Innate Wisdom Podcast

Season 1 | Episode 10

Sperm Quality, Testosterone, Male Vitality, & Masculinity Part 1 with Matt Blackburn

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What It's About:

In this episode I continue my chat with Matt Blackburn about sperm quality, testosterone, male vitality, and masculinity. Water, light and magnetism are topics that Matt has been sharing his insights on for the past ten years. His quest to discover the most effective tools and practices to optimize the body has led him down unexpected avenues of research. In 2019 he created the CLF Protocol to tackle the root cause of disease: calcification, lipofuscin, and fibrosis.

Listen to Hear More About:

- The challenges facing male masculinity
- How to reclaim your masculinity
- What's driving the sharp decline in male fertility
- The key areas that interfere with sperm quality
- Nutrition and lifestyle habits to support male fertility
- Causes of low testosterone
- How to increase testosterone levels
- And much more


[00:00:00] Loren: Hey Matt, I'm so excited to have you on the podcast. Welcome. 

[00:00:05] Matt: Thanks Loren. Yeah, I enjoyed our shows on my podcast and I always enjoy talking with you and this is gonna be a fun one. 

[00:00:13] Loren: Likewise. And yeah, thanks so much. I think we have a really good conversation planned for everyone. So to kick it off, I just wanna start with asking you who you are and what's your story.

I'm sure everyone would love to hear that. 

[00:00:27] Matt: Yeah, so it basically all started in high school when I took an Aikido class. And I had a really interesting sensei that got me interested in watching documentaries. And so I started watching YouTube documentaries, zeitgeist specifically, and just questioning how things run in this world.

And after four years of that, of going down the rabbit hole of how our money's created, currency, and just all of those rabbit holes that led me to natural health in 2010. And so in January of 2010, I discovered green vegetable juicing, organic foods, raw veganism, all at the same time. So prior to that, I had been vegetarian, and so I went from a very unhealthy processed food, vegetarian eating, you know, fake butters and tons of polyunsaturated fats and excess to about 90% raw veganism.

And so I was juicing a lot, drinking fresh vegetable juice four or five days a week. Celery, cucumber, apple, fennel, parsley, it's kind of just kale threw everything in there. Carrots obviously, and I was slamming that pretty hard, and it did help somewhat to get my health to the next level. So I found my skin improved, my brain fog lifted somewhat, I had more energy, I had better memory, I was able to articulate better and communicate better with people and have deeper relationships. And then I plateaued. And so after three years of that, of soaking and sprouting my nuts and seeds and making all of the raw vegan recipes at home.

And I worked as a raw vegan chef for a short time where I was making cashew cheesecake and nori rolls, and kinda like fun, raw, vegan things that people ingest. But I hit a wall with my health and I found that I wasn't improving like I would've liked. And so I reintroduced pastured eggs, which I had never eaten before in my life.

I introduced raw milk and I quickly found raw goats milk after the cow milk. And I felt so good introducing those that I finally decided, ethics aside, I'm going to try bison. So I had ground bison in the form of a burger, and it was like a light bulb went off in my brain. And that was around 2013, 2014 time period.

And so I started eating grass-fed beef and a lot of ground meats and didn't get into steak. That took me several years to get into, but I was eating the ground stuff and basically I went back and forth to vegetarianism and eating meat several times, about four times after that for spiritual ethical reasons cause I thought vegetarianism was more ethical. 

And it was a progression from there just of learning deeper and deeper things about health. And I had always been into water and the physics of light, which I studied very intensely. And I got really deep into sun gazing and grounding and cold baths all at the same time.

And a lot of different health protocols I did. So I was doing gua sha, inversion therapy, sauna, wild foot soaks with vodka and charcoal and diatomaceous earth and fulvic acid, and just throw tons of stuff in my foot soaks. And I was just experimenting a lot. And my view of health has always been more than just nutrition, it's been looking at all of these other aspects that affect us, like the quality of our water, air. 

And when I discovered salt based NPK fertilizer, that was really the turning point for my entire life because prior to that, I thought that the minerals were in the food, there has to be copper in the food, right, because it says on this label or whatever.

And that started to make me question everything and specifically supplementation, I changed my whole tune on supplementation after that and what the priorities are. And I just got deeper and deeper into looking at health and more in context instead of like people usually look at it in isolation. And my next turning point after discovering the salt based NPK fertilizer, that Justice Vaughn Libi pushed that chemist, it was really Morley Robin's work that took a couple years to sink in. 

He's been my frequent guest on my podcast, MitoLife Radio, and had him on 11 or 12 times now, and it took really about two years of having him on every few months to really hammer it into my brain, these concepts and connecting these dots of vitamins, minerals, enzymes, and hormones, how they all play together, but specifically just mineral balance and what that can do for the body.

I was making magnesium bicarbonate when I was living in an RV, really interesting time of my life, and I was selling that under the table to people. And you know, this is the antidote. This is all you need. This is gonna change your life, and it does help everyone. But there's other factors, as you well know, Loren, that you need potassium and sodium and there's checks and balances and yin and yang in the body where there needs to be a balance of things for it all to work out.

That led me to create MitoLife, my supplement company. And you know, this idea of strategic supplementation of not just taking a multivitamin or a multimineral, but actually honing in on the things that rebalance us from the excess iron, the excess calcium, and all of the things that we've been force fed like D3.

