Is the Fitness Industry broken?

Is the Fitness Industry broken?

In my 28 years of being a personal trainer I’ve never had those thoughts, until recently.

No doubt there are varying degrees of quality and methodologies when it comes to health and fitness. Like any profession you get good ones and you get….not so good ones.

But with the ever-increasing popularity in social media, we tend to turn to the internet for advice and expertise when unsure. The internet has the first and last say on most if not all matters.

There is upsides to having such access to information. It hands over some responsibility and accountability to the individual. It lets the person become a player or participant instead of a witness to what happens to them. This proactive approach can be powerful in that they are not resorting in the mentality of someone having to “fix them.”

However, the internet does require some critical thinking skills to wade through the mass amount of information and misinformation.

Curiosity can bring you to WebMD.com wondering why you have a prolonged rash and within 30 minutes you are getting your affairs in order and deciding where your ashes will go.

Before we throw the baby out with the bath water let’s put this in some context first. As I mentioned, I’ve been in the health and fitness industry for 28 years. Prior to that time of starting my business and formal training I read whatever I could get my hands on (pre internet). Books, magazines, newsletters in the mail, whatever I deemed that I may learn from.

The one thing I didn’t read was the “trash” magazines you would see at the checkout line. Snuggled next to the National enquirer and a headline like, ‘Prince William and Harry fighting with each other’ would be a magazine touting, ‘Eat this food and melt pounds away” or “this exercise will burn fat wherever you want your.” These were the original click bait headlines and sole purpose was grabbing your attention and selling the magazine. Unfortunately, scanning through Instagram or TIK TOK shorts gives me the same feeling as those grocery store magazines. I’m left thinking, “people actually believe this stuff?!”

Let me be the first to say I’ve made my share of mistakes even with the sole intention of helping a client. Fortunately, after repeatedly seeing failed attempts of certain recommendations of exercise prescription I’ve built enough reference points to weed through the bullshit or give credence to new ideas.

Unfortunately, if you happen to click on one of thes ” Lose 10 lbs when you eat this herb” videos you get inundated by ads for the next couple weeks. I’m partly amused and disgusted at the same time. Amused that people are using these click bait titles and also disgusted that people are being duped.

I’m fortunate to have the background to see through the crap but I’m ticked off that people are being misled and/ or lied to for strictly monetary reasons.

One of the clear downfalls of the health and fitness industry is the advice given can come from someone with zero background in fitness and health. For example, I tend to listen to various podcasts in my car while driving to some clients. It could be a sports podcast, politics, comedy or whatever mood I’m in that day. Just a few weeks ago I was listening to a podcast about entrepreneurs. It was feel good stories of people who changed their lives when they put in the effort. The couple being interviewed have been very successful with their online business. Im talking $100,000 a month successful. They talked about how they started and built their website. They also talked about catering to trendy topics. In particular the keto diet which they have their very own program and sell. They admitted their keto program they developed was a very good seller for them. The host happened to question the pronunciation of the word keto and the guest replied, “I’m not sure really.” (insert white guy blinking gif)

Her background was an accountant and just switched to the online health and wellness business under 3 years ago. Now, I highly recommend you don’t ask me for accounting advice. I think you see my point.

There’s a chance I may be the idiot here. They are the ones making big coin. Personally, with good conscience I couldn’t sell advice to people knowing it’s wrong or that I’m not informed on the topic. I’m not against people succeeding. Not at all. But, I am against people being misled or misinformed. Food has a huge impact on how we look, feel, think and act. Call me crazy but someone who has little knowledge in health and wellness shouldn’t have control over your feelings, mood and health.

This is the case in the industry however. An attractive 22 years old with low body fat is representing products or a certain program and it’s “hook line and sinker” for the reader. This isn’t new to marketing but I’m just a little surprised at the effectiveness of it. I’m surmising the buyer today should be more savvy with having google at their finger tips. Sure, it’s an emotional decision many times and logic is cast aside but I’m guessing many of these buyers are not first time buyers of the “get lean in 43 seconds” program. These programs that promise quick results. That promise minimal effort or just add this ingredient to a “just drink this one thing” wreak of B.S.

I feel for those who get suckered in by sleek advertising. They hit at people’s pain points and promise to take you to the land of milk and honey. These quick fix exercise programs set people up for failure. They lead to disappointment. It leaves people discouraged. “I’ve tried everything it’s just the way I am.” is the resulting mantra.  People develop the mindset that they need to starve themselves. They are yo-yo exercisers. They start the program with high hopes and when the results don’t happen the motivation goes down the toilet.

If you’re ok with that then great! But if you’re eternally searching then please make sure the headlines pass the smell test.

If they promise melting fat in a certain g area or 10 lbs in a short time then please run in opposite direction – FAST!

Lowering Cortisol

Lowering Cortisol

Cortisol can be thought of as the loud pitched noise coming from the smoke detector. It can keep us safe in times of intense stress but when if it becomes chronic it can age and deteriorate us quickly. Stress has been considered to be the cause of most if not all chronic disease. If cortisol raises due to stress then it would be wise of us to find ways to manage the stress and reduce cortisol.

The fight or flight response is the term typically used to describe when cortisol increases. One of cortisol functions is to supply energy (sugar) in the blood to provide muscles, brain and organs with fuel in times of distress. This occurs by breaking down our tissues like muscles, skin and organs into amino acids which is then converted by the liver into sugar (energy). This process is called gluconeogenesis.

Cortisol is believed to be made in the adrenals but some research suggests it can be produced in every cell.

Society in general is over worked, over stimulated, over trained, under rested and under nourished. These lifestyle habits in the first half of life can shorten the second half.

Every mental stressor is processed differently for each individual. Some people are very stress hardy while others can’t handle as much. A common phrase you hear is “that person has a lot on their plate.” This may be true but it’s also true that everyone has a different size plate.

