Low testosterone is a common problem in both men and women.
In this episode we talk about the symptoms of low testosterone and why it’s important to have normal levels.
We talk about the reasons why so many men and women have low testosterone such as high circulating insulin, xenoestrogens and not eating enough saturated fat.
We also talk about ways to naturally raise testosterone levels.
TRANSCRIPT OF TODAY'S EPISODE
Dr. Martin, Jr.: Hello, my name is Dr. Martin, Jr.
Dr. Martin, Sr.: I’m Dr. Martin, Sr.
Dr. Martin, Jr.: This is the Doctor’s In Podcast and this is Episode 127. Today, [00:00:30] we’re going to talk about a very common issue that we see in men but also very common in women as well and it’s not often talked about, which is testosterone, which is … There’s really an epidemic of low testosterone in both men and women today and there’s a lot of reasons for that and we’ll get into those reasons.
We’ll talk about some of the symptoms that you would see clinically in somebody that has low testosterone [00:01:00] and some of the effects that that has. We’ll talk about some of the causes as well and then we’ll end off by talking about some of the things that you can do to help increase your testosterone levels. By the end of this podcast you’ll see why you’re going to want to do that and why that’s important to have normal testosterone levels.
Well, first of all, we already know the value of testosterone because it’s one of those drugs that they test for at every sporting event. Specially, every [00:01:30] professional gets tests for this.
Dr. Martin, Sr.: The Olympics.
Dr. Martin, Jr.: The Winter Olympics just finished and it’s funny because curling …
Dr. Martin, Sr.: Yeah, what were they thinking?
Dr. Martin, Jr.: Some Russian curling dude got caught taking testosterone, which he’s taking a performance enhancing drug to help them with curling. Again, we already have an idea of the benefits of testosterone simply because a way to cheat is to elevate [00:02:00] your levels higher than normal and bring up those levels to a point where it gives you an athletic advantage over the person you’re competing against.
The world kind of knows about testosterone when it comes to that. They think testosterone the first thing they think of is steroids and that’s unfortunate because every one of us makes testosterone and most people are not making enough of it naturally anymore. That’s causing a lot of symptoms and that’s what we want to talk about.
[00:02:30] We want you to move beyond thinking of testosterone in terms of an athletic performance but if you have low testosterone, on the other hand, it’s pretty hard to have normal athletic performance or even the energy or the desire or the strength to go do that.
Dr. Martin, Sr.: Yeah.
Dr. Martin, Jr.: Right? Let’s talk about some of the causes of low testosterone.
Dr. Martin, Sr.: Well, we always start by talking about what’s going on in the world today. Why would there be so much [00:03:00] of an epidemic of low testosterone. Well, think of our diet, let’s start with the diet. The diet today … We’ve been on a failed experiment for the last 50 years and that is a high carbohydrate, low fat diet, right? And you know what, low protein, so guess what? This has had an enormous dent in testosterone levels because you cannot make good levels of testosterone unless you have a diet that is very high in protein, [00:03:30] and very high especially in saturated fat, like butter and eggs, the real good fats that give people … Your body doesn’t make testosterone and ladies you need testosterone too. You don’t need as much as men of course but you need to have good levels of testosterone for muscle, for stamina.
Dr. Martin, Jr.: Listen, let’s talk about [00:04:00] that. Before we talk about some of the causes let’s talk about some of the symptoms that you would see even in women. Let’s talk about women for some of the symptoms that are associated with low testosterone. This is going to surprise a lot of people … Depression. Depression, for a lot of women they have very low levels of testosterone. The brain and testosterone are connected in a lot of ways. You need healthy testosterone levels to have a healthy brain, so men and women, depression, that’s a big aspect of testosterone deficiency as well.
Memory is another big aspect. Heart [00:04:30] disease, huge. A lot of heart disease issues are caused by low testosterone or it’s an accelerant …
Dr. Martin, Sr.: Muscle, the hearts a muscle, right?
Dr. Martin, Jr.: Yeah, and that brings us to that, lack of muscle tissue. Low testosterone levels …
Dr. Martin, Sr.: Sarcopenia.
