Naveen Jain joins us to discuss solving the world’s greatest problems starting with how to create a healthy microbiome. We weave through innovative ideas including gathering resources from the moon, the future of education, and what direction to take to solve our current healthcare challenges. Naveen is the founder of several successful companies including Moon Express, Viome, Bluedot, TalentWise, Intelius and InfoSpace. Since addressing our societal challenges starts with the vibrant health and empowerment of each individual, we hone in on how we can take back control of our own health. His company Viome uses advanced technology to test the gut microbiome and then makes personalized food recommendations using artificial intelligence. Viome gives the consumer the opportunity to get detailed information on their own health. Starting with healing the individual, we journey through possibilities to heal the world with an attitude of abundance and hope.
In This Episode We Discussed:
2:52 Thinking in a different box
6:25 The encore project after moonshots: Solving education or healthcare
9:17 Microbes influencing gene expression
13:06 Story on the origin of humans
17:40 Dis-ease from imbalance of gut microbiome
21:15 Mental and physical disease starting in the gut
23:34 About Viome and RNA analysis
24:05 Analyzing gene expression to obtain personalized food recommendations
31:24 The role of viruses in the gut
32:45 Let food be thy medicine
33:40 Be the CEO of your own health
35:32 Re-balancing patient and doctor responsibility
37:53 How Viome is using AI to improve
40:11 Creating a world full of problem solvers
44:41 Abundance mindset
47:02 Giving hope for what is possible
Nature Magazine Article: Gut vagal sensory signaling regulates hippocampus function through multi-order pathways
Scientific American Article: Does Parkinson's Begin in the Gut?
Implication of TMAO in Disease
Naveen Jain's Website
Naveen Jain's Book Moonshots: Creating a World of Abundance
Full Episode Transcript:
Naveen Jain:The only way the world can change is if we can empower each one of the person who's listening to it to find their own moonshots and to be able for them to solve the biggest problem facing humanity. And I want to just give this some thought process of what does it take to solve the massive problems? Imagination is the biggest thing. The only thing we can't achieve is the things we can't imagine. So I always tell people, dream so big that people think you're crazy and never be afraid to fail, because you only fail when you give up. Every idea that does not work is simply a stepping stone to a different idea and a bigger idea.
Voice over:Welcome to the collective insights podcast where we explore topics and technologies revolutionizing human wellbeing. Naveen Jain joins Dr. Heather Sandison for this episode to explore addressing society's biggest challenges, including what direction to take to solve our current health care problems. Naveen is an entrepreneur driven to solve the world's biggest challenges through innovation. He is the founder of several successful companies including Moon Express, Viome, BlueDot, TalentWise, Intelius and Infospace. Since addressing our societal challenges starts with a vibrant health and empowerment of each individual, we discuss how we can take back control of our own health and especially gut health. Thanks for joining us and now let's jump into the show.
Heather Sandison :Welcome to Collective Insights. I'm your host today Dr. Heather Sandison. I'm a naturopathic doctor and on the Medical Advisory Board here at NeuroHacker Collective, and I'm also the medical director of North County Natural Medicine. I'm so excited and just champing at the bit to start the conversation with Mr. Naveen Jain. So Naveen is an entrepreneur who is driven to solve the world's biggest challenges through innovation. He's the founder of several successful companies including Moon Express, Viome, which we want to talk about today, BlueDot, TalentWise, Intelius and Infospace. Moon Express is the only company in the world to have the permission to leave earth's orbit and land on the moon with the goal to harvest planetary resources, and to develop infrastructure to make humanity a multi-planetary society.
Heather Sandison :Viome is focused on disrupting health care with the goal of making illness an elective. You get to choose if you want to be sick or well by identifying microbial markers that are predictive of chronic diseases and to adjust the microbial imbalance through personalized nutrition. So that's what we want to focus on today. But Naveen, I mean your story is so fascinating. It's so interesting. Can you give us just a quick intro into how you went from space travel and mining to mining poop basically?
Naveen Jain:Yeah. So essentially I know they look very different. And to me, I am not a rocket scientist, nor am I a medical doctor. And I really believe that once you become an expert at something, you mostly become useless in that field. And what I really mean by that is, an expert can only make an incremental improvement. So if you're really, really good, you can make something better by 10% or 15%. But if you really want make something 10 times or 100 times better, you have to rethink and reimagine the foundation of everything that experts have taken it for granted. So when you are an expert, you really are incrementalist at best and that's the reason you will find that most of the disruption really comes from the people looking inside the industry coming from outside the industry and it's not about thinking outside the box, it's really thinking in a completely different box.
