Tag: vitamin D

Lowering the risk of Cardiac Arrest, Part 2, Invite Health Podcast, Episode 616

Lowering the risk of Cardiac Arrest, Part 2, Invite Health Podcast, Episode 616

Subscribe Today!   Please see below for a complete transcript of this episode. LOWERING THE RISK OF CARDIAC ARREST, PART 2- INVITEⓇ HEALTH PODCAST, EPISODE 616 Hosted by Jerry Hickey, Ph. *Intro Music* InViteⓇ Health Podcast Intro:[00:00:04] Welcome to the InViteⓇ Health Podcast where our 

Basic Tips for Optimal Kidney Health, Invite Health Podcast, Episode 615

Basic Tips for Optimal Kidney Health, Invite Health Podcast, Episode 615

Subscribe Today! Please see below for a complete transcript of this episode. BASIC TIPS FOR OPTIMAL KIDNEY HEALTH, INVITE HEALTH PODCAST, EPISODE 615 Hosted by Amanda Williams, MD, MPH. *Intro Music* InViteⓇ Health Podcast Intro:  [00:00:04] Welcome to the InViteⓇ Health Podcast, where our degreed 

New Data, Vitamin D & the Immune System. Invite Health Podcast, Episode 610

New Data, Vitamin D & the Immune System. Invite Health Podcast, Episode 610


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Please see below for a complete transcript of this episode.

NEW DATA, VITAMIN D & THE IMMUNE SYSTEM, INVITEⓇ HEALTH PODCAST, EPISODE 610

Hosted by Jerry Hickey, Ph.

*Intro Music*

InViteⓇ Health Podcast Intro:[00:00:04] Welcome to the InViteⓇ Health Podcast where our degreed health care professionals are excited to offer you the most important health and wellness information you need to make informed choices about your health. You can learn more about the products discussed in each of these episodes and all that Invite Health has to offer at, www.invitehealth.com/podcast. First time customers can use promo code podcast at checkout for an additional 15% off your first purchase. Let’s get started. [00:00:34]

*Intro Music*

Jerry Hickey, Ph: [00:00:40] An insufficient level of vitamin D in your blood is connected with an increased risk of developing all kinds of infections fungal infections, bacterial infections, viral infections, having low vitamin D is connected with an increased risk of developing a respiratory tract infection, which would include COVID type infections, the flu, colds, but also lacking vitamin D, just low levels increased the length of time. You may remain infected, you’ll be sick for a longer time, and possibly most importantly, lacking vitamin D is connected with an increased risk of a severe infection and winding up in the hospital and having, if it’s a respiratory tract infection, having severe, a severe attack on your lungs. Sadly, habitually lacking Vitamin D is also associated with an increased risk of dementia. Now, it’s important to put all of these things on the table, because most of the time they’re just talking about vitamin D and its effect on bone is, does it have an effect? Does it not have an effect? I think it has a very good effect on both. So hi, my name is Jerry Hickey. I’m a nutritional pharmacist, I’m the senior scientific officer over here at Invite Health. Welcome to my episode, new Data, Vitamin D, Immunity and Brain Health. You can find all of the invite podcast episode for free wherever you listen to podcasts or just go to Invitehealth.com/podcast. You can also find invite on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram at Invite Health. All of the information related to this episode is listed at the description on the website, so let’s get going. Oh, and by the way, you can also find Invite on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram at Invite Health. I said that, I said that. [00:02:31]

[00:02:32] So let’s look at some of the data. Here’s the British Medical Journal in 2017. Now it’s a meta analysis, a meta analysis means the researchers put together a bunch of studies looking at the same thing. And they go through these studies and they pick out the ones that have good data, that are explained well, that are real, that lack any type of bias. So it’s important because a good, well-done meta analysis can tell you if something works or it doesn’t work. So they found a bunch of very dependable studies, that sufficient vitamin D is repeatedly associated with a decreased risk of respiratory tract infections. You know, like the nose and a mouth, the trachea, the bronchi, the lungs, a 20% decreased risk. That’s pretty powerful if you consider how often people get respiratory tract infections like a cold or flu, reducing the incidence or risk by that figure, 20%, that’s profound. That’s a lot of people who are not getting sick. And if you’re older, where the immune system may not be as powerful as it used to be, and well functioning as it used to be, or if you have some weakened state from a condition like severe hypertension that’s not being treated or diabetes that’s not being treated, this really becomes incredibly important. Now, this is based on significant data. And they also found that daily doses of vitamin D or weekly doses work better than bolus doses, a bolus dose is like one huge dose at one time. For instance, 30,000 units like once a month didn’t really work. What worked best was taking a thousand units to 3000 units every day. So today they’ve changed the way they, they look at vitamin D, the potency of it, a thousand units would be 25 micrograms, mcg and 3000 units would be 75 micrograms. And always take your vitamin D with food, it’ll be absorbed better because it’s somewhat fatty soluble. And also look for the D3 form, which is called cholecalciferol it really seems to be superior to vitamin D2, which is ergocalciferol. [00:04:57]

