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Today’s guest is a second-time guest, Dr. Ann Louise Gittleman! She is an award-winning nutritionist and New York Times Best Selling Author of over 30 books on health and nutrition including diet, detox, women’s health, perimenopause, menopause, beauty, and the environment. SELF Magazine recognized her as one of the Top 10 Notable Nutritionists in the United States, and she’s known as the First Lady of Nutrition. It is such an honor to have her on the show again!

Dr. Ann Louise Gittleman’s Website:

Bile Builder:

Video Version:



Chantel Ray:                 Hey guys, welcome to this week’s episode, and today’s guest is a second time guest. We’ve had her on on the show a few months ago. She was such a huge hit, we got such amazing feedback, and so some people asked for some follow up questions and we asked her to come back, and she graciously did. Dr. Ann Louise Gittleman. She is the award-winning nutritionist and she’s a New York Times best selling author of over 30 books. She is recognized as the first lady of nutrition, and it’s such an honor to have you back on the show again, welcome.

Dr. Gittleman:              It’s a pleasure to be with you and your audience. Hello, hello from Texas, the great state of Texas.

Chantel Ray:                 Well, I know that you have an amazing website for the latest book,, and you’ve got tons of free gifts on there. If anyone wants to go there, what are some of the free things that you offer?

Dr. Gittleman:              Well, I give you 25 free recipes which are wonderful downloads to have a radical healthy lifestyle. For those that have a slow metabolism, if they’re between 40 and 50 and can’t lose weight like they did in their 20s and 30s, we’re giving you 25 free recipes and a special download which is a report on crushing cravings and how to stock your kitchen with name brands for healthy skin, hair, and nails. It’s especially good for individuals without a gallbladder, with a slowed down thyroid, and for autoimmune conditions. It covers all of our bases.

Chantel Ray:                 Wow. Before we get started with the questions, I do want to tell listeners, if you haven’t listened to her first podcast with us, go back and listen to that episode. That’s episode number 53, and get caught up on some of the things that we’re talking about, because this is a follow up program and this has a lot of questions that were asked in the first time. Let me ask you before we start with the listener questions, what is your latest project that you have going on? Is the Radical Metabolism it, or do you have something else cooking?

Dr. Gittleman:              I have a new book cooking. I have a new …

Chantel Ray:                 You are just like, one book after another book after another.

Dr. Gittleman:              Well, you know, I’ve had the pleasure, the privilege of being out there for 30 to 40 years, so I’ve been there, seen that, done that. I’ve been through perimenopause, beyond perimenopause, and PMS. I have the sense of women’s issues, autoimmune issues, and mysterious diseases, Chantel, that haven’t been identified or resolved through any other method. I’m putting that all together in a brand new book, but right now we’re really cooking with a national best seller, which is Radical Metabolism, and it’ll give you the foundation that you’ll need to be healthy for the rest of your life.

Chantel Ray:                 Awesome. All right, well, let’s jump in. The first question is from Brandy in New Hampshire.

Dr. Gittleman:              Hi Brandy.

Chantel Ray:                 “A couple of my friends have been talking about trying the amazing gallbladder and liver flush. I wanted to see if this was something you were familiar with, and was it something that you recommend?”

Dr. Gittleman:              Well, that’s a loaded question Brandy from New Hampshire, which is near Connecticut, my home state. As a fellow New Englander, I can tell you that that is not a new program. It’s been around for at least 30 to 40 years. It can work well with some people, but there’s a danger, and the danger is that if you have anything brewing in the gallbladder ducts, then you can create even more hazards when that gallbladder stone or residue gets stuck in the ducts. It could be life threatening.

Dr. Gittleman:              Rather than do a program where you don’t know what’s going on in your system, because this is kind of a crap shoot of the dice, so to speak, I would suggest that you pick up Radical Metabolism and look at the four day cleanse which is designed to clean out the liver and the gallbladder safely with watercress soup and juices twice a day. In addition to that, there’s a product called Bile Builder which reduces all the congestion in the gallbladder, and if god forbid you have stones, it’s very safe because it will help to resolve and disintegrate them. You want to do something safe so that you’re not sorry afterwards.

Chantel Ray:                 Yeah, and I would say the same thing. I haven’t tried it, I know all about it. I’ve toyed with the idea of doing it, but like you said, if you have a big stone in your gallbladder and it can’t pass through, now you’re talking about, you know, some things that could go really wrong. I’ve seen some people who have had great success with it, but I do think it’s a more risky way to do it, and I think, like you said, there’s some alternative ways to do it that is a little bit less risky.

