In this episode, I am speaking with Dr. Ann Louise Gittleman who is a renowned nutritionist, internationally recognized as a pioneer in dietary, longevity, environmental, and women’s health issues. She is an award-winning New York Times best-selling author of over 35 books. We talk about what she has found to be the keys to what she calls “Radical Longevity.”
Table of Contents
In this podcast, Dr. Gittleman and I discuss:
- Why your biology is not your biography
- Her 7 rules for radical longevity
- How various types of bathing might be key to health
- How the way you cook your food affects your health (and what you can do to avoid the AGEs)
- One of the biggest science-backed keys to longevity that is almost totally unknown to most people (even health experts)
Listen outside iTunes
Ari: Here we go. Hey, there, This is Ari. Welcome back to The Energy Blueprint Podcast. With me today is a very, very well-known nutrition expert Ann Louise Gittleman, who is a top nutritionist and author who is internationally recognized as a pioneer in dietary, longevity, environmental, and women’s health issues. She’s an award-winning New York Times best-selling author of over 35 books, wow, on health and nutrition including diet, detox, women’s health, men’s health, perimenopause, menopause, beauty, and the environment.
She holds a Masters of Science in Nutrition Education from Columbia University. She has the title of Certified Nutrition Specialist from the American College of Nutrition, and a PhD in Holistic Nutrition. Over the years, she’s been a regular health contributor on several television shows and networks including 20/20, CNN, PBS, Fox News, and The Early Show. She’s also been featured in TIME, Newsweek, The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, The Huffington Post, and more.
Welcome Dr Gittleman, it’s such a pleasure to connect with you. I’m very excited to get into this with you.
Dr. Gittleman:Thank you so much for having me, Ari. It’s a pleasure to be with you.
Ari: To get started, let’s talk about– Your new book is all about radical longevity. Tell me what inspired you to write this new book? I guess we’re going to be talking about what are the key insights of it, but what were some of your personal motivations for writing this book on radical longevity?
Dr. Gittleman:It’s such a good question. I’ve written about every other topic under the sun, Ari, this is the only one I never touched. I think it’s because of enlightened self-interest. I’m in my seventh decade, I’m 72 years young. It was time to conglomerate everything I’ve ever learned, known, observed, researched, and put it into one particular book. It became Radical Longevity, which is a real conglomeration of everything I’ve ever written, the teachings of my 106-year-old teacher that lived till a 106 with all her senses intact. I’m sharing secrets, insights, and new research that I think people will truly benefit from.
Why your biology is not your biography
Ari: Beautiful. One of the things you talk about in the book is that your biology is not your biography. Talk to me about that paradigm shift.
Dr. Gittleman: I think it’s really obvious that in this day and time, we can go beyond our genes. I truly believe that genes are not your destiny. There’s this saying, “The genes may load the gun but the environment pulls the trigger,” and I really believe that that’s true. If you’re using the right thoughts, the right food, the right supplements, the right spiritual practices, the right mindset, you can overcome, manage, and mitigate any disease condition. I think that aging is really an accumulation of bad habits, poor habits, less than stellar habits, toxicities, and deficiencies that we now have the ability to overcome and renew.
Ari: Beautiful. The title of the book is Radical Longevity. First of all, what is that? Does that mean living to a 150? Does it mean radical longevity in the sense of living to a ripe old age but doing so with good health and functionality with all of your senses and faculties intact? How do you define that? What does it mean to you?
Dr. Gittleman: I think you’ve defined it beautifully. It’s the whole concept that age is a privilege. It really is a privilege that’s denied to far too many people. At this age and stage of the game, I can say that for many of my cohorts, mentors, friends, and associates that are no longer with us that seemingly, we’re doing everything right, Ari. I’ve uncovered the things that they may have been missing that are hiding in plain sight so that everybody can benefit from what I’ve learned.
I think that’s number one, but it’s also living to the age of a 120, postponing aging for a good 30 years, and doing it with vitality, doing it with grace, doing it with grits, and doing it with gratitude. I think all that’s important. I think it’s very possible and certainly possible knowing The Energy Blueprint as you have been so helpful in promoting and knowing some of the secrets that I now reveal finally in Radical Longevity.
