Speaker 1: 00:00 Welcome to the Dr. Gundry podcast, the weekly podcast where Dr. G gives you the tools you need to boost your health and live your healthiest life.
Dr. Gundry: 00:14 Welcome to the Dr. Gundry podcast, this is going to be an exciting podcast. Now aging is thought to be a losing battle, but it doesn’t have to be. In just a minute, I’m going to speak with actress, author, and health spokesperson, Suzanne Somers; yes she’s here on the podcast after a long wait.
She’s 73 years young, Suzanne, who you probably remember from Three’s Company, Step By Step and other television series, she defies virtually every stereotype about getting older. And in her latest book, A New Way To Age, she shares her insights about how to live a healthy, happy life no matter how old you are. So today we’ll discuss how to stop aging like your parents, and start aging with energy, vibrancy, confidence, and even, get this, a strong libido. So Suzanne, welcome to the program.
Suzanne Somers: 01:16 So, so pleased to be speaking with you.
Dr. Gundry: 01:20 It’s great to have you here. You are really one of the true forces and pioneers in the wellness movement. And throughout your career, and even in your writing, you’ve attacked getting old or aging head on, and I applaud you for that.
And I also applaud you, before we go any farther, about being open and frank with your listeners, your readers, your followers about health struggles that you’ve had, and about finding alternatives to traditional medicine to help you in your health issues. So congratulations again.
Suzanne Somers: 02:05 Thank you. Sometimes in the darkness is the light, and I think that this journey that I’m on, that I never planned to be on, began with a cancer diagnosis over 20 years ago. And at that time when I was presented with standard of care, which will be chemotherapy, etc., I said, “I can’t do that.” And my doctor said, “You’ll die.” I said, “Honestly with the way I think, I believe that, I personally, would die if I do what you want me to do. Now, that does not make for a good relationship between patient and doctor.
And what I do know, and what I explain in my new book is most people are more comfortable choosing allopathic medicine. Meaning, here’s the problem, here’s the drug for that problem; and that’s the way most people want to go.
What I decided to do for myself, and then present it to my constituency is if you’re interested in another way, this is what I do; I never give advice, I’m not a doctor. But I always thought, Steven, that when I was 73 I would be old. And chronological I am, but I’m not old. And I believe it’s because of the choices I’ve been making over the last two decades for myself.
And when I lecture to women, I always say, “Every night before you go to bed, make an imaginary list, and in that list put an imaginary line down the middle. And then think of every choice you make: food choices, thought choices, chemical choices throughout the day, and ask yourself, “Does that choice lead me towards great health, or away from it?”
And what I always say to my audience is, “You’ll be surprised how many choices you make away from good health all day long.” So do I do it perfect? No, but I think about every chemical I’m exposed to. I have an organic skincare line, because I wanted it for myself with absolutely no chemicals. We even got that coveted toxic free insignia on ours which means as we’ve grown organically, extracted organically, and nothing upwind or downwind of the product can be toxic to contaminate it.
I wanted it for myself, but there’s a whole constituency out there … And you’re running into it too. It’s like an ocean liner, takes so long time to take the ocean liner and move it around, but it’s starting to move. There are a lot of us who don’t eschew allopathic medicine; when you need it, you need it and it’s a godsend. And surgery, nobody does it better than in this country, etc. But if you can first take, from my perspective, the non-drug alternative choice, I feel I’m better off having done that.
Dr. Gundry: 05:10 So some people would look at you and your career and say, “Well she’s always been a health fanatic, she probably was eating perfectly at age 15.” Was that the case, or was the cancer diagnosis the real switch that changed things?
Suzanne Somers: 05:29 The veiled gift, I call it; that was the switch. I did TV series for what, 16 or 18 years? And on every TV series they’ve got what they call, “The craft table.” It should be called, “The crap table.” Because it’s filled with things that nature never designed. Everything seems to have orange powder on it. The only orange powder I know of that’s healthy for you is turmeric, and there’s no tumeric on the craft table.
Dr. Gundry: 05:55 No.
Suzanne Somers: 05:56 So-
Dr. Gundry: 05:57 Never seen one.
Suzanne Somers: 05:58 And that’s what I mean out of the darkness there’s light if you look for it. I believe, because of my being diagnosed with cancer, that I’m healthier today because it was like the proverbial shaking of the shoulders. And I had to say to myself at that time, “What have I done in my diet and lifestyle that I played host to this disease?”
And I started looking at the realities of my life. It wasn’t that I ate bad, I just didn’t eat well, I didn’t think about the food that I was eating, I didn’t think about sleep. And I just had started writing books at that time, and I always felt if I could stay up all night and write, and then the phone doesn’t ring, and nobody bothers me, I was missing … Steve, as a game changer, I’m sure you agree.
Dr. Gundry: 06:45 Yeah.
Suzanne Somers: 06:46 So I just took charge of … I decided to eat as though my life depends upon it. And I eat great, I eat a high fat, high vegetable, high protein diet. I mean, if you can eat good quality fats, you can have chicken piccata with lemon butter caper sauce, and there’s a lot of great food that you can eat.
