Why You Should Listen –
Dr. Tami Meraglia is a double board certified physician in Aesthetic Medicine and Integrative & Natural Medicine. Dr. Tami is passionate about creating natural aesthetic results in her patients. Additionally, she can help discover and correct any medical conditions, hormonal deficiencies, or hormonal imbalances that help people feel and look more beautiful and energetic. On today’s episode of Bulletproof Radio, Tami and Dave talk about testosterone and other adrenal hormones, libido advice, birth control, DHEA preferences, fat for kids and more. Enjoy the show!
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Dave Asprey: Hey, it’s Dave Asprey with Bulletproof Radio. Today’s cool fact of the day is that even though testosterone is something you’d think of as maybe a manly hormone, and estrogen is the womanly hormone, aside from one single carbon atom, they’re almost identical structurally. If you have more of one versus the other, you won’t be very identical structurally.
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Before we get into the show, if you have not had a chance to try Bulletproof Upgraded Collagen, you need to give it a try. The reason for that is that collagen is the building block for your bones, for your skin, it’s one of the most common proteins in the body, and it’s the glue that holds everything together. It’s also what your hair and skin are made out of, if you like your hair and your skin, or if you like other people to like your hair and skin it’s kind of cool. You’re not getting any collagen in your diet unless you do what your grandmother did, which is boil lots of things and make bone broth, like say you might have read about in Bulletproof the Cook Book.
Since, however, my travel kit does not include five pounds of femur, and a big steel pot, and things like that, what do I do? I really wanted some collagen today. Oh, by the way, you don’t get that much collagen from bone broth anyway. What I do is I take my Upgraded Collagen and I put it right in my Bulletproof coffee. I don’t do that every morning, but what you’re getting is a ton of important amino acids like glycine, and less of the inflammatory amino acids that are still essential, but you don’t want too many of them. It doesn’t have a flavor, it’s incredibly neutral, and it doesn’t get all sticky and gelatinous, the way bone broth gelatin does, because it’s broken down into peptides.
It’s called Upgraded Collagen, and you can pick it up on the Bulletproof website, and it’s one of the easiest protein powders to use because it disappears in whatever you put it in, it just goes away. You can even put it in bone broth, and that’s what we do at the Bulletproof Coffee Shop, we make bone broth, and we upgrade it with a lot more collagen than mother nature could ever provide. Check it out on Bulletproof.com, that’s upgraded collagen.
Now speaking of collagen, today’s guest is Dr Tami Meraglia, also known as just Dr Tami. She’s a friend, she spoke at the Bulletproof Conference last year, and she’s a double board certified doctor in cosmetic and naturopathic and integrated medicine. A lecturer, a teacher, and definitely has collagen in her tissues, so Dr Tami, welcome to the show.
Tami Meraglia: Yup, collagen is important.
Dave Asprey: It’s kind of like we all have collagen in our tissues, so that wasn’t really the most amazing thing about you. You also run the Vitality Medispar and Wellness Center in Seattle, which is only a short float-plane ride away from me. You wrote The Hormone Secret, which is a national bestseller, and you write about how do you restore depleted testosterone, balance hormones, and lose weight. What I think is really interesting, is a lot of what you do is you talk to women about how important testosterone is for them. Every woman I’ve ever met who’s on testosterone therapy just says the same thing. They’re like oh my god, I got my life back. Like more so than progesterone, it’s like … Only a few of them had goatees and huge muscles, so it was …
Tami Meraglia: Yeah, and acne.
Dave Asprey: We’ll talk about why that isn’t going to happen. Yeah, when you do it right, that doesn’t happen. I’m really excited to talk to you about that, because this isn’t just about women, if you’re one of the men that listens to Bulletproof Radio, I believe there’s a few more women who listen, than men, believe it or not. What’s interesting is, if you’re one of the guys listening, if the woman in your life goes on the right amount of testosterone therapy, your quality of life will improve dramatically. When women have enough testosterone they’re less moody, and they’re more … There’s a technical term for this, horny, for lack of a better word. We’re going to go into all that stuff in the show, and that’s just going to be cool, because it’s one of the big things that influences quality of life, is do you have that zest for life.
This is personal for me too, Dr Tami, and this is more for listeners, because you already know this. When I was in my mid-20s I knew that stuff was jacked, like things weren’t working in my body very well. I had all this dot com money for a brief period of time, and I got all sorts of lab tests done, before doing lab tests was kind of cool. The kind of weird thing was that my mom had more testosterone than I did. Like I mean almost no testosterone.
Tami Meraglia: At 20 something, ay, ay, ay.
Dave Asprey: Yeah, and so I went on testosterone therapy for eight years, and I ended up going off of it, because, with all the Bulletproof stuff that I do, I restored my natural production of testosterone. Which was kind of a big thing, but I remember the first time I put on some testosterone to get my levels up at least to where my mother was, and man, it was like you get that …
Tami Meraglia: Day to dream.
Dave Asprey: Yeah, you get that I’m back, I’ve got my energy back, your mojo, for lack of a better word. That’s what the women who I talk to now, who get testosterone therapy. They’re like oh, like that little spark comes back. I don’t mean just spark in the bedroom, I mean like the spark like every day. I experienced that just because I had those very weird hormone levels. That’s why I wanted to talk with you, and that’s why I think people are going to love what we’re going to talk about here. Give me the down-low on testosterone. What’s the deal with this stuff? Why is it out? Why do women need to care about it, other than that spark of life, which is kind of mushy? Give me the science.
Tami Meraglia: Well, first of all, I’m so happy to be here, because it’s just not talked about. I’m an MD, I went to school for an obscene amount of time, and went to see my patient, you know, my whole six minutes in my clinic. People, especially women, would come in and they’d say I’m tired, and I have an extra five, ten, fifteen, twenty-five pounds, it won’t budge. The tricks in my twenties aren’t working anymore. They’re starting to get ostepenia, osteoporosis, my skin is sagging, my brain-fog, on and on and on. I’d run the usual tests, and I’d tell them you’re fine. That’s when I realized that fine is a four-letter word. Nobody wakes up in the morning and says gosh, I want to be fine today. We want to be fabulous.
I have a personal story as well that got me to look at testosterone for myself. We’re our own best patients, sort of, in the experimental realm. I was in residency and I had a new born baby, and I was pregnant, and I was lying on my credential cards saying we were only working 80 hours a week, because that was the law. I was exhausted, I would literally, between patients, lie on the floor, because I was so tired. You know, I did what I hear from a lot of patients, I gave myself the yeah buts. Oh, I’m exhausted, yeah but you’re in residency. Yeah, but you’re pregnant. Yeah, but you have a toddler. I gave myself the yeah, buts. I just thought you know really, is that really to be expected? Is this what life is about, this decline?
I started digging in, and that’s when I decided, you know what, this isn’t working, I have to do a whole fellowship in naturopathic medicine. At first I replaced my own progesterone. I slept better, and I felt more peaceful, but my energy, my muscle to fat ratio, a bunch of things that, like you were saying, that spark, really didn’t come back. That’s when I tripped upon testosterone. Women don’t need a lot, but it has an out-sized role in how we look, feel, and function. You know, a lot of people, especially the men, are super-excited about the libido, but when a woman is exhausted, they don’t care. They don’t care about libido. It’s because they’re so tired, and energy is the primary thing that happens to women when they restore their testosterone levels. Whether it is bio-hacking the adrenals, so that the adrenals can produce it, because after the age of 45, that’s the primary factory for most of your hormones, whether you’re a man or a woman.
