Q & A: November 6, 2011

Welcome to CHEESESLAVE Q & A! Every Sunday, I answer your questions. I’ll answer as many questions as I can each week. If I didn’t answer your question this week, please check back next week.

1. Question: Do You Think V@ccinations Could Have An Impact On People Who Consume A Traditional Diet?

Hi Ann Marie,

Since many colleges and schools require mandatory v@ccinations in order to enroll in them, do you think they could have any impact on the body even if people consume a traditional diet? Also, do you think v@ccines could be a major contributor to the autism epidemic?

The following is a video that shows a child who got autism after he was v@ccinated. You can start from 3:30 of the video where it actually talks about the autism story:

Thank you,


Yes, I do think v@ccines impact people negatively. I think a traditional diet helps. However, why would anyone want to inject toxins such as mercury and aluminum directly into the bloodstream, bypassing the digestive tract which helps you to eliminate these heavy metals?

I do think v@ccines are part of the autism epidemic, but I do not think they caused it. I think it is largely caused by antibiotics, the birth control pill and other drugs, as well as chlorinated water.

From what I have read, pretty much all autistic kids have digestive issues, but not all autistic kids have been v@ccinated.

If I could go back in time, I would not have allowed them to v@ccinate my daughter. I stopped when I learned more about v@ccinations when she was six months old. If we are lucky enough to have a second child, we will not v@ccinate.

As far as mandatory v@ccines for college, this is what ThinkTwice Global V@ccine Institute has to say:

2. Are v@ccines mandatory for my children to get into a public daycare, school, or college?

A. No. State laws “mandating” v@ccines also permit exemptions. (Read: Why Schools Should NOT Mandate V@ccines.)

Click here to read more.

Lastly, Dr. Mercola is offering a free screening of the new movie, The Greater Good on his website. I watched it last night and it is phenomenal.

Click here to watch.

It’s only free through November 6th so hurry!

2. Question: Recommendations For Dealing With Seborrheic Dermatitis / Opinion On Raw Milk Vs. Pasteurized?

Hi Ann Marie,

I’ve been really enjoying your Q&A posts each week. I have two questions for you myself.

1) Do you have any recommendations for dealing with seborrheic dermatitis? People often confuse this with dandruff, but it is not really the same. It is a nasty scalp condition that I’ve been struggling with since I became a teenager. I’ve gotten a chlorine filter for my shower and started using natural shampoo and conditioner along with a vinegar rinse on my scalp. All of these things have helped some, but it’s still a problem.

Doctors have prescribed special shampoos and ointments to me over the years that really don’t help and make my hair look awful, so I’m done with that. Ultimately the doctors all tell me that this is just something I’ll have to live with forever. I really don’t want that to be true. Do you think this could be caused by some kind of imbalance in my body that might be helped by GAPS? Or any other ideas?

2) Nutritionally, how much better is raw milk than milk that is pasteurized but not ultra-pasteurized or homogenized? I am currently driving quite a ways to get raw milk every week (they don’t allow infrequent pickups for larger amounts) whereas I could get the non-homogenized milk five minutes from my house. I’m just wondering if it’s really worth the time investment when I’m really short on time already!

Thanks in advance!


1) According to Wikipedia:

The cause of seborrhoeic dermatitis remains unknown, although a yeast that is part of the normal skin flora, Malassezia furfur, likely plays a key role.

I’d consume plenty of fermented foods and drinks (ideally at every meal), and take good quality probiotics.

In addition, coconut oil is a powerful antifungal. You can take coconut oil by ingesting it (recommended intake is 3-4 TBS per day).

If you don’t like taking coconut oil, you can consume it by eating coconut meat (1/2 a coconut per day equals about 3 1/2 TBS of coconut oil) or coconut milk (10 ounces of coconut milk equals 3 1/2 TBS coconut oil). You can also rub coconut oil on your skin and it will absorb through your pores.

Be careful not to ramp up on the coconut oil too quickly, as you may experience a healing crisis, including skin eruptions, nausea and/or diarrhea. Start with 1 teaspoon or 1 tablespoon per day and work up.

