© 2021 Ayako Miki 

My international interview series 'A Sustainable World' featuring Dr Natasha Campbell-McBride!

Uppdaterad: apr 4

Hello everyone and welcome to this interview!

It is my true honor to introduce you to Dr Natasha Campbell-McBride. She´s not only a doctor and nutritionist, but also a regenerative farmer! Yet most people know her as the women who created GAPS.

As a health professional, Dr Natasha Campbell-McBride holds a Degree in Medicine and Postgraduate Degrees in both Neurology and Human Nutrition. She is the creator of GAPS – Gut And Psychology / Gut And Physiology Syndrome. The GAPS Nutritional Protocol is being used successfully by hundreds of thousands of people around the world for treating a plethora of chronic health problems, from mental illness to physical disorders. Her first book "Gut & Psychology Syndrome" has been translated and published in 23 languages.

She is also keynote speaker at many professional conferences and seminars around the world, a Member of The Society of Authors, The British Society for Ecological Medicine, and a Director on the Advisory Board of The Weston A Price Foundation.

Natasha lives in the UK with her family on a mixed farm, which is run according to organic and biodynamic principles. She has firsthand experience in producing natural food in a sustainable way, where animals and birds live in their natural habitat building soil’s fertility to grow organic plants. On her farm she has taught many young people from all over the world how to look after animals, birds and organic gardens to produce the best quality food.

This is Bruno. He´s making a great job protecting the chickens from foxes on Dr Natasha's farm.


Ayako: From what I understand, your son’s health and the fact that he was diagnosed with autism as a child, was the beginning of your search for a nutritional approach that could help him - thereby the beginning of GAPS?

Dr Natasha: My son was diagnosed with autism at the age of three. Very soon I discovered that my own profession had nothing to offer, so I searched far and wide how to help my child. This search led to the creation of the GAPS concept and the highly successful GAPS Nutritional Protocol, described in detail in my books and on www.gaps.me. My son has fully recovered from autism, he is a young man leading a normal life.

Ayako: This is really groundbreaking. So many people could be helped if only more health professionals became aware of how important nutrition and food is for our health - both mentally and physically. I have personally healed things like allergy and watering eyes, just by optimizing my diet. So I know this is for real.

Ayako: So, GAPS is very much a matter of the gut and gut flora. Please explain how this is central in GAPS and human health.

Dr Natasha: GAPS stands for Gut And Psychology Syndrome and Gut And Physiology Syndrome. This concept connects the state of the digestive system of the person and the health of the rest of the body. ‘All diseases begin in the gut!’. This is a statement made by the father of modern medicine; Hippocrates, thousands of years ago. The more we learn with our modern scientific tools, the more we realise that he was absolutely correct. My first GAPS book was written in 2004, and since then it has been translated into 23 languages. That book focused on autism, ADHD, dyslexia, dyspraxia and other learning disabilities in children, epilepsy and mental illness and both children and adults. The second GAPS book came out last year (2020) and is focusing on the rest of the human body, covering autoimmune disease, allergies, chronic fatigue, hormonal and neurological conditions and digestive disorders.

Our digestive system is a home for a myriad of microbes, called gut flora or gut microbiome. This microbial community is in charge of our health, not only in the gut but everywhere else in the body. Modern research found that 90% of all cells in the human body are in our gut flora. So, your body is only 10%! It is a shell, a habitat for that mass of microbes living inside your gut.

In a GAPS person this microbial community is out of balance, it is damaged. As a result, the whole body suffers and the person develops mental and physical problems.

Ayako: Highly fascinating and yet very logic, because the core is always more complex than the surrounding layers in a living being. And in order to create a complex being there must be a core with many surrounding layers, unlike purely inorganic material, in other words; not alive, like a puzzle or a building of some sort. There is no circulation, therefore there is no center.

Ayako: The fact that your nutritional protocol aims to heal both physical and mental disorders is quite unique. Usually, people who suffers from mental disorders such as depression are just given some antidepressants and therapy. Unfortunately, many people aren´t helped by this system and some are taking these pills for decades without being healed. What´s your opinion of this?

Dr Natasha: In my opinion all mental illness is born in the gut: depression, OCD, anorexia, schizophrenia, epilepsy, addictions, learning disabilities and everything else. These people have abnormal gut flora, dominated by pathogenic microbes. These microbes produce millions of poisonous chemicals, which absorb and get distributed around the body. When these poisons get into the brain, they cause mental illness.

