We’re living in a low testosterone epidemic. Yet boosting testosterone is one way of increasing longevity. Today’s guest is an expert on this topic. He’ll tell you the most important steps that men can take to optimize their health and boost their testosterone levels.
Listen to the Episode
About Tracy Gapin
Dr. Tracy Gapin is a board-certified urologist, world-renowned men’s health and performance expert, professional speaker and author. He has over 20 experience providing Fortune 500 executives, entrepreneurs, and athletes a personalized health plan. Dr. Gapin combines his compassion and extensive experience with men’s health care and cutting-edge technology to offer patients individualized, state-of-the-art care.
Low testosterone affects every aspect of men’s health. It leads to drops in energy, mental acuity, bone density, and nutritional health. With this hormone being such a key piece of the puzzle, Dr. Gapin made it his mission to address the root causes of its decline.
Dr. Gapin has seen how environmental impacts disrupt hormone production. Endocrine disruptors are everywhere these days. Plastics, personal care products, and more contain phthalates that disrupt proper hormone production.
Since everyone’s genetic blueprint is unique, we all respond to our environment differently. Using data and the latest technology, Dr. Gapin helps his patients make informed decisions to address the root cause, not just symptoms. Sleep and epigenetics, being a central part of hormonal health, Dr. Gapin makes these a focus of his practice.
What can you do to avoid phthalates in your environments and get better sleep? Let’s chat about it in the comments below!
My Your Longevity Blueprint course is currently 50% off to celebrate the launch of the podcast PLUS I’m throwing in a free personalized consultation!
In this episode
- How testosterone levels impact every aspect of men’s health
- The many endocrine disruptors in the environment
- How the approach to men’s health is becoming more proactive
- Using wearable technology to make informed health decisions
- What epigenetics are and its role in hormonal health
- Dairy, soy, and their negative effects on testosterone production
- Lab tests to ask your doctor to run
“There is a massive epidemic that we’re experiencing where we’re seeing testosterone levels plummet. We’re seeing fertility levels plummet as well in line with the testosterone levels.” [6:51]
“Some people will do great with a certain diet. Other people will do very poorly.” [17:49]
“I practice what I preach. I get good sleep. I focus on micronutrient supplementation, and proper nutrition and detox support and optimizing hormones.” [41:01]
“One of the best things you can do is focus on good quality sleep and track it.” [44:42]
Tracy Gapin 0:03
In my practice, we have six areas of health that we look at in terms of genetics, we look at nutrition, we look at micronutrient supplementation, we look at sleep, we look at detox pathways, we look at fitness and we look at hormone function.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 0:18
Welcome to the longevity blueprint podcast. I'm your host, Dr. Stephanie gray. My number one goal with the show is to help you discover your personalized plan to build your dream healthy and live a longer, happier, truly healthier life. You're about to hear from Dr. Tracy Galpin. This podcast is all about longevity. And one way to do that is to boost testosterone. Next, Dr. Gavin is going to share why we have a low testosterone epidemic and why the time is now for men to take back control of their health truly optimizing their health so that they can be powerfully present husbands, fathers and leaders. You're going to want to share this interview with all the men in your lives. Let's get into the episode
today thrilled to chat with Dr. Tracy gap and Tracy gap is a Board Certified urologist world renowned men's health and performance expert, professional speaker and author. He has over 20 years of experience focused on providing fortune 500 executives, entrepreneurs and athletes a personalized plan to optimizing their health and performance. Dr. Galpin incorporates precision hormone optimization. peptide therapy is state of the art biometric tracking, epigenetic coaching and cutting edge age management protocols to help men not just optimize their testosterone levels, but transform their health and vitality and reverse aging so that they can be the most amazing version of themselves. Welcome, Dr. Galpin.
Tracy Gapin 1:38
Hey, Stephanie, thanks so much for having me today.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 1:40
So I met Dr. Galpin at a small workshop in Milwaukee last fall and I was so blessed to have randomly sat down by him and asked what what do you do and he said he was a urologist. I was so thrilled to hear he was a urologist that was for optimizing hormone replacement therapy because unfortunately locally, we do have some urologist that that is not their specialty. Some of them will refer to me for assistance with that, and others are not for it. And so I was very thrilled to hear that you are for testosterone. But as we're going to get into today, you're, you're for more than just optimizing testosterone. So I'm excited for this conversation today because we get to talk about men. I do see male clients in my clinic, but the large majority of my clients are female, and they're wanting to improve their health. So they may have fatigue, weight gain, poor sleep, anxiety, hot flashes, vaginal dryness, low libido, they come to see me to optimize their health, and then in time they bring their husband, because now they need to be on the same page, well balanced with their husband.