Dr. Gittleman:              Much less risky, and in the book I talk about the importance of the bitters that are included in this gallbladder cleanse. If you do my half a grapefruit twice a day, you’re getting the grapefruit component. If you use olive oil rather than some of the oils I suggest, you’re getting that. Lemon juice in the water, lemon in the water first thing in the morning, even some dandelion root tea. It’s a bitter cleanse, so to speak, that’s designed to dump the bile into the gallbladder duct, but since you don’t know what’s growing there and if you’ve taken contraceptives, if you’ve taken birth control pills, if you have a lot of heavy metals or parasites, this can be dangerous.

Chantel Ray:                 Yeah. All right, this is from Lauren in North Carolina. “I really enjoyed your podcast with Dr. Gittleman and I’m so excited she’s coming back on the show. On the last episode, she talked about not being a fan of kombucha, but didn’t elaborate too much. I was really thrown off by this because kombucha seems to be all the rage in my healthy circles. Could you talk about this some more and some of what the pros and cons of kombucha are, and what I should be looking out for?” This is Lauren in North Carolina.

Dr. Gittleman:              Hi Lauren in North Carolina. I’ve just come back from Charlotte, North Carolina, so I love that area as well. I’ll tell you one thing. Kombucha is usually made from a concentration of tea. Tea is a very high source of many phytonutrients, many antioxidants, but it’s also a source of fluoride. A lot of tea in the system will actually slow down your metabolism because fluoride displaces iodine in the thyroid. We don’t want anything that will displace your iodine in the thyroid. Taking kombucha, which is a high source of fluoride because of the tea that it’s made with, is going to put you at risk for thyroid slow down, that’s number one.

Dr. Gittleman:              Number two, there are a lot of free flowing yeasts that are made from this. In other words, it’s considered a probiotic, but many of the yeasts are not identified. They can go into the brain, they can go into the system in other ways, and you can be up for days and nights if you overdo too much of a good thing. I’d be very careful, and instead of kombucha to be used as a probiotic, why not take some jicama or some whey protein which is a healthy prebiotic, and get you some probiotics in the form of kimchi, sauerkraut, or miso soup. Much more healthy and less risk of fluoride toxicity that you get with kombucha that can also create adult acne because fluoride is connected and linked to adult acne that can’t be resolved unless you get rid of all fluoride containing products. Tea is very high in fluoride. It’s …

Chantel Ray:                 Do you drink tea at all?

Dr. Gittleman:              No, I drink dandelion root. I drink an herbal tea, let me qualify that. I drink kombucha … I drink dandelion root tea which is healthy for the gallbladder. That’s good for our first question that was asked. Dandelion root tea which is a bitter. I also like hibiscus, which is very cleansing, and I’m really in favor of something called bengal spice, which is a combination put out by …

Chantel Ray:                 Say that one again. Say that last one again.

Dr. Gittleman:              Bengal spice.

Chantel Ray:                 How do you spell it?

Dr. Gittleman:              I knew you’d ask. B-E-N-G-A-L, bengal, I believe. I don’t think there’s an H. Bengal spice, it is a sweet tasting tea. It is absolutely delicious and acts as a dessert. You will love it. It’s got cardamom, cloves, very healthy for the liver and gallbladder as to the question number one, and it’s very soothing. There’s a lot of misinformation about tea. White teas, green teas, black teas, they’re very high in antioxidants, I agree. However, they are also a high source of fluoride and I can’t help but think, Chantel, that with so many women complaining of thyroid issues, it’s because they’re overdoing too much of a good thing.

Chantel Ray:                 Wow, I love that.

Dr. Gittleman:              Yeah [crosstalk 00:08:53] but I know what I’m talking about. I’ve been around [crosstalk 00:08:57] most of it out there, and I can just tell you, when we get rid of the green tea, the white tea, the kombucha which is made from tea, as well as the regular new teas that are out there, the black teas, people lose weight better and if they just switch to the herbal tea so there’s no …

Chantel Ray:                 Fluoride.

Dr. Gittleman:              Fluoride toxicity, which can be tested through an iodine loading test. Just get rid of the tea and if you got a problem with weight loss, this may be the linchpin that you’ve been waiting for and it’s worth just listening to the whole podcast for that piece of information alone.

Chantel Ray:                 I’m going to put all of these different teas, if you’re listening or you’re driving in the car right now, you can go in the show notes. A lot of people are like, “How do I go in the show notes?” What we did is, to make it easier for you, you can go to and you can get a transcription to everything we’re talking about, so afterwards if you want to, you can see all this written, because you know, when you’re driving in the car and stuff like that, it’s hard to catch everything. Go to

Chantel Ray:                 I have to tell you something really funny. My pastor at church this Sunday, he was telling a joke and he was talking about kombucha, and he was lik, “Oh, well is your kombucha local? Is your kombucha small batch? Is your kombucha homemade?” He was just talking about, I don’t even remember actually now, he’ll kill me for saying I don’t remember what the point was, but I do remember him joking all these jokes about kombucha, it was really funny. But, anyway. I am going to take a break. I do drink quite a bit of unsweetened green tea, and so I’m going to try that and give that up and see how it is.