And maybe even algae oil, which is a fairly new thing, but they've been fortifying our milk with algae oil and uh, baby products. And it's my view that supplementation even isolated, even synthetic, can really make or break someone's health journey. And if anything, just accelerate it for faster recovery. So using systemic enzyme therapy, using high dose vitamin K2, high dose vitamin E, which I've used all of these myself, various things in isolation, can actually be incredible in combination with the foundational stuff.

So eating enough calories, eating carbohydrates and animal protein with every meal, not skipping meals, you know, obviously getting enough sleep, going to bed around the same time every night, all those foundational things. But if all of those are there, and you cut out the imbalancing supplements, which are largely zinc, ascorbic acid, Vitamin D has been like the COVID cocktail, largely that they've been pushing. Mm-hmm. And then you add in the counters to that, which are basically K2, magnesium, copper, vitamin E. Then you could see massive results. On every level of your life. And that's been my experience. So I'm really passionate about supplementation. That's what drove me to start my company, MitoLife. 

And I think it's so exciting, the nuance of it all. And it seems like every few days I discover something new of the dots connecting between these things like vitamin E actually protects against vitamin A excess. And you know, these fat soluble vitamins and their effects, how K2 is actually an electron carrier, just like vitamin A is.

And we just keep learning more and more about these things and it's really fascinating. 

[00:08:53] Loren: I think you've also shared previously that you left the fish oil industry because you were kind of seeing and learning about it and the dark side of the industry. Do you wanna talk about that a little bit?

[00:09:07] Matt: Yeah. Yeah. I'm glad you brought that up. So that is a part of my story. I was studying quantum health and basically becoming a super conductor and enhancing our electric system, and I found some fascinating and convincing research docosahexaenoic acid, so that highly unsaturated fatty acid, DHA, that they tell us is essential for fetal development and reproductive health and mental health and on and on.

It apparently cures everything according to articles on Google. So I went pescatarian, pretty much I was slamming oysters, wild Alaskan salmon, and just trying to get as much omega-3 DHA in my body as I possibly could. And during my transition back to vegetarianism, I discovered algae oil. And I thought that was the holy grail algae oil, because it's very rich in DHA, it's a plant source of DHA.

So I started taking dropperfuls every day, you know, an average of four to 10 grams a day, and one of the entire bottles has about 30 grams, 30,000 milligrams. And there were several times where I just took a shot glass and downed 30 grams of al oil at once. And I really believed in it. I thought it was the answer, especially combined with getting sunlight in the naked eyes for pituitary function and just total body functioning.

And there was kind of a high that came from it, but I'm now thinking that was the immunosuppressive effects and high dosing certain things can make us feel good, you know, just like methamphetamines or whatever. It doesn't necessarily mean that it's good for us. Mm-hmm. And same thing with vitamin D, DHA.

And so I basically partnered with an individual, started an algae oil company, halfway through I started to look deeper into Adam Bergstrom work on yellow fat disease, lipofuscin, and my business partner at the time was not into it. He just saw dollar signs. And so I walked. And that was quite a stressful and energy intensive process to leave that, the character assassination attempts and just, it was a dark time in my life, but I came out on the other side reborn with this new concept of health that I got from Dr. Ray Peat and Adam Bergstrom. This kind of more balanced perspective, I think about PUFAs or polyunsaturated fatty acids, or HUFAs, if we wanna be more specific. So these fatty acids with multiple double bonds, poly, many, so six double bonds.

And I started to focus more on saturated unsaturated fats and just realizing that I was raised right next to the Mexican border in, you know, Tijuana and I was in San Diego, so about an hour from Tijuana. And so there was a lot of Mexican food that I ate growing up and they were not using lard or tallow or coconut oil or gee, they were cooking all of that in vegetable oil or whatever.

And a kind of light bulb moment went off where I was looking at all my symptoms and my acne eczema that I had had for years. And this saw, wow, these things accumulate. I wasn't burning off that corn oil or that canola oil that actually was accumulating in my tissues. And I started high dosing vitamin E, this was right after I left the algae oil business, I started high dosing E, and what I found is my skin went through a complete transformation detox and it got worse before it got better. And so I broke out in pretty extreme acne like I hadn't had for years. And so I was just hitting the sauna. A wooden sauna in my living room, and I was hitting that for an hour to an hour and a half daily.

And it only took about a month, maybe three weeks, and the acne was completely gone and my skin looked like it had never looked before. I had a glow. It was just so smooth and I was shocked. And so that made me start to look at the relationship between vitamin E and polyunsaturated fatty acids. And that really busted open the door to also look at the other relationships a little deeper between calcium and K2, calcium and magnesium.

And there's a mineral wheel you could look up where you can see the antagonist and what things are connected to each other. And they're always so fascinating. Right? Yeah. I just had a show on Copper and Jason Hammel was saying, he showed me a study where a woman high dosed oysters for years actually created a copper deficiency.

So we can even do it with whole foods because zinc and oysters is 15 to 18 times greater than copper. So it's all about balancing and kind of having this perspective of what's connected to what, and looking at your history, what your parents fed you, what you ate with your friends growing up, cuz I was going out to eat multiple times a week. My entire childhood. 