And I do think optimizing hormones is a wonderful way, a quick way to get my patients feeling better. But there's more to the story than just receiving testosterone replacement therapy. And that's what I love about your book. So Dr. Tracy Kaplan's book is the male 2.0 cracking the code to limitless health and vitality. So as I mentioned, Dr. Galpin is for hormones, but he works with clients to boost them naturally. And we're going to talk about some strategies for that today. In chapter six of my book, what your longevity blueprint is where I'm comparing the heating and the cooling system of the home to the endocrine system in the body. So hormone optimization is, again, one key to longevity, one key in my book, and so let's just dive into that today. So Dr. Kaplan, let's open with your story. In your book, you call yourself a bit of a rebel. So what made you as a urologist interested in this approach your approach, which we're going to get into today, and why are you a rebel?
Tracy Gapin 3:27
Sure. So I am a medical doctor by training, been doing urology for 20 years now. And as we go through medical education, through college, through medical school to residency, we're taught simply the disease model, and that what I mean by that is we're treated how to diagnose a disease, how to troubleshoot someone identify what their their disease is, give them a label, and then treat that problem. treat those symptoms, stamp out that disease and that's What our focus is, and so our entire energy focused direction is around simply treating disease. And once that's accomplished, see you later See you next time. Well, personally, I had my own health issues maybe 567 years ago or so now where I started gaining weight, I wasn't sleeping well, I was stressed out from work, and I wasn't eating well, and I had no time to train. And I was so focused on my career and my patients that I really lost sight of myself. And these health issues really became apparent when I went to my first physical ever and found that I was markedly overweight, my cholesterol numbers, my kidney function numbers were off. And it was a scary moment to suddenly be faced with my own mortality.
And I realized that I need to start changing things. So I dove into my medical background and training and education and realized that there was really nothing there for that. And my primary care doctor simply told me eat more vegetables, exercise more, and maybe take a stat. And those were his three recommendations. That was it. And so I left their puzzle, a little scared, overwhelmed. But that was a real changing point in my life to realize that we, as physicians, were terrible at teaching our patients how to be proactive about optimizing and improving their health, we have been simply taught how to treat a disease. And that's where the shift happened for me personally and professionally. started focusing on epigenetics and how our lifestyle and our environment and our behaviors affect the way our body functions. And that got me down the path of health and performance optimization, and that's become a huge passion for me and my book is centered around that. And that's where I live personally as well as what I preach to my patients. Wonderful.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 6:01
So I'm getting that part of this may have been lower hormone levels that you may have found with yourself, which piqued interest to maybe optimize your health and the health of your patients. So can we talk a little bit about why testosterone levels are plummeting in men? Do we have an epidemic? What What's going on here?
Tracy Gapin 6:19
Yeah, we certainly do have an epidemic. Um, you know, there's been three great longitudinal studies that have looked at this. There's a big one here in the US that followed men for 15 years, and they found over a 30% decline in testosterone levels 40% decline in free testosterone levels. And two European studies showed similar findings. And those studies even accounted for dietary factors, obesity, insulin resistance, stuff like that, that we know could definitely contribute to that. And so we recognize that there is a massive epidemic that we're experiencing where we're seeing testosterone levels plummet, we're seeing fertility levels plummet as well. line with the testosterone levels. And so we know that there's something affecting testosterone function, or excuse me testicular function, including testosterone and sperm motility and count, which we'll get to why in a moment. But you're absolutely right that there is an epidemic. And it's really affecting every aspect of men's health. And when a guy starts to experience low testosterone, there's a trickle down effect to that. He loses energy, he can't focus at work, he loses motivation to exercise and workout. It affects his mood, and it's going to affect his choices of nutrition, so it can affect his relationship with a spouse and it goes on and on. And so I like to talk about going beyond testosterone, because while that is a major part of a men's health, that's just one piece of it. Sure, sure.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 7:51
So you already talked about why testosterone is so important. And I would add to that testosterone is even important for bone density. I've seen men with osteoporosis young men. I've taken prednisone steroids for various reasons come to me, because their doctor said you need testosterone for your bone density because you're young, you have a whole lifetime. your bones are shot, which is scary. Absolutely.
Tracy Gapin 8:11
Absolutely. Yeah. bone density. muscle mass has to do with lipid metabolism and your ability to burn fat and it has so many effects on your on your health
Dr. Stephanie Gray 8:20
helps preserve our memory as well as we agent we want to live longer. We want to keep our memory right up such a large flow to the brain. So women commonly come to see me, I think, more urgently, I think women are more in tune to their health. And I would, I would echo what you've said about men and testosterone levels declining with women, we're seeing progesterone levels go down and women, we're seeing this in both sexes, for sure. But I find that women are more eager to more quickly seek help and that men sometimes neglect themselves and as you state in your book, they're failing themselves in their families, because they're not. They're not seeking the care they need to optimize their health. So that's kind of the preface of your book to again, this Your book is called male 2.0 cracking the code to limitless health and vitality. And I got a sneak peek of this, which I was very thankful for. This is not quite out coming soon. And I'll have to tell you as I was reading it, my husband was getting quite annoyed with me. every chapter I be in the bedroom, and he was sitting out watching TV, with the dog or the baby, and I owe you, you got to read this, you got to read this book. There are so many good tips in there, one of which is to not use plastic k cups for coffee, which he uses every day. And so I want to get into why those are working against male testosterone levels. But before we get into that, in your book, you also mentioned the difference between the male 1.0 and 2.0. So can you kind of differentiate that for us? Sure.