So it’s not like I eat boring food, I eat amazing food and, I grow my own food. And that’s nurturing, and thrilling, and a cauliflower tastes so different when you cut it from the garden, and you bring it right to the kitchen. You eat it raw on the way up, and then you get up there and lightly steam it, and I like to put garlic, and olive oil, and parsley, and a little gutter over it, and just sort of scoop up the heart of the cauliflower.
So I really look at cancer as a veiled gift, and it woke me up. And I love the following that I have. These are all people, men and women, who want quality of life. We want to live this long, extended life that we’re all afforded now. Like it or not, we’re all going to live longer, but who wants to live this long life without quality?
And my quality comes from bioidentical hormones, I’ve been on replacement for 20 years, and good food choices. I have love in my life, which I think is a big factor. I love my family, I do a little exercise every morning, which I [inaudible 00:08:32] been doing it for about 15 years. Knowing that we are approximately 40 trillion cells, you and I; some very anal retentive person counted, I guess. And I know that that’s our communication system right? That all-
Dr. Gundry: 06:46 Right.
Suzanne Somers: 08:47 All the cells talk to one another. So every morning without … The first thing I do when I wake up, is I isolate one cell, and I say to that one cell, “I love my life, I love my husband, I love my family, I love the food I get to eat, I love that I live in America, I love my work.” And then I add any more gratitude that I have for that day. And then I release that cell, and in my mind’s eye, I know that little guy’s got to go tell 40 trillion other cells, “Okay, guess what? We love our life, we love the food we get to eat, we love living in America, we love our husband.”
And it takes a nanosecond and I feel this happiness. And, conversely, if I woke up every morning and say, “Ah, I don’t like my marriage, and my work sucks, and I hate living in this country.” And all the negatives, guess what the little guy’s got to go tell everybody?
So that taught me that we are actually in control of our happiness or unhappiness; we choose it. And I think it’s the same way with health. We are in control of our health by the choices we make, knowing none of us is perfect; especially me. But that we do the best we can to make the best choices relative to health every day.
Dr. Gundry: 10:01 So that’s a great point. So what do you think is the biggest misconception about aging now that you’re 73? Is it exactly what you’re talking about, or is getting old inevitable?
Suzanne Somers: 10:18 Chronological aging is inevitable. I mean, and you can’t lie about your age anymore, there’s Google; women used to lie about their age all the time. But I actually celebrate my age. Every year when my birthday comes, I think it’s actually better for my brand.
What I’m loving is trying to be aspirational for women, and it’s not about face lifts. I mean, if you see me in person, I don’t have a lot of wrinkles, but I’m certainly [inaudible 00:10:47] my neck and things like that.
I leave it because I feel that it would be dishonest in the message that I’m putting out that if I started lifting everything up. But what I find through hormones … And then like in this book, I interview Dr. Terry Hertog of Belgium. He’s quite renowned in Europe, he’s a third generation endocrinologist. He is the one who made thyroid legal in Europe, and he’s very forward thinking. So I had been injecting human growth hormone for probably 15 years, which is an anti-aging hormone.
Everybody’s so afraid of human growth hormone, but when you and I were both young and making a full complement of hormones, guess what? We were also making human growth hormone, and so that keeps my muscles from deteriorating.
And he then said to me, in that same shot, “Put IGF1 for elasticity.” Which is what you get from a compound in pharmacy, and also for [inaudible 00:11:52] one, which builds up your immune system in the same shot. So a lot of people are afraid of shots; I’m not, I don’t even feel it, it’s a little teeny needle.
But I’ve noticed since I was doing that, less wrinkling in a natural way. It’s not that kind of super smooth skin that looks false, it’s a reverse aging; there’s just so many new things happening. So it sounds like I’m afraid of getting old; I’m not. I want … Because I really am just … I’m in love with my husband.
I met him when I was 20, and I feel if there’s anything to we knew one another in other lives, I just knew the day I met him. I was in therapy at the time, and I said to my therapist, “I met who I’m going to marry today; he doesn’t know it.”
Dr. Gundry: 12:44 Yeah.
Suzanne Somers: 12:46 But I want to live a long time with him. So he does everything I tell him. If I hand him a hand full of supplements I go, “Take these.” He just takes them. Because I think, for 83, he looks amazing. And he’s got energy and juice. And when we’re around his contemporaries, they’re all starting to be hunched over, and bad hips, and bad knees, and they don’t have the zest, and the life, and the sharpness; his brain is like that.
Well it has to be the fish oil, and the testosterone; which I give him a shot every Tuesday. And, by the way, in this book, Dr. Abraham Morgentaler; I’m sure you know who he is, he’s on the faculty at Harvard. And he conducted a study, and he called me for another book several years ago. He’s like, “I’ve got something interesting.” He’s not just … At that time, it was a two year study, now it’s like a seven year study.