For this condition, you can also put coconut oil on your scalp. Massage in a couple of teaspoons and then let it sit as long as you can, ideally overnight (you can put a shower cap on and wrap a towel around your head and fall asleep like that). After you’ve let it soak in, wash your hair with shampoo. Do this every day or every other day. You can also use coconut milk.

For more information on how to use coconut oil, I really recommend reading Dr. Bruce Fife’s book, Coconut Cures: Preventing and Treating Common Health Problems with Coconut.

I’m reading it now and it’s a really amazing book.

You may also want to consider the GAPS Diet.

2) I would not drink pasteurized milk. Sure, I’ll drink a little here and there if I’m traveling or eating out. But I would not buy it and drink it and cook with it at home. If I had no choice, I’d buy grass-fed cream and water it down.

I go out of my way to get raw milk because I believe it is vastly superior. Not only that, but I believe that pasteurized milk should be avoided. I believe, based on what I have read, that the proteins in pasteurized milk have been rendered toxic in the process of being heated at high temperatures.

Pasteurization destroys enzymes, diminishes vitamin content, denatures fragile milk proteins, destroys vitamins C, B12 and B6, kills beneficial bacteria, promotes pathogens and is associated with allergies, increased tooth decay, colic in infants, growth problems in children, osteoporosis, arthritis, heart disease and cancer. (Source)

In addition to the health benefits, I strongly believe in buying raw milk to support small farmers. Even if the milk were the same, I’d still buy raw milk because I know that if we don’t support these farmers, small family farms will disappear and we’ll only be left with farmers that are a part of the industrial food system.

Please download this powerpoint to learn more: https://www.realmilk.com/ppt/index.html

I also highly recommend that you read this book: The Untold Story of Milk.

Oh, and I do not have easy access to raw milk since I live in Nevada. I have a chest freezer and buy my milk in large quantities and freeze it. It’s just like buying a side of beef directly from the farmer.

3. Question: Suggestions For Getting Adequate Amount Of Fermented Cod Liver Oil?

Hi Anne Marie,

I have been D deficient for a close to a year now. I had my D checked two years ago during pregnancy and it was 45. I was taking Green Pastures FCLO. I was not taking nearly enough, given what I have read on WAPF and on your blog for pregnancy or nursing moms. Since then I switched to the gel so that I could get enough. I am now taking 2 teaspoons a day (and that gel is not that easy to get down). I am no longer nursing, but my D is still low… about a 29. I am not sure what else I can do to get my D up. Any suggestions would be appreciated.



Two teaspoons is not very much if you are deficient. You may need to take more.

If you have a leaky or damaged gut, you may also be having issues with absorption. If you live in a southern hemisphere, you may want to try to get more sun exposure. More info on how to do that here: https://www.sunlightandvitamind.com/

If that is not possible, you may want to experiment with rubbing the cod liver oil on your skin. That way you bypass the digestive tract and the nutrients are absorbed directly via the skin.

I’ve been doing this with my daughter lately because she refuses to take the cod liver oil. She will only take the fermented cod liver oil gummy fish that Green Pasture used to sell (they stopped making them) but I think she’s not getting enough from those. We just had her vitamin D tested and she was only 30.

So I’ve upped the gummy fishes from 2 to 5 per day, and I’m rubbing 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of the fermented cod liver oil/butter oil blend on her feet, legs and on her bottom. We tried this before with the regular fermented cod liver oil and the smell was downright nasty. I’ve found that using the cinnamon flavor of the FCLO/butter oil is very pleasant. It’s like rubbing a cinnamon body butter on. She likes it and it smells great! I’ve even started putting it on my own skin.

Update: I no longer recommend fermented cod liver oil. Please see my series about fermented cod liver oil.

Here’s another possibility — I’ve recently discovered that the malabsorption of vitamin D may also have to do with a magnesium deficiency:

…taking Vitamin D may not raise blood levels in those who are magnesium deficient. In many cases, both the Vitamin D deficient person and their doctor believe that they are having ‘absorption’ problems. (Source)

I wrote a whole post about magnesium deficiency recently: Are You Suffering From Magnesium Deficiency?