High cortisol symptoms:

  • Suppresses thyroid – stops the conversion from T4 to T3
  • Estrogen increase
  • Progesterone drops
  • Fatigue
  • Anxiety
  • Body fat gain
  • Decreased bone density
  • Skin quality diminishes
  • Testosterone drops
  • Long term will affect Immune system
  • Accelerated aging

Strategies to Reduce Cortisol

  1. Optimal food. Malnutrition will affect cortisol levels. Lack of nutrients or enough carbs or calories will raise cortisol levels. Keeping blood sugar levels under control will help mitigate cortisol. Avoiding poly unsaturated fats will have universal benefits.
  2. Exercise. Finding the right balance is key. Too intense or too frequent will be a problem, just as too little. More is not better contrary to the popular fitness culture. If you are already fighting high cortisol it would be wise to stay with minimal exercise and/or intensity. A walk in the woods or a stroll in the park may be the prescription required.
  3. Sunlight (red and orange light). This will not only help circadian rhythms and sleep but also Vitamin D levels which is a cofactor with the protective hormones. The red light wavelength will penetrate the skin and improve cellular function (metabolism).
  4. Laughter. Hard to feel stressed while laughing. Watch a funny show or just being around people who make you laugh more frequently. The opposite is also true. Try not to surround yourself with “doom and gloom” people who look at roses and see the thorns.
  5. Regular sleep. This is when the body renews and repairs. If you are not getting 6-9 hours you may be in a more catabolic state. The regularity is important meaning going to bed and waking at similar times each day. Changes in the regularity can be clearly seen in the jet lag effect. This advice may sound like telling a drowning person to swim faster because high cortisol will cause sleep problems. I’ve covered improving sleep before so check that advice out and hopefully it will help.
  6. Get a pet. Pets have been shown to lower stress, anxiety and improve overall mental health. A dog can also get you outside in the sun and make that low intensity walk consistent.
  7. Breathing exercises: There are many great breathing techniques out there such as the Buteyko method, or Jon Kabat Zinn. One of the main principles of these techniques is to increase carbon dioxide levels. Carbon dioxide will ‘push’ oxygen into the cells and have a calming and relaxing effect on the overall body.
  8. Find a hobby. Having a hobby like knitting, painting, or comic collecting can be therapeutic. I’ll frequently hear how gardening feels almost meditative. Any activity that involves ones focus to stay on that one activity has a meditative property.
  9. Yoga or Qigong. I’m not talking boot camp yoga where it’s high intensity and leaves you exhausted. Ideally, these sessions should leave you energized or slightly relaxed.
  10. Herbs. Herbs such as ashwaganda and holy basil have been used to control anxiety. The herbs can be a nice option because of price and less side effects than prescribed drugs.
  11. Vitamins. Eating a nutrient dense diet will help but sometimes we can’t get everything we need. Vitamin B, zinc and minerals like magnesium and calcium have been useful ways to reduce cortisol.
  12. Gelatin. The amino acids of glycine, lysine and proline have an anti- inflammatory and anti-excitatory effect. This is helpful to combat tryptophan’s pro inflammatory and excitatory characteristics. Tryptophan is an abundant amino acid in the average diet.

Reduce Cortisol

It’s quite apparent we all have different abilities to handle stress. Some people will buckle under the slightest disturbance while others can handle anything thrown at them. The protective hormones of pregnenolone, DHEA (Dehydroepiandrosterone) and testosterone are three hormones extremely important with a person’s ability to handle stress. Age and malnutrition will interfere with these hormones.

If these hormones are abundant you are very stress hardy and could be subjected to a cortisol pill and not be affected. These protective hormones are built from a functioning thyroid when enough cholesterol is present. if your thyroid and cholesterol is low you will turn any trace of cholesterol into adrenaline or cortisol. Basically, you can get over active adrenals from a low thyroid and a liver that is not producing enough cholesterol.

Having a hypo (underactive) thyroid with high cortisol can become a viscious cycle. The thyroid will slow because of stress which in return will increase estrogen. Estrogen then activates the adrenals and cortisol production.

When cortisol is high and testosterone is low depression may be the outcome. The body senses it is being destroyed by cortisol and slows down to almost hibernate. This can result in anxiety and depression.

If you knowingly have high cortisol try to incorporate some or all of these strategies above. A common theme with these suggestions is to take time for oneself. Spreading yourself thin will undoubtedly have an undesired effect. Optimizing your protective hormones will make you more resilient to handle whatever is thrown your in your direction.

Nothing erases unpleasant thoughts more effectively than conscious concentration on pleasant ones – Hans Seyle.

Keep me updated on your progress and let me know any other strategies you find effective.

Please feel free to share with someone.

Heart, Hormones and Health

Heart, Hormones and Health

A normal functioning heart involves a contraction (systolic) and relaxation (diastolic) phase of similar length.

When the cells are functioning properly, meaning that they are energized, things will flow smoothly….pardon the pun.

Part of normal cardiac functioning involves something called a staircase effect. This means the higher the heart rate, the more stroke volume (output) should happen meaning it should beat stronger with higher heart rate.

One of the negative side effects of excessive estrogen is that it causes a wasting of oxygen. This will lead to fatigue in the cells and have a systemic impact.

This cellular fatigue from excess estrogen impairs the staircase effect while progesterone improves it. Things that increase force of contraction are called inotropic, and those that promote relaxation are luisitropic. Progesterone and testosterone are both positively inotropic and lusitropic. Estrogen is a negative inotropic hormone and impairs both relaxation and contraction. (Cheng J,Zang J 2012) (Odening KE, Choi BR)

However, when the heart is fatigued, the heart rate can still be high but the relaxation phase is shortened and the stroke volume is reduced. This is obviously an impaired cardiac function.

When a cell/tissue is tired it tends to take up water, likely as a defensive mechanism to compensate for lack of oxygen. The oxygen is obtained in the form of H2O.

The fatigued heart, cells, tissues are similar to an overused bicep muscle or calf muscle after a day of hiking. They will tend to swell, and contraction will be impaired. Excess water in the tissues resembles that of an excited state in its inability to properly contract.

When oxygen is reduced from excess estrogen, this causes collagen to be produced by fibroblasts. With aging and estrogen excess, the tissues become more dense and with more cross links this interferes more with oxygen usage.

The tired cell not only tends to take up water but also calcium. This is one of the main causes of calcification throughout the body. It starts as a swollen condition but overtime it lays down in a more fibrotic condition.

The tired cell takes up water, calcium, and sodium as well. The cell will need energy to extrude the calcium, salt and excess water. Progesterone earlier, estrogen impairs the energy process and progesterone will improve cellular energy, as does thyroid.

A prolonged excited state (action potential) and delayed relaxation (QT interval) are known to increase chance of arrhythmia and sudden death. Estrogen has been shown to cause arrhythmias and progesterone has been shown to prevent it (Odening,2012). Progesterone seems to also assist in the recovery of the resting state. (Cheng, 2012)

In a stressed energy depleted failing heart, muscle cells die and are replaced by connective tissue cells. This leads to a stiffening and reduced functioning.

By middle age in men and women, the conversation around the water cooler may include palpitations, orthostatic hypotension, orthostatic tachycardia, and varicose veins. The negative inotropic effect of estrogen in the heart is like the smooth muscles of veins, in which the muscle weakened, and their distensibility increased. This is magnified when not opposed by progesterone.

Simple proactive strategies like using progesterone, thyroid, enough carbs, abundance of alkaline minerals, sunshine, and avoiding seed oils, can allow people to take control of their personal health and not rely solely on the medical system.

