Episode - Prebiotics, Probiotics and the Gut Microbiome with Dr. Jason Hawrelak


Prebiotics, Probiotics and the Gut Microbiome with Dr. Jason Hawrelak

If you’d like to improve your gut health, diversify your diet!

Incorporating a variety of colorful plant-based foods, prebiotics, and select strains of probiotics is always a step in the right direction. But when it comes to probiotics and prebiotics, there’s a lot of conflicting information. Is a higher CFU always better? Will prebiotics feed bad bacteria too? Is it okay to rely on fermented foods as the primary source?

Today I’m joined by Dr. Jason Hawrelak, a naturopathic physician and expert in prebiotics, probiotics, and the gut microbiome. Dr. Hawrelak was my instructor in my master’s degree at the University of Western States, and I’ve also learned a lot from him in his online courses in the years since. Dr. Hawrelak did his Ph.D. examining the capacity of probiotics, prebiotics, and herbal medicines to modify the gastrointestinal tract microbiota and teaches worldwide on microbiota modification and gastrointestinal health.

In this conversation, Dr. Hawrelak and I discuss the importance of using specific strains of probiotics, the therapeutic benefits of prebiotics, Dr. Hawrelak’s take on treating Blastocystis and H. pylori, the potential negative impacts of long-term use of berberine, how you can nurture your gut microbiome, and more. Enjoy the episode!


About Dr. Jason Hawrelak

Dr. Jason Hawrelak is a researcher, educator, Western herbalist, and naturopathic physician with over 20 years of clinical experience. He did his PhD examining the capacity of probiotics, prebiotic, and herbal medicines to modify the gastrointestinal tract microbiota and teaches worldwide on the topics of microbiota modification and gastrointestinal health. He has published extensively in these areas, including 20 textbook chapters. Dr. Hawrelak is on the Medical Nutrition Council of the American Society for Nutrition and is a Fellow of the American College of Nutrition and the Naturopaths and Herbalists Association of Australia. Dr. Hawrelak maintains a busy clinical practice in Hobart, Tasmania, Australia, where he consults with patients from all over the world.


During this episode, you’ll learn:

  • Dr. Hawrelak’s background in naturopathy and expertise in probiotics and prebiotics
  • Why Dr. Hawrelak started ProbioticAdvisor.com
  • What research shows about the therapeutic benefits of different strains of probiotics
  • Choosing the right strain is more important than choosing the highest CFU
  • Benefits of fermented foods vs. probiotic supplements
  • Considerations around the survival of probiotics in the gut
  • The importance of taking probiotics with food
  • What you need to know about Bacillus spore-based probiotics
  • Prebiotics as an underutilized tool in many practitioners’ toolkit
  • Food and supplement sources of prebiotics
  • Breaking the myth that prebiotics feed bad bacteria
  • Dr. Hawrelak’s selective use of antimicrobials and their impact on the gut ecosystem
  • Why Dr. Hawrelak recommends againstthe long-term use of berberine
  • The controversy around Blastocystis and H. pylori and when he recommends treatment
  • Limitations of current leaky gut testing methods
  • Different labs and technologies Dr. Hawrelak prefers for gut microbiome testing
  • Diversity is critical when it comes to the gut microbiome
  • Dr. Hawrelak’s recommendations for being a good custodian of the gut microbiome


Connect with Dr. Jason Hawrelak


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