Dr. Ben House – Enhancing testosterone and improving your health- Podcast #130

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Dr. Justin Marchegiani welcomes his special guest Dr. Ben House, a functional medicine doctor based in Costa Rica who also works with a lot of athletes. Join them as they engage in a very stimulating discussion about boosting up performance athletically as they focus on the role of testosterone in the male body.

Gain valuable insight about the recent researches related to Dr. Ben’s area of expertise. Know about the different tests, markers and treatment approach that he uses to address his patients. Get to apply some valuable information related to effective movement patterns that might be related to your health and body goals.

In this episode, we cover:

2:35        Nutrition Recommendation

9:40        Overtraining and Cortisol: Testosterone Ratio

13:33       Functional Medicine Tests for Athletes

18:37       Steroid and Insulin Use

33:30       Movement Patterns

42:40       Blood Markers and Patterns in Athletes

 
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Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Hey, there! It’s Dr. Justin Marchegiani. Today we have Dr. House in the house. Dr. Ben, how are we doing today, man?

Dr. Ben House: I’m doing great. How are you?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Excellent. We got you on Skype, too. So anyone listening to the MP3, feel free and click below and check out the YouTube channel as well. And Dr. House is over at functionalmedicinecostarica.com

Dr. Ben House: Yeah, that—that’s me. That’s where I’m at.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And you’re seeing patients virtually, as well, which is great. So if you feel like you jive at Dr. Ben, feel free head over there and reach out to him. Dr. Ben is also a PhD grad over at UT. Hook ‘em horns, baby. I’m in Austin now, too. So I’ve given up my Boston College UMass. I’m a modern now. And UT Longhorns, baby. So, congrats on that. Excited to chat.

Dr. Ben House: Yes. I miss Austin. It’s an amazing city for sure.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: It is. And I know you used to work with a lot of athletes. Were you working with the UTF-8 as well? And the football players and such?

Dr. Ben House: Uh – I worked on a time, right, in basketball.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Basketball.

Dr. Ben House: Uhmm – Yeah, yeah. So now he’s in the Philadelphia 76ers. So I consult with couple of proteins but uhmm—it’s—yeah, I primarily work with males and athletes.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: So tell me a little more about that. Like what are some of the low hanging fruits mean? Maybe we don’t have a lot of professional athletes listening here today. But what are some of the low hanging fruits are, you know, average people are listening can take and apply to themselves to make them better athletically?

Dr. Ben House: I think a lot of times we put professional athletes on the pedestal.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Dr. Ben House: But most of the time, professional athletes are—uhm—they’re successful in spite of what they do.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Dr. Ben House: Because of what they do.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Totally. So it’s probably not best to look at what they’re doing. Uh—uh there’s obviously exemptions to every rule. There are really some teams that are really pushing the envelope as far as nutrition. But you gotta think in the pro circumstance, there’s not a ton of motivation and drive to get guys healthy if it doesn’t get them performing.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Right.

Dr. Ben House: Uhmm—so kinda sell there is—is Dr. Bob is really good about this—it’s you’re selling longevity.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Dr. Ben House: Coz can you—after someone’s thirty, can you give him 10 years in the league, right? And that’s—that’s pretty important. And so, if we take this to the weekend warriors,  someone who’s—who just loves to train like me. I’m not a professional athlete.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Dr. Ben House: I played college football, but after that, the dream was dead.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Dr. Ben House: Uhmm—And so it’s—it’s we really gotta—I think the low hanging fruit is the fundamentals—the things that we always talk about. Coz most athletes—they—they don’t—they overtrain because they’re under recovered.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Totally. Totally. Now on the diet side, that’s probably a foundation. I think you’ll agree with this. On the diet side, are you kinda following the paleo template? What is the food quality? What does the macros look like with an athlete like that?

Dr. Ben House: So when I lecture on or talk about nutrition, I always talk about three things. So we have quality is the first thing for me. Quality is super important. Uh—we have quality in there, we have timing.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Totally.

Dr. Ben House: Those are kind of—For me those are in the order of importance. Uhm—but we have to be really careful. Like Michael Phelps.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Dr. Ben House: Who probably eats 68,000 calories a day.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Dr. Ben House: You obviously can’t eat brussel sprouts and sweet potatoes and get it done. Uhm—so when you have—when you have some who’s just training 20 hours a week, your quality has to drop. And you have to make sure your adjustment’s on point as well.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Totally.

Dr. Ben House: Coz otherwise you gotta just stop, put the car in the garage, and really kinda figure it out. And so it’s—we’re at a really cool point where I think we have some technology coming out where we can just individualize.

Dr. Ben House: So all these—

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Dr. Ben House: –hypothetical, best way shit can just go away.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Totally. So we got the basically, high-quality proteins, high-quality fats. They’re probably—maybe these guys are gonna be higher on the macronutrients with the carbs and such, correct?

Dr. Ben House: That all depends – So carb work—

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And in sport maybe.

Dr. Ben House: The carb world is really—there’s—I think of carbs as n__

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Uh-hmm.

Dr. Ben House: And so if—if you want somebody to go fast, you need carbs and glycogen assistance. And so you can’t—you can’t feed high-intensity exercise on fat. It’s—it’s—

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Right.

Dr. Ben House: We know that if your fat adapted, you’re actually—you’re actually metabolically inflexible so that you can’t burn carbohydrates at those—at those faster intensities. Uhmm—so for me, it’s all about what is athlete doing. What if they’re, you know, 40 year old, strength athlete and they’re 20 pounds overweight, uhmm—I’m gonna stay at the 5 rep range. Probably knock down carbs pretty well. If—are they a 20 year old athlete who’d never had any problem with weight, and I got their blood sugar, all looks fine, I’m gonna—how many carbs do you take, right?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Got it. Okay. Alright, got it. So we have kinda the macronutrients, we’re obviously cutting out—organics gonna be obviously dialled in, right? Food quality’s gonna be dialled in. We’re eating enough calories—that’s big. We’re mak—making sure the in the HCl and the enzymes are up to snuff so we can actually break down and digest those foods. We’re making sure we’re drinking, we’re sleeping maybe 8-10 hours. That could be big thing as well. Uh—more exercise, more muscle breakdown requires more recovery. I think with Steve Nash and Tom Brady, too. I mean they get like 10 hours sleep a night. I think that’s the biggest thing. Huge.

Dr. Ben House: Number one. Like if you wanna increase performance, like this is out of  Stanford, like sleep more. Spend more time in bed.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. You get to bed between 10 PM and 2 AM and you’re asleep during the cycle. You’re getting access to maybe $3,000 to $5000 of growth hormone a month just by getting in bed during those timeframes. Would you agree?

Dr. Ben House: Yeah. And I mean, testosterone is also secreted. GNRH works in that—inside that time block, too. So it’s—the circadian rhythm hormone. So you start jacking up your circadian rhythm. And a lot of the—one of the probably because athletes we see, they’re just hooked up on cell phones all the time like this is perpetual, you know, Twitter, Facebook, social media feed. Man, that’s—that’s a whole lot of bull S.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. Totally. So you get the nutrients, you get the digestion, you get the right amount of exercising. That’s a really key thing coz a lot of times it’s train, not drain. And you see a lot of overtraining with your athletes?