References:

Why Women Crave Chocolate

Why-Women-Crave-Chocolate

Women craving chocolate should be considered an Universal Law.
You know like the law of attraction, the law of cause and effect, and the law of losing your luggage on vacation.
If I mention the word ‘chocoholic’ I’m sure you can think of someone or many you know on that list.
Possibly the person in the mirror.
For those aforementioned people the site, scent, or rumor of quality chocolate in the nearby vicinity is enough to turn them into a 4 year old on Xmas eve.
The cravings can be ALL consuming.

Grocery stores around the world have small children unknowingly risking their lives if they happen to be blocking  a shelf that’s presently caring for these glorious bars of chocolate.

At the checkout counter the transaction with the cashier becomes non verbal. The eye contact as the chocolate is scanned conveys a possible loss of limb if she buries it down in the bag with the drab, boring fruit. The scheduled target is then shoved in the purse and passionately inhaled before exiting the parking lot.

Oh the Guilt!

Occasionally magazines, news media or so called friends will shame those reaching for this little block of heaven. But why?

Jealousy must be high on the list of reasons for this chocolate shaming <—- new phrase 🙂

Maybe these misguided souls had a traumatic childhood experience. Perhaps a Halloween encounter involving a Willy Wonka and a loss of their candy merchandise has scarred them beyond repair.

Who wouldn’t enjoy this human made nectar?

It’s sweet.

It’s creamy.

It’s tasty.

The stuff melts in your mouth!

Google the name Jeanne Calment who lived to a young age of 122. Check out how much chocolate she ate per week.
Spoiler alert – it’s 2.2lbs! It’s an anecdotal example but if todays new villain (sugar) is as evil as some gurus or media portray …… 122 seriously!?

Cultural Pressure

I’ve heard females whisper, “I was bad the weekend. I had some chocolate.”

I have my doubts this will qualify for a prison sentence.

But in all seriousness, the cravings have strong roots in the bodies physiology.

All in the hormones

What drives the cravings? I’m pointing a finger at estrogen. Well, really it’s unopposed estrogen.

I can hear women who no longer have a cycle screaming at the screen saying “But…But..”
Sorry to break the news but your body is still producing it. It may be less but every cell has the ability to produce estrogen.

I’ve yet to meet a women who had complete cessation of hot flashes after a hysterectomy ( a topic to be discussed at a later date)

Most females will admit that in the second part of their menstrual cycle a chocolate bar’s life becomes endangered.

Coincidentally, in the second part of a women’s cycle estrogen can be higher in relation to progesterone. Higher estrogen levels have been attributed to blood sugar imbalances.

The composition of chocolate is usually cocoa, milk, and a form of sugar. Quality chocolate leans towards the saturated content. Theobromine which is in the cocoa is recognized to have a stimulating effect on the heart. The copper in cocoa is also plays a role in thyroid production. All these ingredients can actually assist with improving energy and blood sugar levels!

The cravings are not a sign of a weakness!

It is not an addiction!

It is not a broken body!

It is not societal pressure!

It is not TV subliminal marketing!

It is the bodies need to self regulate and align with a more homeostatic state.

When cravings hit chocolate is almost impossible to ignore.
You know like that passenger who sits too close to you on the plane. The one who wants to talk out their nervous energy but you know what they ate last didn’t include toothpaste nor gum.

Is chocolate evil?

^^^Two words that shouldn’t be in the same sentence.

(No food is evil)

Can it bring some women towards a more preferred state? Most definitely.

Can you eat it in excess? Absolutely – but most foods just like chocolate can be overconsumed. Your waistline will let you know if overconsumption is part of your weekly, monthly, yearly theme.

But in the meantime …..Enjoy:)

Raw Carrot

Raw Carrot

Is this the title of the next epic toon movie starring Bugs Bunny?

Sorry, not a movie – but still epic.

The adjective of magic is bestowed upon the carrot because of the results seen by eating a raw carrot daily.

What results you say?

What I typically see is a huge reduction in PMS and hormonal symptoms and it happens fast. This could be anything from edema, cramping, and hot flashes or anything else associated with the cycle. The ‘freight schedule’ improves as well for males and females. Constipation affects

How is this possible? What is this wizardry?

The fiber in the carrot acts like an antibiotic and collects estrogen in the bile and bowel for elimination. If excess estrogen sits around too long it gets reabsorbed back into the system and into the blood and tissue. Unfortunately getting blood tests for estrogen levels won’t reveal what is in the tissues.

The carrot is not eaten for nutrient value. The carrot in its natural inhabitant sits in a damp environment and is resistant to bacteria. Even when you lay it on the kitchen counter for days the ability to resist bacteria is evident.

“But I’ll turn orange,” a client once responded.

This is the carotene in the carrot and typically collects in areas of thick skin like callouses on the hands. A way to reduce the amount of carotene ingested would be to wash the carrot and even better if it was grated first then washed. You can see the carotene come off in a paper napkin when you hold a peeled carrot in a paper napkin. The main reason it collects in some people is the inability of the liver and thyroid to convert it to vitamin A.

Bugs bunny style

Remember the key is to have the carrot raw and not juiced.

Another option if you have allergy/issues with carrots would be cooked bamboo shoots. They serve the same function.

Here is a a quote from Ray Peat PHD:

Besides avoiding foods containing fermentable fibers and starches that resist quick digestion, eating fibrous foods that contain antibacterial chemicals, such as bamboo shoots or raw carrots, helps to reduce endotoxin and serotonin. Frolkis, et al. (1989, 1984) found that it extended median and average lifespan of rats, beginning in old age (28 months) by 43% and 34%, respectively, when given in large quantities (equivalent to about a cup per day for humans) for ten days of each month.”

Read the rest of the article here.

If you don’t want to eat it like Bugs then here is a nice recipe for a carrot salad.

Ingredients:

  • 1 organic medium carrot peeled and grated
  • 2 tsp of melted coconut oil
  • 2 tsp of Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1/4 cup of raisins
  • sprinkle of white sea salt (amount according to craving)
  • eye of newt (optional but does get the magic part) 😉

Good luck and let me know how it goes.

Removing Excess Estrogen

Removing Excess Estrogen

Excess estrogen or estrogen dominance is not something a man nor woman should actively seek. I went into the background and negative symptoms of this in the previous article in case you missed it. That article was over 2000 words so I’ve intentionally made this post shorter for those who just want to know how to manage excess estrogen.

Hormones in general are still very misunderstood. It is not uncommon to see doctors and practitioners suggesting that additional estrogen will be beneficial. Estrogen does play an important function in the body for cell division in regards to development of female secondary characteristics such as breasts, and menstrual cycle but when in excess then problems are likely.

The most common answer women hear when consulting a professional about a recurring issue is, “It must be your hormones.” That’s like telling the captain of a sinking ship, “It must be the water.” Yeah, no Sh$t Sherlock! Knowing what causes them is one step. Knowing how to handle it is another.

