Ep. #301: This is Good Sh*t: What Every Dental Professional Should Know, with Dr. Uche Odiatu

the best practices show podcast May 16, 2021

Two apples a day could keep the doctor away! But very few North Americans — including dentists — consume the recommended amount of fiber and other nutrients. For a lesson on nutrition and its effects on the gut microbiome, Kirk Behrendt brings back Dr. Uche Odiatu to talk about how a healthy gut can lead to a better and longer life. It can also help you stay ahead of the curve in dentistry! For advice on becoming healthier and starting the health conversation with your patients, listen to Episode 301 of The Best Practices Show!

Main Takeaways:

  • All disease begins in the gut.
  • Understand gut health to get ahead of the curve in dentistry.
  • Learn about gut health, and overall health and wellness will become effortless.
  • You can begin to change or improve your gut microbiome in a day.
  • Intermittent fasting, time-restricted eating, and caloric restriction are ways to extend life.
  • Get healthy yourself before giving your patients health advice.
  • Enjoy food mindfully, and let food be your medicine!


  • “People often have heard about gut health, but they're not really sure how to apply it. You can tell they're not applying it because they show up sometimes tired. They're often not sure why they have brain fog. They're not at the weight they want. If you're literally not at the weight you want, you don't understand gut health, because when you understand gut health at a deep level, weight becomes effortless.” (06:06—06:27)
  • “If you're one of the 50 million Americans suffering from [low] energy level, to immune system issues, to not ideal weight, to poor sleep, to brain fog, to accelerated aging — if you actually look like your driver’s license picture — you need to know more about gut health. Because when you understand it, health becomes effortless.” (06:54—07:12)
  • “Total health is where to go. Patients are starving for healthcare providers that look at all of them and not just your little area, your little silo. That little silo is great, but you start with total health — medical history, anything new, how are you sleeping, are you tired, do you exercise, how are you eating lately. That’s how all my appointments start. Start with the bigger picture, then you go into the smaller picture.” (09:38—10:03)
  • “The gut microbiome is an amazing modulator of gene expression. The whole idea is your genes load your gun; your lifestyle pulls the trigger. So, genes are basically just a blueprint.” (11:30—11:43)
  • “A way to manipulate genes is to have the healthiest microbiome possible. In order to do that, you've got to look at a number of different things. The microbiome — a very esoteric subject. And people don't realize, you tweak it a bit, you could end up completely different. In how long? 24 hours. What you eat today, you can tweak your microbiome. In three days of junk food eating, you can actually lose 40% of your resident gut bacteria, which decimates you. And sure, you can get them back by having some good, healthy days. But some people lose species, and they lose them forever.” (12:13—12:48)
  • “We have 100 trillion single-celled organisms in our bodies, and they outnumber the human cells, the cells of human origin, 10:1. So, 98% of them are in the GI tract. About 2% of them are on your skin, under armpits, hair, nose, etc. But they are a powerful manipulator of your genes. They also train your immune system, because 80% of your immune system lies in the 26 feet of your digestive tract. So, people with poor digestive health often have immune system problems.” (13:24—13:53)
  • “If you have gut issues, digestive issues, from constipation to reflux to Crohn’s colitis, if you have a disrupted gut microbiome, it’s a precursor to prediabetes and diabetes. So, that being said, the microbiome is the collective, invisible, single-celled organisms that call you home, and they have a symbiotic relationship. You feed them, they feed you neurotransmitters. You rest them, they give you health. You exercise regularly, they become more diverse and slow down aging. You do intermittent fasting, all of a sudden, they're better able to make your metabolism work better.” (13:59—14:33)
  • “We talk about poop because, basically, when you eat, you create tools and building blocks to reinvent yourself and recover and repair. However, there's lots of waste, just like when you're an athlete and you're breathing out CO2. But if you're poor at getting rid of waste, it’s like forgetting to take the garbage out three or four weeks in a row, months in a row. How does your garage smell? So, people who are very poor at getting rid of waste often have very toxic insides, which slows things down: brain fog, slow metabolism, poor neurotransmitters, poor sleep, or hormonal imbalance.” (15:59—16:33)
  • “Science verified that the number-one way to extend life — the only thing that's been verified — is reducing calories.” (17:02—17:09)
  • “Usually, you think you've got to feed people to live. But now, [scientists] realized when you feed something the same thing every day, the body gets lazy. The metabolism doesn't get as organized.” (17:35—17:43)
  • “In 1956, there was a Spanish nursing home study. They had 120 residents. 60, they fed 1,600 calories every day for three years. The other half, they did 900 one day, 2,400 the next day. And they went back and forth, back and forth. Well, after three years, the group that had the variable feeding, so starving one day, overfed the next day — and not starving. It just means you didn't eat as much as you normally do — well, they had half the death rate.” (17:47—18:16)
  • “Only half the adults in North America are eating the right amount of fiber; it’s about 10 to 12 grams they're eating. They need to eat 25 for women, 35 for men. So, most people are inflamed. And almost all modern degenerative diseases are inflammatory based, from cancer, stroke, heart disease. As Bale and Doneen said in The Heart Attack Gene, dementia is basically a lifetime of chronic inflammation.” (21:12—21:33)