[00:05:00] Now research shows that sufficient vitamin D, you could be low on vitamin D or you could be really low in vitamin D. Okay, there’s different categories, but, having sufficient vitamin D reduces your risk of infections in general, reduces your risk of upper respiratory tract infections. So that’s, you know, that’s like the mouth and the throat, reduces the severity of infections. So they’re weaker, lacking vitamin D increases your susceptibility to a variety of infections, including COVID 19 and other coronaviruses, tuberculosis, colds, influenza, another name for the flu and bacterial vaginosis. You have an increased risk of ARDS, that stands for acute respiratory distress syndrome, terrible, that’s when people need, like, a ventilator or oxygen. You have an increased risk of requiring oxygen. It can lengthen your your stay in a hospital lacking vitamin D, but it also increases morbidity, which is how sick you get, and mortality, which is obviously the end of the road from respiratory tract infections. So vitamin D is incredibly important for the immune system. And we’ll go into why in a second. Now, Vitamin D regulates the immune system, it’s the B cells and the T cells. These are sort of the educated part of the immune system, we’ll go into this. They’re loaded with receptor sites for vitamin D, so B cells, this is the acquired immune system. You basically have two parts of the immune system, there’s the innate immune system that you’re born with, pretty much born with, and then there is acquired immune system which is educated for specific infections. So that would be your T cells, which are like tigers, the tigers of the immune system, they shred things, they shred viruses and bacteria, fungi and parasites and cancer cells and B cells, which is what gives birth to your antibodies. So they’re loaded with receptors sites for vitamin D, showing how important vitamin D is for the immune system. Meaning that if you lack vitamin D, these receptors sites are not full, they don’t fill up and the cells will not work efficiently and you can have real problems.† [00:07:36]

ICYMI: IS IT A COLD? INVITE HEALTH PODCAST, EPISODE 605>>LISTEN NOW!

[00:07:39] So the macrophages and dendritic cells are also loaded with vitamin D receptor sites, a receptor site, it’s like a specific key to unlock a specific lock. In this case, it’s to activate something and control something. So only vitamin D can fit into these receptor sites. So the macrophages are these huge stay put cells like you have in the lining of your intestines and your liver, etc. and they gobble things up, they literally swallow things and release biological weapons that dissolve the infectious organism, that’s called phagocytosis. And dendritic cells are kind of like cells that coordinate the immune system, so both of these require vitamin D. So vitamin D is required for innate immunity and it’s required for adaptive immunity. In other words, it’s required for survival. Vitamin D, actually at the cellular level activates immune system proteins. Now, the second most common thing in the human body are proteins. Proteins make your connective tissue like your cartilage, proteins make your bone, proteins make your muscle, but proteins also make enzymes and hormones and things that make the body work. And in this case, these are proteins involved with the immune system. And these proteins are activated by vitamin D, and they fight viruses and they fight bacteria and they fight fungal infections, you know, like Candida albicans. So examples of these proteins are cathelicidin and defensins. These are very powerful antimicrobial peptides, tiny proteins. So a cathelicidin typically would be CAMP which stands for Cathelicidin anti-microbial peptide. An Infection triggers the vitamin D receptors in the lungs to release CAMP and CAMP helps to kill these infections. The defensins are expressed in leukocytes, leukocytes are all your white blood cells, but also epithelial cells. So these are like the cells that line your blood vessels and line your digestive tract, they line your lungs, etc. So does alpha and beta defensins. So these are these are called on by vitamin D, if you like vitamin D, perhaps not enough of these are going to be activated to keep you alive if you start to develop a severe infection. So the cathelicidins and defensins can bind to things such as the influenza virus or the flu viruses, and this reduces their ability to infect your cells. They can’t get into the cell, they can’t stick onto the cell, they can’t kill the cell, they can’t spread to other cells that care propagate. Likewise, these vitamin D related peptides inhibit bacteria, and typically across the board, viral replication, the increase in population size, increase titers of these infectious organisms.† [00:10:49]