Dave Asprey: Say that again, almost no one understands that the adrenals make sex hormones, not just stress hormones.
Tami Meraglia: Yeah, and here’s the crazy part, they’re the size of walnuts, and if you have a stress-filled life, and this is where I really want people to pay attention, it doesn’t matter if you’re happy. Stress does not equal a horrible life. Having an exciting life, travelling, doing the things that you love, staying up until 11 or 12 o’clock at night because you’re excited about a project, that’s just stress. Your adrenals really don’t know the difference between a funeral, and a wedding. They are these tiny little glands, and they can deal with what stresses you, or what blesses you. They’re not big enough, and they don’t have enough raw ingredients to do both. Until we heal our adrenals, and like you say, bio-hack them, so that their function can go up, so that you can actually have those hormones being produced there. The ovaries and the testes, they’re gone, they’re in retirement. Their function is passed.
Dave Asprey: Here’s an uncomfortable question, I don’t like it when people tell me you have some amount of capacity. I’m like screw that, I’m a bio-hacker, and my whole job is to break rules. There can’t be that many sex hormones that my adrenals make. Couldn’t I just take a fist full of testosterone, and all the other hormones, several times a day on a circadian basis? Basically give myself mega, super, uber upgraded adrenal function, so I could handle masses of stress all the time? That’s actually kind of a serious question. Like can I make a big, mechanical adrenal gland I strap to my back that injects me with all the right stuff, so I can do anything I want all the time, and never sleep?
Tami Meraglia: No, because all of that stuff has inflammation, and you cannot, at some point … I think we can function much higher than we ever thought, but I think that there are some sort of laws that are built into our DNA. Sleep is one of them, unplugging is another one of them. You do have to have this on and off, this yin and yang, this black and white. Life is all about this balance.
Dave Asprey: Of course.
Tami Meraglia: Sorry Dave, you cannot be a 24/7 super man and just drink your Bulletproof coffee day and night and make it through. There will be a point where your adrenals are like, you know, you think you’re replacing these hormones, but they’re not exactly the same as what I produce, so there’s a side effect.
Dave Asprey: They’re not exactly the same, I would say not yet. We’re getting better and better at quantifying what’s going on, and there’s a bunch of quantum effects that we really don’t understand how hormones work, for the most part. We kind of need to figure that out. Like we can see what their levels are, and what the body does, but how the hormone makes that happen, there’s still a lot of decoding of raw bio-science that hasn’t been done. I don’t think we’re that close to that, but I do know that when you replace some of the hormones, that the adrenals are not making enough of, that you can do that, and you can get to levels of performance. Performance doesn’t mean like I kick ass and I work all the time, it means actually just that I kick ass. I kick ass at being happy, I kick ass at making coffee, I kick ass at whatever I’m doing. I have energy, I feel good.
Tami Meraglia: Creativity, cooking, yeah.
Dave Asprey: I don’t walk to the fridge and forget why I opened the door, all that stuff goes away.
Tami Meraglia: Yeah, it does.
Dave Asprey: That’s why I’m a huge fan of replacing anything that the adrenals make, if they’re not making enough of it, as long as you don’t get your cortisol levels so high that you’re a stressed out monkey. Let’s talk about the list of adrenal hormones, the sex hormones and the adrenal hormones. Just kind of give me the big ones. I think people listening will be totally shocked to hear the whole list.
Tami Meraglia: Yeah, there’s a ton, and I think that testosterone is my favorite. It’s not the biggest one, but it has the biggest impact in men and women, I think. Progesterone, that’s women who are waking up between two and four in morning, wide awake, as if they were never asleep, and their regular doctor has given them an antidepressant, or a sleeping pill, or both. No, no, no, it’s your progesterone, you just need that to stay asleep.
Dave Asprey: What about for guys?
Tami Meraglia: Men have progesterone as well, and it’s really interesting that your testosterone in a man, there’s an enzyme that takes your testosterone, and it makes it into another form of testosterone called DHT, dihydrotestosterone, or even estrogen.
Dave Asprey: The baldness hormone.
Tami Meraglia: Yeah, the male pattern balding. Now those are two different enzymatic reactions, and it lowers your testosterone level, because it’s kind of going over here instead. You can actually use progesterone to block that enzymatic reaction from occurring. You can actually naturally raise your own level of testosterone by taking a tiny bit of progesterone. Progesterone helps your bones, helps your brain, it’s actually not a bad thing. I have men on progesterone.
Dave Asprey: I did not know progesterone was an aromatase inhibitor.
Tami Meraglia: The aromatase and the 5-alpha reductase, it actually has an effect on both, to a lesser or greater degree.
Dave Asprey: All the men in my family, at least from my dad’s side, we over-aromatise … Aromatase, aromatise? We have excessive …
Tami Meraglia: Aromatise. You have a lot of aromatase enzyme activity.
Dave Asprey: Yeah, I have a lot of aromatasosity. Anyway …
Tami Meraglia: You should have picked your parents better.
Dave Asprey: What that means, for people listening, it means that when I get testosterone in my body, it goes to estrogen via almost every pathway possible. I take DHEA, I get estrogen. I take Pregnenolone, I get estrogen. What do you get when you have estrogen? You get boobs.
Tami Meraglia: Moobs.
Dave Asprey: All the guys in my family have moobs.
Tami Meraglia: Man-boobs.
Dave Asprey: I’m like this sucks, I keep it under control, but when I was on testosterone I used Arimidex, because one of my problems was most of my testosterone was going to estrogen so quickly. I managed to block that, but Arimidex is a pharmaceutical way of doing it. I’d not heard about Pregnenolone. People were going …
Tami Meraglia: Progesterone.
Dave Asprey: Sorry, thank you, progesterone, not Pregnenolone. If you’re listening to this, and you’re like what the hell are all these preg-whatevers? Here’s the deal, these are the basic hormones, there’s a lot of forms of all these things. If you’re 30 or under, go out and get a lab test and see what your levels are. When you’re 80, or like 180, like I plan to be, you’re going to want to have the same hormone levels that you had when you were 30.
Tami Meraglia: Absolutely.
Dave Asprey: If you wait until you’re 35, you don’t have the data anymore, right?
Tami Meraglia: Yeah, 25 is my recommendation.
Dave Asprey: Yeah, I actually like that.
Tami Meraglia: Between 25 and 30, because you know, we want everyone to feel 29.
Dave Asprey: It’s so important, and I did do it when I was like 26, 27, the problem was my hormones were already jacked, I had stretch marks and I weighed 300 pounds. I had …
Tami Meraglia: Fat actually has enzyme activity, so fat takes your testosterone and makes it estrogen, and then estrogen makes more fat, it’s just like ah!
Dave Asprey: I had some nice curves, unfortunately I had three or four of them around the middle that didn’t belong there, but you know.
Tami Meraglia: Can I make a comment about Arimidex, because what I want people to know is that if you get the right information for you, there’s so much that you can do. You’re right, Arimidex is awesome, but I’m that freaky doctor that reads every single article, every white paper. I read the articles that are references in the article. I’m like you, like a closet nerd. Arimidex does not increase your risk for prostate cancer, but studies have shown, it was a study by the Society of Urology, that if you do get prostate cancer, and you’re taking Arimidex, it is is likely to be a more aggressive form. It’s last on my list, there’s chrysin, which is a Chinese herb, there is …
Dave Asprey: Does that work for you?
Tami Meraglia: When you put a whole bunch of different things, so you know, I put the chrysin in with the testosterone cream, it can’t hurt.