A prevailing solution to a hormonal imbalance is to prescribe or to recommend weak estrogens or progestins. The additional estrogen will have an anti–thyroid effect. When the body ‘slows down’ metabolically it doesn’t require the same nutrient requirement and will likely drop in body temperature. This temperature drop can result in cessation of hot flashes thus giving the false impression the estrogen is working.

Lowering Excess Estrogen.

  1. Enough daily protein. In my experience this may be the most common reason the body will get to a point of estrogen excess. Even the most sedentary person needs 100 grams a day. There are 4 calories in a gram of protein so that is still only 400 in a day which is relatively low percentage wise.
    A typical breakfast may consist of tea, toast, yogurt or fruit. Then a sandwich or salad with some chicken and /or cheese for lunch. This person would have met less than half their daily needs with only supper remaining. If you are unsure of your protein intake there are many apps you can use to track 3-5 days worth.
    The best choices of protein would be milk, cheese, eggs, low fat fish, shellfish, and red meat occasionally. I realize some people reading may be vegetarian so juicing potatoes would be a nice option to increase the amount. Protein like nuts, seeds, beans are harder to digest and can lead to higher endotoxin release. These sources also tend to have higher polyunsaturated fats which can have an inhibitory effect on the thyroid.
  2. Optimal thyroid functioning. The thyroid and excess estrogen are intimately linked. The thyroid plays a vital role in supporting the liver in inactivating estrogen. If estrogen levels are high they can block the functioning of the thyroid. This then becomes a vicious cycle. Getting a full thyroid panel such as TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone), Reverse T3, T4 and T3 is a good place to start. Getting just the TSH checked won’t give the full picture. The lower the better for TSH. and under 2.00 would be best. Fortunately, the diet that supports optimal thyroid functioning also supports the role to lower estrogen.
  3. Exercise. Stress will raise estrogen. Over exercising and high intensity exercise is a form of stress. I do commonly hear from clients saying, “I need my exercise for stress relief.” I’m not going to dispute exercise can help with stress maintenance but backing off on the intensity may be what the body needs more. If the need for high intensity is so strong that it can’t be changed then look at some options. The high intensity may be done in shorter sessions and /or less frequent sessions. Basically, anything that brings the total volume down.

Your symptoms will let you know if you are on the right track. In the healing phase many people need to slow it down considerably and a stroll with the dog or walk in the woods is the intensity they may need, even temporarily.

Excess Estrogen

  1. Optimal bowel functioning. This means moving the freight daily. The more a person eats, the more freight that needs to be moved. Having a ‘clean’ intestine will help avoid reabsorption of estrogen back in the blood system. I see flax seeds and chia seeds recommended in many health protocols. The seeds can act to irritate the intestine to create peristalsis but a better option would be a raw carrot or cooked bamboo shoots. Using activated charcoal or cascara can also benefit someone who’s bowel is slow. I’ve seen women get rid of symptoms in a few days eating a raw carrot.
  2. Supplements. Supplements such as vitamin E , vitamin B, vitamin D, and aspirin have all seen positive results. Aspirin usually raises eyebrows when recommended but it is known as an effective cancer drug which speaks to it’s ability to improve cellular energy. There is some variance in people’s reactions to a supplement. If there are negative reactions you may first want to look at the additives or fillers included. Excipients like food dyes, gums, silicon dioxide, etc. can cause reactions for a percentage of the population.
  3. Optimal sleep. I’ve covered this topic a few times already. Estrogen can affect blood sugar levels so keeping them steady will help with sleep and overall energy. Having a drink like milk and honey or orange juice with a splash of salt before brushing your teeth at night can help keep the nocturnal hormones under control. Unless your supper time is late, intentionally avoiding food after supper may be the inferior approach to take.
    Keeping water intake at a minimal amount after supper will avoid the bathroom walk at 2 am. Sleep regularity will have a considerable impact on hormones and overall well being. Which means going to bed and waking up at the same time. I realize this is not easily accomplished for shift workers or newly minted parents.
  4. Lowering stress. We all know mental stress can have a major impact on our health. Stress can come from other sources besides emotional stress. Pollution, lack of sunlight, food additives, radiation, polyunsaturated fats, easy to digest foods, leaching of plastics, under eating, etc. Managing the ones you have some control over would be advantageous.

Performing a blood test like the Dutch test is a common route for those seeking answers. Blood tests are still only part of the puzzle. The blood test unfortunately doesn’t speak to what is in the tissue. The test is not the cure. It’s a piece of the puzzle and that puzzle needs to be put together,

The belief estrogen should be prescribed adds to the problem. The aging process itself increases estrogen. Stress increases estrogen. If you are aging, it is likely increasing.

Another common recommendation is to take take Diindolylmethane better known as DIM. Calcium glucarate is also a popular recommendation. These receive very mixed reviews. DIM is considered an estrogen blocker in many circles. It is not. It acts more like a phytoestrogen which tends to mimic estrogen in the body. It is also derived from cruciferous vegetables like cabbage, broccoli and cauliflower. These are know goitrogenic foods which could slow thyroid down and would probably be the worst action plan. The hope for those taking the calcium supplement is to help the liver. Protein, thyroid, and glucose are the keys to the liver. Calcium carbonate would be a better option for a calcium supplement.

The main keys to remember are elimination, enough protein, enough simple sugars and supplementing progesterone if needed. The supplements mentioned above won’t have much impact if lifestyle, diet and stress levels are out of control. If you look at estrogen as a key component in aging and degenerative changes then combating estrogen can have a significant role towards longevity and health.

Unfortunately, there is much conflicting advice out there. If someone gives recommendations they need to be able to explain the How and the Why. Do your research and listen to your symptoms. You don’t have to be a bystander with regard to your hormones and health.

If you know someone who would benefit from this information please share.

Serotonin and Melatonin

Serotonin-and-Melatonin

Part 1

Serotonin and melatonin are a neurotransmitter and a hormone that are very misunderstood. Most will see this title and think, “This is not important. It doesn’t apply to me.” If you eat food, then this information applies to you. Both serotonin and melatonin are commonly viewed in a positive nature when talking about health. Serotonin recognized for being the “happy hormone” and melatonin as a sleep aid.

Calling serotonin the “Happy Hormone” in itself talks to the confusion about what is actually a neurotransmitter. Research on serotonin is relatively new and the research that does exist has doubt included. Serotonin and melatonin are not typical conversation topics the average person has around the supper table but they do play an vital role in your health .

The most popular association with serotonin is the antidepressant drugs that are selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors. These are better known as SSRI medication. It may come as a big surprise (it did for me) that there isn’t a single study to support low levels of serotonin and mental disorders.

The fact that these are so widely prescribed under a false theory should at the very least raise questions. I’m not suggesting anyone to stop antidepressants. That would be socially irresponsible on my part. However, I do suggest digging a little deeper for yourself and understanding how the body functions. Once you have enough reference points you can smell the bullS#!t from across the room.