The biggest nutritional tools
Ari: Beautiful. Obviously, you have an extremely extensive training, formal education in nutrition, then you’ve been studying for decades apart from your formal education, following the nutrition science, and developing your own ideas around that. What are the biggest nutritional tools in terms of achieving radical longevity?
Dr. Gittleman: Interestingly enough, one of the biggest nutritional tools is the use of apple cider vinegar, an age-old remedy. What I’m finding is that people, when they get older, the cell itself is like a battery, it holds a real positive charge. I’m finding that apple cider vinegar is a very important energizer and rebalancer of the pH on a cellular level. Taking two teaspoons of apple cider vinegar three times a day and eight ounces of water is a real trick of the trade so to speak, it’s an ancient remedy which I think is very inexpensive for most people and can easily be implemented to help the pH, to help your absorption of potassium, other minerals, and also to amp up hydrochloric acid production so that you’re actually assimilating your proteins, your acid-base minerals like iron and calcium as well as magnesium. A, apple cider vinegar would be number one.
The other real aid is a good omega-6s. We’re demonizing all the omega-6s at the exclusion of the good omega-6s which is a GLA substance, so important as a precursor to hormones as well, and that is hemp seed oil. One of my real secrets in the book is to really glorify hemp seed, and we have a new mantra called Hemp, Hemp, Hurray. Hemp, Hemp, Hurray for hemp seed oil is an absorber of radiation, good for the mitochondria, good for the cell membrane, good for the skin, it’s the best thing to get rid of psoriasis and eczema. That would be my number two real trick of the trade.
The number three, I think, would be the salt and soda bath. We’re surrounded by so much EMF in this day and time that you really have to neutralize the excess acidity on a fluid level. Taking two cups of baking soda, two cups of salt, and maybe 20 minutes of a hot bath three times a week I think is important to reduce that acidity on that fluid level in the body which is really exacerbated and accelerated by so much radiation, both ionizing and non-ionizing radiation. That would be number three and probably number four if I may, to get to the awesome foursome.
We need sun. You need all the full spectrum rays that the sun provides probably at the time that’s most apropos, which is 10:00 AM to 02:00 PM. You need the red light therapy that you so readily write about, you need the Vitamin D, and you need to keep your skin to the point of burning which is very important if you take some internal sulforaphane which is an internal sunscreen. I’m a big believer in just following mother nature. There are really no secrets to longevity, it’s following your own bliss.
Ari: Beautiful. I want to say amen to that last one on sunlight. It’s actually the subject of the next book that I’m going to be putting out there. It is all about the science around sunlight and human health. One of the things that I’m very, very passionate about is teaching people about those benefits, and also teaching people about the fact that this is one of the big keys to health that has been widely underappreciated and ignored. I absolutely love that you’re including it in your top four.
Dr. Gittleman: Absolutely, you’ve got to embrace the sun. I think it’s extremely important, and we’ve got this all ass-backward if you should excuse the expression. You need the sunlight. You don’t need to have the kind of sunscreens that are the chemicalized sunscreens that are so toxic to the skin and providing us with so much skin cancer. You need the Vitamin D, you need to be out in the air to get it, out in the sun to get it. Welcome the sun, embrace the sun, bless the sun, amen.
The 7 rules to longevity
Ari: Beautiful. Tell me the seven rules. One of the things you talk about in this book is the seven rules to radical longevity. Are those covered by some of the things you just mentioned, or what are those seven rules?
Dr. Gittleman: Well, the first one is immunity is everything. You and I both know we’re just coming out of a pandemic, immunity is absolutely everything. You need the right vitamins, the right minerals, you need the right melatonin at night to protect you against the EMFs, to protect your glutathione and your SOD. You also need a humidifier in the house that your respiratory tract is protected, especially the nasal labia or the nasal cilia so that you’re not subject to dry air. That would be number one.
Ari: If you don’t mind, that’s something that I recently learned about, I listened to a whole podcast on that specific subject. It’s something that I really didn’t know much about until recently. I would love for you to just talk a bit more in-depth on the importance of humidity in the air as it relates to immune function in the mucous membranes.
