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Hormone Replacement Therapy: Exploring Science and Controversies

Introduction: In this episode, Dr. Greg Brannon, a pioneer in hormone therapy and preventive health, shares insights into optimizing health through hormone therapy. He discusses the importance of understanding bioidentical hormones, the impact of hormones on various aspects of health, and the role of education in empowering individuals to make informed decisions about their health.

Episode Highlights:

  1. Background and Personal Journey:
    • Dr. Brannon reflects on his own journey with diabetes and how it led him to explore hormone therapy.
    • Despite being active in iron triathlons and CrossFit, he experienced health challenges until he learned to optimize his diet and hormone levels.
    • He emphasizes the importance of understanding the role of hormones in overall health and well-being.
  2. Bioidentical Hormones vs. Synthetic Hormones:
    • Dr. Brannon explains the concept of bioidentical hormones and highlights the differences between bioidentical and synthetic hormones.
    • He discusses how bioidentical hormones are recognized by the body and can lead to better outcomes compared to synthetic alternatives.
  3. Hormone Therapy and Cancer Risk:
    • Addressing concerns about hormone therapy and cancer risk, Dr. Brannon delves into the research and nuances of hormone therapy’s impact on cancer risk.
    • He shares studies and insights demonstrating how bioidentical hormone therapy can reduce the risk of certain cancers, contrary to common misconceptions.
  4. Monitoring and Individualized Treatment:
    • Dr. Brannon emphasizes the importance of monitoring hormone levels and tailoring treatment plans to individual needs.
    • He discusses the use of algorithms and individualized protocols to optimize hormone therapy and achieve desired health outcomes.
  5. Preventive Health and Patient Education:
    • The conversation expands to the broader context of preventive health and patient education.
    • Dr. Brannon stresses the significance of empowering individuals to take charge of their health through education, informed decision-making, and collaboration with healthcare providers.

Conclusion: Dr. Greg Brannon concludes by highlighting the mission of Optimal Bio, his healthcare practice focused on preventive health and hormone optimization. He encourages listeners to seek knowledge, ask questions, and take an active role in managing their health. With a commitment to education and personalized care, Dr. Brannon aims to empower individuals to lead healthier and more fulfilling lives.

For more information about Optimal Bio and Dr. Greg Brannon’s work, visit their website at OptimalBio.com, instagram.com/optimalbio, facebook.com/OptimalBioBHRT

Ready to dive in? Listen here.

Love it? Hate it? We’d love to hear your feedback!  

SUBTITLES:

Alright. Hi and welcome to the Empower Nutrition podcast, Dr. Brannon. We’re so happy to have you. Thank you for coming.  

Thank you, Ms. Erin. I appreciate it.  

Oh yeah, your, this topic is, is so important and I think there’s so much mystery to it and kind of misinformation and a lot of kind of questions that people have. So I appreciate you lending your expertise to us.  

I’ll do the best I can. Thank you.  

Yeah. Well, maybe just to start out, I know that obviously you have a long experience in OB GYN practice and then it sounds like in 2020 you transitioned to your current world of bioidentical hormone therapy. So maybe you could tell us a little bit about that decision of like, why get into, we’ll call it BHRT for short.  

Yes. I was an OB GYN, which I loved for over 25 years, almost 30 years, enjoyed it. But during my contact with these lovely women, seeing some of their normal cycles such as menopause, perimenopause in the twenties, having these complaints of that were like feeling tired or brain fog, to me, it just can’t be covered up with antidepressants. It have to be something going on. So I started really setting, so a lot of time studying nutrition, spend a lot of time on root causes. I actually started optimal bio in, in 2012. It was called Carry, BHRT. And I spent two years studying how can I replace hormones that are bioidentical with the least side effects. And I, and I said, I I, I found about pellets. Pellets just dried pure hormone. They’ve been used in women since 1935, men since 1937. And the big thing is this, when I ask women or men, what’s the most abundant hormone in the human body, A woman usually will say in, will say estrogen.  

A man will start by say insulin or cortisol. It’s testosterone. In fact, testosterone is 50 times higher in women than estrogen. Yeah. It’s not a male hormone. It’s a human hormone that every single cell in the body needs to run efficiently. But here’s the problem. I’m 63. When I was in a school, the range for a woman was roughly between 70 and say 200. Two 50. Today a range is between three and 41 significantly dropped men, the range is roughly 800 or 1400. Some institutions call normal under one 70. Now for men, this dramatic drop has been parallel, probably r approximately, approximately one to 2% decrease per year since 1970. So went back, started studying, well, how is testosterone form? How’s our body work? The neuroendocrine system, right? So the hypothalamus talks to the, to the anti pituitary. FSH in women makes estradiol. But that comes from testosterone in men. LH makes testosterone converts to estradiol. It’s estradiol. That’s the rate limiter. That’s what goes back to the brain that turned this off. And the last 50, 60 years we’ve bombarded in our environment with xenoestrogens, fake estrogens, plastics, roundup, atrazine, pesticides, dye shampoos, para fans, all these things are mimicking estrogen. So your body’s making less testosterone and the sequelae that is hyperinsulinemia, belly fat, depression, decreased libido, all these things that occurring. I think it’s important we attack at the root cause.  

