Donna Gates

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Donna Gates

Speaking at Live it to Lead it
November 14-17, 2019
Newport Beach, California

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About Donna Gates

Donna Gates, M.Ed., ABAAHP, is the international best-selling author of The Body Ecology Diet: Recovering Your Health and Rebuilding Your Immunity and The Body Ecology Guide to Growing Younger: Anti-Aging Wisdom for Every Generation. For the last 25 years, she has been on a mission to change the way the world eats. Her first book, The Body Ecology Diet, introduced the world to a sugar-free, gluten-free, casein-free, and probiotic-rich diet and a way of life that is now followed by tens of thousands of people around the world. The Diet grew to popularity initially by word of mouth and all these years later, still stands the test of time.

Donna’s groundbreaking work has been instrumental in transforming the natural foods industry. In 1994, Donna introduced a powdered blend of stevia rebaudioside to the US and it has since become the safest and most popular natural sweeter in the world. She pioneered and championed foods like young coconut kefir and coconut oil, and coined the phrase “inner ecosystem” to describe the still undiscovered network of microbes in our gut, now called the “Microbiome.” To restore balance and thriving gut health, Donna’s innovative approach to detoxing features four actions of healing – creating energy, correcting digestion, cleansing out the toxins, and conquering any infections. She also began teaching about the long-forgotten health benefits of fermented foods to provide the diversity needed in a healthy gut.Over the past 30 years, Donna has become one of the most respected authorities in the field of digestive health, diet, and nutrition. In 2013, she completed an Advanced Fellow with the American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine. Donna’s extensive research and keeps her ahead latest passion is nutritional genomics.

TRANSCRIPT:

Dr. Pompa: 
Well welcome I think to a great webcast, Donna Gates. I mean, come on, we’ve all heard of Donna Gates, right? Body Ecology Diet the book. Gosh, Donna, I’m old. For me, it’s like you are one of the pioneers, right? It’s like we were digging in this together, and you before me. What an honor to be with you today because of your, just everything that you brought to our space. We have kind of a little theme at the seminar with women’s health because we just came off of 50 ways to women’s wellness. Your new summit. I can’t wait. I’m doing it as well, which is about genetics, health, the gut, which has been your theme for years. We also kind of have a theme because Andy Wakefield’s going to be there about autism. You have roots in both of this, the gut, autism, women’s health.

But I think one of the things I’m really excited about for people to hear, and we’re going to talk a little bit about, is this new frontier of okay, you have a lot, a lot of information experience on the gut. But where does genetics really apply to all this? So bring it. Let’s talk about it.

Donna Gates:     
Yeah. So there’s 20-something thousand genes. Less than 23,000 genes in our body, and they are absolutely… You know we are who we are because of the genes we have. And we look different, for example, because we have completely different genes. So I’m constantly–now that I know this so clearly, I’m constantly seeing all of this information out in the world, and for years when I started Body Ecology, I mentioned that there’s seven universal laws that we can use to help us heal or figure out answers. I use them when autism came out, and I started having mothers gather together a group of mothers. And those kids are all well today. Many went on and recovered. But how could I even do that? I just started using principles.

Anyway, one of them is the principle of uniqueness. So there isn’t one way or [inaudible 00:02:11] either with any of us really. So once this wonderful new field of nutritional genomics came along, that was proof of what I’ve been saying for years. So I’m very excited about it. I’ve spent a number of years now, like four, at least four, passionately delving into this royal journey about the genes and gene expression. The absolute most important thing probably to know is that we control our genes. So they’re just sitting waiting for some kind of a signal, and what we’re doing, what we’re thinking, we’re sending that signal. Not just us but those microbes in our gut. But then we’re controlling the microbes in our gut.

So microbes in our gut, the trillions of them, each one of them is an individual cell, and each one of them has their own little set of genes. Their genes do things. Like one’s bacteria like [inaudible 00:03:10], and another one called Facilis, the [inaudible 00:03:14] bacteria. They all have genes that are allowing them to eat [inaudible 00:03:18]. And we’re eating a lot of foods today that are high in [inaudible 00:03:23], but they have the genes that degrade them. Lactobacillus plantarum can degrade [inaudible 00:03:27]. So as we start to look at these really important microbes that are causing problems or the ones that are good that we want, and we then look at the genes, that’s really an important [crosstalk 00:03:41] too.

However, I do want to say our genes never change. So the genes you were born with at the beginning of your life are fixed. However, the scientists can look at a group of microbes [inaudible 00:03:56] and then they look at the [inaudible 00:04:04] and they find out that every single one of those, you know some of that, many of them have the same genes, but some of them will have different genes because they have gene flow down there in our gut. They’re constantly trading genes with each other–which would be really cool if we could do that–but we can’t and they can. So it’s much more difficult to figure out what the genes, the microbes are doing down in the gut. But the most important is you the diversity of them and you just want the good ones predominately controlling the environment.