Tracy Gapin 9:45
Yeah, you're absolutely right that men don't typically want to seek out medical attention, if not, for one main reason. And we all know what that is, you know, men will do almost anything. To regain healthy and normal vitality and sexual function, and that's what what unfortunately, is the main provocative issue in their life that will bring them in to undergo testing and ask about testosterone. But the main thing to understand what testosterone is that there, there are a lot of different factors involved in why it has diminished. You know, diet can certainly play a role in it. You know, we know that that there are a lot of healthy fat versus unhealthy fats. We know that sugar can definitely play a huge role as well. We can look at environmental toxins or endocrine disrupters, and I think this is really where the focus of our discussion is going to go here. And what I talked about in the book is we have found that there's a clear correlation between exposure to various endocrine disruptors a decline in testosterone in men. And and I want to quickly as a disclaimer state that this is not just testosterone, you know, we're seeing effects of endocrine disrupters on women and women's fertility and on immune function, and increased risk of cancers and obesity and all kinds of other health problems as well.
So, endocrine disrupters, specifically here, I'll talk about how it affects testosterone. But I would be remiss to not point out that it has a lot of other health effects and issues as well. So you know, you mentioned k cups. I do mention it as one of the the things in our environment plastics in our life, that affect testosterone because plastics are made of phalates. And they later found in any plastic that's either bendable or clear. plastic water bottles is a great example. You know, BPA or Bisphenol A is used to make plastic water bottles as well. Well, a lot of water balls will say they're BPA free now, which is you would think, great. But instead, they're using bps bisphenol s to get away from that. But they're also made with fe lates as well. And failings are important because they leach into the food and water that they're storing. Especially when you're looking at warm products, like a K cup, or if it's a plastic food container that you're reheating, or if it's in a plastic water ball that is maybe being stored in the closet for three months before you drink it. And these toxins are leaching into our food and water and we're eating and drinking them.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 12:38
And that's scary to me also as a relatively new mother, that these plastics are also in teethers and bottles and various toys and shower curtains. I mean, these soft plastics are they're essentially everywhere.
Tracy Gapin 12:50
Yeah, any plastic there's bendable up, plastic baby toys is the big one. plastic food containers and that you can get in Your personal care products as well. You know things like laundry detergent and soap and shampoo and sunscreen, their chemicals and all these products that you're absorbing either through your skin or if you're ingesting them. These toxins are crushing us.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 13:19
And correct me if I'm wrong, but personal care products don't have to mention on the label that they contain these salads. So sometimes those the phallic could be hidden in another word like fragrance, which is why we need all fragrances.
Tracy Gapin 13:33
Exactly. So any scented products are going to have one of a number of different endocrine disruptors. And there's a great tool that you can use by the Environmental Working Group. This app on your phone will enable you to look up the ingredients of any product and it's kind of scary to realize all these things that are chemicals that are in our are either foods or personal care products. That are loaded with chemicals.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 14:02
So I'll post a link to that website in the show notes. So the Environmental Working Group has a skin deep cosmetics database that you can search for to rank or to see the ranking of your personal care products, that breaks the risk of cancer, the endocrine disruption the allergenic city, right. And then the app is a healthy living app. So I'll post those links for sure. And what I tell my patients is, to my knowledge, it's voluntary for companies to participate in that database. So if they're not participating, then they may be actually hiding something I was shocked to when I went through my husband's drawer in the bathroom and find the shaving cream he had been using just he doesn't use that many products but of the products he uses. They weren't ranking safe, they were ranking pretty high for endocrine disruption and that means they can bind our hormone receptors and cause bad things to happen. So even in women, endometriosis, infertility, PCs, heavy cycles, and essentially in long term risk for hormone related cancers, so we need to be getting these these chemicals out of our Speaking of estrogen in your book, I think you also mentioned that many women are peeing out their birth control. I mean, literally the our water systems aren't filtering out the estrogen that is ending up in it for so many women that are taking birth control.