[00:10:50] But this is also important. Vitamin D also helps protect us from our own immune system. Our own immune system can shred us. I mean, this was happening with COVID 19. People were developing a condition where their immune system was reacting to the infection to COVID 19 and causing acute respiratory distress syndrome, where certain cytokines, it was called cytokine storm, certain cytokines, chemical messengers from the immune system, like interleukin 6, were causing devastating inflammation of the lungs. The lungs were swollen with fluid and people were put on to ventilators and dying. You remember that early on with COVID 19? I Like in Central Italy and places like that, in Queens, New York, it was terrible. So Vitamin D helps prevent the over production, the over proliferation of pro-inflammatory cytokines. So that helps protect you from your immune system, destroying your lungs. I mean, examples of your immune system destroying you are all of those more dangerous forms of autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus, erythematosus, mixed connective tissue disease. These are bad diseases. It shows you how violent the immune system can be against us, the owners of the immune system, if it’s not properly controlled and you need vitamin D to help control it. So the   cytokine storm, if you’re lacking vitamin D, not only increases morbidity, how sick you get winding up in the emergency room on oxygen, etc., but also mortality. Vitamin D also helps control T helper cells. T helper cells sometimes can get out of control and it can cause too much inflammation and too much cytokine production, so vitamin D helps to control the production of interferon gamma related to T helper cells and TNF alpha, TNF alpha is also called cachexia, that’s involved with that wasting syndrome you see in people with advanced cancer. Another name for TNF Alpha is tumor necrosis factor alpha, it can be nasty when it’s out of control. Vitamin D has been shown to reduce the risk of developing COVID, the flu and cold infections.† [00:13:06]

[00:13:07] Here’s a fairly recent study from Boston University School of Medicine. It’s in PLOS One, which is a great group of journals, American journals that are open access, meaning anybody can go in there and read them. You don’t have to pay for it because we taxpayers pay for it. So here’s Boston University School of Medicine Research, in patients who are hospitalized with COVID 19, blood levels of vitamin D at or greater than 30 nanograms per milliliter, that’s, you want a minimum of 39 nanograms per milliliter, we’ll go into your blood level of vitamin D later, and what that means. They had a decreased and their risk of becoming unconscious, they had a decreased risk of becoming hypoxic, in other words, being starved for oxygen and added decreased risk of dying from COVID shows you the connection between vitamin D and the immune system, but also their Hs-crp was lower, that’s very interesting. I have my hs-crp checked at least once a year,    hs-crp stands for highly sensitive C-reactive protein. It’s a peptide, a small protein made by the liver when you’re inflamed. So we don’t know exactly what it does, if it harms you or if it’s meant to protect you. But it’s a proxy for inflammation. So you want your Hs-crp to be below one, that’s normal, that’s normal level of inflammation, things are going as expected. If it’s two, because this is a very sensitive measure, it indicates that you have inflammation in your blood vessels and you’re  actually developing atherogenesis as we speak, athrogenesis is starting to clog your arteries, you know, developing blockages in the arteries, hardening of the arteries. And if it’s over three in a research shows that you have an increased risk not just of developing heart disease, but also of that plaque becoming highly unstable, plaque vulnerability and breaking off and causing a stroke or heart attack. So you want your hs-crp lower and they show to even in these people with a severe infection, their hs-crp was more under control. That’s a great finding.† [00:15:11]

[00:15:12] They also had a higher concentration of lymphocytes. Now that’s good. Lymphocytes are the acquired immune system, what we call before the educated immune system. There’s basically three groups of cells in there. There is the natural killer cells, there’s the T cells, there’s the B cells, there’s the T cells, and there’s the natural killer cells. The B cells develop the antibodies, that’s where the antibodies are formed. And the antibodies are very specific for specific viruses and bacteria, etc. So, for instance, if somebody had the flu, they develop specific antibodies to that flu. The next time that flows around, they have a lower risk of becoming sick or at least becoming very sick. They have a lower risk of becoming very sick. And that’s what the flu shots are based on. So B cells create antibodies. T cells do a lot of things, they’re like, oh, they could be monsters. I mean, they go in there and they shred infections, they control the immune system, they bring in immune cells, and they at the end of the infection, if they’re working properly, they call off the immune system. And then there’s natural killer cells, which are bridge cells that have kind of a memory, all these cells have a memory. And the acquired immune system, they all have a memory for specific infections. So the natural, what happens your innate immune system, the part you’re kind of born with, with that kind of peters out after about three days, it’s getting fatigued like the neutrophils that are becoming fatigued that your most common white blood cell, so the lymphocytes are not ready to function yet, the T cells are not functioning yet. You haven’t made antibodies yet, you need a bridge cell between those, that’s called a natural killer cell. So you need vitamin D also for the natural killer cells, just like you need vitamin C and Zinc, by the way.† [00:17:11]

