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The Paleo View

A Health podcast featuring Sarah Ballantyne and Stacy Toth
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The Paleo View: Parenting, Science, and Gossip for a Healthy & Happy Family. Join Stacy of Paleo Parents and Sarah of The Paleo Mom as they answer your questions about health, paleo, and parenting!


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Recent Episodes

Episode 366: Seafood Safety Concerns
(0:40) Welcome Welcome back to The Paleo View listeners! This week Stacy and Sarah are talking about seafood All the seafood and all the things people are concerned about when it comes to seafood And whether or not these concerns are legitimate Stacy and Sarah did discuss this topic on a previous episode (here), but it was time to revisit the discussion Eating seafood is a common talking point on this show since it is so nutrient-dense, anti-inflammatory and healing Before the hosts dive into the topic, they want to take a moment to thank this week's sponsor, Butcher Box They have a special seafood promo that is being offered to The Paleo View listeners and this discount is not being offered anywhere else Butcher Box is starting to move into the realm of seafood Sarah thinks that they have the best salmon she has ever had You can always add salmon to your standard meat subscription However, they now seasonally sell scallops The Paleo View listeners can visit this linkbefore 9/5 to redeem free bacon and free scallops No code is needed After 9/5, The Paleo View listeners will receive $15 off and a free pack of bacon (7:10) Q & A Sarah is going to break down Alana's question and take it step by step to look at every pollutant/processing chemical that might be introduced to fish There are dyes added to some low-quality fish to make it look redder There are times when farmed-fish are fed feed that contain dyes to change the color If dyes are added after the fish are processed, that is going to be added to the label Things that are not going to be on the label: Mercury It irreversibly binds to selenium based proteins and enzymes in our bodies so that those proteins can't do their job It impacts 3 different systems the most: thyroid hormone productions liver detoxification protecting the brain against oxidative damage Seafood is one of our best food sources of selenium and the mercury that the fish are exposed to actually binds with selenium based proteins in their bodies Once it binds with the fish's selenium it can't bind with our selenium When we are consuming that fish, almost all of the time, we are consuming more selenium than we are getting exposed to mercury Even fairy contaminated fish and top predators will have more selenium than mercury So that selenium that we are ingesting in fish is actually still helping to protect us from mercury exposure The surveys that have been done now show that with the exception of a few top predators in fairly polluted waters there is typically much more selenium than mercury in all ocean fish And probably with 97% of lake fish, you are getting more selenium than mercury If you are eating these top predator fish, don't eat them that often Examples: mako shark, pilot whale Your body can still detoxify some of this mercury You can handle a little bit of exposure if you are eating a healthy diet and have a healthy lifestyle A little bit here and there is not a big deal Swordfish is probably fine if it comes from non-polluted waters And again is something you shouldn't eat every day Fish and shellfish are some of our best sources of zinc On average 73% of Americans never meet the RDA of zinc Zinc is supposed to be the second most abundant mineral in the human body It is phenomenally important for a whole host of functions within the human body We are getting really interesting nutrients from fish that are hard to get from other sources Fish protein is the best protein for the gut microbiome There have been studies that actually show that consuming fish protein can make up for high sugar diets The omega-3's are really important for every system in our body Our neurological system, immune system, gut bacteria The omega-3's from seafood are the long-chain that our body can use directly without having to convert them The kind from flax or chia have to be converted before our bodies can use them Fish has all of these amazing things so as we go through the less than ideal things, the cons are outweighed by the pros Alana asked about other heavy metals as well (lead and cadmium) There have been some environmental impact studies that have looked at heavy metal in farmed fish The study found that the levels in the fish are still extremely low and below the World Health Organization's guidelines In places where there are more environmental protections you are going to end up with basically levels of heavy metals that are far below any level that we would want to worry about The other heavy metals are a moot point Fish has been demonized as a source, while it's actually much much richer in nutrients that will help us detoxify It is also much lower than other foods, and yet it gets all the blame Stacy finds it interesting how pervasive mainstream media can be when it comes to creating cultural assumptions Sarah shared information on MTHFR gene variance and MTHFR enzyme function (28:41) More on Contaminants in Fish Cesium isotopes from Fukushima There have been levels detected in fish caught off the California coast Fukushima was the second-worst nuclear disaster ever after Chernobyl, and