Dr. Gittleman: Well, this was a surprise to me. There was a study that was done in 2019 at Harvard, this was a very prestigious study obviously, some of the annals of our prestigious institutions, and they found out that the most important factor to protect against respiratory infections was not adequate Vitamin D, although you and I know how important that is. It wasn’t taking your flu shot, it wasn’t washing your hands, it wasn’t staying vaccinated.
Most important aspect of protecting against respiratory infections was the use of a humidifier in the home where you kept the humidity between 40% and 60%. You need to keep those mucosal membranes well nourished and well, properly nourished and properly lubricated. That’s the word I’m looking for. Dry air has a real way of getting into the system and can carry viruses more adeptly to the entire body. So this is so easy to implement in the house, Ari. I think it is the number one thing that people would be happy to read about in the article on longevity. It’s important, it’s cheap and inexpensive and it works.
Ari: Absolutely, great. Sorry to interrupt your flow on the seven rules, but I just wanted to quickly digress into that one, because I think it’s important and not enough people actually know about it. Carry on with the seven rules.
Dr. Gittleman: The seven rules, that would be number one. The importance of vitamin D, which of course you and I know is a hormone, it’s actually a prohormone. It’s vitamin D, the right kind of vitamin C, zinc is most important antiviral mineral, and quercetin which is an important antioxidant. I covered that, I covered the levels, I covered the kind of tests that you need to take to make sure that your blood levels are actually accurate, because taking a traditional test doesn’t tell you what’s optimally healthy, just tells you the average of what the sick people are showing in the country.
I show you all that in the book. That’d be very important for number one, immunity is everything. Once you agree immunity is everything that’s come to the forefront because of the pandemic.
Ari: Yes, absolutely.
Dr. Gittleman: We’ve got that as number one. Number two is take on toxic overload and that’s a big one. We’re surrounded by toxins. Somebody wants to tell me we need three livers in this day and age, not just one liver, three livers. You’ve got your heavy metals, you got your mold, you’ve got your bacteria, you’ve got your parasites, you’ve got your EMFs. I’ll take you through each of those and tell you what the protocols are, how to get rid of them, the detoxifying baths like the salt and soda bath, or even Clorox bath that you can take to get rid of heavy metals. There’re vinegar baths that you can take so that you can get rid of your aches and pains in your muscles.
There all kinds of things you can do, internally, topically and in terms of bathing. That would be probably number two, and that’s very important in terms of the use of fiber to chelate all that out of you to take the right kind of beans in your diet because that provides a way in which the bile can get recycled healthfully because of insoluble fiber. A lot of tips and tricks that people have never read before, I put in the book.
Ari: Did you say Clorox baths?
Dr. Gittleman: I did. I said, Clorox [chuckles] bath. Yes, shocker. This actually isn’t in the book, but I thought I would just shock your listening audience, to your reading audience by talking about that. It was something that was taught to me by Dr Parcells way back in 1974. She was the alternative dome of natural medicine. I learned way back when to detoxify my food using a homeopathic prescription of a half a teaspoon of Clorox and a gallon of water in which I put all my foods. I just separated them into the fruit, the vegetables, the meat, the eggs, and so forth, leaving in the Clorox bath for 20 minutes, and you’d be surprised at what comes up from the surface of the foods.
It gets rid of the pesticides, the herbicides, the mold and the parasites. She also taught us and we saw this time and time again and I’ve used this with my clients over the past 40 years. Believe it or not, I’ve been at this work 40 years. If you take a half a cup of Clorox put in your bath water, you’ve got all kinds of skin conditions that haven’t seemed to be resolved any other way, it will actually get rid of them.
Ari: Wow, so Clorox baths has two meanings. One is you sitting in the bath, the other one is bathing your fruits and vegetables in it.
Dr. Gittleman: Yes, because it has an oxygenating capacity.
Ari: Got it. That was number two or three of the seven rules.
Dr. Gittleman: That’s number two. Let’s see, number three. Number three is free up fascia. Fascia is the connective tissue in your body that connects us all as one little integrated unit. It’s important to stretch on a daily basis, do myofascial release to make sure that you’re not in the same sitting position on a daily basis, because the fascia can get frozen, you can get problems with your neck, your joints, your back, your shoulder, your hips, your knees. That’s the importance of fascia.