Well, yeah, I mean I guess that’s kind of an important thing to ask about. And this is if the, ’cause I agree with you, the root causes xenoestrogens and maybe a little bit of stress and sleep deprivation to go with that nutritional deficiencies. So I think that’s a common argument around HRT is like that. If we give hormone that’s not addressed, it may be the root cause. The root cause is maybe getting these xenoestrogens out of our, you know, exposure. Like reduce our exposures to them.  

The root cause though is the lack of the hormones, right? The lack of the hormones. So in the womb is when the gonads are set to how much estrogen testosterone are gonna make when they mature. So these microplastics cannot be filtered through the placenta. So babies are being bombarded in the womb. So we’ll make a number up, say my generation an average boy, when he starts sitting 18, 19, he’s around 12, 1300. Today an average boy are around 12, about three, 400. That’s significantly different. So the root cause, yes it is the environmental, but I can’t make the organs themselves make more, but I can replace it. So your body thinks it’s making that, I call it the prepl era, the pre xenoestrogen era. What were the labs then? And that’s what I try to get my body to. ’cause again, the body, if it’s bioidentical, that means atom for atom, molecule for molecule, three dimensional, three dimensional.  

If it has it, it knows how to utilize it, metabolize it, eliminate, it’s not a foreign substance. And therefore the body can run at its optimal level. So again, the environment I want get clean water, eat organic, have the right, so look at our topsoil has been destroyed. Talking about nutrients, iodine, selenium, all this stuff is out of our topsoil. So an ideal word with the animals we eat, the vegetables we eat would have that in there. It’s, it’s, it’s significantly decreased. So, but the problem is, is we can’t make our ovary, adrenal gland, testicle and make more. We just can’t. They’re set in the womb. So therefore our body’s working at 20, 30% efficiency.  

Okay. So I, good point then. So what you’re saying is basically like, sure, yes, you should optimize your environment, but because this is impacting even from like fetal development, the basic, the baseline level that people are gonna achieve in a perfect environment is still too low.  

Exactly. Because I agree. There’s five things I believe to do. Age gracefully, sleep, number one, eat, eat properly, three, exercise four, remove stress, fifth, restore what you’ve lost. But I lose the catch 22, I think number five is number one. ’cause then you could sleep, you could eat, you could exercise and remove stresses. When everything’s outta whack is when your cortisol goes through the roof. Yeah. When you’re sleeping, your cortisol comes back down. It’s all I have to say is nothing’s in isolation. It’s to say one thing fits all. No, but I know one thing, the fuel on this, like we would never say it’s okay to live with no insulin. Yeah. We’d never say it’s okay to live with no cortisol. We would never say that because there’s a disease process that’s pretty acute. The problem with low testosterone is a daily loss, a daily death. It’s not a bomb. You, you get hammered off day one. That’s the problem is, but so the most abundant you the most abundant hormone. We never say, oh, for your age, having this amount I insulin is fine. We’d never say that. What’s optimal, the blood sugar being under 90, that’s optimal. So that’s why it’s important to understand what these, why we’re low, we’re not low because, because it’s an evolutionary adaption or improving, it’s just the opposite. It’s the environment of bombarding on these things. Thes are powerful.  

Yeah. And it sounds like I align with you in the sense of you are not, what I’m not hearing you say is that, oh, all you just need to do is take pellets. It doesn’t matter what your lifestyle is like. It doesn’t matter what you need  

Far from it. Far from it. It’s just one, it’s a key component. I believe it’s a cornerstone of overall health because I give a ton of numbers. A man who has vi who’s testosterone is under five 40, has an 88% higher chance of a heart attack. A man whose testosterone, a man who his testosterone is under 300, actually has two and a half, 250% higher time of mor overall mortality. Diabetes is decreased by 200%. So when things, when numbers are optimized, the system we have our body, both male and female, can operate at the most optimal rate. That’s the key is, again, I’m not against aging, let’s age gracefully, but we’re, we’re, we’re we’re taller than a 20-year-old today. Normal if they have an 80-year-old hormones from 50 years ago. Now that can’t be normal. And because something’s common doesn’t make it normal. If we’re all were diabetic, if we’re all were diabetic, we call diabetes normal. Now, of course not. If you were checking with the, with the most optimal blood sugars for your health and you have a million people in this study, but they’re all diabetic, your results are irrelevant ’cause they’re all diabetic. Right. I need a placebo group of non-diabetics. The problem is in our environment, we don’t have placebo groups. I’m going back 30, 50, 60 years of data to get, to get levels when these things were not around. 

