The Melanie Avalon Biohacking Podcast Episode #111 - Ann Louise Gittleman
Ann Louise is an award-winning New York Times bestselling author of over 35 books on health and nutrition including diet, detox, women’s health, men’s health, perimenopause, menopause, beauty and the environment. As one of the world’s foremost experts in functional and integrative medicine, Ann Louise holds an M.S. in Nutrition Education from Columbia University, has the title of Certified Nutrition Specialist (C.N.S.) from the American College of Nutrition and a Ph.D. in Holistic Nutrition. She has also served as the Chief Nutritionist of Pediatric Clinic at Bellevue Hospital and is the former Director of Nutrition at the Pritikin Longevity Center in Santa Monica, CA. and has won numerous awards, including The American Medical Writers Association Award for Excellence.
As a nutritional visionary and health pioneer, she has fearlessly stood on the front lines of diet and detox, the environment, and women’s health. Ann Louise continues to rewrite the rules of nutrition. She is a popular speaker on internet summits and is actively involved with educational videos, her popular blog and her top-rated podcast, The First Lady of Nutrition Podcast, where she tackles the most urgent and controversial health trends and topics. Over the years, Ann Louise has been a regular health contributor on several television shows and networks, including 20/20, Dr. Phil, The View, Good Morning America, Extra, CNN, PBS, Fox News and The Early Show. In addition, she has been featured in Time, Newsweek, Goop, Harper’s Bazaar, Real Simple, Glamour, Cosmopolitan, InStyle, Woman’s World, Ebony, Health, Parade, First for Women, The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, The Huffington Post and more.
LEARN MORE AT:
2:10 - IF Biohackers: Intermittent Fasting + Real Foods + Life: Join Melanie's Facebook Group For A Weekly Episode GIVEAWAY, And To Discuss And Learn About All Things Biohacking! All Conversations Welcome!
2:20 - Follow Melanie On Instagram To See The Latest Moments, Products, And #AllTheThings! @MelanieAvalon
2:45 - FOOD SENSE GUIDE: Get Melanie's App To Tackle Your Food Sensitivities! Food Sense Includes A Searchable Catalogue Of 300+ Foods, Revealing Their Gluten, FODMAP, Lectin, Histamine, Amine, Glutamate, Oxalate, Salicylate, Sulfite, And Thiol Status. Food Sense Also Includes Compound Overviews, Reactions To Look For, Lists Of Foods High And Low In Them, The Ability To Create Your Own Personal Lists, And More!
Stay Up To Date With All The News And Pre-Order Info About Melanie's New Serrapeptase Supplement At melanieavalon.com/serrapeptase!
4:35 - BEAUTYCOUNTER: Non-Toxic Beauty Products Tested For Heavy Metals, Which Support Skin Health And Look Amazing! Shop At beautycounter.com/melanieavalon For Something Magical! For Exclusive Offers And Discounts, And More On The Science Of Skincare, Get On Melanie's Private Beautycounter Email List At melanieavalon.com/cleanbeauty! Find Your Perfect Beautycounter Products With Melanie's Quiz: melanieavalon.com/beautycounterquiz
Join Melanie's Facebook Group Clean Beauty And Safe Skincare With Melanie Avalon To Discuss And Learn About All The Things Clean Beauty, Beautycounter And Safe Skincare!
7:50 - how Ann Came To Longevity
10:15 - the role of iron
11:40 - how often should we test ferritin?
12:40 - LUMEN: The Lumen Breath Analyzer That Tells Your Body If You're Burning Carbs Or Fat For Energy! You Can Learn More In Melanie's Episodes With The Founder (The Melanie Avalon Biohacking Podcast Episode #43 - Daniel Tal, The Melanie Avalon Biohacking Podcast Episode #63 - Daniel Tal (Lumen)) And Get $25 Off A Lumen Device At melanieavalon.com/lumen With The Code melanieavalon25
14:20 - ferritin in super centenarians
15:00 - supplementing iron
16:15 - parasites
17:55 - coffee enemas
18:55 - colonics
20:00 - open colonics vs. closed
20:35 - omega-6s
23:00 - omega-3s
23:40 - FEALS: Feals Makes CBD Oil Which Satisfies ALL Of Melanie's Stringent Criteria - It's Premium, Full Spectrum, Organic, Tested, Pure CBD In MCT Oil! It's Delivered Directly To Your Doorstep. CBD Supports The Body's Natural Cannabinoid System, And Can Address An Array Of Issues, From Sleep To Stress To Chronic Pain, And More! Go To Feals.Com/Melanieavalon To Become A Member And Get 40% Off Your First Three Months!
