to be really helpful for pushing the motility. There are some ginger components in there. A lot of people will take magnesium. Kind of helps draw some water and soften the stool. There's a little bit of magnesium in there. There's a particular probiotic species of Bifidobacterium lactis, which has been shown to help with motility. We have that in there as well.
Flax seeds have a contribution to detoxification. There's an omega-3 profile to it. But it also helps with motility. Carnitine. Sometimes I've suggested that directly. You can get it as a liquid. It will certainly help soften the stools. I mean, it has kind of a smell to it, but we have our product. It's nicely flavored. Not artificially flavored. But you don't get that smell at all. L-carnitine is very helpful. Tends to stay in the gut the L-carnitine component. Not the acetyl one. Tends to be absorbed a little bit more bioavailably.
Those are really kind of I'd say the main components that we have in there that we put together that seem to be the most effective and keeping things flowing for most people. Obviously, there's going to be some severe cases. You might need a little bit more tools in there. We need to see if those are appropriate for their use.
[1:33:37] SCOTT: We didn't talk a whole lot about all of the products that you guys are coming out with. I'm super excited. New tools in the toolbox. I have the GutGuardian product here that you all have created with research elements. You have the GutGuardian. You have the SpectrumMax. The MotilityMax we talked about. You've got some others that you just released including Histamine Reprieve, the Oxalate Pull, Ammonia Away. I love that these are for some of the areas in autism and even in adults with chronic illness that are not always super easy to find great tools for. Looking at oxalates. Looking at ammonia. Tell us a little bit more about these products and why you came to this collaboration with Researched Elements.
[1:34:18] ALEX: Yeah. I mean, the Dr. Bogner and I were talking about getting into this for a very long time. And we always had difficulty trying to find a supplement manufacturer that was going to be okay with the exotic ingredients that we had. It was very difficult to find things like pomegranate peel or some of the other herbs in there.
We would go to a manufacturer and they're, "This is the 15 things that we have. Choose from that." We happened to come in contact with All-In Nutritionals and they were just so into what we were doing. They went all out with every single thing that we wanted. There was no issue in getting them. That was certainly part of the issue in not having done this before.
The other complication from the microbiome piece like with Guardian was trying to put something together in a balanced way that had – because there are going to be people that need more prebiotics. They're going to be people that need more herbal components. How do you really make something to kind of fit everybody? And it's not that it's going to solve everyone's problems. But it's kind of like making a soup. You start out with the same base, right? There's kind of three bases that you start out with.
We tried to formulate in a way that would include a little bit of everything in a certain ratio that would be appropriate for you and be able to access some benefits. At the same time, it would make the specific recommendations of doing this gut balancing with this 16s testing. Much more condensed. Much more feasible.
Rather than having to take 12 herbs, and three prebiotics, and two probiotics, and two or three antifungals, it cuts it down to maybe a third of that. You take GutGuardian and maybe we spot treat. You really need more emphasis on red polyphenols. Or you need more of an emphasis on these particular herbs here that have more of an antifungal component based on what's going on.
It's made so that anybody can take it. I take it daily and see benefit. And I think that for the people that are more sick, it'll make their programs more simple and less complex. And that was the intent. Not to be the replace everything, but really be the core and then to kind of bridge off of that.
[1:36:35] SCOTT: And it actually even tastes quite good too. I was surprised.
[1:36:41] ALEX: Yeah. That's the biggest – I mean, that's honestly the biggest hurdle in autism. Most of these kids do not swallow capsules. We had to make something. And we got the – we got the unflavored version. And it is just awful. And I can tell you that because that's what I was doing every day with my son for years, is trying to come up with ways to make things taste better and palatable.
When we got these products and we were working with them on the flavor, we were like, "Wow. This is going to open the door for so many people that just can't get their kids to take anything." And we realize that, eventually we're going to make these available in capsules too for the people that don't want to have to actually put a powder in and make the shakes. But at least, at the very least, you could take this. It doesn't taste bad.
I feel like I gained a whole bunch of energy points since starting to take this daily. I'm excited for the people that are going to be trying it. And we want to make things that people like and that are going to help them. We are totally open to the feedback and the improvement. And we've got a lot of that already. We're hot at work at trying to make things more feasible and practical.