there is a lot of fear around the aftermath from this event This is an ongoing challenge There is a small amount of cesium-134 and cesium-137 in the ocean thanks to Fukushima What is important to understand is that there are radioactive isotopes in nature all over the place We are exposed to them on a daily basis If you live somewhere with high radon levels you are exposed to more Our body is fairly resilient to these low levels of exposure The amount of cesium isotopes in the most contaminated fish's flesh is even 2,000 times lower than the threshold for health effects So as it pertains to eating fish from the Pacific ocean; no we should not be concerned For more on this, check out this blog postfrom Sarah The equation is: If you consumed 12 ounces (which is a very large portion) of contaminated bluefin tuna every day for an entire year, the cumulative dose of radiation that you would consume from all of that tuna would equate to 12% of the radiation dose from a one-way cross country flight from LA to New York Stacy appreciates that analogy - it is so helpful Sarah and Stacy had a sidebar discussion about personality types Gretchen Rubin's 4 tendencies personality categories Enneagram Sarah shared a story about her experience playing with her kids at the playground recently Concerns around BPA in canned fish packaging Sarah wrote a blog postabout BPA and its' impact as an endocrine disruptor This has been confirmed Sarah shared more on the links between BPA exposure and various medical conditions Our dominant BPA exposure is through our plastic use, not through BPA lined cans It is added as a coating inside a can to stop acidic liquids from corroding the aluminum You can reduce your exposure by: Not heating your food in the can Not letting your canned goods sit in a hot car for a long amount of time Be careful when you are removing food from the can so that you are not scraping the edge coating into your food The BPA alternatives for canned good linings have been minimally tested for safety Many of them have also been shown to be endocrine disruptors There are a lot of unanswered questions around these alternatives The benefits of fish still outweigh the potential harm of BPA exposure If you are making efforts to reduce BPA exposure from other places (plastic food storage, plastic water bottles, plastic wrap) Where you can, mix it up with some fresh and frozen But overall Sarah thinks that again the benefits of eating canned fish outweigh the risks Stacy shared her experience with canned goods and why she doesn't worry about the canned goods they consume How they balance the quality of foods they consume Don't let perfection be the enemy of good If you are unable to afford or find canned goods that are BPA free, don't lose sleep over it Antibiotic use in farmed fish While wild-caught is the best, avoiding fish because wild-caught is not monetarily accessible is probably doing more harm than consuming farmed fish Ask the worker at your fish counter where the fish comes from and they are grown In most Western countries, there are regulations on how much antibiotics can be used and how long they have to be discontinued before fish can be harvested Antibiotic residues are linked with all kinds of problems, so if there isn't a washout period then yes the antibiotic residues can cause health problems Where we see this is in developing nations where the practices are not as tightly regulated and they don't have a vet administering the antibiotics Or using the right dosage and/or are failing to follow directions Don't eat farmed fish when traveling to developing countries Stacy shared on her food evaluation approach Looking for sustainable practices If you don't have access to sustainability sourced seafood, remember to check out Butcher Box They are offering an amazing deal to new subscribers Find out more here: (57:37) Closing Thoughts Thank you for joining Stacy and Sarah on this seafood-rich episode! Stacy and Sarah will be back again next week Don't forget to leave a review A listener touched base to share this feedback: "Hi Stacy, I just wanted to tell you that I am listening to the beginning of the last Paleo View podcast where you are giving an update on the little girl who has alopecia. Thank you so much for giving that update! I remember that show. I remember balling my eyes out. I have alopecia too and it got pretty bad towards the end of a really stressful job I had about a year and a half ago. AIP has definitely helped, so has less stress. I too am moving away from super strict AIP because after five months I can tolerate pretty much everything now. Not gluten - I will be gluten-free for life. That is crazy to me. Two weeks into AIP, I broke down and had rice and had a horrible reaction. Eczema being the easiest way to tell I was having a reaction. I never imagined healing to the point of reintroducing so many foods, but it has happened. Thanks for sharing the update! Alopecia can be hard to talk about and there is not that much info out there. So thank you for getting the word out!" Stacy reminds listeners that no matter where you are at in your healing journey, know that the time will come when you can reintroduce foods It takes some people more time than others to heal Sarah loves reading comments like this And seeing the different ways that Stacy and Sarah are able to communicate with people and provide resources She loves to see the different ways the information resonates Thank you, listeners, for being here! Thank you again to Butcher Boxfor supporting this episode!
