Train your brain to be mindfully present in the moment. Life is short enough, but you make it much shorter when you live it lamenting the past and worrying about the future.

The term Blue Zones has been used to describe places where people live long and healthy lives. What exactly does it take to live a long and healthy life? What is the science and the secret behind longevity and life extension? In this series, we are talking to medical experts, wellness experts, and longevity experts to share “5 Things You Need To Live A Long, Healthy, & Happy Life”. As a part of this series, I had the distinct pleasure of interviewing Kenneth Brown, MD

Dr. Kenneth Brown performs a mix of traditional medicine and natural therapeutics to treat patients suffering from gastrointestinal issues at his gastroenterology practice in Dallas, Texas. Having been inspired by clinical research on IBS drugs, his practice focuses on finding solutions to IBS-related symptoms. He founded KBS Research with the goal of creating innovative natural products for digestive issues. The first product, Atrantil, was launched in 2015 and has been clinically proven to relieve IBS symptoms, such as bloating and abdominal discomfort. Dr. Brown regularly appears in the media by contributing his expertise as a digestive health expert. He hosts the Gut Check Project podcast, a platform to discuss various health topics.

Thank you so much for joining us! Our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about your ‘backstory’?

I grew up in Omaha, Nebraska and I remember a particular morning during medical school when I scraped ice off my car at 4:30 a.m. I quickly realized I was done with the cold weather, and I decided to choose my residency as far south as possible. That decision led me to San Antonio, Texas.

While working on my internal medicine residency, I stumbled upon the field of gastroenterology. What captivated me about gastroenterology was the unique combination of performing procedures without the necessity of invasive surgery, coupled with a substantial intellectual component that I had always admired about internal medicine. Choosing this specialty was undoubtedly the best decision for my career. It is a field that fits me like a glove, and I couldn’t be happier.

I began my career in 2004 as a clinician in Dallas, Texas. I was always curious about new ways to help people and interested in research. I started a research division in my organization that allowed us to explore new frontiers in medicine. After performing pharmaceutical research for several years, I discovered a significant void in the treatment options available for irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Recognizing this unmet need, I shifted my focus toward devising natural ways to assist my patients. It became a new chapter in my professional journey, allowing me to blend scientific inquiry with a more natural approach.

During my fellowship, I was taught that IBS is more of a psychological problem than a physical problem. It turns out that was completely wrong. The new research found an actual cause of IBS, which is bacteria growing in the wrong place, in the small intestine.

I learned by combining three large stable polyphenols, I could not only get rid of the bacteria growing in the wrong place but also decrease the bloating issues by absorbing the gas produced by the bacteria. We have since learned that these polyphenols are fantastic for helping improve the health of our microbiome.

To put this to the test, we published one randomized placebo-controlled trial where we had 88% efficacy. We then published a second study that was an open-label irritable bowel with constipation for people who had failed all conventional pharmaceutical treatments and typical natural treatments.

This patented polyphenol combination is called Atrantil. We formed KBS Research in 2015, launched Atrantil and have been helping millions of people since.

Can you share with us the most interesting story from your career? Can you tell us what lessons or ‘takeaways’ you learned from that?

A couple of years after launching Atrantil, a mother brought her 18-year-old, severely autistic son to my practice. He was becoming progressively worse and more combative; she noticed this behavior happened around mealtimes. I treated him with Atrantil and diet modifications.

After two months, he and his mother returned for a follow-up appointment. She cried tears of joy because he was the calmest he had been in years. Physically he looked better because he was eating a regular diet.

The takeaway was that this patient displayed the connection between the gut and the brain. I realized without a healthy gut, you cannot have a healthy brain. I have an obligation to protect people’s brains by healing their gut.

This is the example I think about when I need a little motivation to keep innovating.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful for who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?

A friend of mine suffered severe burns when I was 14 years old. A physical therapist named Leonard ‘Woody’ Woods volunteered his time and services to help my friend’s recovery process and did so for an entire year. I was so impressed with the process that I knew I wanted to become a physical therapist. I shadowed and held internships with Woody through the years. During a summer internship, he pulled me aside and suggested I consider medical school instead of physical therapy school.

I graduated college early and had to wait for medical school to start; during that time, he hired me and told me to pay attention to how he ran the clinic and managed his busy patient schedule — all the nuances of private practice. That experience shaped who I have become as a physician and I model my practice after Woody’s.

You are a successful leader. Which three character traits do you think were most instrumental to your success? Can you please share a story or example for each?

Curiosity is the most important trait of my career. My curiosity about how bacteria caused IBS in my patients and the curiosity to find a natural solution led me to develop Atrantil.

Empathy toward my patients is the root driver for my scientific curiosity. If I am failing to help a patient, that voice inside my head keeps saying, “what else can we try?”

I have a knack for seeing connections between different fields, a skill that has served me well in my career. For example, while reading an article about the use of quebracho to decrease gas in cattle, I thought about how this research could help my patients.

Ok, thank you for all that. Now let’s shift to the main focus of our interview about health and longevity. To begin, can you share with our readers a bit about why you are an authority in the fields of health, wellness, and longevity? In your opinion, what is your unique contribution to the world of wellness?

I have always been interested in the idea of health-span, not just life-span. How can we optimize our time here on Earth? I read several books about longevity and found all of them focused on the same key cellular components, but none discussed the health of the digestive tract. In my patient population, I could see that all health begins and ends in the gut.

