Several years ago, when attending live seminars was still a regular occurrence, I spent the day in an air-conditioned basement-level hotel conference room in San Francisco.

You know the scene… little white hotel notepad on the table, pitcher of ice cold water, sweater at the ready to combat the chill, and healthy snacks hidden in the computer bag.

While being inside on a sunny Sunday isn’t at the top of my list of things to do – the opportunity for continued education and learning from one my Functional Medicine mentors made my time inside worthwhile. And hey, it did mean a weekend away in one of my favorite cities with my son Gilbert – eating our way through the weekend with visits to many of my favorite foodie haunts.

Today, I’m thrilled to introduce you to Dr. Michael Ash – that particular mentor that drew me to the city by the Bay and inside on that sunny Sunday. Dr. Ash is brilliant at articulating the important intersection of digestive and immune health (a favorite subject of mine!).

The first time I saw Dr. Ash speak (several years ago at an Institute for Functional Medicine event), I was smitten – with his message, that is!

His focus on nutrition, clinical know-how, and his commitment to building a bridge to the patient with a true ‘food as medicine’ approach to mucosal integrity was music to my ears. I was eager to learn more from him and translate what he’s found in his research to the work that you and I do, day in and day out, with our own clients and patients.

Just before I traveled to the day-long seminar with him, Dr. Ash and I hopped on the phone to record a Guest Health & Medical Expert (GHME) Interview as part of the Full Body Systems curriculum. When we finished the interview, I had one word in my mind – WOW!

Today, I’m sharing a short 10-minute clip of that longer interview so you can have a sneak peek into one of our Full Body Systems GHMEs and hear from this healthcare hero of mine – truly the master of mucosal integrity (that place where digestion and immunity converge).

But before I share that clip, be sure to go back through the 15-Minute Minute Matrix podcast archives and listen to my interview with Dr. Ash there as well. It’s episode #52, where Dr. Ash Maps Short-Chain Fatty Acids. Where would we be without them?!

Full Body Systems Guest Health & Medical Expert Interview Sneak Peak: Dr. Michael Ash

Andrea Nakayama, functional nutritionist and Dr Ash | Holistic Nutrition Lab
Hanging with Dr. Ash at his seminar in San Francisco!

After being in full-time clinical practice for 25 years, Dr. Michael Ash now devotes his time to research, writing and the management of complex immune-mediated illnesses through the application of natural and pharmaceutical interventions.

He has also been an adjunct member of the Institute for Functional Medicine’s faculty for many years (that’s where I first met him!).

He specializes in the role of wet tissues (think GI and respiratory!) in human health and the use of food and lifestyle-based interventions aimed at strengthening these important barriers.

During the sneak peek audio clip, you’ll hear Dr. Ash share:

  • Why healing the mucosal barriers is so important to human health.
  • His favorite functional food for gut health (you might be surprised!).
  • One obvious lifestyle modification you can help your clients make to improve their health right away!

Listen to me chat with my friend and mentor, Dr. Michael Ash.

Dr. Ash is a true clinical master so buckle your science seatbelt and let’s explore how you can help clients improve their mucosal tolerance (and explain why it matters!)

Note:. If you’re already enrolled in Full Body Systems, you’ve got access to the full interview with Dr. Ash in your Immune Intensive Guest Health & Medical Expert Bonus section!

Read more from the Functional Nutrition Alliance

The biggest mistakes to practicing functionally

Functional Nutrition Matrix

What’s Functional and what’s not Part 1


Functional Nutrition Alliance provides the comprehensive online Functional Nutrition training in the Science & Art of the Functional Nutrition practice. Learn to address the roots of your clients’ suffering with client education, diet & lifestyle modifications.