[00:17:13] Now, getting back to this Boston University School of Medicine study, their hs-crp was lower, so they were less inflamed, that’s a good sign. And they had a higher concentration of these lymphocytes, like the the antibodies and the T cells and having sufficient vitamin D decreased the risk in general of catching COVID 19 by 54% by 54%, having sufficient Vitamin D. So what do you look for? What do you look for with vitamin D? Well, you want D3 the studies show that D3 seems to work longer and more efficiently and effectively in humans than D2. D2 is called ergocalciferol, D3 is cholecalciferol, and you want 25 micrograms to 75 micrograms a day. You take it with food, it’s absorbed better because it’s fatty soluble. 25 micrograms, the old way would be a thousand units, 75 micrograms would be 3000 units. And the blood, when they do a blood test, they look at 25 hydroxy-cholecalciferol. So I’ll give you a little background on that, and I don’t think we’re going to get to the part about vitamin D and memory and Alzheimer’s today in brain health. Well, we’ll probably have to do a separate episode because this is taking longer than I thought it would.† [00:18:35]

[00:18:38] When a doctor takes your blood test for vitamin D, they’re looking at the inactive form. They’re not looking at the active form. The inactive form is called 25 hydroxycholecalciferol, so if you have young skin and light skin and you get enough sun, the sun hits the cholesterol in your skin and convert to 25 hydroxycholecalciferol, which is stored in the liver. That lasts about a week in the bloodstream and then that’s released and through the function of magnesium and the kidneys, it’s converted to the active form of vitamin D, which is 125- dihydroxycholecalciferol. So when doctors check your vitamin D, they’re not looking at the active form. They’re looking at the storage form because it lasts longer. The active form only last less than a day, so it’s hard to test. So the trick with having the active form of vitamin D is make sure you get enough of the mineral magnesium you want, really about 350 to 400 milligrams of the mineral magnesium every day. We’ve done a number of episodes on magnesium as a very important mineral. You might want to listen to some of those episodes. Now, there’s an increased requirement for vitamin D in obese people because the vitamin D gets trapped in their fat cells and it’s not getting its chance to function and protect them. This is true of other nutrients also, not just vitamin D. And diabetics really have an increased requirement for vitamin D. The vitamin D works in conjunction with magnesium and zinc to help control their blood sugar. So obese people and diabetics need more vitamin D than the general public, now, who shouldn’t have it? Well, it’s possible that people with mixed connective tissue diseases shouldn’t have it. I don’t know, that remains to be seen. They’re a very rare and severe type of autoimmune disease and people with very high blood levels of calcium. See, vitamin D allows you to absorb calcium and phosphorus from the intestines, but if you vitamin D is high, it’s also gonna trap the calcium in your body. So if your calcium is very high in your blood, you don’t want a lot of vitamin D, possibly people with parathyroid disease, not sure about this. Now, parathyroid is not your thyroid gland, your thyroid gland is involved with regulating your metabolism and energy and your cholesterol, etc. And it’s very important for your brain and your memory and your IQ, etc. The parathyroid means para near the thyroid, they’re like little grains of sand and they’re involved with calcium. That’s how important calcium is to the human body involved with regulating calcium. So I did read many years ago, but I haven’t followed up on it because parathyroid disease is not something I come across very often. I think in my entire career I’ve come across one person with parathyroid disease, so it’s not something we normally see or if somebody has it, they may not know, but it’s very rare. And in people with parathyroid disease, their calcium blood level is going high. So they seem to be urinating out their vitamin D or excreting their vitamin D somehow to try and regulate their calcium. So people with mixed connective tissue diseases, people have elevated calcium in their blood, that’s very high, and people with parathyroid gland disease may not be able to use vitamin D. They really need to talk to their doctor about that, doctor who specialize in that.† [00:22:28]

[00:22:29] So what’s a desired blood level? Certainly over 30 nanograms per milliliter under 30 nanograms per milliliter. You’re missing many, many, many of the benefits of vitamin D. Now, ideally, for the many studies I’ve read, you want your vitamin D between 55 and 75, but don’t worry, over 45 is great. There’s not much difference between a blood level of 45 and 55 as far as the benefits, it’s just a tiny difference. If your blood levels are higher than 100, it becomes toxic. But this is extremely rare. I know it’s very hard to get a vitamin D level that high. It’s hard to get a vitamin D level of 45, never mind 100. Now, if you’re doing a lot of vitamin D, you want vitamin K, there’s different forms of vitamin K, and I’ll tell you why. As far as calcium, vitamin D just brings calcium into the body and keeps it around, so it’s for calcium availability, but it doesn’t chaperon calcium, it doesn’t tell the calcium where to go, that’s vitamin K. So vitamin K will keep calcium away from men’s prostates and away from your heart, your blood vessels in your heart and away from women’s breasts. And the Vitamin K will literally lift the calcium and shove it into the bone. So there’s three different vitamin K, the vitamin K dependent enzymes that achieve this. So if you’re doing a lot of vitamin D, you want to pay attention to your vitamin K, you could get vitamin K in beans and soy foods and tea and also in green leafy vegetables, which is where I get most of my vitamin K from. And you can also take a vitamin K supplement, low potency vitamin K supplement.† [00:24:12]