David Healey, a professor of psychiatry said,” No one knew if SSRIs raised or lowered serotonin levels; they still don’t know. There was no evidence that treatment corrected anything.” Safe to say his article in the British Medical Journal turned some heads.

Serotonin

Cultural belief can be a powerful mental mask in creating tunnel vision. Hearing something repeated over and over provides sustaining power and eventually a dogma gets created.

When serotonin is in excess, it can be excitatory to the cells. This leads to cell death and can suppress the production of dopamine leading to things like depression, anxiety, and aggression. Serotonin shouldn’t be associated with well being, especially when it’s being overly produced.

Keep in mind that 95% of our serotonin is produced in the intestines with a small fraction of that being produced by the brain. A portion is converted from tryptophan, from our diet into serotonin. Serotonin is carried in the blood stream and should ideally be detoxified in the lungs. Inflammation comes from over exposure to the lining of the circulatory system.

Tryptophan, an amino acid is a precursor to serotonin. Some of the foods with higher tryptophan are nuts, seeds, soybeans, beef, lamb, turkey, chicken, tuna, whole grains, beans, lentils, and some cheeses. I know you just read that list and said WTF?! This could explain why certain people have reactions to these foods such as digestion issues or migraines. Finding the reason why can be frustrating and futile. I’ll discuss later how to mitigate this.

For those people that have intestinal disease, like inflammatory bowel diseases, tumors or cancers, their intestines convert 60% of the tryptophan into serotonin.

Looking at the physiology of serotonin and its adverse ill effects comes down to its effect on mitochondrial energy production or energy of the cell. In other words, the cells in the body produce enough energy to function properly. You could argue mitochondrial energy production is the crux of all diseases.

So basically, serotonin inhibits the production of cellular energy. Through this inhibition serotonin inhibits the uptake or the utilization of oxygen into the cells. This leads to the deprivation of oxygen, which is a major source of energy in the metabolism and therefore the inflammation associated.

Having excess serotonin can result in a vicious cycle. With anything that generally causes stress and increases stress hormones like adrenaline and cortisol, will also increase the production of serotonin.

In essence, to reduce total serotonin production, we also want to reduce our total stress hormone production. Anything that’s going to reduce the production of adrenaline, cortisol, and other stress hormones is going to be helpful for preventing the excess production of serotonin.

Serotonin and Melatonin

Signs of High Serotonin

  • Loose bowels
  • Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) Anti serotonin drugs help this condition
  • Excessive sweating
  • Depression
  • Irritability
  • Aggression
  • Insomnia
  • Migraines
  • Impaired learning
  • Fibrosis
  • Neurological damage

What will Increase Serotonin?

  • Hypothyroidism
  • Starches and fibers. Hard to digest foods will sit longer and feed bacteria longer
  • Food additives such as pectin, guar gums, carrageenan
  • High tryptophan foods
  • Starchy fruits (bananas, apples, pears)
  • Estrogen
  • Excessive water intake
  • Under eating. Every cells need energy
  • Polyunsaturated fats (cheap oils like canola, Mazola, soybean etc.)
  • Whey protein (high tryptophan which promotes serotonin)
  • Hyperventilation – lowers carbon dioxide levels and this causes blood to dump serotonin and inflame the intestines.

How to lower Serotonin

  • Optimal thyroid functioning. Thyroid impacts every cell in the body
  • Avoiding foods that irritate the stomach
  • Vitamin B6. This vitamin will convert tryptophan to niacinamide
  • Cyproheptadine. Commonly used to treat serotonin syndrome.
  • Caffeine. This supplies energy as long as there is enough calories to run the ‘engine.’
  • Raw carrots. act like an antiseptic.
  • Activated charcoal. Similar to raw carrots and cooked bamboo shoots which help lowers endotoxins
  • Herbs. Herbs such as Mucuna and Gingko Bilboa have some positive effects.
  • Matcha Tea. The caffeine will increase dopamine which is anti-serotonin.
  • Taurine. An amino acid that has anti-excitatory and anti-inflammatory effects.
  • Glycine. An abundant amino acid in a gelatin powder or beef broths and stocks.
  • Enough protein daily (100 grams or more) to support the liver.
  • Co2. Living at a high altitude is beneficial and bag breathing will help too.

LSD. “In animal studies LSD, and other anti-serotonin agents, increase playfulness and accelerate learning, and cause behavioral impairment only at very high doses. While reserpine was used medically for several decades, and was eventually found to have harmful side effects, medical research in LSD was stopped before its actual side effects could be discovered. The misrepresentations about LSD, as a powerful anti-serotonin agent, allowed a set of cultural stereotypes about serotonin to be established. Misconceptions about serotonin and melatonin and tryptophan, which are metabolically interrelated, have persisted, and it seems that the drug industry has exploited these mistakes to promote the “new generation” of psychoactive drugs as activators of serotonin responses. If LSD makes people go berserk, as the government claimed, then a product to amplify the effects of serotonin should make people sane.” – Ray Peat

Even though Hans Seyle showed in 1965 that an injection of serotonin could cause muscular dystrophy, there is still minimal research and misunderstanding in this area.

In animal studies anti-serotonin drugs increase playfulness and accelerate learning. Impairments in behavior are only seen at high levels.

It does appear similar to estrogen in the stress response and in how it affects women more than men.

If you view serotonin as as suppressor of cellular energy then the detriments become clearer. If a cell’s energy is impaired, its function is impaired.

Not everyone is receptive to information that contradicts their reality. I do know many of you reading will read the articles below and do your own research if further is needed.

I’ll continue next week with part 2 and information regarding melatonin.

The True Method of Knowledge is Experiment – William Blake

Further reading on Serotonin:

Serotonin, Depression and Aggression

Serotonin: Effects is Disease and Aging

Tryptophan, Serotonin and Aging

Serotonin and Melatonin; Very Misunderstood

Part 2

Melatonin is a common sleep remedy that can be found in almost any pharmacy or grocery store. Facebook groups, websites, and doctors have characterized this hormone with nearly unlimited abilities. They contend it acts as a sleep aid, an anti-oxidant, anti-aging, and even prescribed for fighting cancer. However, is the science strong enough to trust in adding a hormone to your body without knowing how it works?

Melatonin was first isolated in 1958 from a brain region called the pineal gland. It was found to play a major role in the body’s circadian rhythms. It promotes sleep as levels climb in response from the day light and then the darkness of night. Amounts fall during the day, and levels will also vary from a low in the summer to highest in the winter.

I’m not picking on any brands here but most store bought brands usually pack a whopping 3mg – 5mg as there only option. The 3mg dose pills are at least 5-6X what the body would naturally produce. Melatonin can be mildly sedating, but its real appeal is in helping establish the circadian rhythm. People with jet lag or shift work can take a small dose before bedtime to reestablish a better sleep cycle based on their present time zone. However, it’s not the time zone your body is accustomed to. For short term use in adults, Melatonin does seem to be tolerated better than other sleep medications.