I’ve been very fascinated by it, but I give you tips and tricks to get rid of the frozen fascia to make sure it’s not really arthritis, but it’s actually a frozen fascia or adhesions that are so hard to maneuver, because they’re 2000 pounds tensile strength. We talk about the way in which you get rid of internal scars, adhesions in the use of coping, acupuncture, stretching, in particular myofascial release, which I think is so imperative in this day and time.
Ari: Excellent. What about number four? I’ll let you go through the whole flow of the seven and then come back to some questions on some of these.
Dr. Gittleman: Number four, is activate cellular rejuvenation. You activate cellular [chuckles] rejuvenation by taking the right supplements, redox signaling, molecules redox signaling supplements. Lithium is one of those. It’s a signaling molecule, very important for the brain. I talked about the importance of quercetin, in that regard. Vitamin C, which is a premier antioxidant. Of course, the use of apple cider vinegar, which gives you a little tad acidic on the cellular level. Are we on number five?
Dr. Gittleman: Stop AGEs. Are you familiar with advanced glycation end products?
Dr. Gittleman: I wasn’t, not the way that I should have been before writing the book. I came across a book by Dr Helen Vlassara on the AGE-Less Diet, and I learned that animal food like the ones we’re all eating and the ketogenic diet are very high innately in advanced glycation end products that are toxic waste products, that are naturally formed when you age a particular food or naturally occurring in certain altered animal foods, fats and proteins.
We talk about that in the book and how certain cooking methods really instigate the advanced glycation end products activation, which means that high and dry cooking is not really good, but you need to be cooking in a lot of water at low heat. That’s very important. Goodbye to grilling, broiling, frying and air frying.
Ari: Got it. What about number six?
Dr. Gittleman: Number six, I’m going to cheat by looking in the book, if you don’t mind.
Ari: [laughs] Yes.
Dr. Gittleman: I forget which order this is in. It’s mind your minerals. Minerals can be your best friend or they can be a double-edged sword. I talk about the copper dysregulation, iron dysregulation, the tests that you need, how certain water supplies are loaded with divalent copper, which is not the healthy copper, how you have to go through your vitamins and minerals to get rid of excess iron and excess copper. Of all the minerals that I was able to analyze in the book, these are the two that stockpile in your brain, and it an really affect the neurofibrillary tangles as well as the aggregation of beta amyloid plaques.
Getting the right kind of iron and making sure that you test for it is important with the ferritin test, and the same thing with copper is very important, particularly for brain health, heart health, the health of your joints and the health of your skin. That is probably the biggest aha moment that I found, the difference between the copper, the divalent the mono-copper, and how you get them in different foods and what the best sources are for your vitamins and minerals.
Ari: Number seven.
Dr. Gittleman: Optimize the gut-brain connection. We all know how important the gut is, but I’m not a believer in high doses of probiotics. I have learned that high dose of probiotics, more than 10 billion CFUs at any one time can really put the system into overdrive, particularly the immune system. We talked about the best sources of the prebiotics, the probiotics and how you can make the neurotransmitters for the brain. There’s a gut-brain connection most definitely.
The harmful effects of copper and iron overload
Ari: Let’s go to minerals, first. You said there’s two minerals that stockpile on the brain that can contribute to neurological diseases. It sounds like copper and iron?
Dr. Gittleman: Yes.
Ari: What would be one or two tips for people to either prevent that from occurring, or to help lower the amounts of copper and iron that have accumulated in the brain?
Dr. Gittleman: The first one would probably be iron. I would suggest that everybody gets on a yearly basis a ferritin blood test, which is very simple to get in any particular lab. Normally, the doctor doesn’t prescribe them, but a ferritin blood test, which is stored iron. You want to make sure that, that stored iron is below 100 on the test. You’ve got to be below the number 100. Because the test ranges from 300 to 1000. You want to be below 100. Those people that are below 100, particularly the blue zone people are the healthiest people in the world and have the longest lifespan.
If it is over 100, you want to get it down to that. You give blood on a yearly or every three months basis depending upon your level. Taking a ferritin test is important. Getting rid of your cast iron pots and pans would be second in line to the importance of the ferritin test. Many of my friends, family fans, people that did the beta group in the testing when we found high ferritin, and we found it in young people, older people, males that were coming down with heart disease and all kinds of predispositions to diabetes.