Dr. Ben House: Well, I think we have to be mis—I come from a strength coach background. So in the college setting, the strength coaches it—it’s unfortunate. And you even saw it at the  University of Oregon.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Dr. Ben House: When they got rid of radicals who was like, “who’s the man?” Uhm – and I bump into this other guy and he started smoking people and he put three guys in the hospital. Uhm—so the saying with this coach is pri—it’s sometimes they’re thought of as the punishers. So they have to dole out like someone doesn’t show at the practice. And so, if you’re in a team sport atmosphere, like—you don’t have that much control over the overall, though. There’s some people that are using like Zephyr or some really cool GPS program to over—to like measure overall look.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Dr. Ben House: Uhm—but some of that is outside of your control.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Dr. Ben House: The cool thing—in the general population and if you have—while like private is because you can have total control over the athlete.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Dr. Ben House: And—one of my favourite examples is Rutherford who like—he was like the 200 best in the world. Uhmm—and now, when he—he was training like typical like four days a week. And they brought him to like one-two hard training sessions every 10 days, and he won the gold medal. Alright. So—

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Wow.

Dr. Ben House: So it’s kinda—it’s like everybody is individual and so if you can individualize that protocol and—and volume’s a hammer, right? And so that’s not the thing sometimes that we wanna use all the time.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Right. Right. That totally makes sense. So when you’re exercising these guys, are the movement patterns gonna be standard for each person like the functional ones like squats, deadlifts, lunges, step up, like core pushing and pulling movements. How do you adjust those and tweak those with the sports with the athletes?

Dr. Ben House: I—So that’s gonna be all dependent on the sport, right?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Dr. Ben House: And the position that they play. Uhm—so if you got a baseball player, like it’s all rotary power, right?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Dr. Ben House: It’s probably getting them—getting them at the right side of the right handed. Getting them kinda even and obviously not getting injured. from up your eyes standpoint.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Right.

Dr. Ben House: Uh—so—it, it’s so rare but I think for that, it’s also gonna depend. Like is strength, is arm strength really doesn’t apply unless like you’re a full-back or a line man. Uh—sometimes the best guys in the weight room are the worst kind in the field. Uhm—

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Right.

Dr. Ben House: It’s uh—we have crossfit now. I think that’s kinda—that—it’s really cool. And now the weight room is the sport.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Dr. Ben House: And so weekend—it’s open right now—we can do crossfit as much as we want. But I think it just produced some people that can take insane amounts of volume. Uhm—and not everybody can. And they get—It’s very Spartan type society.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Oh, totally. Now when you’re working out with someone, is there a certain heart rate that you want people to get back down to? Maybe with your adrenal dysfunctional patient, is there a certain heart rate you want to get back down to before they go into the next set?

Dr. Ben House: Uh—I’m kinda __heart rate isn’t our best.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Okay.

Dr. Ben House: It’s an okay marker.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Uh-hmm.

Dr. Ben House: I—there’s a new technology that we’re using called mock C—

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Uh-hmm.

Dr. Ben House: Which is essentially muscle oxygenation. So we wanna see that muscle is just resaturated with oxygen (O2).

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Dr. Ben House: And it’s get—it’s probably not a horrible for just the average person right now.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Dr. Ben House: But it will get more affordable, uhm—it will get more usable. Right now, it’s not that user-friendly. Uhm—I think you probably want to get back to a good resting heart rate. Also the—the research is pretty clear cut if you’re chasing hypertrophy. Uhmm—that 2-3 minute window for rest is probably where you wanna be.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: 2-3 minutes. Got it. And are you looking at free cortisol to uhmm—I’m sorry, free testosterone to cortisol ratio to assess overtraining in any of your athletes?

Dr. Ben House: So I look at total testosterone. I don’t put a lot—this is my personal opinion—

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Dr. Ben House: I’ve done a lot of research on salivary panels and I don’t like cortisol panels coz they’re just like—their—they’ve done 30 days of salivary test and they’re super variables especially in athletes. Uhh—so I don’t—If I could get a week of them, I would use them. But if I could only get one day, I don’t wanna just—I don’t wanna live and die by that one day. Uhmm—so, and I—you can ask questions. Like you know, probably the best indicator of overtraining is like hey, how you’re performing. Like how do you feel, how’s your mood like. So a lot of times, we can get a lot of information just by asking questions.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Got it. And what’s your total cortisol cut-off? Your total testosterone cut-off be like? Is it 100 above?

Dr. Ben House: Yeah. I mean the research is—I don’t really get, I don’t like the whole bench press number of testosterone.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Right.

Dr. Ben House: I think it’s only looking at production. We don’t know the sensitivity and the receptor. We—we can get such binding globulin and the albumin.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Totally.

Dr. Ben House: We can get free testosterone but I mean the ment—the mental strain of that for guys like, “Hey you’re inadequate, you have a testosterone of 5.”

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Dr. Ben House: I don’t like to do that.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Do you see correlations, though? Do you see like, “Hey, these are the althletes that are responding the best, that are recovering the best or getting the best results” Here is where his numbers at. Do you see any correlation there?

Dr. Ben House: Yeah. I think—we can’t really make that correlation—

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Okay.

Dr. Ben House: inside of physiological ranges. Uh—we don’t have a lot of data on that as far as research. Anything I would say would be anecdotal there. Uhmm—do I think, do I have a hunch that it’s better to be at 800 than 380?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. Yeah. Totally.

Dr. Ben House: Do I know that 800 is better than 600 or 500? I don’t know. I haven’t seen that. I’ve seen—I’ve seen some beast that are in the 500 range like 10% body fat, like 210—like they’re front squatting 400 pounds. Like, so—

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Testosterone can be really variable. I think it peaks more in the AM right? And they can drop down in the afternoon. It can be the variables. So you may just catch it at the wrong window.

Dr. Ben House: Yeah. And in some circadian rhythms are screwed up like you have no idea where you’re measuring. So, like it’s—it’s to me—it’s the lab value is not the person so I always wanna like, “Who is this person?”

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Totally. Yeah. You gotta look at the clinical outcome along with the—the objective values. Totally makes sense. Are you doing any adrenal testing with your regular functional medicine patients?

Dr. Ben House: I don’t do a lot of adrenal testing. Uh—you interviewed Wakowski here, kinda one of my favourite sayings, like 99% of new-age primates are cortisol resisting or have cortisol dysregulation so—

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Totally.

Dr. Ben House: To me it’s like why do I want to measure chaos? I’m a big fan of not measuring chaos. Uhmm—and that—that’s just my viewpoint. So I would be apt to use like—I would use it later.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Uh-hmm.

Dr. Ben House: So if you’re sleeping, if you’re doing all the things that you need to do, then I’ll run that—if we’re still not getting what we need to do. But the other way you can kinda frame it, too, is well, if I put this—I try to make it as least financially kind of—

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Dr. Ben House: Uh—

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. You’re trying to make it that the buying financially is low as possible so you can help more people, right?