Yeah, yeah. It’s like that. I mean it’s like a frog and slowly heating water, whatever. I mean the, I was just at the, the IHS the big functional medicine conference last week in New York. And there, there’s a great peds talk about how like children, now their generation is the first generation in America that’s predicted to have a shorter lifespan than their parents. And it’s because of like the epidemic of childhood obesity, childhood diabetes, child mental health conditions. It’s like where is this coming from where you can become diabetic? You know, before you’re,  

It’s the food pyramid. The pyramid killed us 19 seven going from a high fat, high protein diet to a high carbohydrate, low fat diet destroyed us. I I, when I was in training PCOS, small pet people, metabolic small amount of people, now  

It’s yeah. Fatty,  

Fatty liver, fatty liver, first case of non-alcoholic fatty livers. 19 8, 19 80. Yeah. First case,  

Yeah.  

Three years after the food pyramid. Now it’s 40 to 70% of Americans have abnormal LFTs, which should go away in six weeks of getting rid of your sugar.  

Yeah, I mean I of course I’m biased, but of course I, I think diet is a, the major player in it, but I also think that the xenoestrogen picture, the environmental exposures are a piece of it as well. Yep.  

Yeah. But, but sugar is such a inflammatory NIUs. Right? The number one anti-inflammatory our body makes is testosterone. So the the thing is, is the, the free radicals, right? The, the extra extra electron that’s the killer. Right. And sugar increases that. So if you could have a, a diet that’s high in fat, high in protein, a proper amount of complex carbohydrates, I’m, I I, I’m a real big believer, intermittent fasting. I really like the, the balance between mTOR and A and PK. When that’s bounce properly, then you’re metabolically healthy. Yeah. The weight is the worst thing to look at. It’s metabolic health. Yeah. And that’s why it’s so important that, again, I use example I use in my office is I say we’re all Ferrari, you need two things to run a car, not an electric car, A combustion car, you need gasoline and a carburetor, the thyroids in a carburetor and the gasoline is a testosterone. When that’s an optimal range. Now you can wash it, now you can wax it, put air in the tires. Other things you gotta do to run optimally. But you first need that foundational fuel. You need the oxygen for the, for the mitochondria. You need the fuel to turn it all on.  

Totally. Yeah. We teach the same thing. It like, don’t, don’t just try to, if your challenge is metabolic weight, insulin resistance, don’t just try to eat less food because the issue is metabolic health, you work, you fix your metabolic health, the weight will follow.  

Bingo. If people are all stuck on weight, that may, I’m not sure you feel about, about semaglutide, but you lose three quarters muscle. One quarter fat. Yeah.  

Good luck keeping your weight off when easy fat,  

It’s terrible. You thinner, but you’re fatter. So that’s the idea is like, you know, you, I mean you’re the, you’re the nutrition expert. But you know, most of us will usually always eat two meals a day. We either had lunch and dinner or ate a breakfast and lunch. This whole idea, three meals a day, three snacks, all that stuff came out of nowhere at, of mar basically outta Madison Avenue. And that destroyed us. We gotta get back to the way we used to eat. And I think it’s, I think it’s like you said, it’s simple things then repetitively. It’s not a magic pill, it’s not a magic pellet, it’s not a magic this or magic va. Those are little things on the side that the optimal thing is I just, if we have to talk one time about anything, it’s sleep. Sleep is your body’s way to re just reboot everything. Yeah. And that’s crucial. And, and exercise, walking and lifting heavy things a couple days a week. It’s not, I’m not saying don’t do CrossFit or do triathlons. I’m not saying that I used to do those things, but it’s simple things. We make it so complex. The average schmo like me get all, we all all confused. No, we don’t be a professional athlete. We just gotta walk and we have to lift heavy things now and then and eat proper food.  

Yeah. And especially, I mean, so many, and I’m sure you, so many people that we work with are like massively stressed out. They aren’t getting enough sleep. They already have high cortisol. So when they do that kind of hit high intensity. Again, I was a CrossFitter for a long time too. I’m not saying it’s bad for everyone, but people in that kind of middle of life, like churn, that’s like very stressful. I don’t find that that type of exercise tends to help their hormones very much. Yeah. But what do you think,  

I was diabetic 20 years ago 

Were  

You And I was doing iron triathlons and CrossFit. Yeah. But I ate three meals a day, oatmeal every morning, brown rice, three snacks and it was terrible. Yeah.  