26:25 - AGEs (Advanced Glycation End Products)
28:10 - endogenous vs exogenous AGEs
28:50 - the formation of AGEs during cooking
29:55 - genetics and sirt1 gene
30:35 - lung capacity
31:05 - vitamin d and the lungs
31:25 - vitamin d supplementation
32:40 - fascia
35:00 - sexual health
36:20 - body, mind & spirit
36:50 - brain training
37:45 - Ignatia Amara
39:00 - ketogenic diet
Melanie Avalon: Hi, friends, welcome back to the show. I am so incredibly excited about the conversation that I am about to have. It is about a topic that I am personally very obsessed with, and I know so much of my audience is obsessed with as well. It's with a really incredible person behind this work. So, I am here with Ann Louise Gittleman. She's actually a New York Times bestselling author of over 35 books, which is insane, and she's been featured all over the place. So, you might have seen her before. She's been on Dr. Phil on The View, Good Morning America, Time Magazine. The list of things she's been on is just incredible. But I am here for her new book, which is called Radical Longevity: The Powerful Plan to Sharpen Your Brain, Strengthen Your Body, and Reverse the Symptoms of Aging. Like I said, listeners, this topic is a personal passion of mine. But what I absolutely loved about this book is, it is such a comprehensive deep dive into so many topics about longevity that I personally ponder about a lot. But I don't really see discussed in this depth, really anywhere before. So, it was an incredible book. I'm really excited to dive into some of those topics. So, Ann Louise, thank you so much for being here today.
Ann Louise Gittleman: My pleasure, Melanie. What a pleasure it is to be with you, too?
Melanie Avalon: To start things off, just a really quick question to set the stage. I'm really curious. Have you always been interested in longevity? Because you talked about in the book, how you're not a fan of the concept of anti-aging. That's an interesting paradigm shift there. So, what made you so interested in all of this and what led you to write this book?
Ann Louise Gittleman: Oh, such a good question. My whole life was changed when I started studying with an 84-year-old teacher. Her name is Dr. Hazel Parcells and at the age of 84, she was holding court 9 to 10 in the evening. When you see an 84-year-old woman who's in her prime with all of her senses intact, she lived till 106. I knew all the secrets that she passed down, and I said to myself, it's time that I share them with my own constituency. Being in my 70s now, by 80s, and it's going to be the best time ever. I'm pro-aging, in the sense I want people to age with resilience with joy, with health, and with a lot of gratitude. I'm not against anti-aging. I'm against aging with longevity, with health, with resilience, with gratitude, and with a lot of bouncing back from anything that ails us. So, I think it's possible if you're looking in the right places for the underlying cause of whatever is going on in your body.
Melanie Avalon: Yeah, I love that absolutely so much. You already touched on it a little bit with the causes of what's causing aging or what leads to that. This is such a debated topic. I know, for example, I've had David Sinclair on the show, and I've asked him like, “What is aging?” He has his theories, and there's discussion around what causes aging. But in your book, you lock it down to a lot of different root causes. So, I was wondering, what is aging? Is there one root cause, is there multiple root causes? How can we address it?
Ann Louise Gittleman: Oh, that's such a good question. First of all, let me just say that I think aging is a privilege. It's a privilege that's denied to too many of us, I think it's a real gift to be up here in my 70s telling you about aging. That would be number one. Having said that, I think it's multiple. I think aging is an accumulation of a lifetime of bad habits less than stellar habits. A lifetime of monumental deficiencies and toxicities, and you have to address them one by one. So, it's not just one single cause. I think that's foolhardy.
Melanie Avalon: I feel like that's probably the way it is in life. Things are complicated. If there was one answer, I think we probably would have found it by now. I'm actually really excited because in your book, you do go through a lot of the different root causes, like, you just mentioned, and they are some topics that I personally obsess over.
Ann Louise Gittleman: What do you obsess over, my dear?
Melanie Avalon: Okay, so, there's a few of them. I'm trying to say which one to do first. The role of iron, for example. I've had anemia in the past, and it has haunted me because I know iron can be so oxidating and toxic. So, it's really, really distressing to me that I struggle with a lack of it, and having to get it, and having to monitor it. But you talk about all of the issues with excess iron, iron.
