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How to Optimize Testosterone & Estrogen | Episode 15

121 Min
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Andrew Huberman, Ph.D.
In this episode, I discuss testosterone and estrogen hormones and how they impact the brain, body, and behavior after puberty. I also discuss how various behaviors such as exercise (resistance and endurance training) and sex or observing sex impact these hormones and their levels. I ask: "what specifically is it about such activities that impact testosterone and estrogen?"; the resounding theme is that when our nervous system is activated in particular ways, it drives our endocrine system and vascular system to activate or repress certain hormone networks in predictable ways. I also discuss peer-reviewed studies and protocols addressing (at a mechanistic level) how light, cold and heat, and respiration (breathing) can positively or negatively impact testosterone and estrogen. We discuss specific supplements and compounds that peer-reviewed studies illustrate can adjust testosterone and estrogen levels by changing their binding to other proteins, raising them directly, or changing other hormones released from the brain and pituitary. I discuss optimization in the normal reference ranges for these hormones, and I discuss pheromones, apnea, menstrual cycles, menopause and andropause. Thank you to our sponsors AG1 (Athletic Greens): InsideTracker: Thesis: Supplements from Momentous For the full show notes, visit Timestamps (00:00:00) Introduction (00:05:50) Hormone Optimization (00:07:00) Salutogenesis: A Powerful Way to Conceptualize Health (00:10:03) Estrogen and Testosterone: Sources, Levels and Ratios (00:15:46) The Power of Competition, Plus: Anxiety, Persistence and Dopamine (00:20:58) Testosterone and Libido Pre-Ovulation (00:21:48) Estrogen and Sexual Receptivity; Libido In Males (00:23:10) How Sex Behavior Impacts Testosterone: Observing vs. Actual vs. Abstinence (00:26:46) Testosterone and Prolactin: Sex Seeking vs Pair Bonding (00:27:30) DHEA (dehydroepiandrosterone): Effects on Levels/Ratios (00:28:45) Behaviors That Decrease Testosterone (and Cortisol): Parenting and Prolactin (00:31:24) How Illness Impacts Testosterone and Estrogen: Cytokines, e.g., IL-6 (00:33:20) How Exactly Do Behaviors Change Hormones? (00:34:18) Pheromones: Miscarriage, Menstrual Cycles, Puberty Onset, and Mate Recognition (00:43:33) Apnea: A Powerful Bi-Directional Influence On Estrogen and Testosterone (00:47:44) Mouth vs. Nose Breathing and Hormone Levels: Effects Via Sleep and Direct Effects (00:51:11) How Sleep Adjusts Cortisol/Testosterone and Cortisol/Estrogen Ratios (00:53:49) 02:CO2 Ratios, Nasal Breathing During Exercise (00:56:30) Light Viewing Patterns and Hormones: Dopamine, GnRH (00:57:44) Spring Fever: Tyrosinase, Hair Color, Mating Frequency (01:04:39) Specificity of Hormone Effects (01:06:03) Temperature: Cold and Hot Gonads (01:14:10) How To Exercise: Types, Effort Level, Sequencing (01:21:42) Cardio/Endurance vs. Resistance Training (First or Last?) Yes, It Matters (01:24:41) Estrogen and Menopause: Compounds That May Ameliorate/Reverse Symptoms (01:33:18) Nutrients That Optimize The Foundation For Hormones (01:36:00) Opioids as Severe Hormone Disruptors (01:37:23) Testes, Antlers and Ovaries (01:38:50) Creatine and Increasing DHT (Dihydrotestosterone) (01:40:14) Free and Bound Testosterone: SHBG (Sex Hormone Binding Globulin), Tongat Ali (01:43:23) Nettles, Prostate, Boron, and Blood Brain Barrier (01:45:27) Hormone Related Cancers: Sometimes Reducing Estrogen and Testosterone Is Optimal (01:47:43) Ecdysteroids: Mimic Mammalian Hormones (01:51:50) Optimizing Brain Hormones: Chorionic Gonadotropin, Fadogia Agrestis (01:57:18) Additional Compounds, Liver Toxicity, Overall Milieu (01:59:17) Summary: And Note About Additional Related Topic Coverage Coming Title Card Photo Credit: Mike Blabac Disclaimer