Episode 365: Does Paleo cause heart disease?
(0:40) Welcome Welcome back to The Paleo View listeners! Stacy is home and is so excited to jump into this week's very science-y topic! Snuggling her pets and sleeping in her own bed, Stacy is so happy Stacy also shared an update on a family that she visited with while in Texas Their daughter has alopecia and her hair is starting to grow back after following an AIP approach and working with her family to heal her body Sarah shared her feelings on how significant this is and what this specific case shows us about the autoimmune protocol This week's show sponsor is Just Thrive probiotics Both Stacy and Sarah's family uses this product Get 15% off with code PALEOVIEW15 Visit: (11:13) The Study that Sparked the Discussion Recently, ahuman study was publishedlooking at how long-term adherence to a Paleo diet affects the gut microbiota and TMAO Mainstream news picked it up the day it was published Using headlines like, "Study linking Paleo diet to increased heart disease risk strengthens diet industry concerns" There are a few physician-focused websites that publish news to keep doctors up to date on the medical literature The headline was, "Paleo diet increases the risk for heart disease" Sarah's inbox and The Paleo View's inbox was flooded with questions It is common in these situations for mainstream media to pick up on any anti-fad diet study The standard response from our community is to find some reason why this study is irrelevant TMAO is often linked with red meat consumption It is thought to be one of the mechanisms behind the link between increased cancer risk and increased cardiovascular disease risk and high red meat consumption The reason why Sarah wants to dedicate an entire episode to this study is that it was very well done It has some results that we need to pay attention to Sarah doesn't see this study as a nail in the coffin on the Paleo diet Instead, Sarah sees this as a very serious warning about a very particular type of implementation of Paleo We need to make sure we are incorporating all the key principles of Paleo, instead of combining Paleo with other dietary approaches This study shows us that there are problems with the longterm implementation of a low carb Paleo diet Really what it is telling us is that root vegetables and fruit are awesome The study was performed in Australia and they took people who self-reported following the Paleo diet for over a year The controls were following the national dietary recommendations of Australia These are similar to the recommendations made by the USDA/MyPlate Within the Paleo group, they further divided them into two subgroups The people who followed Paleo very strictly were called strict Paleo The other group was called pseudo-Paleo These people were consuming about one serving of grains or dairy per day In the real world, most of us who have been following Paleo for a longtime fall closer to that pseudo-Paleo group Strict Paleo is often the challenge Paleo group or is utilized by those who are using it for therapeutic purposes They had these people do a three-day weighed diet record Measure and record everything they were eating They then did urine tests to measure nitrogen and the Goldberg cut point If those urine tests didn't match the dietary records they were eliminated from the study They eliminated anybody who had been on antibiotics, cholesterol medication, blood pressure-lowering medication, previously diagnosed with cardiovascular disease, anyone with any kind of GI disorder, or anyone who has had surgery on their GI tract They were eliminating anyone who would predictively be an outlier They then did a series of measurements (TMAO, blood work, stool analysis) The two measurements that turned out to be different between the Paleo and pseudo-Paleo group was the amount of TMAO in their blood and what was happening in their gut microbiome Sarah explained more about why TMAO was a focal point in this study Studies that pool all of these studies together show that if you have higher TMAO in your blood you have a higher risk of cardiovascular disease 23% increased risk And 55% increased risk of all-cause mortality Which is a general marker of health and longevity The interesting thing that Sarah notes, is that there has also been a lot of research that fails to show a causal link The majority of the science from the last few years makes this picture of TMAO as an indicator or a symptom as opposed to the direct link between high red meat consumption and heart disease How we get TMAO: Some we absorb directly from food Most of the TMAO is made by our gut bacteria when they metabolize choline, lecithin, and carnitine So it is a multi-step process Sarah shared more on this process and how TMAO is created Researchers have discovered over the last few years that how much TMAO is in your bloodstream is far more