Ann Louise Gittleman: Here's the thing. It's a double edge sword. It's not a simplistic answer here. Here at the age where you're still menstruating, so you're losing iron. Chances are you may in fact be iron deficient. Women that are still menstruating usually don't have an issue with iron overload, but when we stop menstruating, we're not losing our iron anymore. We started accommodating the same issues that men have with our heart disease rates going up and even brain dysfunction. The idea is that, you have to monitor your iron, and you do that by taking a ferritin test which I go into in great detail in the book. If it's below a certain level, you need iron. If it's above a certain level, you have to donate blood. Donating blood for many of us that are beyond menopause and far beyond, beyond, beyond menopause in our 70s at this point are actually accommodating too much iron, and it can be lifesaving, just donating once a year or even once every three months. That's really what the answer is. It's a double edge sword, just the way copper is.
Melanie Avalon: How often do you recommend testing our iron levels?
Ann Louise Gittleman: I have, every single one of my clients does a ferritin test upon entering my practice. You'd be surprised to see how many people are way above what I consider to be optimally healthy. It's not just what I considered to be above optimally healthy. It was considered to be absolutely healthy with the people that are considered to be the longest living people in the world. Low iron is one of the call marks, one of the traits of the super agers. I say 384, 400, the doctor doesn't say anything, I have to get it down below one hundred. You'll see what the optimal level is, is I wrote about it in the book, and then the way in which you need to test. I would say that at least once a year, it needs to happen. You have to monitor yourself with a baseline. Some people have a hemochromatosis gene. So, they're predisposed to iron overload. But many of us have different qualities of that. We've got different levels of iron overload, even if we don't have the gene itself. It's an exceedingly important issue, which is why talk about throwing out your cast iron pots and pans, because that's one of the ways you get access iron.
Melanie Avalon: Again, for listeners, you've got to get Radical Longevity, because there's no way we'll be able to even remotely touch on everything, so you can get the book for that. Quick question about what you just said with the supercentenarians or the longevity populations. Is it the ferritin specifically or is it iron or hemoglobin? On an iron panel, is it specifically the ferritin that's correlated?
Ann Louise Gittleman: It's the ferritin because it's the bound iron. Yes.
Melanie Avalon: Okay. I know for me right now, all of my iron levels are normal, but my ferritin is actually very low. And I'm just like--
Ann Louise Gittleman: What is your ferritin, my dear one?
Melanie Avalon: That's like 20.
Ann Louise Gittleman: Yeah, that's too low. We need to give you a food-based iron. You need to get some sort of ancestral glandular that contains iron. Maybe some sort of liver product from a very healthy source.
Melanie Avalon: How do you feel about because I have in my fridge, I have the spleen, desiccated spleen, and I have desiccated liver.
Ann Louise Gittleman: Where's it from?
Melanie Avalon: It's Ancestral Supplements, New Zealand.
Ann Louise Gittleman: Oh, perfect. I'm all for it. 10 thumbs up.
Melanie Avalon: Okay. Yay. Awesome.
Ann Louise Gittleman: Because it's food-based iron, and that's the healthiest kind. Sometimes, when you have iron fortified vitamins and minerals, they're not healthy because they're synthetic but you want the food-based iron. You're the case, it's the exception to the rule in my book, most people you'll find have too much short of iron and that's where the problems with. Cognitive dysfunction comes into play. It's a precursor to Alzheimer's, ALS, and Parkinson's. Nobody talks about it, Melanie. Nobody writes about it, but me in Radical Longevity.
Melanie Avalon: I agree. Thank you for saying that. Like I said, when I got to iron section, I was like, “Oh, my goodness, because I literally I'm haunted by this because I've had my own iron struggles. Like I said, but I know that it can be so toxic and like you said, nobody's talking about it. So, thank you for spreading the word.
Ann Louise Gittleman: If it's low iron, a lot of times women are not eating the right source of iron or they have parasites. I see a lot of deworming that needs to go on because worms love iron, and so, you're not getting it into the bloodstream where it needs to be.
Melanie Avalon: That was one of the other topics I love that you talked about was the parasites and you talked about how they're the great mimicker. So, how many people have parasites?
Ann Louise Gittleman: Conservatively about 5/10.
Melanie Avalon: How might people know? What are signs and symptoms?