[00:14:46] Loren: Yeah. That's so fascinating. And that's another aspect of your story and I really resonate with that too, because I was a vegan and also had been a vegetarian. And I've done all these kinds of diets. Keto, I never actually got to carnivore, but I've done intermittent fasting and all, paleo, all that stuff.

And now I am just, not even anything. I don't wanna call myself anything. I'm just happy and nourished.

[00:15:16] Matt: That's, that's a refreshing perspective to hear from a podcast host because a lot of these podcasts are geared towards being very anti-sugar or you know, anti-something. It's always anti instead of that balance.

So yeah, that's great. And I forgot to mention intermittent fasting. I went as deep as I possibly could into that where I was doing 23 hours a day, fasting for six months straight. Whoa.

If someone wants some entertainment, they could look him up. Almond Raw on YouTube. He's a big African American guy and it's all about beans, soy, and deadlifting and fasting and teas. It's basically his protocol. And that's what I was on. It was teas. Legumes, a lot of soy and meditation and lifting, and I surprisingly looked great.

That's what's really interesting how people judge people based on their looks, that they know what they're talking about with health. There's obviously some truth to that, but at the same time, I looked like Hercules. I was the most ripped I'd ever been, but I was also the most stressed I've ever been and the most emotionally unstable I'd ever been, even though I'm super, super muscular.

And yeah. It kind of leads into our topic today because whether it's the fasting experience, vegetarianism, raw veganism, veganism for all of those journeys, what I found was that my sexual health suffered my libido, performance, just general interest in women. Just my dating life in general was non-existent, and it was only those times where I ate meat that I actually started to feel like a man, and I haven't looked into it, like I didn't research for this show, but I'm sure there's a connection with mineral balancing and pheromones, because I was almost turning androgynous, like just gender neutral, where I wasn't interested in dating, I wasn't interested in women, they weren't interested in me. I was starting to grow my hair out.

Kind of just turning a little more feminine and obviously losing muscle mass, not being able to put it on or hold onto it. Mm-hmm. Which I think there's a balance there. You know, I think a lot of men are using weightlifting and gaining muscle as like a front or a shield for inadequacies that they feel deep down that they're not good enough or whatever, or trying to prove something to other people.

So there's a balance there. But yeah, overall I just felt that without animal foods and specifically animal flesh and muscle meat, that I had no sex drive. And you know, Adam Bergstrom, a guest on my podcast says, if you're B or O blood type, then you need meat. And if you're type A blood type, you can be vegetarian.

And I'm O positive. I think there is something to that. I don't know if it's set in stone, but for me, if I don't eat animal tissue every day, like if I just try to have a vegetarian day, I don't feel the same. Like I actually need animal tissue coming in. 

[00:18:38] Loren: Mm-hmm. Yeah. That is fascinating. The blood type diet.

You know, I think it's difficult to pigeonhole everyone into their blood type because I do think that there are foods that everyone needs eat, or at least nutrients from specific foods that everyone needs to eat. But when I think about the foods that make me feel good, it's kind of accurate for my blood type.

So, I'll have to interview somebody that's an expert on the blood type diet. 

[00:19:06] Matt: Yeah. People are super interested in that. It is fascinating, I guess, but I agree with you. It's hard to live without grass-fed liver or certain things that benefit everybody. 

[00:19:20] Loren: Yeah. Yeah. I agree. Well, I would love to, I guess because you mentioned it, sort of effect of how we eat and how we live, how it can affect our masculinity. 

Maybe we just start there and dive into that a little bit more, because I think there are many facets to it. What are some ways that you think men can get in tune with their masculinity? Because you have mentioned, and I think it's pretty obvious from the amount of different things bombarding us every single day, that there is a watering down of the masculine side.

And I also think there is a watering down of the feminine side too, especially with things like the birth control pill. So I would love to hear from you, your perspective on that. 

[00:20:10] Matt: There's a lot of different perspectives and a lot of 'em come out of organized religion and I was raised Christian and so I was embedded with a lot of those.

So I think one of the low hanging fruits that men could do is quitting pornography, cuz that's something that's so I think embedded in our culture and I guess gets kind of wild when you look at Disney movies. And some people would say it's conspiratorial, but Disney's a little creepy. And you look at the covers of Beauty and the Beast and The Little Mermaid or all of these movies that we were raised with and I saw every Disney movie multiple times VHS cassettes and just, I watch these all the time and there are subliminal messages in these movies that are sexual.

And so I think that kind of primes the mind a little bit to be hypersexualized a little more than is natural. I find a lot of men and their teens will get into watching pornography, which does affect dopamine in a negative way. It's like it's overly stimulating cause it's so unnatural. And when I got into blue light blocking with orange UVEX glasses, I found that that totally shifted my entire perspective on women and life.

Just the, my lens of how I saw the world by just wearing these orange tinted glasses when the sun went down. It had such a profound effect on me and it made it easy to stop watching that. And so I think it's just one of those elephant in the rooms that men don't talk about. You know? It's just like, oh, it's not a big deal, but it is a big deal. The real thing's better, obviously be safe and don't, you know, go on wild benders. Cause that's probably just as unhealthy as pornography. But yeah, just opt for the real thing and dating and try not to make that part of your life all virtual. I think that has a huge effect on masculinity.

You lose your ability if you get caught in the virtual world, and I've experienced this just platonically interacting with other people, male or female, in the real world, that if my life is too, in this little screen and in virtual land, I actually lose my ability to make eye contact to just all of the natural ways that humans interact with each other.

