093: Working with Billionaires with Dr. Stephen Barrie

On this episode of Build Your Network, Host Travis Chappell interviews Stephen Barrie, physician, entrepreneur, scientist, teacher, and author.

Here’s what Travis and Dr. Stephen discuss in this episode:

  • About Stephen Barrie
    • Wrote some of the first modern papers on dysbiosis and leaky gut.
    • Founded Genova Diagnostics, the world’s largest chronic disease clinical laboratory.
    • Written several NY Times lay person health books.
    • Published in many peer reviewed medical journals.
    • Helped the central government of China implement functional medicine into the Chinese healthcare system.
    • Has had an interesting worldwide journey.
      • His mission is to educate people on their health and that’s been his common thread.
    • What is the microbiome?
      • Single-cell organisms like bacteria, etc.
      • The microbiome is very much related to the health of our skin and our gastrointestinal track.
      • There are over 40 trillion bacteria in our gut, that’s more than the cells in the body.
      • The microbiome is now considered to be a separate organ in the body.
      • The research in the past couple of years show that the bacteria control what we think, when we’re hungry, when we’re going to get a disease, etc.
      • Dysbiosis is an imbalance in our bacteria, they’re not producing enough of the good chemicals, they’re producing bad chemicals.
      • If we can solve the problems in the gut, any form of disease can also be solved.
      • The balance of the bacteria in the gut totally controls when chemotherapy drugs will be effective or not.
    • What was the medical landscape like 25 years ago when you brought up the microbiome?
      • The microbiome was part of the folklore culture.
        • Fermented products were always said to be beneficial.
      • The 1940’s focused on antibiotics, etc.
      • About six people stood up and called Barrie a witch when he spoke about the microbiome in 1986.
      • If you’re a pioneer, you’re close to the edge of the cliff and disrupting stuff.
    • In the last 3-4 years, microbiome research has been borne out through research.
      • Every week there are 10-15 papers coming out on microbiome research.
      • Breast cancer research has borne out that breast cancer is starting in the gut.
    • What does this mean for the future of medicine?
      • We have to pay a lot more attention to the gut, what chemicals they’re producing and how to respond.
    • Tell us more about Viome.
      • It turns out that babies born via c-section have a tremendous difference in health.
        • Babies who are born vaginally are exposed to the mother’s microbiome.
        • A spray is being developed for c-section babies to help them.
      • The mission for Viome is “We want to and will make chronic illness an option.”
        • By providing information for people to make better choices.
      • Why does food and diet help get rid of chronic disease and support the microbiome?
        • Within 3-5 years, they will be able to accomplish their mission statement.
        • They need about a million people to do the research test.
        • Gut bacteria accounts for 95% of chronic illness.
      • How can the listeners help Viome’s mission?
        • Viome is measuring the RNA of the microbiome in your gut to uncover your individualized diet.
        • Some people may not tolerate certain healthy foods because some people’s gut bacteria may turn them into a toxin.
        • We need to increase our gut bacteria diversity and cause the bacteria to produce good chemicals.
        • When you know the right foods to eat, the inflammation cascades stop.
        • Weight loss isn’t totally related to calories, it’s related to inflammation.
      • How did you end up working with Naveen Jane at Viome?
        • He wanted to make sure he was open to the possibility of meeting someone, that he was present and open.
        • People pick up on it when you’re open and receptive.
        • Barrie was in China working in the microbiome space.
        • His connection at Viome called Naveen to ask about Barrie coming back to the states.
        • Naveen hired him on full-time in the states.
        • Success is secondary to doing good.
      • Do you believe that what you know or who you know is more important, and why?
        • It’s one thing to network, but if you don’t know anything it doesn’t get you very far.
        • If you know a lot and don’t network, then you don’t have any opportunity.
        • When you network, you need to know how you want to add to the value to others.

The Random Round:

  • What profession other than your own do you think it would be fun to attempt?
    • Marine biology
  • If you could sit on a park bench for an hour with anyone past or present, who would it be?
    • Leonardo DiVinci
    • He loves creativity and figuring out ways to express it.
  • How do you like to learn best, books, blogs, podcasts or video?
    • Videos
  • Give us a glimpse of your morning routine?
    • Gets up around 6
    • Short meditation
    • Yoga
    • Aerobic exercise if there’s time
    • Starts work reading
  • What is your go-to pump up song:
    • Pachelbel’s Canon in D
  • What are you not very good at?
    • Dancing
  • Find him online:

Tweetable Quotes:

  • If we can solve the problems in the gut, any form of disease can also be solved.
  • If you’re a pioneer, you’re close to the edge of the cliff and disrupting stuff.
  • Weight loss isn’t totally related to calories, it’s related to inflammation.

Resources Mentioned:

Buildyournetwork.com – Podcast website

BYN.media/fb – Facebook Group

Genova Diagnostics



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