Ann Louise Gittleman: Oh, that's a tough one. You can't really get tested because most of the labs don't test properly. You need to get a purged stool sample, not a random stool sample. You have to get it from far off into the gut. I would say to just do a questionnaire. I think we have a questionnaire in the book. If in fact, you've got no energy. You grind your teeth at night. You've got a lot of depression, skin problems that won't go away, depression as well as arthritis problems with the joints that come and go, as well as issues of course it with your skin that I mentioned that was my prime issue. When I had parasites, I was a student in the Middle East and then came down with a terrible case of worms which I then saw when I did coffee enemas. You've got to do parasite deworming at least once or twice a year, and I think I give you a protocol and you've got to be eating the right foods. No more sushi. That's what the idea is here.
Melanie Avalon: Oh, goodness. Okay. Yeah, I've definitely had my fair share of fish raw.
Ann Louise Gittleman: Remind me to send you a My Colon Cleansing Kit as well. It's what I created over 25 years ago and it works like a charm.
Melanie Avalon: Oh, thank you awesome.
Ann Louise Gittleman: You're probably parasitic if you're a sushi lover. Most of my clients have worms from the fish that they're eating, the raw fish.
Melanie Avalon: So, I don't eat the soup. Well, I guess, sushi has raw fish, but I eat a lot of fish, and it's been not completely cooked.
Ann Louise Gittleman: Well, fish is wormy, is much wormy than any other food we have. Not a pleasant topic, but if we're down and dirty, and we want to get healthy from the bottom up, this is a very important aspect of cellular health.
Melanie Avalon: Well, Ann, you just touched on something, coffee enemas. I have gone through my coffee enema phases where I was doing them daily. Do you feel like there's appropriate amount of time or frequency to do coffee enemas?
Ann Louise Gittleman: Well, people that have cancer will do them daily. People that don't have cancer, but have issues with their liver and dumping in the bile will can do them every other day. As long as you're using the purest coffee in the world, and that would be the purity coffee that's mold free and toxin free. I'm a big believer in coffee. I used to take it that route maybe once or twice a week. I find it very, very exhilarating.
Melanie Avalon: I remember the first time I did one, and I got done, and then, I literally felt like I could climb Mount Everest. I was like, “Wow, this is amazing.”
Ann Louise Gittleman: But I don't understand how people don't do colonics and coffee enemas. It just boggles my mind that they could be living this long, and not have the superlative health that you get by cleansing your intestines and dumping the liver and the bile.
Melanie Avalon: Oh, this is so good to hear. I love colonics so much. [laughs]
Ann Louise Gittleman: So, I started colonics in 1972. The year I came home from Israel and I've been a colonic fan all these years, and I'm telling you I think is why, I've lived as long as I've lived with clear skin, good hair, good skin, good nails and of well-functioning brain, because the health begins in the gut.
Melanie Avalon: I'm so glad to hear this because like I said, I love them. But always in the back of my head, I'm like, “What if this actually is not a good thing?” Because there are people out there will say, you shouldn't do them or there could be negative side effects, but they make me feel intuitively so good.
Ann Louise Gittleman: Well, it clears your skin, it clears circles under your eyes, the puffs under your eyes, the spots on your skin. It's just most amazing thing. You can use it as a diagnostic tool when you start seeing strings come out, and fuzz come out, and you see little balls come out, you know something is coming out. I used to see tapeworms coming out.
Melanie Avalon: Oh, my goodness, that's crazy.
Ann Louise Gittleman: But you know seeing is believing. If you don't do these things, you're never going to get to the root cause of why you're not feeling good. Parasites are the most immunosuppressive agent known to man. So, if you don't clear them out, you're much more vulnerable to the diseases of aging and autoimmune issues.
Melanie Avalon: Do you have a preference between closed or open colonics?
Ann Louise Gittleman: I love them all. I have an open colonic in my home, by the way, Angel of Waters, and I love that.
Melanie Avalon: Oh, you do? Do you have an Angel of Water at home? I'm so jealous.
Ann Louise Gittleman: Oh yeah. You can come to my house and do colonics. When people come to the house, I say, “Would you like to eat or should we clean out?”
Melanie Avalon: Clean out, please. I'm so jealous. I love Angel of Water. That's my favorite. [laughs] I say that for listeners because if you try a closed colonic and it doesn't work for you, give the open one a try because I personally do not like the closed ones, but the open ones are wonderful.
Ann Louise Gittleman: Well, you are in control, and that's what I like.
