In this episode, I am speaking with Donna Gates – founder of The Body Ecology Diet and bestselling author of “The Body Ecology Diet” and “Growing Younger” – about gut health and the toxins that no one is talking about.
- Gut Health And The Toxins No One Is Talking About With Donna Gates – Transcript
- The most important toxins that affect people’s energy levels
- The effect of ammonia in the body
- How to identify if you have too much ammonia in your system
- The best way to correct your ammonia levels
- The dangers of acetaldehyde
- How to approach histamine and fermented foods
- How Donna Gates worked with microbiome before it became popular
- Donna Gates’ top tips to balance the gut microbiome and minimize toxin production
- Gut health and the toxins no one is talking about with Donna Gates – Show Notes
In this podcast, Donna will cover
• The internal toxins that no one is talking about (How they’re produced and why they’re a problem!)
• What are the best foods for gut health?
• The best way to correct your ammonia levels
• Donna’s preferred fermented foods
• Why some people react to histamine-producing foods (Should they eat fermented foods?)
• Donna’s top tips to balance the gut microbiome and minimize toxin production
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Gut Health And The Toxins No One Is Talking About With Donna Gates – Transcript
Ari Whitten: Hey everyone, welcome back to the Energy Blueprint Podcast. I’m your host Ari Whitten and today I have with me a very special guest. This is somebody whose work I first read close to 20 years ago and her name is Donna Gates and she is the founder of the Body Ecology Diet, the author, the bestselling author of “The Body Ecology Diet” and “Growing Younger” another one of her books, “Anti-Aging Wisdom for Every Generation.” And for the last 25 years, she’s been on a mission to change the way that the world eats. Her first book “The Body Ecology Diet” introduced the world to a sugar-free, gluten-free, casein-free and probiotic-rich diet and a way of life that’s now followed by tens of thousands of people around the world. The diet grew to popularity initially by word of mouth. And all these years later, decades later at this point, still stands the test of time. Actually, we were just chatting before I started recording that this book actually is still a bestselling book some 20 or 25 years later. So, it’s a pleasure to finally have you on Donna. Such an honor.
Donna Gates: Well, thank you. When I was invited, I was so excited, Ari, because I’ve been following you for a while now. And I think that the work that you do, the message that you’re putting out in the world about energy is critical. For years, you know, Body Ecology is based on universal laws and one of those is step by step. And I always say, you know, you have to start somewhere when you’re on your way to get well or have a healthy baby or age well, whatever. We have to start somewhere. So, what’s the first step? And it’s four things that you have to be focused on. And the first one and the most important one is great energy. And then, of course, you have to correct digestion and conquer the infections and bring down the inflammation. And the fourth thing is to cleanse out those toxins. And if you just focus on those four things, you will get well. But energy, nothing happens without energy. Of course, all those other things help increase your energy. Of course, today, I mean… So, then I thought really hard about, I mean I wanted to bring on information that you haven’t said already, that your audience, would be really useful to your audience but still around energy. So, I came up with this topic for today and so I’m excited to talk about it.
Ari Whitten: Yeah, I’m excited as well. I want to ask you just to describe a little bit about your background. What was it originally that prompted you some 25 years ago to write “The Body Ecology Diet”? And you were obviously preaching things like sugar-free and gluten-free and dairy-free before they really became popular and common. What was it in your personal background that led to the creation and the writing of that book?
Donna Gates: Well, I really think, like many, many of us that are out there teaching today, I started off by being sick myself and I had no idea what was wrong. So, I tried everything from, you know, $1,000 a month worth of supplements to being raw, to being, I was macrobiotic for eight years. I went to Japan and studied [Oshawa.] I was serious about getting well. And then I met Dr. Crook and I realized, you know, I had a yeast infection and that really seemed to be very important, you know, information, you know, knowledge to get out there. But his book wasn’t strict enough. So, I took all this information that I learned over 10 or 15 years like I’m 72 now. So, I started in my early thirties. And, so, you know, I just started taking all this knowledge and pulling it together in that, and, of course, as you do, you attract people with the same problems that you have.
And I would teach it and test it and, you know, it worked. So, a lot of people started following and I started always refining, always constantly learning. And so, when the book came out, I had discovered the microbiome, but it wasn’t called that yet, because that word didn’t come out. It didn’t become something people were interested in for another 12 more years or so. So, I coined the term “inner ecosystem” and I started teaching about that, about these microbes that are living inside of us and on us and how critical they were and how they get there, you know when we are born. I had to do a lot of digging and a lot of research. But interestingly, there was, you know, I’d ask a question to the universe or to the internet and there would be research on whatever I needed to know.
And yet, you know, back in those days, the research was, nobody cared about it. I mean, the researchers reported it to each other and that’s as far as it went. So then, you know, I realized I started calling on this information. It was just like a really amazing time. I felt like, I always say the hand of God who was in, you know, in or, because it just came together. And then, you know, fast forward many years later, and it was so accurate in this. Today, with all the microbiologists around the world studying the gut and the microbiome and how the bacteria communicate with each other and help each other and what’s happening in the gut. You know, I just, somebody had to bring that information out in the world and for a long time, it was just a handful of people that were interested. But you know, the word got out there. And then I started working with autism. All the knowledge that I’d acquired was very, very important. Because the kids in our BEDROK group, which the mom’s named themselves “BEDROCK,” Body Ecology Diet Recovering Our Kids. Their kids were all recovering, and kids hadn’t recovered yet.
So, you know that you’ve got to fix the gut and everything that I was teaching was working for autism too. And I think that brought a lot more attention to the work. But anyway, continuing on, 17 years later from that, I’m still looking at the microbes in the gut and there’s so much to the story it will never probably be a story with an ending to it. But there’s so much to tell. And so, I really appreciate an opportunity like this to get into, to something like…
The most important toxins that affect people’s energy levels
As you know, when you look at why people don’t have energy, toxins are high up on that list for sure. Toxins make us tired. But as I was already talking about heavy metals like mercury, aluminum, lead and so on. But I think that there are even more important toxins that are being produced in your body.
Ari Whitten: Tell me about that.