Most studies show a small amount of side effects including sedation, lightheadedness, or nausea. These are minor compared to the dry mouth, urinary retention, mental fog and drowsiness caused by most other over the counter sleep aids.

Unfortunately, melatonin is increasingly being utilized as a sleep aid for children.  Doses as high as 10mg are recommended by professionals which is far higher than any natural amount the body would produce. It’s important to understand that there is more to melatonin than sleep promoting abilities. Melatonin, is a hormone and is part of a complex fertility and puberty signaling cycle in the body.

In many mammals, high melatonin levels suppress fertility in the winter, and when levels drop, the springtime fertility cycle begins. Melatonin was even investigated as a contraceptive in the 1990s and is commonly used in certain livestock to control fertility.

While humans don’t experience a winter infertile season, it does make one pause when considering taking large doses every night in an ongoing fashion. Melatonin levels that are good for a chipmunk in winter might not be good for a teen starting puberty.

Young children have higher levels of melatonin than adolescents. This is one of the main reasons teenagers “burn the candle” at both ends but little kids seldom are poor sleepers. A major problem is that we really don’t know what melatonin does in humans around puberty.

Melatonin has been used as a natural fertility suppressant. When used experimentally in women and men it has been shown to improve the embryos viability and the quality of the sperm. Low doses of melatonin can bring on early fertility cycle in sheep. Melatonin’s anti-oxidant properties rather than the hormonal suppressing properties may be in play here. The research strongly suggests that melatonin can be an important and powerful hormone that we don’t fully understand. Low levels may promote fertility in one person and have the opposite affect in another.

Serotonin and Melatonin

Melatonin may be the cats meow for people with stressed out lives, too much artificial light, and crazy sleep cycles but not so great for a kid with an insomnia problem. High and low doses of melatonin have changed puberty onset and not always in the direction you might think. Studies have showed very low dose melatonin (about 100th the amount a child would get from a 3mg dose) in primates advanced puberty by 5 months but delayed puberty in female cats.

Melatonin can be a safe and effective short term treatment for jet lag and shift workers who want to get their sleep rhythms back on track. In general a very low dose (0.5-1 mg, for example), is more than sufficient. Avoiding use in children until there’s more research about the effect on puberty would be prudent.

If you know someone who could benefit from this information feel free to share.

Stay well,

Sean

The importance of CO2 in metabolism

Benefits-of-Carbon-Dioxide-on-Health

“Hypothyroid people with low production of CO2, are very susceptible to stress-induced hyperventilation, and they are often in a state of physiological hyperventilation.”

“Since CO2 has stabilizing effects in the brain, including relaxation of blood vessels, the loss of CO2 causes vasoconstriction, deficient delivery of O2 and glucose to the brain, leading to a decreased metabolic rate.”

“Considering the crucial role of CO2 in preserving the integrity of cells, there should be more attention to suing it therapeutically–bag breathing (rebreathing expired air until the O2 in the bag is uncomfortably depleted), bathing in it (using a bag or tub of pure CO2), using carbogen (5% CO2 in O2) in hospitals for emergency resuscitation, and using carbonic anhydrase inhibitors such as acetazolamide in more situation, including psychiatric.

Direct use of CO2 is likely to be helpful in all situations that are known to be benefited by acetazolamide. These include brain edema, mountain sickness, osteoporosis, epilepsy, glaucoma, hyperactivity, inflammation, and arthurites. Diabetes, cardiomyopathy, obesity, cancer, dementia, and psychosis are also likely to benefit.”

Ray Peat Phd

Bottom line: Increasing the production CO2 in the body is imperative for health and a high metabolic rate. Utilizing glucose/sugar as energy (cellular metabolism) is how the body produces the most CO2. Utilizing fat as energy will produce less CO2. Bag breathing, living at high elevations, utilizing baking soda, drinking CO2 water, and proper breathing are also useful in increasing CO2 in the body.

Lactic acid and carbon dioxide have opposing effects.

Intense exercise damages cells in ways that cumulatively impair metabolism. There is clear evidence that glycolysis, producing lactic acid from glucose, has toxic effects, suppressing respiration and killing cells. Within five minutes, exercise lowers the activity of enzymes that oxidize glucose. Diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, and general ageing involve increased lactic acid production and accumulated metabolic (mitochondrial) damage.

The products of glycolysis, lactic acid and pyruvic acid, suppress oxidation of glucose.

Adaptation to hypoxia or increased carbon dioxide limits the formation of lactic acid. Muscles are 50% more efficient in the adapted state; glucose, which forms more carbon dioxide than fat does when oxidized, is metabolized more efficiently than fats, requiring less oxygen.

Lactic acidosis, by suppressing oxidation of glucose, increases oxidation of fats, further suppressing glucose oxidation.

Estrogen is harmful to mitochondria, progesterone is beneficial.

Progesterone’s brain-protective and restorative effects involve mitochondrial actions.

Thyroid hormone, palmitic acid, and light activate a crucial respiratory enzyme, suppressing the formation of lactic acid. Palmitic acid occurs in coconut oil, and is formed naturally in animal tissues. Unsaturated oils have the opposite effect.

Heart failure, shock, and other problems involving excess lactic acid can be treated “successfully” by poisoning glycolysis with dichloroacetic acid, reducing the production of lactic acid, increasing the oxidation of glucose, and increasing cellular ATP concentration. Thyroid, vitamin B1, biotin, etc., do the same.

Glycolysis: The conversion of glucose to lactic acid, providing some usable energy, but many times less than oxidation provides.

Lactic acid, produced by splitting glucose to pyruvic acid followed by its reduction, is associated with calcium uptake and nitric oxide production, depletes energy, contributing to cell death.

Crabtree effect: Inhibition of cellular respiration by an excess of glucose; excess of glucose promotes calcium uptake by cells.

Pasteur effect: Inhibition of glycolysis (fermentation) by oxygen.

Randle effect: The inhibition of the oxidation of glucose by an excess of fatty acids. This lowers metabolic efficiency. Estrogen promotes this effect.

Lactated Ringer’s solution: A salt solution that has\ been used to increase blood volume in treating shock; the lactate was apparently chosen as a buffer in place of bicarbonate, as a matter of convenience rather than physiology. This solution is toxic, partly because it contains the form of lactate produced by bacteria, but our own lactate, at higher concentrations, produces the same sorts of toxic effects, damaging mitochondria.

Estrogenic phytotoxins damage mitochondria, kill brain cells; tofu is associated with dementia.

