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Hit Netflix documentary features Scripps Institution of Oceanography researcher

Film focuses on connection to health and gut biomes
Posted at 8:49 AM, Jun 19, 2024

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - A new documentary on Netflix focuses on the connection between diet, gut health, and overall health.

"Hack Your Health: The Secrets of Your Gut" debuted in late April, and quickly became one of the most popular films on the streaming platform. While Netflix does not reveal specific streaming data, a spokesperson for the company told ABC 10News that it was among the Top 10 overall movies on the platform the week of its release.

Some of the research featured in the movie came from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in San Diego. Dr. Jack Gilbert has spent years looking into the gut microbiome and it's impact on health.

"We've separated ourselves from nature so fundamentally it's quite terrifying," he says.

ABC 10News Anchor Jared Aarons met with Dr. Gilbert in his lab in La Jolla to talk about the documentary. Gilbert says you can sum it all up with the simple message of "eat more vegetables," which is actually a complicated task.

"You have 400 different species of bacteria living inside you," he says. "What you eat feeds them, and if you keep them happy, you'll keep your immune system, your hormones, your metabolism healthy as well...

"You've got to feed them different things. So it's not just 'eat more fruits and vegetables,' it's try and eat the fruits and vegetables that will feed the diversity of bacteria living inside you."

The movie follows a group of people as they try to adjust their diet to match their microbiome. Dr. Gilbert says it's been so popular that he's gotten thousands of emails from people asking if they can get a microbiome analysis to do the same.

He's been amazed at the reaction to the movie so far.

"It's been extraordinary," he says. "Food as medicine is a vital therapy that we are ignoring in our society and we need to embrace it more effectively."

He says it's also important to watch this movie with children, so they can learn proper, healthy diet habits at a young age.

"If I can get the children to start on a healthy journey and then provide them with the right kind of microbial environment, then our chances of seeing disease in our population will go down in the next 30 years."