[EP.15]TOXIC SUPERFOODS  With Sally K Norton MPH

Toxic Superfoods_YT

Dr. Joel Rosen:
Right Hello, everyone, and welcome back to another edition of the age-reversing blueprint podcast. And I’m excited to talk to our next guest. She is Sally Norton, who is an Ivy League nutritionist and author of her new book Toxic Superfoods How Opposite Overload Is Making You Sick, and How to Get Better. Today we will be talking about genetic testing oxalates and identifying foods that may be making you worse or better. And ultimately, in the overall clinical picture, Sally recovered from her health issues by lowering her oxygen intake and burden. And she’s here to talk to us about that today. So thank you so much for being here today, Sally.

Sally K. Norton, MPH:
Thanks for having me. You’re gonna enjoy it.

Dr. Joel Rosen:
So yeah, we were talking a little bit beforehand before we got started. And but I always like to ask my guests you know, tell us your story. Because your story is usually yours is why you’re doing what you’re doing. So maybe give us the listeners a little bit about what you’re dealing with I know, when you were younger you were planting a farmer. And you’re, I’ve heard some of the stuff that you’ve talked about in the past. So maybe take us through a cliff notes version of your health challenges.

Sally K. Norton, MPH:
Well, I got committed to learning about what I teach and what I’ve written about with the book. Because when I did finally figure out what had been dogging my health since I was a kid, particularly at age 12, but probably very much earlier in life. You know, I was 49, about to turn 50 When I figured this out. And, because in my career, I’ve worked in medical schools, multiple ones, and been in the public health field my entire life.

And I had all these great connections with doctors who do integrative medicine, functional medicine, all the complementary and alternative therapists, I’ve seen them all, I’ve spent tons of money on it, and no one can help me. I couldn’t help myself, I have a degree from Cornell Nutrition and a public health degree from a major Institute here in the US. And nobody could help me. Despite my, you know, affluence of connections, and knowledge and information, I was ignorant, and we all were ignorant about what was messing up my health. And I realized that I couldn’t be the only person who was sick because of sweet potatoes, swiss chard, and healthy eating, which is ultimately what I found out, which is heartbreaking. Because yeah, I have this big organic garden.

And a lifetime of being a goody two shoes at the dinner table, to you know, my siblings didn’t like that I was a bad example at the table who would eat her vegetables. You know, so it’s all worked against me doing the right thing. And it turns out that many other people have this problem of being sick because of stuff that we eat all the time that we think is fine to eat. And that’s a pretty shocking message to run into. Luckily, I live long enough to figure it out.

But it takes a while to recover from it. So where I am now with my health is I no longer have the arthritis, but I no longer have a uterus or ovaries. I mean, you lose things along the way of being sick and not knowing why I still have back problems. I have all kinds of problems in my spine, which include pits and holes and the bones and stenosis and, bone spurs and for set joint arthritis up and down, very flattened and bulging discs, all kinds of degeneration of the tissues in here and year 11. I’ve started my 11th year without a high oxalate diet, I feel like my body’s still working on and proof spine, how much of that tissue can recover? I don’t know.

Eating a high oxalate diet causes calcifications and fascia and connective tissue, it turns on all kinds of genetic weirdnesses in the body where suddenly perfectly innocent cells become aberrant cells and you get this calcification and so on. So, you know, a lifetime of healthy eating led to a lot of oxidative stress, connective tissue damage, hormonal damage, thyroid damage, brain damage, digestive problems, rheumatoid rheumatism, and so on. So I had the whole gamut. For the most part, I spent years in crutches and wheelchairs, I had to leave Cornell for four years of medical leave because my feet were so bad. And it was after I changed my diet at age 49, that my feet finally started working.

Dr. Joel Rosen:
Well, yeah, you know, and it’s you met going back to having the wealth of practitioners and competent people around, you would suggest that it’s new, and relatively for myself speaking oxalates up until maybe 656 years ago, was like, what is that? But the research goes back, you know, 100 years, maybe talk about the early research that shed light on what oxalates are and how deleterious they are, and maybe give us an idea as to why you think it’s usually it’s 17 years behind the research before the field generals catch up with the ivory towers, but we’re talking about hundreds of years. So at least 100 years. Well, maybe you can give us some ideas as to why you think that

Sally K. Norton, MPH:
is? Well, you know, the first significant study on Oxley damaging human beings, was published in 1823. By the new, it was a new position of a forensic toxicologist for Edinburgh. And what was happening at the time, especially during the 18 teens was a lot of people were dying of oxalic acid poisoning by accidental ingestion of oxalic acid. This is because it was a household cleaner, just like Barkeeper’s friend which has oxalic acid didn’t clean oxalic acid was a standard cleaner that was used in the industry starting in the 1700s.

To prepare cotton for dying for bleaching all kinds of materials including wood and, cotton, and taking the rust out of engines and just it’s an incredible cleaner, you can use oxalic acid, which comes from Spanish that’s naturally made, it’s managed to clean the rust out of your patio. You know how your metal furniture leaves, so you can do that. And so it turns out that in the household, there was a lot of illiteracy in the early 1800s. So your household staff who would go to the druggist to get your Epsom salts for your stomach issue, could pick up a product from another illiterate person who’s at the desk of the druggist and bring home something and put it somewhere in the wrong place in the house.

