#298 The Root Cause Of Disease That Nobody’s Talking About With Dr. Zach Bush | Feel Better, Live More With Dr. Rangan Chatterjee

Check out the Feel Better, Live More episode page

Key Takeaways

  • Pneumonia, cancer, even headache, etc. are symptoms of a collapse of biodiverse balance
  • We need cooperation, not competition – biodiversity creates new possibilities and avenues to thrive
  • You have to be present and listen to yourself and believe you are enough to achieve health – your disease status, awards, career status, etc. are not your identity
  • We’ve outsourced who we are and become dependent on other people to tell us – the further we separate ourselves from nature, the sicker we become
  • “Death gets in the way – it’s out fear of death that leads to this reductionist behavior of short-term decision making.” – Dr. Zach Bush
  • We’re so out of tune that our immune response to a normal stimulus (virus) is chaos
  • Get back in tune with self and nature: spend time in solitude every day to connect to self, walk barefoot on soil for a few minutes daily
  • The gut microbiome seems related to all human chronic diseases – glyphosate destroys tight junctions in the gut worse than antibiotics and medications
  • “To feel better, all of us are going to have to feel more.” – Dr. Zach Bush


Dr. Zach Bush (@drzachbush) is a medical doctor and founder of the non-profit Farmer’s Footprint, created to find root cause solutions for human and ecological health. His passion for education reaches across many disciplines, including genomics, the immune system, and gut-brain health. Zach spent many years as a physician but today describes his life and work as ‘dedicated to the health of humanity and the planet we call home’.

In this episode of Feel Better, Live More, Rangan and Dr. Zach Bush explore how to leverage the interconnectedness of the world – biology, physics, philosophy, economics, and environmentalism to improve the health and well-being of all humans. They dive into the radical changes needed in healthcare, pharmaceuticals, and much more.

Host: Rangan Chatterjee (@drchatterjeeuk)

We Were Wrong About Human Origins

  • The rates of heart disease, mental health disorder, cancer, and illness are on the rise – cancer used to be 1:4 and is now 1:2
  • The 90s was the start of the hope of personalized medicine but turns out we were wrong about the genetic model
    • We thought we were more genetically advanced, turns out we make 400,00 proteins from just 20,000 genes
    • We also learned we have the wrong model of cell-to-cell communication – we learned mitochondria have their own DNA
  • Most of the entire genome codes through microRNA
  • Medical training has become so specialized, it looks at systems in isolation without looking at the interconnectedness
  • Hospitals treat you as a problem to be solved instead of an entire ecosystem
  • Viruses are packages of information with a genetic library, exchanging information regularly
  • By the early 2000s, there was a realization that cancer is a failure of energetics in the cell – when energy falters in the system, we can no longer keep up with repair and regeneration to outpace the injury rate
  • We’ve had a complete paradigm shift in the gut microbiome in the past 50 years – we don’t want to kill the bacteria now, we understand its importance

The Importance Of Bacteria & Fungi

  • Bacteria overgrow because it’s trying to restart life – fever is a critical reset
  • Most people used to survive pneumonia without antibiotics – it will likely be treated with an adaptogenic in the future instead of pharmaceutical
  • We don’t complete the conversation: in most cases, we prescribe a pill to get rid of the symptom and move on without understanding what’s causing it in the first place
  • When we turn to antibiotics as a first line of defense, we’re undermining the entire metabolic capacity of the gut-brain axis most serotonin and dopamine come from gut
    • This can lead to a loss of sense of self and ultimately, depression because we’re getting dysfunction in gut function and bacteria
  • In a study with children given antifungal Diflucan, brain volume shrank 20% in the next 1-2 weeks – bacteria in the gut are directly communicating with the brain
  • Broad-spectrum antibiotics can lead to depression, anxiety, and other illness after the symptom is removed because of gut damage – change environment, food, and intentionally change the bacterial composition
  • We’re trying to understand physiology and biology in a petri dish, not real conditions

What It Means To Be Healthy

  • We rush around, consume more, and seek more – a true expression of health is the ability to stop seeking validation from external sources and stand in your truth
  • Seek intrinsic health: the patient should feel empowered to know what they should do for themselves without waiting for a pill without nourishing (nutrition, sleep, exercise) properly
  • If we listen to ourselves long and deeply, we have an idea of what we need
  • Don’t let a doctor tell you who you are: a doctor’s information isn’t necessarily reinforcing what your specific body and self needs
  • Lifestyle change should become effortless if you love who you are
  • We spend 4x military budget on healthcare and chronic disease management in the U.S., only to achieve worse outcomes than most of the developed world
  • “The biggest economy in the world is now dependent on its biggest economic driver, which is disease.” – Dr. Zach Bush
  • We need to fundamentally change our value system

Getting Back In Tune With Nature & Ourselves

  • Keystone species are integrators of information in the ecosystem around them
  • When keystone species are re-introduced into damaged ecosystems, the whole ecosystem regenerates
  • Humans need to step into harmony with self and nature – we’ve based the metrics of success on external reinforcement and fear of death instead of life as an opportunity
  • A daily practice of solitude helps you take the pulse of your life
    • Our days are filled with reactions to external stimuli
    • Solitude is not loneliness – solitude nurtures
  • Why are we denying aging? What happened to respecting elders? We’re denying ourselves the opportunity to retrospectively look back on our lives because we’re busy avoiding it

Cooperation Between Environmental And Human Health

  • Broccoli 50 years ago had more nutrition than organic broccoli nowadays – we lost a lot of the nutrients in our food because we destroyed soil systems with chemical farming
  • Our food system has separated us from the source – we have 5,000 miles of supply chain
  • When we disconnect ourselves from the soil, growing vegetables, and raising animals – we severely disconnect ourselves from reality and disrespect nature
  • We’re extracting energy more and more every year
  • The average age of farms in the U.S. is only 7 years now – farms are closing every year because of cost, soil damage, side effects of chemicals
  • Glyphosate is the active ingredient in weed killer – glyphosate destroys tight junctions in the gut worse than antibiotics and medications
    • 70% of rainfall in the U.S. is contaminated with glyphosate
    • The soil of years past contains ions that hold the antidote to glyphosate’s damage
  • Regenerative farming is regenerating our connection to quality soil and soil vitality
Feel Better, Live More With Dr. Rangan Chatterjee : , , , , ,
Notes By Maryann

More Notes on these topics

Top Insights and Tactics From

31 Best Podcasts of All Time

FREE when you join over 35,000 subscribers to the
Podcast Notes newsletter

No Thanks