  • “One thing you do to mess with your microbiome is not eat enough fiber. And that's basically 97% of people, because 97% of people don't eat enough fiber.” (21:37—21:45)
  • “If you're starving your microbiome, be prepared to accelerate aging. Be prepared to weigh more than you want to be. Be prepared to have a weaker immune system. And be prepared to have chronic inflammation percolating 24 hours a day, seven days a week, the rest of your life.” (22:05—22:17)
  • “You can weave the conversation into patients because the dental disease process is all about inflammation. Periodontal disease, gingivitis, periodontitis — any disease that ends in -itis is inflammatory based. So, if you're not talking about the microbiome chairside, you've got to understand it, because there are people who do, and patients are reading about it at night. And if you pooh-pooh probiotics, or if you pooh-pooh fiber, if you don't talk about saliva and the enzymes in saliva and about GI issues, guess what? They're going to be asking, ‘Where’s the dentist that understands this?’” (22:25—22:56)
  • “If someone literally added two apples a day [to their diet], you'd almost double your fiber. You slow down aging, make your metabolism work better, go to the bathroom more often, mental clarity, become more insulin-sensitive.” (23:54—24:05)
  • “I tell a real estate agent, ‘Come in every three months, and we’ll lower your inflammatory burden.’ ‘Eh, I'm not sure, doc.’ ‘I can slow down aging.’ ‘Where do I sign up for that one?’ So, you've got to appeal, sometimes, to aesthetics. You talk about slowing down aging, now you've got a patient’s attention.” (24:28—24:44)
  • “The minute you start taking better care of your mouth, less pocket depths, you get less bleeding, science has shown you actually improve a human being’s ability to manage blood sugar, which means you become a better fat-burner.” (25:05—25:17)
  • “Any time you become better at burning fat, and any time you become better at managing blood sugar, you slow down aging, because the hallmark of accelerated aging is being insulin-resistant. Insulin resistance is a hallmark of accelerated aging, vascular disease, dementia, wrinkling, because of the collagen being disrupted in the skin.” (25:23—25:41)
  • “Charles Mayo, founder of the Mayo Clinic, said the more teeth you have, the more chance you're going to make it to 100. So, you need every tooth.” (31:21—31:27)
  • “If hygienists start that conversation, ‘People who chew better live longer. People who chew better are able to break down the food and they become healthier. You can repair that meniscus. The food you eat becomes your skin, your brain,’ when you say it with that much passion and authenticity, people go, ‘If I need to come every four months or three months, count me in. I want to keep my brain. I want to slow down aging.’” (31:48—32:10)
  • “2,300 years ago, [Hippocrates] said all disease begins in the gut. He didn't have a microscope. He didn't know about bacteria. But he said all disease begins in the gut.” (33:04—33:13)
  • “There's a whole concept called your “gut instinct”. The reason why they call it a gut instinct is because the vagus nerve gets information from the GI tract and it pumps it back to the brain, telling the brain what's going on. Your brain’s always eavesdropping, ‘How’s the bacteria? How is it going down there?’ Well, if they're disrupted, guess what? Foggy thoughts. So, what's the use of a stockbroker with foggy thoughts? What's the use of a mom with foggy thoughts? What's the use of a dentist with foggy thoughts? What's the use of a student with foggy thoughts? If you want to increase your mental clarity, get gut health, get your bacteria in order.” (33:59—34:28)
  • “Most of the melatonin in your body, up to 90% of it, and serotonin, is made in the GI tract in the enterochromaffin cells. Serotonin, we know, is the peacekeeper. When you have good serotonin, you have good emotional well-being. You're a nice person to hang out with. If your serotonin is off balance, guess what? Now, you're depressed. Depression is one of the biggest reasons for long-term disability. So, most of the serotonin is made in the gut. That means you need to have good gut health to have peace of mind, to become more likable, to be less knee-jerked, to be less annoying.” (34:32—35:01)
  • “The best way to make your gut happy is to change the way you eat. Eat healthier food.” (35:04—35:10)
  • “[Dentists] have an intimate ability to impact patients’ lives. You've got to understand it, though. You've got to get back to your college weight. Get lean — I'm not saying for the aesthetics — just because it comes across a lot more authentic when you're living the part. If you smell like a cheeseburger and fries, guess what? It’s hard to talk about whole body health.” (35:25—35:43)
  • “You really can't take the patient on a journey that you yourself haven't been on. So, if you're talking health but not looking the part, patients see right through you.” (42:19—42:26)
  • “800,000 people, globally, die every year related to their intake of processed meat. Well, if you think about it, only 200,000 die from illicit drug use. So, four times the amount of people worldwide die from salami, hot dogs, and wieners.” (44:54—45:12)
  • “The Global Burden of Disease showed that 4.8 million deaths, every year, could be prevented if people ate more fruit. Eating more fruit could save 4.8 million people’s lives.” (45:32—45:45)
  • “You can change your microbiome. You can become a nicer, more well-adjusted person. I think most people work on the outside; they don't work on the inside. If you work on the inside, you become a nicer person to be around, less reactive and calm, like Kung Fu Panda.” (49:58—50:11)


