Please see below for a complete transcript of this episode.
Hosted by Jerry Hickey, Ph.
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]
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]
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[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]
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[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]