In this episode of Bulletproof Radio, my guest is Colleen Cutcliffe, Ph.D., CEO and co-founder of Pendulum Therapeutics. We explore exciting new discoveries in the body’s gut microbiome and discuss how Pendulum is disrupting what we know about probiotics.
Pendulum uses biological and computational insights into the microbiome to develop solutions for health and disease conditions.
“Rather than calling a disease by what the symptoms are, we are actually looking at the microbiome as an underlying infrastructure within our body,” Colleen says.
Pendulum also identifies and isolates new bacterial strains, then combines those new strains to create unique probiotics. These are backed by clinical research studies. Using this discovery platform, Pendulum created the world’s first microbiome intervention for people with Type 2 Diabetes.
“Managing your blood sugar is at the core of so many health issues, including your immune system,” Colleen says. “You really are more vulnerable and susceptible when you’re not managing your blood sugars properly.”
In Pendulum’s clinical testing, they found out some interesting things.
“We have people with type 2 diabetes on multiple drugs,” Colleen says. “We have people with pre-diabetes who are looking to avoid crossing over into taking drugs. And we’ve had people who are healthy that are really concerned about “how is my body metabolizing sugar and fibers.” And so we offer free A1c testing, actually at baseline, and then three months in so that people can see their results. And I think that really helps people kind of believe the results that they’re experiencing.”
Our conversation goes in a lot of directions related to the science of gut health–both your inner environment and the one around you. We’re learning so much, so fast, that science is seeing all sorts of connections. The gut microbiome is the frontier of how we’ll define better health.
“Where we’re heading is understanding that the microbiome is foundational in a lot of things like the immune response, allergies, digestion, metabolism, and that once you start to make sure that you have the right flora and all the right plants in your garden, you’re actually going to be tackling a lot of these different things,” Colleen says. “And so, you won’t have to have a specific thing for every disease because I think we’re going to transform the way we think about disease.”
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Follow Along with the Transcript
- We’re going to talk about using the microbiome almost like a drug, using artificial intelligence as a part of this. – 00:58
- DNA sequencing technologies really started to become affordable in the mid 2000s. – 2:38
- We decided to hone in on metabolic syndrome, which of course personally was very tied to my daughter in thinking about that and we came back and that was actually when we got our first round of funding. – 9:52
- We offer free A1c testing, actually at baseline, and then three months in so that people can see their results. And I think that really helps people kind of believe the results that they’re experiencing. 12:41
- Do you have to take prebiotics with Pendulum or does it grow no matter what you eat? – 13:08
- How did theprobiotic industry get to be the way it is now? – 18:04
- When we lose certain types of flora, we lose certain types of bacterial functions, that’s when we start to experience different diseases. – 21:12
- Diet and environment have such a big impact on your microbiome that trying to eradicate a particular specific species is probably less relevant than thinking about it holistically and saying, all right, how do I put the right flora into my microbiome? 24:32
- It’s a phenomenal world we live in now where there’s all these new measurement devices that we as consumers have access to. You can measure anything that you want to measure. – 27:16
- We had to have a talk about, this is not an enabler of bad behavior. – 32:27
- How regulated are you as a probiotic company?33:39
- A product we’re working on as a pretty strong collaboration with Johns Hopkins looking at IBS, irritable bowel syndrome, which is a really complicated, it’s not even a disease, it’s a syndrome. – 37:07
- The microbiome around us is a whole nother issue. And we think about metabolic syndrome, which is a chronic disease of aging. Because as we age, we start to lose our ability to metabolize these sugars. – 39:31
- This study, they showed that if you have a dog, you tend to have a more diverse microbiome than if you don’t have a dog.– 42:41
- You’re harder to kill when your blood sugar is more normal. – 44:07
- Normally when your blood glucose regulates better, you lose weight or you maintain a healthier weight better. Did you see any of that in your trials?– 51:07
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