Naveen Jain:That means bringing the knowledge experts and the concept from one industry and bringing them to a new industry. That is really we're the disruption happens. So I took the knowledge of how software is done and completely disrupted the way that the space is done. That means instead of spending billions of dollars going to the moon, our cost of going to the moon is going to be under $10,000,000. Because we fundamentally changed how people would do that. How can we take a small rocket that goes to the Low Earth orbit and launch a lender from there when there is less gravity vowel? And same thing in medicine, when everybody in the healthcare was focused on the wrong thing, which is, "Here's a symptom, here's a drug for that." It's like an iPhone. There's an app for everything. And they really are in the business off victimizing the patient. So healthcare companies, whether it's a pharmaceutical company, whether it's hospitals, and please understand there are good doctors at heart, but at the end of the day, everyone in the health care makes money when the people are sick. They don't make money when the people are healthy.
Naveen Jain:And it's just a fundamentally wrong business model, that means no one makes money somehow if the person stays healthy. In fact, chronic diseases which we spend 80% of all our healthcare dollars. Now from a pharmaceutical company's perspective, that's a subscription business, right? You are young and you got diabetes, "Ka-ching! I got a lifetime subscriber." What they do is they never focus on understanding what is causing the disease to happen, they simply focus on what can we do to suppress the symptom of the disease. So if you have an autoimmune disease, they don't say, "Hey, let's go figure out what's causing that autoimmune disease?" They say, "Oh, let's just suppress the immune system." "Excuse me for a second, if you suppress the immune system, don't you think I'm going to get other diseases?" "Oh yeah. But we got drugs for them." "Really? So what happens when I take those drugs?" "Oh, you get side effects, but don't worry we got drugs for them." And by the time you get to our age you're popping more pills than blueberries.
Naveen Jain:And that's the problem with our healthcare system and that is really ... And I came in and started to think about this industry and it's really interesting. I'm going to tell you a little bit more about how I got into this. So as I was finishing up my project with going to the moon, and you start to think about it, you know, now you've done the moon shot. What do you do for an [inaudible 00:06:20]? You say, "Well, I'm going to do another moon shot." And this time the moon shot is going to be about symbolic moon shot of solving the greatest challenges facing humanity. And I started to think about what are those two problems that I could solve? It occurred to me that if I could solve education or if I could solve healthcare, that will be the biggest gift I can do to give to humanity.
Naveen Jain:You start to look at both education and healthcare. It turns out that people believe both the systems as somehow not working, somehow they're both broken. And it turns out that neither of the system is actually broken. They're actually doing exactly what they were designed to do. And you look at the education system. What was it designed to do? It was designed to teach us the skills. And through these skills in the industrial era, you can go and use for the rest of your life and you had an amazing great life. In the world of exponential technologies, it doesn't matter what skill you learn. Every skill that you learn, by the time you even graduate, that skill becomes obsolete. Not what do you do in the world. You have to now rethink the education system about teaching children learning to learn; learning to actually solve problems.
Naveen Jain:And it turns out that most problems are multidisciplinary. So you can't really have a unit disciplinary, a singular skill to solve the problem. And now you have to say, "Oh." So it's completely a different system that we have to create. And same thing you look at the healthcare system, it was designed for the times when people were dying from infectious diseases and we really have one of the best healthcare system. If you have an acute care need, there is no better system. Now, it was designed for episodic sickness and we're dealing with the chronic sickness now. In the chronic sickness people are always sick. Our system wasn't designed for that, and for some reasons, our whole system was designed for the times that I've seen when people were catching these communicable infectious diseases.
Naveen Jain:Somehow we believe when we hear of bacteria or viruses, that is something we need to eliminate. And we essentially raised the war against self, if I couldn't say that, without realizing that we as humans are to large extent, co-evolved with all these organisms, and if I may argue, we are actually maybe a beautiful container for these organisms.
Heather Sandison :And we're not separate from them, right? They are part of us and in fact when we look at the numbers, they make up more than the humans cells. There are bacterial and viral and other cells ... Go on.
Naveen Jain:Yes. So what I was saying Heather, you're absolutely right. There are more foreign cells in the human body than cells that we get from our mom and dad, the human DNA. But here is more interesting, our human DNA only produces about 20,000 genes, gene expression, right? Our organisms, which are 40 trillion of them. And just in case people are wondering that, what's the 40 trillion number so large? Imagine on all the humans on planet earth, at about 7.4 billion, if you had 5,000 different earths, and all the humans combined, they live inside your gut. [crosstalk] 40 trillion of them and they produce about 2 million to 20 million genes. That means when it comes to the expression of genes, we are less than 1% human.
Naveen Jain:99% of all the genes that are expressed are not our own. And that's really interesting, is that a lot of people's start to ... When the human genome sequencing happened and we look at our DNA, we somehow believed the code of what makes us healthy or code of what makes us who we are is in our DNA. And here's a very interesting thing that I learned as I started to look at this field was that, from the time you are born to the time you die, your DNA never changes. It's exactly the same DNA. Somewhere along the lines, we get sick. How could that possibly be your DNA? It has to be something totally different that's making you sick. It can't be your DNA. Now, very interesting thing is when you look at one human body, every part of her body has same DNA. Our hair and our tooth our skin, our heart, our lungs, the kidney, same DNA. Then why is it that we don't have the tooth growing up on our head and the hair growing up in our mouth? Why is that?
