Dave: Hey, everyone. It’s Dave Asprey with
Bulletproof Executive Radio. Today’s cool fact of the day is that donkeys kill more
people annually than plane crashes, which is why you should be more afraid of donkeys
than you should be afraid of flying. Because that was a short, cool fact and we always
have cool cool facts of the day, the other one is that you burn more calories sleeping
than you do watching TV, even more so if you make the room colder when you go to sleep.
I’m really excited about today’s podcast because today’s guest is a friend and a luminary in
the field. Donna Gates is the creator of the Body Ecology Diet. This is one of the first
diets out there that was really looking at the role of gut health and histamine and yeast
in the body. Donna’s done work with all kinds of people, including autistic children, in
looking at how gut health influences your brain.
Now, you may be listening to this and saying, “I’m not an autistic child. What’s in this
podcast for me?” Number one, you may be an autistic child and just not know it, but more
likely than that you are an adult who has brain function either problems or abilities.
Either way, whether your brain works perfectly as you see it all the time or whether you
know you’re tired and foggy some of the time, your gut health still impacts your ability
to think. That’s why I’ve invited Donna on the show
today because she spent many years in the field. Her works stands as the foundation
for things like the Specific Carbohydrate Diet and the GAPS diet and things like that.
Donna, welcome to the show. Thanks for taking time today to be with us.
Donna: Thanks for having me on. I’ve actually been looking forward to the his all week long,
all weekend long, so I hope you ask me the right questions. I mean, I hope you ask questions
I can answer. Dave: Given the times we’ve sat down, we usually
tend to geek out and talk about all sorts of unusual gut things. I’m going to do my
best to not ask you all the weird questions about specific species of gut microbes unless
they’re relevant to everyone out here, but I know that in all the questions I’ve asked
you so far you’ve more than kept up which makes sense given as much as you’ve studied
this. First off, what’s your background? How did
you get to be the person who created the Body Ecology Diet?
Donna: I think [inaudible 00:02:27] a lot of people start off like you did, not well,
and they go looking for answers, and I did, but really looking back now, I think there’s
a destiny sometimes to your life because I remember being a little southern girl with
fried chicken and lots of vegetables. We had a lot of vegetables, but they always had fatback
in them. So, really a bad diet. I did notice that I was really into food,
and I kept noticing. People, like my grandfather, poured pepper all over everything. His plate
was black. I would watch people and see what was going on with them based on what they
were eating. I think at an early age I was already beginning to somehow came in already
probably knowing that food is medicine. I was very fascinated. Went to college to
study that. I went to work in a VA hospital just before I graduated; I was going to be
a registered dietitian. It was a terrible experience. Hospitals are the last place in
the world anybody would want to be. They had me down in the kitchen loading the dishwasher,
and I thought, “This is a sign that this is not what I’m supposed to do with my life.”
I went back to school and graduated finally with a degree in child development, which
is useful actually, and then I just never stopped studying. I think twists and turns,
like so many different doors opened at the right them for me to … 10 years into the
work that I’ve been doing now, I started working with autistic children, so they came later.
When you work with an autistic child, they have everything that’s wrong with them is
wrong with us too, it’s just that we don’t have that behavioral brain issue going on,
not like they do. Working with autistic children is extraordinary training.
Dave: You view autistic kids as kind of the canaries in the coal mine?
Donna: They are. They really are. They are truly a sign that this generation, the generation
for example that your children belong to, they’re really as a whole in serious trouble.
The human being, we’re protected, so we can’t really see … For example … This is a little
complicated, but I hope I can explain it well. Your wife, let’s use Lana for example, when
your two little kids, when Lana was inside her mom, her ovaries formed right away, immediately,
but in the fifth month … the ovaries fill up with eggs in the fifth month. In other
words, Lana’s mother’s health determined the quality of those eggs.
Then you met Lana. You had two beautiful kids. They really are coasting on two generations
back. Does that make sense? Dave: It’s the whole epigenetics argument,
right? Donna: Well, it’s just the fact that your
children are showing you their grandmother’s health, right? It takes a couple of generations
before we see that the kids are in trouble. What we’re going to see, like your children
when they grow up, most in their generation as a whole, because your kids are unique,
they are going to have trouble with fertility. They won’t be able to reproduce. It’s going
to be a real serious problem. A lot of birth defects and sad things.