That men would come to me with elevated PSAs, or prostate cancer, and he backed up all this science in this book; so it’s not me saying this, this is Dr. Morgentaler. He said, “I found with each male, that when I gave them testosterone, their PSA levels went down, their prostates would shrink.” I said, “How does that work?”
He said, “Well.” I love this analogy he said, “The prostate is like a woman’s breasts, and in a woman’s breasts, we have ducts where we make milk.” He said, “But in a man’s prostate, in the ducts is where testosterone makes food for the sperm.
So when a man is making a full complement of testosterone, the prostate’s nice, and tight, and small. But as he declines in testosterone, the prostate starts to enlarge looking for its major building block; according to Dr. Morgentaler.
And as a lay person, I got that visual and I want, “Well doesn’t that make sense?” And because young men don’t get prostate cancer or elevated PSAs, unless there’s some aberration, some exposure to chemicals or things like that. So that’s life extending too, that’s giving men a long life of quality. And in the end, isn’t that what we all want? I want to live to the very end, whenever that is, and just die the way people used to die, just goodnight Gracie. [inaudible 00:15:30] know who I’m talking about?
Dr. Gundry: 15:32 That’s right, that’s right. Most of my listeners won’t get that joke, but that’s okay. So you became very controversial as a woman with breast cancer who says, “No, no, no, bioidentical hormones are very important. And I know you say, “Look, I’m not a doctor, and I’m not giving medical advice.” But you are kind of a lightning rod and, I guess, still are-
Suzanne Somers: 16:03 Yeah.
Dr. Gundry: 16:04 For … So how is our listener or our viewer going to take what you’re saying, and deal with that when they have breast cancer and their doctor says, “You got to go on hormone suppressants, you got to have radiation therapy, chemotherapy.” What say you?
Suzanne Somers: 16:26 Well I often question. I was of the first generation who took birth control pills. Now those of us were … Well, gosh, that was great. You can manipulate your cycle. If I had a hot date with Alan, I could move my cycle to Monday, and take a few more pills through the … Was a terrible thing to do, because you’re going against the nature in your body. Anytime you try to out think nature, you’re going to get in trouble.
So the brain, according to what I understand with having written 27 books, is it recognizes a reproductive person as valuable. I’m speaking biologically, a molecular bio biology. We are here for one reason, and one reason only according to biology, and that is to perpetuate the species.
Now isn’t it interesting that we start getting our cancers at the end of our reproductive years. That says to me the brain’s going, “Ah, this person isn’t valuable anymore, let’s get rid of them. Let’s give them breast cancer, let’s give them ovarian cancer, let’s give them prostate cancer.”
So when I discovered bioidentical hormones, I had three terrible years prior to that. I couldn’t sleep, I was gaining weight, my mood changed … I’m an upbeat happy person. But when you don’t sleep night, after night, after night, and you’re sweating all night, you’re not in a very good mood.
I remember one day, I sort of lashed out at Alan which is very unusual for me. And he said, “You know, a marriage can only take so much of this.” I went, “Oh my gosh, last thing I want to do is send you away.” I went to from doctor, to doctor, to doctor, to doctor. I finally found an endocrinologist in Santa Barbara who’s doing something about bioidentical hormones.
For those who don’t understand bioidentical, biologically identical to the human hormone, an exact replica of what your body once made, or still make some of. The compounding pharmacies make bioidentical hormones out of soy and yams; things like that.
So I took my blood test before I went to the endocrinologist, I drove up there like a maniac the day of my appointment, and she looked at my blood work she said, “Oh, you poor thing.” I said, “What? “You must feel awful.” I said, “I do.” I said, “I’m an upbeat, happy person. I have days when I think the world would be better off without me.” That’s how real hormonal imbalance becomes, that’s how real it is.
She said, “Well, we’re going to start you on bioidentical hormones.” She said, “You’re making very little estrogen, and almost no progesterone.” I now realize that’s the combo for breast cancer later on; I’ll get to that in a minute.
So she said, “I can’t give you everything you need right away.” I said, “Why?” And she said, “Because you could, literally, go crazy. It took you a long time to lose them, you’ve got to build them back up slowly.” She said, “But you’re going to start feeling a little better right away.” And she said, “It will probably take the better part of this year to find your sweet spot.”
So in the first two weeks I, honestly, did start feeling better, and I would call her with my symptoms. I call the symptoms the seven dwarfs of menopause: itchy, bitchy, sleepy, sweaty, bloated, forgetful, and all dried up.
And I would call her saying, “I inch today, and I’m in a bad mood today.” She’d say? “What are your stressors then?” If there was no obvious stressor in my life, then she goes, “Okay let’s raise this a little bit, and raise that a little bit.” She understood the ratios perfectly.
And it did take me the better part of the year to get me back. And when I got me back, it was just the most incredible thing. I was sleeping through the night, I didn’t need to take any over the counter drugs, I was in a good mood all the time, my weight went away, my hair became great.
An indicator of poor hormonal balance is hair; you can see it on women, because we have longer hair. But I know this sounds shallow but at 73, I love that I have healthy hair, I love it. Because it says to me if my hair is healthy, then inside I’m healthy.