Heather Sandison :Genetic expression.
Naveen Jain:Genetic expression, right? So that's the point I was trying to get to, is that it's the gene expression, that's what matters not the genes in themselves. So think of your genes as an alphabet and you can write any story from your genes. It could be a poetry, it could be a thriller, but those are all written from the same alphabet. In fact, any two people share 99.4% the same genes, even the humans and the pri share almost 90% same genes. So my point is it's the same alphabet you can write a whole bunch of stories, and that is critical for us to understand why we can't change your genes, but we can change our gene expression and that's the reason why we believe we can fundamentally make it less elective. Because you and I both have control over how to get those genes to be expressed.
Heather Sandison :And how do the microbes fit into that? Do they influence gene expression?
Naveen Jain:Yes, of course. So they produce 99% of all the genes that are expressed in our body. And in fact in microbes are really the ones that digest lot of the foods we eat. So 70% of our immune system is along our gut lining, and microbes are constantly interacting with our immune system to essentially train that immune system. Here is another interesting part is, they release all these chemicals we call metabolites that are absorbed by the host and they actually change our gene expression. This is where I was about to tell you about the story of how humans may have been created. You heard that story, haven't you?
Heather Sandison :I've heard the story and I love it. I love the way ... Please tell it because it shifts the perspective so much. This origin story from the perspective of microbes.
Naveen Jain:Every time I talk about this abstract concept of micro organisms, most people who are not in our field, they start like, "What is he talking about? Why are they living inside us? Who are they and what ... I don't see them anywhere. Why is it nobody talks about them?" So I fundamentally wanted to rethink this idea of 'what makes us human?' And this is a tongue in cheek story, and by the way it's a very interesting thing, even though it's a tongue in cheek story, it's based on real science, as you start to see. And I'm going to come back and explain to you what that science is, but here is the story. If you think about how humans may have been created, we all know that our planet earth is give or take four and a half, 4.6 billion years old, and we start to see the life on earth about three and a half billion years ago.
Naveen Jain:So you saw the Amoebas and single cell bacterias and eukaryotes and you start to see the viruses and fungus and yeast and the mold. And then somewhere along the lines, the humans are only a couple of million years old. So how did we suddenly got created? So imagine this could have happened. That one day all these organisms got together and said, "We're sick and tired of living in the small space, we want to take over the world." And they all looked at each other and one of the smarter ones said, "I have an idea." What if we can create something bipedal? What if many of us, billions of us could live right inside it and we can make it crave any food we want, is going to go run every where and find the food for us? All we have to do is keep this thing healthy. And it's going to go every where in the world, it's going to poop every where and it's going to spread us around and we're going to take over the world." And they created humans.
Naveen Jain:And right after they created humans as you can imagine, what went through their mind? Just like as humans are creating this artificial intelligence, what do we worry about? "Oh my God, what if some day AI becomes smarter than us, what is going to happen to us humans?" And Elon Musk thinks they're going to be all destroyed, right? Now, all these organisms started to worry and there was an Elon Musk of these organisms saying, "Oh my God, what have we just done? Aren't you worried that someday the humans might get smarter than us? What are they going to do to us?" And they reassembled and now they called the masters and said, "Master Master. We have a problem." "What's the problem son?" Master aren't you worried that we just created humans? What if they become smarter than us? What are they going to do about that?" Master says, "Think about it. We knew about that long time ago and here's what we did. Right inside their cell, we put our brother right inside their cell and they called that mitochondria.
Naveen Jain:They forget that it's our ancient bacterial brother that's right inside their cells. It provides the energy to their cell and like brothers we talk all the time. Anytime that humans don't take good care of us, we tell her brother to shut the energy down and they're dead." And everyone clapped and said, "Master, that's brilliant." And one of the younger ones said, "Master, you're not even thinking right now. They're starting to develop this thing called brain. Aren't you worried about that brain thing?" Master said, "That was the first thing we worried about, and that's the reason we put a direct connection to where we live right in the gut. We put a direct connection to their brain and they called that a vagus nerve. And they thought they're going to name it after Las Vegas, thinking what happens in the gut is going to stay in the gut. They are so wrong. What happens in the gut goes everywhere.
Naveen Jain:As a matter of fact, this is what we use to control the Amygdala, which is what their mood and their emotions and their control, their prefrontal Cortex, their behavior and their decision making. But like a good leader, we let them think they are the ones who are making the decisions. We sit here and pull all the strings and they think they are the ones that are making the decisions. So sit back, relax, we have taken over the world. And that's Heather, that's who you and I are. The puppets to a puppet master inside us.
Heather Sandison:To the bacterial and viral and pathogenic parasitic puppet masters inside of us. So-
Naveen Jain:Let me tell you the scientific part of it.