We’re looking at disaster, and everybody’s kind of not looking at it or they’re burying
their head in the sand hoping that doesn’t happen, but it’s going to happen if we don’t
do something. I think that’s why I’m really fascinated because there have been … like
me, I’ve been doing this for over 20 years. There’s a lot of us that have been doing work
for a long time, sometimes on our own little planet doing our thing, but what’s happened
right now is a whole bunch of people are coming together, like you and I meeting, and Sara
Gottfried and JJ, and a whole bunch of us are bringing our tribes together, sharing
information, and helping each other. That tells me that we’re really at the tipping
point, and it’s very exciting. There’s never been a time where so many people are bringing
information. Even though there’s a little bit of difference in what some of us are teaching,
mostly there’s the truth in what we’re teaching. A lot of us say the same thing in different
ways. It’s just going to be an extraordinary time
for these children. I think just in time we’re going to turn things around.
Dave: I certainly hope so. I can tell you I’m not that worried about a global population
problem because- Donna: [crosstalk 00:06:55]
Dave: The research for the Better Baby Book really taught me fertility rates are declining
so precipitously that already one in eight couples doesn’t conceive naturally. They just
can’t do it. You fast-forward another generation or two, and we don’t have to worry about there
being that many billions of people. [crosstalk 00:07:15]
Donna: I am glad you said that. I have a friend who is an endocrinologist, and he is really
well known. He teaches a bunch of other ones. He was telling me that what they’re seeing
is that many couples are actually becoming pregnant and conceiving, but nature is very
very strict. In the first 28 days of life, if that baby is not going to be really close
to perfect, the woman loses … she thinks she’s having a normal period. She has no idea
she was pregnant. That’s happening a lot too. We are conceiving, but there’s not a healthy-enough
embryo to become a baby. Dave: It’s a scary, ongoing problem, and it’s
not just even the women. The men too. You get unhealthy men who are fathers, and then
the chances of there being birth defects happens as well.
We’ll say we agree that there’s a major multi-generational problem. Let’s take a child who is born and
develops autism. They’re probably born with a more hyper focus or hyper-aware immune system,
so they’re getting some autoimmunity. They probably have some problems with their gut
bacteria. They may have some problems with toxic metals or with mold toxins. Some externally,
then it precipitates an autoimmune neurological condition.
Now, you have a series of things largely affecting gut health that can help to turn this around.
What if you take those same types of things and you give those to someone who doesn’t
have autism? What typically happens to those people?
Donna: Almost everybody today, without realizing it or not, they have got some gut dysbiosis
going on. Dave: Yes!
Donna: Anybody is going to improve if they take sugar out of their diet, gluten out of
their diet, and of course you know I’m a big proponent of fermented foods. We have to go
into that because there’s a subset of people who don’t do well on fermented foods at first.
I know you want to talk about that. Even if you don’t have a gut problem today,
you could have one tomorrow. It’s easy to shift the balance of the microbes in the gut.
People are struggling with things that they don’t even know is connected with their gut.
For example, depression. Maybe you feel flat and life is just depressing simply because
you have the wrong microbes in your gut. Or obesity. You will find many people saying,
“Well, I don’t eat anything. I really don’t.” I know they’re telling the truth, so that’s
not an issue. They really aren’t eating anything, and they’re not even eating bad foods. They’ve
got the wrong bacteria in their gut, and so every little bit they’re eating, no matter
what they’re eating, is making them fat. Dave: I think I was in that camp when I weighed
300 pounds. I really did eat less than my ten friends. It was not about will power or
laziness or any of that. It was just about, “Sorry, calories in does not equal calories
out,” partly because of the gut biome, partly because of hormones.
Donna: But you were in a really stressful job, and stress kills the good bacteria. That
let’s the bad ones grow. For many many of us, we live in a really stressful world, partly
because we choose to. Some of don’t have that much … we maybe
don’t have financial problems or we don’t have health … We have wonderful children,
all the things that some people are having problem with, and some of us don’t have those
problems. Yet we do too much. We watch TV. We watch these exciting shows at night that
make our cortisol go up. We don’t sleep enough. We just choose to do too much.