correlated to your gut microbiome than to how much carnitine you ingest There are certain bacteria that have been shown to be TMA producers There is now this really interesting picture being painted with all the scientific literature showing that TMAO is potentially, rather than a causal link between red meat consumption and cardiovascular disease and cancer, that it's an indicator of a gut microbiome that is conducive to disease development As we start to look at TMAO it is probably less related to red meat consumption, so much as a dysbiosis in the gut One of the best pieces of evidence for this is that fish is really really high in TMAO People will get 300x more TMAO in their blood after eating fish than after eating beef, even if they have a microbiome that produces TMAO And fish is uniformly beneficial and reduces the risk of heart disease Sarah has seen in relation to this new scientific study is arguments that say, "TMAO probably doesn't cause heart disease, therefore Paleo causing high TMAO is nothing we need to worry about" This isn't something Sarah agrees with High TMAO, especially when it is not timed with TMAO rich foods, generally is an indicator of something going wrong with our gut bacteria that needs to be paid attention to The way that this study was designed to measure high TMAO food consumption is not taking into account seafood, which is something worth paying attention to (27:40) Testosterone Deficiency What is happening in this particular new study looking at strict Paleo and pseudo-Paleo adherence is not that TMAO is going up because the Paleo people are eating more fish But rather that the TMAO is going up as a result of a shift in the gut microbiome The study also took a deeper look into the gut microbiome They found overall big trends However, the study did find that two particular genres of probiotic bacteria were really low in the Paleo and pseudo-Paleo groups Bifidobacteria Roseburia bacteria This is something really important to pay attention to Bifidobacteria are some of our main vitamin producers They are important for inhibiting pathogen colonization in the gut They help to modulate our immune responses They modulate the gut barrier They can reduce inflammation They can improve glucose intolerance Low bifidobacteria is associated with a ton of different health problems We get bifidobacteria from fermented dairy and sauerkraut They love starch loving bacteria, especially fermented starch There is a little less known about roseburia bacteria and fewer species We do know that they are very important for maintaining gut barrier health So if you have low roseburia you have a leakier gut They are very important immune regulators, especially at reducing inflammation Low roseburia is also associated with many health conditions: Cardiovascular disease Autoimmune disease IBS Neurological disease Allergies Asthma They are really important members of a healthy gut microbiome The levels of this bacteria were tanked in the study Another genus had taken their place, called Hungatella This strain isn't as well studied as bifidobacteria or roseburia But hungatella are TMAO producers They are absolutely associated with TMAO And this is probably why given that these people following Paleo were also consuming more red meat than the controls So they were consuming the precursors at the same time as they were shifting their gut bacteria towards a TMAO producing bacteria type Their gut bacteria was making more TMAO We don't super understand if high hungatella might be linked with disease but we do know that the low roseburia and low bifidobacteria is potentially a problem As this study looks at high TMAO and all these different measurements of what these people are eating and we have this shift in the gut bacteria We have all of this really fascinating correlation analysis to try to understand what aspect it was of the study diet that was actually causing these shifts While TMAO itself was mostly aligned with red meat consumption, the shift in the gut microbiome that was driving TMAO production was actually most closely related to total carb consumption as well as resistant starch consumption In the control group, those people were mostly eating grains as their carb source In the Paleo and pseudo-Paleo group, they were mostly eating non-starchy vegetables Hardly any roots and tubers Hardly any fruit So both groups were only consuming 90ish grams of carbs a day, but getting quite a bit of fiber They were consuming 6 to 7 servings of vegetables a day As you dig into the details of what they were eating, they were not eating as much resistance starch This indicates that this particular implementation of Paleo in this particular study is a low carb  Paleo template Less than 100 grams of carbs a day Close to 30 grams of fiber This is where the change in the gut microbiome is really predictable Both