[1:37:51] SCOTT: And I actually like that these are available in powders. Because they're easier to titrate. I think the Histamine Reprieve, do you have that one in both a powder and a capsule already? Yeah. That's what I thought. Excellent. Excellent. I'll put the link to Researched Elements in the show notes where people can look into those in more detail. I think there's some really exciting products and excited to see what else you guys come out with.
I did notice in some other products that you do use glutamine. Some experts would suggest that glutamine might convert to glutamate and maybe add to excitotoxicity. Is that a real concern or not?
[1:38:24] ALEX: Yeah. We were on the – and Dr. Bogner will add to this. We were on the fence about this because we know that we have seen that there's a nice potential for glutamine to help out. And there's this big anti-glutamate kind of following, which is not called for, but I think that a lot of these anti-oxalate, anti-glutamate followings really take over kind of core and limit your diet or limit what you're eating. And they have a negative connotation from that perspective.
I think you should kind of try to strive. To stay away from things that are artificial. And don't intentionally eat things that have glutamate in them, or MSG, like that. But at the same time, don't corner yourself.
We know that there's a benefit for glutamine. We think that if we put it in there in a small amount and then combined with some of the other tools that could help with, we really think that the glutamate issue is exacerbated. Like Dr. Bogner was saying was by ammonia. Particularly in ASD. If you can get a handle on that, then you can really get more access to the benefits of glutamine.
[1:39:31] DR. BOGNER: No. I mean, glutamine does form eventually into glutamate. But what's wrong with glutamate? Without glutamate, we wouldn't have this conversation. It's a motor neurotransmitter and it's not the bad guy. Like everybody's saying, glutamate is bad. Yeah, because we add glutamate – it's the only acid that tastes like something. And there's no regulations on how much glutamate you can add to food. Obviously, too much is bad. But without glutamate, we wouldn't be able to form a sentence.
And so, it's not about the concern that we form too much glutamate. Glutamate is necessary. The toxicity arises again from not being able to absorb glutamate into the astrocyte because of sodium imbalances. That's the issue with glutamate toxicity. And that it doesn't bind the ammonia and the astrocyte, which then forms the glutamine.
We know that in autism, for example, we have high glutamate and low glutamine. Glutamine is released from muscle tissue. 50 grams every day. What does it do? It repairs and it fuels the immune system. It repairs the GI tract. And so, glutamine is important. I do not have concerns in that regards. You just need to, again, keep the cycles going. And you need to know what causes toxicity and where in the cycle you need to work on.
[1:40:39] SCOTT: In more sensitive people with chronic illnesses, adults maybe with mast cell activation, histamine issues maybe in children on the spectrum, there can be sensitivity to phenols, to salicylates, which unfortunately are fairly high in many herbs. What are your thoughts on people tolerating some of these products that do contain lots of herbs? Do we need to work more on microbiome balancing first? Or are there other things that we can do to help minimize the sensitivity to phenolics and salicylates?
[1:41:11] ALEX: I have to be so thankful of the experiences with my son. Because I feel that we've gone through such an evolution of all of the symptoms and issues with him. My experience with that is that working on the microbiome, those things diminish and basically fade away. To the point where perfumes and certain scents would just kind of cause these extreme reactions. And just kind of chipping away at the gut over time, those things that were burdens before are no longer burdens.
Hearing from some adults too. I do work with some adults. They've kind of shared the same thing. I used to be able to do this and now I can't. Obviously, something has broken. And so, I don't think that you should go out and try to find things that are really laced with these things. And some of these herbs will be very phenolic and stuff like that.
I think the take-home message is that, in the beginning, you could expect to see some reaction activity initially when you start this. But that doesn't necessarily indicate that it's an inappropriate thing to do. The smart way is to really kind of do things maybe on an every other day basis. Do a pulsing mechanism. Or bring on things that are going to really quell the histamine out there and know how to handle it.
What I've seen over time is that things just become more feasible and accessible. The one herb that caused me strife that I took in the beginning, now I can take three or four capsules of it and I don't get that reaction.
[1:42:41] SCOTT: Let's talk a little bit about how people can work with you. Is there an opportunity to do the gut-balancing program? Alex, I know you're very busy. Are there other practitioners that are also working with that program? And then, also, how people can work with Dr. Bogner as well?