And what this is all about, Steven for me, is keeping your insides young, keeping your organs and glands in tip top shape, keeping your gut in tip top shape, which you know much more about than I do; I want to pick your brain one day, and it all manifests on the outside.
If your gut is healthy, you know your skin will glow. If your organs and glands are operating at max, your body won’t wrinkle so much; you’ll just have more enthusiasm and zest. And it’s such an incredible way to live, and you have to give up so little. You have to give up chemicals, as best you can control by what you put on your skin with skincare.
When you look at your arm under a microscope, our pores look like big holes. And so then the visual is put a chemical cream … I don’t care how expensive it is, a chemical cream on your skin, and then imagine, “Where’s that going to go?” It’s going to drop it into your bloodstream. Then where’s it going to go? Well chemicals love fatty organs and glands, so they go on a rampage in your bloodstream; their favorite is the brain, which is the fattest of all.
And one of the things, when I wrote my book, Toxic, that I found so interesting is that as we build up in chemicals, the brain, the pituitary hypothalamus, shrinks to make room for more chemicals. The more chemicals you take in, the more the poor little brain, and hypothalamus, and pituitary got to hide in the corner.
I sometimes wonder, “Is this where dementia comes from?” Is this where all the brain issues of today: ADD, ADHD, OCD, Alzheimers? I’m not a doctor, but I’m just, as a critical thinker, going, “Can’t be good to have chemicals up there.”
So I recommend that I do myself, that other people do because this isn’t medical, HEPA filters in your house to just suck the chemicals out. Clean with non-toxic cleaners; I happen to make one. My chemical cleaner is made from colloidal silver which, as you know, is safe enough to drink; I don’t recommend it, but it really does the job.
And just start putting yourself in control rather than waiting for the big fist of life to come at you. Most people wait till they’re in the catastrophic state, then they start climbing uphill. What I’m trying to do for myself, and to my readers, is start now.
In fact, one quick story, I was at the Vanity Fair Oscar party a few years ago, and I was standing there and I was kind of … I like to watch. And this beautiful girl was standing in the corner; beautiful, she looked like Scarlett Johansson, beautiful.
And I could tell she wanted to come over and talk to me, but I could tell she was nervous. And finally she worked up the nerve to talk to me. I always think that’s so funny, because I’m so normal. And she said, “I just hope when, I’m your age, that I look like you.” And I said, “Thank you very much.” I said, “Start now, start now, it’s never too soon.”
Dr. Gundry: 24:21 Yeah, I think that’s a great point. And that’s actually why I wrote my book, The Plant Paradox Family Cookbook. Because one of the things that I’m … I now I have two young grandchildren, and I realized that the sooner my daughter and her husband started feeding those kids right, the better chance they have of getting exactly where you and I want to be with good, lifelong health.
Suzanne Somers: 24:21 Right.
Dr. Gundry: 24:50 And in that book … And I want to echo what you just said, there’s a very famous study that anybody can look up, and it’s called The Appleton Wisconsin School Study. Where in Appleton, Wisconsin, a lovely old town I visited it, they had a lot of issues with behavioral issues in their junior high, truancy, a lot of trip to the junior principal’s office.
And so what they did is they contracted with a local cafe to provide organic breakfast and lunches for all the kids. And then they taught all the parents, “Okay, let’s replicate this at night, at dinner the best you can.” And they actually followed truancy, behavior, and academic performance. And lo and behold, truancy dropped, behavior issues went away, and academic performance got better and better.
And they were so excited …. And here’s the punch line, they said, “Well, we need to kind of institutionalize this, so we’re going to contract with a food service provider because we’re overwhelming this poor little café, and we’re going to keep doing this.”
Well and I won’t mention the food service provider, a very large corporation. Lo and behold the minute the food service provider came in, everything went right back to normal, because they weren’t actually using organic ingredients. And touchy, feely California speak, they weren’t putting in any love into the food that they were making. And it’s a great study, and-
Suzanne Somers: 26:36 I so agree with you because I believe it’s about the food, and I know you do too; it’s about the food. I think organic is non-negotiable in today’s world. I mean, I know when we ever thought it was a good idea to spray poison on or food; it’s not a good idea.
A story for you, I was watching when Anthony Bourdain was alive, I really enjoyed this show, and I love the way he loved food. And he went to … There’s a very famous chef in France, and I can’t remember if it was Michelle Gerard, or was one of those famous chef names.
And so they went from Paris to the little village where the chef was from. And when they got to the village, they went to the school that the chef went to. And in the school cafeteria were the women making lunch, and the kids ate off of dishes that were made of real glass, not plastic.
Dr. Gundry: 27:31 Real stuff.
Suzanne Somers: 27:32 And they made a great vegetable soup, and all the kids finished all their soup. And then they made this great chicken with sauce that you and I would love, with all the pan juices and everything, and the potatoes, and the vegetables, and the kids … Every plate was empty because they were feeding those kids good quality, homegrown, real food. I always say, “If you can, pick it, pluck, milk it or shoot it you can eat it as long as it’s been grass fed and not sprayed with poison.”