Donna Gates: Yeah. So, we have those toxins, external toxins, you know, like of course the toxins in our food, in our water, in our air, all that. They are definitely bad for us. But what people never have seemed to catch on to yet is that the toxins being produced in our body are worse toxins, and there’s a lot of them from nitric… Let’s see, there’s, you know, excess nitric oxide, homocysteine, ammonia, acetaldehyde being produced by the yeast, superoxide… But the body has… So many, many of those toxins are produced just because the body is working like it’s supposed to, like superoxide. But the body is designed to, you know, to break those down. Like superoxide has an enzyme, superoxide dismutase that comes along and turns that into hydrogen peroxide. Then catalase comes along and turns that into oxygen and water and then it’s good for us. So that’s how the body is supposed to work. But a lot of us, you know, they don’t, it doesn’t work because we don’t have the genes to, we don’t have the SOD to produce the enzyme or the CAT to produce the catalase, for example. So, there are breakdowns there. But one of the most important endogenous toxins that I want to talk about today because I think it’s absolutely enormously impacting people’s energy, is ammonia. Ammonia…
The effect of ammonia in the body
Ari Whitten: Yeah. I think, let me just back up for just a moment to place this in context because most people are used to thinking of toxins as external things. And you’re broaching into this more complex territory than, you know, the simple idea of, hey, you inhale toxins, you eat toxins, toxins are in your water, things like that. You’re talking about things that might be byproducts of what goes on in the gut or byproducts of what goes on at the cellular level, like the balance of free radicals to the cellular antioxidants and what an imbalance there can, you know, how an imbalance there can lead to an accumulation of things like you mentioned, superoxide. And there are other things that I’m sure you are going to mention. But, so now you’re talking about ammonia. So, tell me where does ammonia come from?
Donna Gates: Well, first of all, the energy cycle. You know, it’s called the ATP cycle, the urea cycle. It’s called the urea cycle because it’s in that cycle that we produce urea and the body again has a way of negating the urea. It turns, it’s supposed to go into the liver and the mitochondria there convert the, you know, that urea into, well, I mean, wait a minute, hold on. So, the urea goes out into the bloodstream, it ends up going through the kidneys and then the kidneys excrete the urea. That’s how we get rid of it. But if we don’t do that very efficiently then our body produces ammonia. So, one of the major ways that we end up with ammonia in the body is because of that cycle not working properly. And there are five different genes in that cycle, and they can all, any one of them cannot be working properly.
So, there could be ammonia there. And that’s the cycle that produces nitric oxide. So nitric oxide gives us energy, it’s critical for circulation and heart health and everything. So, you know, that’s a major, major cause of ammonia and it’s not broken down properly. But, believe it or not, our muscles can even produce ammonia. If you exercise too much or if you are protein malnourished, the body goes into the muscles and gets some protein and turns it into ammonia. And then another major way it happens is when we eat food protein and then the protein isn’t properly digested, which is a huge problem because we don’t have enough stomach acid, people don’t prepare their protein and they are eating too much and certain blood types, like blood type A just never has enough hydrochloric acid. So, or pancreatic and then the small intestine. So, if you don’t digest your protein, you make ammonia. So those are the main, I’d say the very main reasons. So anyway, we have a lot of ammonia in our body and it hugely affects our brain and our behavior and so we don’t, and of course, energy. All the mitochondria are poisoned by the ammonia all throughout the body. So, it’s just a really important conversation that we need to be having today is about these endogenous toxins and about especially ammonia. For example, if you just pick one of them, then pick ammonia.
Ari Whitten: Yeah. So, what are the factors that influence the degree to which somebody might have a problem with ammonia versus if they’re producing the appropriate amount of ammonia? And maybe I’ll just maybe phrase this one way that might be interesting. Is the appropriate amount of ammonia zero? Like is this purely just a toxin that shouldn’t be there at all? Or is it meant to be there to some degree, but people can have too much of it?
Donna Gates: No, it doesn’t really have a purpose and you don’t want it. It’s not like, you know, some things like histamine for example. People reacting a lot today. Histamine, which by the way, there’s an important connection there, too. But you can ask me about that later. But, you know, so histamine can be a toxin, but it stimulates stomach acid for example, and it helps us with digestion. And so, it opens up, you know, our blood vessels in the gut and everything so that it alerts us to pathogens that might be in that. So, it has a purpose. If you have excess, it is not good. But ammonia really, you can do without ammonia and just be fine for sure.
Ari Whitten: Got you. So, what are the factors that feed into that? Why, would somebody start producing ammonia versus, you know, why somebody would not be producing significant amounts of it?
Donna Gates: Well, if they’ve got that healthy urea cycle or ATP cycle and they’re producing energy like they’re supposed to, nitric oxide-like they’re supposed to. If they’re digesting their protein and preparing it properly and all because that’s a major cause. Now, you know, doing none of that, you know, we pretty much, well not everybody, but many people have these urea cycle variances and you can check that with a 23andMe report. And then I think, you know, the protein is probably maybe at the top of the list because we’re just not digesting it. We are really big into protein today, but we don’t understand the importance of digestive enzymes, hydrochloric acid. I think that that’s why it has become, you know, is a toxin for us. So, it’s naturally produced in the body and, you know, and the body has a way of getting rid of it by taking that urea and screening it through the kidneys. But, you know, liver, like if your liver isn’t very healthy, it’s not going to do the job of creating that urea and giving it over to the kidneys, too. That’s a major thing is your liver or livers. Why are they not healthy? Well, they are dealing with so many other toxins, endogenous and exogenous toxins, too.
Ari Whitten: Got you. Is there any connection here with ammonia and microbes in the gut and dysbiosis or gut permeability or anything like that?
Donna Gates: Yeah, definitely because, so yeast produce ammonia, the pathogenic ones like candidiasis. They are going to produce ammonia. A good yeast like Saccharomyces Boulardii, for example, doesn’t. Lactic acid bacteria don’t produce it and it’s actually very beneficial. But other microbes, the bad ones, the ones that are called gram-negative usually produce ammonia. And E. coli Is the worst producer of all. So, E. coli, you know, is a natural commensal bacterium that can be in the gut and not cause a problem, but it’s very easy for it to become pathogenic. And one of the things that I created and put for us, you know, for our market is a product called EcoPhage. And what that is, is a virus, a tiny, tiny little virus. It’s way smaller than the bacteria. And so, phages are amazing. Bacteriophages are called, they, for every bacterium on the planet there are 10 phages. And they are there, nature put them there to guard, like watch over, be sort of like police officers I guess you’d call it, to each bacterium so it doesn’t get out of hand.
So, if you’re taking the EcoPhage, first of all, what it will do is it knows to go after the EcoPhage and kill it. It is one of the most dangerous killers on the planet, not to us humans, but definitely to its target bacteria. So, we have a cocktail of four phages and, anyway, so like they go after E. coli and they, you know, have the ability to penetrate into the cell and then they inject their DNA or RNA into the cell and steal some of that material, that genetic material. And then they start reproducing like crazy into the trillions and then they blow up the cell and then they explode out into the body and then they go looking for more E. coli. So, in a day and a half or so you can bring this E. coli infection back into balance and bring the ammonia down.