Learning it gels while you work out.  

Yeah. And I’m wor so when I, when I learned to eat, I lost 30 pounds in about six weeks. I got leaner, I got cutter and I got stronger. Yeah. When I learned what relief food was supposed to do. So it’s, but I was an ob gyn I was on call every night for 30 years. So yeah. But when I started doing pellets, I’m 50, I say 63 50, I started doing pellets. My call didn’t change. I was older, I was in, I’m in better shape at 63 than I was at say 35. I’m down, I’m now, I’m 8% body fat. I work out like I tell you. But the big thing for me is old is reading my brain words. I read about four books a week. I read a lot of articles every day. It’s really keeping that brain going because I don’t think aging is a problem. 

I think aging is a, is a, is a blessing. It’s my dream is the biochemistry of a 20-year-old was to wisdom of an 80-year-old. That’s like my dream. Right. My new book, my new book comes out restore, it’s the first hardback book, 85,000 words based upon hormones and pellets. And it comes out March 12th. But I, I tell a story about all this. If the gee is not, I don’t wanna be young again ’cause there are things I was foolish about, but I would like that chemistry again. And then the wisdom being, being older, I think that’s how we age gracefully.  

Absolutely. You wanna be able to be vibrant and enjoy your life. Yeah. Tell me about, and this, I know for you is very basic, but I think a lot of people don’t understand the difference between bioidentical hormones and just hormones. So for a long, what, tell me about that.  

Yeah, hormone in, in, in Greek means messenger. So it has, it doesn’t function. So what’s interesting is your body makes these all day. These the, the neuroendocrine system is how our body runs. Right. And but the secret is pharmacy companies cannot own organic molecule if it’s found in nature. They can’t own it. They can’t patent it. Yeah. There’s no money to be made. So for me, I think the onus is on the pharmacy company say why is their testosterone, which is unrecognizable to the body, superior to the one your body makes, or in women estrogen versus Premarin Provera versus progesterone. There is a difference. And when you look at the structure of the molecule, it’s different in the structure of the molecule causes different metabolism, different metabolites, different eliminations. So the definition of of bioidentical according to Mayo clinic is body recognizes as same.  

That means the strength is the same. The metabolism say the elimination is the same in the testosterone. One of it you have three groups of synthetic testosterones. The ester, the sate, the most common 19 nor testosterone. 17 culation, which could take orally, they all work but that’s where they have side effects of blood pressure and blood clots. The big thing, there’s a good book out of Belgium talks about this. All three of those increases neuronal apoptosis. So brain cells die off sooner. They’re shown over time. You have increased Alzheimer’s disease. The one your body makes, lowers blood pressure, no blood clots and makes more brain. I use it a lot with our military, with our TBI patients and PTSD. But 80% of our patients are antidepressants are often four months ’cause it makes more brain called neuroplasticity and makes the synapse actually tighter. So called syn plasticity. And that’s all done by testosterone.  

Wow. Okay. And then I guess, yeah, this leads into another question that obviously we have to talk about and I’m sure you have a perfect answer to this, but  

Cancer  

Yeah, exactly. So you know our exactly where I was going with this, I, I like the work of Dr. Peter Atia and he talks a lot about how basically like a lot of the original HRT research was kind of flawed because it was looking at women who had fully gone through menopause and then, and then started HRT and it wasn’t bioidentical HRT and like all these factors. But I think there’s still a lot of concern around, yeah. Do does HRT cause cancer and like are there certain Yeah,  

I’ll go all that.  

Yeah, go ahead.  

The first time doctors isolated testosterones 1931, the first study of replacement of that therapy was at 1935. It was PE pellets, the de dried hormone. It was in women. Okay. Who had a history, who had hysterectomies. 1937 was the first paper on men. Now estrogen was isolated first time in 1940. So that came out from, from 1935 to 2002, the famous WHI paper, there was virtually no papers that said increase in breast cancer. That famous WHI paper came out.  

Yeah.  

I called out the most famous BGY in the world up. When that paper came out, Dr. Michelle, he trained at USC and we had a long talk. He goes, Greg, that paper’s terrible. Here’s the data they used Premarin, which is 212 horse estrogens. Yeah. By itself, by the way, the Premarin arm did not increase breast cancer. Right. It increased blood clots. Okay. ’cause you take it orally, go in the liver. The Premarin arm with Provera increased breast cancer 24%. But it was skewed an older population. Hmm. Now a guy named Firo in France had a study in 2005, 2007 a 134,000 women. He gave him estrogen bioidentical progesterone bioidentical. That arm decreased breast cancer 10%. The arm of estrogen bioidentical with Provera hydroxy progesterone increased it 69%. Dr. Glazer’s work at in Ohio. She’s a a cancer surgeon, breast surgeon. By giving testosterone pellets in her studies it decreases breast cancer between 40 and 60%.  