So I think you and I are on a very similar path in that food is all important today, and that’s one of the big choices we make every day. I would have a very hard time eating processed food today knowing all that I know about what it does.
Dr. Gundry: 28:23 So what do you say to your listeners and my listeners that, “Well, I don’t live in Palm Springs, or Malibu, or Montecito, and I don’t have an organic garden, and it snows half of the year. Yeah, that sounds great Suzanne, but that’s not my life.” How do people do this in the Midwest, for instance, where I’m from?
Suzanne Somers: 28:48 Yeah, I usually get the, “It’s so expensive.” It’s really not so much more expensive now than it was at one time. Because more and more grocery stores there are … I don’t know how pervasive Whole Foods is, but I know that there are other chains around the country that for the people, like us, who just demand organic food.
So let’s say it’s a little more expensive. What’s the most important thing in your life? It’s health. So sometimes you don’t get the new pair of shoes, you instead buy high quality … If you’re going to eat beef, or New Zealand, or Australia grass fed organic beef, organic chicken. I love fish but, man, they’re sure messing up the oceans. For our fish oil, we get little Alaskan Pollock way up … It’s hard to find clean fish anymore; which is really a shame. But what can we do? There’s nothing you can do about it.
Dr. Gundry: 29:46 Yeah, I give a shout out to Walmart. There’s a lot to not like about them, but they’ve really insisted that their organic food is basically the same price as conventional.
Suzanne Somers: 30:00 Yes.
Dr. Gundry: 30:00 All their produce, and I congratulate them. And they have the power to do that, they can tell their suppliers, “Hey, we’re not going to pay you unless this is organic.”
Suzanne Somers: 30:11 Same thing with Costco.
Dr. Gundry: 30:13 Yeah with-
Suzanne Somers: 30:13 You can-
Dr. Gundry: 30:13 Costco.
Suzanne Somers: 30:14 Get great quality organic at a great price, you can buy in bulk. So I don’t know what other chains are doing that, but the fact that there are two major American chains doing that, it’s available. It’s about how much do you want it, how healthy do you want to be?
Yeah, maybe you might have to drive a little further, maybe it’s a bit inconvenient. But to feel the way I feel, at this age … When I’m in New York, I’m around a lot of people who are a lot younger than me; in their 40s. And a lot of them are a lot older than me; in their 40s.
Why? If you’re in New York City, and you look up anywhere, on any one of those high rise building buildings, you’ll see multiple EMF towers, electromagnetic fields. That is like pulsating through your brain, they have them in the elevators. The lifestyle there, the lack of sunshine, the lack of calm; it ages people so much earlier.
And so if that’s where you live, that’s where you live, but that’s where your choices are more important than ever of your food, and how you keep your apartment, and in terms of HEPA filters and non-toxic cleaning agents; it makes a big difference.
My husband is like the canary in the coal mine; he carries the HLA gene. Those people who carry that gene are more susceptible to chemicals than other people. If he walks into somebody’s house who’s just sprayed air freshener, he starts getting facial tics and facial spasms; that’s how sensitive he is.
Dr. Gundry: 30:14 That’s great.
Suzanne Somers: 31:57 And when this happens to him, I think he’s going to go down first from the chemicals, but we’re all getting hit, We’re all getting it. And so I had a beautiful perfume made for me by Tom [Ford 00:32:13], can you imagine this beautiful perfume? I can’t wear it because Alan is just too allergic to anything.
I can wear natural vanilla oils. I think the oils are very interesting, and every night before he goes to bed, I put frankincense here. I go just like baby Jesus, put a little frankincense here; don’t have any myrrh, but it was good enough for him.
I also have to tell you this, I really enjoy taking care of him. He takes care of me in so many other ways, and I take care of him and health, and that’s great in a relationship when you take care of each other. It’s very comforting, loving, gives you a lot of peace, a lot of calm.
Dr. Gundry: 32:58 I think that’s a good point that I want to come back to, and we’re going to take a quick break.
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And we’re back. Welcome back to the Dr. Gundry podcast, I have the pleasure of talking with the world famous Suzanne Somers. And I want to talk about relationships, because you and your husband have now been together for 50 years.
Suzanne Somers: 32:58 Right, right.
Dr. Gundry: 34:06 And as a Hollywood couple, how the heck does a Hollywood couple stay together for 50 years? That is, certainly, not the norm. Come on, give us some secrets here.
Suzanne Somers: 34:23 Oh it’s true love. I fell like we have what everybody looks for, and we just are lucky enough to find it this time around, and it’s so meaningful to me, it means everything to me. So I cherish it, and cherish him, and take care of him, and vice versa.
