Hi Dolly, thanks for all your questions. I hope to answer them adequately. See my answers below in blue type:
1. Are there any modifications that people who've had their gall bladders removed should follow? A friend told me there is a supplement called Cholocol that is sometimes recommended but I'm a little leery since it is bovine bile salts. Would appreciate hearing what you think about it.
If you've had your gallbladder removed, as I have, the deetox protocol may be even more important. Modifications would not be just for the deetox plan, but as an overall health modification in general. It is highly recommended to take bovine bile salts, also known as ox bile, after having the gall bladder removed. Here’s why:
Bile is manufactured from cholesterol in your liver and then stored in your gall bladder until it’s needed. As your body senses that you’ve eaten and there is some fat to be digested, the gall bladder squirts out some bile into the digestive tract. The bile acts as a detergent that breaks down fats and makes them easier to digest.
Without a gallbladder, there is nowhere for the bile to be stored, so a continuous trickle of bile goes from your liver into your digestive tract regardless of the presence or absence of fat. The failure to match bile output to fat presence jeopardizes one’s ability to properly digest fat, which is why so many people without a gall bladder have this difficulty. This problem can eventually lead to deficiencies in fat-soluble vitamins (vitamins A,D,E, and K) and essential fatty acids (omega-3’s and omega-6’s), poor cholesterol metabolism, and the absorption of improperly digested fat globules.
Ox bile is just what it implies—it’s bile from an ox. It is very similar to our own bile. It contains the digestive enzymes you need to break down dietary fat. In addition, it includes other substances that help emulsify the fat into small, easily-absorbed micro-droplets. Without this emulsification, the fat from your food may glob together in big blobs and be difficult to process.
For this reason, I do recommend Cholacol by Standard Process or an equivalent product called Ox Bile by Nutricology for those who have had their gall bladder removed. While the idea of bovine bile salts may make you leery, the products recommended are of very high purity and the companies are both dedicated to providing whole food high quality supplements. Ox bile has been used for many years as a food supplement.
Unfortunately there is no vegetarian alternative to bile salts. Bile is a substance that is made in the livers of all mammals, and cholesterol is a key component of bile. As you know, there are no plant sources of cholesterol, it is only found in animals. Many people who have had their gall bladders removed have seen great improvement in their digestion of fats when they take bovine bile salts. My recommendation is that you should not be leery and give the Cholacol a try. I think you will find it works wonders.
2. I found the Amazing Grass Green Powder in my local grocer and noticed it contains both chlorella and spirulina. Given the Fujuskima disaster and the continuing dumping of contaminated water, are these safe?
Chlorella and Spirulina are both fresh water algae. They do not grow in sea water, nor do they necessarily come from Japan. The Amazing Grass company is a family run farm in the middle of Kansas. They grow all of their greens (barley grass, wheat grass, alfalfa grass, etc.) on their farm.
Their website states: “We source our chlorella and spirulina from China. They are grown on Hainan Island in the South Sea off the mainland of China. The city of Sanya on Hainan Island was rated 2nd in the entire world for air quality by the World Environmental Organization. It is grown in extremely pure fresh water. It is tested locally and also in the US by a 3rd party. It is certified organic and tested for heavy metals, BMAA bacteria, algal toxins, banned pesticides and melamine. It is also fair trade certified.”
3. A similar question has to do with wild pacific northwest/Alaskan salmon and salmon oil supplements. I have long relied on those for my Omega 3s but am quite concerned about nuclear contamination now. What are your thoughts? Is it possible to get adequate amounts of Omega 3s without fish? If so, how?
The concern about radiation contamination is valid, and therefore we should all be careful about the source of our fish. Vital Choice is a seafood company that I trust, and the only one that I know of that has actual test results posted on their website. You can read what they say about Fukushima concerns on their website at http://www.vitalchoice.com/shop/pc/articlesView.asp?id=2083
Another company, called Wiley’s Finest posted this article on their website http://blog.wileysfinest.com/why-alaskan-fish-oil-is-safe-and-not-contaminated-by-radiation/
Both articles should explain why the Alaskan salmon and salmon oil supplements are safe.
It is possible to get omega-3’s from plant sources. Since fish get their omega-3’s from algae, that would be the best source. You can purchase algae EPA and DHA supplements if you want a plant source. These are typically sourced from laboratory-grown algae, therefore there is no risk of environmental contaminants. Here is one product that I would recommend: http://www.drfuhrman.com/shop/pdf_product_factsheets/DrFuhrmans_DHA_EPA_Purity.pdf4. Re: yogurt I avoid cow's milk yogurt as I have a slight allergy to cow's milk. I seem to do ok with goats milk yogurt but can't find organic goat's milk yogurt. The brand available here is Redwood Farms. Is that ok?
I think you mean Redwood Hill Farm goat yogurt, and yes it is OK. Their website has an FAQ page that states this: Our goat milk products are not certified organic since we are unable to obtain organic feed for the goats 100% of the time. We are working on this and hope to become certified organic in the future. Our creamery is certified organic and we use all organic practices at the farm – no pesticides, herbicides, or insecticides. We believe in a natural approach to farming and our dairy goats are very healthy. We do not routinely use medications or antibiotics but if used to save an animal’s life, we test the milk before using to ensure the antibiotic residues never enter the human food chain. We do not use or believe in using growth hormones.
It is also perfectly OK to leave out the yogurt during the deetox. Just make sure to take a probiotic supplement.
5. I can't seem to find organic, gluten-free oat bran. I can find organic oat bran, but not gluten-free. Is it ok to eat that during the cleanse? Do you know of any brand that is both organic and gluten free?
Unless you are a person who MUST stay away from gluten for reasons of intolerance or celiac, then it is not necessary to use gluten-free oat bran during the deetox. The deetox only requires staying away from gluten-containing grains such as wheat, spelt, kamut, farro, barley and rye. Oats do not contain the same type of gluten that these others do, so therefore, unless the possibility of wheat contamination on the oats is a health concern due to celiac disease, then regular oat bran is fine.
Unfortunately, I have not been able to find oat bran that is both organic and gluten-free. I typically just go with a regular oat bran.
6. And finally, should all raw nuts be soaked before eating (walnuts, brazil nuts, cashews, pecans, macadamia, etc.) or is it just almonds?
Nuts are much easier to digest when they’ve been soaked. And yes, all raw nuts should be soaked and then dried prior to consuming them. I wrote an article about this with a soaking guide chart. Different nuts require different soak times. http://www.processedfreeamerica.org/resources/health-news/785-soaking-nuts-for-good-health