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Andrew Huberman: Optimizing Hormones in Males

Updated: Jan 17

Podcast Duration: 2:24:17

Podcast Release Date:10/12/22

A summary by Brandon Johnson, DC

5 Key Takeaways

  1. Healthy eating during puberty has the best results for body composition (fat to muscle ratio) in adulthood

  2. To promote healthy hormones, first change habits/behaviors, then add supplements, then take prescriptions if necessary

  3. A healthy gut microbiome is necessary for optimal hormone levels

  4. Excessive porn and masturbation can lead to poor hormone production in the body and brain

  5. Maslow's hierarchy of needs must be met to maintain healthy hormone panel

  • Physical needs

  • Mental needs

  • Purpose in life

Andrew Huberman begins this episode by introducing Dr. Kyle Gillett. He is an expert in obesity medicine and hormone optimization. They begin their conversation by discussing the maturation of hormones throughout the male lifespan.

The Puberty Process

  1. What is the first puberty?

  2. Occurs in the first 3 months of life

  3. DHEA is released that changes babies to children

  4. What is the second puberty?

  5. Occurs during adrenarche (The awakening of the adrenal gland)

  6. Sex hormones are released

  7. The change from child to adult

  8. Puberty-in males

  9. Easiest time for males to change body composition

  10. Children who enter puberty early can have reduced height and stature

  11. Growth plates close prematurely

  12. Hormones and toxins in food can create an early onset of puberty

  13. Identical twins

  14. The one that begins puberty first is usually shorter

  15. Lifting heavy weights at a young age does not stunt growth

  16. "Dirty bulking" at a young age can stunt growth

  17. Eating excess calories to put on mass

  18. Too much caloric intake (over eating) releases Leptin hormone

  19. Causes fat gain

  20. Fat children tend to start puberty earlier

After discussing puberty, the conversation pivots towards promoting healthy hormone levels. The information given was specifically for male hormone optimization.

What Should Males do Daily to Optimize Hormone Levels?

  1. First Change unhealthy behaviors

  2. Nutrition, exercise, mental health

  3. Then add supplementation

  4. Then add prescription drugs if necessary

  5. Recommended to start by getting blood work

  6. Labs should be taken when secondary sex characteristics begin

  7. Secondary sex changes include:

  8. Hair growth

  9. Genitalia change

  10. Before the age of 18

  11. Recommend blood work every 6 months after 18

  12. Important lifestyle changes

  13. Diet and exercise

  14. Dairy can help IGF-1 (helps growth) during puberty

  15. Dairy can help with bone growth/ density

  16. Sleep

  17. Especially in puberty

  18. Adequate vitamin D

  19. Helps with:

  20. Bone growth/density

  21. Testosterone production

  22. Most important before age 25

  23. Horrible to be vegan in teens and early 20's

  24. Will decrease free androgens

  25. Results in less testosterone acting on receptors in the body

  26. Prebiotic Fiber is paramount for setting gut microbiome for healthy life

  27. Very important at a young age because it can help with brain development

  28. Multivitamins are not helpful when eating a clean diet

  29. Often results in too many vitamins

  30. Might be helpful to increase fertility

  31. Intense fasting (caloric deficit) can lower testosterone if you don't have enough body fat

  32. Deficits cause

  33. Less building blocks for hormones

  34. Puts you in a catabolic state (when the body is breaking down tissue stores for energy)

  35. Less IGF-1 release during sleep

  36. Free androgens and estrogens will decrease

  37. Intermittent fasting

  38. Potently increases growth hormone

  39. Do not eat two hours before bed (especially carbs)

Emotional State and Hormones

  1. Stress can disrupt all pillars of health

  2. Releases too much cortisol (causes reduced metabolic health)

  3. How do we cope with stress?

  4. Prioritize spending time outside

  5. Exposure to sunlight, cold and heat

  6. Indoor light and air can have negative impacts on health

  7. Exercise

  8. Prayer or meditation

  9. Counseling/ therapy

  10. Social connections are important to support mental health

  11. Maslow's hierarchy of needs must be met to maintain healthy hormone panel

  12. Physical needs

  13. Mental needs

  14. Purpose in life

How do Males know if their Hormones are Healthy?