Tracy Gapin 15:17
Exactly as synthetic estrogens, like Astra dial is a huge problem because it's such a tough molecule that will not get broken down easily and it will not get filtered very well by our use of municipal water treatment plants. And studies have shown that a large portion of our water supply still has detectable levels of various chemicals but especially Esther dial and Esther dial, it's it's a very sticky molecule, it sticks to an androgen receptor, and think of it like a light switch that won't turn off. So I get this question a lot. And then we'll say well, I thought estrogen was healthy. Well, it is and men need healthy levels of testosterone and estrogen and estrogen. Diet levels are important for men's health and mood and sexual function and so on. But the chemicals in endocrine disrupters are specifically different because they are a synthetic Ester dial compounds that don't metabolize, don't break down and tend to over stimulate the hormone receptor.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 16:18
I find Also, many men who have more fat around their belly at that beer belly. They're also going to create more of an enzyme called aromatase, which can convert that testosterone over to estrogen further worsening their challenge all the more reason why we need to detox these patients and help them lose weight to help them ultimately bounce our hormone. So let me go back to the male 1.0 versus male 2.0. So we That's all right, that's all right. Tell me the difference.
Tracy Gapin 16:47
So male 1.0 is the approach to men's health that all men have. Practice experienced and understood is what they're supposed to Do that is reactive that means you go to the doctor when you're sick. That is you follow the one size fits all approach fad of the day of whatever they think they're supposed to do. give you example, you know lately everyone's heard of bulletproof and bulletproof coffee and keto. And oh, you know, if I want to lose weight, all I got to do is just do keto, for a while was the Atkins diet. And then it was, you know, just purely plant based. And then it was the carnivore diet. And there's there's all these different fads. In reality, you need to take a proactive approach and take a personalized approach me that everyone's going to respond differently. And this comes down to our genetic blueprint and how everyone is uniquely different based on your genes.
And that's going to affect how you're going to respond to your environment. So some people will do great with a certain diet other people will do very poorly saturated fat which is found in red meat and pork and milk, cheese dairy products. For some people, it can markedly increase your risk for cardiovascular disease and the early development of Alzheimer's disease. For other people, it's actually fine. It's actually healthy and in slightly increased amounts. And so it's really important to understand your genes and how they affect your body's reaction to your environment. So male 1.0 is reactive. It is using a one size fits all approach. It is relying on the old fashioned way of health where we just treat it with a pill, or we look on Web MD and find the answers ourself. Male 2.0 is an entirely different approach to transforming your health where we are proactive. We take a personalized approach by using our genetics to understand how we're going to respond to the environment. We take a data driven approach that means that we can look at biometrics wearable technology, we can talk a lot about that fun stuff. And use data to actually and leverage that data to make real decisions about our health is not relying on a one size fits all model. And it's understanding that we're all uniquely different.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 19:14
Wonderful. That's, that's great, both of those concepts down that you were mentioning the wearable tech, and then also the we'll talk more about epigenetics. So let's, let's talk about wearable tech. So how do you incorporate that into your practice? I'm assuming as far as like monitoring sleep, because sleep as a sleep is extremely important for your body to make hormones you need to get restorative sleep. So how do you utilize that with your patients?
Tracy Gapin 19:37
So I'm currently using two devices. Actually, I'm using an aura ring and I'm using a Garmin Phoenix watch, and I'll explain some of the benefits of using different devices. So wearable tech allows us to track biometric data. And by that, I mean we can look at, you know, not just heart rate, but we can look at heart rate variability, which I'll talk about, we can track sleep, we can track not just the quality The quantity of sleep but the quality as well. We'll talk about that we can track steps, we can track our actual fitness activity level. And we can attract. We can track stress levels or nutrition if we wanted to. And we can look into some really complex physiology related to working out like your load status, like your recovery status, your fatigue ability, different stuff like that. So backing up for a moment, if we can look at heart rate variability, which I think is one of the most exciting parts of tracking heart variability is simply I know you talked about this on your podcast previously.
It's simply the variation your heartbeat from one beat to the next. And this is a very critical physiologic marker because it is a direct window to your health. It shows your body's balance, if you will, between the parasympathetic and the sympathetic nervous system. parasympathetic is rest and relax and digest and great metabolism and energy and recovery and good health, sympathetic status. More of a stressed, anxious state not recovered, you are in potentially a state of inflammation and a more of a, an unhealthy state, if you will, is the heart of variability which you can track on a daily basis with these devices enables me to identify my heart rate variability, which is a direct indication of my physiologic stress and health levels, and then I can leverage my lifestyle around that information.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 21:30
So with the aura ring, I'd looked into that before and I'm a little not paranoid, that's the wrong word. I'm very cautious about EMF, electromagnetic radiation. And someone did tell me that the aura ring is emitting a very small amount. Have you looked into that?