Children with autism and other learning disabilities acquire abnormal gut flora from their parents from the start of their lives. Despite the fact that almost 100% if these children are born with a perfectly normal brain, their abnormal gut flora poisons the brain and does not allow it to develop properly. Depending on the mixture of toxicity coming from the gut to the brain, the child may develop autism, ADHD/ADD, dyspraxia, dyslexia or any other developmental abnormality.

In order to help these people, their gut flora needs to be re-balanced and their gut wall needs to be healed. This is what the GAPS Nutritional Protocol will do! Once that happens, the river of toxicity coming from the gut to the brain stops, and the brain starts functioning normally. In order to help autistic children and children with other learning disabilities, we need to start the GAPS Diet as soon as possible, because the younger the child is, the quicker and the more fully they recover. The longer the brain of the child has been bombarded by poisons from the gut, the more physical damage is inflicted upon the brain and more difficult it is to reverse that damage. People with depression recover very well and quite quickly on the GAPS Nutritional Protocol.

Ayako: Today, you also live on a regenerative, organic farm and I understand this is a matter of producing clean and nutritious food, as well as supporting nature. Could you please explain more about the difference of clean, organic food and industrial agriculture, in a perspective of health and sustainability?

Dr Natasha: Yes, I am an organic regenerative farmer for 8 years now. The more one works with food, the more one realises that you cannot trust food sold in supermarkets and shops! Our industrial agriculture and food industry are so sophisticated. From the seed to your table most poisonous and destructive practices are used, which present you with something that cannot truly be called ‘food’. This is certainly not the food Mother Nature has intended us to eat. Of course, not everybody can become a farmer and start producing their own food. The good news is that there are hundreds of real farms in every Western country, where the farmer loves his land, his animals and birds and produces truly good food. You will not find this food in supermarkets, because supermarkets are stocked by industrial complex. They have corrupted organic standards; we cannot trust an organic label in supermarkets anymore! I recommend to all my patients to stop buying food in supermarkets. Instead, they find real organic farms, visit them, speak to the farmer and buy directly from the farm. Patients, who live in cities, form co-operatives, where people take turns to drive to the farms on the weekend and buy food for the whole group. When these groups become big enough, many farmers deliver to one household in the city, so other members of the group can come and pick up their food from that house. All it takes is getting organised! This way you are supporting a real farmer, while providing your family with real food!

Ayako: I love how you use the word 'sophisticated' because it symbolizes the shallowness which is the very issue in the first place. As I´ve become older I´ve also realized that I´ve become less 'sophisticated' because the core and the essence of life has become so much more important than the sophisticated and superficial matters. The industry is in my eyes very much a matter of going from quality to quantity and thereby failing so badly, because if we lose the essentials, we lose everything. People started to care more about things and belongings than the very food they ate, and today we stand here with the consequences.

Ayako: In my first interview with Ken Power, he spoke very much of soil and how soil is the core of sustainable farming. And as I said; To me, soil is for the health of nature what our gut is to human health. Both soil and humans are omnivores, so for nature and human kind to thrive fully, we need - as far as possible - both animal source foods and plant-based food. Would you agree with that?

Dr Natasha: All life begins and ends in the soil! It is the basis of life on Earth. Our industrial arable agriculture is destroying soil on the Planet with a frightening speed. They have been overproducing grain for the last decade, but this fact is carefully hidden and the public is told that ‘we are not producing enough’. This overproduced grain is fed to farm animals and birds, who are locked in prisons (CAFOs – Confined Animal Factory Operations). Cows, pigs, sheep, chickens, etc are not supposed to live on grain! Nature designed them to live on pasture, but the industrial complex took them off pastures, so they can grow commodity crops on these lands.

Farm animals and birds create humus, they create the microbial community of the soil; they create soil! A real organic farm has animals and birds; after taking a crop off the land the animals and birds restore the fertility of the soil, while producing eggs, milk and meat for us.

Arable industrial agriculture is highly profitable for the global chemical corporations, who rule agricultural policies of the Western governments. It is in their commercial interest to make the whole planet vegan or vegetarian, so they have launched a highly successful global pro-vegetarian propaganda. As all propaganda, it works on lies and emotional statements, such as ‘vegetarians will save the planet’. The truth is just the opposite: only industrial chemical arable agriculture is capable of sustaining large numbers of vegetarians – the very agriculture, which is destroying the Planet. I have explained this subject in detail in my book Vegetarianism Explained. Making An Informed Decision.