Those kind of go to the wayside when we're just texting and calling people all the time, so that's a big one. Just more human interactions. Stop the porn. Just cold turkey. I would say work on your dopamine, which is blue light blocking, and then getting bright light in your eyes in the morning and afternoon in your naked eyes without contacts or glasses.

And that was part of my story too. I was raised wearing prescription glasses, and then after that I went to contact lenses. And the contact lenses are actually worse because I learned that they block ultraviolet light along with oxygen. So they block UV light, which is essential for converting the amino acid L tyrosine into dopamine, but they also block oxygen.

So basically your eye cannot breathe. It's suffocating your cornea and getting Lasik eye surgery and blocking blue light, I kind of did that around the same time, was a total game changer for my brain function, and I don't regret that at all. Fifth generation lasik eye surgery absolutely changed my life and it absolutely changed the way that my memory functions and my brain works.

It was a total shift when my vision improved like that. Yeah. Besides that, I mean there's a lot of things that we can get into. What lowers testosterone? There's a huge list, and what I encourage men to do is just find your weakest links. I'm very fortunate to have created a life, I mean, it took me 12 years, but where I'm on a spring, I'm off grids, I'm not in a population dense area, I'm surrounded by pine trees, I have tons of fresh air. So people in the city I really feel for, because they have recycled air, you know, it's just take an apartment complex for example, someone's living in a high rise apartment. They're way above the earth's magnetic field where it's weaker.

They have stagnant recycle air, possibly contaminated with shards of glass. Or there could be so many factors, EMFs, noise pollution, light pollution, the tap water, both drinking and bathing. And you really have to take an analysis of all of those things and seeing what you can upgrade. And for a lot of people, it's not practical to just move.

And so I recommend a lot of different mitigations, which vary in price from almost free to inexpensive to, you know, thousands of dollars. So that's another factor too, is how much someone wants to spend. But the EMFs definitely affect our hormones. The tap water, it's not only the fluoride, it's all the acids in the water.

You can go to tap water, put in your zip code and see what's over the EPA safety limit. And it's a ton of stuff. 

[00:25:57] Loren: Yeah, it's kinda scary. It's always shocking when you kind of see, oh wow, 16 times or a hundred times more than the exceeding the limit. So yeah, that's a great suggestion. 

[00:26:09] Matt: Yep.

What started to turn my masculinity on was going out more just with friends, more human interaction, eating more animal foods, less screen time, and just kind of finding balance with research, which I've always done, and human interaction. There's a lot of supplements that I've taken over the years that have been really helpful too.

Like before we started recording, you mentioned pine pollen. That's one that I've been taking for several years and it's a fun one cuz you could take it straight. Just don't breathe it in because that's really not fun. You can, you can add it to pancakes, you can go out and harvest it yourself, which is a fun excursion where you, you know, get connected to nature.

You can't go wrong with hunting for chaga or pine pollen. Those are two, you know, beginning, forging things for people to do. And something that I do here is chopping wood, especially in the winter, chopping wood and hauling it with my wheelbarrow. I was using my UTV for a while and then I'm like, what am I doing?

I'm cutting out a really important part of this exercise, which is that pushing motion, and so if people could somehow integrate that, you know, I know most people probably don't have a wood burning stove. Here it's my only heating source, a stove, but that's one of my major workouts with my goats. I unload hay bales from my truck and feed the goats and just carrying heavy things.

That's my favorite way to move. I used to go to the gym and I'm just not a fan of weights. They're just boring to me, and so I would say find the movement that you like the most. Before I moved to this environment, I was going free climbing with my friend on these giant boulders in Southern California, and if he can find a spot like that, it was in a little valley where there was no EMFs, didn't have cell service, which could be potentially dangerous, if we fell and broke a leg.

But be shirtless, grounded, getting sunlight, which you absorb more if you're not in electromagnetic fields. And I would always feel so rejuvenated after that, just full body workout, climbing around, you know, almost horizontally, but it's still exercising. So as a man finding movement that you enjoy and that's fun cuz that's gonna keep you doing it instead of something, you know, oh, I have to go to the gym, or it feels like work.

I don't think it should feel like that. I think movement should be fun and we should look forward to it. And there's a debate with weightlifting and heavy weightlifting versus cardio, and I think it should be a mix. That's kind of my life here. I'm walking around constantly and then carrying heavy stuff.

Yeah, there's some general ideas. I mean, I would say find the weakest links. It's such an individual thing that someone has to assess. There are a lot of tools available for us, which I'm sure we'll talk about. 

[00:29:25] Loren: Oh, absolutely. Yeah. I think those are really solid suggestions and someone listening might be like, those sound so simple, but sometimes the best medicine and the most effective things are that simple.

And I think a lot of it has to do with the masculine side. A lot of what you suggested is very primal, like, moving, picking up heavy things, being in nature, community, hanging out with people, getting that social interaction. There are so many men, people in general, but men that start their days looking at their phone, go to work.

A lot of that's on the computer all day. Come home, stay on the couch, scroll on their phone, watch tv, and then the day starts over again, the day's over, and it starts over the cycle again. So there's not a lot of effective or productive inputs being added, and the outputs are less and less masculinity. So, I think just assessing where you can get more of what Matt suggested into your life and reassessing, maybe I don't need to spend two hours scrolling my phone all day, and maybe I should get a pair of blue light blockers and wear them at night.