Dr. Martin, Jr.: Exactly. Sarcopenia and osteoporosis. You have chronically low levels of testosterone as a woman you’re going to end up with sarcopenia which is muscle wasting and osteoporosis. Basically, you’re not going to age well. You need healthy levels of testosterone to [00:05:00] age well as a woman. As a man the same thing. We generally have more lean muscle tissue, you lose a percentage of it every year, 8% a decade, after the age of 40. You need testosterone to maintain muscle mass.
Our testosterone levels decrease naturally as it is after the age, I think, 30.
Dr. Martin, Sr.: Oh yeah.
Dr. Martin, Jr.: We hit a peak …
Dr. Martin, Sr.: Yeah, then go downhill.
Dr. Martin, Jr.: Then it’s downhill. Our testosterone levels are naturally falling and we’ll talk about some of the reasons why they fall faster. [00:05:30] For women an obviously lack of muscle tissue and then you have a tendency to gain fat easier. Then also, another big aspect of low testosterone in men and women is low libido, they’ve got a very low libido after. Testosterone has its fingers ion all that stuff.
It’s very important that you have, even as a woman, normal testosterone levels. As you mentioned, the typical [00:06:00] diet that the average female eats, which is low fat, low saturated fats, they don’t get enough protein. We talked about this before, a majority of people over the age of nine, women over the age of nine, don’t even meet the RDA for protein, which is really low. The RDA is too low, so a majority of people … I think it’s 60% of women over the age of nine don’t get enough protein. They don’t get enough fat, the right kind of fat. They don’t get enough saturated [00:06:30] fat.
Dr. Martin, Sr.: They’re scared of it.
Dr. Martin, Jr.: They’re scared of saturated fat. All those things are massively important when it comes to testosterone. There’s also another really big reason why men and women are low in testosterone and that has to do with estrogen dominance.
Dr. Martin, Sr.: Estrogen goes right up and men, men with their prostate, for a healthy prostate you need good levels of testosterone. What happens when the [00:07:00] prostate starts to become inflamed and grows, frequent urination and all that? Well, your testosterone is going down directly proportional to the increase in estrogen.
Dr. Martin, Jr.: Estrogen and insulin will grow your prostate. Yeah, they’re going to grow your prostate. For women, so you look at … First of all, every chemical is a xenoestrogen, almost. There’s so many xenoestrogens, meaning they look [00:07:30] and they act on your body like an estrogen does. A lot of chemicals mimic estrogen, they copycat estrogen, your body thinks it’s estrogen so we’re loaded with it, men and women. We talked about this a couple episodes ago, that study that showed that 86% of teenagers, and these are boys, are loaded with BPA which are ….
Dr. Martin, Sr.: Xenoestrogens.
Dr. Martin, Jr.: Kills testosterone so you have a bunch of teenagers, even at a young age, boys and girls that have low testosterone [00:08:00] because we live in a plastic world and these chemicals mimic estrogen and it’s killing their testosterone levels. It’s affecting their testosterone levels which, again, can affect depression, a lot of teenage depression. We’re not saying that’s the only cause but that can be a contributing factor there’s no question.
You have these estrogen dominance. Now … And it’s funny, men … As our testosterone decreases and as we become estrogen [00:08:30] dominant it actually further compounds the problem. The more estrogen you have the more fat you store, the more fat you store the more estrogen you make, the lower your testosterone levels go. It’s kind of like a …
Dr. Martin, Sr.: Yeah, vicious cycle.
Dr. Martin, Jr.: It’s a vicious cycle. Men, when their testosterone levels get low, they end up with, like you said, enlarged prostate, low energy, muscle mass decreases, they start to put on fat.
Dr. Martin, Sr.: Low libido, [00:09:00] erectile dysfunction.
Dr. Martin, Jr.: Yeah. There is a … They get this … Like you mentioned, erectile dysfunction they get BPH, their prostate grows, it’s kind of like a trifecta. Then they get that male pattern baldness, there’s a whole bunch of things that can affect a man because his testosterone levels are too low. Estrogen is a big aspect of why there’s such a mount of low testosterone today. As you mentioned, low fat, high processed [00:09:30] foods.
Dr. Martin, Sr.: Yeah, and let me just say this because we think outside the box, we’re not conventional but I tell my patients, I say “You want me to give you politics or do you want me to give you science? If you want politics I will tell you that, yeah, maybe you should cut back on eating eggs, meat, and cheese but when you think of testosterone I just want to give you the science behind it.”