I choose to do … I’m in that category. I deliberately choose to fill up my plate with
too many things, so I create my own stress. Dave: Yet you have a reasonably healthy gut
biome, right? Donna: I take care of that because I honestly
do have the knowledge and the science. Years ago, when I started doing body ecology and
I came up with that term … so this is why again I think there’s always a little bit
of divine intervention sometimes in what happens in your life. I even came up with this term
“body ecology” before I put the whole thing together and began talking about the gut ecology.
We have an ecology on us and in us. I first got into the whole thing because I
was trying to get well and then along the way met Dr. Crook. He had written The Yeast
Connection. I thought, “Aha! I have years of antibiotics, birth control pills, stress,
those things. I have a yeast infection like millions of women do.”
I thought, “I’m going to figure out how to get over a yeast infection,” because his book
wasn’t quite strict enough. I’d had a lot of training at that point in natural medicine,
natural healing, Chinese medicine, all that. I thought, “I’m going to find the answer.”
I started from scratch, looking at the condition. Not that much was known about it then. Looking
at truths and matching that up. Then down the road I was constantly learning more and
more, and I began to understand about the immune system. You have to have a really strong
immune system to overcome candidiasis. Also I began to stumble on information that
was available only to microbiologists. We people did not have this information. I started
learning about these bacteria that are supposed to be in our gut, and they’re not there in
many many people. I literally had to coin a term called the inner ecosystem to be able
to talk to people about this world that exists inside our gut.
The inner ecosystem was a term I coined, but then I started actually finding science to
show what these microbes do in the gut. That’s how it all started, really.
Dave: So if we take someone who doesn’t know they have a gut problem and they do something
to improve the health of their gut, what are the typical things that they experience?
Donna: They’re going to feel happier and everything. Literally, there’s nothing that the gut doesn’t
affect. Your brain, of course. You become more focused. You’ll have more energy. Every
single cell in the body, the mitochondria, they’re all benefiting from a healthy gut.
There’s not a single cell that isn’t harmed by a gut that’s got problems or a single cell
that isn’t helped when you fix the gut. Dave: Okay, so there’s two big things. People
who are already performing well when they do things to improve their gut can get increased
energy and increased focus. Now, if you’re listening to this, this is why I wanted to
have Donna on the show because this isn’t something that is just about autistic kids
or sick people or people with IBS. The bottom line is that if you’re eating a
normal, or somewhat considered normal, America diet, you’re eating all sorts of foods, a
lot of them processed. You’re eating foods that have things that kill bacteria in your
gut, and you’re probably putting yourself through quite a lot of stress.
If you want to be a resilient beast, which is certainly a part of being Bulletproof,
is just building high-performance resilience, so yeah, you might go through stress, but
your gut biome doesn’t get destroyed and you don’t get destroyed. That’s super valuable,
and this matters if you’re a professional athlete, whether you’re some big-time business
person, whatever. Donna, now people are interested. What are
the two or three things they should do right now that’s going to help their gut?
Donna: I think fermented foods, of course, are a must. Food combining I think is a great
thing to do because if you eat a meal, let’s say a typical sandwich with a piece of meat
in the middle of two pieces of bread, that’s very hard to digest. Let’s say you eat a piece
of chicken with rice and gravy or a steak with a baked potato. That’s a really complex
meal. Typical American breakfast on the weekends
is [oranges 00:15:11], maybe pancakes, French toast or something, maybe some eggs and bacon.
That’s really hard for the body to digest. I’m a big believer in food combining. I think
using digestive enzymes is very smart. Those would be my three top things I’d say to do.
I want to point out, Dave, that I know you have a big following of people that exercise
a lot. Over-training and exercising, that’s a stress on the body.
Dave: It is. Donna: That will kill the bacteria. I think
everybody is under a certain level of stress, and so I think people need to be mindful all
the time in protecting their gut, using digestive enzymes, eating fermented food so that you’re
putting this new supply of bacteria in the gut all the time on a regular, everyday basis.
Dave: One interesting point for people listening to this. A lot of digestive enzymes are made
from aspergillus, the fungus. A lot of people don’t do as well on those. My experience with
digestive enzymes that, heck yeah, Donna, I agree with that recommendation 100%, but
look for digestive enzymes that don’t come from basically a form of mold.
Donna: Those are your plant-based ones, but hydrochloric acid, pepsin, and pancreatin
are not from that sort, so those [crosstalk 00:16:25].