We got rid of the iron pots and pans and they came down at least 100 points within three months. That is a biggie. I never realized that iron was such a double-edged sword. The reality is, as women we menstruate on a monthly basis until we reach the age of menopause around the age of 51, then we start accommodating ourselves to the same levels of heart disease as males. Iron is a biggie. It also plays a big triggering role in heart disease based on studies that were done way back in the 1990s. Iron is a double-edged sword. Getting a ferritin test exceedingly important for every single one of us, if you want to beat diabetes, if you want to beat Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and even ALS.
Ari: Excellent. What about copper?
Dr. Gittleman: I’ve been interested in copper for decades, I wrote a book called Why Am I Always So Tired? Because I have been a copperhead for many, many years [chuckles] and I never knew that there was a real difference between food-based copper, which is in your food from avocados, nuts and seeds, and tea and soy products, of course, that are fermented, and the divalent or synthetic copper, which is unbound that you’re going to get in your vitamins and minerals, you’re going to get in copper sulfate sprays, and you get it in your water, water that’s carried into the house through copper pipes.
When writing the book Ari, I was approached by a gentleman out of the blue and I thought this was the universe speaking to me in some way, who said that he had the answer to Alzheimer’s. I said, “What is that answer to Alzheimer’s,” he was Dr George Brewer, and he’s mentioned in the book. He has made a connection between the rise of Alzheimer’s and the implementation of copper water pipes in developmental countries a century ago.
He’s shown with graphs how that is very much correlated. The way that you can prevent that from happening is by making sure that you have a copper-blocking water filtration system like reverse osmosis, and looking at your vitamins and minerals, and getting those that are copper free.
Ari: Excellent. You mentioned blood donation, and you said something about the frequency of blood donation, basing it on your ferritin results on the blood tests? Can you repeat what it was? What was your recommendation on that?
Dr. Gittleman: For those that have a ferritin level at about 200, I would start giving blood every two to three months until that level comes down to 100. If it is at least, let’s say 100, then you’re in the safe range. On a yearly basis it’s a matter of course because you’re benefiting the person that you’re donating to, you’re benefiting yourself, give blood yearly, it’s the best way to prevent a heart attack.
Ari: I have a couple of questions and comments. One is, I recently looked into the research on blood donation, and I was actually really impressed with the clear link, the clear signal in the research showing a link with longevity and giving blood regularly.
Dr. Gittleman: I love that.
Ari: I think that this is a key to health that has largely been neglected.
Dr. Gittleman: Totally ignored, nobody is talking about it, it’s the easiest thing you can do. It’s more important than anything else that I write about in the book. I do agree with you. The people that are the longest-lived have very low iron levels in their blood, they have low ferritin levels, we’re talking about the blue zones and the Mediterranean area.
Ari: Your recommendation is to keep it about 100, but I think you said that the normal range they’re saying is 300 to 500, or 300 to 800?
Dr. Gittleman: It depends upon the lab, but based on the research that I did, it should actually be a little lower than 100. I’m giving that as a round ballpark, you would be surprised when you have your patients, your listeners, your followers, your friends, your fans when they start doing a ferritin test, it will be all over the map. This is one of the ways in which we can prevent early demise.
Ari: The low end on what they’re considering their range is about 300, is that correct?
Dr. Gittleman: Depending upon the lab, it can be anywhere from 300 to 1000.
Ari: On the low end, right?
Dr. Gittleman: That’s their low end, but that’s actually much higher. The clinical tests that were done in Finland back in the ’90s, those people that had 300 were on their way to their second heart attack.
Ari: You’ve seen data indicative that, what they’re saying is the low end and the normal range should actually be much lower than what it is.
Dr. Gittleman: The optimally healthy range should be much lower. That’s based upon the longest-lived people in the world, the blue zones, and people living in the Mediterranean that are now considered the longest-lived people in the world.
Ari: Got it. I want to come back to apple cider vinegar, something that you mentioned as your first tip there. Then you mentioned again under activating cellular rejuvenation. You’re saying it alters pH, what is it doing to alter pH? Obviously, it’s a very acidic liquid, and then what’s happening in the body from there? What is it actually doing in the body that’s giving benefits?