Tracy Gapin 21:44
Yeah, it's absolutely a great question. I get this question a lot. And the EMF from the aura ring is negligible. It's almost I don't want to say zero but it's near zero that I'm I'm completely comfortable recommending you earn our ring, especially when you sleep with you. Garmin Watch has very it does have a little more in that, but it's still in my opinion negligible as well. But EMF at night is really a big point. So be sure that you like your phone, not near bed. Most people tend to put their phone at the nightstand, maybe maybe in charge it plugged in, plugged in, it's even got Wi Fi and cellular signal going out at the same time. You can actually have enough coming from your outlets, even if there's nothing plugged into them as well. And so some people are proponents of actually shutting off the circuit breaker to the power in your bedroom at night, which would be the ultimate way of eliminating EMF exposure at that time.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 22:39
Yeah, we're about to have, which I will do an episode on this. But I had a family member actually started a business were called EMF pollution solutions where we actually through a remote control, we tested all of the outlets. I mean, we've essentially rather than walk out to the garage and flip the whole you know, every single circuit breaker you want to leave your fridge on. There's certain things you need to leave on at night. We've been able to assess which outlets need to go off. And then essentially the electrician will hook up this box and we'll flip a switch and so we'll be able to cut the juice. Yeah. Dangerous outlets at night to really cut down. Yeah, yeah, that's great, eager to get that. So you talked a little bit about wearable tech, which is wonderful. And I think they sleep benefit is heavily underrated. And I don't think men realize that lack of sleep can drop their testosterone levels so much. So well, how much sleep do you recommend?
Tracy Gapin 23:28
Yeah, great question. So sleep is critically important. And that's the reason why I actually have two different devices. And I'll tell you why the aura ring is is probably the best wearable device to track quality and quantity of sleep. The other devices out there, there's a loop there's the bio strap, there's the Apple Watch, there's multiple apps on your phone, and then the Garmin has asleep function as well. None of them are nearly as good as you are at tracking your sleep. And so the aro will track the quality and so let me dive in Deeply for a moment into the quality of sleep and why that's important. And then I will definitely answer your question. So our sleep has multiple stages, there are two stages of light sleep stage one and two. And then there are two stages of deep sleep three and four. And then there's REM, which is a rapid eye movement sleep, which is a very, very likely Well, you're you're barely asleep. And then we'll also have multiple stages of micro awakenings during the night as well.
So as we sleep, we started REM sleep, we go down through stage one and two of light sleep down through three and four and then come back up again and we do that cycle three to four times a night. So answer your question. I don't have a specific focus for total sleep, other than around seven and a half hours. You know, some based on your genetics, some people can do well with seven hours. Some people need up to eight, eight and a half hours, but around seven hours of overall total sleep is great. However, the reason why I went to the expo Because just focusing on that you miss the big picture. The key thing is you need to look at the REM sleep, and you need to look at your deep sleep. And those are the critical aspects of sleep for, for obtaining the restorative component of sleep that you're that you're looking forward that you're needing
Dr. Stephanie Gray 25:19
and or arranged well
Tracy Gapin 25:20
break that down, it does actually breaks it down. So what you want to look at, you want to look at your rem Time, and you want to look at your deep sleep time and those together, you want at least three hours combined. Between REM and deep sleep light sleep gives you actually very little benefit. It's really the REM plus the deep aim for three hours or more.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 25:39
Yeah, well, let's maybe go back to epigenetics for a minute. So I know some of the genetic variants that I have. And I'm also looking at this with my patients. Specifically, one of the variants you mentioned in your book is The Gad one gene. These individuals can't convert glutamine glutamate I should say to GABA glutamate an excitatory neurotransmitter GABA GABA. As a calming neurotransmitter, and I have never tolerated MSG, well, I avoided at all costs, I get heart palpitations and very fast heart rate. And in fact, I don't tolerate glutamine supplement either, which I'm usually heavily advocating for with my patients, because it's a very important non essential amino acid to heal the gut. So patients who have food sensitivities were putting on glutamine for months, sometimes years to help. And that's something that I have, I, interestingly, found out that I couldn't talk right, and then that correlated with the genes that I had. So to me, just having that knowledge is so powerful. And so soon with your patients, you're looking at a lot of different genes as far as, again, the diet they need to be on or how much sleep they need to be getting, or even maybe some nutrients that they need. So can you expand a little bit on how you use epigenetics and some important genes that you've found and have utilized your patients? Sure.
Tracy Gapin 26:55
Yeah, absolutely. And if I may, I'll just back up briefly. For listeners who may Not be familiar with the term epigenetics because I tend to throw it around without even being sure to clarify what it means. epigenetics It literally means above the genes. But what we mean by that is that your genetic code is fixed. For the most part, it does not change from what your parents gave you when you were first conceived. Your genes are stable other than rare mutations. However, our environment our lifestyle, will affect the actual expression of those genes. And so things like what you eat things like toxins and or chemicals in your environment, things like how you sleep, things like your trauma, or social experiences when you're a child. All these different environmental factors can affect the way your genes actually function. And so everything that happens in your body every physiologic process is based on On gene expression. And so epigenetics is simply how everything in your life affects the external effects the internal. So, back to your question. I'm sorry, sir, as always, there's never a simple answer. You know, we have, in my practice, we have six areas of health that we look at in terms of genetics, we look at nutrition, we look at micronutrient supplementation, we look at sleep, we look at detox pathways, we look at fitness, and we look at hormone function.