Dave: Yeah, those are the ones that I take. Donna: Yeah. Those are good. The ones that
are plant-based, those are the ones that come from …
Dave: The ones that come from aspergillus, you’re saying?
Donna: Yeah. Dave: Exactly. In other words, digestive enzymes
don’t usually come from plants, they come from animals. Things that come from an animal,
like from their digestive tract, are usually pretty good. Things like ox bile.
Donna: Yeah. Dave: Things like pancreatin that comes from
an animal source [crosstalk 00:16:51]- Donna: They tend to be low as we stress out,
as we get aged, those are the ones that we start to stop making. Replacing those makes
sense. Dave: I’ve been taking those with just about
every meal for 15 years, and I think it’s just important because even if you have a
somewhat healthy gut, supporting that is just a good idea.
Donna: I totally agree with that. Me too. I’m pretty religious about taking digestive
enzymes. Dave: Let’s talk about food combining. To
be really open about it, I experimented with food combining a long time ago. I was really
strict. I kept logs. This is more than 10 years ago when I was doing some of the nutritional
stuff that I was figuring out. I kept logs. “Don’t eat watermelon with this. Never eat
lemon and cantaloupe together,” and all these other weird rules that honestly didn’t always
make that much sense, and I never detected a single difference in my health from it.
Why food combining? Why is it in your top three?
Donna: To me, lemon and watermelon are fine together.
Dave: I’m kidding. I don’t remember what it was, but watermelon has special status. It
was just like, “Really? Some of this is a bit excessive.”
Donna: Okay, so really simply, fruit digests very very quickly, so if you’re going to eat
a piece of fruit it’s going to be in and out of the stomach in about 30 minutes. If you
eat a piece of toast, let’s say, with the fruit, bowl of cereal with milk, it’s all
trapped in there, and it’s going to cause gas and bloating. So you’re fermenting that
food, basically, in a bad kind of way. Then as far as meat goes, if you have a piece
of turkey, let’s say you put it on a sandwich, two pieces of bread, same thing. That’s very
comple- That’s just difficult. You’re asking a lot of the digestive tract to do that. If
you’ve got a real strong digestive tract, then forget about food combining. If you are
sensitive, then it makes a big difference. What I would put with a piece of chicken or
lamb or fish or something is just vegetables, non-starchy vegetables, and there’s tons of
those: asparagus, green beans, broccoli, tons of them. If I were having something like resistant
starch, I know that’s a big term in your community, and rice or quinoa, millet, I would put that
with vegetables too. Dave: What about fat? Would you mix fat with
that? Donna: Yeah. Fat can go with anything. Good
fats can go with any- Dave: Butter goes with everything, even watermelon,
right? Donna: Probably so. I haven’t done that. [crosstalk
00:19:20] Dave: Sounds disgusting!
Donna: Wait! You reminded me of something. I got to say this. Actually, fat would be
good to have with watermelon because watermelon is very sweet, and when you put fat into a
meal where there’s sugar, it slows down the assimilation of the fat. So yes, that would
be a good combination. Dave: If someone makes a watermelon-butter
smoothie and drinks it, I will be shocked and amazed and only slightly disgusted, but
I imagine we’ll see that on YouTube, Donna, because we just had this conversation.
Donna: I would rather them not put the watermelon in there, but they could use some other fruit.
Then what I’d like to see them do is use medium-chain Brain Octane Oil instead. I think that would
be a nicer, lighter combination. Dave: Yeah, if you’re doing a fruit smoothie,
certainly putting some fat in there makes it so much more satisfying and helps to stop
the food cravings. Because you mentioned fruit digests really quickly. Then honestly you
don’t each much fruit, and if you’re going to eat fruit, eat the really high-nutrient
fruit that’s low in fructose. That’s why the Bulletproof Diet road map has them sort of
ranked in that order. Donna: Yeah. I love your chart, by the way.
We’re just so close, and our thinking is 100% [crosstalk 00:20:29]-
Dave: Yeah, we agree on … Well, I think I have some questions about fermented food
we were about to get to, but we agree on like 99% of things. It’s those little differences
where some people listening are like, “Oh my god, seriously? Like, who cares?” I’ll
tell you who cares. People who want to kick ass care because it’s those little differences
that separate the winners from the losers. It’s a hundredth of a second.