I have started supplementing with magnesium (more info about how to do that in the post I linked to) and am giving my daughter magnesium oil baths.

Being low in zinc can also cause malabsorption of vitamin D. It’s a good idea to check to see if you are zinc deficient. You can order a Metagenics – Zinc Tally liquid. It’s cheap and it’s easy to do. Take a sip and if it tastes disgusting, you know you have enough zinc. If it tastes like water, you are zinc deficient. I am currently taking an ionic zinc supplement (Trace Minerals Research – Ionic Zinc), as I am zinc deficient based on the zinc tally test.

Please keep us posted on your progress!

4. Question: Advice About Dealing With Unhealthy Living Conditions?

Hi Ann Marie,

I know that carpets can be detrimental to one’s own health. What would you do if you lived with people who are unwilling to get rid of carpets that are in almost every bedroom in the house despite them already knowing the potential dangers of having them?

Thank you,


Unfortunately we live in a toxic environment and we don’t have the ability to change everything. We don’t have carpet in our house in LA but we are renting a condo in Nevada and there is carpeting in the bedrooms here. It’s not ideal but for now, we’re just making the best of things.

I think a healthy diet and supplements can protect you from a lot. Good gut function is especially important, so eat lots of fermented foods.

5. Question: Advice About Improving Adult Asthma?


I’ve been reading a lot on your blog and others about the GAPS diet with much interest because I have asthma and from what I’ve read the GAPS diet can help heal asthma. However, all of the times I’ve seen asthma mentioned along with the GAPS diet is when it relates to childhood asthma.

I’m in my mid-twenties and have had asthma ever since I was a toddler. When I was a child, my doctor told my parents that if I did not outgrow it when I was a teenager, that I would never outgrow it. So… I’m wondering if you know if anyone with adult asthma has tried the GAPS diet and had their condition improved or healed. Any amount of hope will convince me to try it. I’m so tired of spending $100+ per month for medicine that is doing who-knows-what to me and my child! Also, I’m wondering about the safety of starting the intro GAPS diet if I’m pregnant or nursing.

A while back I had a question about agave nectar that you addressed on August 16 (?) but you didn’t have an answer then. Any more answers for that?

Thanks so much!
Struggling to Breathe


Asthma can be cured at any time; you don’t have to be a child.

Let’s take a look at what causes asthma. According to Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride, author of Gut and Psychology Syndrome, there are many detoxifcation pathways in the body. The most important detoxification pathway which accounts for at least 80% of our detoxification is the digestive tract.

When we have impaired digestive function and a damaged gut, our body is not able to detoxify as well as it should. When this happens, we experience symptoms of a body overloaded with toxins and trying its best to use the other detoxification pathways. Common examples of this are eczema, acne, and other skin conditions. The skin is a detoxification pathway. We can detox via the skin’s pores by sweating. People who have eczema and acne are experiencing these symptoms as a result of the body trying to detox through the skin.

The lungs are another detoxification pathway of the body. When the body is overloaded with toxins and pathogenic bacteria, the body tries to detox via the lungs. Wheezing (bronchospasm) is a biological action that attempts to close off damaged bronchi and allow them time to quickly repair. This typically lasts around 20-30 minutes. When multiple areas of the lungs do this at the same time, we experience asthma.

Supportive therapy for asthma is to stay still and keep warm, calm and hydrated, thereby allowing the body to heal.

Asthma medications override the body’s self-healing functions, leading to major long-term lung damage. Asthma is a benign, mild condition but it has been turned it into a life-threatening problem.

Furthermore, when asthma treatments are taken, they don’t allow the lungs to heal themselves and detoxify the body. The toxins then end up elsewhere in the body.

The GAPS Diet heals the digestive system which enables us to properly digest our food and eliminate toxins. This takes the pressure off the lungs.

Dr. Natasha explained this in detail at last year’s Weston A. Price Foundation conference. You can order the recording here.

It is safe to do GAPS when pregnant or nursing, however, Dr. Natasha recommends to start on the Full GAPS Diet, not the Intro Diet.

6. Question: What’s The Ideal Way To Take Amino Acids?

Hi Ann Marie:

I have a question about taking the amino acid capsules recommended in The Mood Cure. I understand it’s good to open the capsule and drop the powder under the tongue, but then what?