Dr. Pompa: 
I know you’re going to share your strategies, what you’ve learned obviously over the years around the gut, and this is something I can’t wait for. We all need to know more. This is, you’ve dedicated your life to this, you really have. And especially in this area, we’re going to be discussing autism and women’s health, and hormones. The bacteria in our gut are really the clever way, the clear way, to change our epigenetics, right? That’s the thing that we can change, and that’s crazy.

Donna Gates:  
That’s the key with epigenetics. It means that yes, the genes are sitting there waiting for an expression, but what we do is the epigenetics and that, if you don’t sleep for example…but see, like for example I have a gene called AHC, the genes are just numbers and letters. But AHC keeps your serotonin, so your serotonin does not convert in to melatonin.

Well, that means that you don’t make melatonin easily and melatonin makes you sleepy at night, so those of us with…I have two problems with that gene, and I really have to be conscientious about having melatonin so I’ll usually take 2 milligrams, a time release one, and then I’ll do things of course like darken the house after dinner, or [crosstalk 00:06:02] I make sure that I’m in a dark environment just to watch TV, sometimes to relax.

I stopped doing that and now I listen to podcasts but that’s kind of an addiction to me, especially when you’re trying to learn new things you really can learn so much from other people. So that’s actually restful for me, that’ll help me fall asleep so that’s my epigenetic way of correcting this gene. And while the gene didn’t really cause a problem when I was young, but as you get older even the good genes that are not a problem will start not working very well. [crosstalk 00:06:40] It’s just something getting older.

In nature, honestly, the cold hard fact is that nature actually doesn’t want us around once we’re finished going through that age where we’re contributing to having children. Things are going to start happening in the body, not that you can’t be mindful and slow that down and be very very healthy as you age, but you are working against nature’s desire to get people off the planet so the new babies can come on.

Dr. Pompa: 
You’re right, we are. But listen, that’s why they have to come to this seminar. You’re going to share the strategies you’ve learned, and you just shared one. That’s a great strategy right, because we do, we all have these weaknesses and epigenetically, we can actually do something about it. I think that’s a lot of what I can’t wait to hear more about. You really dive in here.

Donna Gates: 
One of the things that I definitely want to share is, this is when I do when I’m working with somebody and I’m looking at their genes. The first thing I like to look at is of course the genes that tell me about personality. Because if you’re a overachiever, perfectionist, always do really well and you’re smart and you’re a great employee, you may have very high… I can look at the genes to see if your glutamate levels are high and you’re not converting your glutamate into GABA, which is calming. So that person I know right away, before I can help them do anything, you’ve got to start working on things to help them be calmer. You can actually take GABA as a supplement but there’s a lot of other things you can do as well. The microbes in your gut, like [inaudible 00:08:21], is very good at producing GABA. So having more [inaudible 00:08:24] in the gut is important.

It’s such a cool thing today that we can combine or look at our genes, look at the microbes in our gut, and know all this stuff about ourselves, because there’s so many people today going from practitioner to practitioner, doing everything they can, trying to get well, and they’re frustrated and the practitioner is frustrated, because the practitioner wants to help them get well. But they don’t have this information yet, but it’s going to be what every practitioner is really going to have to learn. From now on, the rest of our life is going to be very much influenced by genes.

So there’s a front and a back to knowing about your genes because our genes… stepping into this world because there’s places in the world like China, for example, we’re they’re way ahead of us and they’re already [inaudible 00:09:18]. So one of the things that we… this is for women out there listening…babies come through us. Infertility is a huge problem today for men and women, but I have actually helped several women lately get pregnant, where they’ve been trying for a couple years and they couldn’t, because looking at their genes, I could see something really important. The last woman I…the first woman I worked with, she had a lot of variance in a gene called FADS, which is your Omega-3 fatty acids. I just met her. She’s really good about taking omega-3, but off and on she’d take it, and when she saw this in her genes, she beefed up the amount and tool it real consistently, and other things that we did too. Then about three months later she was pregnant and she’s about to have a baby.

This infertility thing is something that we can really help with, but one of the things that’s coming, so this is the dark side of where we’re going, is that what I think women should be aware of is that in countries like China, where they’re very aggressive about having taller people, smarter people, they’ve already begun to…we’re going to be able to gene edit our embryos so that we’re going to be able to have children that are perfect in many ways. Meaning, great athletes, beautiful and smart, and everything you want your children to be.

But there’s a big ethical question here and I really believe that one of the most important [inaudible 00:10:50] for women, and every man… all of this has male and female, the yin yang symbol, and every woman has some male in her and every male has some female in her, that female side of us is the side that has to make a really important decision and the direction that we’re going, you know, how far we want to take this. We’re going to really change the world, we will evolve rapidly into a whole different…you know. Maybe we won’t have, we will have genes on the planet that were never been here before. It’s really an exciting thing and a great thing and a very helpful, but like everything, it has a [crosstalk 00:11:33] good and a bad to it.