Dr. Ben House: Yeah. Yeah. But for the testing standpoint, so—if—if someone—if I don’t—if they don’t care about money, I’m gonna get this test coz then if I show them, right? Then they’re gonna have it buying.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. Exactly.

Dr. Ben House: Yeah. And lever is gonna be higher. Okay, your free testos—you’re free cortisol’s jacked. You have no DHEA. You start to do the shit that you need to do, right?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Exactly.

Dr. Ben House: Uh but if I can get that from other means, If I can them dialled in the fundamentals, then—and doing all the things that they need to do—coz nobody in the general population’s doing that. I mean slow—today is low.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Exactly. So looking like at the palette of test, functional medicine test that you’re using with your patient, with your athletes, what are those top tests?

Dr. Ben House: Uh, so I – my top 2 are definitely a comprehensive blood panel

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Got it.

Dr. Ben House: And then CSA. Like uhmm—

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Stool analysis.

Dr. Ben House: Yeah. And if someone doesn’t—if that doesn’t pop, maybe I’ll go grab a SIBO breath test or something like that if they have—if they’re carbon tolerant—

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Dr. Ben House: But we gotta immediately fix the digestive component. And obviously you don’t fix that without fixing the cortisol component. But uhmm—that’s my—that’s what I do. And then I’ll run precision analytics sometimes.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yup. Okay. So you will do one of the—the drug urine testing for the adrenal rhythm sometimes.

Dr. Ben House: Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Okay. Good. I do those tests as well and their good.

Dr. Ben House: I want to see uh—so a lot of functional med—I think we can get in trouble coz I’m a PhD so I’m very research oriented.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Dr. Ben House: So if a test doesn’t have a ton of research behind it, I—I’m not very apt to use it.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Totally.

Dr. Ben House: And that can be good and bad. Uhm—but I think like 5 years down the road, like is that lab gonna run like duplicates for 30 days? Are they gonna—are they gonna just do everything in their power to validate that measurement? Or are they just gonna this is it. This works? Then that’s—that’s what I wanna see.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. That totally makes sense. And Biohouse got a new one out, called the CARS, the adaptive response. And they’re doing cortisol I think three times in the morning.

Dr. Ben House: Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And it’s interesting because you do cortisol right away, you do it an hour later, you do it two hours later, and you see a major change in that first two hours. So I think people are really getting more stringent on when you do cortisol especially in the AM which is helpful.

Dr. Ben House: Yeah. Our lab at UT actually did a bunch of stuff on the cortisol awakening response. Which is—which is—that’s kind of—

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Dr. Ben House: You knew that’s oughta things go as well.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. I totally agree. Now looking at growth hormone, how does growth hormone interplay? Kinda potentiates the effects on testosterone? How does growth hormone interplay? I know it’s connected to IGF-I goes to the liver. How does that affect testosterone and basically when you put on more muscle?

Dr. Ben House: So—

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I know it’s a lot—

Dr. Ben House: Testos—testosterone’s gonna feed in IGF, right?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Okay.

Dr. Ben House: A lot of times and we can get the liver obviously want to work—

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Dr. Ben House: growth hormones gonna be secreted at night and then the liver’s clogged is not gonna make IGF. To me, we can— from an IGF perspective—I’m not super well versed in IGF because I work with a lot of young athletes. And I don’t think we’re gonna have a lot of  IGF problem, like IGF-1.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Dr. Ben House: I’ve never—I used to measure IGF-1 all the time and like no one was out—like no one was—everybody was kinda in range. So I stopped running it. Uhm—

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Dr. Ben House: And that’s just my take. Now, could they benefit from growth hormone? Probably, right? Uhm—but we also have to be careful with that because IGF-1 is a growth factor.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. It causes cancer.

Dr. Ben House: Yeah. And well the research on that’s kinda another thing HGH is not related to increase cancer risk but I think—I think the evidence there—is there—just a little bit caution especially if you have a lot of cancer in your fate. Uh—

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. Totally. So basically, the big things to increase testosterone: sleep, protein consumpt—ad—adequate protein, I imagine, right? The right amount of stimulus and then how about the timing of nutrition? Where does the timing come in to really potentiate testosterone and growth hormone?

Dr. Ben House: Well, I don’t know if we have a lot of research on that. Like acute—acute feeding of either fat or carbohydrate will actually lower testosterone uhm—especially in the fasted state. So to me, the bang for the buck there is probably from and under recovered mechanism. So if you just crash your glycogen stores, you probably wanna refuel. Uh—in—we know the biggest thing is gonna be total energy intake. You drop your total energy intake by 15%, you’re gonna lose D3, you’re gonna lose testosterone, so getting—if—if someone’s not—if someone’s training hard, they need the—in my mind, they have a body comp issue. And they’re training hard, they need to eat as many calories as they can to maintain their weight.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: So when you see these guys in the NFL, for instance, let’s say a linebacker that needs to be big, strong, but relatively lean and fast, is it really just the quality of nutrients and getting enough of it? I mean these guys literally eating two-three thousand calories   more than what they would need just at that height and weight to keep that mass on?

Dr. Ben House: Yeah. In season, like you’re gonna see—you’re gonna see insane amount of calories going and going on their mouth. Like—they—they have to. They are that active. They’re—like you have a 230-250 pound man, they need a ton of food –three to five thousand calories easy. And so uhm—that’s—you gotta be careful coz that’s hard to get. And if—and that’s why we can get into trouble like intermittent fasting with that athletes.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Dr. Ben House: And Paul Quinn is like very, very against intermittent fasting in athletes. And — I—I’m—I’m in the same camp. Uhm—if you—body composition is completely different, health is completely different, but I think—especially in season if you have an athlete that—you gotta get—you gotta make sure that you get him first.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Totally. What’s your take on steroids in general? Using steroid and/or using insulin as well. What’s your take on that?

Dr. Ben House: I—yeah. Yeah. This is awesome. Uhmm—

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Let’s do it.

Dr. Ben House: From a TRT perspective, I think we’ve—and—a lot, just like a lot—like marijuana and I say marijuana’s bad or good. Nothing is bad or good, right? It is all context.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Dr. Ben House: Uhm—I think we’ve had a veil dropped over our eyes as far as testosterone the same way.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Uh-hmm.

Dr. Ben House: Uh—and everybody thinks their testosterone is very negative because of baseball, right?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Dr. Ben House: But—the overall, the evidence for testosterone replacement therapy is overwhelmingly positive.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Right.

Dr. Ben House: Overwhelming. So—uh—now, we don’t want the same thing. We don’t wanna just slap that on every guy. We wanna make sure—we wanna use all these lifestyle strategies first, but traumatic brain injury—I – you know that’s gonna affect testicul—the—testicularitis. And so—And also, blaunt trauma to testicles. My best friend played __cross. He got hit by a 110 mile cross bow in the nuts. He had three concussions, right? So is that guy—

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Aww, man!!

Dr. Ben House: Is that guy gonna be able to produce his own testosterone, right? And that’s not that abnormal like you talk—

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Right.