That definitely made a huge difference for me too. Also, I think we've talked about this, but I've had LASIK as well, and as a former almost blind person, life-changing. Actually, my father told me about the contacts, like you were saying, they don't allow your eyes to breathe, and I started wearing contacts in the sixth grade.

My eyes were so bad, I can't tell you. But he had also been wearing contacts, and that's one of the first things he told me, don't wear them too long because they suffocate your eyes. 

[00:31:14] Matt: Yeah. But at the end of the day, my eyes would be so dry. It was the worst feeling, and it'd like be picking this plastic out of my eye and it's like, sticking to my eye and it's just super dry. My eyes hurt and it was just the worst feeling. 

[00:31:29] Loren: They’re terrible. Yeah. I'm so happy to be rid of them.

[00:31:33] Matt: One thing I wanna mention too, Loren, that just came to mind is, this is a little esoteric, but justified anger. So expressing your anger, and this is something that I have a lot of experience with. You know, there's people in the world that want to mess with you and test you.

That's just obvious. And it's, you know, a lot of these people are just running unconscious programs and so it's not something they're doing consciously, but either way they're doing it. And so that justifies a response. And especially as a man, I think there aren't enough angry men out there that are actually taking actionable steps that express that.

So I've worked multiple jobs where retail at the mall or whatever clothing section or whatever, where, you know, if I express my anger, I'd probably get fired. You know, if there's a customer that comes up to me and that's being really rude, but just know as a man, if you have that experience, like I have multiple times in my life and you don't express, like you don't match that energy to a rude customer that does do harm to your testosterone and to your masculinity.

You know, that's another kind of environmental thing that's a little deep. Maybe it is easy, maybe it's not for someone to quit their job, for a man to do that, but just getting to a place, building a life where you can have healthy expression of anger. Cause that's something that gets demonized, I think toxic masculinity or whatever they call it.

Or a man should be always calm, which I don't agree with. I think expressing anger and being vocal about it is healthy and it's a part of being human. And as humans, we have ranges of emotions and none are good or bad. It's just notes on a piano and we're meant to play all the notes, not just to get stuck in love and light or the opposite.

We're just, we're always negative and hateful. It's all of it. And so I think that's like kind of an unspoken aspect to masculinity is being able to let that out. Remember, it's your liver health is what's connected to that anger. 

[00:33:52] Loren: Hmm. That's so fascinating. And I do think that's definitely a worthwhile exploration too, because I love that analogy that you used, the piano analogy, about the emotions.

Emotional expression is really important. And I do find that in general we are more of a suppressed society, not able to express our emotions, or afraid of hurting other people's feelings. There's also this aspect of virtue signaling and not actually coming out with the truth. That can degrade our emotional integrity and it shows up, it manifests in physical illness too. That constant suppression of emotion. 

I do think that there is definitely something to be said about a man who says very little. There's a time and a place for that for sure. Sometimes that is the bigger man. Absolutely. But this ability to express emotion is really important, and I just think that that's a really wise thing that you just said.

And maybe it's through your physical movement too, that you express your emotion. Maybe you take up boxing or something and that's how you do it, or you know you grapple and that's part of your exercise routine. There's different ways to incorporate that. 

[00:35:12] Matt: Yeah. Yeah, absolutely. Again, back to, like you said earlier, it might be too simple.

My big turning point, my masculinity was telling my quote unquote friends off when I was talking about my dreams and aspirations at lunch. And I had my two friends that I would go to lunch with every few days, and they were super negative and demeaning. And a lot of people have these people in their life because I think subconsciously they wanna stay small.

And they know that if they cut these people out of their life, they would grow. And that's really scary. But it's such a necessary aspect, especially for one's masculinity and I remember doing that and just walking out and just driving off from my quote unquote friends and cutting them out and everything in my life got better after that.

I started being more successful. I was more creative. I had more energy. I made better friends that were more supportive. It's just, it was a domino effect. And so that's, that's a really important piece too. 

[00:36:19] Loren: Yeah. Assess those relationships, for sure. that might be suppressing your fire inside. That's super important.

Well, I'd love to also talk about male fertility, because that's kind of the theme of the podcast today, and I think there's a lot of crossover and transfer from your work in metabolic health and longevity into male fertility. It's all tied together, and so when you think about supporting male fertility, in your research, in your work, in your experience, what stands out to you as the most important? Whatever you wanna mention. It could be anything. 

[00:36:59] Matt: To me, it really comes back to the, the minerals and the vitamins. So I think a lot of men that are having issues have just severe mineral aberrations and vitamin deficiencies.

And like you've probably talked about on your show, too much vitamin D especially cuz men are told that if they supplement D three then their testosterone and production's gonna be supported. Yeah. It's just like, it's very like isolated views of like, this will do this, but the reality of it is this and this and this and this will do that.

It's not just one thing. And so with sperm and sperm motility and function and just overall functioning of the male reproductive system, the mitochondria. Are paramount and there's Douglas C. Wallace at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia and his thing is all disease is caused by mitochondrial dysfunction and inability for the mitochondria to make energy.