  • Dr. Odiatu’s background. (04:17—05:35)
  • Why gut health is an important topic in dentistry. (06:06—07:15)
  • Look at total health when seeing patients. (07:38—10:03)
  • Tweak your microbiome. (10:38—12:55)
  • Dysbiosis and ill health. (13:13—16:33)
  • Effects of calorie restriction on aging. (16:57—19:33)
  • The number-one microbiome disruptor. (19:57—23:03)
  • An apple a day keeps the doctor away. (23:34—25:57)
  • Make good food choices. (27:04—28:37)
  • How to start the conversation with patients. (29:25—32:15)
  • Other things to consider about gut health. (33:00—36:27)
  • Digestive health and the link to dry mouth. (36:43—39:10)
  • Get healthy yourself before helping your patients. (39:41—43:12)
  • Dr. Odiatu’s new book. (43:46—47:41)
  • Dr. Odiatu’s contact information. (48:47—50:12)

Reach Out to Dr. Odiatu:

Dr. Odiatu’s website: http://www.druche.com/

Dr. Odiatu’s Instagram: @fitspeakers

Dr. Odiatu’s email: [email protected] 

Further Reading:

Beat the Heart Attack Gene by Bradley Bale: https://www.amazon.com/Beat-Heart-Attack-Gene-Revolutionary/dp/1681620227  

“Effect of Restricted Feeding Upon Aging and Chronic Disease in Rats and Dogs” by Clive M. McCay: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1623629/pdf/amjphnation01116-0026.pdf

The Microbiome Solution by Robynne Chutkan: https://www.amazon.com/Microbiome-Solution-Radical-Heal-Inside-ebook/dp/B00RW1ZUCS

Grain Brain by David Perlmutter: https://www.amazon.com/Grain-Brain-Surprising-Sugar-Your-Killers/dp/031623480X

The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle: https://www.amazon.com/Power-Now-Guide-Spiritual-Enlightenment/dp/1577314808

United Concordia dental study: https://www.unitedconcordia.com/dental-insurance/about/oral-health-research/

**Stay tuned for Dr. Odiatu’s new book, coming fall of 2021!**

Dr. Uche Odiatu Bio:

Dr. Odiatu has a DMD (Doctor of Dental Medicine). He is a professional member of the ACSM (American College of Sports Medicine), a Certified Personal Trainer (National Strength & Conditioning Association) NSCA, and the Canadian Association of Fitness Professionals (canfitpro). He is the co-author of The Miracle of Health (c) 2009 John Wiley (hardcover) & (c) 2015 Harper Collins, and has lectured in Canada, the USA, the Caribbean, the UK, and Europe. He is an invited guest on over 400 TV and radio shows, from ABC 20/20, Canada CTV AM, Breakfast TV, to Magic Sunday Drum FM in Texas. This high-energy healthcare professional has done over 450 lectures in seven countries over the last 15 years.


“I love my team-building sessions with individual dental offices on the road . . . From Florida, USA, to Alberta, Canada, I crisscross the continent to support offices in their wellness goals. Patients embrace an integrated treatment philosophy. Being comfortable chairside talking nutrition, posture, stress, and sleep doesn’t happen by accident. Mastering the terminology and integrating the latest science sets offices apart from the pack.”


Want to know more about arranging an in-person office program? Send me a quick note in my CONTACT page. Or, to start with a LIVE personal webinar for your office or group practice, go to bit.ly/fitdentist.


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