And you think it’s Epsom salts, and it’s oxalic acid. So you take a spoonful of oxalic acid by mistake and you’re dead in two hours. And what they realized is that people were using something that was called salts of lemon at the time, and they they could put a little pinch of it in the water with a lemonade and make your lemonade more tart and stretch out your lemons. Right. So they would use it for all kinds of things. And it was clear to them that this was the perfect murder weapon. So the forensic guy, you know, working for the state, we wanted to be able to tell when a body of a dead cadaver came into the morgue was this murder. So he he grabbed like 50 different animals, I don’t know if they were stray dogs and cats and bunnies and all this and he forced various dilutions of oxalic acid down them watched how they died, and then immediately autopsy them to see what was going on.

So they could study the tissues and see if you could see this in human cadavers as well. So you’d be more able to identify a murder victim. And it turns out, it’s very hard to do that even when you’re looking for it. Okay. Now, when people come into the morgue, we should look and see if there’s oxalate poisoning. But still, to this day, we can’t do that when the same thing can occur with ethylene glycol ingestion, which is antifreeze. People will do that on purpose to commit suicide or you can use that to kill your lover or your husband and get the insurance a lady tried to do that, and that was written up in a TV show in England. She tried to do this to her husband on their seventh wedding anniversary.

And she, they he ended up in the hospital in a coma pretty quickly, like four or five days later. They stayed in a coma for was it four months, and survived it, and the whole time, they never knew what was wrong with him that he had oxalate poisoning, they could not tell in the case of a man who nearly died when he woke up, he was blind and deaf had liver damage, other forms of damage and brain damage as well. But he lived, luckily. And the other good part was that the neighbor was told by the wife that she was going to do this and the neighbor tasted the wine ahead of time to see if you could taste the ethylene glycol and the wine. And there’s no you can’t taste that’s okay.

Like so she did when she realized that that guy was an asshole. She went and told the police and that’s how they found out what nearly killed the man, not because clinically, they know how to recognize it. So here we are. We went from 1823 to like 2008 or something. And we do not know clinically how to identify franc poisoning when a person is about to die. We can’t recognize it, let alone the more subtle day-to-day version where you have arthritis and aging and aches and pains and anxiety. Yeah.

Dr. Joel Rosen:
Right. So okay, so as far as thank you for sharing that. So as far as identifying 100 years ago as a toxic compound, but yet not know how to identify it. And mentioning also it’s the same, same ingredient that’s found in vegetables, so maybe we can start from that or specific vegetables, and why they’re in there. And I think that the people who listen to this podcast are sophisticated, but yet can use brush up on what is oxalates. And why is it so rampant in our food source or our food bill? Yeah,

Sally K. Norton, MPH:
so it’s a tiny compound. oxalic acid becomes oxalates when it binds with a mineral. So when you take in the rest of your patio, you’re turning a soluble oxalic acid into iron oxalate, so we call them oxalates when they bind with minerals, and then they start gathering together and forming little crystals, and it’s really easy to make this stuff in nature because it’s just two carbons in for oxygen.

So it’s it’s sort of an end product of oxidation vitamin C oxidizes into oxalate, and that’s how most plants as far as a botanist can tell, the majority of plants make vitamin C first and make oxalic acid and often make calcium oxalate crystals because calcium and oxalate love each other, so it’s just naturally tends to migrate into the calcium oxalate direction. And of course in soils and plants, calcium is abundant. So it’s pretty interesting that the plants deliberately build crystals of certain shapes by making vitamin C oxalic acid, and then these proteins that they build amino acid structures these sort of scaffoldings to create a specific shape of a calcium oxalate crystals.

So some plants are good at making these rapide shapes with our Double Pointed arrows are little tiny, tiny toothpicks in bundles. And those are deliberately designed to be self-defense where it can be projected out and damage plant tissues when somebody chews on it, an insect or whatever, and then injures them enough to send them off, discourage them. In tree bark, the plants build blocks instead of arrows, they build chunky blocks and it creates an armor in the bark, so that when beetles are trying to bore into the bark, it’s too hard because this calcium oxide crystal is harder than teeth. And you can Human beings wear down their teeth by chewing on calcium oxalate crystals and plants like cactuses, for example.

So in like old skeleton skeletons in the southwest, there was a while where some, you know, we’re talking 50,000 years ago, trying to live on the cactus and stuff. Those people all lost their teeth by the time they were 25 years old because the oxalic acid on the inside of the body and the oxalate crystals were chewing on both sides, ruining the jaws and teeth. So the plants are trying to defend our teeth, these crystals and discourage us from eating them, whether we’re a fungus which interesting the way that plants use oxalates to discourage funguses from consuming them is that they turn the oxalic acid into hydrogen peroxide in that is an antifungal element.

This is pretty cool. Plants are smart, but it’s convenient molecules in nature because they kind of make even polluted air. You know how, and there’s such a thing as acid rain coming out of the pollution from the air, the major acid and acid rain turns out to be oxalic acid. So major cities like Beijing and LA that are famous for pollution, and probably Washington DC ought to be on that list. There’s oxalic acid in the air and you’re breathing it. It’s toxic to the lungs and all tissues.

