Why the world is waking up to gut health

By Sarah Camilleri


By Sarah Camilleri

18 February 2021

Can medical and healing modalities sit comfortably together? At a recent Global Wellness Summit (GWS) Master Class event, leading wellness expert Dr Frank Lipman, MD said he believed they could and also help to boost immunity in the new pandemic age.

A vocal pioneer of integrative and functional medicine, Dr Lipman shared his wisdom on the emerging field of microbiome health with an audience of more than 350 spa and wellness leaders from around the world. (Main photo: Гоар Авдалян on Unsplash)

“I believe we are facing two pandemics simultaneously, not only Covid-19, but the silent pandemic of poor metabolic health across the world."

Dr Frank Lipman, MD

Addressing the meeting chaired by GWS chief creative officer Nancy Davies, Dr Lipman addressed questions such as:

  1. ‘What is a microbiome?’
  2. Why, if you want to age-proof yourself, do you need to leakproof your gut?
  3. Do supplements work?
  4. What is in store for the world of wellness after the pandemic?

His insight emphasises the importance for spa businesses to tap into the growing demand for integrated health services that can provide their guests with the tools to age well.



“In the simplest terms, the microbiome is the collection of bacteria that live on us and within us with the most important is the one residing in our gut.


“We have more bacteria in our gut than cells of our body, in fact, 70% of your immune system is in or around your gut,” confirmed Lipman, who has published six bestselling wellness books, including his latest, The New Rules of Ageing Well, co-authored with Danielle Claro.


“In the functional medicine world we have been working with the microbiome for some time now to understand how it affects every aspect of our health. We know that by correcting and balancing it, we can achieve long-term positive consequences for health, especially when it comes to ageing.” (Photo: Photo by Ava Sol on Unsplash)

Leakproof your gut

Dr Lipman shone a light on the latest thinking on root causes of illness and how he and his colleagues strive to deliver lasting wellness regimes at the Eleven Eleven Center and The Well in New York.

“Its all about removing what is harmful and adding what is beneficial,” Lipman told the GWS delegation. “Our moods, hormones and every aspect of our health is directly affected by our microbiome. It is not the case that what ‘goes on in our gut stays in our gut’. These bacteria produce different metabolisors… positive and negative. If you want to age-proof yourself, you need to leakproof your gut.”

Spain's SHA Wellness encourages guests to consider what they put into their bodies

Lipman went on to highlight how ageing and inflammation in the body can be tracked back to an out-of-kilter microbiome, the root cause of many preventable condition including gastrointestinal issues, skin conditions, autoimmune disorders, immune system imbalances and multiple inflammatory disorders.

“Leakproofing your gut is essential as metabolites are the key to our health. They can leak through the gut wall and create anxiety and other health impacts via the blood stream,” he revealed.

“There are two questions I always ask my patients that we can all consider for our own wellbeing. Firstly, “What are you putting into your body or onto your body that needs to be removed? And: ‘What are you lacking and what do you need to put into your system to feel better?’.

Join the next GWS Master Class



The next GWS Master Class – on February 24, 2021 – hears from ESPA founder Susan Harmsworth, MBE (pictured above), in a talk entitled: A Future Shaped by Current Events: Integrative Wellness at Last. To find out more, click below


Throughout the talk, delegates from across the world could ask questions. The merits of diet regimes, supplements, prepiotics, probiotics and postbiotics were hot topics. Lipman impressed that were was no “silver bullet” as every individual responds differently to diet and supplementation. He advocated a holistic approach to all clients, helping them to achieve positive lifestyle shifts.


“Food is a very important factor but its not the only thing that matters and cannot be viewed in isolation,” he stated. “All the things we talk about in holistic health such as stress management, sleep, movement, as well as what I refer to as the intangibles – gratitude, being kind to one another, building community and friendships – will undoubtedly affect the microbiome,” added Lipman.



A wide variety of supplements are being launched with ever more frequency, such as those from 111Skin (pictured), which are designed to support ageing and damaged skin.


“I am a huge believer in supplements as I have seen them work,” said Dr Lipman. “We have developed a Gut Reset for The Well, which gets results. Meditation and movement is also key. Its about making small but meaningful lifestyle shifts.”

Post-pandemic challenges

A self-confessed optimist, Frank Lipman concluded with his thoughts on how the spa and wellness industry can lead in helping people to make positive lifestyle changes.

“Hopefully, we are all going to get older, so its about how well we age and increase our health span and stay vital so we can enjoy life. We need to pay attention to our exercise, sleep, meditation practice and our lifestyles.

“When I started out 40 years ago, I was considered by some as the local ‘quack’, now holistic health seems not so crazy. I am always optimistic about the future and our capacity to create change through groups like the Global Wellness Summit is wonderful.”

The latest GWS Master Class was sponsored by Karen Ballou founder of the innovative skincare line, Immunocologie



Must read… Click to purchase the latest book by Dr Frank Lipman, The New Rules of Ageing Well: A Simple Program for Immune Resilience, Strength and Vitality.



Check out The Well, in New York, which promises “spaces, products and programmes that integrate modern medicine and ancient modalities”



Get up close and personal with tests by Vibrant Wellness, which offers  its proprietary microarray hybridization technology platform to identify gut imbalances



Spain’s leading wellness destination has launched its new Gut Health programme, devised by Dr Amina Alani, which is dedicated to transforming digestion and enhancing overall health.

Be inspired...

Dr. Frank Lipman is the founder of Eleven Eleven Wellness Center and the Chief Medical Officer at The Well, both in New York City. He is the best-selling author of six books. To find out more, click below

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