Dave Asprey: I used to use a huge stack, this was in my late 20s, I was kind of worried about this … I have kids, I’m 43, right? Like okay, my testosterone is about my vitality, but it’s not so much about my manliness at this point, I’m manly enough, right? At that time, I was like everything. I had Tribulus, Arginine, chrysin, I could Tribulus a little bit, but for the most part, I never could get any activity from chrysin, but that could be very individualized.
Tami Meraglia: That’s why you test, yeah, that’s why you test.
Dave Asprey: Okay, great.
Tami Meraglia: You’re like, let’s try this non-pharmaceutical thing that has very little to no side-effects. Oh bummer, it didn’t work, and then you keep going up the ladder. That’s why you just have to have somebody who tests. Then you want to have somebody who’s going to test your urine, because men and women turn their testosterone into estrogen a little bit, and then your estrogen becomes all these other forms. 216 Hydroxyestrone ratio tells you about your cancer risk for breast cancer, and prostate cancer, so it gets really complicated. You want somebody to guide you through it. That’s why I love, and in my book The Hormone Secret, I didn’t want to say oh no, everybody go find a doctor, and take hormones. Even though taking the pressure off of your adrenals by taking hormones is a great idea, so that you can heal them better, and more easily. The book is all about a non-pharmaceutical way to … What you eat, when you eat, how to supplement, to specifically boost your own body’s production. That’s kind of what you’re all about.
Dave Asprey: Oh yeah.
Tami Meraglia: You can get your body at a much higher level if you just give it what it needs, and get out of the way.
Dave Asprey: You can give it all the right building blocks, and you can remove the things that are inhibiting you. It’s really terrible complex. I did an interview recently with Dr Dan Huber where we talked about the endocrine disrupting effects of glyphosate. Half a part per billion starts to mess with your estrogen receptors. You’re like damn, I gave myself all the building blocks, I did all the stuff right, and then this environmental pollutant jacked up my hormones, and of course you’re not going to smell or taste that it was there …
Tami Meraglia: Or even know.
Dave Asprey: Yeah, because you ate some kind of grain that was desiccated with it, or because it’s in your water, because they allow it to be dumped into the river to get rid of algae. You’re like, really? How do you propose that … I’m going to ask two different scenarios, one is how do you propose someone in their mid-40s, who probably has some repair to do on their hormone systems, but probably has some assets in order to pay for it. How do you propose they go about it, versus someone who’s in their mid-20s? Who probably can’t afford the damn hormone panels, much less a bunch of hundred dollars worth of whatever testosterone, other kinds of creams, injections, and all the other things.
First off, tell me what the person who’s willing and able to spend some money on this, who’s really got some stuff to do, doesn’t want to spend a lot, but is really able to come up with a couple of hundred dollars to change the quality of their life. Versus someone who’s like good god, I’m going to have to work ten more shifts at Starbucks before I could even think about this. Give me the, I’m going to do this now, versus I’m going to save up to do this model.
Tami Meraglia: Right, well of course I’m biased. I had this problem in my clinic, and I have had a clinic for over ten years, and so what I did is I created a virtual medical clinic where we just provide you a customized panel, and program just for you. We made a membership model, so it’s $99 a month, and you get four one-hour appointments, one-on-one with an anti-aging double board certified MD, who’s going to create exactly what you need. Whether that’s a prescription …
Dave Asprey: What about the labs though? Aren’t the labs really expensive?
Tami Meraglia: It’s really cool, as an MD I’m licensed all over the United States, so I can actually order labs anywhere, and your insurance will pay for it, because I know all the sneaky CPT codes. Then there’s also blood spot tests, which is super-cool. That we can actually mail you a kit, you can prick your finger, and I can get really accurate valuable hormone level information, just from that little blood spot kit.
Dave Asprey: Who makes that kit?
Tami Meraglia: There’s Theranos, there’s the ones that we have that’s been around the longest is ZRT, and I find that they’re the most affordable, they’ve been doing it for so long. They work with A4 so they have such a great accuracy. That’s my point, is that there’s a lot of coaches, and a lot of health professionals, quote/unquote, who say oh yeah, here’s a lab. We recently ran some labs on my husband, and we did five labs, the poor guy. He’s Italian, he hates needles, but we just kept sucking out blood. He needed to do it anyway, because he’s one of the few men that, when they take testosterone their blood gets thick, so he needed like a blood letting anyway. We sent it to five labs, and you would not believe the different results, from the same sample. It’s really scary out there, I think.
Dave Asprey: One of the other anti-aging guys that I’ve known for many, many years, who’s an advisor to the non-profit Silicone Valley Health Institute Group that I run, Dr Miller, he insists on each lab … He holds the labs accountable for quality standards, and ran into exactly the same problem that you’ve run into, where he doesn’t trust lab data, because it’s so highly variable. This is an un-talked about problem, except for Theranos who got in a lot of trouble because apparently there was some stuff going on, like a lot going on.
Tami Meraglia: It seems like, for me, I’m really lucky, because testosterone seems to be the hardest lab to get right. I’m always testing it, and so I’m seeing the variety, and going huh, wait a minute. How can this be that far off? We just did this three months ago, it’s a new lab, you’re on the same dose, this is weird.
Dave Asprey: What you’re doing now is whether someone’s 25, or someone’s 45, or 65, whatever, it’s about $1200 a year. Which gets them a meeting every three months, which is actually quite a lot, I would recommend people do that, it’s kind of like you’re supposed to get your teeth cleaned every six months, but no one really does that.
Tami Meraglia: It’s less than a latte a day.
Dave Asprey: Yeah, totally.
Tami Meraglia: That was my Starbucks in Seattle thing. Like this is my benchmark.
Dave Asprey: It’s actually a very reasonable thing to do, once you’ve paid your rent, and you’ve got quality food on your table, and you’re basic necessities are taken care of. It’s some of the cheapest things you can do, because it is very likely to prevent a much larger life altering experience later. You get your stuff …
Tami Meraglia: Which is way more expensive.
Dave Asprey: Yeah, it’s half a million dollars for a heart attack these days. The number one cause of bankruptcies in the US is a medical crisis, and the hospital just bleeds you dry. I don’t mean in the hospital, they just make you sick in the hospital, but at least you didn’t die. Then they bleed you dry financially, and then you die of starvation or something.
Tami Meraglia: Or the infection that you left with.
Dave Asprey: Right, it’s kind of a sick system in multiple ways. I believe very strongly that that’s a good thing to do. For the people who maybe aren’t ready to go that level, but just want to get their labs once a year, because they’ll get there, but they’re building careers, they’re building savings. Maybe they aren’t making rent every month, but they still want to get their data, where they can get their data. What does it cost to do a basic hormone panel?
Tami Meraglia: With no insurance involved?
Dave Asprey: Yeah.
Tami Meraglia: Less than $300.
Dave Asprey: There you go, so that is …
Tami Meraglia: Then just get my book, or your book, or there’s so many guides out there, of like okay now I know my results, I need to find a book on testosterone. I need to find a book on estrogen. Then there’s some help.
Dave Asprey: Read several, there’s probably some crazy book out there that’ll tell you juicing green stuff raises your testosterone. By the way, don’t believe that. If you don’t believe me when I say don’t believe that, look at the author who drinks all the green juice. It doesn’t matter which author, I’m not picking on anyone out there, but I don’t know anyone who has vibrant testosterone levels, who subsists on raw, green vegetables. I know, I was a raw vegan for a while, it’s just not a way to raise testosterone. Sorry, I wish it was, but it’s not.