Donna: Another thing that’s going on, a huge number of people, I want to say at least 80%
of people, have yeast infections in their body. That’s another reason why fruit, especially
the sweet fruits, are not good. You always have to realize that somebody who is not well,
from any condition you can think of, cancer, diabetes, heart disease, whatever you can
come up with, they’re going to have a yeast infection. You’ve got to always be mindful
not to feed those yeasts. Dave: What about protein and fat as a percentage
of it on the Body Ecology Diet? Where do those [crosstalk 00:21:18]?
Donna: Based on the way the body likes to function, I like for people just begin bringing
protein in their diet from 11 to 2. That’s the time of the day when the body is really
is needing it. Well, it depends on what time you get up in the morning, but for the most
part, by 11 o’clock your body needs it, maybe sooner for some people, because the brain
needs that protein to wake up and to function. Also, animal protein makes us feel grounded.
By the end of the day, if you switch then to the quinoa, millet, and lots and lots of
vegetables and [inaudible 00:21:51] fermented food kind of a diet, you’re actually going
to produce a lot more serotonin, and that calms you down. Then you start to go to sleep
because serotonin turns into melatonin. I think we need that calming quality. I know
that’s true for blood type A. I happen to have met Dr. Peter D’Adamo’s father
about 36 years ago. I actually went to him as a patient because I was trying to find
answers myself. When I learned about blood type in his diet, I was really intrigued.
Originally the father had a different diet than Peter has. Peter changed his father’s
diet, actually. I think actually the father’s diet is more accurate, but from that point
on, 36 years ago, I started asking everybody, “What’s your blood type? What’s your blood
type?” When I started working with autistic children,
I asked their mothers, “What’s your blood type? What’s your son’s blood type?” Almost
all of them are blood type A. Eight out of ten of those kids are blood type A, and I
had put that out into the autism community. It’s much more well known now. To me, that
statistically says something. I find especially blood type A needs more
of those kind of foods in their diet, the quinoa, the millet. I mean they need them
on a consistent basis. They don’t need a lot, but they need it because it’s got a calming
quality for their body. Dave: What would happen if they instead just
used a straight resistant starch, like a plantain flour or the Hi-maize resistant starch or
even potato starch, as a way of avoiding the … we’ll call it the more aggressive fibers
that are in seeds and still getting all the stuff that ferments? It’s almost like resistant
starch is … it’s not technically a fiber, but it oftentimes occurs with fiber. I’ve
had negative results with most, including millet and buckwheat and there’s other things.
I’m trying to understand [crosstalk 00:23:38] You have a lot of experience.
Donna: I think potatoes are fine, and for that reason we have the red skin potatoes
on the diet because they are providing that resistant starch. You want to watch out for
sugar, though, because candidiasis is such a problem. Red skin potatoes are the lowest
in starch and sugar … I think those are great too.
Dave: What about lectins? Aren’t those a substantial issue for 20% of people at least?
Donna: Now what we’re really talking about are people who have got problems, because
we shouldn’t be reacting to simple components of food like that. When I find people reacting
to histamine or lectins and so on, it’s because this lack this inner ecosystem, and they don’t
have the bacteria going in their body on a regular basis, hardy robust bacteria, diversity
of bacteria that is so critical. That’s what allows us to eat a lot of foods that we’re
reacting to. Dave: I’ve read studies that say 20% of all
cases of rheumatoid arthritis come from the nightshade family. Potatoes, tomatoes, eggplants,
bell peppers. I’ve had so many clients and other people on the blog, they’re like, “Wow!
I thought you were nuts. I enjoy my red pepper flakes, whatever it is, but I finally for
a week tried doing no nightshades, and what do you know? All of my problems resolved,
and I feel like my little brain fog went away. Like wow! I didn’t know I could feel this
good.” Others are like, “I’m pretty darn … I tested it either way. I do perfectly fine
with it.” Donna: Eggplant and tomatoes are two of those
nightshades, and they have histamine in them. Food has histamine in it, and our body, as
you know, creates histamine. I usually tell people, “Stay off those nightshades for the
most part except for the red skin potatoes,” and that’s just if they tolerate them.
