Who can't name at least one person with ADHD, allergies, or an autoimmune disorder such as psoriasis, fibromyalgia, or MS, not to mention cancer? Suzanne Somers has recently written her 25th book, TOX-SICK, in response to the myriad of increasingly common health concerns and their likely triggers. To help demystify the toxic assault on our collective health, and examine measures to mitigate exposure to dietary and environmental based chemicals, Suzanne interviewed America's top 5 environmental doctors, and documented their protocols for unburdening toxic loads and restoring optimum health, naturally.
Karina Gordin: Before we delve into questions concerning GMOs, EMFs, PCBs, and the FDA, I'd like to first set the record straight about a particularly polarizing issue. Is it a myth, or can a low-fat diet lower the risk of heart disease and obesity?
Suzanne Somers: It is a myth. Ever since the low-fat movement began, we as a society have become fatter and sicker. High-healthy-fat diets are back, and it's a shame they ever went away. Those before us were not afraid of their butter and cream. It was the shift to low-fat and high-sugar, high-carb diets that made us fatter and sicker. Cholesterol is mandatory for every cell in the body. To lower your bad Lp(a) cholesterol levels, as well as to lose weight, and lower your blood pressure, it is less about cutting out all healthy fats, and more about understanding that sugar is the enemy. Sugar, carbs, poor-quality foods, trans fats, processed foods, and chemicals and pesticides trigger inflammation. Inflammation is what will kill you. I live on – but don't overindulge in – a high-fat, grass-fed-protein, high-vegetable diet. I eat cream sauces, butter, wine reduction sauces, I love sour cream, and I love a pat of butter melted on top of my grass-fed organic steak right from the fry pan. Recently I had my inflammation levels tested: hs-CRP (high-sensitivity C-reactive protein.) A perfect score is 0.01. My number was 0.01. A girlfriend of mine who has had a chronic cough for years had her inflammation levels tested and came back at 15. I said, "You're going to have a heart attack if you are not careful." She ate a lot of sugar and carbs. Recently, and sadly, she had a heart attack.
KG: How did the low-fat/low-cholesterol movement develop, and ultimately gain traction?
SS: It began with President Dwight Eisenhower, who ate bacon and eggs every morning and had a heart attack. Everyone freaked out and said it was because of fats and cholesterol. Then a flawed study by Ancel Keys (done on a few dozen men) "confirmed" that all fats were the enemy, and that's how the low-fat movement began. It spawned an industry; everyone threw out their fats and went low fat. When you remove the fat, let's say in yogurt, it gets replaced with sugar in the form of cornstarch, most likely made from genetically modified corn, so now you have another problem brewing in your gut.
KG: With countless resources, such as your book, advocating for whole-fat products, have you observed a movement toward diets rich in minimally processed, healthy fats and cholesterol?
SS: Human beings are innately intelligent. We all know in our guts that chemicals can't be good for us. So processed foods and minimally processed foods not designed by nature are going to confuse the body. Every cell in the body requires cholesterol, providing you get this cholesterol from healthy fats: organic butter, cream, sour cream, full-fat cream cheese, full-fat yogurts without sugar, olive oil, coconut oil, flax oil. And incidentally, canola oil is not a healthy fat. Have you ever seen a canola plant? Think of the people who have eliminated fats from their diets; they look drawn and unhealthy with complexions of a sort of faded gray color. The body wants fats. Think about this; breast milk, nature's first food, has approximately the same percentages of saturated fats, polyunsaturated fats, and monounsaturated fats as ... butter! Don't you think that Nature knows best? Inflammation is the problem. A hs-CRP blood test will tell you your inflammation levels. If your inflammation is high, then you are setting yourself up for heart attack and other serious disease conditions.
Dr. Stephen Sinatra, America's leading integrative cardiologist, says in my book TOX-SICK that he doesn't care how high the cholesterol numbers are; he's only really concerned with the second component of LDL, the so-called bad cholesterol called Lp(A). If that's high, you're screwed. But high Lp(a) is rare and usually genetic. Still, he rarely gives statins to even these people; he first tries a natural enzyme called lumbrokinase that prevents hypercoagulation of the blood. He said he can count on one hand the number of patients he has on statins.
KG: Can you comment about the possible benefits and safety of raw dairy?