And in each of those six areas, we can look at specific genes that we know code for specific processes in your body. Like you mentioned, the Gad one genes, which is a love that gene so it's fascinating to look at. And we can understand how your behaviors lifestyle environment, affect the expression of those genes and make specific changes that are unique to you. So I'll give you an example. There's the APR a five gene, which is the not G and the antonacci. So we talked a lot about healthy fats versus unhealthy fats and what foods should be eating? And the question will often come up well, Hey, can I eat nuts? Well, for some people not too great, especially almonds and walnuts and macadamia nuts. They're wonderful. For other people, though, omega six, polyunsaturated fatty acids are terrible for them, and they have what's called the anti nudge gene where you specifically want to avoid nuts. And so Wouldn't you like to know what you're a boy five genus, right.
The APR II gene relates to what we talked about earlier with saturated fat intake. Wouldn't you want to know what your HCG and says? There are genes related to every aspect of those six areas of health? You know, we can look at micronutrients of vitamin D and whether you're at risk for vitamin D deficiency, or whether your vitamin D receptor is going to function normally or the things that we can do to upregulate that we can look your detox pathways and certain people are risk of progress. With Eiland function, which is critical for as antioxidants for free radical scavenging, and and based on your genetics, we can no blind spots that we can address. Again, proactively male 2.0 taking charge of your health, not waiting for disease, but actually being proactive, knowing based on your genetics, what your propensity is, and predispositions are at a time.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 30:22
That's wonderful, then that gives power back to the patient that there's something that they can do.
Tracy Gapin 30:27
Exactly, exactly. That's right.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 30:29
I know we've jumped around with the different different points here. But I want to go back to a particular liquid poison. You've mentioned in your book that I am advocating women not consume, which essentially is dairy or in your book, you mentioned milk, but this was so so stunning, and you can correct me if I'm wrong here, but essentially you mentioned that drinking a glass of milk can drop testosterone levels by 50% because of just layers and layers of chemicals, the plastics lining the jog or the carton of milk, the hormones that have been injected into that cow that the milk came from mold toxins that are on the grains that the cows consuming the herbicides and pesticides, which are also on the grain. So when we drink that, well, I don't but when some people drink a glass of milk, they're not thinking that that could be crushing their testosterone, that those layers that they're consuming layers and layers of endocrine disrupting toxins. I don't know if you want to elaborate on that. But to me, that was just stunning. And for any men listening, I mean, take it, is it think about, think about the detrimental effects on your health before you have that that glass of milk?
Tracy Gapin 31:39
Yeah, it is powerful. You know, there was a study that gave young I think there were teenage I think there were 1314 year old boys, they gave them milk off the shelf for grocery store. And they simply tested their testosterone levels before in one hour after they drank this milk and there was a precipitous drop in there. testosterone levels after simply drinking a glass of milk and, you know, that's just one glass you think of milk over a lifetime. And, you know, the mechanism of that is what you just described, I think is layers and layers of chemicals and toxins. And I like to say we are in a soup of endocrine disruption all around us. And so it's making decisions like that, you know, I think a healthy alternative would be almond milk, for example, where, you know, plant based milk like that, where, you know, yes, it still may be in a in a cardboard container with wine with plastic. Yes, you know, you're having to make choices, but you're doing the best you can. And these little decisions every day, are what's really going to over the long term make a big effect.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 32:48
And by plant based also, I just want to be clear to the audience, not soy, soy. Soy has estrogenic properties also. So that's not good.
Tracy Gapin 32:58
And I've gotten into Some fairly heated fun, but heated debates with colleagues and friends who are strong plant based advocates and who loves soy. And I think the the literature is is confusing because there is commercial bias because there's a lot of money in the soy industry and soybean oil is associated with massive companies that are making massive profits. And if there were studies that would hit them, it would not be very beneficial, obviously, in their mind. And so there is a there are several studies out there that I believe have been bought by the soy industry. And that makes it very confusing when you go, you know, the arguments will center around certain studies that have been pulled, but I would counter with studies that have shown clear health risks and there's no Commercial bias, there's no you know, there's no evil intent there other than just to get to the truth. So it is what it is you have to accept that people are going to have their their conformational bias and people are going to find studies to support their opinion, but I think the literature shows that there's some real dangers with soy.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 34:18
I agree, totally agreed. Well, let's talk a little bit about labs that you think are really important to have tested to assess if there is a hormone imbalance of hormones are not optimal. So can you just briefly run through what labs you would suggest the audience have checked?