So that’s a really good thing to know, too, is the E. coli and gram-negative bacteria in the gut are producing, and the bad yeast is producing. Now it’s really interesting, too, because ammonia keeps a yeast infection going. Ammonia actually, I guess the word is “mediates” or helps the bacteria. The ammonia helps the yeast communicate with each other. And so, you know, so say if you and I couldn’t communicate, we couldn’t do anything together. But if we started communicating, we said, “Hey, let’s form a biofilm and let’s produce this toxin and let’s, acetaldehyde for example, and let’s keep the body really acidic so we can survive.” Their communication with each other is actually supported and mediated and helped by ammonia. So, there’s a really big connection between ammonia and yeast. So, if you’re going to get rid of your yeast infection, you’ve got to address ammonia, too. So that’s an important thing to know.
How to identify if you have too much ammonia in your system
Ari Whitten: So, taking this to a set of maybe like practical strategies or what somebody might do with this information, understanding that there’s a lot of complexities to it. As you’ve said its, gut health is involved, potentially over exercising is involved, liver health is involved, you know, there’s a lot of layers to the story. Is there any sort of key symptom or test that someone could do to identify if they have an ammonia problem? And actually, I want to mention one thing. I’m curious if you know about this. There have been a few people, this is a somewhat rare thing, but I’ve heard it maybe a dozen times over a few years. Some people go into a sauna, I’m a big advocate of sauna use. Some people go into a sauna and then they say that they have an ammonia smell. Like they can literally smell ammonia from their sweat.
Donna Gates: Yeah, it comes out in a sweat, it comes out in the urine, in the stool. You can sometimes go into like a public bathroom and the person, that somebody came out of there that had an awful ammonia smell. So that’s probably the number one way to diagnose that is in body odors, not stool. But your doctor can test for it for sure. You know, the body has a way to get rid of the ammonia. There’s a molecule in the body called BH4. And that molecule is really, really important, it has a really important function. But if there’s ammonia, excess ammonia in the body, the body calls on BH4 to come on and sop it up, you know, remove it from the body because it’s so dangerous. The effect it has on the brain is, and on the mitochondria and energy and everything is terrible.
So, it calls on the BH4. But you have to use, for everyone ammonia molecule you have, two BH4s are used up. Now, why is that bad? Because then you become deficient in BH4. Why is that bad? Because BH4 is critical for making neurotransmitters. So, it’s responsible for turning tyrosine, for example, into dopamine and dopamine then goes on and becomes norepinephrine. So, there’s your energy. And when people have… Well, the other thing it does, too, it turns, your tryptophan into serotonin, which then goes on to make melatonin. So, you start to have a lot of problems. People today have depression. Well, you know, they can get depression from low serotonin. They can get depression, or they feel depressed because they don’t have enough dopamine and life feels very boring and flat to them. So, they can’t really, you know, appreciate life, feel gratitude. And, then because dopamine goes on to norepinephrine, they don’t have energy. The serotonin turns into if you… You know, BH4 is converting the tryptophan into serotonin. It goes on to make melatonin and you have sleep problems. So that right there between sleeping and depression and feeling sad about life, you know, that describes where we are today. So, a lot of that change can occur, in energy and everything can occur by doing healthy things to get rid of the ammonia, better things than using your BH4 because you can’t afford to lose your BH4. BH4 is also really important for increasing nitric oxide, which again is about circulation, healthy veins, healthy heart, too. So, we can’t afford to lose our BH4, in other words, for the ammonia, in order to get rid of the ammonia.
The best way to correct your ammonia levels
Ari Whitten: Yeah. So, let’s say somebody has an ammonia smell, their body odor, their urine, or they’ve been tested, and they do have high ammonia levels. What does that look like? You know, understanding there’s a lot of potential reasons for high ammonia. What does it look like to then sort of do a set of practical strategies to correct that? So, one of them that you already mentioned was, oh, now I’m forgetting on…
Donna Gates: Well, I’ll tell you. One is the liver. Clean up your liver.
Ari Whitten: You tell me. Oh, the bacteriophages. That’s the one I was thinking of.
Donna Gates: Yeah, perfect. Yeah, you want to… So, we have a product called LivAmend which is really, really good for increasing bile flow, which is going to get all those toxins and clean the liver. So, the liver has, is able to actually create, or, you know, make urea and get it out of the body. So that’s really important. You need to have a healthy liver. Digest your protein, because you know, we aren’t digesting protein and that’s a major cause of the ammonia being produced in the gut. And then, of course, the EcoPhage is going to help control the E. coli, but you want to have… Oh, and then lactic acid bacteria, like you’ll find fantastic lactic acid bacteria in fermented vegetables. Beets. Oh well, increasing your nitric oxide and beets are one of the best ways to do that.
But beets are super high in oxalates, that’s another major toxin in the body. And many people today are reacting to oxalates. They’re getting, you know, stones in their kidneys and all throughout their body. They don’t even maybe know they are forming them. So, there are certain foods that are super high in oxalates. You don’t want to eat them. But so, beets are really great for increasing your nitric oxide, but what you want to do to bring, to help bring down the ammonia, but you want to ferment your beets. So, either go to the store and get them, you know, there are some companies that make fermented beets. Or make them at home. And then I have, I’ve been teaching for years about a starter that we sell that’s called Plantarum. If you put… it’s a Lactobacillus Plantarum. And if you put it in the shredded beets when you, or beet greens, too. They’re great.
They’re also great, they are rich in folate. And when you put them in your fermented vegetables and ferment them then they are very safe to eat. So, Lactobacillus Plantarum makes folate, those beet greens are a great source of folate. You want to correct your methylation because a methylation problem is part of that ammonia, is another cause of ammonia. And then if you have certain genes like the CBS gene, you’re going to produce ammonia instead of glutathione. If you have a gene variant called the BHMT you are going to also produce ammonia instead of glutathione. So, you want… And certain other genes are there, methylation genes… You know, I think looking at genes is a wonderful, wonderful thing to do today.
And so much priceless information hidden in our DNA that a good person, a person that’s trained in digging out that information and apply, helping you apply it can completely turn your life around. But so, genes have to be corrected. And then protein properly digested. They are showing things, too, like we need fiber. Fiber will bind up that ammonia in the gut. And, you know, even buy fiber products like larch, for example, is one. And then also charcoal. But I don’t usually recommend people take charcoal with the meal because then you bind up important nutrients. And then, also, you can take the charcoal but take it away from the meals. So, there’s plenty of wonderful solutions. Again, you want to increase your BH4. Just looking to see if I have any notes. And then, yeah, so increase your BH4, increase your nitric oxide and greens, again, come into the picture for healthy nitric oxide levels. So, your kale and cabbage. But not spinach, you know, not Swiss chard because they, again, are high in oxalates. You don’t want to create a new problem where you are getting stones in your body because you are trying to solve the ammonia problem.