Naveen Jain:If you google, there's a nature magazine that published an article two months ago and that shows that how microbiome uses the Regal nerve, the Vagus nerve to be able to use the micro RNA interference to completely control the expression of our Kingston Amygdala and our prefrontal cortex. In fact, now we found that you are able to optically stimulate the vagus nerve and within microseconds it actually goes to the reward center of the brain, and this is really, really interesting, is that our gut microbiome to epithelial cells and through the vagus nerve are able to create the dopamine and serotonin. In fact, 90% of all the serotonin is produced in our gut. 70% as I said, immune system is along our gut lining. So when the baby is born we can argue whether it's a sterile or not, but at least in the womb, the original theory was that amniotic fluid and the placenta is completely free of bacteria, just completely sterile. And that too is now put to test, and in fact there are a lot of research that shows that placenta, cord blood and amniotic fluid actually has microbiome in it.
Naveen Jain:But it's very interesting despite all that, when the baby goes through the birth canal, that's the first time you get exposure to the microbiome. And the babies that are born through c-section, God forbid anybody has to actually have to go through that, our youngest child was born through c-section. And it's interestingly ... You completely deprive the child of the whole microbiome that you get from the birth canal. And you know what? Guess what? He has all the allergies and Eczemas and all this stuff that you would normally get because you no longer have that immune system that is fully trained. But the point is that once the microbiomes start to develop, even the people who have identical DNA, the born identical twins, as you can imagine, the completely become different people. If the DNA was your destiny, how can the identical twins some get fat, some stay slim, some get diseases, others don't. And what is that? That's all the nurturing, the environment, the food you eat, the people you meet, the air you inhale. Every one of those things changes your gut microbiome.
Naveen Jain:And now just stepping back for a second, to me the biggest change that happened in my thinking was when we started to realize that we actually can control what is going on inside the gut. Because think of our gut as a computer system and it's a self modifying code and the food is the information. And anytime you change the information which is input, the output changes. And when you keep changing the different input, that ecosystem, self evolving code changes and now it adapts to that, and suddenly the things that to be good for you are no longer good for you. So you know ultimately the diseases that we call diseases are simply two words; Dis-Ease. That means your body is not at ease, and your body's not at ease because you have an imbalance of your gut microbiome and that causes the inflammation in your gut, which opens up the epithelial cell barrier and that it starts to get the leaky gut and you start to get whole bunch of chronic inflammation.
Naveen Jain:And now what we have learned Heather is that many of these are mental diseases from ... I'm hoping you saw the research that came out two days ago on Parkinson's.
Heather Sandison :I haven't seen it yet. Enlighten me.
Naveen Jain:Yes, two days ago the research came out that said Parkinson's starts in the gut 15 years before you see the first symptom. Alzheimer, depression. Depression is an inflammatory disease that starts in the gut. And in fact, you notice people are depressed what do you do? You eat. So it's really the depression comes from your gut, anxiety. Remember you get butterflies in your stomach, you don't get butterfly in your head, right? And you start to go to autoimmune diseases, obesity, diabetes, heart diseases. In fact, there was a research yesterday on heart disease, Thrombosis. This actually is from the TMA, which is produced by the microbiome, is a metabolite that's produced by the gut microbiome. The TMA gets absorbed in the blood and the liver actually translates into TMAO, which causes the heart disease, right? What's very interesting is that how our host and the gut which are gassed, are constantly interacting with each other using these enzymes and metabolites that travel across the gut epithelial barrier.
Heather Sandison :And we're learning the mechanisms of how the gut is interacting with every organ system in the body daily it sounds like, and you're doing a great job keeping up with the literature.
Voice over:Let's take a quick break. Next step. We're going to dive into how Viome is empowering individuals to be the sear of their own health. Using RNA analysis and artificial intelligence, Viome is able to give personalized nutrition recommendations to give crucial information directly to the consumer. Thanks for listening to the Collective Insights podcast. Our show is brought to you by NeuroHacker Collective, where we offer a line of cognitive enhancement supplements. Check the website to see how you can save 50% off your first order of quality of mind or quality of focus. If you liked this episode, then please share it with your friends and leave us a review on iTunes. Remember for full show notes, visit neurohacker.com/collective insights. All right, let's jump back in.
Heather Sandison:So with Viome, V-I-O-M-E, the company that you were the CEO of, this is a test that people can access online directly, and do. And they can collect their shit, their stools, send it off and then get some results from your company. And you, for the most part, you guys are testing RNA. Can you tell me why you selected RNA? There's a lot of other companies that will do stool cultures, they'll look at it under the microscope, they have other testing tools. And you guys have chosen this specifically. Can you talk about that?