Dr. Joel Rosen:
Yeah, it’s really interesting. I know if you were to look underneath the microscope at the actual crystals and how gnarly and shredded and shoddy they are. It’s not hard to think that the, the, I guess just the shredding of the mitochondria and the leaching of our minerals, and the impact that’s having on our energy production is an obvious connection. I like the analogy of bark to trees as oxalates are to plants, right? It’s an interesting analogy. So as far as you’ve written this book, toxic superfoods, superfoods are sort of in vogue, wanting to live longer and healthier and stronger and more vital and going the plant way. But at the same time, trading one challenge for the next or even a bigger worse a bigger enemy than the one you’re seemingly getting rid of. So maybe talk us through some of the superfoods that are foods that we normally think of as healthy that aren’t so healthy Sally?

Sally K. Norton, MPH:
Yeah, so some of them are super trusted and popular like spinach. And its friends are greens and chard, which all come to go together, and mescaline mixes, and so on. Right and now beets are really big right now and you can get them in all kinds of supplements and all that so the beets are not as bad as the greens but if you’re eating them a lot, even making Baek DeVos and things like this, which I used to do, that’s not a good idea.

And sweet potatoes are trusted as a gluten-free starch you know better than white potatoes. They’re probably a little worse than the baking potato Those are both high in oxalate and then there are all those nuts Now people think nuts are healthy fats and suddenly fats are okay and nuts or I don’t know why we trust the nuts come on. It’s the seed that is the future of a tree. Do you think a tree built that nut for you? gotta be kidding.

Almonds are one of the most toxic foods. There are all kinds of problems with these things that are designed to destroy your digestive tract. And I think if you want to destroy your digestive tract, which is your immune system and your protection and your nervous system, start eating almond flour a lot and you could get into trouble. So the Oh almonds, cashews, and peanuts aren’t great. There are certain fruits like blackberries. starfruit horrible. In the grain department, the bran, you know how it’s in the outside of the bark of the trees. It’s also on the outside of the coatings on the seeds. And of course, grains are seeds. And so just under that brand layer and in that brand layer is quite a bit of oxalate. So adding more brands even oat bran and all these things. That’s more oxalate

Dr. Joel Rosen:
rice branding as well. Yeah.

Sally K. Norton, MPH:
Yes, some of these protein powders will throw rice bran in there and there’s enough oxalate in that rice bran in those protein powders where some of my clients got into trouble. They’re trying to be low. And they weren’t noticing the rice bran, you know, hidden in the ingredient list. And then when their symptoms started coming back, they looked around and like, oh, the rice bran that was it, and took it out. They feel better without it. Yeah, so what was the other one I was gonna mention, we’ll get around to it. There’s chocolate.

Dr. Joel Rosen:
Chocolate, right? Talk to Chocolate. Oh,

Sally K. Norton, MPH:
yeah. And then this whole thing of having to go gluten-free to save your gut. Because you’re ruining it with too many beans and too many oxalates. The gluten-free things are high in oxalates and not just the almond flour, but it’s the arrowroot and the what’s other starch that’s fine oxalate and then there’s the quinoa, the teff what’s the other one? It’s like all these gluten-free things are mostly high in oxalate a cassava. Sally cassava is high plantains are high and those are all in chips. Now. They’re supposed to be better than potato chips,

Dr. Joel Rosen:
right? Yeah, yeah. And chia seeds as well. Oh, yeah.

Sally K. Norton, MPH:
Chia seeds and hemp seeds. Right now people trust Chia like, it’s the again, it’s this superfood mentality. Not human food.

Dr. Joel Rosen:
Yeah, you know, I can hear some of my patients talking to me, Oh, what am I supposed to eat now? Right because they go gluten-free, which I think gluten-free is more of a problem of the adulterated glyphosate ID GMO-based grain than the actual which has been adulterated now and your immune system tags it so. But usually, they’ll exchange that for a plant-based alternative. And now they’re being told that these plant-based alternatives almond flour and sweet potatoes and so forth are problematic. So I guess in the book do you get into? I think I heard you say getting into diets or recipes and good alternatives. Maybe you can kind of give our listeners a clue as to what they could be doing instead. Yeah,

Sally K. Norton, MPH:
the book does have several tables in there of alternatives, swaps, and so on and provide swaps. So yeah, you can. So interesting, because you get hooked on your favorite 10 foods, and you think that’s the whole food universe. That’s not how it works. There’s always an alternative. You’re just not used to working with it. Like I didn’t know what to do with a turnip or rutabaga. I never thought I liked rutabagas. The one time I had, I was like, No, thank you. And I’ve never bothered to learn how to work with them. So a lot of it is just that we’re sticking with what’s familiar, we have busy lives, and it’s everyone else recognizes this food. They’re available in the store.

I mean, it’s sometimes it’s hard to find some of the alternative greens, for example, all the other greens are fine. There are some cool ones Mosh and you know, the standard lettuces are all fine. But sometimes it’s like a wall of Swiss chard, or a wall of spinach. Give me something else. So it’s not just that you’re not being creative. It’s that so many of us are overlaying on these foods. And it looks like that’s all there is to eat. But there’s always other things. So mostly, people need to take a deep breath and go, Yeah, change is hard, but I’ll be okay.

And you don’t have to do it all at once. So the important thing is just to have them relax and realize, hey, you’re going to love this when you learn how to do this. All change leads to something better, usually if it’s done, you know, in a human way. And so you have to honor the human humaneness of yourself as a person. How well do you do with change? Can you find romaine lettuce instead of spinach? I bet you can. Don’t undersell yourself, you can handle this. Right? You can do it? Well, especially

Dr. Joel Rosen:
I mean the changes for better health right? And they’ve already made a lot of changes for better health. And now they’re being told, okay, wait a minute, the change that you’ve done so far is in the shade of gray of getting to the other side of the spectrum. As far as Okay, so now we’re I’m listening to this. It’s this toxic compound it’s in plants. Let’s go on metabolically in the body that it’s so disruptive.