Ari Whitten: Now, you mentioned fermenting beets. Sounds like, I don’t think you said it directly, but it sounds like the fermentation process would get rid of the oxalates. Is that correct?
Donna Gates: Fermentation is one of the most, the best way to get rid of… Like soy, for example, is very, very high in oxalates. But if you ferment soy like in miso, you don’t have an oxalate problem with miso paste. So, I think miso becomes an excellent protein and easily digested protein. So, you know, again, preparing your proteins. Like most people, especially if somebody likes their meat well done or they just simply overcook it or they overcook their eggs. Protein should be very… I would say like medium rare. If you make eggs, they should be very softly cooked, even poached or eating mostly the yellow very slightly cooked at all. Because then you digest it. Like people that eat sushi, for example, will find that it’s a whole lot easier to eat that raw fish than it is to eat, say cooked salmon. You can do a test and see what I mean about that. So, the more we cook protein, the more rubbery and more undigestible it is. And people are cooking it a lot today. They love it blackened or whatever, too. So…
The dangers of acetaldehyde
Ari Whitten: Got you. Are there any other toxins that are produced inside of our body that we should be concerned with?
Donna Gates: Well, one of the ones that I think are so… Oh, another toxin that’s super dangerous is acetaldehyde. And just like the… So, the ammonia seriously interferes with the brain. As a matter of fact, there is no question it is connected to dementia and Alzheimer’s. When the ammonia gets into the brain, it causes a lot of inflammation. You know TNF-alpha, interleukin-6, all those cytokines are called into play. And then there’s just very, sort of like an inflammation storm happening in the brain. The brain can’t detoxify that. And also, the ammonia produces glycine, excuse me, glutamine and then glutamine turns into glutamate. The cells shut the door and let the glutamine in to get high glutamate. That’s going to affect your personality, too. So, but acetaldehyde produced by the yeast is another brain toxin. And so, it’s also affecting us very much so, you know, our behavior, moods, how we sleep. Even, you know, there is also, of course, homocysteine which is produced in the methylation cycle if it’s not working efficiently. I’m trying to think of some of the other common brain toxins.
Ari Whitten: How would we deal with too much acetaldehyde? Where is it coming from and where would we address that issue?
Donna Gates: Well, actually Kyolic garlic, is really good for controlling acetaldehyde and Kyolic garlic is actually really good for controlling ammonia in the brain as well. So that’s a good supplement. But, you know, glutamine, taking glutamine which is good for the ammonia. And ornithine, citrulline, those are produced in the ATP/urea cycle but they’re not working. And so, taking those would be beneficial. But, you know, most of all you want to bring the yeast under control. So again, the two toxins, the two problems go hand-in-hand with each other. You are, if you have a yeast problem, you’ve got an ammonia problem. If you have an ammonia problem, the ammonia is keeping your yeast infection alive. And I really know that for at least 50 years, people are being, coming into this world with a yeast infection.
They have a significant amount of yeast. One of the reasons that we were so successful in the beginning with kids with autism is that we address that yeast problem. We fixed the gut and it helps them detoxify. That’s why they weren’t strong enough to be vaccinated and then, and that’s why, you know, they start getting well because we are addressing the causes. When you’re little, when you’re like three and a half, four years old, you can really turn that condition around quickly. So, we’re fixing the gut, bringing the ammonia down. The kids have a lot of trouble with ammonia. They have trouble with acetaldehyde. It is affecting their brain. You can tell from the way they behave, you know, their neurotransmitters are way off, but it’s all tied together. I hope that I haven’t confused everybody more than helped.
Ari Whitten: No, absolutely. I think, you know, one of the things that stands out to me as I learn more and more about health, and this is something I’ve been studying for over 20 years now.
Donna Gates: Yeah, I know. I love to follow your work. I think you are one of the best people out there. I just want to say that because I think it is really important…
Ari Whitten: Thank you so much. I appreciate it. Coming from somebody who was a big influence on me 20 plus years, 20 years ago or so, that’s amazing. Thank you. So, one of the things that stands out to me as I learned more and more is how interconnected everything is. And the more I learn the more it becomes almost humorous. It becomes comical to me to watch people try to do these very, very targeted interventions on this one molecule or this one pathway in the body. Because, you know, let’s just take melatonin for example. Like melatonin, most people don’t know this, they think of it just as a sleep hormone. Melatonin directly affects mitochondrial function. It directly affects the production of glutathione and catalyzes and superoxide dismutase, these very, very important internal cellular antioxidants. It affects the quality and depth of your sleep, which impacts on neurotransmitters, impacts, on hormones, impacts on gut health, you know, it impacts on liver detoxification processes.
Everything is intertwined. And that’s just to name one example. But then you look at something like nutrition inputs or the microbiome, and then you get into the gut-brain axis and all the connections between the gut and the brain and the autonomic nervous system and how that’s connected to mitochondria. And you know, I mean nothing is separate. Everything is a system. And so, I think what we really need is more systems thinking and less linear thinking of people trying to identify the one pathway and then take some particular… You know, allopathic medicine is based on let’s identify the one biochemical pathway that’s off here and take a pharmaceutical that interrupts whatever the pathological biochemical pathway is. I think what we need is a lot more, a lot less of that kind of thinking and a lot more of systems thinking. And what I appreciate about what you’re saying here is, you know, the truth is that it’s not simple. It’s not just one thing. You know, you talked about ammonia and all the different potential causes of it and factors that could play into it. That’s the truth of how our body works as a system. So, yeah, it’s harder to understand than, “Oh, ammonia is caused by too much vitamin C,” or whatever. You know, it’s harder to understand but it’s the truth of how our body works.
Donna Gates: Well, I love the word system because I said for many years that Body Ecology is a system of health and healing. It’s not a diet. Even in that book that is called “The Body Ecology Diet.” And in there, I introduce the seven principles. One of those is the principle of uniqueness. So forever I’ve been trying to tell people there isn’t a way… We can’t all be keto or Paleo. I mean some things; I think everybody does well to avoid gluten and sugar. But, you know, there’s so much individuality and finding what works for you. That’s what you have to do is find what works for you. That’s why about four and a half, five years ago, I started on something into the world of nutritional genomics and I really didn’t have the biochemistry in college to really, really grasp it, to understand the importance of it fully.
But over all these years I’ve become, I mean I’m obsessed with learning it. So anyway, I’m going to develop this out, I’m in the process of developing a software program right now actually to take DNA results like from 23andMe, run it through and populate it into these categories so that you can see what is your ability, you know, how much at risk are you for forming ammonia, for having energy problems. Is that your Achilles heel, or is your problem more to do with histamine? By the way, histamine and ammonia are related to each other. So, I think, I really think the reason people are reacting to foods that are so high in histamine is, again, the ammonia that they’re producing and bringing that down. But, you know, so there are genes for histamine and for gluten and gut health and food too, for nurturing the microbes in you. You know, there is, so the information will get pulled into these buckets and then you can look at your… the person you’re helping.