Tami Meraglia: It’s not. Sorry, being a testosterone doctor, it just isn’t. Your testosterone is made up of certain things, and if your body doesn’t have those raw ingredients, it’s not going to be able to make it. It just is pretty common sense.
Dave Asprey: Dr Tami, didn’t you know celery is shaped like a phallus, therefore it raises testosterone? I had someone tell me that once, I’m not joking. I politely told them I like salad, and that was a good conversation. Like what do you say to that?
Tami Meraglia: Yes, no I know, I know. That’s, I think, part of the problem is that people can get overwhelmed. I hear a lot of people, there’s so much information out there, I don’t know where to do, I don’t know what to do. Some of it seems to contradict. You just have to find credible sources, and then listen to your intuition. Like most of us would just go is celery going to raise your testosterone? Let’s look at the nutrient content of celery, what’s there? Hmm, fiber, water …
Dave Asprey: It’s cool that you’ve studied naturopathy as well as western medicine, because it’s that combination where if you were to ask a typical, white lab coat doctor, it’s like food doesn’t matter. Okay, that’s stupid. Then you ask someone who’s maybe gone way off on the end of alternative nutrition, you can get … This is a super-food, therefore it raises testosterone. Why is that a super-food? At what point did whatever this berry is … I don’t know, I think that there’s a gap on both ends. Somewhere in the middle where you consider, and value and use the western and some of the more natural approaches, that’s kind of where, that overlapping area in the middle, is where the most benefit happens. If you only go one way or the other, you’re probably missing out.
Tami Meraglia: You know, lots of my patients come to me on medications. They’ve got high blood pressure, high cholesterol, they’re overweight. They come to me on medication, so first of all, those medications create problems. They create B12 deficiencies, they create all kinds of side effects that nobody who is prescribing them is looking at. Then secondarily, nobody’s actually looking at taking them off. What’s our plan? Sure, I want you on your blood pressure medication, because strokes are awful, but the goal is to get you off this. Here’s our ten step plan that’s going to take us six to twelve months to do it, and we’re going to meet every quarter, and you have unlimited email access to me, so that we get you off this stuff. My problem with pharmaceutical companies right now is I don’t think that they’re creating cures, I think they’re creating customers. They’re most happy when you’re just like a lifer.
Dave Asprey: It’s really interesting how many … Especially when you get into your 60s and 70s, you’re on 20 medications, because this one cancels out the side-effects from that one, which causes this side-effect. It’s actually a really intriguing business model.
Tami Meraglia: As a great businessman you’re probably like, that’s brilliant, wish I had thought of it.
Dave Asprey: That’s why there’s no ethic program where I went to school. No, just kidding, they did teach us ethics for at least 20 minutes.
Tami Meraglia: How to avoid it.
Dave Asprey: The whole point is, if you reject western medicine, you actually reject hormone replacement, because we didn’t know how to make those hormones without western medicine. Using those intelligently, versus whacking yourself over the head with a mega-dose every Friday … There’s circadian rhythms that we can value, that come less from the west, and more from the east. Let’s talk a little bit more about stages of life. If you embrace both approaches at one time, like you do, if you’re a woman, at what point in life do you start really worrying about testosterone?
Tami Meraglia: Unfortunately Dave it is happening at a much younger, and much more significant rate and age than we’ve ever seen at any other time. The research was that people who … Women were not having low testosterone levels that were affecting their life until their late 50s and 60s, and beyond. We now are seeing it not uncommonly in the 30s. Then by the time women are getting to their late 40s and 50s, it’s not low testosterone, it’s undetectable free testosterone. It’s insane, you can’t find it at all, there’s no lab that can find any free testosterone. Which means you don’t have any of that stuff that helps you. Did you know that testosterone prescription was at one time many years ago, the number one treatment for depressions? We have testosterone receptors in our brain.
Dave Asprey: Wow, I didn’t actually realize that, but I can see why. Just having felt the difference in my quality of life from having very low testosterone, to bringing it back up to normal levels, I don’t know that I have really good words for it, but it’s like everything is easier when you have enough testosterone. I don’t mean enough to get jacked and …
Tami Meraglia: Pumped up.
Dave Asprey: Yeah, it’s actually totally different, it’s a different universe if you’re using the types or levels of testosterone that would do that. Just to go back to normal, like okay, this is how I’m supposed to feel every day, I just haven’t felt that way in a long time. You’re seeing that in their 30s for women and men.
Tami Meraglia: Yeah.
Dave Asprey: What does that do to fertility for both?
Tami Meraglia: Trashes it, trashed. There’s actually a big new study that shows that taking testosterone for women during a fertility course increases the chances of a live birth. We used to think no, we don’t want to take testosterone during the time when you’re trying to get pregnant, we used to take people off of their testosterone, men and women. Now we’re finding out that it actually is really helpful.
Dave Asprey: The problem we’re running into is that we completely jacked up the environment around us, and long-time listeners know, bio-hacking is the art of changing the environment around you, and inside you, so that you have control of your biology. Well we unintelligently, and without awareness, changed the environment around us quite a lot. It’s full of endocrine disruptors, we’re now using these toxic lights, basically junk lighting, like compact fluorescent bulbs, that also mess with your hormone levels and your sleep. We do everything we can to our environment that reduces fertility, including spraying glyphosate, and a bunch of other plasticizers. Then we walk around going gee, I wonder why we’re infertile and we feel like crap all the time?
Well the problem is it’s a really big system, and you’re not going to fix just one thing and feel better. You have to fix more than one variable at a time, because you broke more than one variable at a time. Until all that stuff is restored, and we’re all walking around wearing togas, barefoot in nature, and maybe we’ll get there, right? We’ll have magic carpets, I’m down with that future. Until then, you might want to just grab your testosterone, all your other hormones, by the horns and say you know what, you’re not doing what I want you to do right now. You’re not doing what my body evolved for you to do, so I’ll just do it for you. Right?
Tami Meraglia: Yeah.
Dave Asprey: This is the only option you have right now, if you want to feel the way you’re capable of feeling. I truly don’t believe that 99.9 percent of people listening right now, even if they go to the extreme lengths like I have. I live in a fricken organic farm on an island, I’m looking out at a bald eagle out that window right now. I grow all my own food when I’m not on airplanes and stuff like that. I still use every tool I can to be at the level where I’m at. This is just the state of high performance living that we’re in right now, and we did this to ourselves.
Tami Meraglia: Well I totally agree. I feel like since there’s so much out of our control, you must fervently seize the opportunity to optimize the things that are in your control. Hormones are one of them. When I work with patients I’m not going to bring you … I have women who come in and say well, I heard Suzanne Summers is in her 70s and she still has a period. You know, we’re going to optimize you to the best you.
Dave Asprey: Wait, she’s not in her 70s, is she? No.
Tami Meraglia: Late 60s, I don’t know how old she is, but she’s old.
Dave Asprey: She was on Bulletproof Radio, my god, she was so knowledgeable, I was blown away. It was cool.
Tami Meraglia: She has become a sponge for all … She walks the talk too, she’s had a lot of health concerns, and she’s addressed them.
Dave Asprey: She looks really good though, like …
Tami Meraglia: Yeah, she’s just amazing.
Dave Asprey: I don’t mean just beautiful good, I mean like she looks healthy, and she’s been there. Cathy Smith also, she fooled me on Bulletproof Radio, another really famous fitness model.