Dr. Gittleman:              You know something, when you buy the Radical Metabolism book, in one of those downloads I was talking about in terms of stocking up your kitchen, I believe we give you the name brands of the only teas that we have tested that we believe are completely fluoride free, so you’ve got a number of the name brands, as well as the name of the tea.

Chantel Ray:                 Give us one of them that you have tested that is fluoride free.

Dr. Gittleman:              Hibiscus is one that I remember, hibiscus most definitely, and then the other one which we talk about in there because it has real weight loss properties, although it may also contain a bit of fluoride but not as much as the other teas, and this is the secret sauce, is oolong tea.

Chantel Ray:                 Okay.

Dr. Gittleman:              Very healthful. If you’re going to start weaning yourself off of these other teas, maybe oolong would be your transitional tea, and then you can go into the other ones.

Chantel Ray:                 Okay, perfect. All right, this next question is from Trisha in Vienna, and she doesn’t say where it is. I think it’s Vienna, Virginia, but it might be Vienna, Austria, I’m not sure. It says, “With it being the new year, a lot of my friends are talking about resolutions, and some of them are trying to give up coffee. Some of them say that the problem with their coffee is everything they add to it, while others say they’ve heard that caffeine ages you. One friend just simply said she doesn’t want something for her to depend on to get through her day. I can give up a lot of things I need to, but coffee would be really hard for me. What is your opinion on the pros and cons of coffee, and if I drink it black or with a little cream? Thoughts?” Trisha in Vienna.

Dr. Gittleman:              Okay, so Trisha, first of all, coffee can be a major weight loss tool. It can be very helpful for weight loss because of chlorogenic acid, not because of the caffeine, but because of a phytonutrient known as chlorogenic acid. It’s a type of antioxidant, a polyphenol. However, the toxic factor of coffee has to do with how it is grown. It’s loaded with pesticides and mold, it is a deterrent. You need organic mold free pesticide coffee. There is a name brand. May I give that name brand?

Chantel Ray:                 Yes.

Dr. Gittleman:              Okay, the name brand is called Purity. When you go to, you get a 30% off coupon for Purity coffee. People that have made the switch not only feel better, but the knowledge that there’s no mold, no toxins, no pesticides is very, very comforting for individuals that know how healthy coffee is. Coffee is a bitter. It’s very good for your gallbladder, for your liver. It’s cleansing and it’s good for your blood pressure.

Dr. Gittleman:              If you don’t like the caffeine component, and I’m one that doesn’t do well with caffeine, I’m hyped up enough as it is, I do a caffeine free Purity coffee. There you have it. A very important element for weight loss, and especially good for reduction of the liver, the bile, the gallbladder, and good, of course, for totally antiaging. The research is very compelling. You’ll find that coffee can be used. Now, what should you put in it? Now, that’s the question, because that’s part of the other part of what Trisha asked about. I would put in some coconut milk or coconut oil, and you’ll really get a weight loss boost.

Chantel Ray:                 Yeah, the one thing is, I’m really big into checking my blood sugar just for fun. Let’s say, I literally have one of those machines that people who are diabetic have and I just kind of carry it around with me. One of the things that, you can try it at home, literally try this. If you take your blood sugar and then go have a cup of coffee with coconut oil, it will literally drop your blood sugar down from, let’s say, if my blood sugar’s at 95, it’ll bring it down to 80. It’ll bring it at least 10, usually 15 points. That coconut oil is like, unbelievable how it just brings that blood sugar down.

Chantel Ray:                 You know, sometimes, let’s say I had a meal that was just a little bit more carb-ish or whatever, and I felt like my blood sugar was raised a little bit high. I’ll have a cup of coffee with that coconut oil and it immediately drops my blood sugar. I love your idea of having the decaf coffee, because I’m like, I don’t need coffee either. I’m like, always so amped up.

Dr. Gittleman:              No, so you can go either way with the Purity, but in the book, in Radical Metabolism, we do one other element besides the coconut milk that we put in our coffee. We make a blaster in the morning. It has one cup of coffee and a scoop of protein powder, so you’re really helping your blood sugar level off for three to four hours, as well as the coconut milk. We put in some cacao if you’d like, some cardamom, a little Stevia if you feel you need a little bit of sweetening, and even some ginger.