You can look at their Achilles heel, I like to call it, where their weaknesses are. And there’s always a fix for everything. So, I think that, again, we’re all different. We need to find out in what ways we are different, and we need to shore up our weaknesses and play off of those strengths that we also have. We have way more strengths than we have weaknesses, genetic variants. We all have a lot of genetic variances, but we have a whole lot more going for us than we have issues, you know, problems. But as soon as you identify the problem or the weakness and then you fix that and the body starts working, it’s just amazing. You know, well, I mean there are things like, for example, let’s take fermented foods. They’re not for everybody right away. I mean, they are fantastic for most everybody.
But let’s say you have SIBO and you eat fermented foods and you immediately get a lot of gas and bloating. That’s almost like a diagnosis that you have SIBO. So, what you want to do is you want to wipe out the microbes that are in the small intestine where it’s not supposed to be. It could be E. coli; it could be a problem and the macrophages are good for that. But, sometimes it’s a good bacterium, it is just in the wrong place. And so, you want to, you know, get it out of there in the small intestine. But you’ll have a relapse if you don’t also take care of the colon and establish that microbiome. And that’s where the fermented foods are so priceless. And then some microbes, like the Lactobacillus Plantarum, which is bringing down the ammonia, is also really, really good for… Oh my gosh, I totally lost my train of thought. But, oh yeah, it’s a major player in the gut and it’s really, really good for degrading histamine and makes folate. You can, that’s the first one to bring back in, that one and Bacillus, We have a protein shake with Bacillus in it and that’s a really safe thing. Bacillus is safe. So, you have the ones that are safe right from the beginning, introduce a little lactobacillus because that’s the one that’s causing a problem. But introduced one like Plantarum and reestablish that microbiome so you don’t have a constant relapse in the small intestine all the time.
So, you know, so people, I also think I also see that people don’t see whole enough. You know, they don’t have an ability to play in the medical… Like I’m in Charleston right now and there is a huge medical complex two blocks away. And they are so, like you said, single-minded. You know, I think, “Wait a minute. There’re so many other factors you could be looking at. Why are you not looking at them?” And so, therefore, I’m not a big fan of just going to a medical doctor. I think this is where our field is really much more successful, you know, functional medicine and so on. It’s much more successful at truly helping people at the root cause, at the core. And then if they maybe need a little help over there, for some reason you can go over there. But I’ve said for years, you know, “If you want apples and you walk into an orange market, you’re never going to get apples.” And so, they don’t give you what you really need and want. And don’t go there. Start with what we teach and, you know, get the right foods in your body that work for you. Your body is going to tell you if it doesn’t like something. But it doesn’t mean it won’t like something forever.
Like I used to never be able to have dairy and now I actually can take dairy. I don’t take a lot of it. I don’t think anyone should have a lot. But if I want to have some yogurt or homemade fermented kefir, which we also have a starter for that, it’s very fresh and it’s got fantastic beneficial yeast in it. So, it’s a really good way to get yeast in you. I can tolerate that now. So, what you can’t, maybe you can’t do last year, can be very different for you. But you see, maybe that sounds complicated and overwhelming to people, but actually to me the whole thing, everything’s been a journey like to know myself, to know my body and what is it like. And then it changes. You know, as I’m getting older there are certain things, you have to keep your muscle tone up because, you know, people by the time they are in their seventies like me, they already have hip replacements and also… Oh, I don’t have anything like that.
No problems. But, you know, the potential that our body has to age well, comfortably, to still keep a lot of energy, still be really productive is enormous. And we’re not even realizing that yet. But I think, you know, everything is certainly changing compared to 30 years ago when people still thought you had to have sugar to have energy. We have come a long, long way. But I think because of all the information out there people are confused. But, you know, I think that it’s just to see the whole process of getting well, sharing what you learn with other people, finding out what works best for you. That, to me, that’s kind of one of the fun things about being on the planet.
How to approach histamine and fermented foods
Ari Whitten: Yeah, absolutely. I am really curious about one thing, which is you’ve mentioned histamine a few times here in passing. A lot of people with histamine related issues seem to react negatively to fermented foods. Do you have any fixes for that or is it just, you know, hey, if you react to fermented foods, stay away from fermented foods? Or is it possible for that person to develop a better tolerance for consuming fermented foods?
Donna Gates: Well, it’s a timing thing, step by step. You know, what do you do first? For example, initially, the bacteria that are causing the problem are lactic acid producing bacteria. So many years ago, because I was getting the kids on fermented foods in our BEDROK group, every once and a while a mom would write in. And she would say, “You know, my son eats the fermented foods and his ears get all red. And he gets really funny.” And so, I started doing a lot of research with my friend who’s a doctor and we discovered that he had, or that child had lactic acidosis, which is today called SIBO. So, it just means that you’re producing, the lactic acid bacteria are producing lactic acid and that’s the cause. So, they’re not appropriate. So fermented vegetables, they have lactic acid in them. Other fermented foods like kombucha, which are so popular today, it has a lot of wild yeast in there and too much sugar.
Donna Gates: I am not a fan of kombucha but, you know, some people are okay with it. If you have gas or bloating, you definitely want to stay away from it. But anyway, so again, like I mentioned before, you want to wipe out the problem in the small intestine by using, you know, botanicals, or even if you’re working with a doctor and he wants to put you on an antibiotic like Rifaximin or something. But get rid of it. And then when it’s wiped out… But in the meantime, you know, put in the good bacteria that are still safe, the bacillus bacteria and the Bifidus. What did I say before? The Bifidus, the bacillus, those are for sure safe ones. And then when the problem maker is gone, start adding in, you know, the cultured vegetables. And if you can get one rich in Plantarum, like ours, it will degrade the histamine. It will, you know, produce folate, it’s antiviral and it doesn’t just, it’s not just destroyed by antibiotics if you have to take an antibiotic. So just introduce it in like a tablespoon with a meal for a while. And let those microbes start to reestablish in the gut, protecting that whole entire digestive track. So, it’s really about timing. It’s about the right microbes in the gut. Saccharomyces Boulardii is a good yeast to be taking if you have SIBO, that is a very safe one. So not all bacteria are bad, not all. Let’s try to think like I would eventually, I would initially avoid all fermented foods until you quiet that down, control that gut microbe.