Tami Meraglia: Yeah, she’s a good friend.
Dave Asprey: She’s a good friend? She convinced me that she was still ovulating. I’m like what? That can’t be? She’s like, just kidding. She’s in her 60s as well. It is entirely possible to just have these levels of vitality, and to look young. Screw looking young, if you’re in your 60s, you probably want to look young, but seriously, you want to feel young a lot more than you want to look young, right?
Tami Meraglia: When you feel good you do look better.
Dave Asprey: Indeed.
Tami Meraglia: You just have to have a terrible night’s sleep, and then look in the mirror to know that’s true. When people look at me, I just want them to say, oh you look young for your age. No, what I want them to look at is, oh wow, she looks vibrant. She looks healthy. Look at her skin. Not do I have wrinkles, and is it sagging, but is it glowing? That’s because it has sufficient amounts of collagen, it’s got great blood supply, it’s fully open with enough nitrous oxide, and my circulation is working optimally, and the inflammation is low. There’s a way to go from the inside out with regard to beauty.
Dave Asprey: Speaking of going from the inside out, what about birth control?
Tami Meraglia: Ah.
Dave Asprey: Let’s talk about what oral contraceptives do to your hormones. I’ve been opposed to these for 15 plus years. Wiley, TS Wiley, who’s the first big author to write about the effect of lighting on our health, going back to the early ’90s, I met her a while back, maybe 2001. She also wrote a big book about oral contraceptives, I’m like this is pretty horrifying. I don’t want anyone that I know to use these things. That’s been my position for a long time, but there’s even more new science that’s come out, and I know you cover some of that in your book. Just kind of give people listening the down low on what do oral contraceptives actually do?
Tami Meraglia: Let’s just start off with basic science that these pharmaceutical companies have decided to completely turn their back on. That’s the fact that … Well, two basic science principles. One is that women are not horses, right? The estrogen in the oral contraceptive pill is an estrogen from the urine of a pregnant horse. If you look at it structurally, it does not look the same. Shockingly, or not, your body knows you’re not a horse. There’s this response to a foreign type of thing that your body goes what the heck? The second huge thing is that estrogen was never something that went through your liver, through your vet, through the P450 system.
Oral estrogen, even if it’s bio-identical, is a terrible idea. Your liver looks at this and goes what the heck is this? I’ve never seen this before, it must be evil, oh, I know what to do, I’ll put a bunch of clotting factors around this to protect it, and then I’ll shove it onto somebody else and see if they know what to do. Your risk of clots goes way up. If you read the packet insert, it tells you, if you smoke, don’t do this. Why? You’re going to get a clot. If you’re over the age of 40, you should consider not doing this. Why? Because of a clot. 50 percent of people who get a pulmonary embolism, which is a lung clot, die instantaneously. They don’t even make it to the hospital. For those two reasons, how awful is that? Just disregard science, and have this oral contraceptive pill go in your mouth with a foreign substance.
I have a big problem when my female patients come here, and they’re taking oral contraceptive pills to help with hot flushes, and vaginal dryness, and discomfort with sex, and moodiness. I’m like, there’s a natural alternative, what are you doing?
Dave Asprey: What is the alternative, instead of oral estrogen?
Tami Meraglia: Topical is available, we know that it’s very well absorbed. If you had a heart attack, and you went to the emergency department, we would put a topical medication on first, called Nitropaste. It can start acting before we can even get an IV access into you. Topical is a great way to absorb, and if you apply it vaginally, mucous membranes are even better at absorbing. Topical is an amazing way we can measure it in the blood that it actually gets in and does the job. There are patches. I don’t like pellets, because for estrogen our body had a rise and fall of estrogen levels, and the pellet is just the big blast every single solitary day, until you take it out. Then you do it again. I don’t think that it’s mimicking mother nature as well as you could be doing. Now for testosterone, for men, where you did have a daily dose, that’s a different story.
Dave Asprey: You’re okay with testosterone pellets, but not estrogen pellets?
Tami Meraglia: Right, get back to mother nature, and look at what the physiology is, or should be.
Dave Asprey: Having used testosterone cream for eight years, there are issues with hormone creams. One of them is that if you rub the hormone cream on your partner, they will get hit.
Tami Meraglia: Or your pet.
Dave Asprey: You go to bed, you sort of smear it wherever you’re going to smear it. Then you’re like hey, sexy time, and then you’re like oh, sorry about that.
Dave Asprey: Right. For men the most absorb-able spot is basically the scrotum.
Tami Meraglia: Or the anal ring.
Dave Asprey: Yeah, but greasy balls, seriously, I know there’s probably a medical term for that, like greasy ballamous, or something, but that’s just not cool. I switched to the armpits, because that’s the second best absorbed area. I’m totally happy like shaving my armpits. I actually finally got them lasered. I’m like I’m so tired of this, I just don’t want greasy armpit hair, because that’s gross, right? Now I have like an easy pathway in for hormones that are topical, but I have young kids. One of the reasons I went off testosterone, aside from the fact that I realized I could make my own levels naturally now, is that I really don’t want traces of testosterone cream on my sheets, getting on my kids. If you get those on young kids, it really jacks them up.
Tami Meraglia: Yeah.
Dave Asprey: It’s like there’s got to be a cleaner way than smearing greasy ointment all over.
Tami Meraglia: Well that’s true, I do tell my patients the best time to do it, is like morning shower, dress, gone for the day.
Dave Asprey: Okay cool.
Tami Meraglia: You know unless you’re doing something you shouldn’t be doing at work, midday, you should be fine.
Dave Asprey: Okay, got it, I hear you.
Tami Meraglia: We just say a two to four hour window, this should be completely ready for contact. If you put it in the places where it’s no clothing. Testosterone loves fat, and there’s a condition called dermal fatigue where testosterone gets stuck in the fat, and it doesn’t get dispersed through the bloodstream. You’ll have higher and higher doses, and your levels aren’t going up, and you’re like what the heck? Then I’ll find out that my patients are applying it to their thigh. Like no, you can’t do that.
Dave Asprey: It really matters. Women have this unfair advantage, you have a vagina, you can apply all sorts of creams and they just go right in. That’s useful. Now there’s something that … I don’t think I wrote about this in either of the books, but I’ve mentioned it on the show once or twice. Most hormone doctors are like don’t tell people. Here’s the thing, if you have bio-identical hormone cream, sorry, bio-identical testosterone cream, and you take the tiniest dose possible and you apply that vaginally, what happens?
Tami Meraglia: Oh, that’s called Scream Cream.
Dave Asprey: Scream cream, that’s a good name for it.
Tami Meraglia: No, it actually is the Scream Cream. It’s got a whole bunch of other things in it, but …
Dave Asprey: They call it that?
Tami Meraglia: Yeah, it’s a prescription. I write a prescription for Scream Cream.
Dave Asprey: Okay, that’s awesome.
Tami Meraglia: It’s exactly what you think, it’s to increase the experience of intercourse.
Dave Asprey: There’s a level of vascularization. See, I’m using all these medical terms, like I’m like an unlicensed bio-hacker or something. It’s a level of vascularization that is mind-boggling, and probably not naturally possible in a normal environment. You’re like I can’t believe that just happened. I’m talking in the woman, not the man. It’s pretty shocking, and it’s a very, very low dose, but that’s one of those things where … Like when I know people I’m working with, if I know they have a testosterone cream, I’m like you just know that this might happen after you apply it. The feedback is universally like holy crap. Is that risky for the woman though? I mean we’re talking very low doses.