[1:42:55] ALEX: Yeah. Dr. Bogner is actually versed in the gut balancing too. He can actually perform it as well. There's kind of a train up there. There's some practitioners that work with me and have access to this software. They've kind of built it into their practice. They don't find – follow it exactly the way that I do. But I think some of the core principles are use the literature to help guide you. Use the prebiotics to build in where the deficits are.
Because I've just been so busy right now, I primarily work with children. And I do that for free. I don't charge for anything. I mean, there are some adults that I work with just to kind of keep things going. But I've kind of put the kibosh on that just because things are so busy.
But we have some future goals where we'd like to make this available for everybody. We have some ideas where we would have a website where basically you can upload your test and get these suggestions. Get some expert kind of opinions and advice. And have the literature right there so you can read it and see why this compound is appropriate for dysbiosis or this prebiotic would be beneficial for you. I think that's kind of the end goal of where we're going right now. But know I'm happy to talk to anybody. If they want to send me an email, I don't want to ever tell anybody no. That's kind of where I am right now.
[1:44:10] SCOTT: Excellent. My last question is the same for every guest, and that is what are some of the things that you do on a daily basis in support of your own health?
[1:44:19] DR. BOGNER: Lots of clean water. And like I showed you here, mixing all of these together, GutGuardian, and the Spectrum Max, and kind of put away my 300 bottles of other supplements and just seeing how this goes. I mean, with the GutGuardian and Spectrum Max, I lost 8 pounds in one week. And I didn't exercise more or change my diet. But like Alex said, I have more alertness. I started dreaming again much more intensely. Even with less sleep, don't have these fatigue symptoms throughout the day even if I have four or five consults in a row. You just keep going.
And it doesn't cause that caffeine effect that you're hyper, or wired, or have a crash effect later. And so, that's what I'm doing. There are some other things. I am a fan of ivermectin. Not only because of its antiviral properties, but it has anti-inflammatory properties. And so, I don't recommend anybody doing this, of course, without consulting with your physician. But those are the kind of things I do.
I like to meditate. I like to pray. Getting out into nature. Touching a tree. I know that sounds weird. But I like the energies from the earth. I spend a lot of time behind the desk. And so, getting out there, getting some good vitamin D. Eat good food. Eat good steak. Enjoy my kids. Be happy. I think dealing with stress. Keeping the stress levels down. Working with Alex, that makes me happy.
[1:45:39] ALEX: Yeah. I mean, I think if you talk to most parents you'll find out that they're sacrificing themselves for their kids and really not thinking about these important questions like their health. And, honestly, I find myself trying to maximize my time to just do as many things as I possibly can in the day.
But I do realize that it builds up on you. There's a need to bring that balance back for yourself. And it's not only eating healthy foods and taking supplements that are going to help you energize you and things like that. But I think it's just balance overall. Do you have a good communication profile in your life? Are you communicating with people? Do you have a hobby or something that interests you or people that are like-minded that you can share experiences with and throw ideas back and forth? Do you have kind of a purpose? I think that that really goes a long way, right?
I probably benefit more from working with other people just because I get to hear their experiences and then I get to kind of weigh that against mine. And then, certainly, it feels good to help some else out. But I think just being overall connected. Trying not to be stressed out, it's difficult. We live in a stressful world.
Everything is internet, and phone right now, and passwords. And there's so many things that can kind of tip you over the edge. But I think it's always healthy to kind of just go for a walk. Go outside. Try to de-stress. Think about if the world was going to end tomorrow, what would you be doing? Diet and all that stuff I think is really important. Trying to stay away from all the processed crap. It's really hard. It's really expensive. It's hard to go down the street and not see a fast food place or go in the supermarket and not see something that's advertised right in your face that's cheap and you should be buying. Just try to be whole and balanced. And take it one day at a time. And just know that there's a lot of other people out there that are suffering worse than you or from the same issues. And I think that gives you some context.
[1:47:29] SCOTT: I love this conversation. I am so excited to see what your collaboration continues to bring. I think you are both such highly intentioned people. I think your own experience with your children is going to certainly help the lives of many, many children. And so, I just appreciate so much what you're doing. Look forward to continuing to see what comes from your collaborations. And appreciate you both for being here and sharing so much with us today.
[1:47:55] ALEX: Thank you so much, Scott. It was really an honor.
[1:47:58] DR. BOGNER: You're great. Thank you, Scott.
[1:48:00] SCOTT: To learn more about today's guest, see the links in the show notes.
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