So here’s the nerdy part. Estro, there’s three estrogens in the body. E one, E two, E three. E three is by the placenta. So put that away. There are two receptors of alpha Abeta consider alpha potentially more growth and a beta’s negative growth. The E one which dominates in menopause is five to one Alpha E two, which dominates in young women and in men is one-to-one it’s neutral. And E two beta actually decreases own receptors, own production. And testosterone suppresses all of that of that. And the really interesting thing, estrodiol alpha increases a thing called BCL dash two, which cancer cells love estrodiol beta decreases BCL two dash, therefore it’s important to understand which estrogen, which part of your age. But the study was interesting too. Hopkins went back and looked at W i’s paper. 15 years later they found women on the synthetics who had cancer were living longer because they had less dementia and heart disease. All right. So my goal was to get the benefits without the risks. And that’s the issue. A molecule that our body makes can’t, by definition hurt us or with species would not be here.  

Yeah, that’s a good point. And and then like what do you do in terms of monitoring? So like do I mean, I don’t know if you’re a believer in like tests where it looks at like okay, here’s how your metabolizing estrogen. How much do you have in six?  

Oh  

I sure do. 4 0 8. 2 0 8. Tell me what you think about all that.  

I sure do. Yeah. So T becomes E by aromatase. So Testo becomes estradiol, ine becomes estro. There’s three pathways. You talked about two, 16 and four. Two is the good one. ’cause it’s neutral. It’s no alpha yes. 16 and four are, are actually are alpha receptor metabolites. Birth control pills goes down 16 prema goes down four. Which actually also increases DNA fragmentation. So the, the the, when you check your metabolites in the gut, that’s fine. It tells you where you’re at. But the key is I believe in giving dim into all three. ’cause what that does that pushes the estrogen pathway through two. So you have decreased alpha production, very important for breast and also for men. Prostate cattail cells and breast cells are glandular cells, almost identical. They have a thing called the sodium iodine system where you pump sodium two molecules, sodium out for one iodine in that keeps the structure of the gland in place.  

Testosterone, high testosterone in young men suppresses aromatase of prostate, which suppresses estradiol alpha, which decreases prostate cancer. That’s why atrial boys don’t have prostate cancer. When the testosterone drops increase, aromatase increases prostate cancer. The famous paper that 1941 that says testosterone therapy causes prostate cancer to grow by Huggins. And Hodges actually had a study of one man with the study who was castrated. Dr. Bortel from Harvard has destroyed that with his literature on that. It’s that’s fallacy. Yeah. So the whole idea of the metabolites are crucial. So your body wants to go down two pathway. The problem I believe with fibroids, endometriosis, prostate cancer is the xenoestrogens. Almost all of those stimulate alpha receptors. I believe that’s the component where women are called estrogen dominant. I don’t think it’s them personally making more estrogen. Yeah. I think it’s the environment. Now there are women are estro dominant naturally. That’s, if you don’t make a, if you don’t release LH to make pro progesterone, you will be estro dominant. But if you’re having a period, by strict definition, you can’t be estro dominant. Yeah. So if you are, it’s outside agencies and that’s where DIM comes great to get rid of that, you know, the xeno xenoestrogens.  

Okay. So you would do like, I mean I guess obviously it depends on the situation, but like if you’re giving an estrogen pellet, you would also give dim.  

Yes. There are some cases I’ll give anol when I give a testosterone pellet in the pellet so that I have, I, I wanna keep estrogen in optimal range. It appears in men to rear for around 30 women. I don’t give estrogen when they’re younger ’cause they’re making their own estrogen. Right. In a menopausal woman, my goal is to get them to like be a 20-year-old from the 1940s. That’s the goal I’m looking at. Okay. So basically the luteal phase. So I’m gonna keep the progesterone around three, keep the menopause is by definition FSH above 23. So I give just enough estrogen with testosterone, balance it to keep the estrogen around 20. So then, then you make bone, no vaginal dryness, the bladder not falling down. Osteoporosis. And women lose 5% of bone in menopause. 5% every year. Yeah, 

I know.  

The pellet increases bone formation 8.3% per year.  

Wow.  

So an 80-year-old woman can have more bone than 40 if on pellets.  

Yeah.  