Tami Meraglia: No, my patients are on low doses. My male patients are anywhere from 100 to 250 milligrams. My female patients are on like 0.5 to 3, maybe up to 5 milligrams as a big dose for a woman.
Dave Asprey: It’s unlikely to cause problems, but it is likely to just produce a very different experience, we’ll just put it that way.
Tami Meraglia: Scream Cream.
Dave Asprey: Yeah, Scream Cream is the best way to explain it. That’s my favorite tip, if a woman friend came to me and said I’m having issues, well this is a quick fix.
Tami Meraglia: Off the books.
Dave Asprey: Yeah, it doesn’t really matter if you’re tired right now, it’s just not going to matter. What about though the rest of the time for libido? If you’re not going to go for the big guns, what are other things that women, or men, but actually let’s start with women, because I hear this a lot.
Tami Meraglia: It’s different.
Dave Asprey: There’s also perimenopausal and post-menopausal, versus pre-menopausal, and different things contribute to different things. Let’s just answer it for women first, start pre-menopause, and then perimenopause, and then post-menopause. Walk me through what libido advice you have for women, and then we’ll do the same for men.
Tami Meraglia: I ask every woman the same question, and the question is, what happens to your libido when you’re on holiday and someone is cooking, and someone is cleaning, and you don’t have anything to do, and you can wake up and go to bed, and everything is freedom? If their response is oh it’s fine, it’s perfect in that environment, then it’s not a hormone issue. Then it’s a energy issue, which could be hormone related, but it’s …
Dave Asprey: If you told me to get a housekeeper, it would raise libido, is that what I heard you say?
Tami Meraglia: Well, actually I tell them to change the time of the day, because the end of the day women are like, yeah, I’m done. It’s 10 o’clock, 10.30, Dr Tami told me but in bed by 10 o’clock to save my adrenals, good night. They’re really not at their best. I tell people your kids going to have to do their homework, or do whatever they want after dinner, after dinner just sneak off, and have your time. Then bedtime routine for the kids, and cleaning up, and all of that can happen afterwards. Or any other time, some people like mornings. End of the day is a problem for a lot of women. Just try swapping the time of the day. If women tell me no it’s the same, I’m not interested whether I’m on holiday. Then it’s really a hormone issue.
Dave Asprey: That applies for all three of the times we talked about, pre, peri, and post?
Tami Meraglia: Exactly. Funny enough, DHEA is the most significant hormone involved in women’s libido. It’s actually bigger than testosterone.
Dave Asprey: For all the women listening right now, I would, based on personal experience tell you, get your levels tested before you buy this over the counter supplement, okay? It’s a really powerful hormone.
Tami Meraglia: Yeah.
Dave Asprey: If you don’t need it, don’t take it, please. Don’t even think about it.
Tami Meraglia: No.
Dave Asprey: You might disagree with me, but I’m just like …
Tami Meraglia: I am super-cautious, and you want to know that your optimal levels are between 175 and 330, so don’t go by what normal is. Normal just means you’re declining at the age that is expected of an overweight, middle American, eeuw. You want to go with optimal ranges, and DHEA sulfate is 175 to 330.
Dave Asprey: For women, or for men?
Tami Meraglia: For women, yeah. For men it can go up a little bit higher. You always have to remember that your body may still be in the optimal range, or even the normal range, but it could be on the lower end. What were you ten years ago? Maybe you feel different.
Dave Asprey: Yeah, that’s why you [crosstalk 00:49:36].
Tami Meraglia: Yeah, exactly. Maybe you were at the top of the range ten years ago, and so it does feel different to you. Your regular doctor is going to tell you you’re fine, because you’re still in the normal range, but you’ve actually had a big decrease, and that’s why you feel different. Get them tested.
Dave Asprey: There’s two kinds of DHEA you can buy, I mean you can buy these at Wholefoods. You can buy these online, they’re commonly available. One is called 7-Keto DHEA, the other one is just regular DHEA. Do you have a preference for women or men?
Tami Meraglia: If you have a propensity to acne, you should use 7-Keto DHEA, because the fist side-effect I see in my patients with too much DHEA, or maybe not even too much, but too much of an increase overnight, is acne. I don’t care who you are, I recommend you start off with five milligrams. You can always go up, but it’s really hard to have a side-effect and go okay, now I have to completely get this out of my body. I have to cleanse it, and then start over. I get everybody to start low, and go slow. You can’t go from the bottom of the barrel to the top of the barrel overnight. DHEA is great, but 7-Keto DHEA if you have a propensity for acne.
Dave Asprey: All right. What about in men, for libido, what do you recommend?
Tami Meraglia: Testosterone.
Dave Asprey: Okay.
Tami Meraglia: It’s just like … There’s ways that you can boost your own testosterone level. My book is all about … If you have very low testosterone, it’s a win, win, win. We know it’s safe if you’re working with someone who’s checking the conversion to estrogen, and checking the thickness of the blood, and those kinds of things.
Dave Asprey: A lot of women at perimenopause start getting problems with osteoporosis. Tell me about testosterone versus a prescription drug, like Fosamax. No one wants weak bones.
Tami Meraglia: Studies out of Australia showed that testosterone was the best prescription for osteoporosis, and no side-effects. Oh wait, more energy is a side-effect, better libido is a side-effect, better muscle/fat ratio is a side-effect. Fosamax has a side-effect called necrosis of the jaw bone. There’s no …
Dave Asprey: I saw that, it was on Walking Dead, totally one of the zombies had that.
Tami Meraglia: Yeah, right. It’s frightening, and what we’re finding out now is that Fosamax is very similar to the fluoride that we had been given for our teeth. It’s not making stronger teeth, it’s making harder teeth that are cracking and breaking later in life. It’s not stronger. We’re finding that the Fosamax is doing the same thing. It gets a better dexa scan, because it shows up as harder, but it’s not stronger. Bones actually have a give to it, so it’s not … It’s frightening. I have so many patients who we have reversed their osteoporosis.
Dave Asprey: What do you recommend in terms of foods. Like give me some foods that diminish testosterone? Like things I should not eat.
Tami Meraglia: Sugar. Your testosterone will go down in 30 minutes.
Dave Asprey: Yeah.
Tami Meraglia: Just crazy. Then you’ll love this, because this non-fat craze that people were on for such a long time, that’s the worst thing that you can do for your body to try and make testosterone. It needs fat. It needs good fat to make testosterone. It’s just crucial, and protein. It’s kind of a Bulletproof diet, isn’t it?
Dave Asprey: It kind of might be something like that. Let’s see, no sugar, lots of fat. I don’t talk about this often enough, but the first book that I wrote, five years of research, was the Better Baby Book, it was about female fertility, and to some extent, male fertility. We used it to restore Lana’s fertility, she was infertile when we started writing the book. That knowledge is what led to the Bulletproof diet, it’s got hormone stuff built into it, and other things like that. It’s kind of what works.
Tami Meraglia: Yeah.
Dave Asprey: You write a lot in The Hormone Secret about similar things like that. I know we’ve both talked about soy and BPA. I just found an interesting study that said soy protects you from BPA. At that point, am I going to choose the evil of two lessers?
Tami Meraglia: I was going to say, would you prefer that to the gun or the knife?
Dave Asprey: Exactly. I thought that was kind of a really sneaky soy marketing technique. Yes, BPA is really bad, and soy is only kind of bad.