Sally K. Norton, MPH:
Oh, this is such a great question. And there’s 1000s of answers to it. It’s surprising how many ways oxalate is messing things up.

Dr. Joel Rosen:
All the ways that it’s helped. It’s hurting

Sally K. Norton, MPH:
Oh my God. Let me count the Whereas I can’t even remember them. There’s

Dr. Joel Rosen:
so many reasons, right? Yeah, so

Sally K. Norton, MPH:
many reasons. So you know it’s coming into you with food like you’re eating oxalic acid and calcium oxalate crystals, the crystals just kind of ruin your teeth and irritate your gut and up your inflammation level because they’re an abrasive irritant, that probably destroys membranes, but frankly, actually damage the cells, but you don’t absorb the crystals. You absorb the oxalic acid. And oxalic acid is immediately causing stress in the blood right away. So it’s affecting the circulating immune system.

And right away, you’ve got now distressed immune cells putting out pro-inflammatory cytokines that are no longer able to handle infection, right after your spinach smoothie within 40 minutes of what’s going on. And now this oxalic acid is moving from your mouth to the other end, over about 24 hours. So it’s in that first 10 hours or so that you’re absorbing most of the oxalate in fact, there’s a peak at about four hours later. So if you are eating a high oxalate diet, you want to stop and think somewhere between two to five hours after eating. Are you feeling worse, that might be a way to kind of judge Hey, wait a minute, maybe I won’t feel so good two hours later.

But in the meantime, the oxalic acid and the crystals can start forming because they’ll start grabbing calcium and other minerals from your blood or your tissues. It also can stick to tissues, especially where there’s inflammation, infection, reproducing cells, so you’re just healing from a good workout or you scratched yourself somewhere or something, you know, you’ve got tissue regeneration, just as part of the normal maintenance of life, those cells, those young cells that are duplicating, or have a certain profile that makes them stickier at oxalate, so actually starts hanging up in tissues. But it doesn’t even have to adhere to tissues or stick to them to cause problems because there’s an electromagnetic field around this ion that scrambles the structure of cell membranes.

So you can see it with this Phosphatidyl serine flip, they call it supposed to be on the inner leaflet of cells, it now flips to the outer and you’ve scrambled the structure of life, all of the enzymes, and all the life structures are happening on membranes, the cellular membrane, and the mitochondria double membrane structure. You don’t even have to touch these membranes when you start breaking down their basic structure which denotes it’s, you know, allows for function to occur. So now the proteins in those membranes that are doing these enzymatic reactions and shunting things back and forth, and doing all the things they do, don’t work very well, because their supportive environment is now scrambled. That turns on the immune system and says, Oh, we got to take that cell away.

And then it raises oxidative stress in the cells as well. Also, oxalic acid sits on them, the Metabolic Enzymes, there are at least four places where it blocks enzyme function. So the last step in glycolysis, so important, is blocked box light. So you don’t get your ATP when you’re trying to burn your glucose. In a red blood cell, that’s pretty dangerous, because they don’t have another thing way around it. And you get a low ATP level in cells. And so all the various pumps that are fueled by ATP, start slowing down. And with red blood cells, you can get a nice, you can cause water to come in because you’re not pumping your sodium out very well in the cell. So excess sodium in the red blood cells, because of low ATP causes an inflamed cell that bursts high, the lifespan of your red blood cells is also shorter, when it’s happening, in addition to your white cells are dying because they’re damaged. And then your phase two complex in the Lectron transport chain is another place where you’re blocking enzyme function. So that’s a brief overview of some of the damages it’s doing.

Dr. Joel Rosen:
Is some of them. Yeah, you know, a couple of ones that I would want to add on just from my side of the view, is when you mentioned before with the iron clusters and mixing with iron, I mean, I think most people because of some of the same challenges with minerals in our soils and iron in our food supply, and the lack of the ability to move it out of tissues, that also causes oxidation of iron, which if we’re not recycling our red blood cells, we’re not respiring at that cellular level effectively and thus forcing glycolysis and glycolysis is like you just said, broken down because of oxalates.

But another really important one because you mentioned earlier about glutathione and the body’s natural ability to detox and put out anti-inflammatory signals. One of the major cofactors for recycling GSR which is glutathione reductase is NAD NADPH and oxalates In their immune chaos, they’re signaling, and the free radicals that they’re generating are the preacher NADPH. So you’re not going to be able to recycle your glutathione even further, in more ways, and have so many different ways that it can go wrong.

Which is why I think, I guess the question would be to you, do you see now more so than at other points in time that this is an accelerated problem, maybe for the reasons that we’re changing our diet, or maybe for the amount of supplements that can make it worse? Or maybe for just the product of, our wanting to eat healthier, supposedly, I mean, do you see this being a bigger problem in the world today than it’s ever been, even though it’s not known? Yeah,

Sally K. Norton, MPH:
there is, there is evidence that it is a bigger problem because we’re seeing so many diseases move into childhood, like kidney stones, and moving into very rare populations, and used to be rare in young women. But now Kidney stones are happening and children and teenagers, and a lot of females are getting kidney stones and kidney stones are the one thing in medicine is quite aware that oxalate causes because you have to excrete all the Sox Li You don’t metabolize it, you have to excrete it through the kidneys, and certain people just don’t have enough of the defenses in place. And the more you have this oxidative stress occurring, the more you have a likelihood problem were there, you know, and then just to circle back around the glutathione question, your liver is a major place of detoxing using glutathione, right?