Ayako: This is very much my experience as well. I must say it´s quite interesting to observe the plant-based propaganda pushing us to eat more vegetables, most often without a single word about how this food is farmed... But of course, the industry wishes to earn money and so they don´t want people to know that pesticides in fact were used as the very first chemical weapon during World War II, before it was rebranded as 'pesticides' and used in farming. In my own research, I´ve also discovered that in Sweden it´s not the 'oh so feared' methane causing most greenhouse gases in farming. It´s in fact nitrous oxide from artificial fertilizers, used for plant-based foods of course. So no, the plant-based agenda is not working very well.

Ayako: Speaking of plant-based, I understand that you´ve come across a lot of specifically young people who because of plant-based diets have become very ill, in your work as a nutritionist. What are the main reasons for this and which health issues did you typically experience in these cases? Those who represent vegan and plant-based diets often claim to be supported by science. I would like to have your perspective regarding this.

Dr Natasha: I was working with anorexic girls and some other patients with mental illness, who became ill because of vegetarianism. I started researching the subject, and discovered that there is no reliable science for us to trust.

All studies on vegetarianism were done by pro-vegetarian lobby, they are incorrectly conducted and designed, and the data has been incorrectly analysed. One of the most untrustworthy studies is the China study, highly promoted by the mainstream.

So, I looked at basic sciences and clinical experience, and since then have written my book on vegetarianism Vegetarianism Explained. Making An Informed Decision. In this book I explain how the human body works, and what effect animal and plant foods have on our health.

Ayako: So, as a result of the meeting with these young people falling victims for ‘the plant-based agenda,’ new health issues had arisen, leading you to intense studies in order to truly understand the value of plant foods versus animal foods. What essential differences did you find?

Dr Natasha: The scientific fact is that only animal foods (meat, fish, eggs and dairy) can feed and build the physical structure of the human body. This is due to the way human digestive system has been designed: we can only truly digest and absorb nutrients from animal foods.

Plants are largely indigestible for humans and cannot feed us. Plants contain inappropriate proteins and fats for the human physiology, while animal foods provide the only suitable proteins and fats for us. In order to digest plants, Mother Nature created herbivorous animals and provided them with a very special digestive system, called rumen, which humans do not have.

Clinical experience shows that human beings can live perfectly well without eating plants at all. In the GAPS Nutritional Protocol there is a variation of the GAPS Diet, called the No-Plant GAPS Diet, where patients live entirely on animal foods (meat, fish, eggs and fermented dairy). Children and adults with ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease, other serious digestive problems and severe mental illness recover from all their illnesses by not eating plants at all. However, humans cannot live without animal foods! This is what clinical experience shows. Veganism (trying to eat only plants) is not a diet, it is a form of fasting! Fasting can be very therapeutic, but nobody can fast forever, so veganism must never be chosen as a permanent life style.

Ayako: Yes, I completely agree, veganism is not a diet for humans! Some people like to call themselves herbivores, but no, we have a gut, hence not a rumen like the cows, sheep or deer. And as a result of people trying to be what they aren´t, imposing this ideology on their children, we have seen many little children dying from vegan diets around the world. Belgian doctors have also made a public statement saying that they wish to prosecute parents who raise their children as vegans after a number of deaths in nurseries, schools and hospitals. Yet saying this out loud is not very popular these days, is it? The reactions are mildly said very vague. It reminds me of what Einstein once said; "What is right is not always popular and what is popular is not always right." Extremely important to remember.

Ayako: I watched your lecture Heart attack through ‘evil fats’ - highly fascinating. You´re speaking very much of cholesterol. So, I understand that the whole world is practically basing their health direction reg. cholesterol on a hypothesis from 1952 – a hypothesis that never was proved. And as a result of this fear of cholesterol we are given statins. So, we are reducing an essential nutrient and adding statins. What are the main health risks associated with these two actions?

Dr Natasha: Cholesterol and animal fats do not cause heart disease or any other disease, they prevent and reverse them. They are essential for us to eat, our predecessors have thrived on them and valued them for millions of years. Meats, eggs, butter, animal fats, ham, bacon and oily fish are the healthiest foods on our Planet. The idea about these foods causing disease comes from industrial commercial complex and is based on a faulty hypothesis, called the diet-heart hypothesis. Indeed, it was proposed in 1952 by a very dishonest person, and since then it has been proven to be completely false by hundreds of scientific studies.

The problem is, while science was working, a very wealthy and powerful political and commercial machine grew based on this hypothesis. Pharmaceutical industry is making billions on it, food industry is making billions, medical industry and Western governments are making billions. These organisations send out powerful propaganda to the population.