And I think one of the … There’re two reasons that we’re so happy. He makes the great coffee in the morning; I don’t mean mediocre, I mean great. It’s organic, he walks it around the bed, so he just hands it to me and he waits for me to take the first sip, and I’ll give them a thumbs up. Sometimes I go, “Not as great as yesterday.” Because we’re on a one to 10 scale. And the second cup, he walks around the bed also, because I don’t like it passed across because it’s hot and it might spill; but that’s how I’m spoiled.
Three times a week, sometimes four, this is my bad habit. We meet right here … I’d love you to come over some time, Big Al’s bar here at our house. And it started a few years ago … I’d never had a hard liquor drink in my life, because I’ve written several books about being a child of an alcoholic, my alcoholic father.
And my husband … I was writing all day, and he buzzes my office and says, “You want a date?” And I said, “Yeah.” He said, “Meet me at the bar, Big Al’s bar.” So I go down there, and we shared a tequila and listened to music, and pretty soon we were dancing, and it’s so lovely that we couldn’t wait to do it again. And so, three, four times a week we do that.
Now, I had a residency in Las Vegas two years ago, and I didn’t hire a writer. Instead, Alan and I at Big Al’s bar, drinking tequila, wrote the act. And all my years of performing in Vegas, they were the greatest reviews I’ve ever gotten, and I thought … Because it was absolutely true, no BS. We cleaned out all the BS sitting at the bar, and so anyway. Coffee in the morning, tequila at night, take care of each other.
Dr. Gundry: 36:39 So is there such a thing as a soul mate?
Suzanne Somers: 36:44 He’s my soul mate. I never knew if I believed in it or not, but that he is, he is. I once read one of Shirley MacLaine’s book; didn’t everybody at that time? And she talked about the Light Institute in Galisteo, New Mexico, and how you could go there and they could regress you into past lives.
And I said to Alan, “I don’t know if I believe it or not, but would it be interesting?” I said, “I know you’re not into this.” I said, “But that’s what I’d like for my birthday present, $1,500 for four days.” So we went and he says, “All right, I’m going to buy tamales, there’s homemade tamales at this little grocery store on the corner, and I’ll sit on the bluff, and look at the beautiful scenery.”
So I go into this little hut, and she has me lie on a massage table, she had me dress, which I thought, “Whoa, okay I don’t know why I have to get undressed.” But she covered me with the sheet. And then she stood over me with her hands, and then all of a sudden, tears came out of my eyes and landed in my ears. And all of a sudden, I was in a different place and time, and there was Alan.
And this was like, I don’t know why, I know it was Mesopotamia; I don’t know why, but he was there. And then there’s another life in Ireland; he’s never Alan; he’s my son, he’s my brother, he’s something. So maybe there is something, maybe it’s all BS, and I grant that. But maybe there is something to, “We’ve been here before, we’ll be here again, and we hook up with the same people.” But the day I met him, I walked in and it was like a light bulb went off.
Dr. Gundry: 38:22 No I met my wife, Penny, at 20 years old singing in a singing group in Montego Bay, Jamaica. And she was in the audience with her parents, and I walked over and introduced myself, and we spent the evening talking. And that morning, we both decided we were going to marry each other.
Suzanne Somers: 38:47 Wow.
Dr. Gundry: 38:47 And she went back to her parents room said, “I met the man I’m going to marry.” And, unfortunately, we were both geographically undesirable, because I was at Yale as an undergraduate, she was at the University of California, Santa Barbara. And my parents lived in Atlanta, her parents lived in Greenwich, Connecticut.
But we had a hiatus for a while, but long story short, we actually reconnected by her seeing me on the Today Show when I was a famous baby heart transplant surgeon, and we’ve been together for over 25 years now. And the interesting thing is, even though we diverged our lives for a reason, she never stopped looking for me, and I never stopped looking for her because, yeah, you know a soulmate. And I really do counsel my younger friends, “You shouldn’t have to make your spouse, or your significant other into something you want to make them into, it is not going to work.” I’ve never actually seen it work successfully.
Suzanne Somers: 39:58 No.
Dr. Gundry: 39:59 You’ll know, and just kind of keep working at it until you know.
Suzanne Somers: 40:03 So you found your soulmate?
Dr. Gundry: 40:05 Oh yeah, absolutely, absolutely.
Suzanne Somers: 40:05 Uh-huh (affirmative).
Dr. Gundry: 40:07 And I dedicated one of my book, the first book, to her that she’s my soul mate. And yet-
Suzanne Somers: 40:12 You know-
Dr. Gundry: 40:12 You know-
Suzanne Somers: 40:13 Your audience doesn’t know, but pretty soon You and I are going to be neighbors.
Dr. Gundry: 40:17 That’s right.
Suzanne Somers: 40:18 And I have a feeling I will meet your wife, and I have a feeling the four of us will get along really well.
Dr. Gundry: 40:22 Yeah, I think so. And as long as you’ll have us over to the bar. But we’ll have the tequila see, margarita no; because there’s too much-
Suzanne Somers: 40:29 Okay.
Dr. Gundry: 40:29 Sugar in margaritas.
Suzanne Somers: 40:30 Okay. Well I don’t drink margarita? Just tequila with ice.