Dr. Gittleman:              That gives you a detoxification first thing in the morning, and your energy will be level for three to four hours. The concept of adding a little bit of oil or coconut milk which has that MCT, appetite suppressant is very important for individuals that want energy and a weight loss boost first thing in the morning. If you’re not a coffee drinker for whatever reason, you can use dandelion root tea and you’ll get the same benefit.

Chantel Ray:                 Awesome. Okay, this next one is from Courtney in Virginia Beach. She says, “I live right behind a police station and recently I received a letter that some heavy metals were found on their site and in the water. The letter recommended that all residences within a 1/2 mile radius have their ground water well tested for contaminants and said that the City Health and Public Works Department will come out and test this for free. None of my neighbors seem to be freaking out about this, but I am. Have you ever heard about something like this before? I have scheduled my appointment, which is a few weeks out. In the meantime, should I be avoiding my water; drinking in it, showering in it, etc? What are the “what ifs” if after the Health Department comes out and they say the water is safe, should I continue doing business as usual? If it’s not safe, what should I do? Help.” Courtney in Virginia Beach.

Dr. Gittleman:              All right, so Courtney is, where is she located?

Chantel Ray:                 Virginia Beach.

Dr. Gittleman:              Virginia Beach. This is not uncommon to have toxins in the ground water. What I have done, and you can do this yourself, is you contact my distributor who is UniKey Health Systems. I’m going to give you a telephone number, I’m tell you why this is so [inaudible 00:17:55]. 1-800-888-4353. They can connect you with a water purification expert that, with a third party test can test the ground water in your locale and custom fit a water system, a purification system that will block the particular chemical or heavy metal that is found in the water.

Dr. Gittleman:              Now, I have done this where I live. I live in the great state of Idaho most of the time. I have uranium in our water, and uranium can cause cancer. We have a great degree of thyroid, ocular, as well as brain cancer in that area. We have a particular system that blocks the uranium. That’s our toxin du jour, so to speak. You can do the same to have somebody that will test the water in addition to what she’s got on the docket for the next couple of weeks, and you will get a customized system through the water filtration system that UniKey offers.

Dr. Gittleman:              That’s what I can tell you, because what’s in the water in Virginia may be very different than what’s in the water someplace else. Everybody should test their water. It’s one of the reasons people are getting so sick and having these crazy mysterious diseases. What is coming through your water is coming through what you’re drinking and what you’re bathing in. What’s coming from the shower is more absorbed than even what you’re drinking. You need a shower filter, you need a home water filtration, and you need something for the bath, and that’s a home water system. It’s the best investment in your health you could possibly invest in.

Chantel Ray:                 Awesome. This next question is from Tracy in Winston Salem. “My mom had gallbladder issues in her 40s and had to have it removed after a lot of pain and complications. I want to do things to promote a good gallbladder health so that I can keep mine as long as possible. What kind of food should I keep on eating, or what should I be avoiding, and are there any supplements that you recommend?” Tracy in Winston Salem.

Dr. Gittleman:              That whole program is in the book. The whole program about the gallbladder, what you shouldn’t be eating, is in Radical Metabolism. I heartfully suggest that you get the book and pay close attention to the three top foods that I mention in the book. I’ll give you one of them which has been connected to gallbladder pain, and that food, believe it or not, is onions.

Chantel Ray:                 Really?

Dr. Gittleman:              One of the, yes, there was testing done way back in the ’60s with the top food allergists, and they determined that that is one of the top three food allergens that can create inflammation in the gallbladder. If you follow my program, you do the bitters, and get a supplement called Bile Builder, you’ll be thinning your bile, you’ll have free flowing bile. Bile [inaudible 00:20:40] is an ingredient, a kind of liquid that breaks down fats. It’s also a detox method, and it’s very important because the connection between the gallbladder and the thyroid is one very helpful for metabolism, so it’ll rev up your metabolism. You need free flowing bile. Bile is the key, Bile Builder is your go to RX.

Chantel Ray:                 All right, this is from anonymous. “I love your show and I started taking CBD oil. As soon as I started feeling it, I didn’t feel great, but I’m not sure if I was just coming down with some things and I wasn’t eating great at the time anyway, or if there’s an adjustment period or if this was just a coincidence.” Anonymous.

Dr. Gittleman:              It depends on the CBD oil she was taking. There are various brands, there are 100 different brands out. The one that I like for people, we’ve gotten the best results with, is from the company Plus. It seems to be very well vetted. That, I can tell you, I don’t know what condition she’s treating. I’ve had people that have used it topically with outstanding conditions. You have to be very careful with what you take internally. We need to know the brand she was taking and whether the company is third party testing.