I’ve tried it and have a mouthful of bitter powder. I’ve tried wetting it down with some water but then I feel like I’m just washing it down and drinking it, is that beneficial? Or does the powder need to dissolve under the tongue? I appreciate any advice!



Let it sit on your tongue for a minute or two. Take a sip of water and swish it around, then swallow.

The point of opening the capsules up in your mouth is that this way you absorb the amino acids very quickly — it bypasses the digestive system and goes right into the bloodstream.

7. Question: Advice On Helping My Vegan Friend Get More Nutrition?

Ann Marie,

I was talking to a friend at work and she has a lot of health problems. Her biggest one is a problem with her back. She also is type 2 diabetic, has high cholesterol and high blood pressure when she is not eating a low-fat diet. She is vegan, too. She said that her brother kept telling her when she was a child stories about meat and she started to believe them. She said she did try to go back to eating meat, but she get’s sick whenever she does. She just can’t hold it down.

I tried to explain to her how important it was to eat meat and that some of her health problems may be caused by not getting enough nutrition. Her back is giving her so much pain that for months she had to sleep on her knees. They just changed the location of her, I believe they were shock treatments to her spine, so know she can lay down, but is still in a lot of pain. I am thinking her spine will not heal itself because it is not getting the nutrition it needs in order to heal.

My questions is how to help her find a way to get the nutrition she needs without eating meat or to find someone who used to be vegetarian that can help her work her way back to eating meat and get over her fear. She did ask me if there was a way to follow the GAPS diet without having to eat meat. She is not a Real Foods person in any way, but she did show interest when I talked to her about the GAPS diet.

Thank you for your time and I love your blog and your question and answer posts.



I don’t think it is necessary to eat meat to be healthy. However, it is necessary to eat adequate fat and animal products of some kind. It is possible to thrive on a vegetarian diet. I think it is necessary to eat eggs and dairy and/or fish.

The back pain she is experiencing could very well be caused by vitamin B-12 deficiency. Vitamin B-12 deficiency is a common reason for chronic pain. This deficiency is common among vegans, as there is no food that contains vitamin B-12 other than animal foods. Some of the best sources include shellfish, liver, caviar (fish eggs) and eggs. See this link for more food sources of vitamin B-12.

Vitamin B-12 is very serious and can cause death. Please have her read the book, Could It Be B12?: An Epidemic of Misdiagnoses.

She needs to go to a doctor as soon as possible and get a blood test, or order a blood test online.

She also may be low in vitamin D. Chronic muscle pain can be caused by vitamin D deficiency. Have her get her vitamin D checked — she can do it online (Grass Roots Health D-Action) or have a doctor order a blood test. The best sources of vitamin D are cod liver oil, lard and shrimp. She can also take a synthetic vitamin D supplement, although I don’t really recommend those. She can also get vitamin D from the sun but it’s hard to get enough in a northern latitude, especially in the winter.

Magnesium deficiency can also cause pain and cramping. Magnesium helps to calm the muscles and ease pain. An easy way to treat magnesium deficiency is to take baths with magnesium flakes or spray magnesium oil on the skin. Please see my post on magnesium deficiency: Are You Suffering From Magnesium Deficiency?

Magnesium also helps to normalize blood sugar and blood pressure. If you read The Magnesium Miracle there is a lot of information on diabetes and blood pressure and magnesium deficiency.

Coconut oil also helps to regulate blood sugar. Coconut oil also helps to support the thyroid which will regulate and normalize cholesterol. For more about how coconut oil can help diabetes, blood pressure and cholesterol, read Dr. Bruce Fife’s book, Coconut Cures: Preventing and Treating Common Health Problems with Coconut.

Lastly, I would also ask her to read The Vegetarian Myth: Food, Justice, and Sustainability by Lierre Keith. It was written by a woman who was vegan for 20 years. Her health completely deteriorated and it was only by adding animal products back into her diet that she started to heal. To this day, she still has a very bad back and suffers from degenerative disc disease. Have her read this book — it is a cautionary tale. Thankfully she won’t have to spend 20 years damaging her health like Lierre did.