And, and you have a cancer women, the number one cause of death for is heart attack. Right. One in one in two have heart attack. Breast cancer is one in seven times 0.03. It’s still get me wrong. Cancer is not what I want. But cancer’s increasing in America and Japan is still one in 20. They have a higher iodine, they have virtually no thyroid disease. These kind of things protect the tissue. So again, I think it’s environmental and they turn on some oncogenes. But the bottom line is this, this body is amazingly made if given the right substances, the macromolecule, all these things to make run efficiently.  

Yeah. Well it sounds like there’s certain phases of life where BHRT is more needed, but like what would you say if, what would you say would be like your wish that everybody would like get screened? At least what might  

Our average age person is between 37 and 40. Is that crazy? That day?  

That day?  

Yeah. I thought you’d be much older than that. Here’s the thing, people come to me, this is the reason why they come tired of being tired. Brain fog, anxiety, mood, belly fat, libido, basically that order. But it’s virtually always brain fog and and tired of being tired. I go back to the fuels. That’s why I look at the thyroid. All the numbers I take, I check nine parameters of the thyroid. And I look at testo levels because this is, if you’re 25 years of age and your testosterone will say is 40, it’s low, but you feel great, don’t do it. You know, don’t do it. At the same time. A woman in their late thirties, early forties, that’s, you start protecting your brain from dementia. A woman is three times higher for dementia. ’cause your levels, your hormones go boom and stop. That’s what’s important. The goal is don’t wait for osteoporosis, don’t wait for dementia. Let’s attack aging the disease and keep our our levels of youth. I know I’m redundant, but we’d never say it’s okay to battle insulin at your age. We’d never say that. The same thing with these hormones.  

Kind of what I’m getting at is like, I suspect the whole thing lags in the way that insulin resistance lags. It’s like if you wait till you have type two diabetes, you’re at least 10 years into this when you’ve been accumulating health problems related to insulin resistance for at least a decade. So I I I’m sure it’s same with hormones. It’s like you don’t wanna wait until your symptoms are extreme. But  

I, I agree. And that’s the thing here, that’s the problem is if you came to Dr. Brannon 20 years ago and I drew your levels and I got your level and I, I was never treating draw a woman’s level for testosterone, but a man, and you fall within that bell curve, I mistakenly say, oh, you’re healthy. But Greg, I feel, I feel garbage. But you’re healthy, you’re in range. That’s what got me looking backwards. How could somebody, ’cause here’s the bottom line, you know your body better than anybody will ever know your body. And if you know something’s off, the doctor’s gotta listen. The nutrition’s gotta listen. We gotta listen. And the, what I’m finding, I, we have over a 98% retention rate. So we’re putting people and nobody’s forced to come to us. When I get their levels in optimal ranges, they’re telling me I sleep better, I wake up better.  

I got words again. My memory’s back. I’m working out again. My intimacy’s back. I mean we hear that every single day. I probably placed 40 to 50,000 of these the last, you know, 12 years. And it’s what’s very, I don’t know, it’s, it’s just like a big pat on the back. Like we were doing something makes a difference. Yeah. And it’s just not a pill to walk out. But I, you said that, you know, 20 minutes ago, if people want a pellet and feel great, no you still gotta eat and sleep and eat, do things properly. You know, I’m a big believer in you make classes in nutrition. I took in med school, zero. Zero when I became diabetic, I learn. So I, I got, I got board certified in functional medicine as well. I got two fellowships in it. So I had to learn. Yeah. Education. Gotta keep on learning. Right. Gotta keep on learning.  

Yeah. Yeah. I mean it’s rewarding when you can actually feel, when you actually get that feedback from your patients. So they actually feel healthier. They’re doing better. Their life has changed. They’re not just coming in to get  

Yeah. And we have a, we’re eight offices in four states, so it’s not like just one, one of our office. It’s across the board and like, we’re never the first doctor. It’s like, you know, I’ve been the 10 doctors, my patients, my doctor says everything’s normal. Here’s your Zoloft. Right. And you’re like, but I’m not depressed. I just feel bad. And that’s the issue. And that’s why it’s so important to understand how everything works. Nothing’s in isolation. And then we put everything, put everything in optimal ranges. Like use thyroid as an example too, you know, or back to your, your diabetes. A type one diabetic and a type two diabetic are two different ballgame. Yeah. We treat them the same. Jason’s Fung books is insane on this stuff. Yeah.  

It’s so good. You  

Know, Jason’s, it’s just great. I mean, yeah, we give, so you make insulin, it’s not working properly. We give you more insulin stuff. How about less sugar? You know? Yeah. It’s, we don’t think this thing through. And a lot of it’s just common sense. And again, if I listen to you, listen to the patient, listen to my own body, I’ll get more out of it then. Then it puts you in a grid and say, well you’re, you’re 35 years old, you belong here. No. That’s not the way it works.  