So when you absorb your oxalic acid from your spinach smoothie, your keto muffin, and your chocolate balm made with sweet potatoes and almond butter, which is a real thing now, in your g of all, you are depleting glutathione in your liver, because the liver is the first big organ besides your bloodstream, where these oxalates go. So from your food, it goes straight to your liver. And the liver is an open sinusoidal thing where all this stuff you’re absorbing goes right into the cells. And the cells have to defend themselves to survive. So they use a lot of glutathione to just protect themselves. So you’re depleting. Glutathione is well established and well known in the literature of people who read literature, which your doctor doesn’t.

The other thing is that over time, the oxalates end up migrating into the bony structures in the bone marrow. And in the genetic version of this disease. Almost all those patients have anemia that is untreatable because you’re destroying the production quality of the red blood cells and the white blood cells right there in the bone marrow. And until we get the oxalate down, you can’t treat the anemia. I think anemia again is one of those and other examples of things that have become way too common.

Dr. Joel Rosen:
Would you say just to get on it and not to get too much on a side tangent that it’s anemia of chronic inflammation or it’s anemia of iron deficiency? Well,

Sally K. Norton, MPH:
the the literature from from the oxalate side of the problem, what is about the deposition of oxalate in the bones, as far as they can tell is that it’s messing with the metabolism and the creation of proper cells. So the cells themself and then you have a deficiency in the cells because they don’t live as long they’re pushed out of the bone marrow immature, and they don’t live as long.

So like, for me, I had a low white count for years, an unexplained low white count that immediately fixed itself when I quit eating sweet potatoes. Like, right, so there’s both there’s two phases to this. There’s the acute phase, and that 10 hours after you ate something are intense, and like two to six hours after you eat something that’s causing a lot of these problems, where you have inflammatory stress and all of this, but then there’s that chronic phase, well, wait a minute, you’ve got crystals forming in your bone marrow, and your thyroid gland and your tendons in your eyeballs. And you’re stressing your kidneys out and that.

So a whole lot is going on when you’ve got both the acute and the chronic problem. And once you take away the acute and you change your diet, you might get this little honeymoon period, where are ya I feel better for five days or two weeks. And then the chronic problem shows its head because the body’s like, hey, the coast is clear. Maybe I can clean up this thyroid gland today and start moving out that accumulation and that’s what makes us so dangerous is that you can silently be raised as a poor innocent child on sweet potatoes and white potatoes and chocolate and peanut butter and whole brand and this and that and healthy eating it gets added and the older you get the more you add in the healthy stuff.

But you start with potato chips and candies that are full of peanut butter and chocolate and baby foods made of beets and sweet potatoes. And over these years even as a fetus you can have an oxalate problem because it goes right it doesn’t get a man I think that the placenta picks up a lot of oxalates and is slightly protective, but it’s not it’s not like a sealed deal.

Dr. Joel Rosen:
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You know, it’s interesting because we talked about what should we talk about, should we get into the weeds. And, at the end of the day, no matter how sophisticated you get, whether it’s an iron deficiency problem, or anemia of chronic inflammation, at the end of the day, instead of sort of yelling at the deaf person louder and putting an earpiece on them. And what I mean by that is lowering your intake of oxalates. Right. So that, you know, you don’t have to crack the atom on this, it’s just a matter of making sure that you’re not taking in more than you’re able to remove.

And so I guess, I guess that would be a good transition because you mentioned we don’t break oxalates down. But we can accumulate them through our ingestion. How are we getting rid of them? And what is an oxalate dump? And should we be aware, Sally, of making sure that we do it minimally per week or that too much is too much, is there a bell-shaped curve of not too much, but also too much kind of give us some insight on that?

Sally K. Norton, MPH:
Yeah, this is a really important topic, which you won’t find anything in the literature about, this all comes from the clinical experience of all of us as a community living through this mess and helping each other out. This is sad because it would be nice to understand more of these mechanisms, is it one of the problems is these crystals are very difficult for the immune cells, it’s the immune cells that have to go clean out your tissues.

So every time your body attempts to get rid of this particulate pollution your body has tried to wall off and keep from causing any symptoms. So they get wrapped up by dead immune cells, the immune cells extrude their DNA, like a big net, like a spider-man, and in case them and dead DNA. And so a lot of these crystals are down there quietly hiding in your thyroid gland, and so on.

And it’s when your immune system comes along, goes, Hey, this is a mess, I gotta try to get this out, where you get a lot of symptoms. So it can be kind of, it’s worse on the way out, it’s more inflammatory on the way out than it was in the win. And that’s discouraging because some people that’s why you really can’t tell that oxalate is causing problems because there you go on and off these foods, just unaware of oxalate and where the oxalates are, you stop eating your sweet potatoes, and you’re like, huh, and then you put them back in and you feel better. And then the reason you might feel better when you add back your sweet potatoes is that you stop the body’s desire to clean out the tissues.

