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Apr 11, 2019

What are the 5 top evidence-based tips to maintain your gut health?

And which 3 questions should your doctor be asking you about your diet?

Dr Alan Desmond, a plant-based gastroenterologist from the UK, is fascinated with the diet that is most likely to improve the gut health of his patients, especially those with gastrointestinal problems like inflammatory bowel disease. And having reviewed the medical literature he has come to learn that the more plant foods and the more whole foods we eat the better our gut health will be, whether we have a gastroenterological problem or not.

So now not only does he eat a wholefood plant-based diet but he also recommends this to his patients and asks them 3 simple questions to help them improve their diets. You will hear these questions in this episode of the New Normal Project podcast.

Alan is originally from County Cork, Ireland and having completed his medical and specialty training in Cork, Dublin and Oxford is now a Consultant Gastroenterologist in Devon in the South-West of England, where he lives with his wife and children. Alan has gained substantial experience in diagnosing and treating patients with all sorts of digestive problems; including coeliac disease, diverticular disease, irritable bowel syndrome, Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis. He eats a varied, wholefood plant-based diet, enjoys his cooking and is active on Instagram (@devongutdoctor) where he posts photos of wholefood plant-based meals backed up by scientific evidence.

In this podcast, Alan also talks about:

  • How his journey to become a doctor started as an ill newborn
  • How he became hooked by the specialty of gastroenterology
  • The degree that a plant-based diet can reduce the risk of colon cancer
  • His long-standing interest in the microbiome (and what that is)
  • The diversity of plant foods increasing the diversity of the microbiome
  • What is harmful about overconsumption of processed foods
  • What a course of unnecessary antibiotics does to the gut
  • The difference between prebiotics and probiotics
  • The amount of nuts and legumes recently recommended by the EAT-Lancet commission
  • The Happy Gut course he developed with the Happy Pear
  • The benefits a plant-based diet has in inflammatory bowel disease
  • How some populations have very little of the diseases he treats
  • And the groundswell of plant-based eating he is observing

Alan recently spoke at the Nutrition in Healthcare Conference held in Melbourne. Thank you to Doctors For Nutrition for inviting him to the meeting so I could interview him. His talk about inflammatory bowel disease and his participation in the conference were hugely valuable.

I hope you learn a lot from listening to Dr Alan Desmond.


Live well, feel well, do well.


Andrew Davies



Links to people, organisations & other resources mentioned:

Dr Alan Desmond

Dr Alan Desmond’s clinic website

Alan Desmond instagram: @devongutdoctor

DFN Nutrition in Healthcare Conference 2019

Doctors For Nutrition

Happy Pear

Happy Pear courses

Happy Gut course - Use discount code POD20 for a 20% discount

Happy Gut Guide - Free download

PlantProof podcast

PlantProof podcast episode with Alan Desmond

American Gut Project

NHS Eat Well Guide

Article – Food in the Anthropocene: the EAT-Lancet Commission on healthy diets from sustainable food systems

Dr Denis Burkitt

Article in Gut Journal – Evolving role of diet in the pathogenesis and treatment of inflammatory bowel disease

Rich Roll

Dr Dean Ornish

Dr Caldwell Esselstyn

Episode 2 of New Normal Project podcast with Rich Roll

Episode 22 of New Normal Project podcast with The Happy Pear

Episode 38 of New Normal Project podcast with Michael Klaper

Episode 43 of New Normal Project podcast with Kim Williams

Episode 45 of New Normal Project podcast with Neal Barnard

Episode 48 of New Normal Project podcast with Caldwell Esselstyn

Episode 49 of New Normal Project podcast with Scott Stoll

Episode 50 of New Normal Project

Doctors For Nutrition newsletter

New Normal Project podcast

New Normal Project website

New Normal Project on Facebook

New Normal Project on Instagram: @newnormalproject

New Normal Project on Twitter: @newnormalproj

Email Andrew Davies

Andrew Davies on Instagram: @andrewdavies66

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