One of our seven principles in Body Ecology is the principle of uniqueness. If there’s
something that we’re saying is safe for eating because it doesn’t feed yeast, it doesn’t
mean it should be in your body, because your body is unique and it might be bothering you.
Dave: It’s kind of funny because on the Bulletproof Diet as a road map, I’m like, “Here’s the
cleanest, least inflammatory, least offensive things possible. Get them all. Then start
adding in red potatoes or whatever else and see what you react to.” I find that a huge
number of people react to things that they didn’t know they were reacting to, which is
kind of what you would do on a food-elimination diet, which I did a long time ago. In the
mid to late ’90s I was working on that. The problem is, it takes months and months
to eliminate a class of foods and then add them back in one at a time. It’s kind of easier
to just eliminate everything and then add them back in one at a time. That explains
[crosstalk 00:26:20]- Donna: I want to add one little thing too.
I disagree with [inaudible 00:26:24]- Dave: With which one?
Donna: A statement that somebody made about arthritis, because I know another cause of
arthritis is oxalates [crosstalk 00:26:30]- Dave: Oh yeah!
Donna: Another issue is very often that they’re just toxic. [They’re 00:26:35] toxins. The
liver hasn’t for a long long time been able to really process toxins. In Chinese medicine,
the liver affects our skin, our eyes, our joints, so that creaky joints and stiffness
and everything is coming because our liver is getting more congested. I think it can
be numerous thing, not just one thing causing that.
Dave: That was only 20% of all the cases. The other 80% … Yeah, oxalates are a huge
thing, and especially on the latest Bulletproof Diet infographic, which if you haven’t heard,
this is your first time hearing the show, BulletproofDietBook.com, you can download
it for free. When you check that out though, what you’ll find is I’m like, “You have to
cook these vegetables because of the oxalic acid connection.”
All these people doing this raw kale smoothie thing, I’ve written like, “Here’s the protocol
for removing oxalates and oxalic acid.” Because if you don’t, it is going to mess you up.
Donna: Actually, it’s not just cooking them. Believe it or not, sweet potatoes and green
beans are high oxalates, spinach. You need to cook them in water and then throw-
Dave: Yes. Donna: [crosstalk 00:27:39] Water. Quinoa
and millet, by the way, they’re seeds. Okay, so here are your high-oxalate foods. There’s
[inaudible 00:27:45] chocolate, spinach, and nuts and seeds would be quinoa and millet.
Then there’s a whole bunch of other vegetables, like sweet potatoes and green beans, as I
mentioned. What I’m telling people to do these days now
that I understand about oxalates thanks to my work with autism is I actually take a big
pot of water, get that boiling like you were going to boil pasta, put in some salt, drop
in your soaked quinoa or millet, boil them for about 11 minutes for the quinoa, about
13, 15 minutes for the millet, then drain all that water off.
Then catch all the quinoa at the end there, and then it’s very nice, very fluffy and delicious
when it’s cooked like that. Also, you’ve gotten rid of the oxalates. You just poured them
down the drain. The way food is prepared is another art, really, to making food medicine.
Dave: It’s the same with kale and all the Brassicas. Dump the water, and I actually
recommend something called calcium loading that I invented, the idea being add calcium
to the water as calcium carbonate which will precipitate out the oxalic acid. That way,
any oxalates that are left are already put in a crystallized form so you can excrete
them. Otherwise the oxalic acid enters the body, binds with calcium in the tissues, and
causes way more damage. At least isolate the oxalic acid in the GI tract.
I just cringe when I see these … A lot of my CrossFit friends are, “I’m gonna do a kale
smoothie, raw kale in the morning.” I’m like, “Your thyroid-”
Donna: Spinach [crosstalk 00:29:13]- Dave: “Your joints-”
Donna: [crosstalk 00:29:13] Spinach in- Dave: Yeah, raw spinach too.
Donna: [crosstalk 00:29:16] Big one. According to the University of Nebraska, because again
oxalates are a big issue in the autism community. Kale is fine. So is cabbage-
Dave: Which species of kale, though, right? Because the [inaudible 00:29:27] kale is not
fine. Donna: [crosstalk 00:29:28] We probably both
need to look into that. Susan Owens has a really good up-to-date list of … It’s a
big community. Her work is probably the most advanced with oxalates. [inaudible 00:29:43]
If people just type in Susan Owens trying low oxalates, they’ll find her, then look
into that. Because I do really think it’s a very important
piece of information that people are missing, again, trying to be healthy, thinking these
foods are healthy, eating a lot of nuts and seeds. I see people putting a lot of almond
milk in their smoothies, and that’s another extremely high source of oxalates.