Tami Meraglia: Well I have a huge section about soy in my book The Hormone Secret, it’s like it’s not even considered a food product in many markets. They don’t even have to try to get to any standard of quality. Then, wasn’t it like the first or second GMO? It’s just like the list goes on and on.
Dave Asprey: Oh yeah, it’s bad on so many levels. There’s one part of soy that I’m of two minds about, and I want to get your opinion on it. This might a little detailed, so I’ll explain it for the people listening. There’s kind of a sticky fat that’s involved in making our cell membranes, and some of our neurotransmitters, and it’s called lecithin. You can get lecithin in egg yolks, is actually one of the best places you can get this. It’s really important for your body. One of the most common sources of lecithin out there, and by the way, you’ll find small amounts of it, if it’s non-GMO that’s better, but in some chocolate, for instance. What it does is it lets you mix fats, it’s an emulsifier. It let’s you mix fat with other things.
If you want like a smooth, creaminess, you add just a tinge of this, and if you want to have a lot of neurotransmitters called acetylcholine, well then lecithin is a great choline donor. If you’re looking to rebuild some of the tissues in your body, getting really high doses of lecithin into the body for a while works. You can take the get some ice cream recipe that’s in both of the books, both of the Bulletproof books, you might have a similar one in The Hormone Secret, I don’t remember off the top of my head. You can actually add soy lecithin to that to get more lecithin into the body. You can also add sunflower lecithin, which means your ice-cream is going to taste like crap, but then you avoided soy.
Now here’s my question for you, if I’m getting non-GMO, soy lecithin, which does contain some isoflavones, but not as much, am I really doing a bad thing to my body? Given that I’m getting a lot of good stuff, but I’m still getting some soy? I don’t know the answer, I figure it’s probably okay.
Tami Meraglia: I think it depends on ratios. Like if that is the majority of your diet, all day, every day, then you’re going to tip the scales.
Dave Asprey: Then you’re screwed.
Tami Meraglia: In your situation, where you’re using it, and it’s a vehicle, and it’s just like this kind of hitchhiker, the isoflavones are a hitchhiker, then you’re not getting a lot of it. That’s the whole point of living an 80/20 rule, is when you’re optimized, and you’re controlling and optimizing as much as you can, your body can deal with that quite a bit better. Yay, get the lecithin, and then that’s just this side thing that your body can deal with.
Dave Asprey: Just to be really clear, if you’re listening to this and you’re like what the heck? You can buy soy lecithin at Wholefoods, at the vitamin shop, at anywhere online, there’s tons of it. If you did do soy, you’d want to do non-GMO. If you do make the recipe for Get Some Ice-Cream, it has nine raw, pastured egg yolks in it, which are a superior source of lecithin, and it has, if you want to add it, you can add a couple of tablespoons of soy lecithin, which just makes it even creamier and more delicious. Either way it’s full of lecithin, because that’s part of the reason that it works. Dr Tami, I think we talked about it, but that recipe … It’s called Get Some Ice-Cream, because an hour after you eat it you’re like, I have every building block I need to make a baby, maybe I should go try it right now. It has a noticeable effect on the libido, just when you get a burst of good fat in the body. It was amazing to discover that.
Tami Meraglia: I have a question for you, what do you do … You and I speak and attend several conferences a year, what do you do when you’re in that line for breakfast, and you’re getting some eggs, and bacon, and all kinds of yummy stuff for your body to start the day. What do you do when you hear somebody ahead of you order and egg white omelette?
Dave Asprey: Well, I don’t actually wait in those lines anymore, because I do Bulletproof coffee.
Tami Meraglia: You just do your shake, and …
Dave Asprey: I do Bulletproof coffee in the room. I have the Bulletproof travel mug that’s fully sealed. I carry butter, I put butter, Brain Octane, and I brew coffee in the room. Then I’m done. I don’t need any food until lunch, or after lunch. Or, I get to say this, because it’s awesome, check this out. You haven’t even seen this yet, this is called Instamix. These are packets, just made this stuff. You take one of these, it’s got the butter, it’s got the Brain Octane, and you just put it in your black coffee. I just brew the coffee in the room …
Tami Meraglia: Oh my god!
Dave Asprey: You shake it up, and I’m done. That’s what I do.
Tami Meraglia: That’s so great.
Dave Asprey: If I was in line, and I was going to have breakfast, I would be like, can I have their egg yolks. I don’t want egg whites, that’s disgusting.
Tami Meraglia: I know, right?
Dave Asprey: You should take the egg whites, and you should literally feed them to the pig that’s going to make the bacon.
Tami Meraglia: I feel so like I don’t want to like but in, but I feel like grabbing them and saying you so think you’re being healthy, but you’re doing the exact opposite thing.
Dave Asprey: You know what you could say, this is kind of mean, but it works, you’re like excuse me, you look really old, is it because of the egg whites? I’m kidding, I wouldn’t do that.
Tami Meraglia: That’s terrible.
Dave Asprey: I wouldn’t really do that, because that would be mean.
Tami Meraglia: Did I show you the picture of my daughter making her own shake?
Dave Asprey: No.
Tami Meraglia: I’m going to show it on this, because … Can you see what she’s holding?
Dave Asprey: Oh my goodness, she’s holding a big bottle of Brain Octane, oh that’s so cute. Show it to both cameras so people can see it on YouTube. BulletproofExec.com/YouTube will take you to the channel.
Tami Meraglia: Isn’t that awesome?
Dave Asprey: That is so cute.
Tami Meraglia: We make her coffee in the morning. You and I are the few people in the world that feed our kids coffee. She says mommy …
Dave Asprey: An ounce of coffee is so good for them.
Tami Meraglia: … this coffee tastes weird, she’s like, did you forget my Brain Octane?
Dave Asprey: No.
Tami Meraglia: Yes. Like I’m going to have to get Dave to pay you to be on an ad.
Dave Asprey: That’s so cute.
Tami Meraglia: Yeah.
Dave Asprey: I tell you, my kids behave so much better, they’re so much more focused when they just have the energy in the brain. Fat for kids, their hormones aren’t even online yet, but their bodies are changing so much that the fat that you eat as a mother when you’re breastfeeding is so important. You don’t eat damaged fats, you want to give your kids good fats. If you do that, their chances of having healthy hormones when they’re going through puberty, and in the rest of life, it goes up dramatically. When you just give kids fat.
Tami Meraglia: Yeah, before I met you, years and years ago, my older daughter who is 11, used to just eat butter. Everybody would be like you should stop her. You know, kids kind of just know what they need, there must be something in there that she needs, I’m fine with it. She’s not obese, she doesn’t have health problems, have at it. She just loved it when she was young.
Dave Asprey: What I learned is that we’ve all had kids who say I’m not going to eat that, right? If it’s before six years old, it’s usually not that I’m rebelling, sort of thing, it’s actually their body telling them that they don’t want to eat it. Most of the time when I made my kids eat something that they said they didn’t want when they were really young, I regretted it. They’d be like … they got a rash, they were fussy, they were whiny. They have a built-in radar about foods. Conversely, if they’re like I must have that, and it’s not sugar, because they get hooked on sugar like everyone. I must have that. Really? You wanted the 90 percent dark chocolate? Fine you can have a little bit, but not before bed. You wanted to eat a stick of butter?