Naveen Jain:People who are not familiar with that ... It is really after the epigenetic is applied, that means the genes that are actually expressed are [inaudible] That means [inaudible] is an expression off specific genes that are turned on and not the genes that are turned off. That means it's showing you what is being produced. By looking at RNA, you can see are they going to be producing ammonia? Are they going to be producing sulfite? Are they going to be producing LPS? Are they going to be producing folic acid? Are there going to be producing things like butyrate, which are good for you?
Naveen Jain:And now you can see exactly what they are producing, and suddenly when you do the RNA analysis to those two people who have diabetes, you say, "Oh no wonder you have diabetes because both of you are producing extremely high, for example, sulfites. And no wonder you're ..." Because ten different organisms can produce exactly the same thing, or same organisms can produce different things depending on what is being fed.
Heather Sandison:Got it.
Naveen Jain:And that was the key. So the only way you can ever understand what is causing the disease is to actually know what is being produced in the gut, not what could have been produced in the gut.
Heather Sandison:Right. Because that's just potential, right? And then the epigenetics come in and play a much bigger role. This is what we're talking about in terms of the human genome playing not that big of a role, but the epigenetics, that function of the microbiome on the genetics to turn things on and off. And then that same thing is happening to the microbiome itself. Each of those little organisms has its own genetic potential and epigenetic factors working on it.
Heather Sandison:So there's multiple layers of complexity here.
Naveen Jain:And here's the really interesting part that what we saw was ... The second thing we learned was there is no such thing as universal healthy food. We were all told, "Well you're sick, you really need to be eating healthy." And eating healthy really was, everyone would say, "Start eating a Vegan Diet, go on a gluten free diet." And Popeye obviously taught us from the time you were a child that spinach is good for everyone, right?
Heather Sandison:I love this part of what you have to say because I could not agree more. There is not one right diet for everyone. And what I've been saying for a long time is I wish there were at test I could give you that would tell you what the right diet is for you. And that's basically what you created. What I used to tell patients was, "I'm sorry, you're going to have to do an elimination diet. It takes a ton of time. You've got to cut everything out and then add things back." And then you created Viome.
Naveen Jain:What's very interesting is that we saw that almost half the population when they eat spinach, it actually harms them-
Heather Sandison:Because of the oxalates.
Naveen Jain:It has oxalates and oxalic acid is extremely, I would say toxic, unless you have the enzymes and peptides who can detoxify this oxalic acid. Same thing, people somehow believed that pomegranate juice is so antioxidative. And what we realized was the pomegranate juice actually didn't have any antioxidative properties. It has a thing called ellagic acid, and your gut organisms release the enzymes that can convert the ellagic acid into Urolithin E, which is what makes it antioxidative. And if you don't have the right enzymes and peptides who can do that, the best thing is you're pissing your money away or worse, you're causing inflammation. And that is the really interesting thing we see is ...
Naveen Jain:Now, we took all this information about all the enzymes and peptides being produced, then we take all the food that has all the different chemicals in them and then we put all that through the artificial intelligence and say, "Hey, if you put this chemical in the gut, what do you think is going to come out of it?" And we say, "Oh, that's not good. We need to really eliminate." For example, people say, "Oh, you really need to go on a paleo diet because you know what? Our ancestors used to eat that." Or, "You really need to go on a fasting diet because my sister really did a fasting diet and it worked for her. And what we see is really amazing is that when people go on these pale diet, they're absolutely messing up their gut and here's why. They eat all the protein and the protein should be digested in the upper intestine.
Naveen Jain:When they eat too much, what happens is it goes to your gut and it feeds these organisms that are called protein fermentor. So it starts to ferment this protein, and when they ferment the protein what do you get? Ammonia and sulfite, and guess what? That starts to inflame the gut lining and when it inflames you start to get the leaky gut. And that is the key to understanding them. You say, "Hey, you really need to start cutting down this protein." We look at the stuff and say, "Oh my God, you should not be fasting because we see your gut organisms eating your gut lining. Because we see them metabolizing the mucin." So it is like when you are fasting, you're not feeding your gut organisms, and if you don't feed them, what do they do? They feed themselves. Like anytime you fight evolution, evolution wins. Evolution one, human zero.
Heather Sandison :So we're learning how to work with our microbiome when we do the Viome testing?
Naveen Jain:It's basically ... We did that. And the third thing really is to be able to make those recommendations based on what is going on and we're going to be obviously very soon be adding another big puzzle to this piece which is now understanding on the host side what genes are being expressed. So now we're going to be adding a couple of drops of blood. We'll be able to do a complete RNA sequencing of your host blood, and guess what happens? For the first time, we'll be looking at all the mitochondrial gene expression that no one had looked at. Mitochondria as I said is ancient bacteria, it has its own 13 genes. And separate from the human genes, it has its own DNA. So we look at its own DNA, its mitochondrial gene expression.