And so you stop the inflammation of the D accumulation process. So that makes the clinical picture. That’s why you cannot tell when you’re eating oxalates that that’s what’s causing the problem. There’s that four-hour lag but there’s also this complete confusion on the symptoms. So it is important to like learn how to go down slowly and not trigger a big signal because the body you know works on these signals. It’s a big signal if you go from eating 1000 milligrams of oxalate a day which is truly dangerous, down to a high oxalate diet like an extremely high oxalate diet, and like 600 to a high oxalate diet of 250 to a kind of okay oxalate diet of 100 a day.

That process once you get down any big step, the body notices it. And it’s looking for this opportunity to clean the thyroid gland and the eyeballs and whatever. So, a big jump down tells the body opportunity coming. And I think historically, we had seasons of oxalate exposure, which might have been in the northern hemisphere, August to November. Right when blackberries and things are ripe and ready to be harvested and whatever amounts we could dry and store and carry around. We’re pretty limited. We didn’t have massive pantries and big houses for storing food.

We were pretty mobile. We were following the herd and following the food the water and the weather. And we didn’t just park ourselves in suburbia, and hang out and wait for food to come by in an Uber truck. No, that’s not how it works. So you would go through seasons where you rely on fishing and caribou and Buffalo. And none of those animal foods have the oxalate it’s really in the plant food. So we would annually clean out our oxalates we couldn’t do we wouldn’t bother with nuts as a full-time deal if we weren’t desperate.

And so, you know, the body knows about this change from a high oxalate season to a low oxalate season. So if you do that for a week, it’s like, oh, wintertime, time for housekeeping. And then you, you know, you don’t understand what’s going on. So we need to not run to winter too fast. Because we now most of us have way too much oxalate in our system, and very deranged immune systems and having little crystal and particulates in tissues, isn’t osis disease, you know, asbestosis kind of disease, where you’ve got nanoparticles and microparticles of junk that shouldn’t be there in their crystalline.

And nature, which is especially difficult for the immune system, and especially irritating. So you don’t want to turn on a bear of an immune system and get it enraged. And that is what can happen. And when there’s a lot of that going on to the body, you can mobilize enough Oxley to be sick. And you could have huge electrolyte problems with your blood where the calcium is not reliable, and the heart starts fibbing and your blood pressure goes up, and you’re running to the emergency room with what feels like a heart attack or stroke. So you don’t want to be messing with the release of a big toxic flood from the Superfund sites hanging out in your tissues. Right. Well, yeah,

Dr. Joel Rosen:
that’s a little low, like the tortoise and the hare. Right. So yeah. You know, it’s interesting. So if you’re listening to this, I would think okay, it’s if you’re tired, exhausted, brain fog, muscle pain, fatigue, weakness, I mean, you check, check, check. Most people are saying that it’s safe to assume that there’s some form of oxalic burden, especially if you’ve been health conscious, you’ve shifted your diet away from certain foods to these plants sorry, talk to the superfoods.

And now you ended up making the problem potentially worse than better, you should know to start with knowing what your numbers are in the sense of having an idea, Sally, of what your intake is on daily is that what’s something you suggest and then from there, try to figure out if it’s extremely high, or if it’s moderately high, or minimally high, or just off the charts, that you’re gradually stair stepping. But if you don’t know how high up you are on the staircase, would necessitate Well, you don’t have

Sally K. Norton, MPH:
to make it a big math challenge. This is not a game of math. You learn the high oxalate food, which you can in my beginner’s guide, and in the book all over the place, the list multiple times you learn, figure out in your diet, what the top five things that you’re relying on to often, right, that are really in the high zone and you start picking one to work with, like get rid of the almonds start with that this finds something else pumpkin seeds have almost no oxalate, there’s still seeds, they may not be tolerated if you’ve ruined your gut. But if you need a seed, hard, chunky thing, there are some options there.

So just work with one at a time and cut them down by half and then all the way and then the next one might be your spinach. There are easy substitutes for that learner for a couple of weeks, and then the next one might be your sweet potatoes. There are easy substitutes for that, try the winter squash, for example, substitute that and just work your way out in what you’re substituting with, or food, you know, had been tested. We know that they’re lower and oxalate. So you don’t have to know any math to do it. But if you need the math, it’s mostly because you’ve gone so low and oxalate that you are in these crises of Oxlade de accumulation that’s causing these toxic stressful times, which is not good. Then you want to add in equivalent amounts with different foods like you can add in some beet juice as medicine to signal back to the body because we’re talking this signaling process to say no, not winter. Oh, we’re back in the BlackBerry patch.

It’s August. And you take your little shot of beet juice to tell your body No, not winter, and that some people if they get that high enough, a lot of where this is happening when people go to full carnivore, and that cuts out all the plant foods and so they’re on a super low oxalate diet, and they can start adding in measured amounts and having the data then you can tell well, maybe I need three ounces of beet juice or a half cup of sweet potatoes or I need six spinach leaves and you can learn the equivalence of how much you need. But really, it’s about the feedback in your body. You can if you cut way back which some people just have to do constitutionally once they realize what’s been ruining their health.

They have no tolerance for like what keep eating this thing you’re telling me to keep eating So everyone’s a little different how they can do this emotionally and just structurally in their lives. So don’t worry about even coming down gradually, in a perfect way. You’re just stressing yourself out. That’s not what you need to do right now you need compassion, kindness, patience, naps, but not self-flagellation. Right.