Dr. Gittleman: It becomes an alkaline source after certain metabolic processes. What it does is it inactivates calcium which can get stuck in the intracellular fluid. When you’re exposed to a lot of EMFs, for example, the body activates the voltage-gated calcium channels and it dumps a lot of calcium into the cell itself into the mitochondria. You want to get rid of that, and you can with an ingredient like apple cider vinegar that has the ability to chelate calcium, that’s number one.
Number two, you’ll find that the older people that live longer have a lot of vinegary type foods, they eat a lot of pickles, they eat a lot of sauerkraut, they eat a lot of kimchi, they eat a lot of yogurt, which has an acidic base. That eventually turns into an alkaline, but on a radionic cellular level that has a little bit of an acid pH for the cell itself, which needs to have that kind of charge for the battery to hold the charge.
Ari: Got it. Okay. Then a couple of the other things you mentioned for cellular rejuvenation, you said vitamin C, and lithium. Can you talk a bit about the benefits of those?
Dr. Gittleman: Yes, lithium was another aha moment, I think using the humidifier for me was an aha moment in terms of preventing against respiratory illness because that doesn’t cost very much money. It’s something you just install on the house and you forget about it. When I did my chapter on the brain, I learned that lithium is one of the most important nutritional elements.
I’m not talking about the drug lithium, I’m talking about the micronutrient lithium itself. It’s been found based on studies done in the ’70s, ’80s, and ’90s, that individuals that took low doses of lithium had no evidence of cognitive dysfunction. We’re now finding the lithium itself can reverse not just mitigate and manage and control but actually can reverse Alzheimer’s.
The amount that’s suggested in these clinical studies was anywhere from about 5 milligrams to 80 milligrams. What I have found from interviewing so many people from my book area is that the sweet spot is 20 milligrams a day of lithium orotate. Again, this is a nutrient, it’s a minor mineral, but very important in terms of cellular health, and in terms of brain health.
Ari: How many milligrams did you say?
Dr. Gittleman: 20?
Ari: Wow. Okay, that’s a pretty sizable dose. I remember–
Dr. Gittleman: That’s if you have signs of Alzheimer’s. For those of us that want to prevent it, that’s the sweet spot that I got from about six people that actually had full-blown cognitive dysfunction, and were on their way to a full-blown Alzheimer’s. For those of us that want to prevent it, it’s five milligrams.
Ari: Got it. I’m used to seeing more 2.5 to 5-milligram recommendations. Got it. This was years ago when I looked into this, but I’m curious if you know something about this. I remember reading some research and stories around certain areas where the water source, like the spring and the water source for a particular town, is unusually high in lithium. I think there has been some research where they’ve actually looked at rates of mental illness, for example or neurological diseases-
Dr. Gittleman: They’re low.
Ari: -In places where they either have water sources with high or low lithium and they found a number of correlations there. Do you know anything about that?
Dr. Gittleman: I ran across it in my studies and I ran across an article that was published in The New York Times, I think in 2014 that actually talks about it. It’s the first article that I saw that characterizes lithium as the Cinderella mineral, and of course, I use that in my book.
Ari: Very Interesting.
Dr. Gittleman: I wish we could get lithium water. I don’t know of any source of lithium. I know we can get silica water which is good to get rid of Alzheimer’s or aluminum that may be also connected to Alzheimer’s, but I’m not sure of the lithium-based water so I take it in the supplement from that, and it’s very inexpensive, the lithium orotate.
Vitamin C benefits
Ari: Got it. What about vitamin C, what’s your take on that? What’s your take on dosage and what’s your take on what the key benefits are of supplementing with it if you’re recommending supplementing or how best to get vitamin C if you’re recommending from whole foods?
Dr. Gittleman: That’s a good question. You have to understand number one that I’m married to a man who saved his life from four-stage melanoma by using 20 grams of vitamin C a day. I have a predisposition and prejudice towards high doses of vitamin C. I personally take Ari, 20 grams of vitamin C per day. I take it in a buffered source. It also has a little bit of D-Ribose. It also has some MSM associated with it. It’s called Vitality C. The higher dose of vitamin C that you can tolerate, the more you’ve got toxicities that need to be neutralized.