And that's kind of my perspective as the owner of Mito Life is that the mitochondria are central. And I think when people start studying that, they get really off in the weeds by, I need nicotinamide riboside or NAD supplements like nicotinamide, adenine, dinucleotide tablets or nicotinamide riboside, you know, all these like really advanced biohacking, liposomal things, which I've dabbled in over the years, I've taken all the stuff I just mentioned and it did nothing. 

It was very subtle if it did anything. And it wasn't until I started really assessing foods and substances that contain retinol and copper that I noticed. Everything turned around in my health. And the magnesium piece is really important, but that's kind of like a stress buffer.

So maybe we'll talk about it, but testosterone could actually be bound to things. So similar to like copper, like when copper's bound to ceruloplasmin, it's bioavailable, it's active. Same thing with testosterone. When it's bound to sex hormone binding globulin is the main one you'll you'll hear about. But there's also cortisol binding globulin.

There's albumin, which is not as strong of a binder that's still bioavailable testosterone, but there are so many things that activate sex hormone binding globulin, and that bind up free testosterone, which is only 2% of the total. 98% of your testosterone is bound and then only 2% is unbound. There's a lot of chemicals in our food.

The compounds in our water, the things we're breathing, the microplastics, it's like, it's this cocktail of things that really decrease our testosterone and too little free testosterone leads to irritability, low libido. You know, you can't build muscle. That was my issue for years when I started putting on muscle, I wasn't even lifting weights, it was just, I was working on these things and you know, I wasn't even lowering my PUFA intake cause I was, I was still taking a ton of DHA, but it was still working, still eating grass fed beef and pastured eggs and just eating more of a balanced way.

That started to just naturally allow me to hold muscle and build it. Does that answer your question? I dunno. I just kind of forgot. 

[00:40:38] Loren: Yeah. Well, so for for male fertility, I think, you know, I asked you what stands out as the most important, and it sounds like minerals are a huge piece and vitamins. So the nutrition side of things for sure.

And then there's also the sort of stress, and we can definitely talk about that. Actually, this is a great segue. There's a cocktail of different things that we're being bombarded with and mitigating that could support testosterone and sperm as well. And that also, I guess depending on the environment of the body, sort of conditions, there's the aspect of testosterone being bound up too, potentially by sex hormone binding globulin.

And I guess if you're in a catabolic state, it sounds like the introduction of animal foods helped ease that catabolic state. Maybe into a, a more anabolic state because you have to be in an anabolic state to build muscle. And so that sort of switch in metabolism from catabolic to breaking down tissue, constantly stressed in like a survival sort of state into an anabolic safer space to build muscle is also important.

[00:41:50] Matt: Absolutely. Yeah. And it all starts up here. I mean that was kind of my start to health and that's still kind of my focus is kind of just brain focused cuz a lot of these hormones and processes go on in our brain. So like follicle stimulating hormone, luteinizing hormone and testosterone. It's like the balance of those things are what dictate male fertility and male reproductive health.

And that luteinizing hormone, one that's produced from the anterior pituitaries, it's like the front part of our pituitary. And when I was sun gazing, that was my main focus is like, I'm gonna switch on that. And I think it makes like 12 hormones, maybe plus. And it's activated by light and you know, without glasses, without contacts, ideally in the morning, but the afternoon works as well.

And what that does is that stimulates that luteinizing hormone from the pituitary, stimulated by light, stimulates the latic cells in the testes to produce testosterone. Mm-hmm. So there's a nutrient aspect to this. And then there's also like the circadian aspect of light and darkness, which are both equally important.

And I think if you have sufficient copper, which you know, there's 50,000 atoms of copper in the mitochondria copper pool, if you have that to be able to make energy, you have magnesium for your body to be able to see the energy. You know, obviously B vitamins and there's other factors involved, but then you have that light stimulus on the other side.

That's really the combo. To start optimizing hormone production. And then naked sunbathing is trending right now on social media, which is really, uh, comedy, and I've done it for years. It really works. I think a lot of people don't have that luxury. They just have a balcony or they can't find a private place to do that.

But whether it's sunlight, full spectrum sunlight, or an LED red light panel, both of those on different tissues of the body. So just getting it in your eyes, that's the most important thing with sunlight. And then on the forearm to stimulate not only the production of vitamin D, but also the breakdown of retinol and to its smaller constituents.

So focusing on those. And then if you can get sunlight, man or woman on the reproductive areas, then that will improve your mitochondrial health, especially in combination with Copper sources, whole food, vitamin C, beef, liver, oysters, shilajits, all these things that have a ton of minerals in them will facilitate that process.

So if someone can't afford a red light panel, just like try to find a secret spot where you don't get arrested and it doesn't take much, you know, just 10 minutes, you know, that's it. 10 to 15 minutes. You don't have to be out there all day. 

[00:44:45] Loren: Yeah. There's something to be said about just light in general. I think it's so effective and a lot of people just miss that piece and it can do so much.

It sets our hormones, it sets our immune system. So if you're somebody that's struggling with hormonal balance or immune system function, just getting that light upon waking, it will change so much. It's so foundational. And what you said too about sunning, naked sunbathing, there's definitely a trend towards that.

I wish I could do that, but I recently did read a study that said that men who sunned their gonads, I can't remember the length of time, but it, I think it was something like 15 minutes, ended up having higher testosterone levels that men who didn't sun their gonads, so, so I think it's so fascinating and I think that we did used to do this back when we were more naked and primal, but we've definitely shifted towards a more conservative, covered up kind of, there's just not as much opportunity and being naked is some taboo now that it's hard to do that. 