Yeah. Well it sounds like, based off what you said in the beginning, that that people just have a lower ability to produce at their, their levels that they need. It sounds like there wouldn’t be like a goal of like weaning from BHRT. It would be more just, I guess, I suppose there’s so like monitoring over time.  

Right? I, I check, I get blood, the gold standard. I get blood levels. If I do cortisol, I do saliva. ’cause you need a curve. It’s more accurate. Yeah. But for, for, for my testosterone, I do blood. I find gold standards and we use in that range. But it’s very, the way our DNA produces the antigen receptor is very individualized. How the messenger reads it. So that’s why I’ll make a number of, say I feel great at a thousand but another patient feels great at 1200. I use how I use, I use the subjective feelings on what your range should be because we really are trading how you feel. And we know certain numbers protect the heart. The brain, the big thing, I’ll give you an example. LabCorp June 30th, 2017 for men the range was 3 48 to 1197 on July 1st. The very next day they dropped it to 2 64 to nine 16 the next day.  

But the news thing, they had had more obese people in it. Yeah. Had younger people in it who are being bombarded in the womb. That’s why we gotta look at this idea of treating symptoms and treating individuals. Not just numbers, but I really believe, you know, you’re pro at the xenoestrogens is yes, I believe in KY water filter. I believe in filtered water. I believe in free raise. I love all that stuff. I believe in fasting, deadlifts, all these things help testo fasting increases testosterone, but you can only go to a certain level because you’ve been bombarded. So get out, do you have anything you can do? But to get the optimal range, I believe it’s a, especially as you age, it’s like there’s no replacing this. This is just, there’s nothing better for your brain and body for this.  

Is there an age where you would say people kind of like missed it? I would say, especially with women, what I’m getting out no. Is like, okay, original paper been in menopause and you missed it or  

No, no. There, if you start after 65, there’s a slight, slight increase in heart disease, heart attacks because it, it dis lodges the plaque. But after six months heart attack goes down, everything goes down, everything improves. Everything improves. So the answer is no. And you think about it, a 65-year-old, they’re gonna live 85 or 90. You have a 30 of your life feeling miserable, you know, breaking bones. These things could be, these things could be avoided. And so the answer is no. There’s not a, the complications are if you had breast cancer, you can’t have estrogen for five years. You have testosterone. If you have uterine cancer, wait two years, prostate cancer one year. Other than that, there really is no contraindication. ’cause it’s bi, it doesn’t go orally. So you bypass the liver, there’s no clotting issues and it’s absorbed. It sits in the fab of the skin. So it just releases stead like an endocrine gland does. So it’s, it’s, it’s as hard. It’s, I was the biggest skeptic when I heard first about it, it took me two years of study and I looked at the data, I finally did it and I was like, what was I waiting for? And so yeah, my wife and I have been on for 12 years. 

Yeah. And then maybe tell me about this, ’cause you obviously have a bunch of locations, you’ve got a bunch of practitioners. I saw something on your website about maybe an algorithm driven like Yeah. Protocol  

Algorithm I have that’s been used by another doctor tutorial actually prevented this stuff 40, 50 years. We fine tuned it by the patient. Patient I have, I add a certain different parameters to it so I can get our dose within 95%. What you need for yourself. So that’s why it’s all individualized. A 20-year-old woman on birth control pills a different number than an 85-year-old woman. Not, you know, or, or or a man on this. It’s very important at an algorithm we have, we have shoot probably a million people the data in the data now. So this has that range where it has to go.  

Yeah. Okay. So it’s like the practitioner is using the algorithm to determine Yes. What those things. 

And plus there’s an art to it too. We hear things like most of the symptoms we call the ro, we say you have breast tennis for women or mood swings. It’s not the testosterone, it’s the estrogen metabolites. That’s why iodine is crucial. That’s why DIM is crucial because it keeps, if you look at the synthetic testosterone, they do this up and down their half-lifes are very short. When the T is going up and down, the aromatase is never in sync with it. So therefore the estrogen metabolites are outta sync. That’s the problem. So they steady state that the pellet does, the aromatase is steady, your estrogens are steady. So you can pee out number two in the proper way. And that’s how you protect the side effects.  

Yeah. Amazing. Well this is so inspiring and your knowledge is obviously so deep on this topic that it’s just obviously a wonderful resource. So maybe you can tell people a little bit about, first of all where they can connect with your clinics and then also of course not everybody’s in this area. We’re in North Carolina, so you’re here with us. But for people that aren’t in one of your locations or even if they are, can you also tell a little bit more about your book?  