I’m probably heavy metal toxic because I can accommodate 20 grams without any kind of bowel dysfunction whatsoever. Most people can tolerate 4 to 10 grams per day. I’m a big believer because it’s very important, it’s a precursor to collagen, I use that for my skin, it is a precursor to hydrogen peroxide in the cell. It’s very important to stop the spread of cancer and metastasis of any kind of cancer in addition to lysine and proline. I’m a big believer in vitamin C, it is the premier anti-oxidant so I’m a big, big believer. I don’t use a lot of collagen personally, I use vitamin C.
Ari: Got it. Out of curiosity, why don’t you use collagen?
Dr. Gittleman: Because I don’t like the sources. I actually send some of them to labs and I find a lot of fluoride in the collagen powders I’ve tested.
Ari: Where do you think that’s coming from?
Dr. Gittleman: I have no idea. I think it could be used as a pesticide of some sort, some sort of spray, some sort of fungicide, herbicide, but it’s certainly there in big amounts. I see that in bone powders as well. That’s why I don’t talk very much about certain bone broths in the book. Only certain brands that I’ve tested that I know to be mostly, how shall I say it, heavy metal and chemical-free.
Ari: Let’s talk about AGEs. You actually covered this, I think for the most part in your recommendations on cooking, not high and dry but low temperature and–
Dr. Gittleman: Wet. Wet is better. Wet is so much better and now that I’m now looking at new research, the only kind of pots and pans that I recommend to everybody is stainless steel. There’s a brand I’m going to just throw out the brands because you can’t find this elsewhere, you can’t find these easily, it’s the Saladmaster, which is a high-gauge stainless steel, no nickel in the ingredients. High-gauge stainless steel and you’re cooking in a vacuum seal of 180 degrees so that you’re not destroying the enzymes.
Right now, we’re doing high heat cooking. It’s destroying all the precious enzymes that are co-factors of all the minerals. I like low, wet moisture cooking. I like to steam. I like to saute. I like to use soups. I like slow cookers and I like slow cookers that are cooked in the Romertopf, which is a clay pot and pan that’s covered with a glaze that’s made from glass so that the clay does not leach into the food, the way the cast iron can leach into the food, the way the aluminum can leach into the food, and the way the copper can leach into the food.
Ari: Got it. What was the name of the brand that you recommended for stainless steel pots and pans?
Dr. Gittleman: Saladmaster.
Dr. Gittleman: It’s called Saladmaster, yes.
Ari: Got it. For people who might not have caught it, what are AGEs? What are advanced glycation end-products?
Dr. Gittleman: They’re toxic waste substances. They’re waste substances that the body metabolically makes and that are inherently contained in altered proteins and fats from animal foods particularly. Some of the high AGEs foods are the ones that are so popular in the ketogenic diets. I’m talking about bacon, cheese is exceedingly high in AGEs as well as butter. I use those very rarely in my eating routine and don’t recommend them in the book.
Ari: Then let’s talk about the gut-brain connection. You mentioned you’re not a fan of high-dose probiotics. What would you say are the big keys to optimizing the gut-brain connection?
Dr. Gittleman: I think having a high dose of natural prebiotics in the diet. I love whey protein because it’s a natural prebiotic. I love [unintelligible 00:33:50], a crunchy vegetable natural prebiotic, I like lots of pickles, I like lots of kimchi, I like lots of nettle, and like lots of miso unheated. I like food sources, I’ll be very honest with you. I was a spokesperson for 10 years for a company called Essential Formulas and Dr Ohhira’s Probiotics, which I’m sure you’ve heard of.
I spoke directly with Dr Ohhira himself, a very renowned Japanese microbiologist that sell more than 10 billion CFU of probiotic will put the immune system on overdrive. I think if you’re going to be taking high probiotics, you want to stagger it through the day, not take a high dose all at once.
Ari: Got it. I want to talk about your overall dietary approach. You’ve mentioned keto a couple of times here in the context of advanced glycation end-products, you’ve mentioned that you’re not crazy about collagen and things of that nature. Are you recommending a vegan diet? If you were going to explain your overall dietary recommendations, the overall dietary template, how would you describe that?