But like Matt said, make sure you find a place that's safe for you to do that so you don't get something on your record, you're not on any kind of list that you don't wanna be on, but if you can do that, that'd be awesome.

[00:46:12] Matt: Yeah. There's so many like free things that people could do. Like when I lived in San Diego before I fell in love with the mountains and moved away from the beach, I made it a habit, it was a really interesting time in my life. I was like a cannabis delivery driver. And if I got off early delivering cannabis to people, I would go to the beach and especially at sunset and take my shoes and socks off and walk into the wet sand and stand there and just gaze directly at the sun for the last 10 or 15 minutes.

And you know it's safe cause it doesn't hurt your eyes at all. You're not straining. It's the last 10, 15 minutes. People do it all the time. But when you do it grounded like that, especially in the wet sand where it's conductive and I've done wild stuff where I'm holding a load stone, increasing my voltage, which happens, and fun experiments there.

But what I noticed is that not even being naked, just getting that in my eyes, and grounded total body rejuvenation. I slept the best every night I did that and supported libido and my mood and energy levels and so that's like a really cool free thing. If someone lives by the beach, it's just watch the sunsets.

You don't have to get up at the crack of dawn and watch the sunrise. You can do both. That's kind of bonus points, but if you can just catch the sunset, especially if you live by the beach, I think it's a must. You should be doing that. Cause why are you living by the beach if you're not? 

[00:47:42] Loren: Oh yeah. I would hope you are.

That sounds amazing. When I do have the opportunity to go to the beach, I love just grounding in the water. And the water itself too is so mineral rich. It's amazing. Those are great suggestions. So I guess on the flip side, which you kind of alluded to a couple times here. I would love to touch upon the decrease in male fertility.

So there's been a pretty sharp decline in sperm counts almost 50% or more in less than 40 years in the western world, which is kind of crazy. What do you think is driving this decline from your sort of purview and how would you say men can support their sperm count?

[00:48:31] Matt: Yeah, that's a great question. So years ago I learned that receipt paper from the grocery store is actually phthalate based, it's plastic. Mm-hmm. And so I was always careful to like fold it up and or throw it away right away. And I started to study this topic of microplastics and that's actually what drove me back to veganism and vegetarians, you know, several times was all the seafood is contaminated because there's so much plastic in the ocean and if you eat seafood, you're just loading yourself up with plastic.

But it's the same thing as the PUFA thing. It's like people trying to, you know, draft their entire diet on a low PUFA protocol, you're gonna miss out on a lot of nutrients that are in PUFA containing foods. And so the same thing with microplastics, but there was a really interesting study I found called “Microplastics, a Threat for Male Fertility, 2021 D'Angelo.”

And yeah, you had some really fascinating and scary statistics. It was between the years 1950 and 2015, there was 6300 million tons of plastic waste generated and at that rate, by 2050, the amount of plastic in the landfills could reach 12,000 million tons. Like these are just astronomical numbers that you can't even fathom.

You have trouble thinking how much that is, you know, you hear mm-hmm these things of, you know, these giant plastic mounds in the ocean floating around, right the size of continents and it gets really scary. But then you have the work of Paul Stametz, and you know, they are discovering things that actually, you know, fungus and other things that actually break down plastic.

So I think that's one of the easiest mitigations that we have here as a human race, to clean up once we get our act together. But these microplastics are found in salt, usually the lower quality salt products, lower quality milk products. Fish oysters, clams, mollusks, teabags. Well, the cheaper teabag brands plastic is what the herbs are wrapped in, and you're putting that in hot water. And hot water plus plastic equals leaching. And so… 

[00:51:00] Loren: Yeah, the plastic lined coffee cups. 

[00:51:04] Matt: Yeah, you'll love this. I found a stat on that. You know, we're both coffee fans, I think in the disposable paper cups that they serve coffee in, There was a stat in a study, the average person drinking three cups of coffee a day in those disposable cups ingests about 75,000 microplastic particles a day.

Loren: Oh my goodness. 75,000. Oh my goodness. Wow. 

Matt: Yeah. And so that's why I get into some pretty advanced detox therapies. Like the sauna is a huge one. The far infrared sauna. And there are various different types. There's the tent style, there's the wooden style that you see in like gyms. And then my favorite, maybe I'm spoiled now, is the barrel sauna with wood fire to heat it up like the traditional, you know, Finland or have in those countries.

And you can actually detoxify plastics that way. I mean, also some excess iron heavy metals will come out of the pores. Mm-hmm. And you know, people question that and say that's pseudoscience. But if you look at the discolored, you go in there with a white towel and you get someone just off the street, you know, grab a homeless person or something and say you're going in the sauna, you're gonna see that white towel just turn a different color and it might be red, it's iron, it might be a grayish if it's other heavy metals, and our pores are connected to like four inches to four feet of basically hose, and so we're able to actually dump a lot of things. I'm a huge fan of sweating, and that's a really easy shotgun way for men to support their testosterone and overall health is just by sweating frequently, even if it's two or three times a week.

I think at least three times a week is ideal that I've seen in the research. Decreasing the risk of all cause mortality and all of that. It tends to be in that about three day mark for using the sauna. But the bisphenol A, that BPA, that's just one. There's BPS and there's all these other types of plastics.