Dr. Ben House: You talk—you talk to a lot of professional athletes like how many testosterone do you have?  I don’t know—right? Especially—especially in contact sports. Ask any of the guy.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: That’s crazy. And elbo—also the xenoestrogen exposure is gonna disrupt LH- luteinizing hormone feedback loops, too, right? So we have the—we’re bombarded with the xenoestrogens and if you’re a female, obviously just in birth control pills will scrap the females as well. But you have it in the water, you have it in the pesticides and yeah—the plastics as well.

Dr. Ben House: Yeah. This is something like—male health—this is why I feel so strongly about male health is coz we have no idea what’s gonna happen, right? Babies—they—their PON1’s are not very active. And PON1 is that enzyme that kids rid of persistent organic pollutants, right?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Totally. Yup.

Dr. Ben House: And so we got—30—the top 37 pesticides that are used in our foods are anti-androgen.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Dr. Ben House: So we have no idea what’s gonna happen, right?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Dr. Ben House: And then so the—and they only run test on one of them. They don’t run it at all of them. Uh—it’s—it’s very scary. Uhm—and this is—from my protecting you have to do everything in your power to eliminate all of those potential pollutants, right? Skin care products, everything. So we gotta get kinda weird. Uhm—and you don’t know if that’s gonna have an effect but you have to—you have to make sure. You cannot—especially babies. Like we cannot put that on—Look at the male population it’s going up today like it’s pretty scary.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Oh, especially if you—you can’t breastfeed your child and you’re feeding them soy protein isolate. My god, the phytoestrogen content that you’re getting on that can rise up to potentially a birth-control pill in amount. Especially that’s all they’re relying on for the first six months to a year.

Dr. Ben House: Yeah. It—it’s wild, man. Like it—it’s—it’s gonna be—it’s gonna be really, really interesting as you see what happens in 30 years. Like when this generation gets so like their 20’s and 30’s and 40’s, it’s gonna be—it’s gonna be wild.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Absolutely. I have some people here in Austin, they’re uhm—doing some run care in melatonin and I’m researching helpful companies that’s more essential oils and more natural compounds and reusing like dying to meet—dying to make just earth to treat the fire ants or using boric acid for natural things. And peppermint oil for the Hornet’s and vinegar for different things. So we’re trying to limit our load naturally. But I see people everywhere else they’re putting a lot of chemicals out there. Are you familiar with the research on lung care products and like childhood lymphomas and leukemias and such?

Dr. Ben House: No. I haven’t—Well I haven’t looked at a lot of that research coz that’s not in my wheelhouse.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Got it.

Dr. Ben House: But if you look at people just eating organic vs. non-organic p—produce like if you eat organic produce, you’ll get higher sperm count—

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Dr. Ben House: Your sperm is clear. It’s hard—that’s the dopest study at Harvard Med.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. Yeah. I totally get that one, for sure. I’ll plug the documentary, too. The disappearing male.

Dr. Ben House: Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Excellent PBS documentary that talks about basically these estrogenic compounds in the environment that are hurting men and our future babies. So, keep that mind, too. That’s really good.

Dr. Ben House: You can kinda educate me on this, but I think all of those are gonna be mitochondrial toxin-based, right? If you jack up the mitochondria, you’re gonna have trouble with cancer.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Oh, absolutely. You’re gonna have issues with cancer. There’s a great book it’s called, “Tripping Over the Truth”. That’s a really good book on cancer and the connection with the mitochondria. That’s a really, really, good one. And also, just the fact that it affecting the HPT access coz you screw up LH, uhm—you screw up the pineal gland, that affects melatonin that affects puberty. All these things that antagonizes itself. And then the more fats cells you have, the more estrogen you produces, then it’s a downward cycle, the more insulin-resistant you become. And it’s just this downward cascade—this metabolic accident, so to speak.

Dr. Ben House: Yeah. It’s just loops everywhere. And you gotta figure out how you’re gonna break those loops and—and that’s the thing, some guy, they have like 25 loops right in. And you just wanna give them to—that’s not gonna fix the problem. You have—That’s not—you’re not helping anyone.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. And what about things like anabolic steroids? The more synthetic ones? DBOL and such?

Dr. Ben House: Yeah. I don’t use those. Uh—I have clients who do. Uh—

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. What’s your take on that?

Dr. Ben House: I don’t—I don’t manage any of that.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Uh-hmm.

Dr. Ben House: What I do is I just wanna make sure that—that’s their choice, right?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Dr. Ben House: So I—as a—as a—as—just a male in general and as a clinician, I don’t ever wanna change someone’s goals. I just wanna help them do what they do better. And so, if you wanna be a pro body builder—

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Dr. Ben House: You’re gonna have to play in that realm. Now I’m not the guy to run your anabolic regimen. But I can at least see like what’s going on? Are you—are you able to get rid of it? What’s your liver doing? How’s the hematocrit? Can manage all the things that could go wrong in that situation? 24:33 Uhm—the research on that is—is—is—is I think one thing that I would like to highlight—so they’ve done studies where they give a guy 600 mg a test.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Dr. Ben House: And the average builder like 1100, right?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Dr. Ben House: And so they give these guys 600 mg a test in 12 weeks. They give 20 pounds a muscle without an exercise regimen.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Whoa!

Dr. Ben House: Yeah. So you’ll think about—

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: That’s insane!

Dr. Ben House: You’ll think about like instagram phenoms, like you got a lot of people out there—a lot of males that I think are chasing things that aren’t physiologically possible. Uhm—and that—

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: You mean—

Dr. Ben House: Yeah. Go ahead.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: You mean like the people you’re seeing align, they’re doing those things that you mention. The 600 mg of tests and they’re just getting massive amounts of muscle that you may not be all to cheat naturally. Is that what you’re saying?

Dr. Ben House: Yeah. The ethotomy is uhm—so that’s a—that’s a calculation that you can do. And anything above 25 is—it’s kind of—then you start asking questions.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Dr. Ben House: Like my ethotomy is like 24, right? And I’m, you know, 1—190-185-190 and anywhere from 8-11% body fat. Maybe a little bit more if I’m off my game. Uh—and so there’s kind of a line in the sand that we can cross naturally. And obviously there’s gonna be people that are above that just from a statistical perspective.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Dr. Ben House: But if someone just looks on godly jacked, I mean maybe—well—who am I to say what they’re doing and I don’t wanna be the guy that’s the ultimate whistle blower.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Dr. Ben House: But I think we just gotta—we just gotta—when you look at everyone else’s highlight here, you’re gonna start questioning your own self-worth and I don’t know that you wanna do that.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Totally. Totally. And what do you think about uhm—tendon growth when you’re on hormones like that? Let’s say, I know more of the artificial, but in general, do you get the compensatory growth in the tendons to support the increase in muscle mass?

Dr. Ben House: Yeah. So that’s one of the problems, right? It’s uh—you think about how the body responds like to__

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Dr. Ben House: The first thing that we’re gonna have is neural, right?

You can get that in minutes. And the second response is muscular. And so that’s gonna take, you know, 8 minutes, maybe last if you’re—you’ve never__

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Dr. Ben House: But that—that collagen response that you know, that’s building up the fascia, building up all the tissue and the bones. That takes a longest time. So when you take shortcuts, if I put a 25 lb muscle on you, and I haven’t—I haven’t build up the structure, I’m gonna—that’s when you like—biceps tear don’t happen. Like you see a bicep tear on a deadlift, like, “Uhmm” I’m thinking, what’s going on?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. Totally. So do you uhm—

Dr. Ben House: Does that make sense?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. That totally make sense. So you—something you’re careful of and you increasing collagen supplementation to help provide extra tendons building blocks, too?