Melanie Avalon: Okay. Another topic that you touched on, and this is-- Okay, I have to prepare my listeners because their mind is going to be blown. I talk a lot on this show about the potential downsides of polyunsaturated fats, particularly Omega-6s. You flip the bat completely and provide a much more nuanced picture of Omega-3s and Omega-6s, and the actual beneficial role of Omega-6s in our diet. I was wondering if you could talk a little bit about that. My listeners are going to be so confused, because I've been talking about Omega-6s for so long as a negative. So, what are your thoughts on Omega-6s?
Ann Louise Gittleman: Well, you're not wrong, because not all Omega-6s are created equal. That's just the nuance that you need here. You need to look at it through a different lens. I'm not talking about linoleic acid. I'm talking about gamma linoleic acid, and that's a very different kettle of fish. We're talking about hemp seed oil, because I'm a believer in hemp. I love my new module, which is Hemp-Hemp Hooray, because it's the very best source of a gamma linoleic acid that feeds this skin. The good Omega-6s are so good for the skin, the mitochondria and your sex drive. One to two tablespoons a day will get rid of eczema and psoriasis. It's one of the most important elements for rejuvenation and regeneration.
Melanie Avalon: This nuance is definitely really, really needed.
Ann Louise Gittleman: You can't throw the baby out with the bathwater. Most of the Omega-6s are commercialized vegetable oil. Corn oil is not a good oil. Neither is canola oil. These are all Omega-6s. Neither is soybean oil, neither is sunflower seed oil, because most of them are, they're hybridized, or they're overheated, or they're full of chemicals. Then some of them are even GMO. They're engineered, biochemically engineered. The point being is that those of the oils that are not good, but there are oils that are good. That are the good Omega-6s and that's where the hemp seed oil, the peanut oil to heal your leaky gut and to heal your H. pylori. That's where sesame seed oil comes into play, and anything from primrose oil and black currant seed oil, and borage oil. Those are all GLA sources. Those are the good guys.
Melanie Avalon: This is awesome. Yeah, the ones I normally talk about are the seeds in the vegetable oil. So, corn--
Ann Louise Gittleman: They're highly heated, refined, and full of toxins. Yes, there's no doubt about that. But these are the good Omega-6s that are very important because they're an essential fatty acid like the Omega-3s.
Melanie Avalon: There's the whole debate about fish oil. How do you feel about Omega-3s?
Ann Louise Gittleman: I like flax seeds as my source of Omega-3s. I like the whole seed and the lignans which act as an estrogen modulator. I'm a big believer in flax seeds and chia seeds. I love very much, and I love even hemp seeds, which is a combination of both.
Melanie Avalon: I don't know. I feel like I've been doing a “PUFA” depletion diet for so long, and I think I got a fear of just polyunsaturated fats in general. So, it was really nice to read your book, and reframe a little bit, and bring back that nuance.
Ann Louise Gittleman: Well, health is not black and white. There are a lot of gray that are in between. So, you have to just read. You've got to educate yourself and understand. There's been a lot of demonization, which is inappropriate.
Melanie Avalon: I could not agree enough. Another thing that you touched on a lot, and this is a topic that people casually mentioned this a lot. I feel that you dive in so deep, and that is AGE, Advanced Glycation End products.
Ann Louise Gittleman: Well, because nobody writes about it.
Melanie Avalon: I love how you're talked about their relation to a SIRT1 gene. So, what are AGEs?
Ann Louise Gittleman: AGE’s Advanced Glycation End products, are naturally occurring toxins that are inherently found in animal foods, animal fats, and altered animal proteins. They're also created by the way that you cook. Most importantly, only have bacon occasionally, high fat, culture cheese's only occasionally, not a lot of butter to cook with because it can change the healthy fats into an unhealthy saturated fat. Then if you're going to be cooking, no high and dry cooking. No more broiling grilling, roasting, or air frying, but just have cook your foods that are steamed, slow cooked, maybe a little poached and cooked in its own juice under the 180-degree temperature. So, it's high and dry, say, goodbye. Wetter is better.
Melanie Avalon: Oh. I like that. The AGEs are formulated from proteins and carbs, correct?
Ann Louise Gittleman: Proteins, fats, and carbs, the interaction of sugar molecule with proteins, fats, as well as carbohydrate. It can form when you're cooking, it can form in the dehydration process, or it forms inherently with animal foods, which is why they say plant foods are so much healthier because they're much lower in ages inherently.
Melanie Avalon: Okay, so fats are involved. That's what I guess confused about.