How Donna Gates worked with microbiome before it became popular
Ari Whitten: Got you. So I’m really curious, you’ve been doing the microbiome stuff since before the term microbiome even existed and obviously there’s been, you know, you were, I’d say one of the early pioneers in this space of talking about gut health and the microbiome, you know, literally a decade before it was popular.
Donna Gates: I think it was me, yeah, way more than a decade. I think it was me and Leo Galland. Leo Galland was really into, Dr. Galland, he’s a really cool guy. And he was in New York seeing people. There is an alternative doctor that I often, you know, people that would call me had been working with him and he was really into parasites. But he wasn’t into the microbiome yet. Nobody started yet talking about that. But, yeah, gut health was not at all on anybody’s radar screen.
Ari Whitten: Yeah. It wasn’t really a thing. And, in fact, there were, I would imagine probably a lot of people, especially within conventional medicine, you know, probably looked at what you were doing and what you were saying and said, “Oh, that’s nonsense. That’s quackery.” And now you know, you’ve got the last laugh because now there’s this huge body of literature showing that the microbiome is way, way, way more important than anyone would have imagined, maybe except for you and a few other people, than anyone would have imagined, you know, 25 years ago.
Donna Gates: Well, you know, I used to make things up. I mean, it was common sense. I’d say, “You know, someday the microbiologists in the world are going to start, they are going to become sociologist microbiologists. They will start to watch how these microbes communicate with each other and interact with each other.” And like two years later, a science called quantum sensing, quorum sensing came out. And that’s about how they communicate with each other. So, I don’t know. I would just know these things and put it out…
Ari Whitten: You mentioned, BEDROK, the Body Ecology Diet for Recovering Our Kids. And you’re talking about using microbiome and gut health related stuff to help kids with autism, which I’m sure has been largely looked at as nonsense and quackery for decades. But now, actually just funny enough, I think in the last, literally in the last week or two, I saw some big research that came out linking the gut microbiome with autism. And they even did some therapy, I think it was maybe fecal transplants and they showed profound benefits in all these measures of different autism-related symptoms. So, you know, it’s funny how sometimes things that are viewed as quackery that turn out to actually be really ahead of their time.
Donna Gates: Well, sort of for most doctors. But at that time when I started working with BEDROK kids, you know, there were wonderful doctors, most of whom had their own children with autism, and they were truly sincerely looking for answers. When they saw our kids getting well, they quickly adopted what we were recommending, and they saw how important gut health was and controlling the yeast infection that kids were born with. But I wanted to say that it’s, you know, it’s just so amazing to me. There’s the “knows,” the people who know things and the people who don’t know anything. There seems to be a big divide between the two. But today even there’s still this myth out in the world that kids are not getting well. And for sure you can prevent it. I stopped talking at the autism conferences because I kept trying to tell people, “Look, we should be focusing on prevention.” Except for Dr. David Berger, no one even heard me. So that’s the thing, a lot of times. Until people are ready the information, you’re trying to bring to them just goes right through them. And that’s how it was back in those days. I was putting that information out there. It just was like; you know that deer in the headlight’s theory. Like, “What? I don’t get that.” Because I guess it wasn’t time yet. I don’t know…
Ari Whitten: Yeah, I’ve been there. I’ve put forth some ideas that I think were ahead of their time and you know, I got massively criticized in some cases. And then looking back on things now like five years later, the science has come out more and more and more showing that everything I was saying was completely true. But at that time, it was, you know, sometimes there’s a danger of putting things, ideas out there before people are really ready to hear them.
Donna Gates: I’ll say because I was also bringing stevia into the world. It didn’t exist yet and I found, I was working with some scientists at the university in Beijing and they got me this, I called it “stevia” because I couldn’t speak Chinese, but it really was mostly [inaudible]. I put it out in the world. And then, Robert Atkins helped me train and they helped me promote it and tell people about it. So, it started to grow. Then there was Monsanto who was [inaudible] Aspartame, NutraSweet and Equal. And then I brought in coconut oil and the Center for Science and Public Interest really attacked. So yeah, there was, I mean, you know, like suddenly you’re audited by the IRS or you know, your files or your computer is stolen. And I just had backed up all my stuff and they took that, too. And you know, just like, and it was a battle in the beginning sometimes. But it’s not that hard at all anymore because there are so many of us saying this. I think they’ve lost the battle. Now the real goal is for people like us to reach people, convince them that they can get well and here’s what you do. You know, apply it, find it and then go share it because, you see, we really are fighting a battle. We really are. Just recently Google wiped out 93% of our customer base because of autism. So, then we had to like to rebuild ourselves, which fortunately I’m on a…
Ari Whitten: What do you mean by that? Just can you explain that?
Donna Gates: You know what, I got a tech team and they told me, you know because we noticed our sales just plummeted and we thought, “What’s going on?” We hired an expert and she said, “Well, you know, well, they didn’t just hit us. They hit, gosh, hit everybody. Many, many companies…”
Ari Whitten: Ahh, the big algorithm change. Yeah.
Donna Gates: Yeah, but it wiped you, people couldn’t reach you anymore. And so, you wonder who orchestrated that? Like whose idea was to do that? So only certain ones of us, not everybody got hit. But, you know, so my point is we still need people out there getting well, being really good models and then also sharing what you know with anyone who will listen. And especially if they are sick, they will listen. And then, and that’s how we’re going to win the battle. You know, there’s a lot of us out there telling the truth. I think we’re at that tipping point if we haven’t already tipped. And, but we still have a long way to go. And again, like for example, if I can make a plug for my theory on preventing autism, for 17 years we haven’t had a single child born with autism. I’ve helped lots of moms get pregnant and have healthy babies and it’s because I let them know that babies are most likely going to be born with yeast infections.
You want to deal with that right away. You want to get that gut established because that’s going to build his immune system. Don’t feed them sugar even though most of baby foods on the market have pears and apples. Do not go that way. You know, and then what we do is we take the fermented coconut water, which is another drink I invented. And the moms have been drinking it during the pregnancy to get the good microbes in their gut anyway. And then they put little dropper fills of that into the baby’s tummy, in the mouth with a dropper. And, or take the juice of the fermented vegetables they’ve been eating. Dilute that a little bit, put that in the dropper, drop that in. Those kids grow up with no desire for sugar because they love the sour taste, the sweet tastes disgusting. And they grow up really smart because of that gut-brain connection, are excellent communicators, are the happiest kids you have ever seen in your life.
And they are really joyful to raise. They are charming and charismatic, and they don’t have an ego, but they just, they just kind of light up the room when they come in. It’s consistent. So, establishing that gut microbiome at birth, why is that message not getting out there? I have been harping on it for a long time. Even to mothers whose kids have autism, they are still, you know, maybe they are going to have another baby. They need to know this. They need to spread the word. “My child has, autism but your child doesn’t have to.” I guess it’s just not time yet. But that’s a perfect example of how long it takes to get things going in the world. And then suddenly everybody will be doing it, and nobody remembers you even said it even.