Dr. Ben House: Well, everybody had—everybody is pretty much using that I have is collagen protein.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Great. So you’re doing that.

Dr. Ben House: Yeah. Especially in the beginning, I take everybody off away for 30 days just coz it’s a common allergen.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Dr. Ben House: And if they can handle that, I want it back in. Uhm—but yeah—yeah I would say that’s kind of a non-issue for me.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: So you sub out—will you sub out like the way for like a high-quality, hypoallergenic pea protein in the meantime?

Dr. Ben House: No. I’ll use—I’ll use uh—

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Beef?

Dr. Ben House: I think if you take enough pure paleo, I think you’re gonna be fine on losing content.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Got it.

Dr. Ben House: That’s like a 3-gram threshold. So yeah, less than whey but if you take 30-40 grams of it, you’re gonna be fine.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Nice. Awesome.

Dr. Ben House: Well, I know you post a lot on Facebook. You got a home gym, you’re dad in Costa Rica now, you move from Austin down there. So you got a pretty awesome lifestyle going. Give me a quick walkthrough in the day of a life of Dr. Ben. What time do you get up? What do your meals look like? What does your work out looks like? What is post and pre work out nutrition look like? What does sleep look like?

Dr. Ben House: Yeah. That—that’s fun.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Ahaha.

Dr. Ben House: So my days, I wake up—one of the cool things of why I’d wanted to move here is getting closer to the equator.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Uh-hmm.

Dr. Ben House: Uh—So I go to bed like 8:30. Can’t keep my eyes open.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Wow!

Dr. Ben House: And then I’m up naturally like you talk about cortisol awakening response, like I can’t sleep past 5:30. So—

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: That’s great.

Dr. Ben House: So I wake up—I wake up and I immediately sit, right? So I sat for—I meditate for 15 minutes. Done that for years. Uhm—

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Great.

Dr. Ben House: Never—never will stop. That’s kinda—

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Any kind of meditation? Just kinda like a blank slate in the head and you’re breathing or—

Dr. Ben House: I use mantra practice. Sometimes my dad is a—is Zen teacher.

blank slate and had new breeding or is much about is sometimes my dad as it is in Zen teacher is an ordained Zen priest.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Oh, awesome.

Dr. Ben House: Yeah. So in—I started—I took my whatever you wanna—I’m kinda involved when I was about 19. Uhm—probably the best gift that I was ever given uhm—was that to be able to go to that—come to that mindful practice early.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: That’s great.

Dr. Ben House: So I’ll do—I’ll do some calming. Sometimes I do some Tibetan practice which is like—it’s one of my favourites where you wish someone well that—

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Dr. Ben House: And the next breath, you wish someone well that you’re kinda apathetic about.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Uh-hmm.

Dr. Ben House: someone that you don’t know very well. And the last, you wish someone well that you hate.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Uh-hmm.

Dr. Ben House: That you don’t really like.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Dr. Ben House: And it kinda—it really helps you and by the end, you’re kinda like, “Man, I don’t have that many people that I—that I don’t like and why I don’t like them.” It becomes mostly probably, you know, you start looking to word about that.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Totally.

Dr. Ben House: That’s one of my favourites.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Love it. That’s great. So morning routine, you’re getting up 5:30, you do your meditation 15 minutes, what’s next?

Dr. Ben House: Uh—so if it’s a training day, I’m probably gonna have some type of easily digestible carbohydrates and Natchan in the morning coz it’s hot here. Uhm—also, I train in I’d—I like to smash myself with prob—I’m NEAT head, there’s no way around it like I’m gonna be that guy probably even if—

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Dr. Ben House: ills me. Uhm—And so I’m—I’m working that glycolytic high intensity pathway uhm—3x a week. In my youth, I do it unbelievably too much, right?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Dr. Ben House: But—so I’ll do that and I’d work for about 3 hours in the morning depending on what I got. I usually don’t take clients until the afternoon. Uhm—And then I’ll train or if it’s a non-training day, I’m just working. Uhm—and then right now, we’re building a retreat center so I have a lot of things that I—I’m the gen—I’m essentially the general contractor there so—

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: That’s awesome.

Dr. Ben House: And so half my day is in Spanish, the other half is in English. Uh—sometimes I have to run up there and do stuff but—

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Nice.

Dr. Ben House: I spend—I spend 4 hours at least a day on Pub Med in researching and writing. That’s my—that’s my thing. I love it.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And you have awesome Facebook posts, too. I appreciate it. You really condense a lot of the research down.

Dr. Ben House: Yeah. I think that’s how we move people, right? We just consistently hit them. And you do it with a podcast.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Dr. Ben House: Like this is a—even if it’s—even if it’s repetitive affirmation like if it produces an action, that’s what I’m all about.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Totally. Got it. So Pub Med 4 hours a day, that’s awesome. And then patients and then what’s next after that?

Dr. Ben House: I try to stop working.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Dr. Ben House: Uhm—I think a lot of us are super passionate about our craft. I’m better about that when like something isn’t coming like I have uhm—big—big presentation’s coming up in a month. So now, I’m kinda—I’m always prepping for that. Those are kind always in my mind. So I use a lot of hard mat to kinda like turn my self-doubt.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yup. Yup.

Dr. Ben House: Uhm—And I try to shut it down. Shut it down in the evening, definitely by 5 or 6. And I’ll just do fun stuff with my life, right? Maybe we’ll read. Maybe I’ll read something like super unscienc-y. Maybe we’ll just watch a movie. We kinda watch— I tend to push for comedies. He tends to push for dramas but uh—

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Dr. Ben House: And I always make sure—one thing I’m really, really like big on is you have a treadmill test. It’s just baseline of movement. Like—

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Huge.

Dr. Ben House: We put all these—we put all these pressure on exercise and it’s just a small bucket as far as like movement. It’s like NEAT is where it’s at, Non Exercise Activity Thermogenesis. And so if someone is not gaining 10,000 steps in a day, like all of the core can take can be just regulated. They’re not gonna be able to sleep. So so many good things happen if people just move.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Oh, I agree. I mean I just got seen patients yesterday. I’ve got 25,000 steps yesterday. I mean I walk about 10 miles a day. I’m on my leg uh—my fitness power here. And I’m like—you know, there’s a leader board section and I’m always like—I always like try to be number one. So there’s yesterday right there, 21, 500. So, super. I love it.

Dr. Ben House: You’re living it.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Oh, yeah. Absolutely. And then the key thing is to I kind have my kettle bells down over here and then some push-up bars so I try to rep some of the that stuff in between patients even if I can do 2-3 minutes in like 5 or 6x a day. It just keeps the metabolism up.

Dr. Ben House: Sounds good.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Dr. Ben House: I’m—I’m—I train so hard that you could I mean—

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. I get it. I get it.