Warburg’s research in the late 1960s and early 70s suggested that mitochondrial respiration plays a crucial role in cell differentiation and that cancer is a result of a “respiratory defect” resembling primitive life. Further studies by Harry Rubin showed that genetic changes in cells occur after they become cancerous.

We now know that faulty mitochondrial respiration is central to diseases affecting muscles, the brain, liver, kidneys, and other organs. It was previously thought that these mitochondrial defects were caused by irreversible genetic abnormalities, either inherited or acquired.

Mitochondria have their own genes, and mutations in these genes have been linked to various diseases and ageing. While these mitochondrial genes are not typically seen as the primary cause of cancer, researchers interested in Warburg and Rubin’s work are exploring whether mutations in these genes lead to respiratory defects or if respiratory issues trigger the mutations. Recent studies suggest that physiological problems come before and contribute to the mutations.

Warburg believed that mitochondria gather in areas where energy is needed for specialized cell functions. This has interesting implications. For example, when thyroid hormone levels increase or when adapting to high altitudes, mitochondria multiply. However, in energy-deficient conditions like diabetes, this multiplication doesn’t happen. How are these essential organelles formed in response to hormone-induced respiration and low oxygen levels at high altitudes?

In both situations, limited oxygen availability restricts energy production, leading to higher levels of carbon dioxide in tissues. One reason is that thyroid hormone stimulates its production, while another reason is the Haldane effect, which prevents its loss from the lungs.

Proteinoid microspheres and coacervates form when molecules condense into a separate phase with unique properties. Changes in factors like pH, temperature, and solutes can affect their stability and behavior. Carbon dioxide enhances the stability of mitochondrial structures, allowing them to recruit proteins and expand their functions.

Without carbon dioxide or with excess lactic acid, mitochondrial stability decreases, leading to structural and functional degradation. The relationship between glycolysis and respiration shows that when the Pasteur effect fails, as in cancer, glycolysis becomes independent and inefficient. This suggests lactic acid as a potential toxin, contrary to the assumption of its benefits. The use of lactate solutions in medicine is mainly for convenience rather than its inherent advantages.

Overall, these findings highlight the sensitivity of mitochondria to their environment and the impact it has on cellular energy and adaptability.

Lactic acid plays a significant role in hyperventilation, causing problems like edema and organ dysfunction. In cancer, it contributes to respiratory defects and may trigger wasting. The Crabtree effect, observed in tumors and highly glycolytic tissues, becomes more widespread when lactic acid is produced under oxygen deprivation or stress. This leads to a shutdown of respiration while activating glycolysis, which is inefficient for energy production. Lactic acid is commonly seen as a normal response to stress, but it actually causes respiratory suppression. Factors like nitric oxide, calcium, and fatty acids are involved in this process.

High levels of lactic acid in the blood indicate increased sugar consumption. The body responds by releasing fatty acids for energy, which reduces the use of glucose. Women, due to hormones, have more fatty acids and burn them during exercise, affecting their glucose tolerance and increasing diabetes risk. Palmitic acid uniquely inhibits glycolysis without affecting oxidation. Exercise, ageing, obesity, and diabetes raise fatty acid and lactic acid levels. Certain types of exercise can benefit mitochondria. In cases of shock, lactic acid levels help assess severity, but prompt treatment with lactated Ringer’s solution may not be optimal. Mitochondrial metabolism is crucial for ageing and diseases. Genetic repair in mitochondria has been discovered, including DNA strand repair and replacing defective mitochondria.

DNA repair is known in nuclear genes, and skin can replace damaged cells. Similarly, mitochondrial ageing can be avoided and repaired. Stress and exercise can harm mitochondria, but providing energy and reducing stress can reverse genetic damage. Inherited mitochondrial problems will be less common as we understand disruptions in mitochondrial physiology. Changes in cardiolipin, copper loss, and altered water state affect ageing. Carbon dioxide removes calcium, but low carbon dioxide and lactate can cause calcium buildup and affect synthetic processes.

Glycolysis produces pyruvate and lactate, and excessive pyruvate inhibits the mitochondrion like lactate does. The Crabtree effect involves nitric oxide, fatty acids, and calcium, but we can simplify the explanation by focusing on the competition between glycolysis products and carbon dioxide for binding sites in the mitochondrion. Glucose and glycolysis are needed for nitric oxide production and calcium accumulation, which decrease energy production by reducing carbon dioxide. The Krebs cycle substances used in amino acid synthesis decrease carbon dioxide production, creating two possible states: a glycolytic stress state and an energy-efficient state producing carbon dioxide. Accumulated iron and calcium likely form toxins and insoluble soaps with fatty acids during stress. New mitochondria growth may leave behind waste materials. Higher carbon dioxide levels prevent toxic lactic acid production during activity, so the impact of activity depends on resting carbon dioxide levels.

To preventatively support mitochondrial health, it’s helpful to avoid lactic acid-containing foods like yoghurt and sauerkraut, as bacterial lactic acid is more toxic than stress-induced lactic acid. It’s crucial to avoid unsaturated oils that promote stress and interfere with thyroid function, as they are linked to diabetes, cancer, and age-related diseases. Avoiding substances that increase estrogen exposure, such as phytoestrogens and protein deficiency, is important since estrogen can raise levels of free fatty acids, shift metabolism away from glucose, increase unsaturated fatty acids in tissues, and hinder thyroid function.

Light promotes glucose oxidation and activates key respiratory enzymes, while winter sickness, night stress, and the “respiratory defect” concept contribute to lactic acid production and mitochondrial damage. Therapeutically, certain toxins that block glycolytic enzymes can improve conditions associated with excessive lactic acid production, but they have harmful side effects. However, several non-toxic therapies like palmitate, vitamin B1, biotin, lipoic acid, carbon dioxide, thyroid hormones, naloxone, acetazolamide, and progesterone (which blocks estrogen’s disruptive effects on mitochondria) can achieve similar benefits. Additionally, maintaining a diet free of polyunsaturated fats is important for mitochondrial maintenance.

Why Use Mouth Tape?