Chantel Ray:                 Yeah, and I have a brand that I recommend. If you go to you can see the one that I recommend. This next question comes from Rose in Destin. You know what’s funny is like, all these people write where they’re from, but they only say like, their city. I was a straight A student when I was in school, and the only subject I didn’t have a great grade in was geography, and I feel like I just, like, it’s like coming back to haunt me. Rose in Destin, which I don’t even know … Do you know where Destin is?

Dr. Gittleman:              That’s in Florida.

Chantel Ray:                 I don’t know, I have no idea.

Dr. Gittleman:              I think that’s Florida, the great sunny state of Florida. Destin, I think is in Florida.

Chantel Ray:                 All right, she says, “I deal with hypothyroidism and have recently been learning how that is related to my bile and gallbladder. It’s all so confusing and I’m trying to figure out if my gallbladder is causing thyroid issues, or my thyroid is causing my gallbladder issues. I keep hearing people talk about how I need to create healthy bile. Can you talk about how these two are related, the thyroid and the gallbladder, and the role of the bile? I’m confused.” Rose in Destin.

Dr. Gittleman:              Okay, so it can go either way. Join the club, a lot of people are confused because the research is not definitive, so that’s number one. It’s very new information, number two. Number three, people that have poor bile flow have a 53% less robust metabolism. There’s a connection between the two. What comes first, is it the thyroid that it affects the gallbladder and the bile? We don’t know, but what we do know is that when people get their gallbladder out or they have congested bile, their thyroid slows down. It goes either way, let me just say that.

Dr. Gittleman:              What we know is that when the body secretes bile in order to break down fats, it also triggers the release of an enzyme that transforms T4 into active T3. The body works as an orchestra, not one system is isolated from another. When you have the bile working properly and your thyroid seems to be working properly as long as you have enough choline, number one, enough selenium number two, and also a nutrient which is known as flaxseed oil, if in fact you have Hashimoto’s. All of those are connected.

Dr. Gittleman:              The program is found definitively in Radical Metabolism, so get the book, get the downloads, and join our different little Facebook groups and I’ll answer your question more specifically. Needing to know exactly what’s going on with the gallbladder, what your liver enzymes are, and what your inherited tendencies are. Listen, women that take a lot of hormones are going to have congested bile. People that have heavy metals have congested bile. Bile is a detox it’s kind of like the, it’s a binder. In other words, whatever is toxic gets thrown into the bile and it can become very, very thick. It has to be thinned down and we have to thin it with our Bile Builder or we thin it with a little bit of beets, lemon, and water, or some dandelion root tea. My whole program is designed to thin your bile, save your gallbladder, and enhance your metabolism.

Chantel Ray:                 Awesome. Kim in Ohio. “I recently heard a doctor on another podcast talking about olive oil. He said it’s the best thing ever for us and that we can’t get enough of it, and that we should be putting it on everything that we eat. I was wondering if you agree with this first of all, and also if there is such a thing as too much healthy fats? Will that hurt my gallbladder?” Kim in Ohio.

Dr. Gittleman:              It’s a very good question, Kim in Ohio. Number one, olive oil is one of the healthy fats we have, but it’s not the only one. It’s not considered an essential fat.

Chantel Ray:                 What is your favorite healthy fats? If you had to say this is my top three, what would they be?

Dr. Gittleman:              Hemp seed oil. Hemp seed oil is very high in omega-6s for beautiful skin. My skin has never looked this good until I started hemp seed oil. It’ll get rid of eczema, it’ll get rid of psoriasis. It absorbs radiation. My second most, and I don’t know if I talked about this on your podcast because I do so many. The other one is pine nut oil. Make a note, this is huge, pine nut oil will cleanse and neutralize and soothe any irritation in your GI tract, from H. Pylori to full blown ulcers to leaky gut to problems with GERD and esophageal irritation in just three weeks. Those are omega-6s. Olive oil is not an omega-3 or an omega-6, it’s an omega-9. It’s not essential, it’s simply healthy, so that’s not the only fat you should have. If you can’t break down the fats, it’ll be harmful for your gallbladder, which is why you need a supplement like Bile Builder and the bitters that I talk about in the program. The question is right on target.

Chantel Ray:                 Expand on those bitters for just a second, and I bought your Bile Builder, it’s fantastic. I have it, but expand on the bitters for just a second.

Dr. Gittleman:              The bitters are important because they stimulate hydrochloric acid production which stimulates bile release. Most people that are 40 and above do not secrete enough hydrochloric acid, especially if they have an A blood type. I don’t know what kind of blood do you have. What is your blood type?