Dr. Ben House: I’m not doing pull ups—

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: You’re done. You’re done after that. You’re done, man. Absolutely. So right now, we have a lot of listeners that may not be at that professional level, right? You know, frankly, they wanna be healthy, they wanna be energised, they wanna have good relationships. And then probably I can say that they probably wanna good look naked, right?

Dr. Ben House: Yeah. Yeah. That’s the point also.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. So what are the top 5 movement patterns those people should be doing? And maybe you wanna differentiate man and woman so in case something is different there.

Dr. Ben House: Uh— So I would say first of all, like just how people are gonna come see us for a lot of like metabolic stuff and all the—everything that we do for functional med. See somebody who’s good at movement—

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Dr. Ben House: Like—like you’ve been at a desk your whole life and you can’t take an exhalation. Like you probably shouldn’t be deadlifting.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Uh-hmm.

Dr. Ben House: Like if you’re stuck in this state of extension. I don’t know that that’s—are you really gonna even activate your hamstrings? I have no idea, right?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Dr. Ben House: Especially __Uh—so I think we wanna be able to use—we have to be able to use the big guns. We gotta—you know—hamstrings, quads, back—

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yup.

Dr. Ben House: Chest, right? And so you’re gonna—you wanna squat, you wanna deadlift, you wanna benchpress, you wanna military press, but it’s always risk vs. reward. So the risk of anytime you strapping somebody, 2 hands in a bar is higher than if you put on single limb, one arm weighted, right? Or one leg weighted.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yes.

Dr. Ben House: And so for me it’s all about how do we individualized this to the person? And if you don’t individualize this, what we’ve seen is—so one of my—one of my good friends in—we used to—we have a business together in Austin, his name is Erin Davis. He’s probably—he’s like the most unknown exercise scientist. And he’s like purposely so. He’s like a hermit. And he’s a—

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Nice.

Dr. Ben House: He’s an insane, right? And so he straps up all these gadgets to this dude. And he’s like—and – he just messes bench pessing. He’s like, “What the hell? You’re chest doesn’t even turn on.” Right? And so he can’t even—out of a barbell  bench pressing, he can’t even get the guy’s chest to turn on because of his positioning. Gives him a dumbbell, boom, he can get—he can get pec activation. So I think it’s—

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Oh, wow.

Dr. Ben House: So I think it’s really important that you see somebody who’s good at movement evaluation so you can look at your position, right? Coz muscles are slaves to position.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Uh-hmm.

Dr. Ben House: So the position—who the he—what are you gonna do? Uhm—and I think there’s DNS, PRI. There’s a lot of uh—FRC. There’s a lot of things that are looking at that now.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Dr. Ben House: Uhm—and there’s a lot of people that are really good at it. And so see them, pay them for their time. Uh—in Austin, there’s a guy Steve Cuddy who’s amazing.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Dr. Ben House: Uhmm—Erin Davis and Pad__ is obviously really good and Dave R__ has done the same as Marcus—who’s awesome as well.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: That’s great. So what are the top 5 movements?

Dr. Ben House: You tell me. What’s gonna activate the biggest muscle groups?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: So for me, off the bat, it’s gonna be deadlift coz that’s the only one that connects upper body and lower body but actually doing with correct form really activating the lats, locking them down. Number two would be squat. I wanna get your take on front squat or back squat, though. I would do uh—pote—I’m a big fan of unilateral single leg like deadlift movements. I like those with cables. Big Paul Chek fan with that. I would say step ups and/or lunges and then after that, I mean, If I’m doing a movement, I would wanna do something that has explosion. So I would wanna do either uhmm— snatches or uhmm- cleans or sprints.

Dr. Ben House: Yeah. I would—I would pick like maybe one of those. Haha—

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Oh, let’s hear it.

Dr. Ben House: That’s good. That’s great.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I want—I want your take. Let me hear it.

Dr. Ben House: Yeah. Yeah. Uh—So you gotta—upper body pulling is like super—you gotta have—you gotta have one of those in there.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yup.

Dr. Ben House: So whether—that’s probably a lot. Maybe a pull up if you can do it right.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Okay. So you’re talk—Alright. Got it.

Dr. Ben House: Uhm—if someone’s goal is just health, probably most people’s goal is hypertrophy.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Dr. Ben House: So in my mind, they need to get really, really really good at the fundamentals.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Okay.

Dr. Ben House: Variety may not be your bestfriend.

Dr. Ben House: You may need some of it just to keep you—

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Dr. Ben House: –in the game. But you gotta be—I would probably use a trap bar. Uhm—safer for the general population. You can load it up.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani : Yeah.

Dr. Ben House: Uh—it’s gonna be more quad dom. Uh—

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yup.

Dr. Ben House: I’m—So the—From the—from the deadlift perspective.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Dr. Ben House: I think it’s great but if you’ve been a gymnast or if your hamstring length is really, really long, if someone can palm the floor, I’m gonna be very—I’m not gonna use—I’m not gonna throw a deadlift at somebody right there.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Okay.

Dr. Ben House: I’m probably gonna use—I’m gonna use maybe couple of Bulgarian split squats, Which is probably my favourite exercise for the general population. Where you like get to activating the hamstring uhmm—from a front squat, back squat perspective, the muscle activation is fairly similar. Uhm—I would probably lean in the general population more towards the front squat because you’re gonna have more anterior core, you’re gonna have to stabilize, right? And also, like if you can’t do it, you—you drop it.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Dr. Ben House: Whereas the back you can like—you can—you can—

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. You’re gonna overpower it, for sure.

Dr. Ben House: Yeah. You might hurt yourself. Uh—so those are my view points. Again—and I use uhm—I think speed and doing things that people love is really important so—

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Dr. Ben House: You know how to Olympic lift, and you like to snatch, you like to clean obviously. I love those things. But if you don’t like doing Olympic lift, there’s a lot of—like sprinting is a great way. But in the jumping—there’s a lot of different little things that you can do to come and get that fast twitch movement coming. Uhm—

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Are you doing any single leg stuff?

Dr. Ben House: Yeah. You can do single-leg hops, you can do, you know, whatever. You can—I do it ton. So I don’t—I do myself in all my single leg and kinda that prep toy stuff. That’s one of my cool down. So that never leaves, right? I’m doing a lot of like prehab, rehab stuff. But my meat and potatoes is my meat and potatoes. Uhm—it’s like you can’t lose sight of that. But if someone has never train in their life, their entire workout might be prehab, rehab.

Dr. Ben House: Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Okay. That makes sense.

Dr. Ben House: Does that make sense?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. Totally. Now you’re reading a lot of studies. You’re spending 4 hours a day on Pub Med.  What are the key things that you look at in the studies so that you don’t get tripped up by you know—coz sometimes the conclusion might not match what the actual study has done. Just—I know we don’t have an example here, but what are the key things people should be highlighting or looking at when they’re reviewing the study?