[00:24:14] Vitamin D is also needed to activate melatonin, now, that’s important because melatonin, there’s also receptor site for melatonin on immune cells. You need melatonin to be activated for the immune system to work. So Vitamin D not only activates and regulates the immune system and helps prevent inflammation on the body caused by the immune system, it also activates melatonin, which is part parcel of immune system function. We’ve done podcast episodes on that also, you might want to look at that melatonin and the immune system. Melatonin also is needed to build bone. So that’s a different way that vitamin D is needed for bone health. It’s not just regulating calcium, but it activates melatonin. Melatonin at night is really important for building bone. The vitamin D is needed for your immune system. Of course, vitamin D, when it activates melatonin, melatonin is needed for good digestion, for digestive health function. And melatonin has some kind of effect on sleep. And you also need melatonin for your memory and learning. So Vitamin D has a lot of benefits that may not be discussed very frequently. Now, you you might want to look at my last episode, which was vitamin C and the one before that, which was the common cold, because all of these things weave together. So I did one recently. Is it a cold or is it something else? I did one recently on vitamin C and immune system, an update. Other things that help with the immune system of course, some physical activity, not overdoing it. Overdoing physical activity suppresses the immune system, but if you get a good half hour a day, a good exercise, it’s great for the immune system. Of course, if people can cover their nose and their mouth with their elbow, when they sneeze or cough, it’s good for everybody. Sufficient sleep is needed for a properly functioning immune system. Eating good foods and protein is needed.† [00:26:15

ICYMI: AN UPDATE ON VITAMIN C & THE IMMUNE SYSTEM, INVITE HEALTH PODCAST, EPISODE 606>>LISTEN NOW!

[00:26:17] Green tea is helpful with the immune system, very interesting. I’ve done podcast episodes on that also. Having a lot of sugar suppresses the immune system for hours and drinking alcohol, especially over two drinks, suppresses the immune system for hours. So you really might want to avoid that right now. Now, my intention was also to talk about vitamin D and the brain. I just got a whole bunch of good data, but I’m going to have to do that separately. So thanks for listening today. You could find all of our podcast episodes from Invite Health anywhere where you listen to podcasts for free or just go to invitehealth.com/podcast and if you could subscribe and leave a review, it’s very helpful, thank you. We’re also found on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter at Invite Health. I want to thank you for listening today and hope to see you next time on another episode of your InViteⓇ Health Podcast which will be on Vitamin D and the brain. Very interesting stuff has come out very recently. Jerry Hickey signing off and thanks for listening.†  [00:26:17]

*Exit Music*

An Update on Vitamin C & the Immune System, Invite Health Podcast, Episode 606

An Update on Vitamin C & the Immune System, Invite Health Podcast, Episode 606

Subscribe Today! Please see below for a complete transcript of this episode.  AN UPDATE ON VITAMIN C & THE IMMUNE SYSTEM, INVITEⓇ HEALTH PODCAST, EPISODE 606 Hosted by Jerry Hickey, Ph. *Intro Music* InViteⓇ Health Podcast Intro: [00:00:04] Welcome to the InViteⓇ Health Podcast, where 

Is it a Cold? Invite Health Podcast, Episode 605

Is it a Cold? Invite Health Podcast, Episode 605

Subscribe Today! Please see below for a complete transcript of this episode. IS IT A COLD? INVITEⓇ HEALTH PODCAST, EPISODE 605 Hosted by Jerry Hickey, Ph. *Intro Music*  InViteⓇ Health Podcast Intro: [00:00:04] Welcome to the InViteⓇ Health Podcast where our degreed health care professionals 

Natural Ways to Increase Your Testosterone Level, Invite Health Podcast, Episode 604

Natural Ways to Increase Your Testosterone Level, Invite Health Podcast, Episode 604

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Please see below for a complete transcript of this episode.

Hosted by Jerry Hickey, Ph.