Chantel Ray:                 I really don’t know. Unfortunately, I just don’t …

Dr. Gittleman:              [inaudible 00:27:40]

Chantel Ray:                 I think A, I think it’s A actually, but I’m not 100%.

Dr. Gittleman:              I sense you’re an A blood type, because the A blood type people are very analytical and ask wonderful questions and you’re such a terrific interviewer. Having said that, genetically, you don’t produce enough hydrochloric acid.

Chantel Ray:                 Yes.

Dr. Gittleman:              If you just prompt the production of hydrochloric acid which in turn results in the prompting of the bile and secretion and release of bile. We want grapefruit, we want coffee if you’re a coffee drinker, we want bitter greens like arugula and watercress, and my watercress soup will detox the system, thin the bile, and get rid of gall stones in many cases.

Chantel Ray:                 Now, are you getting your bitters just from those foods that you talked about, or are you getting them from a supplement as well?

Dr. Gittleman:              I don’t get the bitters … We have supplements that are in the book, but I don’t personally use them. I use a lot of arugula, grapefruit, endive. My other one is, horseradish is another bitter that I use.

Chantel Ray:                 Oh, I love horseradish.

Dr. Gittleman:              It is a marvelous bitter, and you know what else is considered a bitter, there are bitter spices like ginger. We use ginger on a daily basis and cumin. Those are also considered bitters. The best herb of all to season with for your brain and your gallbladder and your liver is rosemary.

Chantel Ray:                 Okay, this is from Lexi in Norfolk. “I tried to give blood today and the nurse on the blood mobile told me that my iron was too low. This is the first time I’ve ever heard of this being an issue for me. What are some things I can do to improve my iron?”

Dr. Gittleman:              Well, a lot of women that are still menstruating can run the risk of iron anemia, iron anemia, which is related to lack of iron or sometimes even B12. What we need to do is we need to increase our use of organic eggs is a source of iron, as well as a little bit of red meat twice a week. With the addition of apple cider vinegar, which enhances the absorption of iron as well as calcium, three times a day. Put apple cider vinegar in water, two teaspoons three times a day in eight ounces of water. Take it a half an hour, an hour between meals, and you will enhance the metabolism, the assimilation of the iron that you’re getting in the red meat and the eggs. Those are the two highest sources. You don’t absorb a lot of iron from vegetable type proteins. We’re going to go with the red meat, hopefully she eats red meat, or the eggs. Or, you can take a supplement of iron glycinate, which is a form of iron that is not constipating.

Chantel Ray:                 Okay, well this goes right into our next question. It’s another question about iron. It’s Sarah in Providence. “I eat really healthy, I workout five times a week, and I’ve been doing intermittent fasting in a six hour window, but I’m still tired. I got my blood work done and everything seems to be fine, but my ferritin levels are very low while my iron is normal. What is the difference in iron levels and ferritin levels, and could this be what’s making me tired? Can you please explain what ferritin is?” Sarah in Providence.

Dr. Gittleman:              She’s in Providence, I would think that’s Providence, Rhode Island, another New Englander. Ferritin is stored iron, very simply. I don’t know what her ferritin level is. It needs to be at least 70 to be healthy for a woman. If it’s way below that, then she is feeling fatigued, her hair could be falling out. We need to get her iron absorption and retention, the retaining of the iron normalized. We do that with just the program I just mentioned. The apple cider vinegar, which is an acid because you need acid based substances to absorb iron, as well as red meat twice a week and eggs at least three times a week, of kind with the omega-3. You get it from chickens that [inaudible 00:31:36]. You want the healthiest type of foods you can. The other issue is that she may have to take a little iron glycinate, which is that non-constipating iron that I spoke about.

Chantel Ray:                 Yeah. I …

Dr. Gittleman:              70 is the magic number for a woman. If you’re way below 70, you’ll feel fatigued, your hair will not be looking good, it will not be thick. Iron is a big issue, too much or too little, you need to Goldilocks amount which is about 70 on your blood test.

Chantel Ray:                 Yeah, so I want to answer this question as well, because I had extraordinarily low ferritin levels, but my iron levels …

Dr. Gittleman:              What number was it?

Chantel Ray:                 It was like, 20. It was really, really low. What’s crazy is, what they say is normal for ferritin is not normal. They have such a huge range for what is normal for your ferritin levels, is not normal. My stepdad is a doctor and he kind of, I’ll try to reexplain what he said to me. Basically, ferritin is not an iron, but it’s a protein in the body which contains iron. Ferritin is the main form in which iron is stored in the body, and it’s the amount of ferritin that’s found in your blood that really reflects the amount of total iron that’s actually available to your body. Ferritin is really the best indicator of iron deficiency. A lot of times people will look at their iron and go, “Oh, well, my iron’s fine. No problem,” because my iron levels were fine, and I was like, “Well, why am I so tired? What’s going on?” My ferritin levels were super, super low.