Dr. Gittleman: It’s a mixed bag, Ari. The vegan dishes we have in the program, there’s a lot of vegan-type casseroles and so forth. I have high plant foods in the diet. I have plant oils. Mostly, we have some coconut oil. We have some macadamia oil for high-heat cooking. We’ve got a lot of nuts and seeds that are lightly toasted and not roasted. It’s a mix, I’m really not an extremist at this point in time. I’ve been there done that with my clients and myself as a former macrobiotic vegan health enthusiast. I’ve seen what works and what doesn’t. As we get older, we need a little bit of everything. It’s almost like a 40-30-30 template that I’ve gone back to in the book.
Ari: Nice. You don’t recommend excluding animal foods. You think animal foods are compatible with good health and longevity?
Dr. Gittleman: Yes. As long as you’re eating them seasonally, you’re not overcooking them, you’re not frying them and using a lot of grilling without marinating, absolutely.
Ari: Got it. You mentioned aging in the context of being a privilege. Can you explain that?
Dr. Gittleman: Well, I think we should wear our ages like a badge of courage because we’ve been on the planet long enough to deserve respect, adulation, and real honor, so to speak. That’s very true in many different cultures except for our own. I’ve seen many of my cohorts that have been around for so many years, all of a sudden die at the age of 50 and 60 and we never know why.
I just think that some of the areas, again, that I highlight in the book, are those areas that may be hiding in plain sight, that were absolutely ignored, like giving blood once a year. I mean, that’s just an important thing we should all encourage ourselves to do. Cooking in the right pots and pans, making sure that you have iron-free and copper-free multiples are exceedingly important. They’re just little things that you can do, little tweaks that are making huge changes in your lifestyle that are expensive, that this book really offers.
Ari: Are there any surprises in the book? This will probably be my last question. You’ve been so comprehensive and so succinct and direct in your answers and you’ve given so many just practical tips. Usually, I end with, if you could give your top three practical tips, but I feel like we’ve already covered 20 of your practical tips. My last question to you is, are there any big surprises?
This could be a few things, this could be something like you have a particularly novel or against the grain sort of mainstream thinking, dietary or lifestyle strategies that you think are really important that most people don’t know about and/or specific foods that people might be surprised to learn about have really unique benefits and they didn’t really realize, there are more things that were surprising even to you. Anything in that category?
Dr. Gittleman: Probably the hemp seed oil, because it’s an Omega 6, which again is [inaudible 00:38:06] and the skin. That would probably be in that category. The aha moment was the importance of lithium as a preventative for Alzheimer’s and we should start that 40 years before we get into the stages and ages that Alzheimer’s rears its ugly head. That’d be number two. Making sure that we have iron-free vitamins and multiples if we have high ferritin levels. Those would be the most surprising.
Look, I’ve ridden against the medical grain for years. I mean, I’ve been out there talking about the importance of good fats, talking about the importance of detoxification, the importance of getting rid of your certain pots and pans. I mean, this is not new news to my followers. This is just a conglomeration and a kind of accumulation of my whole body of work. I think people will find that we’re challenging conventional medicine, challenging conventional nutrition, but with common sense and straight from the hip advice.
Ari: Beautiful. Dr Gittleman, I really enjoyed this, thank you so much for your time. Your new book is titled Radical Longevity and it’s coming out very, very soon. When is that coming out?
Dr. Gittleman: May 11th is D-Day, drop day.
Ari: May 11th, okay. Right now it’s May 6th as we’re recording it, I’m going to try to get this episode out. Do you know what day of the week May 11th is?
Dr. Gittleman: It’s a Tuesday.
Ari: Tuesday, okay. We’ll try and get it out the following Saturday, which would be the 15th or 16th, or something like that.
Dr. Gittleman: How wonderful, thank you.
Ari: Yes, my pleasure. Thank you so much for coming on the show. This was a lot of fun. I hope to connect with you in the future.
Dr. Gittleman: You will. I’d like you to be a guest on my podcast.
Ari: Awesome, I look forward to it. Thank you so much and best of luck. I hope your book launch is a huge success.
Dr. Gittleman: Thank you so much from your lips to God’s ears.
Why your biology is not your biography (04:20)
The biggest nutritional tools (06:15)
The 7 rules to longevity (10:10)
The harmful effects of copper and iron overload (19:40)
Vitamin C benefits (30:40)