Naveen Jain:Then, since we are looking at the blood, it's white blood cell, so we get all of the transcript for inflammation marker, all the cytokines which is interleukins, TNF, Alpha, CRP, everything. And guess what? Just to do a cytokine panel, it used to cost $1000, since we are getting them for free now. Because once we do the RNA analysis, they're just a byproduct. And then we look at all the gene expression of your blood cell and then we take all of these data and put that under ai to say, "Now what is the recommendation you need to be?" And it's amazing when I look at my list of food that I need to be avoiding and if I may actually read them for you ... I'm going to do that. So here I am. Come on, come on, come on. Come on. Come on.
Naveen Jain:There you go, my foods to avoid; apple, banana, cucumber, grapes, hemp hearts, orange, plum and tomato. And by the way, if you can look at it, I can select it and it tells me why apple is bad for me, even though most people think apple a day keeps the doctor away. In my case apple a day brings a doctor home.
Heather Sandison:And there is an explanation for why, for what the metabolic process is there that might be harming you. So a couple of things I wanted to point out is one, you guys are the only ones looking at viruses, can you talk about the influence of viruses? Of course we've always known they've been present in the gut, but what role do they play and how is that different from bacteria or parasites that we think of more readily in the gut.
Naveen Jain:So there are two types of viruses; One are the viruses that actually infect the human body, and there are viruses that only infect the bacteria and they're called [inaudible] And most of the wireless is tend to be actually RNA viruses, and that means nobody, even the DNA sequencing cannot see them. We find that most people who have a chronic disease have a very high load of viruses, which has completely been ignored. So now if I go back again to my team, the reason I should not eat apple is because I have ... Let me read. Your microbiome contains Apple chlorotic leafspot virus and that's the reason you should not be eating apple.
Naveen Jain:So my point is this virus is so important, it has been completely never been looked at. And it's very interesting that now we're looking at the food as medicine and you can imagine you and I feel so good about, "Oh my God, look how much we are learning in this new world and this new science and we should really feel good about ourselves." Until you go back to 2500 years ago, father of modern medicine, Greek doctor named hippocrates. What did he say? All diseases begin in the gut.
Heather Sandison:Let food be your medicine or your poison.
Naveen Jain:And one man's food is another man's poison. That means food that's good for you is not good for someone else, right? And food is the medicine. What is it that it took us 2500 years and billions of dollars of research to get us to that point? And that to me is the key. When our mother says, "Listen to your gut, do your gut check." Was she talking about Viome?
Heather Sandison:Maybe. So with Viome, we talked a little bit about disruption and how your goal is to disrupt this. Now I'm going to tell you from my perspective, and I say this a little bit in jest, but I have my patients coming in to me and saying, "Hey, I want to do my Viome testing." And so I was like, "Awesome. There's this new test. I don't know anything about it." So I called up over at your offices and I said, "Hey, I'm a doctor, can you help me help my patients interpret this?" And they said, "Nope, that's not what we do." So you guys are taking this doctor-patient relationship and really trying to shift things on a big scale. Can you just speak to that? And I have to just point out that I absolutely love this because it gives the patient back all of the power.
Naveen Jain:So one of the things we realized Heather was that the only way we can hold people responsible for the action, is to give them the information and give them the actionable thing they can do to take control of their own health. Unless people become the CEO of their own health, they can never change. They don't believe anyone outside because the whole system they have seen is keeping them sick. If you have a chronic disease, imagine what happens. Whether you have an autoimmune disease or pick a name you want. You have a diabetes, nobody really cares. They give you the metformin drug or they give you these ... and you'll poke your fingers and you're constantly taking insulin all the time. And you start to say, "You know what? Isn't someone going to help me solve the problem rather than just simply suppress my symptom?" Or if you have autoimmune diseases, you have to constantly ... You're asserting. You're getting these biologics, and the best you can do is spend $60,000 a year of getting these biologics, and by the way and living in the pain. And the rest of your life-
Heather Sandison:You're a subscriber.
Naveen Jain:You're a subscriber, right? So to me the role of the doctor is simply changed. The role of a doctor or a teacher in that case really is you becoming a coach, you becoming a mentor, you becoming a guide and you providing more additional information. So one of the things we are going to be doing, Heather, which I'm about to tell you, is that for doctors, if you're going to be actually creating even more in depth report because a consumer can only digest so much information. So we tell people about their metabolic fitness and the inflammation. We may tell them about [inaudible] But telling them about the primary bile acid and the secondary bile acid and all the sulfites and the stuff, they're going to be all around.
Naveen Jain:So what we're doing is, we're going to give enough information to the consumer so they know what is going on, but more importantly we're going to tell them, here are the foods that are bad and here's why. Here are the good foods and here's why. And the doctor's job is to now say, "And by that we let me also help you now. You also have your bile acid very high, and the reason you need to be cutting down these foods is because this is how the mechanism works, so they can now describe them in lot more details because you have one on one conversation with them. Since we're dealing with millions of people, it's very hard to really provide too much information not to confuse, and not to provide kingdom like a dumb people not give them information.