Ari Whitten: Yeah. 100%. I want to ask since you’ve been doing microbiome related stuff for 25 plus years now, I’m just curious, what have been some of the biggest shifts or have there been any major shifts as far as your thinking around the subject? Like did you think certain things 25 years ago that turned out to be wrong in any case? Or were there some big breakthroughs that have changed your thinking on any particular microbiome related subject?
Donna Gates: Yeah. What comes up for me when you ask that question is, I was at a natural products expo and Dr. Crook was introducing his book, “The Yeast Connection.” And I was so lucky because he was sitting out in the lobby on this fountain. By the time that I sat down beside him I had at least half an hour with him, we just talked, and he said to me, “you know, we,” Dr. Orian Truss. He said, “We don’t think there’s a cure for this condition, this disease condition.”. And I thought there has to be a cure. I’m like a perpetual optimist. And I will say that after all these years, I agree with him. There is not a cure for yeast or viruses. They just live in our body. They come in; parasites are there. Even though you keep hearing doctors say, “Oh, parasites are normal, it’s good to have them.” Get rid of them.
Like doing colonics, for example, is a great way to get rid of ammonia. A great way to get rid of deeply embedded parasites, which are mostly in the small intestine and are causing histamine problems. Anyway, they don’t go away. They continue to either lie dormant because you’ve got them under control, or they are flaring up and causing problems because you don’t know how to keep them under control. But that’s just part of being on this planet is we’ve become infected with stuff, you know, parasites and yeast and microbes. And then we have to keep our body in a, we have to keep our glucose under control so we can’t have sugar, we can’t have flour products. Or we can’t have too much animal protein because that makes us acidic. You know, there is a way to keep that body younger and healthier and stronger and a stronger immune system.
There is a way. I try to teach that way. But now, what I would say is, you know, the place to go is into nutritional genomics. And the combination of what we know about the gut and we’ll continue to know for the rest of our life. I’ll never stop, you know, it’s just in its super infancy stage because you know, there are so many more microbes. And so, they used to think, well, maybe we have 400 microbes in our gut. Then they thought maybe it was a thousand. Now there are trillions of many, many different species. So that’s a switch.
Ari Whitten: Yeah. I just saw a study yesterday or the day before saying a hundred new species of bacteria in our gut were discovered.
Donna Gates: Well, all over the world, wherever you live, whatever you eat, you’re going to have different microbes and certain one’s rule. That’s one thing that Dr. Leo Galland talks about is the Alexander organisms.
There are certain ones that tell the other ones how to behave and what to do. And Bacterium, by the way, is one of those. He named them that because Alexander the Great was a great leader and everybody just followed him to their death even. But in the gut, they need leaders. And so, there are certain microbes, the rest of them will follow. I just think most of all my, I just, you know, I’m way sort of beyond the microbiome. It’s an accepted fact to me. What’s next? It’s the genes and the microbes’ genes. So, we have our 23,000ish or so, probably not that many. And then on the trains of them, whatever’s species they may be, they have their own genes and those genes are interacting. They’re down in our gut. They’re interacting with our own genes. And there, it is so interesting like they do, they all do like a big gene swapping orgy down there on the inside of our gut, sharing genes with each other all the time.
So it’s really difficult for the microbes to, for microbiologists to look and say, “Here’s the Bifidum and here are the genes that the Bifidum has,” because then they can look at a hundred Bifidum, just the same Bifidum, they can all be like Bifidum breve or infanatis or something. They’re all the same but have completely different genes because they swapped with somebody else living close to them. So, they will never figure it out. We just have to know how to keep our microbiome healthy. I think fermented foods are really, really important. And, you know, the basics as you know, Ari, you know, bring stress way down, which is real hard to do for a lot of us because we sort of choose it, you know, which is really too busy. But stress, sleep, eating the right diet for you and digesting that food, putting in the right microbes, you know, healthy microbes…
Donna Gates’ top tips to balance the gut microbiome and minimize toxin production
Ari Whitten: Actually, you know, I was going to ask you this. What you’re saying right now almost fits into the last thing I wanted to ask you. So maybe I’ll just interrupt you and ask you… What are your, so kind of wrapping up, what are your top three or four things that you want to leave people with to impact microbiome health, but also to help mitigate the effects of any internal toxins or eliminate the production or minimize the production of those internal toxins?
Donna Gates: Well, it’s funny how no matter what you study, it always comes down to what you eat. So, I think finding the foods that are right for you and digesting those foods and having the microbes, you know, helping to digest the food is just critical. But getting back to step by step, and this is why I always go back to those seven universal principles. They always help me to find answers. And so, you know, I was thinking, “Oh my gosh, there’s so much confusion out in the world. How will anybody know what to do?” And then I thought, “Well, the step by step principles tells us where to begin.” So, if people will just look at energy, go to you, learn all about energy, become really knowledgeable about energy. And work on that, you know. That is reducing stress and getting more sleep.
You can look at genes for that by the way, too. So, working with somebody who knows what they’re doing is smart. But also, you know, correcting digestion, which is a big subject. Like is it just that you need some hydrochloric acid and pepsin? Do you need to use some digestive enzymes? Or, do you have SIBO or do you have colitis or whatever? You know you want, again, usually, you need to work with someone who’s trained in functional medicine that really knows what they’re doing, which is why I’m starting a practitioner’s training program myself. But I’m using this program that, it’s called Butterfly Genomics, my gene program. So, because I think, you know, focusing on these things and then correcting digestion, controlling the infections in the body, the immune system, inflammation, autoimmunity. That’s a bucket, that’s a category. Going to people that are specialists in that, learning what you can about that, check your genes out there.
And then the fourth one is getting rid of those toxins. Detoxify. And that is why I am a big fan of colon therapy. I believe that enemas and colonics done properly, the two together are complimentary. You know, I need to do some kind of a podcast or class or something like that myself because people just don’t get the incredible value. People say, “Oh well don’t do colonics because they will wipe out the good bacteria.” That is a joke. Good bacteria are not living there. They won’t live there. It’s just like you wouldn’t live in the slums. They don’t live where there’s a lot of ammonia in the gut and a lot of toxins and everything. You got to get rid of those. And so, rinsing them out enormously helps your mood, your brain, your energy. And then while you’re establishing a healthy new microbiome and digesting your food properly, you know, it’s all of that. Like each one of those is a category to spend time learning.