What they’re doing, without knowing it, is adding a lot of oxalates throughout the day,
and that little piece of chocolate. That little square piece of chocolate that we see the
research that says it’s good for you for all these reasons. It’s also got a bad side to
it. That’s one thing I want everybody to understand
is every single thing we put in our body has a positive and negative side to it. It might
be good for you and maybe harming you. You’ll keep seeing research on this food, here’s
its benefits. Milk is a good example. For some people, it’s a poison. For some people,
they do great, particularly if they ferment it.
Were all so unique, so we need to find out the foods that are best for us. That’s where
this whole new world is opening up on nutritional genetics. It’s called nutritional genomics,
is very very exciting because we’re going to … well, we’re actually even now, we can
get our genes tested. Dave: How important in your methodology is
the source of the saturated fat versus just saying all saturated fats are the same? Because
clearly MCTs are something different than butter. Butyric acid is doing-
Donna: [crosstalk 00:31:08] Butyric acid is very very good for the gut.
Dave: Right. Donna: Bacteria need it too. Medium-chain
triglyceride, excellent for the bacteria in the gut. The bacteria need it, and it’s healing
to the gut. Both of those are healing to the gut and protective to the gut lining, so that’s
[a whole 00:31:23] different category. Then you have to bring in, factor the genes.
Your genes, you genetically may need more fat in your diet, and somebody else will have
to limit the amount of saturated fat. Quality is everything.
Dave: What happens if someone who has genes for less fat that you’re talking about, what
happens if they don’t lower their saturated fat?
Donna: It’s destroying the bacteria in their gut, and then there’s the bad guys. The good
guys go, and the bad ones take over, like wadsworthia. Wadsworthia causes inflammation
to the gut lining. Now we have this permeable gut lining. Things are going to begin leaking
through. It’s affecting every cell in the body. It’s affecting the brain as well.
Protecting the gut lining … The gut lining is one cell layer thick where our skin, I
think, has like seven or nine layers- Dave: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Donna: To penetrate it. The gut lining has one cell layer, so we have to protect that
little one-cell layer, the bacteria nestled into that, and it’s very easy to destroy it.
Even stress destroys it. The bacteria are there to protect us.
We were talking about oxalates earlier. I wanted to mention that around the age that
we start crawling we get a bacteria in our gut called Oxalobacter formigenes, and if
we take an antibiotic, and who hasn’t, we lose Mr. Oxalobacter. It usually never comes
back again. There’s nobody eating the oxalates in the
food, so a couple of other bacteria try to take over, like [inaudible 00:32:54] is a
good one, [some of the 00:32:55] bifidus bacteria, Bifidus infantis. They try to do his job,
but they never do it like he does it. Again, so many things that we’re talking about
come back to these bacteria and what they’re doing. I think the gut, the bacteria, and
our genes are a key to [inaudible 00:33:12] information we’re always going to need to
look at, and we’ll be able to. We can now because science is going there.
The other thing is the bacteria in our gut have their genes. If we have, say, 28,000
genes of our own, every single cell in our body has the same set of genes in them. We
have all of our cells with all of our genes, say 28,000 or so genes, they don’t know exactly
the number, but then we have these bacteria and they’ve got way way way way more genes
than we do, each one of them, and there are trillions of them. Now we have another thing
going on where what we’re eating is affecting our genes and our bacteria’s genes.
This is like a new area of science that’s just coming out. It’s very exciting because
it’s going to clear up the controversy over, “Should I eat this, or is this good for me?”
People are so confused because this expert says this and this expert says that. We have
our areas hugely where we agree and a little bit of area where we disagree, but it’s going
to boil down to what’s right for your body. The genes are going to be able to tell us
that, and of course having the bacteria. We got to look at our genes, and we got to look
at our bacteria. Dave: Definitely agree. More genetics and
more bacteria analysis, hugely important. When I talk with Bulletproof people about
what tests you want to do. You want to look at your inflammation levels. You want to look
at what’s going on in the gut biome, and you want to look at your 23andMe results so you
can see where your detox protocols are. When you get those things, you’re like [crosstalk
00:34:38] you can learn a lot. Donna: Yes, very important. I totally agree.