Yeah, it’s optimal bio dot com’s, our social media stuff. We have a YouTube channel. We do shows on that. We have podcasts like we’re doing here. Yeah, we have, we try to get local experts in all different, I’ve had Dr. Brownstein on it, we’ve had dr, we’ve had Sean Baker on. Yeah, we try to get all different people involved in like nutrition, all that kinda stuff. So, so off the bio.com, my book right now is called The Hormone Handbook. It’s 120 pages. Good review of what we talked about today. The big one I’m very proud of is Restore. It comes up March 12th. It’s ref, it goes through, I get a story of a woman from womb till she gets older. Same thing with a man, how hormones work. But everything on social media. Our office is in Virginia for North Carolina, two in South Carolina, one in Austin, Texas.  

We’ll be going across the country. We go about two or three a year. But I have people that fly into us around the country. I’ve been doing this. I’d be very fortunate with our reputation. So we do a lot of zooms. We do zooms for years and they fly to one of our offices. What I really want, if you use one word, describe Al bio, it’s education. I’m not here to sell pellets. I want you, I believe the king and queen is in the mirror. I want you to in charge liberty the man’s responsibility. I just hope I encourage people, you don’t have to be an expert, but you gotta make, you gotta get wise counsel and ask questions. And if your questions aren’t gonna answered, you leave period. You’re in charge. And that’s how we do at Optimal Bio. We have one console fee for your whole life.  

We charge two 50 bucks for your whole life. We’ll never charge to talk to us ever again. ’cause we wanna walk with you. Things change. You read a paper, you went to your doctor, you Google this, you Google that. We give out videos, we give out. Like I give a ton of Jason Funk stuff out. I give a ton of literature out. I want people to understand that they have the power themselves to make these decisions if given the right knowledge. That’s all I want. I give a ton of literature on cholesterol, how beneficial it’s for the body. I just want people educated.  

Yes, exactly. You know, I think that’s the critical thing in our time is creating a healthcare environment where people actually do, are heard and seen and treated like humans because it’s just all clearly  

We’re great in America. Yeah. If I need a liver, I did a lot of high risk obstetrics. Something goes wrong. We have great stuff. Yeah. But preventive health, nutrition, sleep, we’re the worst  

Disaster.  

We’re the worst. And, and that’s why I think we can find this, I think, I think this balance balancing of allopathic medicine with holistic nutritional, you know, outside the box stuff, the way America was before the flex report of 1909, that that took us down this whole bad path. Yeah. But there’s so many things out there we can do as Plato talk about food is medicine. There are things we can do to avoid seeing a doctor. That’s my dream. That’s the ultimate goal is you see me far and few between. I just, I’m the gas guy. Put gas your car, you go live life. I mean Yeah. But Miss Erin, my, my passion is liberty and freedom. And I think ed power knowledge is truly powerful and I want people to understand it. It it’s with of the grass, the the this I’m the kind of guy I want you Google, Googling, I want you rumbling, I want you to do all that stuff. Yeah. Because if you think I learned everything in four years in medical school and I know everything, no way. Zero. Yeah. It’s a collaborative event.  

Same. But at the same time, I think people are Googling and they are going on social media and they’re more confused than ever because there’s so much, there’s so many, many different people saying different things and it, it’s very confusing. So it’s, it’s really great that you’re not only a platform where you put out information, you also provide a trusted place where people can come and work with a practitioner. Because that, I find that for, at least in my practice, people are looking for a source of truth because going online doesn’t make them feel like they can find that very easily. There’s just a thousand different opinions that often can click.  

No, I, I, I agree. I I love that. I love the one-on-one come and talk stuff, stuff. But I’m talk about the Google part as I don’t want them to be like, don’t go read. That drives me nuts. Don’t go to No, no. Whatever I’m afraid of, like as a surgeon, if I thought you needed surgery, I always ask for a second opinion. Yeah, always. Or if I was a second opinion, because these are big decisions. Yeah. And you’ve gotta get as much opinion, then you gotta make the decision yourself. But education, knowledge, everything we talk about this is powerful. And yeah, I think, I think you have to, I hope people want to, I think this last three years in, in general has woken people up that they’re gotta take stock of their own, their own health.  

Yeah. You can’t just say, oh, I outsource my healthcare decisions to my primary care because they do not have the ball for you. It’s, it’s absolute true.  

I, I miss Erin. I can’t say a better thing. That’s great.  

Yeah. Well, you are great. This has been so good. I really learned from you and I’m sure that our listeners will be really excited to learn from your book and check out your practices. I’m gonna definitely stop into our practice here in Southern Pines and say hi, and kinda just check it out because I’m very inspired. So thank you, 

My honor. Thank you. Rest was Erin.  

All right, great. Well, have a great rest of your day and we’ll talk to you later. Thank  

You.  

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