*Intro Music*

InViteⓇ Health Podcast Intro: [00:00:04] Welcome to the InViteⓇ Health Podcast, where our degreed health care professionals are excited to offer you the most important health and wellness information you need to make informed choices about your health. You can learn more about the products discussed in each of these episodes and all that Invite Health has to offer, at www.invitehealth.com/podcast. First time customers can use promo code podcast at checkout for an additional 15% off your first purchase. Let’s get started.† [00:00:34]

*Intro Music*

Jerry Hickey, Ph:[00:00:40] Hi, everybody, welcome to another episode. I’m going to be discussing testosterone in this episode of the InViteⓇ Health Podcast. Testosterone is our most common masculinity hormone. It’s extremely important for our health normal levels. We’ll discuss all this over the course of this episode. It affects our facial hair and our body hair and affects the strength of our jawline and affects our voice. How deep our voices it affects our muscles, our bone health, our    brain health. It affects our energy, our metabolism. Low levels are an issue and are commonly declines in older men. But even younger men, if they do not live a healthy life, testosterone levels can drop and there are consequences. So how can you safely bring testosterone back to your normal, healthy level? That’s a more, in my episode, Natural Ways to Improve Your Testosterone Level. Hi, I’m Jerry Hickey, I’m a pharmacist, my specialty is nutrition. I’ve been studying nutrition for decades. You can find our podcast episodes everywhere where you listen to podcast for free. Please subscribe and review, but you can also just go to Invithealth.com/podcast. I can also find Invite at Twitter, Instagram and Facebook at InVite Health. So let’s get going.† [00:02:08]

[00:02:09] This is an important thing, now I’m an older guy. Doctor Landon Trust is a pretty famous urologist over at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota. And he says as a man ages, testosterone tends to drop. This is a problem, but other things can cause testosterone levels to drop in any adult male. But I have to tell you, a drop in testosterone, it’s negative, it’s bad. It has a real role in male aging. As testosterone drops, so does our drive, yes, that’s right our drive and our initiative, our focus, our mental clarity, our bone health, which can lead of course, to an increased risk of a fracture like a hip fracture. Bad, bad, bad. Our muscle and our strength, our muscle mass is dependent on testosterone, so its strength. Now as muscle mass drops and fat accrues as fat builds, this can affect our blood sugar control, it can affect our heart health. In fact, a drop in testosterone is in many, many studies at many human trials connected with an increased risk of mortality and not just an increased risk of mortality in older men, an increased risk of dying in younger men as well. So what exactly is testosterone? Well, it’s a hormone. It’s the primary sex hormone in men. Now, women have a little bit and they’re very sensitive to it and they need it for like their sexual health, etc.. But it’s incredibly important to men. Our blood levels are much higher than in women. What’s our most important anabolic steroid? Meaning it builds us up. It’s a steroid, a hormone, it’s anabolic, it builds us up, and this is true.† [00:03:56]

[00:03:58] Now, most of it, I think over 95% is secreted by our testicles. The rest is mostly secreted by our adrenal glands. Our adrenal glands are often called our stress glands. They’re these little triangular shape glands on the top of each kidney. And they release other hormones also that are important for the immune system and controlling inflammation, etc., and waking up in the morning, etc. A pretty normal range depending on the lab could be anywhere from 300 to 1000, it really depends on the lab. They have different ways of testing, different sensitivity. So the amount that’s normal is different from lab to lab, but pretty much 350 to 650 is the normal range, which is nanograms per liter. So under 250 is hypogonadism, you can pretty much count on that, which means severely low bad testosterone levels and over 800 or a thousand is considered high. And this kind of makes you into a NASCAR driver. So too high seems to be involved with thickening the blood and may be associated with aggressiveness, even criminality. But that’s a totally different conversation, and I think that totally has to be proven about the aggressiveness and criminality. So the level of free testosterone is also very important. And what does that mean? Testosterone can be attached to serum binding of hormone levels. It’s called serum hormone binding globulin. So that’s not really active. It can also be attached to the protein in our blood, which is called albumin, and that’s okay because it pretty easily detaches from albumin. But the amount of free testosterone is thought to be free testosterone thought to be more active than regular testosterone. So you do want a good range of free testosterone.† [00:05:54]