roseburia and bifidobacteria thrive in starchy conditions and are very sensitive to the types of carbohydrates we consume Out gut bacteria have an amazing ability to digest carbohydrates Sarah shared more on this process If we don't feed our bifidobacteria the right type of food it can't survive This is why this is such a sensitive species There is this whole other fascinating to Sarah link with TMAO and what is happening in a low carb diet and the gut bacteria This whole other life form is called Archaea These are normal residents of the gut They are the main methane producers These particular methane-producing Archaea use compounds like TMAO and TMA to produce methane The diet factor that most strongly correlates with Archaea in the gut is carbohydrate consumption We know that Archaea are fruit and starch lovers Sarah dug deeper into the picture being painted by the results from this study All of the things that would fix this gut microbiome and reduce TMAO production is to eat starchy roots and tubers and fruit When you dig into these details this study makes a very strong case for high starchy vegetable consumption not being sufficient to support the gut microbiome It is not enough to get fiber from non-starchy vegetables We need the type of fiber that is in fruit and resistance starch in root vegetables that is going to support a healthy gut microbiome that is going to reduce the risk of disease This study very cleverly used TMAO as a marker of those gut microbiome changes It is the mainstream media that is then making the leap to it actually impacting cardiovascular disease risk Stacy said that it is shocking to see another study supporting this idea that vegetables are good for you Sarah is really starting to see the evidence accumulate for problems associated with long-term low carb approaches We need a diversity of fruits and vegetables and need to not be afraid of the carbohydrates in starchy vegetables Even if you can't do nightshades there are plenty of wonderful options We need to not be fruit-phobic The science is mounting up that we actually do best with moderate carbs, moderate fat, moderate protein These approaches that are driving macronutrient extremes and even macronutrient imbalance have problems associated with them Why have these diets lasted so long as weight loss approaches? It is because it is a set of rules that result in ditching hyper-palatable foods and trick you into reducing your caloric intake When we can formulate a much healthier option that embraces whole food sources of carbohydrates without demonizing them It this uphill battle against the amount of misinformation that is out there on the internet that needs to be fixed Sarah's call to action (besides everyone going home and eating a sweet potato) is to contribute to this conversation of avoiding carb phobia The manufactured food carbohydrates are clearly bad, but we don't need to lump these super nutrient-dense roots, tubers, starchy vegetables and fruit and demonize them with cupcakes Stacy shared her thoughts on how we as humans are drawn to very dogmatic ideals The truth of the matter is that not all carbs are the same (49:42) Closing Thoughts If you found this show fascinating, go back and check out the insulin showfor more on gut health and overall human health It will help to make a lot of sense of the study Stacy shared examples of cases when kids are put on extreme diets and does it make sense to put kids into these dogmatic bubbles? If you answered no, then why does it make sense to put yourself into these bubbles? Is it just purely weight loss, or are you really thinking about health? Studies like this always make Stacy go back to the mentality of, just focus on health Colorful, rainbow foods exist for a reason There is so much science to support why it is healthy for you Stacy reminds people that none of us are perfect Making healthy choices every day is something we need to be mindful of, and that is hard It can be overwhelming, but there are things you can do to make it easier on yourself and to be excited Take your kids with you to the grocery store and let them pick out vegetables and fruits that they love When you get home from the store cut them up and have them on hand in the fridge We as adults can do this to This is the kind of thing where it is easy to get frustrated and overwhelmed with mixed messages  and not sure what to do and to feel like you can't win And this isn't the case If good quality gluten-free oats agree with you and your family, enjoy them Add some antioxidant-rich fruits, mix in some yogurt if that agrees with you because these things are feeding your gut in a good way It is about balance, and if we just relaxed into real food a little bit it would come easier and more natural to us Sarah agrees with Stacy Gluten-free oats are a gut microbiome superfood These won't agree with everyone  There