Naveen Jain:So we have to find a fine balance. So we're creating two products; a consumer product and actually healthcare practitioner product that's going to have lot more detail. And by the way, we will make that available to the advanced user if they want it. So it's not we're trying to hold up the information, but we are trying to make sure that only people who really need it, they can see it.
Heather Sandison:Excellent. I'm looking forward to that. So another piece of this is the artificial intelligence, and that tool really depends on a numbers, on big numbers. So if you want the artificial intelligence to be more intelligent than a doctor, more intelligent than the super computer that exists today, then how do you get enough data into the system, and do you have an enough? You talked about some new technologies coming out around T-cells and around human mitochondrial DNA. So do you have enough yet to say anything meaningful and how do you get those numbers right?
Naveen Jain:So first of all, we have not ... You know, tens of thousands of people are a really large number because when you look at the practice, most doctors, maybe 1000 patients, 2000 patients, right? We do tens of thousands a month and that means we have massive set of data, but most importantly in the beginning we did exactly what a doctor would do. We were actually being cleaned, our artificial intelligent system was being cleaned by the doctors. So we used the knowledge of all the doctors to essentially clean the system, then we keep ingesting all of the latest research that's coming in and the artificial intelligence self learning. That means as we're getting the feedback from our own consumers, we're actually modifying itself. It's saying, "Oh well, this worked really well, this one didn't and it modified itself."
Heather Sandison:Got It. Okay. And so it's continually learning-
Naveen Jain:It's constantly learning.
Heather Sandison:As more and more. Because you said there's been research in the last couple of days that's come out that's influencing how we think about these things and so, okay, that's so amazing to know-
Naveen Jain:And by the way, another part that is really interesting is every person who joins Viome, not only helps themselves, they help everyone before them and they help everyone after them. And this is really weird. I just wanted to just say it because as you know, we make no money. We actually sell these things at cost, and the reason for us is that if we can get millions of people to come together, we will be able to solve this problem. And I really believe if humanity doesn't come together to solve this problem, we are going to watch our children and grandchildren suffer.
Naveen Jain:And our generation is the first generation that actually has the technology at its disposal to solve this problem. We can obviously pass the buck and kick the can down, but are we that generation? Are we the generation that are going to say, "We are going to not take responsibility." Or are we the generation that says, "Enough is enough and we're going to all come together." Yeah, so I was thinking about it. Let's talk about how the people who are giving us so much of their time, what value we can give them. Because to me it shouldn't be about what I do. The only way the world can change is if we can empower each one of the person who's listening to it to find their own moonshots and to be able for them to solve the biggest problem facing humanity. And I want to just give this some thought process of what does it take to solve the massive problems, and what thought process goes through ... What thought process needs to happen?
Heather Sandison:That is why we do what we do here in Neurohacker and why I do what I do is because healthy people don't solve problems ... Healthy people solve problems, excuse me. Sick people are distracted by their pain and suffering and they don't solve problems, and what we need is a world full of problem solvers. So teach us how to do it in Naveen.
Naveen Jain:So the one part of it obviously is imagination. Imagination is the biggest thing. The only thing we can't achieve is the things we can't imagine. So I always tell people, dream so big that people think you're crazy and never be afraid to fail, because you only fail when you give up. Every idea that does not work is simply a stepping stone to a different idea and a bigger idea. Now having said that, there's a way of thinking a complex problem, and I'm going to look at one specific example and I want to run it by you.
Naveen Jain:For example if we say, "We're going to live on the moon." And most people will say, That's a crazy idea, we will never be able to live on the moon because how are we going to grow? How are we going to deal with the humans? We don't want to live in this biospheres and all this radiation." And instead of thinking about it and saying what the world ... Don't think about what the world is, but think about what you want the world to be. And then you see what technologies need to be developed to make that world possible. And once you start to think about that ... So let me take this example. So people say, "Well, how are we going to go live on the moon with high radiation?" And you say, "Okay, that's a great question." Now if we know that there are bacterial organisms that are actually growing in the radioactive nuclear waste, that means we know that nature has figured out how to use, how to protect its DNA from radiation and even use the radiation as a source of energy.
Naveen Jain:So what if he can take the genetic material from those bacteria, use genetic editing technology like CRISPR to modify the human genes in [inaudible] and next thing that humans are completely radiation resistant. And you say, "Wow, that is theoretically possible. Sure, the Crispr is not quite there yet, but you know what? It is moving along on the right curve, then maybe in the next three to five years that will be possible to do." And then people say, "But how are we going to grow the food on the moon?" And I say, "That's a bad question. The question you need to be asking is why do we need to eat the food?" And then you say, "Oh, you're that dumb. So let me tell you that-
Heather Sandison:You've got to feed the microbiome.