Ann Louise Gittleman: That's where we want the vegetable fats. If you're going to do any kind of cooking a little bit of high-- maybe high heat macadamia nut oil, maybe a little coconut oil, olive oil.
Melanie Avalon: Do you know if there's a difference and how endogenous AGE production, how that affects us versus taking in exogenously formed AGEs?
Ann Louise Gittleman: It's all taken in an exogenously, quite frankly.
Melanie Avalon: Okay, so, we don't really produce them?
Ann Louise Gittleman: It's the most controllable aging factor known to man and nobody's talking about it. There should have been a Nobel Prize awarded to the researcher, Dr. Helen was there at the Rockefeller University in the 90s. But it was completely ignored. It's going to change the way you eat, the way you diet, and the way that you cook. So, you need to have the kind of cooking where you're cooking, maybe in a convection oven, or you're cooking with food in its own juice, and maybe a clay pot or pan.
Melanie Avalon: When you're cooking, as far as the formation, is it like it only forms if it hits a certain temperature or can it still form at lower temperatures, if it's longer?
Ann Louise Gittleman: High and dry heat. The lower the better. 250, 350s is fine. I wouldn't go over 350 for long periods of time. But cooking in a cold oven for long periods of time is the healthiest like in a 250 oven.
Melanie Avalon: I normally use a convection oven around like 290.
Ann Louise Gittleman: I think you're good.
Melanie Avalon: Okay. I wrote a book called What When Wine, and when I made the recipes, the chef I was working with, I was like, “Everything has to be really low temperatures.” I don't know. It was a hard task for her.
Ann Louise Gittleman: Well, nobody pays attention to this anymore. They're talking about the air dryers. They’re terribly high in ages. The keto diet is very high in ages. So, if you want to lose weight, that's one thing. If you want to live longer and look better, you got to go to Radical Longevity.
Melanie Avalon: Yeah, I remember she even said, “Well, can we specifically call the recipe slow cooked, so people know that we're doing this on purpose?” I was like, “Yes, we can do that.” [laughs] It's something that you pointed out was, there's some facts about the SIRT1 gene, and the genetics, and how it correlated to-- It was only people who are high in AGEs, who had the depleted SIRT1 gene, I think?
Ann Louise Gittleman: Yes, that was found in the diabetes research from Dr. [unintelligible 00:19:35]. Isn't that interesting? It disappeared with the ages. That means it's a real factor in aging. It affects the survival gene.
Melanie Avalon: That blew my mind. That's a shocking fact.
Ann Louise Gittleman: Shocking. Diabetes is a precursor to aging. I mean, A-G-E-I-N-G aging. Getting older without getting better, yes.
Melanie Avalon: It reminds me of one of the most shocking facts I learned which was that in the Framingham Heart Study, the factor most correlated to longevity was lung capacity. Nobody talks about that.
Ann Louise Gittleman: No, nobody talks about aging. Well, the aging could affect the ages, A-G-E-S. The ages affect the lung dramatically. It affects the lung, the heart, the fascia of your body, the ligaments, the tendons, the muscles. It controls and affects every tissue gland and cell in the body much more dramatically than any other factor, and it's terribly ignored and underappreciated.
Melanie Avalon: That was something else. Speaking of the lungs that you touched on, I didn't realize he talked about how vitamin D is produced in the lungs?
Ann Louise Gittleman: Vitamin D receptors in the lungs, that's why it's so important to get your vitamin D levels checked regularly and make sure that they're sky high, so that you could don't come down with any of these viruses that are coming our way.
Melanie Avalon: How do you feel about vitamin D supplementation just in general?
Ann Louise Gittleman: I think it's incredibly important if you live above the 35th parallel.
Melanie Avalon: Okay. So, I was low in vitamin D. So, I was like, I'm going to hit this with all the stops, and I started supplementing vitamin D. I started doing one or two minutes a UVB only tanning booth like once a week during the winter. But my vitamin D levels got high. So, I was like, “Oops, back off.”
Ann Louise Gittleman: I would tell everybody, because it's very hard to gauge that kind of thing to really monitor and they need at least 5,000 units, and you need to take an oil-based vitamin D, It’s an based vitamin.
Melanie Avalon: Should we be monitoring that pretty regularly?