Tracy Gapin 34:34
Yeah, absolutely. We'll start with testosterone. I think a testosterone level is obviously important. I would emphasize a free testosterone however, is vitally important because especially men with higher sh BG levels or sex hormone binding globulin levels, their total testosterone may be reasonably okay but their free testosterone is markedly decreased. free testosterone is under to any serum proteins and is the bioavailable form of testosterone.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 35:05
Just to tell the audience a little bit about sh VG, I'd like to explain to my patients it's like a sponge. It's carrier protein. It's a sponge. So it'll soak up your testosterone that you actually want to be free and available out there to help you. So we don't want that to be high. To be clear.
Tracy Gapin 35:20
Exactly, exactly right. Yeah. And there are fun peptides which can bring sh BG down. But nonetheless, sh BG will diminish your free testosterone. So your bioavailable testosterone won't be where you need to be. Also stopped there briefly and mentioned that there when you're looking at these lab results, you know, you'll look at the lab test and you'll say normal range for testosterone is 250 to 1000, which is a joke. It's a complete joke, because that's simply the from looking at standard deviation perspective, just the national averages and what the population level test Social mobiles are and those are clinically quote normal, but they're not physiologically normal or optimal. And so when you look at total testosterone, you know anything less than than even 800, I would say is low. And I think you really need levels 800 900,000 if not even up to 1200 1500, even which there are several other hormone experts who will agree with me on this that you really need levels well beyond what the cool normal loud range is.
So but again, free testosterone will be more important than the total. Looking at thyroid is another critical hormone. Most primary care doctors will simply check TSH until your TSH is fine. TSH is fairly worthless because you need to look at your T three and T four. So the thyroid makes both t three and T four mostly t four, t four gets converted into T three and T three is the actual physiologically active form of thyroid hormone. And so we don't care what your TSH is if your T three is low. We also look at the reverse t three which is kind of like the the antibody if you will t three and reverse t three can be elevated from stress and inflammation and reverse t three can block the effects of T three. And so, we want to look at your T four levels we want to look at your free t three levels we want to look at your reverse t three levels that again go well beyond just TSH. I want to look at markers of inflammation. I want to look at things like homocysteine CRP, looking at cardiovascular risk, most doctors will just check a simple lipid panel looking at HDL LDL total cholesterol and triglycerides.
You got to look at LP little a, you got to look at particle limit particle size. You have to look at April lipoprotein B which is probably one of the most important blood Proteins we had and most doctors don't even know what it is. So I believe a protein B is the lower protein carrier for the bad, like little particles, if you will. And so that's going to be a much more direct indicator of your cardiovascular risk and just looking at HDL LDL. So those are just some of the key ones. You know, we look at electrolytes we look at, you know, liver enzymes, we look at, you know, other labs like that, you know, for men, I think estradiol is valuable, although I don't get worried if it's elevated. I think the ratio of testosterone to estrogen as was most important there. So that's just a start.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 38:41
Wonderful, wonderful. I'm gonna comment on a couple of things there for the women listening. If you have taken birth control before, that also will cause sh VG to rise which will drop your free testosterone which is why some women have improvements in acne and higher androgen symptoms but that's also why libido will tank when women are on birth control. So, this these comments apply to men and women that we don't want sh VG to be high and totally agree on all the thyroid labs. I, I think TSH stands for too slow to help. One of my mentors Joe Collins once told me, I think by the time TSH is high patients have had low thyroid symptoms for a long time. So I think that's so important. And one thing that I try to drive home through my book is the importance of assessing comprehensive functional medicine labs and have them appropriately interpreted in the context that you were saying, right, we were not looking for just normal labs. We want patients our patients labs to be in the optimal range for them to age age. Well. Now, you recently did actually contract the Coronavirus. So I would love to briefly I'm sure we could talk for just an hour on that your experience but briefly tell me what that was like for you and kind of how your recovery was and what all you felt like contributed to maybe a more quick recovery. worry for you some of the things you use like peptides. Yeah, absolutely.
Tracy Gapin 40:03
So yeah, I got sick one Friday night I suddenly developed flu like symptoms with fever, shaking, chills, body aches. And we had been traveling the week prior, which I think may have been how I contracted the virus. But I sent my family away. I quarantine myself alone. And over the next couple of days, that flu like symptoms cleared up, but I was left with this dense fatigue, overwhelming fatigue like I've never had before that persisted for about a month, a month to six weeks of incredible fatigue. I practice telemedicine In the meantime, isolated myself and gradually improved. It was a long long recovery process. In terms of what I did to recover, I would propose that my male two point of approach to health is what probably had a large was largely responsible.