Dave: Top three recommendations for people who want to perform better? I’ve asked every
guest on the show, except one, that question. Not just for gut health, just your entire
life and all of your wisdom, what are the three things that people should know?
Donna: Not about diet, you mean? Dave: It can be about diet, but whatever the
most important things you’ve learned in your path. Give us your most important-
Donna: I think that the most important thing I’ve learned is that it takes courage to live
in this world. There’s a lot of things that keep … obstacles that present themselves
in front of us. You just have to really pull up your courage from somewhere and keep on
going. I don’t see that people have enough courage. I think we are in a mess right now
because people … they’re not coming from a place of courage.
I also think people don’t understand the long-term effects. For example, I’m really really concerned
about the future of our children. We’re selfishly living. We eat what we want, for example.
The waitress comes to the table and says, “What do you want?” and your mom says, “What
do you want to eat?” We shouldn’t be eating that way. We should be eating what our bodies
needs. Our body will tell us what it needs. We have
to train ourselves. In other words, tune in to the body and say, “Hm, what do I need right
now? I need some protein. I want some kale. I’m needing a little more salt in my diet
right now.” Our body does tell us what it needs. I would say develop that intuition,
that relationship with your body, and start giving your body what it needs, not what you
want. That’s a very selfish thing that we’re doing.
Then, of course, I guess I’d have to say diet-wise you got to get the sugar out of your diet.
You got to get the good fats in your diet, and I think fermented foods and having that
healthy gut microbiome is really really key. I say that because literally we’ve helped
hundreds of children who were very very sick totally turn their life around and become
well because they started with the fermented food, so I have to stick to that.
Dave: I am not opposed to fermented foods, Donna, and I appreciate this as a chance to
[inaudible 00:37:00] the most important things you’ve learned. They may be the opposite of
what I’ve learned. By the way, like I said, I am a big fan of fermented foods, especially
when they’re fermented with the good stuff. [crosstalk 00:37:12]
Donna: Also, I am a big fan of your’s, Dave. I don’t think a day or even certainly not
a week goes by where I’m not constantly recommending the Brain Octane. I sat down with a little
tea in my cup and added the collagen. Wonderful collagen. You told me that people sleep better
when they have it at bedtime. I tell everybody that, because lots of people have sleep problems
today. I’d say that’s a bit of advice. If you’re having a sleep problem, you got to
fix that right away because you won have energy. [crosstalk 00:37:41]
Dave: Also, your gut biome gets stressed if you don’t get enough sleep, right?
Donna: True, yeah. [crosstalk 00:37:46] Dave: It’s kind of funny, that affects your
bacteria. Yeah. Donna: No, you’ve got great products, and
I appreciate that. I’m always the first person to tell other people about other excellent
products on the market. Your particularnessness, I mean whatever you call it, your standards
for yourself and for other people are so high, that’s why you bring out these high-quality
products, and I’m very grateful for that. Dave: I appreciate it, and likewise, the way
you’ve hacked bacterial fermentation in order to create resistant [inaudible 00:38:19] Cocobiotic.
That’s an achievement right there, and just anytime you can help one autistic kid, you’ve
done something good, and you’ve helped thousands and thousands. It’s very well acknowledged.
Hey, I’m an admirer of your work as well, and I’m excited to be on your summit tomorrow.
Donna: Great. I got to get busy making up some questions to ask you.
Dave: That would be no problem. Thanks a ton for being on the show today, Donna, and would
you just drop your URL one more time so people know where to find you?
Donna: Just BodyEcology.com. Dave: All right. One of the original places
to learn about the gut biome. Donna, thanks for being on the show. Featured
BodyEcology.com Body Ecology on Facebook
@bodyecology The Body Ecology Diet: Recovering Your Health
and Rebuilding Your Immunity Resources
Susan Owens Low Oxalates 23andMe
CocoBiotic on BodyEcology.com Bulletproof
Upgraded MCT Oil Bulletproof Diet Book
Bulletproof Diet Infographic Better Baby Book Bulletproof Toolbox
Podcast #122, Donna Gates 3 © The Bulletproof Executive 2013