  1. Get regular blood labs

  2. Adam questionnaire (asks questions about energy, libido and motivation)

  3. Not clinically valid

  4. Athletic performance

  5. Are you able to train and recover with the same frequency?

  6. Motivation levels

  7. Do you have consistent drive and energy?

  8. Libido

  9. Maintaining erection and ability to ejaculate

The Effect of Porn and Masturbation on Hormones and Mental Health

  1. Can rewire brain to be aroused by images of sex rather than real sex

  2. Frequent masturbation increases prolactin release

  3. Several times per day can be detrimental for testosterone levels

  4. Porn creates dopamine release (happy/pleasure hormone in the brain)

  5. Dopamine wave pool

  6. Describes natural ups and downs of happy/pleasure hormone

  7. The higher peaks create a "larger trough" extreme lows

  8. Cocaine and amphetamines cause large spikes of dopamine leaving levels much lower after

  9. Porn mimics a similar response in the brain

Healthy and Sustainable Exercise Regiment for Hormones

  1. Vigorous exercise 3-4 times per week coupled with 3-4 low to moderate intensity

  2. Allows for proper recovery time

  3. This amount of exercise requires proper nutrition and hydration

  4. Vigorous exercise more than 1 hour can negatively impact healthy hormones

  5. Balance between sympathetic and parasympathetic

  6. Best to be high-strung during exercise and calm and lazy throughout the rest of the day

  7. This allows for maximum rebuilding of tissues

What supplements Help with Male Hormones?

  1. Creatine

  2. Helps with amino acids synthesis (building muscle)

  3. Slightly increases testosterone and DHT

  4. Will not speed up hair loss (genetic components)

  5. Correlation with hair loss is genetically given from maternal side

  6. 5 grams daily

  7. Betaine anhydrous

  8. Helps amino acid synthesis

  9. Best to take if non responsive to creatine

  10. 1-3 grams daily

  11. L carnitine

  12. A peptide amino acid (low bioavailibilty if ingested)

  13. Helps shuttle fatty acids to mitochondria (helps make energy)

  14. Taking garlic (allicin) can help support healthy gut biome when taking L carnitine

  15. 1-5 grams daily

  16. Vitamin D3

  17. A sterol hormone that helps absorb calcium and phosphorus

  18. 600 IU dosage daily

  19. Boron

  20. Can decrease SHBG (sex hormone binding globulin)

  21. High shbg can drastically reduce free testosterone levels

  22. Free testosterone should be 1-2% of total T

  23. 5-12mg per day

  24. Tongkat ali (long jack)

  25. Helps with conversion in testosterone synthesis

  26. Increases total and free T

  27. Great supplement for people who eat low carb diets

  28. Insulin and IGF-1 is lower in caloric restriction

  29. Increases DHEA (steroid hormone)

  30. 300-1200mg per day

  31. Fadogia Agrestis

  32. Increases LH (luteinizing hormone) from pituitary gland

  33. Increases testosterone levels

  34. 300mg daily

How to Create Healthy Thyroid Levels

  1. Maintaining a balance of iodine

  2. Goitrogens

  3. Cruciferous vegetable -broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage

  4. If you eat more of these you need more iodine

  5. Boron

  6. Helps support thyroid hormone release

Peptides and Hormones

  1. Peptides are chains of amino acids between 2 and a couple hundred in length

  2. Most common types

  3. Ghrelin agonist

  4. Hunger hormone which stimulates release of others

  5. GH/RH receptor agonist

  6. Increase growth hormone

  7. Can help promote hormone release

  8. Can improve muscular repair

  9. Need more research

  10. Safety and utility of peptides

  11. Many people take them at levels that are too high

  12. Some contain chemicals

  13. Non pharmacy's use LPS which can create inflammation

Hormone Replacement Therapy

  1. Testosterone

  2. Exogenous hormones

  3. Synthetic testosterone

  4. Low dose more frequently is better

  5. Every other day or 2-3x per week

  6. 100-120mg

  7. Cypionate and enanthate most commonly used

  8. Normal testosterone is high in morning and low in evening

  9. TRT keeps levels constant throughout the day

  10. HCG (human chorionic gonadotropin)

  11. Made during first trimester of pregnancy

  12. Can be taken to maintain sperm production while taking testosterone

  13. High heat, hot tub and sauna kills sperm

  14. Use ice pack on testes in sauna if trying to conceive

  15. Stimulates thyroid

  16. Clomiphene

  17. Will increase testosterone

  18. Creates negative feedback on hypothalamus

  19. Crowds out estrogen on the pituitary gland

Do’s and Don'ts for Hormone Health

  1. Smoking cannabis can decrease testosterone

  2. Increases a hormone called prolactin (can cause infertility and low libido in men)

  3. Smoked THC can also cause gynecomastia (male breast development)

  4. Edible THC does not decrease testosterone

  5. Nicotine especially from tobacco can decrease blood flow and impact hormone production

  6. Alcohol significantly increases aromitization of testosterone to estrogen

  7. Recommends a maximum of 2 drinks per week

  8. Reduces LH and FSH causing decrease in testosterone

  9. Saturated fats can increase testosterone

  10. Low dose Cialis

  11. Prescribed off label in low doses to increase blood flow to the prostate and reduce cancer risk

  12. Recommended 2-5 milligrams per day for this effect

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