Dr. Ben House: That’s a—that’s a problem to question. So like UT was kinda burning to us in the PhD department really, really early.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Dr. Ben House: Uhm—the first thing he looks at is the chart.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Dr. Ben House: So you go straight to the figures. Uh—you look at the figures and then—and then you kinda look at the stats section. You figure out— And this is from a research perspective.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Dr. Ben House: Then you look at the stats section, then you look at the subjects and then you start digging the—everything that’s going on the method section. Before you look, at the conclusion and maybe—sometimes I’ll just—I’ll buzz your abstract to see what I wanna read. I’ll definitely do that. Uh—but the problem is most people, even myself, being out of the grad school for, you know, a year and half-two years. We don’t—I don’t like looking at a ton of stat research. So like Microbiome data. It’s probably the best example here. Like our lab run a ton of microbiome data.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Dr. Ben House: We got stool samples on many people, we sent that out – yeah we send it out to another lab. Uhm—and that guy get all the analysis—all the genetic analysis on the poop.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Dr. Ben House: And then that guy couldn’t even analyze the data. So had to send it to a statistician to analyze the data so that we can have—we can think about it. So think about all that. Like that is—

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Lots of steps.

Dr. Ben House: Now you ask the general population. You’re asking the general population to look at some kind of general linearized cluster analysis. But I don’t even know what day it is, right? And so—that uh—that—like—you know—and so they have—they tend to digestible and take away. So there’s a lot of reliance on science. If you see a study, and this is kinda something that we could talk about. You see a study that’s running like 20 paired T-test, I’m immediately like, “What the hell are you doing?” Like you can’t run—it’s—you have this 95% like a .05 alpha.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Dr. Ben House: So in order for something to be statistically significant it only has to happen 5% of the time, essentially.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Right.

Dr. Ben House: And so if you run 20 tests, one of those is gonna poll just from a statistical standpoint. So that’s—you gotta be careful with that. So in that situation, I’m looking for a manova instead of an inova.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Dr. Ben House: Uh—so if you see kinda like this fishing explanation which you’ll see a lot, you just see the smorgasbord of data. Uhm—be careful with that. And so—coz it can—that’s one of my favourite things to pick apart.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Anything else? So let’s summarize that. So you like the manova—you look at the—the uh T-score, right? The .05 you’re looking at that as well.

Dr. Ben House: Yeah. Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: You’re looking at—

Dr. Ben House: You go ahead.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: You looking at the graph—you go ahead.

Dr. Ben House: Yeah. You just—so we wanna make sure that something is—something can be  statistically significant but mean to us.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Uh-hmm.

Dr. Ben House: So if it is— if it’s like say, you have a .1 rise in testosterone, but it’s at the .001 level, right?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Dr. Ben House: Okay. You have a statistically significant finding but it’s clinically meaningless. So we gotta make sure that—that their findings actually mean something.

 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Totally. Awesome. That’s helpful. Anything else you wanna add on that?

Dr. Ben House: Yeah. I think that Alan Aragon, the best way to learn about research is to read other people’s critiques of research. Uhm—and Alan Aragon has his research review. And it’s a steal. It’s 10 bucks and you get 8 years of monthly research review. So if you wanna get good at reviewing research, the best place is you just read it.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. Totally makes sense. Now you mention back earlier that you are looking at a lot of blood patterns. What are the big patterns that you’re seeing pop up? Are you looking at thyroid? Are you looking at protein digestion by some of these markers? What are you seeing in blood?

Dr. Ben House: Yeah. So the first thing—the first thing that I’m gonna look at is haemoglobin and glucose control.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yup.

Dr. Ben House: Uhm—that’s not the best measure for athlete because they’re gonna dispose of red blood cells faster than general population.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Dr. Ben House: So if you see a high HbA1C in athlete, you might actually be a little bit more worried. Like maybe like 5.6, you’re like, “Uh—what’s going on with you?” uhmm—

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Uh-hmm.

Dr. Ben House: And that all goes to context, too. Like are they gonna gain? Are they trying to gain weight? Then I’m not—they’re not probably not gonna get diabetic if they have a ton of muscle mass.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Dr. Ben House: Uh—And that’s all context dependent. And I actually like—I’m—I don’t put a lot of weight in my fasting glucose and fasting insulin.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Uh-hmm.

Dr. Ben House: Uhm—you’re probably gonna see this, right? I don’t work with a lot of chronic patients. So that—that—C peptide and those measurement fasting can be really good for those kind of patients.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Dr. Ben House: But when you—when you got a guy who’s 6’1, 8% body fat, that’s probably not gonna tell you much.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: No.

Dr. Ben House: Uhm—and so I—what I really like to do is I like to use glucometer protocols.’’

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Uh-hmm.

Dr. Ben House: Uh—and so I have people grab—

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Come on right here.

Dr. Ben House: Just grab it 13x a day and see what happens.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Dr. Ben House: And send me—send me a graph and send me when you eat and let’s have a—let’s have a discussion. Coz if you eat 3 rice cakes and you go to, you know, 200. That does not happen.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Dr. Ben House: You’re storing glucose in urine like we don’t want that to happen. So that’s the way we can kind of, you know, tweak carb load. The next thing uhm—obviously, you need thyroid support.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Dr. Ben House: You need thyroid hormone. It runs in every cell of the human body. So I’m gonna drop—from there, I’m probably gonna drop down to thyroid and see what’s going on there. Uhm—I mean I’ve picked up so many like—Hashimoto’s in like 14-year-old kid like one of the best pictures in Texas.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Wow.

Dr. Ben House: And he couldn’t recover, right? He constantly has this stupid injuries. And we grab  his lab work, his TPL is like 300.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Whoa!

Dr. Ben House: And we’re like—Yeah, and we’re like, “okay”  And he feels better, right? All these—we can’t—I can’t—his dad is like, “Oh, he needs to eat like Brady.” All that stuff—

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: No.

Dr. Ben House: I’m like, “No, he doesn’t.” Like—and now the kid is taking ownership of it which is amazing. He’s like—he’s like, “No, I’m not gonna eat that.” And so now, he on—he pretty much eats only autoimmune paleo. He have some rice, he does okay with rice. Uhm—and he couldn’t—he was overweighing, still crushing it like meanest curve ball uhm—this side of Mississippi. And so—but now—he’s—he’s—he looks amazing, right?

And if you play at these schools, these Texas schools, you gotta look the part. Like even if you’re—even if you’re amazing, you have to—you have to look like an animal.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Absolutely.

Dr. Ben House: That’s kind of unfortunate.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. I mean have Hashimoto’s myself and I play baseball and sports and football growing up. And I had lots of injuries coz I was trying to eat 11 servings of grains in the food pyramid, so there’s a lot of misinformation out there. And again, a lot of people are seriously inflamed. And the more inflamed they are, the more catabolic. The more catabolic, the more they can’t recover and uh—put on muscle and heal, essentially.

Dr. Ben House: Yeah. To me it’s like—it’s all about breaking cycles, right? My dad has celiac disease.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Wow.

Dr. Ben House: We found out—we found out when he was like 40, like 10 inches of his colon moves—

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Oh, man.

Dr. Ben House: His gallbladder is tightening up.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yikes.

Dr. Ben House: Like that’s why I got into this. I was gonna go to medical school.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Dr. Ben House: And my dad got super screwed up by the conventional medical system. He was having pain killer on demand. Uh—and then I was in Colorado and I—Breaking the Viscous Cycle, I’ve read the book—

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Dr. Ben House: And I was like, “Hey dad, let’s just change your diet. Three A’s set him free, he was struggling like 10 years.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I know. Isn’t that crazy? Dude, I know. I see it everyday. I mean—it’s—we have he most rewarding job in the world.