I’m not going to be political, I’m going to be scientific. [00:10:00] Do you know that you do not make proper levels of testosterone without zinc? Zinc is found in eggs, meat, and cheese. A lot of people, they’re vegetarians or they’re vegans. You wouldn’t believe how often I see that in the office. I say, “Okay, you have made a decision, it’s actually a political decision you’ve made, it’s not scientific but [00:10:30] anyway I’ll work with you. Understand this, you are missing zinc. You are missing the saturated fat that comes in animal protein and animal fats.”
People say, “Well, that can’t be good for you.” I’ll tell you, you don’t make testosterone properly without that. There’s a hormone you absolutely need.
Dr. Martin, Jr.: If they’re vegan they would have to eat a lot of the saturated fat type of … Like a lot of avocados and a lot of nuts and stuff like that. They’d have to go out of their way [00:11:00] to make sure they’re getting enough saturated fat in their diet for sure. What people don’t even realize, especially for women, one of the causes … What happens is they end up with estrogen dominance, which is so common in women and it negatively affects their testosterone level and both estrogen dominance and low testosterone both can affect the health of their hair.
A lot of times it’s attributed to the thyroid, which yes, for sure.
Dr. Martin, Sr.: They’re connected.
Dr. Martin, Jr.: [00:11:30] They’re connected. Now you have … We get this a lot of times, a lot of women they’re complaining about their hair quality, it’s falling out, it’s thinning, it’s not as healthy anymore. Well, that’s a combination of estrogen dominance, it’s a combination of low testosterone, there’s a lot of aspects to that, which again, one of our staff members … This is funny, it’s kind of an aside, was telling us how her hairdresser has been telling her how much more hair she has to cut every time because she’s been taking [inaudible 00:11:59] protein [00:12:00] because it’s loaded with collagen, her hair has been a lot healthier, but that’s just a …
Our staff take our stuff and they follow the same thinking that we do but it’s always funny, every one in a while they come up to us all amazed that what they’re taking is helping them with something and it’s just one of those things. Hair is a big aspect as well of testosterone. You need a healthy level of testosterone to have healthy hair.
That’s why we don’t talk a lot about testosterone, we talk about estrogen dominance, but it’s kind of implied. [00:12:30] When we say you have estrogen dominance we’re also saying you’ve got low testosterone levels. As you mentioned, zinc is a big aspect of that. What other [inaudible 00:12:38]?
Dr. Martin, Sr.: You’ll often grow with this, I kind of just say … It’s sort of funny because women will talk to me about … Yeah, if they’re growing hair it’s in the wrong places. They’ll see it on their chin or they’re getting a little bit of a mustache or whatever. I say, “Well yeah, but that’s an imbalance of your hormones.”
Dr. Martin, Jr.: That’s right, [00:13:00] those are the side effects of hormones that are not balanced properly. Then, there’s actually a third aspect of why we’re seeing an increase in low testosterone because you kind of talked about the way they were eating. We talked about the chemicals and the estrogen dominance that’s out there. Before I move onto this third one, there was actually a study that showed that even men who use, for example, a shampoo and a body wash that’s really flowery scented, full of chemicals, they had lower testosterone levels after.
Dr. Martin, Sr.: There’s your [00:13:30] estrogen again.
Dr. Martin, Jr.: It’s interesting.
Dr. Martin, Sr.: There’s xenoestrogens.
Dr. Martin, Jr.: That’s the xenoestrogens. The third aspect of why it’s such a chronic issue now is elevated insulin. The higher somebody’s insulin levels are chronically. I’m talking about chronically elevated insulin because insulin’s a tremendous growth hormone. Body builders use insulin to their advantage to grow their muscles, there’s a little bit of manipulation of insulin hormone in body building so insulin is a very anabolic.
When I say insulin, [00:14:00] I’m talking about chronically elevated insulin levels. I’m not talking about insulin in terms of the goal …
Dr. Martin, Sr.: [inaudible 00:14:07] coined it, right? High circulating insulin.
Dr. Martin, Jr.: High circulating insulin. Somebody who has high circulating insulin is typically storing fat at a much higher rate, and the more fat they’re storing the more estrogen they’re creating, and the more estrogen the lower the testosterone. A big reason why, and in fact, I remember reading this. One of the major causes of high insulin in women is the PCOS, polycystic [00:14:30] ovarian syndrome is so much more common today and that’s a trifecta of symptoms that goes along with that.