Ann Louise Gittleman: Just like your ferritin. I think I covered that in one of my rules, the immunity is everything. Your vitamin D has to be monitored, your zinc can be monitored, magnesium can be monitored. All these levels need to be monitored regularly. Yes, and people don't do and they don't take the right blood test to monitor them. That's why I had to write the book to tell people what I've learned, what I've gleaned, what I know works for people over the past 40 years. So, I'm not in my 40s or 50s. I'm not writing a book about longevity, because I want to stay younger longer. It's because I'm actually living it and doing it.
Melanie Avalon: I know, and it's so, so incredible, and I can't thank you enough for doing that. You touched on something else I'm obsessed with, and it's something else that nobody talks about, and that's the role of our fascia in our health. For listeners who are not familiar, what is fascia?
Ann Louise Gittleman: It's a soft tissue that surrounds the ligaments, tendons, and muscles. It can get very frozen and then you think you've got arthritis and constricted movements. It's the thing that gets formed when you see stock fascia you have people that have adhesions or internal scars. It's because of infection or because of repetitive movements, or because they've had some sort of accent. So, you've got to get myofascial release regularly, or do coughing, or do deep breathing, do some kind of meditation, or even do some kind of lymphatic drainage, which you actually have to move that fascia to make sure that you're not restricted in movement.
Melanie Avalon: I have this one area, I think it's in my intestines. I don't know. I felt it for so long, and I've thought that is so many different things. All the things that you've mentioned, I've thought that it's a parasite, I thought that it's a hernia, that it's the fascia. Some of the doctors told me, it's my muscle. I'm very much haunted by it. But that's what made me probably first interested in the concept of fascia. I still don't know what it is.
Ann Louise Gittleman: You need to go to somebody. I went to a clinic down in Florida, and they're called the Clear Passages in Gainesville, Florida. They can go over your entire body and tell you where the fascia’s stuck, and where you may be having obstructions, or adhesions, or internal scars. They work them out with a special copyrighted technique called the Wurn technique where they hold your particular tissue, or your muscle, or your ligament for a certain amount of time, and they move down that particular anatomical train, and they can release the whole line of tension in the system. So, you've got to go to somebody that knows what the heck they're doing, Melanie.
Melanie Avalon: I've heard of them. It's so good to hear you endorse that. That's not too far for me.
Ann Louise Gittleman: They've gotten women pregnant by going into the tubes of getting rid of the adhesions.
Melanie Avalon: Oh, wow. That's incredible. Oh, my goodness. Okay, I'm excited.
Ann Louise Gittleman: There's an answer to everything if you look in the right place, and that's one of the reasons I wrote Radical Longevity. Because I think people are interested but don't know where to look. Is everybody just rehashing the same stuff again and again?
Melanie Avalon: Yeah. No, it's so true. Well, speaking of pregnant, you have a really wonderful chapter on sexual health and everybody. What are your thoughts on sexual health and supporting that?
Ann Louise Gittleman: Well, I think it's important that, I think people can have good sex in their 50s, 60s, 70s, up to the 80s, and 90s. I've looked at all the super agers and they certainly are enjoying themselves with heightened physical encounters. I tell you which hormones to use, which particular herbs to use, and my secret sauce about how to hide in the sexual encounter by using a particular B vitamin.
Melanie Avalon: Is that the fat-soluble B vitamin that you talk about?
Ann Louise Gittleman: No, that's not the info timing. It's another one which, which is part of the chapter on reinvigorating your sexual energies.
Melanie Avalon: And for listeners, I will put links to all of this in the show notes. I actually just learned the other day, I don't know what the study was looking at, but it was a longevity study, and I was looking at sexual health factors, and I think the factor most correlated to longevity in women was, I think it was their enjoyment of sex compared to frequency. I found that to be really interesting. I don't know if it's like causational correlational.
Ann Louise Gittleman: While it's very important in terms-- It's important for conductivity, because the most important aspect for people that have long lived lives is that they're in relationship. It's all related to relationship. Being having physical contact with one another, spiritual contact with one another, feeling that you have a purpose driven life. It's all part of that whole body, mind, and spirit connection.
Melanie Avalon: You do talk a lot about the role of body, mind, and spirit, and how we can store our emotions in our body.
Ann Louise Gittleman: In our tissues. The issues are in your tissues.
Melanie Avalon: Oh, issue, I love that phrase. Do you find we can actually get the emotions out of our tissues? Is that possible and how?