Dr. Ben House: Yeah, for sure.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Because you get someone banging his head against that conventional medical wall for 10 years plus, at some point, they started throwing it back on you. Saying it’s in your head, and they start making the Psychophol, right? And writing scripts for Zoloft and such. And then you’re just like, “ My god, this can’t be real.” You know—it’s gotta be real. So looking where you’re at, uhm—you mentioned uhm— blood markers. Anything else? You’ve talked about thyroid. Any specific cut off that you wanna talk about with TSH, T3 or antibody levels?

Dr. Ben House: Uh—Yes. So what I’m—I’m use uh—I use a software And so I’m always looking at total T3, total T4, free T3, free T4 and—so I’m always looking at what’s going on with that. Are they producing a ton of T4 but then they’re not converting any of it to T3?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Right.

Dr. Ben House: All the thyroid hormones are bound up. Like are they on—which is to me—like I see it constantly like if I take on a female client. I’m like, “Oh, your thyroid hormone is bind up, are you on birth control?” “Yeah.”

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Uh-hmm.

Dr. Ben House: There it is, right? It upregulates thyroid body globulin.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Right. Uptake. Uh-hmm.

Dr. Ben House: One of the ways that we know—we know that testosterone increases lean mass and metabolism is that it dominates your thyroid binding globulin. So—

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Totally. Yeah. Makes sense. You see that in PCOS, right?

Dr. Ben House: Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. Exactly. So we got the thyroid. What are you looking at for protein digestion? Are you looking at globulin, creatinine, serum protein, albumin? What are you looking at?

Dr. Ben House: Uh—so yeah I think total protein and globulins are soft markers for—I always think of them as like check engine lights. They’re not like end-all be-all.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. Uh-hmm.

Dr. Ben House: But if I see them low, “Oh my god, let’s keep some work add on that situation.” Uhm—and then kidney markers—In athletes, like this is like—

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Bone creatinine.

Dr. Ben House: Oh my god, this is like—I love talking about this because that—does can actually—kidney markers are essentially useless, right, in athlete. Because blood urine nitrogen is the breakdown of protein products.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Right.

Dr. Ben House: So if you’re in a Ketone, high protein diet, you’ve already—you’ve knocked that up. Now creatinine is indirect measure of muscle mass. So if I have a jacked gorilla who’s in a ton of protein, he’s automatically gonna have a GFR that’s probably pretty screwed up. But his kidney function maybe fine. Uh—so the best marker there is statin C. And so if someone is super worried about their kidney function, I’ll run that coz that’s not affected by protein intake or muscle mass.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Statin C for the kidney?

Dr. Ben House: Uh-hmm.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Okay. Yeah. Yeah. And I’m not seeing patients that are at the same level as you know, being an athlete but I do try to keep them 48 hours away from strenuous workout so you don’t get those false positives.

Dr. Ben House: Yeah. I do that as well.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Dr. Ben House: Uhm—but the re—it’s all individual. So they’ve done studies, it can be 10 days that you’ll see like liver enzyme’s high, bilirubin high. So you can—you can see those things. It all depends, some people get back in 48 hours and obviously we can’t tell people not to train for 10 days. Uhm—that’s not gonna work.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Right. Right.

Dr. Ben House: We won’t do that. But I think 48 hours and making sure that their hydration is really, really solid.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. And do you think muscle soreness would also be a pretty—pretty good subjective indicator? Making sure that they’re not incredibly sore or like in pain or you know, hurting from the workout?

Dr. Ben House: Yeah. I think it’s probably good from an inflammatory standpoint.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Dr. Ben House: You’re gonna—with CRP, you’re gonna see an acute rise with exercise and that is a positive in that overtime. Uhm—I—I hate muscle soreness like it’s— maybe—I don’t know if we have research to say that. It’s such a subjective indicator.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. Totally.

Dr. Ben House: And it’s so variable.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Got it. Is there anything else you wanna let the listeners know? Anything else on your health pocket that you’re kind of researching or on top of mind?

Dr. Ben House: Yeah. I think we can kinda get lost in kind of the little things, right And so—just make—I see a lot of people that are, you know, worried about something regarding their health.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Totally.

Dr. Ben House: And that—that’s probably not good. If you are incessantly worrying about your health, that—that’s a problem.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Uh-hmm.

Dr. Ben House: I saw, you know, a lot of type A people that come to functional med and so one of our jobs is like, “Hey, like, you’re not gonna die.” Like—

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Dr. Ben House: This is okay. Like—

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: It’s alright.

Dr. Ben House: You have a homocysteine of 9, you’re not gonna get killed tomorrow. There’s things that we can do.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Dr. Ben House: Let’s do all the things. So I’d say focus on the effort—not necessarily— always focus on effort. Uhm—and that’s my biggest thing.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Got it. And who is your ideal patient? Coz I know you made the switch from the athletic world to the functional medicine world now. You had your experience with your dad with the celiac thing. So you have some autoimmune experience. Who is your ideal patient? Someone who wanna come to see you?

Dr. Ben House: Yeah. My ideal patient is a male, any—any age range, uh—but probably a male that just wants to look good, feel good, look good naked, right?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Dr. Ben House: That’s my prototypical client. Uhm—and then, anyone is free to email me, obviously. And like I have—I get crazy emails like, “Hey, I have a—I have a tumor in my hypothalamus. Can you help me out? And no, I can’t but uhm—let me—let me refer you out to someone who might be able to reboot your entire endocrine system.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Totally. So functionalmedicinecostarica.com ,right?

Dr. Ben House: Yeah. That’s the website.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Love it, man. Very cool. Anything else?

Dr. Ben House: Thank you for all that you do. And just uh—just putting out there information that we all have—we all have our mediums. And you do a really good job in just finding awesome people and interviewing them. And—and letting them tell story. So thank you.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Right. I appreciate it, Dr. Ben. I appreciate it. And the last question for you, if you’re on a dessert island, you can only choose one supplement, one herb, one nutrient, what is it?

Dr. Ben House: Uhm—

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Haha—

Dr. Ben House: I’m gonna pick magnesium.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Magnesium. Okay. Alright.

Dr. Ben House: I’m probably get—If I will get a multi, I’m gonna—I mean—If I’m training on this island, uhm—maybe a protein supplement if I can’t find enough meat.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Dr. Ben House: But uh—yeah definitely—I mean most athletes are deficient in magnesium. It’s—if you give an athlete magnesium, and they’re deficient and like, they’re gonna feel a lot better. Uhm—

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Awesome, my man. Well, thank you for that great feedback. Doctor House in the house. You can see him at functionalmedicinecostarica.com

Dr. Ben House, I appreciate you being on the show.

Dr. Ben House: Thank you, sir. Have a great day.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: You too. Take care.


References:

functionalmedicinecostarica.com

Documentary on The Disappearing Male

Tripping Over the Truth by Travis Christofferson

Breaking the Viscious Cycle by Elaine Gottschall

 

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