We are just now learning the importance of the microbiome. If the microbiome gets old, you will get old. I am collaborating with scientists who study how complex polyphenols — the same ones found in our Atrantil product — can improve the microbiome and increase beneficial metabolites like butyrate. These metabolites keep us young by keeping inflammation in check.

Seekers throughout history have traveled great distances and embarked on mythical quests in search of the “elixir of life,” a mythical potion said to cure all diseases and give eternal youth. Has your search for health, vitality, and longevity taken you on any interesting paths or journeys? We’d love to hear the story.

When I was developing Atrantil, the primary polyphenol called quebracho Colorado, was not used in supplements. So, I had to contact the only manufacturing plant in the world, which was in Argentina. Despite multiple calls and emails, I hit a roadblock.

It just so happens that I am half Argentinean, so I contacted a cousin who physically drove to the facility and explained that a gastroenterologist in Texas had found a novel use for their product in humans. This relationship has continued to grow, and we are now launching a partnership in Europe with the original manufacturer. This exciting progress happened because of persistence and luck that I had family in the same country.

Based on your research or experience, can you please share your “5 Things You Need To Live A Long & Healthy Life”?

First, protect your microbiome. As we age, there is a trend toward a less diverse microbiome with higher levels of bad to good bacteria called dysbiosis. Supercentenarians — people who reach age ninety or more — tend to have microbiomes of someone much younger with higher proportions of good to harmful bacteria. Keep your microbiome young and you will stay young. Here are five ways to do this:

  1. Feed your microbiome what it needs by eating polyphenol-rich foods and fiber. A recent study found that supplementing with quebracho Colorado and chestnut increased levels of a beneficial metabolite called butyrate, even when compared to the gold standard prebiotic inulin. So, make sure you get your daily dose of polyphenols.
  2. Sleep well by developing good sleep hygiene habits. The quality of your sleep affects the health of your microbiome, which has its own circadian rhythm. Shift workers tend to have more inflammation and a narrower microbiome than people who work regular hours.
  3. Learn to incorporate fasting into your life. There are many types of fasting, but they eventually accomplish the same goal of increasing autophagy (getting rid of old and sick cells), improving insulin sensitivity, increasing growth hormones and decreasing inflammation.
  4. Prioritize movement and exercise throughout your day. Studies show that weightlifting or weight-bearing exercise helps slow down the loss of muscle called sarcopenia, keeps bones strong and helps improve insulin sensitivity. More prolonged bouts of zone 2 cardio show decreased neurological inflammation by releasing brain-derived neurotrophic factors. And new research has demonstrated that taking large complex polyphenols and exercising helps unlock the anti-inflammatory metabolites rather than just taking the polyphenols.
  5. Regular sauna use may also help you stay young. Studies have shown that people who use a sauna four times a week significantly decrease all-cause mortality. This may be due to heat shock proteins the body produces during sauna use, which help re-fold misfolded proteins. These misfolded proteins may be responsible for age-related diseases such as Alzheimer’s and cancer.

Can you suggest a few things needed to live a life filled with happiness, joy, and meaning?

Train your brain to be mindfully present in the moment. Life is short enough, but you make it much shorter when you live it lamenting the past and worrying about the future.

Socialize and find a community. Meet regularly and share some polyphenols over tea and tell stories. When socializing, we increase our oxytocin levels, other hormones and neurochemicals. These happiness hormones also appear in the gut, where there are receptors. This leads to less gut inflammation and improved microbial diversity.

Some argue that longevity is genetic, while others say that living a long life is simply a choice. What are your thoughts on this nature vs. nurture debate? Which is more important?

The genes we carry and our genetic traits are determined by our lifestyle and exposure to various elements in the world. This is called an epigenetic phenomenon, not just a nature or nurture occurrence. We can keep specific genes dormant or activate them based on our lives and environments.

Life sometimes takes us on paths that are challenging. How have you managed to bounce back from setbacks in order to cultivate physical, mental, and emotional health?

With time, all setbacks eventually become a life lesson that makes you more resilient. Setbacks are opportunities to grow by learning something, finding a new way, having perspective and a time to be mindful. Ryan Holliday’s book “The Obstacle Is The Way” summarizes it perfectly.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Do you have a story about how that was relevant in your life?

I do not have a favorite; however, I do like this excerpt from Teddy Roosevelt’s “The Man in the Arena:”

“who spends himself in a worthy cause, who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”

You are a person of enormous influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

Ban glyphosate, a broad-spectrum herbicide.

What is the best way for our readers to continue to follow your work online?

Listen to our podcast “The Gut Check Project” on all platforms but especially

We are also on Instagram @gutcheckproject and @atrantil.

This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for the time you spent on this. We wish you only continued success.


  • Savio P. Clemente

    TEDx Speaker, Media Journalist, Board Certified Wellness Coach, Best-Selling Author & Cancer Survivor

    Savio P. Clemente, TEDx speaker and Stage 3 cancer survivor, infuses transformative insights into every article. His journey battling cancer fuels a mission to empower survivors and industry leaders towards living a truly healthy, wealthy, and wise lifestyle. As a Board-Certified Wellness Coach (NBC-HWC, ACC), Savio guides readers to embrace self-discovery and rewrite narratives by loving their inner stranger, as outlined in his acclaimed TEDx talk: "7 Minutes to Wellness: How to Love Your Inner Stranger." Through his best-selling book and impactful work as a media journalist — covering inspirational stories of resilience and exploring wellness trends — Savio has collaborated with notable celebrities and TV personalities, bringing his insights to diverse audiences and touching countless lives. His philosophy, "to know thyself is to heal thyself," resonates in every piece.