[00:05:57] So what do we know about testosterone for men? What does it do? I mean, besides, you know, growth and sexual characteristics and facial hair, etc.? Well, it’s involved with our energy. If you lack testosterone, you can feel less energy, inflammation. If testosterone is low, you have increasing levels of inflammation, which is bad because that could affect the heart and the brain. We’ll get into that. It’s involved with memory. Testosterone is involved with your memory, your attention span, your focus, your spatial ability, your motivation, your drive. And, you know, regular levels of testosterone gives you some drive and some focus and some ambition. It doesn’t make you aggressive. It’s involved with bone strength. So if you lack testosterone, you do have an increased risk of thinning bones. Weakened bones, which does increase the risk of a hip fracture. And hip fractures are desperately dangerous in men and also sexual function. So low testosterone, once again reduced energy, reduced drive, reduced libido. That’s not fun because there’s a feedback loop, there that we’ll go into in a minute. Increased inflammation, fat gain, muscle loss, increased risk of diabetes and heart disease. These are all connected. In fact, low testosterone is commonly and repeatedly connected with an increased risk of mortality, which I already discussed. But it’s important to put these things into perspective, increased risk of hip fracture, issues with the brain, even an increased risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. So, you know, it’s very important to get testosterone back to normal.† [00:07:36]

[00:07:38] So how does the body make testosterone? Well, there’s a feedback loop to control the level of testosterone in the blood. With low testosterone, the hypothalamus, which is a regulating organ in our brain and a more primitive part of our brain, the lower back part of our brain, it releases gonadotrophic releasing factor. And I tell you this because later on we’re going to discuss things that reduce the level of gonadotrophic releasing factor. So why is gonadotrophic releasing factor important? Well, this triggers our anterior pituitary, another organ in our brain to release luteinizing hormone. And the luteinizing hormone causes the cells, the leydig cells in our testicles to synthesize testosterone. So there’s a healthy feedback loop between our testicles and our brain. No jokes, please, controlling our level of our testosterone. So but once again, the level of free testosterone is also important. We don’t know to what degree, it’s a much smaller amount in our blood. So how can we release, how can we improve the release of our testosterone safely and naturally? Well, there are drugs, but drugs, they can be too much. They can make you more into a NASCAR driver than a regular guy. The drugs are going to have too much of an effect. And plus, they’re expensive. And, you know, there’s all kinds of visits involved with that, the doctrine of pharmacy. But fortunately, a normal, healthy level of testosterone can be improved by natural, healthy things like, one, limit your alcohol intake, so one, limit your alcohol intake, especially beer. Beer contains phytoestrogens, a lot of them, especially IPAs and India Pale Ale, because they contain a lot of hops and too much alcohol can lower your testosterone level. Some doctors feel that it’s safer to have vodka than to have beer.† [00:09:47]

ICYMI: TALKING HORMONES WITH CARDIOLOGIST, DR.DAVIS>>LISTEN NOW!

[00:09:48] Limit soy foods. Now legumes are good, okay? Beans and lentils and peas are good. They’ve even been shown to lower the risk of heart disease and possibly prostate cancer. But soy, soy foods are very high and very powerful phytoestrogens such as genistein and dioxin. Now, some soy is fine, but, you know, don’t sit down and eat a lot of tofu. That seems to be an issue. Better sleep. You need sleep for testosterone manufacture. So you want a dark room. You want to avoid blue light before sleep, which stimulates the brain too much. Plus sleep increases cortisol levels and decreases the morning release of testosterone, which is very important. Now, that’s interesting. If you lack some sleep early in the night, it doesn’t seem to be as bad as lacking sleep in the morning. So waking up too early seems to be worse than getting to bed a little a little bit late. You have to handle stress. Stress reduces the risk of gonadotrophic releasing hormone. If you don’t release that, you don’t, you don’t create testosterone. You’re testosterone levels drop and stress also increases the level of cortisol. So if you’re constantly stressed, the cortisol will increase your body fat level, which decreases cortisol, I mean, which decreases testosterone. So it’s not a good thing. There are supplements to help with stress, but, you know, nice, relaxing, good music, moderate exercise. It seems that excessive exercise has some kind of negative effect on testosterone, but that’s yet to be elucidated. The supplements L-theanine safely reduces stress. So does a little bit of CBD.† [00:11:34]