Chantel Ray:                 He gave me two really good analogies that I want to share with the listeners today, because I did go through this myself. What he said is like, if you have $50 in your pocket, okay … No, let’s say you have $100 in your pocket, but in the bank account you have $0, well, that’s not good. Right? Iron would be like the $100 that’s in your pocket, but ferritin is like in the bank you’ve got no money at all. Well, what would be better if you had $50 in your pocket but you had $10,000 in your bank account, you’d rather have that. It’s kind of like, he said that like, ferritin would kind of be like, it’s like a hitchhiker. You need the ferritin, for the iron it’s kind of like a hitchhiker to go forward. That’s just kind of a little bit of an explanation of what ferritin is, but you really need to look at your ferritin levels. What did you say that you want to see the ferritin levels at?

Dr. Gittleman:              Well, I’m doing a new book and I talk a lot about ferritin. It’s the Goldilocks amount, and I think that your stepfather gave you good information. You want to see this for a woman at least, anywhere from 50 to 70. What we’re finding is a lot of people are stockpiling iron on the other end of this spectrum and are having iron overload problems, which we’re now identifying with levels that are above 100.

Dr. Gittleman:              You want to be 50 to 70, that’s the ideal, the optimal that’s healthy. If you start going above 100, iron can create problems in your liver, in your kidneys, in your brain, in your heart. A little is better, a lot is not good. Right now, those levels, as your stepfather alluded to, are very correct. They take norms from a sick population. You don’t want to look at what the lab says is healthy. You want to do exactly what you and I are saying.

Chantel Ray:                 Let’s talk about this. We don’t have a question on it, but I know that I’ve seen some people that have had ferritin levels that are too high, and a suggestion for that if your ferritin levels are too high is actually, I’ve heard to go ahead and go to the blood bank and give some blood so that you can generate new blood. Any thoughts on that?

Dr. Gittleman:              Yes and no. Everybody that’s listening to this podcast could save the lives of their husband, their loved ones, a brother, a sister, a cousin, because most men start elevating iron levels above the age of 18. With a woman, it’s 51 because she’s losing her iron every month when she menstruates. When we start losing blood, we start accommodating the same levels of heart disease as the men, we mirror that. This is what you need to do. On a yearly basis, you have to give blood twice a year and measure your ferritin. Your doctor’s not going to usually tell you to have a ferritin test, but we’re telling you for your own health and for the health of your heart and the health of your brain, you have this every year. That number should be 100 or below, as a general rule of thumb. For females, it should be a little bit lower.

Dr. Gittleman:              Yes, you give blood or you drink coffee during your meal, the teas that we’re talking about, even a little dairy, because those are foods that block the absorption of iron. Now, the benefit of olive oil, getting back to that previous question and making everything come full round, is that olive oil, it prevents the absorption and stockpiling of iron. It has a particular antioxidant that helps to make sure that you do not absorb a lot of iron from your foods. The reason the Mediterranean societies are so healthy is they’re not absorbing iron because they’re drinking so much wine, [inaudible 00:37:26].

Chantel Ray:                 I will tell you, Ann Louise, I have found … I’ve never been a wine drinker. I’ve always liked to eat my calories, I don’t like to drink them, and I don’t like wine because when I have, if I had half a glass I’ll have a headache the next day, and I found this wine that is absolutely so clean. If you go to, I literally could have a glass of it and feel like a million bucks, and the sulfites in there, there’s no added sulfites. It’s organic, it’s all been tested, so it’s really fantastic.

Dr. Gittleman:              You know, whether you drink wine or not, I’m not a wine drinker and I’m the daughter of a liquor salesman. My point being, [inaudible 00:38:13] the reason that the Mediterranean people are so healthy is not because of the olive oil per se, it’s because what the olive oil and the wine and the coffee that they’re drinking do to the absorption of iron. If you are going to drink wine and you do it the sulfite free, you do the organic, you do the glyphosate free, these are all elements that you need to keep in mind because as we go through life, we get different challenges, and iron overload, once you hit the age of 51 and menopause can be a real issue, and one that is hidden unless you start testing for your ferritin levels.

Chantel Ray:                 Awesome. This is from Becky in New York. “My thyroid is not good, but it’s getting a little better since I’ve been fasting. My numbers still aren’t back to normal. My doctor says that I might be low in iodine and that I can get iodine in dairy. But, I’ve listened to so many podcasts and thought dairy was not good for my thyroid. I’m so tired of this conflicting information. What could I do to raise my iodine levels, and should I be eating dairy or not?” Becky in New York.