Dr. Pompa: 
As a practitioner, when years ago I was following when this all started, I started really diving deep into it. And at a certain point I realized, it didn’t change my clinical outcomes, meaning that, okay we’re doing this because they have this snip, and we’re giving them more of this and more of that and more of that, I think what we didn’t understand is the epigenetic factor, the microbiome factor, on how that relates. Here we’re just looking at snips trying to give people things that maybe, let’s use MTHFR as an example…oh, you have trouble with folate or methylation because of this gene, so let’s try to assist that. It never made a difference for people that much. In some it did, but today [crosstalk 00:12:22] can bring is how does this make a difference? How can we make a difference with this new science?

Donna Gates:
That’s the interesting thing, is that it always boils down to the same thing, eating right, sleeping, moving your body. But you can’t, just by looking at your genes, tell what’s the best exercise, what is the best diet. There’s a lot of people right now doing…I have a friend and she’s staying with me and I was looking at her genes, and she had one copy of the APOE4 gene that puts you at risk for Alzheimer’s, and she’s right that minute making bullet proof coffee with butter and tea tree oil, and that’s not the right thing for her to be doing.

There’s some very incredible things, strictly around fat, really important things. There’s been this controversy for years, is salt good for you or not good for you? Well, you can tell that very easily from looking at your genes. But, it’s also the quality of salt. I recommend, for those people that have issues with salt, to buy salt that’s a cleaner, naturally-made salt called Makai salt, because that’s higher in potassium, lower in sodium, but it’s also really high quality salt, not the salt that you find out in processed foods. Which, those people absolutely have to avoid. There’s an amazing amount of information hidden in your DNA, and I think people should step into that world and start learning about it.

Dr. Pompa: 
Wow. This is where we’re going to start, right? Newport Beach, November 14th – 17th. We can’t wait to hear more. You’ve been really diving in here. So much so, that you decided to do a summit about it, which you’ll talk more about. I think that’s coming in February, after the seminar. So good, we’re going to hear it first. We’re going to hear it first in Newport, so I can’t wait.

Donna Gates: 
After the summit, I’ve got a training program for practitioners because again, there’s more companies coming out with DNA testing, 23 and Me was the first big one, but people…I wouldn’t want to come right out of school today and be jumping into this because there’s way too much to learn. And as you know from the years and years and years of experience that you build and build and build, [crosstalk 00:14:45] trying to get to a place where you can then give someone some good advice.

There’s too much out there, it’s too overwhelming because there’s too much to know. So I actually have a training program for practitioners, a software program where pull people’s genes through and tell so much about them. Then, because Body Ecology really has a lot of wisdom, your principles and I want people to be able to use the wisdom in Body Ecology to be able to help people with the epigenetic part of it.

Dr. Pompa: 
That’s great.

Donna Gates:
So that’s what [inaudible 00:15:20] is for. [crosstalk 00:15:21]

Dr. Pompa:  
Wow awesome.

Donna Gates:
The hardest part are the genes are here, we can look at that, we can tell you what the genes are, and the next big thing is, okay what to do about that? And that’s where it takes people with training or experience to help.

Dr. Pompa: 
Can’t wait. Folks, the link is here to join us. Donna Gates and so many other amazing speakers. Can’t wait. These topics around women’s health, autism…I’m going to be talking all about my fasting strategies and that plays into this. It’s amazing what it does [crosstalk 00:15:56].

Donna Gates:
[inaudible 00:15:56] that’s so critical.

Dr. Pompa: 
Absolutely.

Donna Gates:
I just want to thank you, it’s been a long time since I’ve been looking at a new book, and the gene cover and everything. I really haven’t been out at a conference with people people. Medical conferences, but I’m so excited to be back with people because you know sometimes you live in an ivory tower world, and you forget there’s really real people out there that are learning from you and I just can’t wait to meet people.

Dr. Pompa:  
[crosstalk 00:16:27] You’re going to love it, everybody that comes to our seminar goes, “oh my gosh, what an amazing event!” They absolutely love it, we have such an amazing learning and we bring everyone involved, we involve everybody it’s very active, that’s why it’s called Live It to Lead It, that’s what we do. Donna, can’t wait for you to be there, you’re going to love it and I can’t wait for everyone to hear more about this really groundbreaking new info that you’ve been diving into, can’t wait for it.

Donna Gates:   
Me either, pretty close, coming up pretty soon.

Dr. Pompa:      
All right, we’ll see you there.

Donna Gates:
Thanks Dan, I’ll be talking to you soon for the summit soon.

Dr. Pompa:   
True!

Donna Gates:   
[crosstalk 00:17:05] Thank you.

Dr. Pompa: 
All right, you’re welcome.
Great.

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