I hope people don’t feel overwhelmed because you can learn it. I teach it and you know, when I do consultations, which I’m right now, I’m too busy to do them, but I don’t do them too often. But, when I do, those are the four things I’m looking at. I’m looking at that person’s energy. Oh, by the way, hormones matter. If it’s a woman and she’s 65 years old and she’s not taking any hormones, she hasn’t even had her hormones tested. You know, I tell her “find yourself a really good doctor who can do the Dutch test, get you a [inaudible], get those hormones balanced.” It’s really important that you keep your brain at any age. So, you know, there are things that are in that category to address. But there are really only four categories and you really can do that. Really can do those four things, four categories.
Ari Whitten: Excellent. I love it. Well, Donna, thank you so much for coming on the show. This has been an absolute pleasure to have you on. I’ve really enjoyed this conversation. Where can people follow your work or get in touch with you? Do you do consults? I mean, obviously, people can go on Amazon, grab your two books from there. But do you want to direct people to the best place to follow you or get in touch with you for consults or anything like that?
Donna Gates: Well, I can’t do consults any more, which is why I’m training practitioners to duplicate me. And I hope to have that training program now, if not by the fall, then by the early part of the new year. And I’m planning to do a summit on nutritional genomics. I’d love for you to be on it, please, as a guest.
Ari Whitten: Thank you, I would love to.
Donna Gates: And, you know, so I’ve got so much going on that I can’t do private consultations anymore. But, you know, I train people and I now have people trained and many more I hope coming because I think that’s your next most important thing is to train practitioners to, you know, to get this information out. You know, so that’s my goal. But we have a website, bodyecology.com we have a newsletter, we have great products. The products are very much all for correcting what we have been talking about today. I don’t really bring out a product unless it’s really needed, and I won’t bring a “me too” product like everybody else. It has to be really useful, effective and needed, basically.
Ari Whitten: Excellent. Well, thank you so much, Donna. Really such an honor to connect with you and I’m glad to finally meet you. I remember being a kid, a teenager reading your book and, you know, and all the information being, you know, having my mind blown. I think I was; I must’ve been 14 or 15 years old at that time.
Donna Gates: Wow, you are kidding. Wow, you were a prodigy.
Ari Whitten: I was always into it from the time when I was a little kid.
Donna Gates: Were you sick or were you just fascinated by the topic?
Ari Whitten: Well actually typical teenager stuff when I was that young. You know, I was more interested in, you know, getting biceps and abs and fitness and so like my introduction into the whole realm of nutrition and physiology was more about building muscle, losing fat, exercise physiology and biomechanics and that sort of stuff. And then I got more into health a few years later. Actually, my dog got sick. That was what really got me into it. I started studying, this is a bit of a digression, but my dog got severe arthritis, like debilitating arthritis. It was a dog I grew up with from the time I was a little kid, and I just couldn’t bear to watch my dog in so much pain. He couldn’t even bend down to drink water out of his bowl without yelping in pain. And, you know, walking was difficult, laying down became this painful experience.
Ari Whitten: And I just, it, I mean, it just caused me so much pain to see him like that. And, you know, we went, we took him to the vet. The vet basically said, “Your dog has got severe arthritis in the spine and in the hips, there’s nothing that can be done to fix this. You just take this anti-inflammatory painkiller,” which was like the equivalent of Vioxx. “And, you take this, give your dog one of these every day and you know, that’ll minimize your dog’s pain.” And, I remember going home, we gave my dog the first pill and then the next day I started reading online and I saw people reporting that they gave this same drug to their dog and their dog died the next day. So, I said, “Screw this, I’m not giving this to my dog.” And I went out and learned everything I could about canine nutrition and what was optimal for a dog to consume and specifically supplements to combat arthritis. And, I spent, I took my dog off standard dog food and spend all this money to put him on raw food, you know, a raw meat diet, raw eggs, sardines, started giving him fish oil and curcumin and, you know, green lipped mussel extract and glucosamine and chondroitin and all these other things. I created this concoction, this nasty tasting concoction of food that he initially rejected, but eventually started eating. And literally within four weeks, that dog was pain-free.
Donna Gates: Wow. That’s amazing.
Ari Whitten: And never had another arthritis symptom again. And for the next two years, literally did not have a single arthritis symptom. It was like watching my dog de-age like he was growing younger as he went from, you know, age 11 to age 13. And, he actually died tragically from getting poisoned. But, you know, snail poison that someone had left out, landscapers, something like that. But, you know, he was, it was an amazing recovery. And that, for me, was actually one of the things that helped me realize the power of nutrition for health and what it can do for all these common ailments. So, I, you know, I was reading your book to actually help with some symptoms that my mom was having. And your book helped her tremendously. So, I’m very…
Donna Gates: Dogs do well on fermented foods, too. And they don’t taste things. They smell so you can hide it in the food, you can sneak it in there. It’s really good for them. They have a gut microbiome also. They need, you know, they didn’t have probiotics for dogs yet, but that would have been if you ever need to know that again. It’s a good thing to know. That’s interesting. That’s so sad. I love my little dog and I always think God; I hope he lives forever, at least as long as I do. But I know that’s sad, but that’s great. You know, I put my book out in the world and I had no idea if it was even a decent book and anybody would read it. And I just said this prayer and I said, “Please take it where ever it’s meant to go.” And I would get so many stories of people that said, “Yeah, I walked in this health food store and your book was right there and I had to buy it and my Parkinson’s went away.” So, it didn’t take me, within a year or so I thought, “Wow, it’s not just for candidiasis like I thought it was. It’s for a lot of things.” But when you really look at it is the basics. You know, it’s how to eat, fix the gut, you know, no inflammatory foods, no sugar, no gluten. So, it works. And now years later. And that is so nice because you are one of those people that it went to and it had an influence on you. So, thank you. That’s a great compliment. Thank you.
Ari Whitten: Yeah. Thank you. I really appreciate it. And thank you again, Donna, for coming on. And your site again for people to go to is…
Donna Gates: Bodyecolocy.com.
Ari Whitten: Okay, excellent. Thank you again, Donna. It really, such a pleasure to connect with you. Thank you so much.
Donna Gates: Thank you, Ari. Keep doing the great work you’re doing.
Ari Whitten: Thank you. I hope to connect again sometime soon.
Donna Gates: Please.
Gut health and the toxins no one is talking about with Donna Gates – Show Notes
The most important toxins that affect people’s energy levels (6:07)
The effect of ammonia in the body (07:59)
How to identify if you have too much ammonia in your system (17:37)
The best way to correct your ammonia levels (21:11)
The dangers of acetaldehyde (27:08)
How to approach histamine and fermented foods (40:05)
How Donna Gates worked with microbiome before it became popular (43:18)
Donna Gates’ top tips to balance the gut microbiome and minimize toxin production (57:00)