When Anna was three, she sat on Santa’s lap for the first time at the local thing, and he says what do you want for Christmas little girl? She goes, I want my own stick of salty, grass-fed butter. Santa looks at me like I’m some kind of bad parent. I’m like yeah. He goes okay little girl. Christmas morning she has her bike, and all this stuff, she takes the little stick of Kerrygold butter, and she unwraps it and she holds it above her head, and she runs around the house like an Olympic torch. She tears off the top and she takes a bite like a Snickers bar. She kept it in the fridge and any time she wanted she could open the door and just take a bite. I swear that the level of joy that that stick of butter brought, was like okay, that’s what her body needs, I’m not judging. It’s totally cool.
Tami Meraglia: Well, you know, I love that you were listening to your kids. I tell my parent patients your child needs 13 tastes before they really know whether they like something. I encourage you to if they’re only liking white food, white pasta, white everything, then maybe their taste buds are already ruined, so you need to encourage them. I feel really, really bad, I forced my daughter when she was really young to eat salmon, because like salmon, right?
Dave Asprey: Right.
Tami Meraglia: She threw up.
Dave Asprey: Oh no.
Tami Meraglia: I know, it’s like her body, uh-uh, this is not for us. Yeah, there is something to be said about that innate knowledge.
Dave Asprey: Yeah, there’s also something to be said about getting used to eating really good foods. My son was complaining about breakfast at some point. Dr Lana gets a little bit frustrated and she goes, look, some kids aren’t so lucky to have a mother make them a hot breakfast before school.
Tami Meraglia: True.
Dave Asprey: Some kids only get an apple before school. He looks kind of confused, and some kids don’t get anything before school. He looks horrified, he goes, you mean their mommies don’t make them bacon and duck eggs? Duck eggs.
Tami Meraglia: My gosh.
Dave Asprey: We have a duck farm nearby, we get duck eggs, and they’re huge yolks, and they’re creamy and delicious. Like the level of expectation, just to take that for granted. It’s pretty funny, but you teach your kids to like what they like, and they will tell you if it’s not okay.
Tami Meraglia: Yeah.
Dave Asprey: We got off the topic of hormones, because fat makes hormones, and you got to feed kids fat so they can make hormones.
Tami Meraglia: Right, and the lecithin.
Dave Asprey: Yeah. We’re coming up on the end of the show, and I want to ask a couple more questions. One of them is if someone is looking for a doctor who can help them with hormones, besides you, what are the three questions that they should ask a doctor to just know that they’re dealing with the right person?
Tami Meraglia: Before you’re asking the questions, you need to embrace the fact that your doctor works for you, and you can fire your doctor. You know?
Dave Asprey: It’s liberating. You’re fired. I’ve said that.
Tami Meraglia: Yeah, exactly, you are the CEO of your own health, and you make the executive decisions with the guidance of somebody. You’re the CEO of your company, but you might not know all the minutia about every detail of every avenue. You might not know the makings of the new equipment that go in your restaurant. You just know it has to be there. You trust that that expert over there is handling that, that’s the same way. Your doctor is the expert, but you are the CEO. Embrace the fact that you can fire your doctor at any time, and go looking. Then ask your doctor one first question. That’s really all you need to know whether you should walk out the door, or stay and ask the rest. What effect does nutrition have on my health? If the doctor says none, leave. Real simple.
Dave Asprey: It should be really easy, because the doctor should be 40 pounds overweight if they answer that way.
Tami Meraglia: Not always.
Dave Asprey: Just kidding.
Tami Meraglia: The second question is, what do you think about the difference between normal lab ranges, and optimal lab ranges? That’s going to say do they even know what that is? Are they educated about it? Can they look at me from an optimal point of view? Then the third is what do you do if what I’m telling you, doesn’t match the lab results? What’s more important, what I’m telling you, or what the lab says? For example, if you say I’m constipated, my skin is dry, I’m exhausted, and I’m overweight, but my thyroid test is normal. Who do you trust? The patient.
Dave Asprey: That is a seriously legitimate list of questions, I’ve never heard anyone say it that way, but that is probably the best sorting factor I can think of. If you miss those, the full transcript for this is free on the Bulletproof website, so you’ll be able to go up, and I would actually print out a copy and paste those things. Literally have them on your phone, or print them out and ask your doctor that. I fully endorse those questions, that is really elegant, so thank you for that.
Tami Meraglia: Happy to share.
Dave Asprey: Now the final question I want to ask you is, if someone came to you tomorrow, in your practice or not, and just said I want to kick ass at everything I do, what are the three things I need to know? The three most important pieces of advice you have for me, what would you say?
Tami Meraglia: Hormones first. Hormones allow you to function differently, and they allow you to have your energy at a place where you can pick your nutrition better. You’ll have energy to cook. First of all get your hormones checked, and make sure you’re in the optimal range. Remember your hormones are a symphony, they all have to work together. Don’t pick and choose, don’t just pick your testosterone because you want to be buff, and energetic, or whatever. You have to look at them all. They all work together.
The second thing is nutrition. What you eat all day long matters, and even more importantly, and this is something that I can’t stress enough, and I don’t know very many people who talk about it, is when you eat matters. You have got to honor your circadian rhythm, you’ve got to start your day with something. Whether it’s putting protein in your coffee, or having a shake, or having eggs you’ve got to start your day with protein. Then the second important part is that afternoon snack, where you’re naturally having an adrenal dip, but you don’t want the dip to be a dive. You want to have another snack there, so when you eat is just as important as what you eat.
Then the third thing is sleep. Only less than 10 percent of us thrive on six or less hours of sleep. You might be one of them, you’re listening to this, as you know, this is me, that’s great. The majority of us, our brains literally shrink in size if we get less than seven hours of sleep a night. In some things, size matters, and your brain is one of them.
Dave Asprey: Benign shrinkage is not something any of us want.
Tami Meraglia: No. That’s good.
Dave Asprey: On that note, where can people find out more about your book, and about your practice?
Tami Meraglia: I have a website, it’s DrTami.com, and if anybody is interested in the membership that we were talking about, and having a virtual appointment, they can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We have a number of practitioners here, so I just hired a brand new practitioner after training her for over six months. She wasn’t allowed to see any patients for six months. Now she’s ready, and she’s got a couple of appointments available, so we’re ready for some more patients, and ready to change some lives.
Dave Asprey: Cool. Have an awesome day. Thanks for being on Bulletproof radio.
Tami Meraglia: You too, and I just wanted to do a plug about your cook book, because I now have a signature salad at my house, and its from your book. It’s the arugula one, with the pears and …
Dave Asprey: The chocolate one?
Tami Meraglia: Oh my gosh.
Dave Asprey: That was the most surprising recipe ever, that’s so cool you made that one.
Tami Meraglia: Absolutely, if your listeners don’t have your cook book, they need to get it just for that recipe, it’s amazing.
Dave Asprey: Beautiful.
Tami Meraglia: Thanks for your time.
Dave Asprey: Thanks Dr Tami, bye.
Tami Meraglia: Bye.
Dave Asprey: If you liked today’s show, you know what to do, head on over to iTunes, and say hey, I liked this show. While you’re at it, you might consider heading over to the Bulletproof website and checking out our brand new Instamix. This actually just arrived at my house by special overnight delivery so I could shoot a video of it. It literally just came out, check this out. It’s like real, it’s amazing, and you’re getting your Brain Octane, and your butter, and all the good stuff, and it’s portable, and it’s not liquid. Which means you probably won’t spill it, but it also means that TSA won’t harass you about it, and you’ve got your butter with you, and it’s shelf-stable, it doesn’t need a refrigerator. This is destined to change the future of your travel. You do this, and the Bulletproof collagen bars, and what you’ve got is pretty much freedom from fast food for the rest of your life. Have an awesome day.