are a list of foods that we define as not being Paleo, but they are great for the gut microbiome and when prepared correctly are nutrient-dense whole foods Sarah identifies with the label Paleo, but she thinks of Paleo as a diet that looks to Paleoanthropology in terms of understanding human biology and then confirms with contemporary studies with a biological systems approach It has a rooted in science approach This study is a really good illustration of the importance of taking this really thorough broad look at what foods do for us and don't do for us And also understanding that one of the biggest problems that we have run into over the last 50 years is this idea that we have to just make a list of yes foods and no foods We define all of these diets by what you cut out, not based on what you eat When people are troubleshooting they cut out more It isn't what you don't eat that makes a diet healthy, it is what you actually put in your face that makes your diet something that supports your body or not Sarah thinks it is important for this community to stop with the memes, the soundbites, and the lists and the rules Start embracing a broader education around health topics that help us really understand what is in foods that help our bodies and what is in foods that may potentially undermine our health We need to start looking at the gray and not just the black and white so that we can start making informed choices Look at universal truths as opposed to arbitrary rules Dig in and understand If you want to help your gut health, be sure to check out Stacy and Sarah's favorite probiotic 15% off with code PALEOVIEW15 Visit: Stacy feels a difference when she remembers to take her probiotic every day Thank you Sarah for taking the time to do all of this research Thanks for listening everyone! We will be back next week!
Episode 364: Men's Health
(0:40) Welcome Welcome back to The Paleo View everyone! This is the last week that Stacy will be coming to you from a location other than Virginia Matt and Stacy have been on the road for 61 days They are heading back to Virginia the day after this show was recorded Stacy is looking forward to being back home and snuggling her pets Stacy is looking forward to discussing this week's topic, as Sarah and Stacy have been wanting to cover this topic for a while now This week's episode will include information on hormones and body parts, so if you typically listen to this show with little ears around you may want to be careful, depending on your comfort level Sarah noted that this week's episode is about men's health, which is a really fun topic for the hosts The discussion will focus on men's hormonal and reproductive health If you aren't yet ready to discuss these topics with your little one, be sure to listen to this show without your little people around Stacy is looking forward to sharing this discussion with her three teenage boys This episode is sponsored by EverlyWell This is an awesome sponsor for this episode since Stacy and Sarah will be talking about testosterone EverlyWellis an at-home lab testing company that offers a variety of tests, ranging from food sensitivity to metabolism, to a thyroid test, vitamin D, testosterone and general men’s health The tests are private, simple and all processed through certified labs All you have to do is head to EverlyWell, choose your tests, and they’ll be shipped directly to your doorstep Then, once you complete your sample collection and send it back into EverlyWell’scertified labs, they will process your sample and send you your results via EverlyWell’ssecure online platform within just 5 days EverlyWelltakes all of the guesswork out of lab testing and puts the power into your hands to complete a range of important health tests all from home To check out EverlyWellvisit: You can get 15% off with the code 'ThePaleoView' For Stacy, while this week's topic doesn't particularly pertain to her, she is looking forward to applying this week's information to the men in her life (6:52) Q & A This week's episode is inspired by a question from John John writes: "Hi ladies! I know if I say nice things, there's a better chance my question will be answered. Fortunately, that's easy to do. As a researcher myself I love that the Paleo View emphasizes facts over dogma. I know when you answer a question, I will learn something, and that is about the highest compliment I can give a podcast. I love that the two of you are interesting to listen to, and I have been a regular listener since (about) episode 20 (the early shows were good too!!). As one of your '6 male listeners', my question involves men's health. While there have been a number of shows dedicated to women's health, I have often wondered if there would be any link between a Paleo diet (or other dietary factors) and testosterone and/or erectile dysfunction. There's also a pretty substantial