I have described the whole concept in my book Put Your Heart In Your Mouth. What Really Causes Heart Disease And What We Can Do To Prevent And Even Reverse It. This book will explain to you what actually causes heart disease, and it is not eggs and butter.

Ayako: This all makes sense. I must share a personal experience regarding cholesterol. I had overstretched a muscle in my yoga practice and it would never heal! But after I watch your lecture, I started to eat more cholesterol rich food, and very soon it got better! As I use to say; reality speaks its own language.

Ayako: The fact that food can heal is not exactly a new born idea, as already Hippocrates in ancient Greece – often referred to as ‘The father of medicine’ - spoke very much of this. Yet still, it is considered very controversial and modern-day medical educations are mostly focused on medicine rather than nutrition. What´s your perspective of this?

Dr Natasha: There was a time when doctors used diet, herbs and homeopathy for healing their patients. But then humanity discovered oil and found that we can make all sorts of things out it, including chemicals and drugs.

At the beginning of the 20th century the owners of oil companies set up medical associations, which were forced to use only petroleum-based drugs. Diet, herbs, homeopathy and other natural healing methods were pronounced ‘unscientific’ and removed from the curriculum of medical schools. A pharmaceutic industry was created based on petroleum, and medical education and science were set up based on it.

The truth is, that there is a place for all forms of healing in the world. The mainstream medicine is good at dealing with acute and life-and-death situations, because it has real ways of saving our lives when it comes to it. But, when it comes to chronic degenerative diseases, mainstream medicine has no understanding of what causes the condition and how to heal the person; all it can do is give you drugs to control the symptoms. In this situation it is diet, herbs and other natural approaches that help people to truly heal and recover.

Ayako: It is interesting how something natural can become 'unscientific', isn´t it? Are we building a science fiction world, one wonders...?

Ayako: It seems to me that the core issue when it comes to health and sustainability today is the separated mindset, focusing on small areas in isolation, rather than a connected matter in its wholeness that allows us to understand patterns and behaviour of disease, imbalances, action and cause. So, we cut the pathways guiding us to the core issues and the beginning of a problem/disorder. In other words; I see people focusing on solutions with no connection to what caused the disease or imbalance in the first place. - Superficial solutions in other words. Does this make sense to you?

Dr Natasha: I absolutely agree with you, the Western mindset separates humans from Nature. Yet, we are not separate, we are part of our environment. If we destroy the environment, we destroy ourselves. Humanity must re-connect to Mother Nature and to our beautiful Planet. We must re-connect to our food, which means that city people should volunteer on real mixed farms. On our farm we had hundreds of volunteers over the years, who learn how to grow truly organic food, how to milk animals, how to look after birds and animals in a natural loving way and how to create soil. This knowledge is essential for every human being today, this is what every child needs to learn. The very survival of our species and our Planet depends on that!

Ayako: Is there anything more you´d like to add?

Dr Natasha: I don’t believe in hopeless situations! No matter what disease you may be suffering from, there is a way to heal. We live in a world of abundant and easily accessible information. If your doctor doesn’t know how to help you, this knowledge exists elsewhere. Search and you will find it. There is nothing more powerful in its effect on human health than food! Food is the most effective medicine in the world, so in any chronic disease it is your diet you must change first and foremost. For many people this is the only change that is required to heal. For other people herbs, homeopathy, acupuncture, spiritual and other natural approaches should be added to complete the healing process. Healing a journey, it will bring you new knowledge, new understanding of yourself and the world, new friends and it will change your life for the better. Bon voyage!

Ayako: I must agree! Nothing is hopeless unless you give up! We need to keep a positive spirit no matter what. We need to keep searching for answers. Without a positive mindset we won´t find positive solutions and create a sustainable world.

And with Dr Natasha's encouraging message, we´ll wrap up this interview. I´m very grateful for the fact that there are people like Natasha in this world, who walk their talk, aren´t afraid of digging deep and facing truth no matter what, in order to find the real lifechanging and healing answers this world so badly needs.

Thank you Dr Natasha and thank you all readers for taking part of A Sustainable World!

You can read more about Natasha and find her books here:

Dr Natasha - Home (doctor-natasha.com)

Much love from me and greetings from Natasha's beautiful, regenerative farm.


PS. Keep an eye on my page 'Interview Series' for more interesting interviews coming up!

Debussy, L'Isle Joyeuse - Pianist, Ayako Miki (2011)
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