Show #135: The Gut and its Microbiota with Dr Jason Hawrelak


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And onto this week’s show!

The gut continues to be a hot topic, thus one I welcome putting on a show about when I find the kind of guest that can take things to the next level of our understanding of our inner garden. So, this week my guest is Dr Jason Hawrelak. We go deep into the microbiota, the latest gut research, gut brain connection, IBS, fodmap restriction and how to bring back the fibre minus the symptoms, constipation, Keto and certain strains that are winning in the research when it comes to depression, anxiety and more!  Dr Hawrelak is Head of Research at His passion for gastrointestinal health, the GIT microbiota, and probiotics was ignited during the final year of his undergraduate training. Subsequently, Dr Hawrelak did his Honours (First Class) and PhD degrees in the areas of the gastrointestinal microbiota, irritable bowel syndrome, and the clinical applications of pre- and probiotics. He has written extensively in the medical literature on these topics – including 16 textbook chapters – and his research has been cited over 900 times.



The questions I asked Dr. Hawrelak:  

You’ve been researching the gut and our microbiota not just of the gut but also the vaginal microbiota, way before it all began being discussed in pop-health-culture (and I’d say we’re not even quite there yet discussing the latter!) What led you to be fascinated by this area of medicine and the potential keys to better health by understanding it better?

What was your first favourite probiotic strain?

Can you give us an idea of how fast this area of research has grown in the past 20 years?

There are so many probiotic supplements in the market place these days: They’re all saying they’re ‘the best’. How is a person to navigate probiotics these days and choose one, when our clinicians are barely able to keep up with the research themselves?

What are the key steps to determining the best formulations for us as an individual and do we all need to be taking one? (thinking potentially urban/ more sanitised workplaces and homes etc)


If a chic pea makes your tummy blow up what steps can one take?

Is a poop test just a snapshot in time or an adequate representation of what’s going on with our inner garden?

Best clinical stool tests?

Stool test comes back… all lacto  / no bifido

Histamine releasing / degrading probiotics – an illustration of when probiotics can help or hinder our health..

The magic of a few key probiotic strains in – metabolic health / chronic inflammation / depression / reflux / IBS (could we explore a few key ones, the research behind them and support with various conditions.

Cultured foods – All the rage but something I’ve wondered about wild ferments and not somewhat controlling what’s cultivated in the foods: wild culturing in urban areas / water damaged buildings – best to culture foods with specific strains to control ‘what grows’ in your food?

Do we have to kill overgrowths of pathogens before we can encourage growth of the good guys with prebiotic foods? Ie, we see GAPS diets, keto ‘starving out’ pathogens: At the coal face is this what the research is telling you or something different?

Some of the toughest health challenges are some of your biggest clinical interests in your patient work – Chron’s disease, ulcerative colitis, diverticulitis, chronic IBS either constipating / diarrhoea – what role do probiotics play clinically in treating these illnesses? What’s going on for people to be experiencing so many gastrointestinal issues? What have you seen be some of the biggest factors to move people forward / lessen symptoms in these areas?

Now I mentioned this at the start of our chat but I’d love to come back to it, given it’s hardly ever talked about: Vaginal microbiota: As if worrying about our guts wasn’t enough, we now need to be across what’s going on with our vaginas: Give us the facts, WHY we should be more in the know / what we need to look out for / how to test

What are you most excited about in upcoming research projects?

We will no doubt tangent and dig deeper and we move through the above questions and anything you’d like added or removed from the questions, we can discuss before hitting record.

Other helpful links:

Find out more about Dr. Jason Hawrelak:

You can follow him on Facebook



Enjoy the show and thanks again for taking the time to rate and review the show on your app – it’s like tipping the bartender and it means the world.

Low Tox. Happy us. Happy planet

Comments 8

  1. Hi Alexx, really loved this podcast and I wish Dr Hawrelak practised here in WA – he is a wealth of knowledge on all things gut, that’s for sure. The only thing that I always find frustrating after listening to podcasts is not knowing where to turn afterwards. I’ve seen MANY naturopaths over the years, some good, some terrible. It’s so hard to know for sure who the good ones are. I don’t suppose you have a resource list of fabulous naturopathic practitioners, specialising in gut microbiota, in the Perth area, do you? xxx

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      Hey Nikki – Have you seen Carmelle Pietsch? She’s fabulous and a low tox course alumni. Very much on the same page. and say hi! I applaud you for moving on from the bad ones – there are bad health practitioners in every sector so we need to keep moving until we find our perfect health team for ourselves. x

  2. Hi Alexx

    I can’t find the show notes. Sorry. I’m specifically interested in the stool testing company Dr Jason recommended. Thanks

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  3. Hi, just wondering if there is a transcription at all? It was such a good conversation with a lot of information that I’d love to be able to read through as well

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      Hi Savannah – unfortunately we’re not resourced enough to do transcripts. Hopefully one day soon when the low tox club grows to a certain size. You can join that here if it’s of interest for the price of a coffee a month (in $USD) So happy you enjoyed this podcast. Such a good chat with Jason. Can’t wait to have him back on the show.

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