Dr. Gittleman:              Okay, so Becky in New York, what I would do is I do an iodine test on yourself. This is an old fashioned test. You get a tincture of iodine in the pharmacy. You put a little bit of that, you paint your arm with a little bit of iodine, maybe the size of a nickel, and it should be yellow. You want the colored iodine. It’s very cheap in the pharmacy. You paint your arm. You watch and see how quickly that absorbs. If it stays for 24 hours, you have enough iodine. If you do not, if it goes away and melts and absorbs in four hours, you need iodine. The best way to get it is with Lugol’s Solution, which you can get online, 2% Lugol’s, one to five drops per day. That’s what you need to do.

Chantel Ray:                 Now, can you do those drops with your skin and not through your mouth?

Dr. Gittleman:              You can put them on the skin, yes you can, because it absorbs through the skin, absolutely. You can [crosstalk 00:40:24]

Chantel Ray:                 Here’s my arm here, so if I was going to do it, how much …

Dr. Gittleman:              Painting tincture of iodine. We use tincture of iodine because it’s usually colored. If you have the Lugol’s, you can use that as the test as well.

Chantel Ray:                 How much would you paint? Would I paint my entire forearm?

Dr. Gittleman:              No, no, no, no. You paint a little circle, maybe the size of a nickel so that you see it, visually. You watch to see how long it takes for your body to absorb it.

Chantel Ray:                 You’re saying, I like this idea. You’re saying if you put it on, and if in four hours, boom, it’s been absorbed, that means you are lacking iodine?

Dr. Gittleman:              It means you’re lacking, this is an old fashioned naturopathic nontoxic test, yes. You’d be surprised how many people absorb within two to four hours. Then you get the Lugol’s Solution, which you can take internally, you can also put that on your skin if you want. In terms of what you take internally, one to five drops usually does the trick. Yeah, and iodine is very deficient, just the way magnesium and the way zinc is.

Chantel Ray:                 Awesome. All right, this next question, this is our last one. It’s from anonymous. “I have really cleaned …

Dr. Gittleman:              Hi anonymous.

Chantel Ray:                 “I have really cleaned up my diet a lot. I’ve even got rid of all dairy, all gluten, but my psoriasis and eczema are still out of control. Do you have any other tips that I can try?” Anonymous.

Dr. Gittleman:              Yes, yes, yes, yes. My hemp seed oil that I talk about in Radical Metabolism. I got an interesting email from a skincare doctor that recommended my program to a client. The client came back within two weeks with a very angry father, and the angry father said, “How come you’re the only doctor that recommended this hemp seed oil in Gittleman’s book?” The doctor said, “It’s because I know she knows what she’s talking about.” The father said, “Well, I have taken my son for the past three years to dermatologists, this is the first time his skin has ever cleared up from his eczema, thanks to you.” My point being is, that this was a kind of left handed compliment. Hemp seed oil is high in omega-6s. For good skin, think omega-6. Two tablespoons of hemp seed oil a day …

Chantel Ray:                 Do you, with that hemp seed oil, are you literally just like …

Dr. Gittleman:              No, no, we’re putting it into a salad dressing. It’s part of the program. It’s built into the program. When people get the book, they’ll see.

Chantel Ray:                 Okay.

Dr. Gittleman:              One of the side effects is skin. I got into this business, Chantel, this we’ll conclude, because of my skin. It wasn’t because of my weight.

Chantel Ray:                 Your skin is flawless. I mean, absolutely flawless.

Dr. Gittleman:              Well, I still work on it to this day, and it’s because of the hemp seed oil. Omega-6 to the rescue, and that’s one of the myths that we talk about. It’s not omega-3s always, it’s omega-6 in a ration of four to one in favor of six. Get [inaudible 00:43:23] with my hemp seed oil, and your skin will clear.

Chantel Ray:                 All right, so we have some exciting news. Dr. Ann Louise is going to be giving a signed copy of her book the Radical Metabolism, and so if you comment below, go to our Facebook page, if you comment below or share the post, you will be entered into a drawing and will get one signed copy of that. Go to our Facebook page. All right, well, Dr. Ann Louise Gittleman, she is known as the first lady of nutrition, and you can see why right here on this show. It’s been such an honor to have you on the show again. If you want to go to, she’s got so many free gifts, and it was such a pleasure having you on again. Thank you so much.

Dr. Gittleman:              Cheers to you, thank you.

Chantel Ray:                 Cheers to you. All right, bye bye.