supplement business that claims to raise testosterone; any truth in these claims? I know there's the basic 'eat a healthy diet and exercise' but I thought maybe you could bring a more scientific approach to the question. I also feel that many women who have husbands/boyfriends dealing with these issues would be interested in understanding whether/how Paleo might help. Thanks!!" Stacy noted that testosterone is not just a male hormone She isn't sure what all this hormone effects and is looking forward to Sarah diving in on this Sarah wants to take John's question and focus in on: The role that testosterone has on men's health The things that cause testosterone deficiency What this looks like What diet and lifestyle factors might be involved What supplements will help raise testosterone levels Testosterone as the predominantly male sex hormone has a major role in development and puberty It also has a fundamental role in health The crossover with women's health happens as testosterone regulates muscle size/strength, the general turnover of muscle tissue, bone growth and strength, sex drive, sperm production, it impacts mood, cognition, attention, memory, spatial awareness, behavior, negotiation abilities It regulates libido in women as well Sarah shared details from a study that was done on the correlation between testosterone levels and men's negotiation tactics and skills Overall testosterone has a pretty big impact on psychology and physiology Low testosterone can be seen in lack of motivation, lack of healthy competitive nature Stacy thinks about the way healthy competition can be a really good thing Sarah noted that in the male body you really only see testosterone excess in the context of a bodybuilder or a professional athlete doping with testosterone It is not a common physiological occurrence that the male body will make extra testosterone In women, we see testosterone excess in PCOS This condition is hallmarked by elevated testosterone levels Women have so little in our bodies compared to men that we have this room for excess With men, this is not the case The health challenge with testosterone for men is low levels Testosterone generally decreases with age, starting in middle age We see this at a rate of 1 to 2% a year This is considered part of normal aging It is not as dramatic as menopause since it is a gradual decline There are some symptoms that echo menopause though when a man's testosterone is low Symptoms of testosterone deficiency: Hot flashes Reduced body and facial hair Loss of muscle mass Low libido Erectile dysfunction Impotence Small testicles Reduced sperm count Infertility It can lead men to form breast tissue Irritability Depression Low concentration Osteoporosis As is the case with all hormones there is a spectrum A small deficiency in this hormone is going to cause an amount of these symptoms that might be easily dismissed We typically see this in something so minor that we brush it off It is not until it is a really big problem that we ask the question - what is going on With a lot of these symptoms, you might not even tie them with testosterone levels unless you have a really good functional medicine specialist or you go and do the men's health panel from EverlyWell  The problems with elevated testosterone levels we classically associated with bodybuilders We see: Really bad acne Liver damage An increase in heart attack risk Weight gain Aggressive behavior Irritability Impaired judgment Delusions The dominant studies of this are on athletes who dope Stacy noted that she feels there is a stigma around low testosterone levels and the idea of doping or supplementing to raise these levels She reminded listeners that Stacy and Sarah are not judging men for what they might need to do for their health Sarah noted the difference between doping and hormone replacement Doping specifically refers to taking excess You are not trying to achieve normal levels You are trying to achieve high levels for the sake of performance If your levels are low, hormone replacement may be the best treatment This is a conversation to have with your doctor The best treatment may be to take exogenous testosterone This is the exact same thing that an athlete would take The difference is the philosophy behind it If you are taking it as a hormone replacement your goal is to reach normal levels and to regulate your levels As opposed to an athlete who is taking it to increase performance, and their cost-benefit analysis is very different in the context of testosterone excess (23:08) Testosterone Deficiency Beyond the symptoms associated with testosterone deficiency, the health risks include some other bigger risk factors Deficiency increases your risk of: Metabolic syndrome Cardiovascular disease and mortality Inflammation It is worthwhile doing some investigating and really trying to dig a little deeper in terms of