SS: Organic and sustainably grown foods are safer, and this is particularly true for raw milk, as pasteurization destroys many valuable nutrients and enzymes in the milk. Raw milk and cheese have been wrongly demonized as hazardous, primarily by the conventional dairy industry and those who don't understand the health benefits of live foods. The CDC warns that raw milk can harbor disease-carrying bacteria, ignoring the fact that these bacteria are the result of industrial farming practices that lead to diseased animals. In order for raw milk to be safe, it must come from healthy, organically raised cows that graze on pasture. There have been no reported deaths from raw milk in California. The last people to die from contaminated milk died from contaminated pasteurized milk.
KG: With the recent publication of your 25th book, TOX-SICK, how has your writing steadily evolved and adapted to the swiftly changing health trends, as well as personal and collective experiences?
SS: My books are organically driven, meaning I go with the flow of my issues and interests. First it was weight issues; I wrote nine Somersize books, selling over 10 million of them. Then I tackled hormonal decline in The Sexy Years, Ageless, and Sexy Forever, all best sellers. Then new health revelations in my book Breakthrough, and continued with more breakthroughs such as nanobots and telomere lengthening, and the benefits of human growth hormones in my book Bombshell, then another hormone book for the next wave of hormonally depleted and confused women in perimenopause, called I'm Too Young For This! But TOX-SICK was emotionally driven. I have two granddaughters with ADD, ADHD, OCD, Lyme disease, mold exposure, and food allergies ... these are the new conditions of today driven by the massive chemicalization of humanity. Our diet has been hijacked with genetically modified food, lacking sufficient nutrition to sustain the human body, pesticides on and in our foods, poor-quality carcinogenic oils, trans fats, processed foods, plastics outgassing harmful known carcinogens like phthalates from plastic bottles, being a leading connection to breast cancer. Then there are massive amounts of ERs (electromagnetic radiations) from cell phones, EMFs for our Wi-Fi, and routers with signaling that is disrupting heart rhythms and neuronal signaling. Then there's chemical household cleaners, toxic skin care, hair care, makeup, lead in our lipsticks. It's awful what has happened. I wrote TOX-SICK to offer solutions. I interviewed the top five environmental doctors in America exploring all of the above to help people piece together the puzzle of their own issues and to find a doctor who understands how to help you to wellness.
KG: You write extensively about the threats that genetically modified organisms pose to human health. If GMOs are toxic to our physiology and contribute to a host of conditions ranging from leaky gut syndrome to DNA mutation, how did these artificially engineered organisms pass the rigorous FDA premarket testing?
SS: Sadly, there's a revolving door in government from the FDA to the chemical and pharmaceutical companies – bonuses for doctors, fees for professors willing to write papers in praise of GMOs, with companies using their enormous wealth as well as intimidation and deception to turn Americans into nutritional guinea pigs. Our government rejects citizen demands for labeling to consume staple foods that have been virtually untested as to their effect on our health. Their mantra – "This is how we will save the planet" or "how we will feed the hungry" reinforces the myth that only their products will save us. These companies seek to make the world dependent on their engineered seeds and have the gall to tell us that we need their technology to "feed the hungry." Yet lab research has shown that GMO foods lack sufficient nutrition to sustain a human body as evidenced by two 2-year studies with lab rats fed exclusively GMO food showing that all of them had organ damage or organ failure, half of them died, the other half that lived had strange aberrations like hair growing between their teeth and around their organs. GMO food can create an insecticide factory in your intestines. These microorganisms then "eat" through the barrier wall of the GI tract, leaking out (leaky gut) into the bloodstream, where they go on a rampage attacking fatty organs such as thyroid, pancreas, kidneys, or their favorite resting place, the brain, composed of approximately 65% fat, causing the brain to shrink and making room for more and more toxins, creating the perfect environment for the brain conditions of today: ADD, ADHD, OCD, autism, dyslexia, dyspraxia, bipolar syndrome, even schizophrenia. This is the same pathway for Alzheimer's, autoimmune disease, or cancer.
KG: Could consuming the meat of animals raised on GMOs affect us indirectly?