We’re seeing the same thing in men now. We kind of talked about it, which is that male pattern baldness, erectile dysfunction, and BPH. There was a great article written online by someone on that, I can’t remember exactly who it was but it was fantastic. Talking about how that’s a collection of symptoms as well for men when it comes to insulin.
Again, it’s kind of intertwined with testosterone. [00:15:00] It’s intertwined with testosterone when it comes to that. Those are the big three causes of low testosterone. You mentioned zinc as a helper, zinc is tremendous for that. What else do you recommend to help …
Dr. Martin, Sr.: Well, high amino acids so I like the branch chain amino acid, I love … Bone broth protein’s one of the most complete proteins and the proper minerals. There’s zinc in there, there’s everything in there. When you’re leaching, [00:15:30] when you’re making bone broth you think about it, it coming right out of the bone and so very, very good. I like … You know what, here’s another co-factor in testosterone is vitamin D. Here you go again.
I highly recommend about 8000 IU to get your vitamin D levels up. It’s amazing how vitamin D is a co-factor in the production of healthy testosterone. Look, [00:16:00] I don’t like to give synthetic testosterone. There’s testosterone available out there, lots of side effects, got to be very, very careful of that. It’s better if you do it naturally.
Dr. Martin, Jr.: Yeah. There’s a lot of debate on testosterone in terms of steroids, there’s definitely an abuse of testosterone when it comes … A lot of the bodybuilders are abusing it, in a sense. It’s really high doses and they’re on a [00:16:30] cocktail of steroids as well so there’s a whole bunch of other things that they’re taking as well. Yeah, there’s no question that people benefit from keeping their testosterone levels normal as they age.
In fact, a big part of anti-aging has to be making sure that you have normal testosterone levels because you won’t feel good without normal testosterone. Just like without normal estrogen you won’t feel good, you need normal testosterone to feel good [00:17:00] and you need it to build muscle. It’s hard to build muscle without the testosterone.
Dr. Martin, Sr.: The other thing that we always talk about, because it’s involved in all of this, is cortisol, that stress hormone. That’ll knock the testosterone down in your body too. Cortisol, [inaudible 00:17:15] have a legion of different things that it affects. That stress hormone it can really play with your endocrine system so remember that.
Dr. Martin, Jr.: Again, if you have any of those [00:17:30] symptoms of low testosterone then we would strongly encourage you to look in at some of the deficiencies that you most likely have. Start eating more saturated fat. I wish they’d give it a different name, it just sounds, it sounds bad. It’s been vilified so long it sounds bad, saturated fat. It’s good for you. There’s crappy fats, vegetable oils are crappy fats. Processed fats are crappy fats.
Dr. Martin, Sr.: High industrialized. [00:18:00] You can run your car with those oils.
Dr. Martin, Jr.: There’s a big difference by saying a high fat diet can mean a lot of different things. You can be eating a high fat diet and it’s all … Doughnuts is a high, it’s just crappy oils. Then there’s the good … I hate using the word good fats because it’s implying that most fat is bad and some of it’s good, but not, that’s not the case at all. Real fat is good for you, fake fat isn’t.
Real foods that have fat in them are good [00:18:30] for you, it’s how it’s supposed to be. We would encourage you again to look at your testosterone levels and also very good aspect of testosterone is resistance training. Important for your bones, important for your muscles. Again, we say this … I don’t care who you are, you should be doing some form of resistance exercise.
Well listen, if you don’t want to age well don’t do it. If you don’t care about being able to have a healthy brain or move around well, not [00:19:00] break bones, not have muscle wasting, lose your balance, then don’t work, don’t lift weights or don’t do resistive exercise, don’t do those things. If you want …
Dr. Martin, Sr.: Incredible.
Dr. Martin, Jr.: Then we strongly encourage you to do that as well.
We want to thank you for listening to this little shorter episode on … Someone was asking us about testosterone so we figured we talk about it for a few minutes. If you have any questions you can email us at email@example.com or you can join … You, every Thursday morning you do a live Facebook feed and it’s fantastic, [00:19:30] you can join in Thursdays for that or head over to our website at martinclinic.com and you can sign up for our newsletters. We talk about a lot of these things in there. Again, thank you for listening and have a great day.