So don’t make it harder than it is. But when you do need the data, you can get some from the book, the main book, toxic superfoods, and very soon here in February of 2024, I’ll have a data companion to the book available through my website where you get all the nitty-gritty of actual data that’s been vetted, cleaned out, averaged out an easy color-coded, but is complete are we there, so you can use true useful information, a lot of what’s on the internet is full of gross mistakes. And I explain in the frontmatter of the book where all these mistakes are coming from, to help you understand how this works. And people think, well, if someone published it, it must be perfectly right.

Dr. Joel Rosen:
Or if it’s on the internet. Yeah, no, those are great clues or at least some tips for sure. Like not needing to become an Oxalic bean counter. Just know what identifies your top five foods or even your number one top food and work with that. I love that. Just curious. I noticed you have the aura ring. I work with my patients and I’m completely ironic. I have like three things on me right now. Do you look at or have you seen if someone’s in a dorm or they’re accelerating their release so much that their HRV goes up or down? Or do their readiness scores go up? Or down? Have you correlated that at all with your with your cohort, or the people you work with? Sally,

Sally K. Norton, MPH:
wouldn’t it be nice if we had a couple of million dollars to collect the kind of data takes a lot to collect that level of subjective data where people are evaluating their subjective symptoms to say yes, this is a dump moment, I see this cloud of urine and the grisly junk on my teeth and crystals out of my eyes and my skin’s breaking out. And I’ve got crystal and stools and I feel like garbage and I’m having panic attacks.

And this muscle knot is driving me crazy, you know, I have a little bit of neuropathy, like, okay, whatever it is, this is an oxalate, you know, illness, the clearing illness, and we don’t have, it takes a lot of forethought and structured and to collect data well, and to have data be meaningful, it’s fine to think you have data and guesstimate what’s going on. And we sort of do that more casually, I don’t have a good structured way to do that. And I’m, unfortunately, more of an artist than a biomonitor person. Now I do care about details. And I’m really careful about logic and getting it right. But I don’t even have the patience to look at my aura data. I’m terrible at this person.

Dr. Joel Rosen:
Well, you don’t have to go crazy with it. But as you could, it’s just another data point. And I, there’s too, you run the risk of now you’re micromanaging your numbers to write. But if you have another data point in terms of, hey, I’ve been feeling pretty good, or vice versa, I don’t feel like I’m doing as well.

And I’m missing maybe some of the endogenous peptides that are released from a food that is giving you a little bit of an addictive quality to it and feel like you’re going through a lull, but at the same time you are lowering your Oxalic burden and your heart rate variability is going up and you might be confused. It’s one of those data points that can tell you you know what, I’m going in the right direction, what are the things that I’m doing that are different? Oh, you know what, I have not been eating my spinach three times a day or you know, so you can sometimes use it in that way, not in the way in terms of like really crunching the numbers and doing regression analysis or anything like that. Yeah,

Sally K. Norton, MPH:
well, it is important to honor your body’s journey and learn to hear the language of your body. And honestly, I implore people to sign up to be the servant of their body. Like, honestly, do what your body’s asking you to do. Stop doing what you’re supposed to do because it’s a Super Bowl party. You know, just bring your food and eat ahead of time and take care of yourself. That’s important. And I think having the aura ring and all that kind of thing can be a way for you to do that. But being overly nervous and obsessing about it and not living your life is not the point. Right?

Dr. Joel Rosen:
Well, we talked about that earlier too, is a fine line between knowing objectively what’s going on in your body and not letting that supersede how you’re feeling. Right, and we talked about that earlier. And I think that comes down to the key is okay, well hey, I know what I want to feel like not what I don’t want to feel like, and if I were feeling great, I would mean that I could do this that the other not I wouldn’t be doing this I wouldn’t be doing that. So looking in the head not in the rearview mirror as to where you’re going number one.

And then number two, being okay with the numbers, or realizing that as you get healthier I use the analogy of when your body is at a deficit. It’s like you don’t have enough income for your, for your expenses daily. And you’re figuring out at this point, do I keep the power on? Or do I, you know, put food on the table? But when you start having a surplus, and you start paying bills that you haven’t paid for in a long time, as it pertains to the body, you may interpret that as oh my gosh, I’m getting worse. I gotta stop this. And that’s where we run into trouble, I guess. Do you talk about that in the book as well, Sally? Oh,

Sally K. Norton, MPH:
yeah, this is so important in this community of people who have discovered that oxalates are a major reason why they’ve had all these struggles the journey back out of this mess is very up and down. And so you get little moments where you feel great again, and sometimes their brief moments, and then it’s taken away from you. And in five minutes, you can get spoiled, like, oh, yeah, I want to feel like that. I want to feel invincible and clear-headed, and unstressed and competent, and all of that because there’s a lot of neurotoxicity going on. It’s a neurotoxin, and it’s causing all the muscle knots and tremors and, you know, IBS and all kinds of issues.

So you know, you also get this like, it feels like God put a sunbeam on your head, and you’re like, oh, everything’s great. And then it’s not great. Because of this oxalate clearing requires all this inflammation, and it’s putting a toxin back into your bloodstream back into your tissues, and consuming a lot of resources consuming energy, making you wake up at night to pee, because your poor urinary tract is busy cleaning you out, and you’re like back to waking up again. And back to paying too much or leaking on yourself or getting a little interstitial cystitis again, which is that bladder pain, those things are going to come and go and you’re going to feel frustrated. And it gets worse. By the time you get to year three, it’s worse than it was in year one.