SS: When a cow goes against its natural evolution of eating grass and instead eats corn and grain, most of which is now GMO, the cow develops infections such as E. coli and is then given antibiotics as well as growth hormones. All of this will end up in the meat that we are eating, including the GMO corn or grain, and it's now in our GI tract. The cow also becomes acidic as a result of using glucose from the grains as its primary fuel rather than short-chain fatty acids from fibers in the grasses. Also, grain can contain mold mycotoxins that can make the animal sick. More antibiotics. See the merry-go-round? And then we have a hamburger. I stress eating protein, but only grass-fed and organic protein. I do enjoy eating a beautiful grass-fed steak, and knowing that the animal grazed on the range is a comfortable thought.
KG: I suppose my questions concerning GMOs may just as well apply to EMFs (electromagnetic frequencies). Specifically, how can a product like the cellular phone, which may be responsible for precipitating insomnia, arrhythmia, and cancer, get approved by the FDA, and could long-term effects of a relatively new technology truly be determined at this time?
SS: It's the new knee-jerk approval. Product is coming so fast and furious and our government officials do not have the education to understand that all of these things need thorough testing. We are involved with a nanotechnology company that makes a chip called Matrix 2 that protects you from 98% of ERs, backed up by all the research done by SGS, the most prestigious lab in the country.
KG: Will you comment on the safety of smart meters, and how to safeguard against the effects of electromagnetic radiation?
SS: EMFs are electromagnetic fields, and a "smart meter" puts an EMF grid over your entire house. If you refuse to have one installed, you have to pay a fine. I paid the fine. The EMF grid is complete in Northern California. Recently I read a book by Elizabeth Plourde, PhD, who addressed the problem in Northern California. She said that suddenly people in the region were complaining of migraines, autoimmune diseases, brain fog, chronic fatigue, rashes, bleeding skin, and a rise in cancer. Nice, huh? Oh, and it allows for the company to know your comings and goings at all times.
KG: Can you address your cell phone habits, and your personal approach to wireless technology in general?
SS: I rarely talk on my cell phone. I do not sleep in the same room with it, I keep a Matrix 2 chip between the phone and the case. I use my phone for e-mail, dictation, notes, and texting, which is a lot, but I make a conscious effort to minimize exposure.
KG: In TOX-SICK, you write, "PCBs [polychlorinated biphenyls] outgas in our daily lives from carbonless copy paper, plastics, inks, paints, furnishings, and construction glues as well as common contaminants in the food chain." Are these industrial chemicals still used in production today, or if banned, persist in the environment? And what role did Monsanto play in the production of PCBs and other chemicals?
SS: Most of these industrial chemicals are still in daily use. It is up to us as consumers to try and minimize our exposure. Monsanto claims that it didn't know PCBs were harmful to human health or that they were persistent in the environment until the 1960s. They claimed that once this was revealed, they stopped using them, but the company's own documents show that they went to extraordinary efforts to keep the public in the dark about PCBs. Today even Monsanto does not deny that everybody is contaminated. Studies on health effects associated with PCB exposure indicate neurotoxicity, reproductive and developmental toxicity, immune system suppression, liver damage, skin irritation, and endocrine disruption. As another instance, fish is now mostly toxic. Fish carry PCBs, mercury, and heavy metals; so fish, once a healthy source of protein, is now toxic.
KG: As an actor, TV host, and spokesmodel, your career in the spotlight occasions for regular use of makeup, skin care, and hair styling products. How have your makeup and skin care routines changed since your early role on Three's Company to your latest performance on Dancing with the Stars?
SS: I now only use lead-free lipstick, paraben-free foundation, organic mascara with no glue (imagine), and organic skin and hair care products. On Three's Company, I used what was available and had no idea that makeup could be a contaminant. In fact, the lack of high-quality skin care products compelled me to establish SUZANNE Organics, and now I can share with others key ingredients that I regularly use and have helped me – bioactive botanicals such as sea buckthorn berry, argan oil, fruit stem cells, and Abyssinian seed oil. Generally speaking, these botanicals protect longevity of skin stem cells and delay senescence of essential cells, tighten and tone skin tissue, regulate and maintain pH balance, soothe and relieve inflammation, and fight cell-damaging free-radicals. Paying attention to what you put on your body is just as important as what you put in your body, to ultimately reduce the toxic burden.
Karina Gordin is a medical journalist and currently writes for a variety of commercial and peer-reviewed health publications. She would like to thank her father, Dr. Leonid Gordin, for advocating the importance of meditation and mindfulness, which has informed her writing and research. Karina can be reached at Write@HealthWright.org.