measuring testosterone levels and potentially either addressing diet and lifestyle factors and/or testosterone hormone replacement in order to bring levels up to normal in order to reduce those other risk factors Stacy asked how one would know about normal levels Sarah noted that the "normal" range for testosterone levels is huge There is not really a good indicator if one should be at the higher or lower end of the range in order to have optimal whatever it is It is typically diagnosed based on the combination of the actual number and the symptom checklist This is why working with a functional integrative medical practitioner can be very helpful Again, EverlyWellhas a straight testosterone test that is quite inexpensive and also a Men's Health Panel that includes testosterone, DHA, estradiol, and cortisol There are no studies that look at named diets and men's sexual health There is still a lot of information about the role that micronutrients, lifestyle factors and broader dietary factors that can help influence how we implement a Paleo diet to best support testosterone regulation Exercise is one of the best things that both men and women can do to support testosterone levels Specifically resistance training Endurance training does tend to lower testosterone when combined with calorie restriction Sleep is one of the biggest lifestyle influences on testosterone Sarah shared the findings from studies done in an institution When participants were only getting 5 hours of sleep a night, they saw a 15% decrease in testosterone This is basically the same levels as what is seen in a 65-year-old man Testosterone levels seem to be closely tied to the amount of REM sleep we get each night Stress levels are also an important factor to consider when looking for ways to impact testosterone levels Chronic stress is linked to low testosterone As far as diet, there is not much data out there in terms of big dietary trends The relation with diet and testosterone is much more micronutrient focused Deficiency in a few nutrients can cause low testosterone Vitamin A Vitamin D Zinc Magnesium Vitamin K Supplementation in all of these nutrients can restore your levels Through liver, you can get vitamin A Testing your vitamin D levels will be best to see how to reach sufficiency Check out this podcast episodefor more information Omega 3 fats help to support testosterone metabolism If you supplement men with these nutrients it doesn't cause testosterone excess It is only related to deficiency in these nutrients driving low testosterone Once you have enough, the system can help regulate itself Chronic alcohol consumption can also cause low testosterone and antioxidants in general If you are not getting enough nutrients from your diet, magnifies the reduction in testosterone There is not a good link between testosterone and BMI But there are some interesting studies that show that losing weight can boost testosterone levels Sarah recommends looking at your intake of the micronutrients mentioned above, evaluating sleep and other lifestyle habits, and see if there is an obvious place where you can make some changes that are likely to help regulate testosterone If testosterone is really low, you are going to want to go right to a functional medicine specialist and look at testosterone replacement therapy Supplements Sarah looked into and recommends based on how safe the supplements are: Get a professional opinion before taking supplements to address a deficiency DHEA Creatine D-aspartic acid Fenugreek Ginger Ashwagandha Stacy wants to reiterate that before you make a smoothie with all the things, that testing your hormone levels and knowing where you are is so impactful While you could do this a variety of ways, Sarah and Stacy both use and recommend EverlyWell You or a loved one can test your hormone levels for under $50 using the code 'thepaleoview' Once you know where your levels are, then you can work with a functional medicine professional to look at your hormone levels and develop an action plan on how to handle Sarah emphasized how important it is to make decisions based on data when we are talking about hormone levels (59:04) Closing Thoughts Thank you so much for tuning in listeners! We hope you found this show helpful There are a number of other topics related to both female and male hormones and health that Stacy and Sarah are hoping to cover in upcoming episodes If you liked this episode, be sure to leave a review on iTunes and share it with people you love Thank you again so much for being here! Stacy looks forward to joining the show from Virginia Sarah thanks EverlyWellfor sponsoring this episode As a reminder, get 15% off with the code 'thepaleoview' at this link
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Podcast Details
Aug 16th, 2012
Latest Episode
Aug 23rd, 2019
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