Dr. Gundry: 40:35 Ah, okay, all right. And I hope it’s dark tequila, and I’ll go into that later.
Suzanne Somers: 40:39 Okay.
Dr. Gundry: 40:40 All right. So now a hot button topic to use-
Suzanne Somers: 40:45 Yeah.
Dr. Gundry: 40:45 An interesting word. So people assume that having a low libido, as you get older, is normal and it’s unavoidable. You beg to differ. Why is that, and what can everybody do about this?
Suzanne Somers: 41:00 Well for a woman, when she loses her sex hormones estrogen, progesterone, testosterone, DHEA, [inaudible 00:41:08] and a few others, she cannot feel sex. She’s capable of having sex, but she cannot feel; and that’s what I was going through in those three years. Here I desired my husband, but I couldn’t feel anything.
So when I restored and got it in perfect balance, my sex hormones; whoa my sex drive came back. And now, I was at an age where my children are grown and out of the house, and we were free to be. Now there’s a lot of talk right now, because I was on Megan Kelly’s show on the Today Show I guess last year with my last book. And she said, “I hear you and your husband have sex twice a day.” And I said, “Yeah, but I sleep through one of them.” I said, “What is it about men at 4:00 in the morning?
Well oh my God, the social media, I got this thing, “Suzanne Somers condones marital rape.” And I thought, “Marital rape, are you kidding?” What I was really trying to do and talk about my sex life, is not too much information. What I was trying to do is to say, “It ain’t over, it ain’t over.”
And if you accept that it’s over, you’ve kind of thrown in one towel. And I’m not ready to throw in the towel yet. I love to get dressed up and go out to dinner, I’ll have a tequila. And I love those evening, I love to date, I love the whole keeping romance alive. And here in the desert, you can do that so well because it’s conducive to that.
So I’m just trying to let women know not look at me, look what we’re doing pretty much every day. And I know that sounds like a lot, but it’s there, and he’s juiced up on testosterone. And with testosterone also what he loves is he works out with free weights. He’s on testosterone, and HGH, and DHEA, but he’s very developed, like really big biceps, which you cannot do without testosterone, and HGH helps building bone and muscle. So estrogen, and testosterone, and anabolic, they build it’s … What is it? Osteoblasts and osteoclasts?
Dr. Gundry: 43:34 Correct.
Suzanne Somers: 43:36 They build and burrow bone and build bone; that’s hormonal II driven. So old ladies who are constantly breaking hips, and fracturing things, it’s because of hormonal loss. I can look at a woman I just know the state of her health by her hair, by her posture. The ladies who are old, but skinny, but they’ve got a big belly? That’s hairline fractures in their spine that, eventually, that spine collapses, they get shorter, pushes out the abdomen-
Dr. Gundry: 44:09 Right.
Suzanne Somers: 44:09 Pretty soon she’s got this big belly that has nothing to do with what she’s eating. So I pay a lot of attention to my bone structure, to keeping my bones. I take calcium but always with vitamin K. I love the description for vitamin K, it’s good for your heart. It’s good for your heart because calcium, as you know, wants to go into the soft tissues, the arteries, this is your … You should be saying this.
And the K is like a little traffic cop that says, “No, no, no let’s go back into the bones.” And that’s why K is good for the heart, because it keeps it away from the soft tissues. I just find health so fascinating, understanding how the body works so fascinating.
And what I say to my readers is, “You are the contractor. This is your body, your life, no one’s going to care as much as you. I don’t care how great your doctor is, it’s your life. So you be the contractor, you read, you find out, you learn as much as you can. And then when you go to doctors you can go in knowledgeable, be able to have a conversation that starts here rather than the doctor having to started at kindergarten, and you will be so far ahead of the game.”
And I hear from women all over the world … I feel so privileged, I have 25 million books in print around the world, and I hear from all over the place of how this has been life changing for women. And now the men are coming. Because the men saw that their wives were doing really good, and they want some of that too.
And this is just as much for men as for women; it’s equal. You have hormones, we have hormones. You have more testosterone than estrogen, and we have more estrogen and testosterone. It’s interesting, when you see old people who have weak voices, and man boobs on men, that’s because as we decline in hormones … A man’s testosterone, as it keeps dropping, your shoulders drop, your stomach gets bigger, you get kind of grumpy, you get kind of grout, jowly.
And looks what happened, your estrogen’s now higher than your testosterone. And that’s why you speak now with a high voice, and you get the man boobs. Same thing for the women, as she starts to decline, all the itchy, bitchy, sleepy, sweaty, bloated, forgetful, and all dried up, that drops down and pretty soon she’s got more testosterone than estrogen. And I don’t know if Lauren Bacall was just a real estrogen kind of a … She had that deep voice if you remember. So we want to stay a woman, we want to stay a man in the right balance, in the right ratios, and have quality of life. Long life is great, but quality to me is the key.
Dr. Gundry: 47:13 Yeah, and I think that’s the point that I try to make it all my books. This is the only house I’m ever going to live in.