And you think, oh my gosh, how can I carry on or you think, oh, it’s got to be something else in it isn’t it? So having the patience to be on this up-and-down process where the overall line is, everything’s getting better. And you take it for granted instantly because we all want to feel awesome and run with it. But in that process of climbing this giant Mount Everest, I call the path a slippery wet, and it’s never a straight line up. It’s not an escalator or a staircase. It’s a rough, rugged process. But at least you have the benefit of being out of that confusion zone down in the valley when you were confused for years. What’s wrong? Now you’re up above that you can look back and go, that was not good. I’m going this way. And you just may be patient with this kind of up and down thing coming to group meetings where you can meet more people like me, and things like that, when you connect and get someone you can relate to that can help a lot. Yeah,

Dr. Joel Rosen:
that’s important because a lot of people will forget where they were. Right. And I was like, well, totally for when you couldn’t do this, or you felt that Oh, yeah. Well, are you still feeling that? No, but I feel like, well, you got you know, like, it’s a journey. It’s a verb, I tell them it’s a verb. So I

Sally K. Norton, MPH:
try to teach people the gains mindset. When you remind yourself every day, at the end of the day, what is better, I no longer have arthritis, I no longer am bleeding to death, I no longer have headaches, I no longer have this and that. But I still have this back pain. Well, fine, your back is still working on it. But you are better. You’re doing more things.

You wrote a book, you know, it’s fine. You’re okay. Like, you can have that gains mindset and say, you know, what, how I got here is that I was very diligent about my hydration and my nutrients and my minerals and my diet. And I’ve been loyal to that. And I’m awesome. I’m going to keep doing that tomorrow. Right? Absolutely. You’re right on the path of climbing the mountain and feeling good about this progress.

Dr. Joel Rosen:
It’s so key, you know, because even still, like getting into the weeds of not counting the numbers or knowing what’s going on metabolically in your body. Then the day I’ve had conversations with my patients, okay, what, what would if you were feeling great? What would you be doing that you’re not doing? Like, what you’d be writing a book, would you be traveling, you know, we don’t get to the airport and decide, okay, I think I’ll go to Chicago today, you know like you got to figure out in advance what you’re going to be doing.

And if you’re going to be doing it less than perfect, but you’re able to at least take that first step. That’s what it comes down to versus just looking at the numbers and figuring out how terrible you feel and what hasn’t worked because I think there’s that plasticity in the brain as well that gets somewhat I won’t say addicted but somewhat reinforced negatively to continue on the same pathway. And it’s not it’s nothing different except the flip of the mind switch as well.

Sally K. Norton, MPH:
You got to take your spirit with you and with everything you’re doing, you need to keep lifting yourself. So you can enjoy life and not be the older you get, the weirder you get. To not be an old curmudgeon, you’d have to keep that youthful optimism self-encouragement, and a spirit of gratitude. Yeah,

Dr. Joel Rosen:
for sure. So that’s great. So what I always like to ask you there are so many things I could have asked you and I’m sorry I did I would love to have maybe a part two if you’re open to it. But as far as you know, the name of this podcast is Age Reversing Blueprint. So what do you wish you would have known then that you know now that may have accelerated your rate of aging or slowed your rate of aging at a faster rate? Let’s put it that way. Yeah.

Sally K. Norton, MPH:
Well, I believe so many of my followers believe that a low oxalate diet is the fountain of youth, which is pretty damn exciting. Like he means, you can eat stuff like meat and not eat this healthy stuff.

And you’re going to be doing better. You know, you can get rid of junk food and the factory if you don’t let factories produce your food. And you know about oxalate. You know, you’re not eating margarine and mayonnaise and this other junk in the middle of the store. Right? And you’re, you know, finding something of purpose, something you love, and you’re honoring the things you’re interested in and giving yourself a chance to get out there and meet other people who like the things you like. You’re just going to have a good time. And that keeps you young.

Dr. Joel Rosen:
Yeah, no, that’s great advice. So the book is about toxic superfoods, how oxalate overload is making you sick, and how to get better, you can find that wherever books are sold. You could follow Sally at SK Norton on Instagram and also at Toxic Superfood Oxalic book, or any other places that you would want the listener to try to find out or seek your help or your information, Sally,

Sally K. Norton, MPH:
the main place is to come to my website, which is Sally Kay norton.com. You can write to us there, ask questions. Tell us your story. Sign up for group class, and check out my YouTube channel, which is Sally Kay Norton. It used to be called Better with Sally Kay Norton, I just changed it. So you might find it either way. But we’re putting out a testimonial video which people find very encouraging and inspiring. So yeah. Come hang out with us Oxley where people were having an interesting experience. It’s fun. Awesome.

Dr. Joel Rosen:
Well, thank you for your time, Sally, I appreciate it, and to the next time, potentially, and continued success with your information your message, and your purpose. And thank you so much for what you do. Thank you. Hi, thank you so much for watching our age-reversing blueprint podcast. If you’ve made it this far, we sincerely thank you for your attention and your interest in reversing your age. If you’re looking to get more information on today’s topic or other podcasts that we’ve had, be sure to check out the show notes and be sure to check out Dr. Joel rosen.com. Have an awesome day.

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