Naveen Jain:"Because the humans need energy and humans need nutrition." "Ah, that problem. That problem is interesting because what if just like the plants can use solar energy to do photosynthesis, what if just like the bacteria who are using radiation, what if the radiation provide the energy to us? And you can say, "Honey, do you want to go out for a walk and get some radiation?"" And then you say, "What about nutrition?" And I say, "That's an interesting problem. What kind of nutrition we're talking about?" And someone says, "Well, you really need the hydrogen and we really need nitrogen." "Okay, well if we had water, wouldn't you think you will get the hydrogen and oxygen simply by looking at the ingredients? Now nitrogen, that's an interesting problem. So now living on the moon is simply about getting the nitrogen to the moon." And again, I'm just making an example. It could be something totally different, but that is possible, right? And that's the way of thinking.
Naveen Jain:Now let's take another example. And the reason I'm going through the example is just to get people to start thinking. So people say the lack of fresh water is the biggest problem facing humanity, and I'm going to go spend my time trying to get the fresh water for people. So I'm going to build a nano filter. I'm going to build all these technologies to get that, until you realize that majority of the fresh water is actually used for agriculture. And you say, "Oh, that's a problem. Let me now look at agriculture. Can we create aeroponic or aquaponic and can we use the lightly salted water? And if we can solve that we can have plenty of fresh water for humans. And you feel good, until you realize that majority of the agriculture is actually used to feed the cattle. And you say, "Oh really? So all we need to do is find a way to solve the problem. How do we go out and create the meat that people want? Can we create the muscle tissues that people want to eat simply by taking a stem cell from a cow and just growing the muscle tissues and not growing anything else that we don't eat?"
Naveen Jain:And suddenly a fresh water problem becomes a synthetic biology problem. And all the food that we needed to feed another 7 billion people is available to us. And that's the thought process when you go through you start to see the possibilities. So to me it's about looking at the world of possibilities. Looking at the world of creating abundance. It is not about using less of what we have, it's about creating more of what we need. So now imagine, we humans, even though we believe we fight over things. And the reason we fight over things is not because we are greedy, because we believe the things are scarce. And people say, "No, no, no. Humans are just greedy." And I say it's just not true because imagine what is one thing we know that's abundant? Air. And you see 70,000 people in a stadium enjoy the game and they never slap the person next to them and say, "Hey, you're breathing my air."
Naveen Jain:Why is that? Because we believe it's enough for every one of us. Now imagine what if the energy could be the next air, which is democratic, and it's free to everyone. Every 90 minutes more solar energy falls on this planet than we use in the whole year. Simply a matter of conversion. Similarly, if you go back 200 years ago, the most precious metal was aluminum because it was never available in the pure form. It was so expensive that top of the Washington monument is made of aluminum. It was most precious metal we had until we got the technology called electrolysis that made it easy for us to extract aluminum from bauxite and now we throw it away.
Naveen Jain:Now, once we get the electrolysis of solar energy, the energy will become next air. It will be free and democratized and demonetized to everyone. And if you have free energy, imagine what happens. Even the dirtiest places in Africa, you can distill the water because of free energy. And suddenly you have all the airborne diseases, all the waterborne diseases are gone. When you have plenty of energy, plenty of water, could you have abundance of food that can be free to everyone? Now, imagine a world where energy is free, the food is free, the water is free, the land is free, everything is free, and the reason is why do we have to live on planet earth? What if you could live on the moon? What if you could live on the Mars? What if you could live in the Europa or Titan? Where is the scarcity? It's in our mind and once we change our mindset to believe there's no scarcity, we can achieve anything.
Heather Sandison:How inspiring. Naveen you have a new book out about moonshots and you have inspired me certainly and I'm sure all of our listeners to choose our own moonshots and also really just shifted the paradigm around abundance and scarcity and how to think about problem solving on a, on a really big level. Can you tell us a little bit more about your book? Where to find it?
Naveen Jain:Again, I mean, you know, I hate even talking about what I do in me. It's a book I wrote it for our children and for everyone who can really benefit from it if we continue to believe in scarcity we'll continue to fight. If we continue to believe there's limited quantities of things, there is someone who has more than you have and you fight over it. And I really believe even terrorism happens because people are helpless and people are hopeless. If you can show them that tomorrow is going to be better than today, people will not die. The reason people kill themselves is because they believe that tomorrow is going to be no better than what it was yesterday or today. So give them this hope of what is possible and then you will have peace in the world, and you will have abundance of everything we want.
Heather Sandison:Amazing. Thank you so much for your time. I know that you are a busy man so I don't want to keep you much longer-
Naveen Jain:Thank you very much.
Heather Sandison:But you have been an absolute pleasure to chat with and I feel inspired to go. It's Friday afternoon and I want to go get stuff done so we can change the world.
Naveen Jain:Go read the book and then hopefully you'll be even more inspired.
Heather Sandison:I can't wait. I will. I certainly will pick it up or have it delivered. Thank you so much Naveen.
Naveen Jain:Thank you [crosstalk] Take care of yourself.
Heather Sandison:It's just been an absolute privilege. Take care. Bye bye.
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