Suzanne Somers: 47:13 Exactly, yeah.
Dr. Gundry: 47:20 And if we put as much effort into taking care of this house as we do to the home we occupy, or our car-
Suzanne Somers: 47:30 Right.
Dr. Gundry: 47:30 Or our outfits-
Suzanne Somers: 47:32 Right.
Dr. Gundry: 47:32 Imagine what could happen. And I thank you, again, for writing a new book. So how do people find you as if nobody knew? Where are we going to find this book?
Suzanne Somers: 47:45 Oh go to Amazon, go to my website; it’ll be all over the place. There are two other things in there that I just want to bring up that every book startles me. I never know what I’m going to really … I don’t have a preconceived notion other than with each one, the title, a new way to age. I’m doing it, and then I bring in all these incredible doctors and scientists. What came up as the most cutting edge is cellular health, which I thought about in terms of communication, like I said before.
Dr. Gundry: 48:19 Yeah.
Suzanne Somers: 48:20 But now there’s something so fantastic. We all know in the pipes in our house get clogged and corroded, that the water doesn’t flow, and the pipes don’t work as well. Well the same thing happens with the cells with aging. The cells get filled with debris, it’s called autography. There’s a new supplement called senolytic activator-
Dr. Gundry: 48:46 Correct.
Suzanne Somers: 48:46 That cleans out cellular debris. It’s like cleaning the rotor rooter in the pipes of your house; well how about that? And then there’s the other one, NAD, do you know? It’s nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide; I could be wrong on the first word.
Dr. Gundry: 49:06 Nicotinamide, yeah.
Suzanne Somers: 49:07 Yes, thank you, thank you. That repairs the [inaudible 00:49:11] breaks before other things, that’s cellular health; again, that’s reverse aging. So there’s that, there’s so many new, wonderful things coming down the pipe.
And those two things I just mentioned, very inexpensive. Like for the senolytic activator, you only take it once a week, eight bucks a month. The NAD is a little more expensive, but not terrible. So this is a good time to be aging; really a good time.
By the way, I just want to say one thing to you of what an impact you’ve made, that people are talking about your approach to health, and food, and gut health. And I think that’s one of the most important areas right now; everybody’s got something wrong with their gut. So you’ve done an amazing job, and your career, I follow your career from all the facets of your career. It’s really incredible so congratulations.
Dr. Gundry: 50:08 Well thanks, I’m just echoing Hippocrates who said 2,500 years ago, “All disease begins in the gut.”
Suzanne Somers: 50:15 He’s right.
Dr. Gundry: 50:16 And he was right. All right, so hopefully we’ll see you walking the dogs in the neighborhood.
Suzanne Somers: 50:23 On the mountain, yeah.
Dr. Gundry: 50:23 On the mountain.
Suzanne Somers: 50:24 What a pleasure, thank you so much, thank you.
Dr. Gundry: 50:26 All right, take care. Okay, it’s time for the audience question. And Laura M. YouTube asks, “Is it possible to address varicose veins with the plant paradox progress?”
Well it’s interesting, most varicose veins actually come from losing the valves that are, basically, locks in a canal that allow blood to get pumped back to our heart from our legs. If you think about it, we don’t have a heart down in our feet, which would be a useful thing because blood has to be pumped uphill about four or five feet.
Instead, we actually have muscles in our calves and our thighs that, when they can contract, they actually squeeze on our veins and our legs. And those veins all have little one way valves that allow blood, just like in a canal in a river allow blood to go forward and then close, so it doesn’t fall backwards.
And most people who stand for a living, for instance, surgeons get varicose veins, bank tellers get varicose veins, grocery checkout get varicose veins. Because number one, you’re standing but you’re not exercising your muscles. And so, slowly over the passage of time, those valves lose their ability to match. One of the good news is part of the plant paradox program is to make you more active, to make you conscious of moving, to make you do some simple exercises.
And so the answer is you can improve varicose veins at any point in your life, but eating is not going to be the big component to that; it’s movement that makes a difference. You have to have … Rather than wearing your heart on your sleeve, you have to wear your heart in your legs. So, great question.
And now it’s time for the audience review. Farmer John on iTunes writes, “Dr. Gundry does such a fabulous job of pulling apart a whole variety of subjects in a thoughtful and endearing way. He provides tons of information with a fun demeanor.” Thank you very much, “And it makes you want to keep listening. Even if you’re not a plant paradox enthusiast, there is great information in his podcast.”
Well thanks a lot, Farmer John, and I’m going to keep doing this as long as you’ll keep listening and telling everybody else do appreciate it. Thanks.
Thanks for joining me on this episode of The Dr. Gundry podcast. Before you go, I just wanted to remind you that you can find the show on iTunes, Google Play, Stitcher, or wherever you get your podcasts. And if you want to watch each episode of the Dr. Gundry podcast, you can always find me on YouTube at YouTube.com/drgunrdry. Because I’m Dr. Gundry, and I’m always looking out for you.