For my quick recovery, I practice what I preach and I get good sleep and I you know focus on micronutrient supplementation and proper nutrition and on you know detox support and on optimizing hormones. You know what I recommend to my clients about fitness and about every other aspect of lifestyle I do myself and I think that had a large component. But I also did you bring up peptides is I immediately started peptides that are specifically focused on boosting the immune function. And I think those peptides are are a big part of contributed to my recovery as well. I love peptides. peptides are amazing signaling molecules. They're simply chains of amino acids that can have various benefits, whether it's, you know, boosting, muscle development, weight loss, in this case, immune function, cognitive focus, you can use them for sexual function libido, hair loss goes on and on. I love peptides and they definitely have their place in in Proactiv, mil 2.0 health.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 42:06
Wonderful. I would love to do another episode just on peptides because we could talk quite a bit on those. But just to be clear to the audience, you literally were tested for the Coronavirus, like you were tested, you had it. So now out of curiosity, I'm wondering if you had antibody levels tested to see if your ID G's rising or do you know where you're at?
Tracy Gapin 42:26
Yeah, so I got tested a couple days after a develops into I was tested at the time, which was middle of March, there was very little testing available. There was it was still it really challenged us to find a testing location. So I had to go to the local emergency room where the local epidemiologist gave me permission to get the test done without being admitted. At the time, the only way to get a test was to be admitted to the hospital. I wasn't sick enough that I needed that so I was able to get a test done. It took 10 days to get the test results back which We're positive. So all that time I sat waiting. So I tested positive and then I tested again about two or three weeks later, I was negative at that point. And then about three weeks after that is when I got my antibiotic test done, and I was I GG positive at that point oh, it's really just a positive negative to binary result. So I was positive for the antibodies and actually donated plasma as part of a convalescent serum donor study here locally, so. So I do have the antibodies. That brings a lot of questions, obviously, about immunity and how long they stick around. When and obviously, no one knows. A lot of people think they know but no one knows.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 43:44
Well, I'm thankful I'm sure you're very thankful that you had all this knowledge was in good shape when you were exposed. So your outcome was was good. So thanks for that. Absolutely. Leave us with your top longevity tip. I'm sure you have handfuls but what was your absolute top longevity tip be for the audience.
Tracy Gapin 44:02
Absolutely. Number one without question is sleep. So good quality sleep affects everything. Sleep Affects testosterone levels, it affects it directly. It also affects it through cortisol and chronically elevated cortisol is the result you get from crappy sleep. So when you don't sleep well it affects your hormone levels, it affects neurotransmitters affects adrenal function. It affects your, your appetite, and your ability to avoid temptation and resist, you know, poor nutrition choices. It affects detail, it affects everything. And so what I would really emphasize for patients, men, women, anyone, one of the best things you can do is focus on good quality sleep, and track it. And, you know, a lot of guys will come in initially and they're like, yeah, I see fine. Well, yeah, you sleep seven hours, but when I look at your data, you're only getting an hour and a half. REM plus deep sleep combined. So that's crappy sleep. And then we can focus on how to improve that.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 45:05
Wonderful, thank you. So tell me where listeners can get your book and where they can find you and connect with you.
Tracy Gapin 45:10
Thank you so much. So my website is smart, Men's Health calm. And my book will be coming out shortly it will be on Amazon as well as on my website directly. And I hope you check it out.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 45:22
Wonderful. Well, I hope this has piqued the interest of all those listening and men and women, that this will motivate them to make some changes in their life that will contribute to higher hormone levels and ultimately, longevity. So as you say, in your book, doing nothing is not the answer. But the time really is now to take control of your health. So I'm incredibly thankful that you have shared with us with our listeners, just ultimate strategies. So thank you so much for your time, and I believe your mission also is to, again inspire men to become more present husbands and fathers and leaders and I absolutely love that because that's what our world needs. We That's what we need. And I I thank you for for that being your mission. I appreciate everything so much for
Tracy Gapin 46:05
having me today.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 46:08
Wow, wow wow, who would have thought that plastic in K cups birth control in our water and even milk could be contributing to the low testosterone epidemic we have. Thankfully as you heard, there is good news you now have the knowledge of what to avoid to help boost those beneficial hormone levels. So share this with all of the men in your lives. I know I can't wait for my husband to hear this. Be sure to check out my book your longevity blueprint. And if you aren't much of a reader, you're in luck. You can now take my course online where I walk you through each chapter in the book. Plus for a limited time Not only is the course 50% off, but you also get your first consult with me for free. Check this offer out at your longevity blueprint comm and click the course tab. One of the biggest things you can do to support the show and help us reach more listeners is to subscribe to the show and leave us a rating and review on Apple podcasts or wherever you listen. I read all the reviews And would truly love to hear your suggestions for show topics, guests, or how you're applying what you've learned on the show to create your own longevity blueprint. The podcast is produced by the team at counterweight creative. As always, thanks so much for listening and remember, wellness is waiting.
The information provided in this podcast is educational. No information provided should be considered to be or used as a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always consult with your personal medical authority.