Please keep us posted on your friend.

8. Question: Should I Continue the GAPS Diet Even If I’m Experiencing Difficulties?

Hi, I’m new to GAPS. My daughter (9) and I are experiencing increased anxiety and constipation on this. I am looking for ANYONE who has done this program for reasons other than autism (depression/anxiety). I found your post about your husband (from 2008). Can you tell me if he had any success? I’m trying to decide if it’s worth it and even safe to continue.

Thank you so much. I just didn’t feel comfortable posting about my anxiety on your Facebook wall.



I’m not sure why you are doing the GAPS Diet but it is definitely safe and very good for various conditions.

Constipation and anxiety are both very common symptoms of magnesium deficiency. See my recent post: Are You Suffering From Magnesium Deficiency?

If you are not drinking broth at every meal (you should get 3 cups minimum per day), you need to add that to make sure you are getting enough magnesium, as well as other minerals. I would also add Trace Minerals Concentrace to your filtered water, and use that water for drinking, cooking and making broth.

Also, try taking epsom salt baths. Even better than epsom salt baths is taking baths with Magnesium Chloride Flakes (the magnesium flakes are better absorbed by the body).

Please see my recent post on magnesium: Are You Suffering From Magnesium Deficiency?

I also recommend reading the book, The Magnesium Miracle.

There is a whole chapter in that book about anxiety.

In addition, I recommend reading The Mood Cure by Julia Ross. I know that Dr. Natasha uses amino acids with many of her patients with emotional problems such as anxiety. I have experienced great results with the amino acids. They are not meant to be taken for a long time and you can get benefits right away.

And as far as people who have been on the GAPS Diet for reasons other than autism, check out the Well Fed Homestead blog. They’ve been on the GAPS Diet for 2 years I believe and have had great success.

9. Question: Suggestions For Vitamin D Dosage In The Wintertime?

Hi Ann Marie!

Thanks for all the time you take answering our questions! Mine is about Vitamin D and wintertime. We live in Maine, which obviously means some long, cold, winters. I have no problem with bundling up and getting the kids outside when it’s cold, but there are frankly a lot of days where there is no sun to speak of.

We currently are taking the Chocolate Cream FCLO + Butter Oil blend. My girls are 20-months-old and I am still nursing them. How much should we be taking in the winter versus the summer? I can’t find a source that says how much of the blend should be taken, only the FCLO alone.



It is my opinion that if you are taking the blend, you should take more than if you are taking the fermented cod liver oil alone. My reasoning for this is that you are not getting all cod liver oil from the blend — you are getting cod liver oil and butter oil. So if I want to get 1/2 teaspoon of the cod liver oil from the blend, I take 1 teaspoon.

As far as how much to take in winter versus summer, I take the same amount all year. What matters is your vitamin D status. If you get a lot of sun in the summer, you will store vitamin D for the winter.

We get our vitamin D status tested every 6 months via Grass Roots Health D-Action. This way we always know what our vitamin D status is. It is very affordable.

I just tested Kate (4 years old) for the first time and she came out low (30 ng). I was surprised because I’ve been giving her 2 of the fermented cod liver oil gummy fish per day for 2 years. So she is now taking 5 gummy fish per day plus I’m putting 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of the FCLO/butter oil blend on her skin (she refuses to take it in her mouth). I’m also giving her magnesium oil baths.

Remember, the people Dr. Weston Price studied got TEN times more of the fat soluble activators (including vitamin D) than the people of his day. And needless to say, Americans living in the 1920s got a lot more than we do today since they ate a lot more lard. I don’t think you need to worry about taking too much, but it is very easy not to take enough. It’s best to get tested and then you know for sure.

Update: I no longer recommend fermented cod liver oil. Please see my series on fermented cod liver oil.

10. Question: What’s The Easiest Form Of Fermented Cod Liver Oil To Digest?

Hi Ann Marie,

Do you think fermented cod liver oil is easier to digest in liquid form, or are the capsules just as absorbable?

Thank you,


They are the same. As I mentioned above, you can also just rub it on your skin if you have malabsorption.

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