[00:11:36] I personally, what do I do for stress? Well, I handle it well because I’ve always been exposed to a lot of stress. But I paint. I’m an artist to a degree, and I exercise things like tai chi and pickleball and lifting weights. That helps with it, but I don’t overdo it. That helps with stress. Fat loss. Fat contains an enzyme called aromatase and aromatase, breaks down testosterone and converts it to estrogen. So too much fat increases your estrogen and reduces your testosterone. But also, you know, too much fat affects your blood sugar and your heart health. So it’s not good, so the fat loss approach of testosterone helps you control your blood sugar. I mean, it’s all good. Avoid BPA. Some plastics have BPA, which is called bisphenol A, bisphenol A lowers androstenedione, which is another androgen, and it lowers your testosterone level. So you want to use BPA free plastics, anything that sounds like BPA, you don’t want. You need fat in your diet to create testosterone. Good fats like fish or fish oils, walnuts, avocados, olive oil, flaxseed oil or eating flaxseed is even better. You’ll like this, healthy sexual life, sex improves testosterone. A lower testosterone leads to a lower libido, which is bad because a lower libido further reduces your level of testosterone. When you have a healthy sexual life, it helps with your libido and it helps control your testosterone. Now there are nutrients needed, so this is actually the ninth thing that’s involved with your testosterone. Nutrients, like low vitamin A in studies, low beta carotene, natural beta carotene and low vitamin A is repeatedly connected with a drop in testosterone levels.† [00:13:35]

[00:13:36] Zinc, the mineral zinc is needed for many things. Your vision, protecting the brain, your immune system, healing, making thyroid hormone, so many things. Zinc is required to make testosterone. Now, zinc is also required for spermatogenesis, you know, healthy such, healthy levels of sperm, a zinc deficiency contributes to hypogonadism seriously, dangerously low levels of testosterone. So you can get some zinc in oysters and meat, even chicken and fish and legumes. But I don’t mess around with this. Zinc is so important. It’s so easy to be low in zinc. So I’m taking, I’m getting zinc every day as a supplement. There’s so many benefits to zinc. We’ve done practically everything I’m talking about in general, like zinc and bone health and men, and we have other podcast episodes on the show, you can look for that.† [00:14:33]

[00:14:33] Vitamin D, you need Vitamin D to control your testosterone level. You need vitamin D to make testosterone. Now, magnesium, the mineral, magnesium, magnesium is needed to activate vitamin D and you need vitamin D to control your testosterone. But magnesium is also needed to release melatonin at night, which is needed for healthy sleeping patterns. Vitamin E, vitamin E is needed to maintain your zinc level, and zinc is needed to make maintain testosterone. And Vitamin C. Vitamin C interacts with vitamin E to control your zinc level. And zinc is needed to make testosterone. Selenium, you need the mineral selenium, you only need small amounts to make testosterone. Now, also, get your diabetes under control. Diabetes can affect your testosterone level. And interestingly, magnesium, zinc and vitamin D, which are needed to make testosterone, are also needed to control the release of insulin and glucagon to control your blood sugar levels. So all of these are important.† [00:15:40]

SEXUAL DYSFUNCTION, PART 1 – INVITE HEALTH PODCAST, EPISODE 504

[00:15:42] So I want to thank you for listening to today’s podcast episode. You can find all of the invite podcast wherever you listen to podcasts for free, it’s for free or just go to Invitehealth.com/podcast, and please leave a review and please subscribe. You can also find info on Instagram and Facebook and Twitter at InVite Health. I want to thank you for listening today. This is Jerry Hickey signing off and I hope to see you next time on another episode of InViteⓇ Health Podcast.[00:16:13]

[00:16:15] There is one more option to raise your testosterone level, but it’s a supplement. There’s a group of things in nature called flavonoids, there’s thousands of them. They have many benefits. They’re contributing to lower your risk of heart disease and possibly diabetes. They’re good for your brain. They have antiviral effects, which is always good during the cold, bad weather. They’re connected with longevity. They have many other functions, possibly even anti-cancer effects. Not all flavonoids are equal. My favorite flower is the passion flower. Very beautiful, complex flower, I grow it all year long. And out of that comes a flavonoid called Chrysin, chrysin slows down the enzyme that breaks down testosterone and converts it into estrogen. It’s kind of like if you build a dam and it rains, the water builds up a little and it rains again the next day and it builds up a little bit more. Your testosterone is starting to build up back towards your normal levels. You’ll never get a high level with this. So it’s safe, but it can help bring it back to your more normal level. The problem is Chrysin is very poorly absorbed, so there’s a trick to that. There’s something called bioperine, that comes out of the pepper plant, and bioperine increases the absorption of several substances, one of them being Chrysin. So if you take Chrysin with little bit of bioperine in there, you will absorb the Chrysin and I have seen it restore men’s testosterone levels considerably, where some of them were actually hypogonadal, they had very low levels, like 150 or 200 and a bottom up to like a range of 400, which is like a nice healthy pattern, a nice healthy level. So Chrysin is an option and I have no issue with it because Chrysin has several other activities, it seems to reduce the risk of developing certain kidney stones. It’s a very relaxing supplement and right now it’s being studied for its anti-cancer potential.† [00:16:15]

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