Ann Louise Gittleman: Well, [laughs] you have to be aware that they're in there in the first place. If you're not getting resolution with everything else you're doing, you have to do some brain training, you have to get your brain looked out through the brain training people as Sarah said. We've got to look into the botched flower remedies of 38 remedies that affect the system and I think that's very important. You need to look at what the stuck emotions might be. We're all aware of what it might be, whether there's a childhood trauma that's unhealed. You have to go deep and do a deep dive. But maybe the first place to look is a psychotherapy in a bottle, which is the bachelor remedies is 38 different remedies for fear, for trauma, for indecision, for circulating thoughts that don't go away, for depression, for a lack of joy in life, lack of joie de vivre. They’re all kinds of imbalanced emotions and states of mind that can be healed by just using flower essences.
Melanie Avalon: I haven't done the prep for it yet, but I'm doing an episode coming up all just on flowers with an author who wrote a book about it. Oh, so, that's exciting to hear. You also talk about a compound that I read about in another book recently. So, I feel like it's a sign, ignatia amara for grief.
Ann Louise Gittleman: Yes, because stored grief can affect the lungs number one, your stored emotions affect the system. If you're very embittered, it can affect your gallbladder. If you're very angry, it can affect the liver. If you're fearful, it can affect the kidneys, and if you overthink as I do, it can affect the spleen, my dear.
Melanie Avalon: Oh, that's me. That's me, too.
Ann Louise Gittleman: We're overthinking. Do you have a blood type A? Are you in A blood type?
Melanie Avalon: I'm type O.
Ann Louise Gittleman: Oh, so, you’re an overthinker. That's type O. How very interesting you are.
Melanie Avalon: Yeah, but I’m really intense and I think a lot. We overthink.
Ann Louise Gittleman: When is your birthday?
Melanie Avalon: November 9th.
Ann Louise Gittleman: November 9. So, you're a Scorpio. You go deep, you go very deep.
Melanie Avalon: Yes, me, too.
Ann Louise Gittleman: Still, for you, particularly, I think I would use the impatience remedy, and I would use the agrimony remedy.
Melanie Avalon: Okay, I'm writing this down.
Ann Louise Gittleman: Those are the best flower remedies. I say, it would be very helpful for you.
Melanie Avalon: Thank you. Thank you so much. Well, I want to be really respectful of your time. One last topic I'd love to touch on, because this is a huge debate in the whole diet health sphere, and I personally believe that there's not one right diet for anybody and a lot of different dietary approaches, possibly work based on the individual. But what are your thoughts on keto?
Ann Louise Gittleman: I think you can be helpful short term. I really do. I think it's good for people that have issues with their heir brains in terms of seizures. I think if they've got on regulated insulin, it can be very helpful. If they need to lose weight quickly, but it's not sustainable. When we do studies with the microbiome, the microbiome starts to shift on long-term keto. Women have issues with their hormones, their mood, and their anxiety. Women need little more carbohydrates. There's not one program that works for everybody at every stage in age of life. I like a 40-30-30 plan, which is what Radical Longevity is really modeled after.
Melanie Avalon: For listeners, Radical Longevity, it does have an entire step by step plan, it has recipes, and it's all in there. So, definitely, definitely get the book. Well, this is an absolutely amazing. Was there anything else like I could talk to you for hours, but was there anything else you wanted to draw attention to from your book?
Ann Louise Gittleman: I think, the book just tries to give hope to those of us that have unresolved issues, that have unsolvable issues, and it allows us to bounce back from anything. Turn setbacks into strength and gives you real life lessons and resilience. So, it's really about hope. It's the putting a lens in a microscope and a spotlight on areas that nobody's looking at it. It's kind of setting the record straight nutritionally.
Melanie Avalon: Well, that is absolutely wonderful and perfect that you say that because the last question that I asked every single guest on this show, and it's just because I realized more and more every single day just how important mindset is surrounding everything. So, what is something that you're grateful for?
Ann Louise Gittleman: I'm thinking. I'm grateful for you having a podcast where you've allowed me to share my knowledge and my passion for Radical Longevity.
Melanie Avalon: Oh, wow. Awesome. Well, thank you so much. I'm so grateful for your work. It's incredible. I was so honored and thrilled to read it, and once I read it, I just wanted all my listeners to read it as soon as possible. So, this has been absolutely incredible. I look forward to your future work and maybe you can come on the show again for your future work.
Ann Louise Gittleman: You’re sweetheart. Be well, be healthy, and send me your address, so I can send you a kit for the parasite.
Melanie Avalon: Oh, I will. Thank you so much. All right, thank you.
Ann Louise Gittleman: God bless.
Melanie Avalon: Bye.