Why-Use-Mouth-Tape

Mouth taping during sleep has gained popularity in recent years for its potential benefits. Here are some of the advantages associated with using mouth tape for sleep:

  1. Promotes Nasal Breathing: Mouth taping encourages breathing through the nose rather than the mouth during sleep. Nasal breathing helps filter, humidify, and warm the air before it enters the lungs, promoting better overall respiratory health.
  2. Reduces Snoring: Mouth taping can help reduce or eliminate snoring by preventing the mouth from falling open during sleep. Snoring is often caused by mouth breathing, and by keeping the mouth closed, airflow is directed through the nasal passages, reducing the vibration of tissues in the throat that leads to snoring.
  3. Improves Oxygen Intake: Nasal breathing allows for more efficient oxygen exchange in the lungs compared to mouth breathing. By maintaining proper airflow through the nasal passages, mouth taping can enhance oxygen intake and improve overall sleep quality. The main reason oxygen saturation improves is because carbon dioxide is nor overly expelled through the mouth while you sleep. Carbon dioxide is necessary for oxygen to enter the cells. Keeping your mouth closed while you sleep allows for the retention and this explains the better energy, mood etc the following day
  4. Enhances Sleep Quality: By promoting nasal breathing and reducing disruptions caused by mouth breathing, mouth taping can lead to deeper and more restful sleep. This can result in improved daytime alertness, cognitive function, and overall well-being.
  5. Supports Oral Health: Mouth taping can help prevent dry mouth during sleep by reducing saliva evaporation. This may contribute to better oral health by maintaining a moist environment in the mouth and minimizing the risk of dental issues associated with dry mouth.
  6. Encourages Proper Tongue Posture: Mouth taping can encourage the tongue to rest against the roof of the mouth, promoting proper tongue posture. This can aid in dental health, swallowing function, and even facial muscle tone.
  7. May Improve Sleep-Related Breathing Disorders: For individuals with sleep-related breathing disorders such as mild obstructive sleep apnea, mouth taping may help improve airflow and reduce the severity of symptoms by promoting nasal breathing and keeping the airway open. Many CPAP users find the tape helpful in assuring nasal breathing.
  8. Cost-Effective and Non-Invasive: Mouth taping is a simple, cost-effective, and non-invasive method to support nasal breathing during sleep. It does not require any special equipment or devices, making it accessible to a wide range of individuals. 

It’s important to note that while mouth taping may offer benefits for some individuals, it may not be suitable for everyone. It is recommended to consult with a healthcare professional before trying mouth taping to ensure that it is safe and appropriate for your individual sleep needs and health conditions..

Progesterone in Men

Progesterone-in-Men

When the topic of male hormones are mentioned, testosterone wins that race hands down. Progesterone in men is very much an after thought. Rightfully, it is thought of as a female hormone alongside estrogen. However, males also have progesterone and estrogen.

The name is derived from the ‘pro’ gestation phase in females aka. pregnancy. Progesterone increases tremendously during pregnancy to some accounts of 600% increasing during term. This shows the inherent protective ability of the hormone as the fetus grows.

Progesterone in men is a protective hormone. A couple key organs are prominent in their requirement for progesterone. The brain is heavily dependent and in healthy males a large concentration is typical. It is the most protective hormone the body produces. The thymus gland, a key organ of our immune system, is also profoundly dependent of progesterone.

Progesterone is considered to be the basic hormone of adaptation and of resistance to stress. The adrenal glands use it to produce their antistress hormones, and when there is enough progesterone, they don’t have to produce the potentially harmful cortisol.

Symptoms of low progesterone in men

Production of too much cortisol some of you may know causes osteoporosis, aging of the skin, brain cell damage, and the accumulation of fat, especially on the back and abdomen. One of it’s main functions is to oppose estrogen. Estrogen in men will cause all sorts of problems, with libido and ‘ability to perform’ high on the list. Progesterone’s role of opposing estrogen cannot be understated.

Even with the higher concentrations in the brain men have systemic progesterone. It vital in it’s role in the endothelial lining of the blood vessels. It tends to keep them nice and smooth. With estrogen, the exact opposite happens. Estrogen will make it ‘lumpy and bumpy’ for lack of a better term, This means, you’re liable to have clotting diseases like strokes and angina. The interesting thing is men who do not have a high amount of progesterone tend to get cardiovascular diseases in their 40s, where as women are protected until after their 50s. The higher progesterone is likely the reason women have less cardiac events than men before menopause. Anecdotally, I’ve heard women who bear larger families tend to live longer and that could be attributed to the higher exposure to progesterone while pregnant.

Usually osteoporosis is deemed a women’s concern. Under the age of 50 women do see more bone loss but by age 65 both sexes are comparable. Men are under screened in this area and I have to wonder if men were screened earlier what the results might say. We all need progesterone for the brain, specifically for the myelin sheaths (fatty tissue protecting the nerve cells)

Trauma in women will also heal quicker than in men because of the progesterone, particularly menstruating women. They do very well because of progesterone protecting them, and it minimizes water retention in the body.

Some of the Functions of Progesterone in men

  • relieves anxiety,
  • improves memory,
  • protects brain cells
  • prevents epileptic seizures.
  • promotes respiration, and has been used to correct emphysema.
  • prevents bulging veins by increasing the tone of blood vessels,
  • improves the efficiency of the heart.
  • reverses many of the signs of aging in the skin, and
  • promotes healthy bone growth.
  • it can relieve many types of arthritis,
  • helps a variety of autoimmune diseases and the degenerative disease with an autoimmune component
  • thyroid hormone secretion
  • euphoria has also been reported but an argument can be made that a individual who is physiologically healthy will exhibit that characteristic.

Causes of low progesterone in men

  • Excess stress. This can be physiologically or psychologically.
  • Lack of sunlight (red light)
  • Poor nutrition (low protein intake and low quality fats)
  • Serotonin (a latter post on this misunderstood neurotransmitter)
  • Melatonin
  • Taking progesterone as a supplement depends on the context. A healthy male does not need to supplement.

Progesterone in men

Progesterone will have a sedative effect on the body. Below is a pic from an experiment where Hans Seyle, known as the “Father of Stress” administered a high dose of progesterone. Equivalent dosage of 10,000 mg for a 150 lb. adult. Seyle’s students thought they had killed the rodent but it was just under “profound anesthesia.”

Many people who are in chronic stress and a hyper alert state would long to feel like that rat 🙂 Similar to the rat’s results, there will be a relaxing effect but also potentially a “cold shower” effect on a males libido. This is temporary but not many males actively seek that result unless the problem is larger such as brain trauma or burns of the skin. Both circumstances have seen the benefit of adding progesterone.

Supplementing

The popular choice of progesterone will usually come in liquid ( almost like syrup) and need to be refrigerated. It can be administered orally or topically starting with a few drops orally. Dosing will depending on symptoms. Women who are post hysterectomy usually take in about 30 milligrams/day. A good starting dose for men would be about 5-10 mg. There hasn’t been any negative side effects reported from progesterone unless the dose is extremely large and then you may look like the ‘dish rag’ rat. If applied topically, progesterone will require a larger dose than if taken orally. Some people prefer the topical to avoid unnecessary excipients. Unless, the goal is to heal the skin in some fashion then ingesting seems to reap the most and quickest results.

Unfortunately, no particular food will supply progesterone. The other side of the same coin is that poor nutrition would antagonize progesterone. Poor food choices will undoubtedly cause hormonal issues with regards to estrogen (in both sexes) and testosterone. An optimal functioning thyroid and cholesterol that isn’t too low will support progesterone and pregnenolone which are truly the hormones of youth.

Further reading: