Male Hormones Podcast #9

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Listen to this podcast as Dr. Justin Marchegiani and Baris Harvey take a closer look at the main male sex hormone called “testosterone”.   Learn how diet, lifestyle and stress can greatly affect this hormone and how to help boost one’s testosterone level.          

Minerals like zinc and magnesium along with some adaptogenic herbs such as eleuthero, tribulus and maca can be very helpful to increase testosterones naturally.   Optimizing one’s vitamin D level can also be beneficial.


In this episode we cover:

05:56   A closer look at testosterone

10:27   What is aromatization?

19:27   Sex Hormone Binding Globulin

22:49   Zinc Tally Test

25:16   Vitamin D

27:45   Magnesium for higher testosterones








Baris Harvey:  Thank you guys for tuning in to another episode of Beyond Wellness Radio.  In today’s episode we are going to be talking about the male hormones and how to naturally raise testosterone, how to naturally raise growth hormones.  A lot of women in the natural health space they get a lot of attention.  We talk about their hormones which are somewhat complex but we need to give some love to the men today.  So being men, me and Dr. Justin are going to dive into this.  So first of all, how is it going today, Dr. Justin?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Baris, it is going great.  I am actually really excited about today’s talk.

Baris Harvey:  Yes, me as well.  And I actually ate something for breakfast before this podcast.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Nice.  Nice, what was it?

Baris Harvey:  So usually you know, we record this pretty early at least from my time and my girlfriend does not wake up until about like 8 o’clock.  So if I am going to be cooking breakfast before 7 I do not want to make too much noise.  We do not have like a big house; we live in a smaller apartment.  So I usually just do like something easy before that time.  So today since we are going to be talking about like the male hormones and whatnot, I went ahead and made myself a protein shake consisted of some raw eggs Rocky style.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Nice.

Baris Harvey:  Like Dr. Justin likes to do.  Had some maca in there, right?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Nice.

Baris Harvey:  So one of those adaptogenic food right there.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   Korean ginseng.  Love it.

Baris Harvey:  Yes, exactly.  And then had a little bit of Cold Brew coffee you know to kind of wake myself up for this thing.  Had some Blue Lotus Chai tea and had that all mixed in there.  And man!  Tasted pretty dang good!

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  That is good, man.  That is really good.

Baris Harvey:  Yes.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Excellent.

Baris Harvey:  So did you get anything special for breakfast?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yes, today was kind of my easy go-to.  I was up at 6 am and I went for a half hour walk and then right around 6:30 I was just doing sprints in my backyard about 10-25 second sprints.  My neighbors probably think I am crazy just running back and forth like a hamster on a wheel just trying to get my testosterone boost and we will talk about that in today’s show.  Came in and hit about 4 or 5 pasture-fed eggs.  Hit about 3 grams of cod liver oil.  Hit up some coffee.  I put some full fat cream in there with some MCT.  And also had some collagen and I did a little bit of rice protein today because I am trying to cycle away from the whey for a couple of days.  And I will cycle in with some pea just to prevent some allergens from occurring.  That was good.  Actually over the weekend, I had some gluten-free waffles or should I say pancakes with gluten-free friend chicken and it was amazing.  I consider that a cheat because there are still some refined grains in there.  There is still you know higher glycemic stuff but it was a great cheat, man.  I was like on heaven on Saturday.  So good.

Baris Harvey:  Yes, you cannot go wrong with chicken and waffles.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Oh my gosh, man!  Unreal.

Baris Harvey:  I have a friend that works at a place looking like every time he even gets the chance to mention and he is like, “So, chicken waffles?”  Like all the time.  Oh yes, definitely a great meal.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  That is great.  By the way my new favorite little snack that I am doing is I will get some organic blackberries and I will put them in the cultured coconut milk.  It is like a cultured kind of coconut kefir and I will put a whole bunch of cinnamon on top and little bit of vanilla in there.  Oh my gosh!  Absolutely amazing.

Baris Harvey:  You want to talk about good snacks check this out.  So you know the Coconut Magnum.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yes.

Baris Harvey:  It is like the coconut butter basically.  So you go ahead and you put that in a pot of like boiling water so that way you can kind of melt the coconut butter and then you get like frozen berries.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Oh.

Baris Harvey:  And then you put the coconut on top and because the berries are frozen it gets it cold again.  So you have that kind of covered.  So it is almost like, it is like chocolate covered fruit except it is like coconut butter covered.     

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Love it.

Baris Harvey:  And it is delicious.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  We will put that on my to-do list.  Love it.  Awesome.  Alright.  So are we ready to dive in?  What do you think?

Baris Harvey:  Yes.  We are ready to dive in.  We got a couple of snacks on our minds so now we got ourselves salivating.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  I know.

Baris Harvey:   We are going to kind of switch directions and talk about testosterone.  So, we got athletes that listen to the show.  We also have some older men that listen to the show, too.  So there are going to be like two kinds of angles.  We are going to want to know how are we naturally going to boost testosterone and you know get our hormones more in an anabolic kind of building stage so that way we can live as healthy and has much energy as we possibly can.  And also how do we take away some of those, let us see, some of those things that are stealing from our testosterones and some of the things that might be adding estrogen.  How do we figure out what we might be doing that are actually making it harder for us?  So let us see, where should we start?  Let us just start with the basic mechanisms.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yes.

Baris Harvey:  As always.  What is testosterone?  Overall, give us like a general thing.  Like people might know like, “Oh, it is just a male hormone.”  But like how does it work in the body?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Got it.  So to keep it pretty simple we have kind of two families of hormones.  We have anabolic hormones.  There are hormones that help build us up that help put on muscle, help heal our body.  We have cortisone hormones that are catabolic like cortisol or cortisone if you will.  These are anti-inflammatory.  So we have anti-inflammatory hormones and we have anabolic hormones just to keep it really simple.  Female hormones are anabolic as well.  But for our purposes, testosterone is going to be the main hormone that we are looking at.  And 98% of the hormones in your body they are bound to proteins.  Now this is important because if it is bound to a protein that hormone cannot bind to a receptor site.  And for a hormone to work, for a hormone to function it has to bind into a receptor site kind of like a key going into a lock, right?  So if there is a cover over that lock that key is never going to get in.  That is kind of like a hormone that is protein bound.   It is never going to get in there.  So when we look at hormones, we want to look at protein bound hormones.  How many hormones are there, right?  Because 98% of hormones are protein bound, right?  And then only about 2% are free.  So when we look at and we talk about testosterone, we want to talk about it in context of how much testosterone is there on the total where protein side of things?  And how much testosterones are actually free and bioavailable to bind into the receptor site?  So makes sense, Baris?

Baris Harvey:  Yes, it makes sense when you are talking about receptor sites almost like a key.  So it is almost like, I always talk about it as like a parking spot.  Whereas the hormone might be the car and then there is a parking spot.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  I love it.  Great analogy.  I am adding that to my repertoire, if you will.

Baris Harvey:  Yes, to your analogy site, yes.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yes.

Baris Harvey:  Yes, you have some of the best analogies that I am always like, “Oh, that’s a great idea.  I am going to use that one.”  And then so that actually makes a big, big difference.  Because sometimes when it comes to testing we might just test free testosterones or there might be some tests that do not really give you the whole spectrum.  And then so that is going to be a big indicator there knowing like what is actually being tested.  And then there are some other hormones that can actually like interfere with some other hormones.  You want to go into that a little bit?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yes.  So when we look at the testosterone side we want to get free testosterones looked at and we want to get total testosterones looked at.  That is kind of a good general marker.  It is also nice to get DHEA-sulfate looked at because that is an adrenal hormone.  But DHEA kind of funnels down this anabolic cascade and it turns into testosterones.  It can go into estrogen as well if you are a female more likelihood that is going to go that way.  But if you are a man it can go down to testosterone.  And there is a couple of little path that makes the androstenedione into testosterone.  So DHEA is good because if you have adrenal fatigue a good amount of your testosterones can come down that adrenal pathway.  So if we have fatigued adrenal glands that is important because the last thing you want to do is just give someone a whole bunch of testosterones because they may aromatize and that is what we are going to talk about in a second.  They may aromatize that testosterone downstream to estrogen.  So looking at DHEA-sulfate along with total and free testosterones is paramount to getting a good window into what is going on in the male physiology.  

Baris Harvey:  Yes.  I just want to add something.  You kind of grazed over and some people might not know this but you mentioned just giving somebody a lot of testosterone.  And it might throw off where is it going to put, the same way could be said for DHEA.  So I see people go to the supplement store and just buy DHEA assuming that it is going to turn to testosterones.  But if they have a lot of that stress hormones going on you are not exactly sure if that is going to turn on to testosterones or it is going to make more cortisol out if it.  So could you kind of like warn people to make sure that they are testing and not just like, “Oh, I am just going to take a bunch of DHEA and just expect it to become testosterone.”  Make sure that it is going to the right path.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yes.  So when we have a lot of our aromatization enzymes upregulated so let us back up.  What is aromatization?   That is basically these specific enzymes that start shunting your testosterone downstream to estrogen or to your female base hormones.  So when insulin levels are out of balance, when our blood sugar is out of balance, when stress is high because cortisol can also cause blood sugar to go up.  So when stress or blood sugar or too much refined junk is in our diet guess what happens?  That testosterone will go downstream.  And a lot of people are using supplements as well.  So I use a little bit of DHEA myself personally.  I use maybe 3 to 4 mg.  I use it sublingually, the reason why is you can use about 75% less hormones sublingually because you get to bypass most of your liver pathways.  So it kind of goes right from your submucosal, sublingual tissue right into your blood stream kind of like an injection without the pain in the butt.  Pardon my French.

Baris Harvey:  Laughs

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Of injecting yourself with a needle everyday.  So that is why I use the sublingual and I use 3 to 4 mg.  And you will have a hard time going into the health food store and finding a dosage of less than 25 to 50 mg per capsule when you are looking at some of these things. 

Baris Harvey:  Yes.  It is funny too because I get an adrenal complex from BioMatrixOne which is a practitioner grade supplement.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yes.

Baris Harvey:  And it has a tiny bit of that in there.  So I mean, in junior college there is not really like a bunch of testing and it is not like I am taking the steroids but it is because my adrenals were basically fried there is a tiny bit of that in there.  But if I went to the health food store just like you mentioned, the lowest dose you can get is 25 mg.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  I know.  I would be lucky to get 25 mg you know over 5 days or 6 days.  So I try to use the smallest amount possible.  And DHEA if you do the research on it I mean there are lots of neuroprotective effects of it.  I just use it because one, I want to keep muscle mass on my body.  I want to stay lean.  And I just know I am under stress.  So how can I use just a little bit of anti-aging medicine in my favor to keep myself anabolic and keep myself anti‑aging if you will.

Baris Harvey:  Uh-hmm.  Yes, definitely.  So you talked about these aromatase and how it can push things downstream more to the cortisol.  There has also been, sometimes it says aromatase could actually turn our testosterones into estrogen.  Is there any truth to that?  If so, how is this mechanism working and how does this get upregulated?  And how can we, I am asking you a bunch of questions all at the same time.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yes, no problem.

Baris Harvey:  But I know you can handle it.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yes.

Baris Harvey:  That is why I am saying it.  And also how can we inhibit some of these aromatase if we are obviously getting too much?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   Well one, we just want to make sure we are managing our stress.  So stress comes in physical, chemical and emotional shape.  So we want to make sure we are stabilizing blood sugar.  Again guys if you are under a lot of stress, if you are tired, if you have body temperature in the armpit or in the axillary area under 97.8, think twice about intermittent fasting.  Yes there are lots of great benefits.  If you want to start taking advantage of the benefits try it on a stress-free weekend day.  That is a better way to do it.  An even better way to do it is do it with some Bulletproof Coffee so you are at least getting some high quality fats and MCT and the ketones precursor. So that it is just easier on your blood sugar stabilizing systems try a non-stressful weekend day first.  Do not be fasting a whole bunch because if you do not put things in your body, your body is just going into a more catabolic state.  And yes, you get some of that cellular autophagy where you are recycling proteins but you are also going to be decreasing sex hormone output, too.  So kind of keep that in mind.  So real quick here.  So aromatization, right?  We are taking our testosterones we are bringing it downstream.  So higher amounts or insulin, blood sugar issues, stress issues.  And again let us talk about sleep.  If we are not getting enough sleep the research show, they did a study of college students for two weeks.  They got these healthy college students with fine blood sugar mechanisms.  After two weeks I think of getting what three or five hours of sleep at night, they literally became pre-diabetic.  So we know about pre-diabetes and its effects on insulin resistance, right?  It increases our body’s insulin resistance.  And I kind of already outlined the mechanism: more insulin resistance more aromatization.  So we see that connection there.  Sleep, insulin resistance, diet, cortisol, stress and insulin resistance.  So that is kind of crazy because when you look at the mechanisms when you look at females, when women get stressed and their diets go out of whack they like turn into men.  They upregulate 17,20-Lyase which converts estrogen to testosterone.  But when men get stressed they literally upregulate aromatization enzymes that then converts their testosterone into estrogen.  So like women become men when they get stressed and men become women.  It is just like odd paradox.

Baris Harvey:  Yes, exactly.  And also there is kind of this vicious cycle is it not true; you can correct me if I am wrong, that the more adipose tissue basically the heavier you are the more aromatase that you can actually have.  So if you are heavier it actually is easier to turn that testosterone into estrogen.  So it is like it’s a hard vicious cycle to break.  So if you are heavier it is already like you are going downhill and it is harder to stop that.  It is that correct?  And that is kind of why you see like bigger men kind of get gynecomastia which is basically men boobs.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yes, so again our fat cells are actually an endocrine/exocrine gland.  I mean they are like producing hormones.  So our fat cells produce from what I understood they produce leptin as well.  Leptin is like a feedback for allowing us to feel full and satiated.  So if we have leptin resistance, so every time we have resistance like the body sees as if there are not enough hormones there because the cells are numb to it.  So that kind of creates appetite problems.  And when our appetites are not satiated we tend to grab the wrong things, right?   And those wrong things are going to be things that make our blood sugar go bump in the night or up and down if you will and that is going to cause more of our testosterones go downstream.  Our fat cells also produce estrogen and estrogen itself.  So we are getting exposed to estrogen just because we have a lot of fats to begin with or for eating foods that have pesticides and that a lot of them are estrogen-based or drinking at plastic water bottles that are xenoestrogens.  The estrogens can actually affect the feedback loop in the brain that produces LH.  LH is luteinizing hormone.  LH in the men produces testosterone.  LH in the female produces progesterone.  So it is interesting how the physiologies are different for each one.  So again if we are inhibiting LH we are basically telling our brains not to scream down to our testes or our gonads to produce testosterones.  So we really want to be careful with that because if we do not have that good communication from our HPG axis; hypothalamus, pituitary gonadal axis, we are not going to have good communication and we are not going to have good testosterones output.  So making sure estrogen we keep it to a minimum.  People that have lots of fat going into a low carbohydrate diet with adequate amounts of healthy fats will be important.  Because if insulin is lower we are going to start burning into that fat more for fuel.  The more we lessen the fat we lessen the aromatization at the same time.

Baris Harvey:  Yes, definitely.  So thanks for asking my question.  There is another hormone that we are going to add to the mix right now.  So I do not want to get like too confusing for the listeners and I know you go to Beyond Wellness Radio for this nerdy stuff.  So I am pretty sure you guys are ready for it.  Also talk about HPG that sex hormone binding globulin and how that can interfere or make changes in your testosterone production.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Alright, so sex hormone binding globulin is like a protein that binds to the hormone, right?  So it is like imagine sex hormone binding globulin is like your body is just jumping over in the parking space.  So then you cannot go pull into the parking space, right?  That is kind of like sex hormone binding globulin.

Baris Harvey:  Exactly.  Good use of that analogy.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yes, right.  It is like someone put a cone in the parking spot you are like, “What?!  Come on!”  So that is like what is happening with sex hormone binding globulin.  So sex hormone binding globulin will go up with increased stress.  It will go up with insulin resistance.  So all of these things can affect sex hormone binding globulin.  So with men, looking at that can be helpful.  I do not think it changes too much.  I mean if we have high sex hormone binding globulin there are some herbs like stinging nettle for instance that can be helpful in reducing sex hormone binding globulin.  But my thing is why take these herbs if we are not getting to the underlying cause.  So I look at it from a perspective of let us get the diet dialed in.  Let us get the stress and the sleep dialed in.  Let us get the inflammation down.  And once we get that down, I am fine using the herbs in conjunction with that as long as we are addressing the root cause at the same time.  If not, then we are just being medical doctors but we are using herbs and hormones instead of drugs, right?

Baris Harvey:  Yes.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Instead, if we are medical doctors we will be using Arimidex.

Baris Harvey:  Yes.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  And testosterone cream.  Now we are natural functional medicine doctors we are using a little bit of DHEA and some herbs trying to get the exact same effect if you will. 

Baris Harvey:  Yes.  Exactly.  So basically we do not want to just be treating the symptoms in the natural way but we want to go the underlying cause.  We can use these herbs, we can use these things to help assist with the process but it should not be like, “Here take this and continue doing what you are doing.”

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Exactly.  So we always want to get to the root cause of what is going on.  And a diet and lifestyle kind of has to be part of the intervention if you want long term results for sure.

Baris Harvey:  Uh-hmm.  Yes, definitely.  So we got in pretty deep with the anatomy and how things work in the physiology.  Now let us talk about some of the things in our diet.  You talked a little bit about the xenoestrogens, plastics that can have estrogen like effects.  What are some other things in our diet that could be holding us back?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Well, again making sure we have adequate proteins and fats are going to be really, really important.  Again all of our hormones come from cholesterol.   And cholesterol is typically found you know, it is going to be found in high quality animal products especially if we want good types of cholesterol.  So we want to make sure we are not having a low fat diet.  We are eating plenty of grass-fed meat, good fats, good proteins.  And again amino acids like growth hormones made from amino acids, right?  I think its ornithine, arginine, glycine a couple of different amino acids there.  All of our hormones come from amino acids and cholesterol.  So we want to make sure the building blocks are there.  There are also certain minerals that are like really important for testosterones output like zinc.  And there is a simple test that you can do called the zinc challenge or a zinc tally test.  Basically it is a liquid zinc sulfate and you put in on a spoon and you put it in your mouth and you swish it around and hold it for 20 to 30 seconds up to a minute.  And you want to observe what the taste of the zinc is in your mouth.  So if it comes in your mouth and it kind of taste somewhat neutral or okay you more than likely have a zinc deficiency.  If it taste any bit sweet at all you have a serious zinc deficiency.  Typically if you put it in your mouth and it taste metallic right away then more than likely you are zinc sufficient.  The longer it takes for that “metallic-ky” taste to show up the less zinc sufficient you are.  So it is a really great thing that I do with all my patients for the most part, it is a good zinc challenge or a zinc tally test.  And it is important because if we have low zinc guess what we also have, Baris?

Baris Harvey:  Yes low T.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yes, of course but on top of that we have low stomach acid because zinc is an important co-factor for making hydrochloric acid.  And then if we have low stomach acid we may have problems breaking down protein and fat which then causes even more.

Baris Harvey:  Yes, right.  (Laughs)

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yes exactly so a lot of these cycles…

Baris Harvey:  Because it cannot get any of the amino acids out of you food.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Oh my gosh!  So it is like when you have one thing wrong, so you see how like going to your natural anti-aging doctor and have them give you some testosterone cream how it does not get to the root cause, right?

Baris Harvey:  Uh-hmm.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  So not to mention that creams can super saturate hormones and that may not be the best delivery mechanism for it.  My bias off the bat is going at a liquid type of level and using small doses of DHEA would be the best bet.  But always get yours tested first so you know where you are at.

Baris Harvey:  Yes. Definitely.  Sounds good.  So you mentioned getting enough zinc and that is like super important.  And doing the tally test was a great way to measure to make sure you are sufficient in zinc.  Another great one that I think you mentioned but just in case kind of should be something that everybody should probably be taking just because a lot of us are not getting enough is vitamin D.  Could go a little bit about vitamin D and how it kind of replaces our hormones?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yes.  So vitamin D has an effect.  It is a hormone essentially.  We take in vitamin D it gets converted by our liver and kidneys into active vitamin D, our calcitriol if you will.  And it has a really good effect on our immune system.  It helps boosts these cells called our T-regulatory cells which have an effect on our immune system.  And you know healthy immune functioning equals less stress on our body, right?  The more our immune system revved up.  And vitamin D has an effect on the testosterone receptor sites.  And potentiates them and makes them more sensitive.  So it can help boost testosterones.  I think Dave Asprey wrote a blog recently on Dr. Sarah Godfrey’s Site on these exact topic.  So there has been some research showing that vitamin E can help improve testosterone levels.  So make sure your vitamin D is good.  Again it is not enough to just get out in the sun because if you are inflamed you are going to have a difficult time converting vitamin D or pre-vitamin D into active vitamin D.  So if you are inflamed that is not going to be good enough.  And if you have digestive issues you may not be able to absorb it.  So high quality emulsified vitamin D and MCT oil tends to be the best because it is absorbed without needing gallbladder function and it just gets sucked up right into the blood stream if you will.

Baris Harvey:  Yes that is really a good way.  I think Thorne and Thorne FX have one that has mixed with MCT.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yes, there are a couple of companies out there Carlson’s, Designs for Health, Thorne.  But yes, you really want to get tested and use a high quality vitamin D that is going to have good absorption.

Baris Harvey:  Yes.  So you do not really want one of the dry vitamin D then.  I know they have dry tablets as well.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  I have patients that do that.  You just want to make sure that you are being assessed.  And make sure your gut function is doing good and you are infection-free and inflammation is pretty good.

Baris Harvey:  Uh-hmm.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  I just always recommend what most people are going to be able to tolerate without complications.  So the liquid ones tend to be the best.  I do it, too because I am just a big fan of absorption.

Baris Harvey:   Uh-hmm.  Yes, definitely.  Makes a lot of good sense.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yes.

Baris Harvey:  Okay.  Well, actually let us just dive into it and then I am going to switch gears a little bit.  One more since we are on this topic and then I am going to switch back to kind of the anti-testosterone foods.  Talk a little bit about magnesium.  I know the way that we would mostly get this would be from like our green leafy vegetables.  But sometimes if we are spraying fungicides on our leafy vegetables our food does not get to eat correctly and they do not get the minerals from the soil so sometimes it is hard to get enough magnesium.  Can you talk a little bit about this mineral and how it can help with the production of the testosterone and IGF-1another kind of anabolic hormone?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yes.  So magnesium is like an awesome mineral.  I just wrote an article on SIBO just the other day and I was on PubMed pulling some references for magnesium.  And since the 80s, the government has known that our soils are depleted of magnesium.  We have known it like it is not a secret.  It is in the scientific literature.  It is not really talked about.  I think every single person out there should be on high quality magnesium supplement.  Not sure eating tons of leafy greens and you know it is organic and you are absorbing it.  It is just one of those things.  It has too many roles in the body to not have enough sufficiency, right?  It has 300 enzymatic roles in the body.   There was a study that I did a video on last year where they had three groups.  One group was a control where they did not do anything.  One group was given I want to say just a couple of hundred milligrams of magnesium and the other group was I think they both have the same diet and lifestyle.  So there were two groups, I am sorry.  A control and then one group was given magnesium.  Same diet, same lifestyle.  And they found that after I think a month or so that the group that took the magnesium had significantly higher levels of testosterones which was really, really shocking because there was like no change.  They were just taking this one supplement. 

Baris Harvey:   Yes.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  And it makes sense because magnesium is needed for blood sugar metabolism.  So there are so many different roles that magnesium has so it is impossible for me to say, “Oh, well the mechanism was this.”  But I think magnesium has an effect on relaxation.  So it is going to help your body sleep and repair better which is going help put you in a more anabolic state.  Magnesium also helps with blood sugar and insulin sensitivity, better blood sugar less insulin, right?  If we have less insulin we are not going to be aromatizing our testosterones into estrogen.  That is another potential mechanism.    So there are so many different ways it could be helping but the bottom line is we know it is helping.  So make sure you are on it.  I mean I use magnesium.  I use magnesium dimalate.  I also use a little bit of magnesium glycinate.  These tend to be good; they are cheaper version like in Natural Calm that are like the magnesium citrate.  I am a bigger fan of the magnesium malate or the glycinate.  It is just a better chelated version of that.  Love it.

Baris Harvey:  Yes. Yes.  And what I found too usually if you are going to get like a powder form it is going to be the citrate because I think it is the more palatable one versus the chelated ones.  But if you get one that is chelated, you would not have as much GI symptoms.  Because I have seen people just trying to dump like 750 or 800 mg at a time and then they are on the toilet all day.  So yes, the citrate especially I mean that is where you are going to go.  If you go and say, “Hey, I have constipation,” to your medical doctor.  They are going to give you like this cheap already preformed liquid, like orange container of magnesium citrate which is like usually it is not that good.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   Yes, they may even use magnesium oxide which is basically…

Baris Harvey:   Oh, no.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  It is basically like the chalk you write on your chalkboard list.

Baris Harvey:  Laughs

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  I mean it is like you want to make sure you are getting good quality supplements.  I use a product that is actually time released with my patients.  So when they get magnesium they get it throughout the whole day, the one that prevents you from having the liquid stool if you will.  And then, too, if you get magnesium hit really fast in your body, you can have a really type of a sedative-like effect where freely it just relaxes you and kind of zonks you out a little bit.  So time releasing it can be helpful if you are taking it in the morning or throughout the day.

Baris Harvey:  And another way, I have had so many people just even take a packet of like Magnesium Calm and just like tell me about the wonders of it they are like, “I slept better.”  I did not have cramps in the night,” all these positive things.  I mean even if you did an Epsom Salt bath and you get the magnesium sulfate through your skin or put magnesium oil on your skin like man! You will notice it.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yes.  Absolutely.  And a couple of the hormones that affect things, growth hormones also are really important to look at because growth hormones they kind of potentiate all anabolic hormones.  And if you look at it growth hormones goes to the liver, IGF-1 gets kicked up by the liver that potentiates the effect of all hormones.  So by having good growth hormone and testosterones the way I look at it is, it allows your testosterones to go farther.  So we know really simple things.  You know, our viewers are really smart but just in case they are missing some of these facts, lifting heavy things, right?  Taking 20 to 40 minutes a couple of times a week in doing good functional movements with good form.  So we are already making that assumption that you are using good form.  And if you are at a CrossFit gym you are using a gym that has a good ramp up program or has good instructors that are watching your form and are not about how many you know numbers or how fast you can do your Fran in.  But looking at what is the quality of the movements, right?  Quality reps not quantity reps.  Things like that are going to be major stimulators of growth hormones and thus increase testosterones via growth hormones and its mechanisms.  And not exercising too much because we know longer distance especially aerobic stuff will cause lower levels of testosterone as well.  And again if we are too stressed, there is a phenomenon known as pregnanolone steal or cortisol escape.  So imagine our hormone building blocks at the top of the pyramid.  And if the building block goes down to the left it is going to go to our anabolic hormones.  If it goes to the right it is going to go to our stress hormones.  So imagine they are being like a 50-50 split.  Where like we are at the top of the pyramid like half of the building block goes down, one way to anabolic half goes to the catabolic where stress hormones.  And what happens as we get more stress our body is always geared to deal with stress now versus allowing you to produce hormones that allow you to feel good and be healthy and energetic now.  Because our body does not care about tomorrow, it cares about now.

Baris Harvey:  Uh-hmm.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Because unless it gets through now tomorrow will never come.  So picture those building blocks going down the left side of the pyramid to the stress hormones.  And this is called pregnanolone steal or cortisol escape because our body is shunting building blocks to make the hormones that allow us to deal with stress and inflammation because it wants to survive.  It does not care about the long term ramifications of andropause or being fatter or not being fertile or lower sperm count or just having a lack of muscle mass or lower energy.  So we want everyone out there to thrive, right?  So we want to make sure you know this.  And if you understand how your body is hardwired to deal with these things you can make a change and you can make a shift.  And you can use supplements and you can use natural medicine and you can use most importantly diet and lifestyle nutrition to push your body in the right direction.

Baris Harvey:  Yes.  Definitely.  Here is a good one that I made up with the pregnanolone steal analogy.  Cortisol as the big brother and testosterone as the little brother and the parents give both of them snacks, right?  And that is where your pregnanolone is it is the parent feeding both of these pathways.  And if the big brother is hungrier, if he is angry, right?  And if you are stimulating more stress and you need more cortisol, big brother is going to steal from little brother because he gets what he wants.  And then so that is an easy way to see it like…

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Love it.

Baris Harvey:  If you are stressed out like you said your body cares about now, it is going to be more focused on why I am going to make babies or why am I going to digest things if that is never going to happen if I am going to die right now.  So I need more resources.  Big brother is going to say, “You know what, little brother?  You don’t need that.  I need it more than you.  I am going to take it from you.”  So you do not want to over feed that cortisol.  So yes, definitely.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Another one to add to the analogy bag, Baris.  Love it.

Baris Harvey:  Exactly.  I remember I got a compliment from Harley on my other podcast the Healthytarians and he was telling me one day he is like, “Man, you come up with some good analogies.”  And then I was just thinking to myself like, Dr. Justin you come up with some good analogies.  So this is a podcast made…

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  I love it, man!  I love it.  Well, the thing is you know for me doctor is Latin for teacher, right?

Baris Harvey:  Exactly.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  So the goal is we want to teach our patients.  We want to get them to understand these things because the old way of having a relationship with your doctor or health care provider was doctor’s orders.  The doctor just sputtered out things and you just did it.  And the problem is well people do not understand.  They do not know why.  And that type of medicine and that philosophy was take this pill like there was no personal responsibility.  Diet and lifestyle and these things were not even talked about.  So now that people’s diets have gone downhill and people need information.  So they need to understand why.  And constantly inundated with magazines and YouTube videos and blogs there are a lot of confusing, conflicting information out there.  So people need to know why so when this information comes their way they can be like, “Oh, well that makes sense but this is the reason why you know it is not quite right because it is missing this or missing that.”  And they can go back and they can crosscheck, even crosscheck us you know, trust but verify.  So should make sense to you.  And it is a very holistic approach and our focus is always getting to the root cause not just trying to fix it or get the body’s symptoms under control, too.  

Baris Harvey:  Exactly.  It makes so much sense.  I grew up ever since like elementary school being a tutor.  I was always a tutor throughout school because I just get the concept and I made them easy to understand.  And I was like, “Alright, the teachers obviously has not been able to help with the student. How can I be a little bit different?  So I was always on look for a good analogy.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Love it.

Baris Harvey:  So I know you got more clients to get through today so I want to kind of wrap things up a little bit.  But before we do that real quick, we talked about the sugar, we talked about the grains and how throwing off your blood sugar could decrease your testosterones.  Are there any specific foods?  I got one off the top of my head but I want to throw that question to you.  What foods might be adding estrogen and what foods might be stealing away testosterones?  Give us some kind of food sources.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  So cutting out anything in a plastic bottle will be helpful, right?  Even things that are BPA-free and there are still going to have things like phthalates in there that still have estrogenic-like effects.  The refined sugar like we already mentioned.  There is the phytoestrogen, the soy, things like that are also going to be crucial to cut out of their diet.  Making sure the foods have enough protein and fat.  I would put my emphasis now on what to eat.  So for low in zinc for instance, supplementing can be helpful.  High quality grass-fed meat.  Go and get some oysters in your body.  Those are good natural aphrodisiac.  Good oysters are going to be really good.  Organ meat.  Getting some liver in your diet will also be really, really helpful.  And then on top of that let us talk about some supplements.  We mentioned DHEA and zinc and then also making sure hydrochloric acid is good.  And we also mentioned magnesium.  I would also suggest if your testosterone is low, add in some tribulus.  Tribulus is a great herb.  Make sure you are not getting the cheap tribulus.  Getting higher quality tribulus is better.  I recommend a minimum of 1 gram per day.  This can be excellent.  You can also add in some maca or some ginseng or adaptogenic adrenal herbs.  I am a big fan of combining it with Eleuthero because eleuthero has an effect of improving DHEA, right?  They call eleuthero Siberian ginseng but the Russians made it famous because spent millions of dollars in the 50s and 60s on adaptogenic herbs using it to improve their army, using it to improve their athletes’ recovery time and using it to improve their astronauts.   So they were like, “What could we do to improve all these function?”  So they spent millions studying this stuff and eleuthero is one of my favorite ones to really boost DHEA and to boost immune function and adrenal status.  And again, your adrenals produce between 25 and 50% of your sex hormones via DHEA sulfate.  So make sure your adrenals are taken care of.  And if you are under stress make sure you are using some appropriate herbal medicines to help combat that along with the right diet, lifestyle and sleep stuff, too.

Baris Harvey:  Yes, definitely sounds good.  I love the adaptogenic herbs and almost like these super plants that have these medicinal effects.  And like you said make sure that you do your research and you get the correct dosage. Because I have seen like you said if you are ever getting tribulus get the high quality.  Take it at least one gram.  If you are getting maca do not get a maca capsule that has like nothing in it.  Make sure that you are getting you know if you look at the studies you need at least about 5 grams which is not that much basically like a teaspoon.  Dump some of that into your smoothies like you said, eleuthero, holy basil, getting some of these herbs.  And a really good supplement I have used before is something called TianChi that has a bunch of adaptogenic herbs in a high dose.  I know you like the higher dose stuff.  That thing you put liquid form of eleuthero and then just like shake, you know, like you are just taking a shot, you know what I mean.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yes.

Baris Harvey:  Like before our first podcast.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yes, yes.

Baris Harvey:  Really, really good stuff.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yes it is excellent.  And one more thing I wanted to add there, again you want to make sure digestion is good, too.  Because remember all the building blocks for your hormones are going to be coming from cholesterol and proteins.  So make sure digestion is working.  No amount of supplements is going to fix bad digestion with a gut or SIBO or a parasite infection.  So make sure that is kind of been crossed off your list just to make sure that you are on the right track.  I mean everyone has the right to be infection-free and infections will trump all of these.  No matter what we are doing, right?  It will trump everything.

Baris Harvey:  Uh-hmm.  Definitely.  Dr. Justin great information.  Really appreciate it.  When you are talking about some of these adaptogenic foods and whatnot there are two that like comes to mind that I do not know too much about but like the pine pollen and the velvet antler.  And I know somebody who makes super high quality form from his company SurThrival, Daniel Vitalis.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Daniel Vitalis, yes.

Baris Harvey:  We are going to get him on the show for you guys and to speak a little bit more about these kind of herbs and these kind of super foods because there is a lot going on here and we want to give you guys as much information as possible.  So before we wrap it up do you have any last words for them?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Well, the last things you mentioned the pine pollen and the deer antler velvet from my understanding the mechanism is those work on HGH or growth hormones.  So again, we kind of already tied growth hormone into testosterones where it is having an effect on modulating the receptor site and potentiating the receptor site intensity if you will.

Baris Harvey:  Uh-hmm.  Definitely.  Growth hormone is like the new thing and getting that in the natural form and all that precursors will make a big difference.  And then we will also get the inventor of Vasper Peter on the show who also knows a thing or two about growth hormone.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Love it.

Baris Harvey:  So this is just part one for you guys for the natural male hormones but we will get some more people on speaking about this subject because we know that you guys want more of this.  And again if you guys have any questions go to  If you guys are looking for specific information and you guys want us to talk about a specific topic, send us a note and we appreciate your e-mails guys.  We have been getting a couple of e-mails and getting a couple of other questions and we love hearing it.  So continue to listen and to share this to everybody and we appreciate you guys for listening into the show.  So thank you very much and we will catch you guys next time.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Thanks, Baris.  Great show.

Baris Harvey:  Yes, thank you.


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