But the BPA specifically interferes with spermatogenesis by interfering with the first phase of that impairing the formation of the blood testes barrier and affecting the sperm quality. So it's like hitting multiple aspects of testicular health just with this one compound. 

[00:53:40] Loren: I do think though, there's something to be said about the sauna.

I've seen graphs, actually, I can't recall exactly what study it was, but I've seen a chart in the study that shows the level or the types of metals and the sort of excretion rate of certain metals if you were to do a sauna. And a lot of them are heavy metals like nickel, aluminum, maybe not aluminum. I'm not totally sure if that was one of them, but definitely nickel, iron, et cetera.

So I think it is a truly effective way to detoxify our skin is our biggest detoxification organ.

[00:54:14] Matt: Right? Yeah. There's cadmium, mercury, aluminum, there's so many, and I think a lot of people don't realize what, cause I used to do heavy metal detoxes, specifically taking things to chelate metals. And while that can help, people are doing that without the foundation of, let's just say food-based sync and supplemental magnesium.

Both of those detoxify four or five heavy metals. So magnesium is a natural heavy metal key leader, and most people are deficient in their red blood cells. So again, just going back to that mineral balance is a way, but you know, if you need that extra support or you're just getting started, or you know your whole life, you've been like me, you're raised in a house for 20 years walking around on flame retardant carpet, so it was raised in a carpet house, you're just accumulating all day long. 

And not to mention the off-gassing from all the plastics and the paint, and we're swimming in all of this stuff just like we have been swimming in iron our entire life. And so one thing is ozone therapy. I didn't put in my notes here, but it just comes to mind for microplastics because I've been trying to find mitigations over the years for plastics.

It gets depressing once you read into the effects on our endocrine system and they just get lodged in the tissue. So I've been into ozone therapy and for years I was ozonating cold water and just drinking ozonated water. But there are various ways to introduce oh three and rectal ozone. A lot of people have used for mold toxicity and SIBO and all sorts of intestinal disorders, parasites, but you can even do ear insufflation.

So the least invasive ways of introducing ozone is into the ears, the gas or the gas into, uh, cold water and drinking ozonated water, putting the gas in my ears. I do all of them and ozone will actually degrade plastic. So the sauna and the ozone combination is my personal strategy at this time to mitigate the plastic problem.

[00:56:32] Loren: That's really cool. Sauna makes sense to me. I would love to learn more about ozone. I know kind of like a high level, but that's definitely very interesting. I'll have to dive into that more. 

[00:56:44] Matt: Yeah. It's one of those interesting ones. You know, it's an oxidative therapy like hyperbaric oxygen, which I have a lot of experience with, and ozone a lot of people don't know it actually increases oxygen utilization. 

So in combination with good retinol sources, you know, cod liver oil, beef, liver plus copper, plus these things that increase oxygen utilization. You can just get to another level in your health, cuz it's all about metabolizing oxygen to make energy. The better we can do that, the healthier we are.

[00:57:19] Loren: Right. Goes back to mitochondrial function.

[00:57:21] Matt: Yeah. Some other things I had here. You know, coming from the cannabis industry, which I don't think it's, you know, a drug, I think like everything, it's just often overused as a drug. Yeah. And to mask symptoms. But I found an interesting study that excess THC chronic cannabis use interferes with spermatogenesis like microplastics leading to the poor sperm quality.

And what what was hilarious is the author of that study is Wang in 2006. Oh my goodness. That made me laugh. Pretty good. Yeah. 

[00:58:02] Loren: That's amazing. Yeah. Well, there are a lot of chronic cannabis users and it does affect sperm health. If I can remember correctly, it increases the risk of the fetus having certain issues and chronic cannabis use as well, you know, for females too.

It interferes with the HPA axis, the HPT axis, which is the hypothalamus pituitary thyroid axis and the HPG axis, the hypothalamus pituitary gonadal axis. So all of these three things, and that's from chronic use I think, like you mentioned, there's definitely a certain variability there, but uh, yeah, that's just very interesting

[00:58:49] Matt: Yeah, that's fascinating. And I think the balance too of THC to CBD, cuz I used to work with people where they were just doing dabs all day long, you know, breakfast, lunch and dinner and in between. And these dabs were like 90% THC , which is insane for people that aren't educated on cannabis. When you buy like from a dispensary flower, it's called just the actual buds, it's like 21%, 22% THC. 90%? You think that's gonna burn out the minerals a little bit? 

I think it's gonna increase your magnesium burn rate, burn through some copper and they're already deficient in those, they can't afford it. So I encourage people to buy CBD flower or one-to-one or mix it. Mix CBD, high CBD flower, like Charlotte's Web with a THC.

And I think that has a lot more balancing effect than getting the super high hit of THC, which will cost some imbalance, like you mentioned. 

[00:59:49] Loren: Or you know, you might find yourself in a corner rocking back and forth. I don't know. That is wild.

[00:59:57] Matt: It's such, yeah, I mean there's, there's something to be said about like alcohol. Some people say there's no good to it, but a moderate amount at night or whatever to chill out and lower cortisol can be beneficial. And same thing with cannabis or tobacco or anything. It's like really how it's used.

Mm-hmm. And just lowering that cortisol can have systemic benefit. It's huge. 

[01:00:22] Loren: Yeah. Yeah. Everyone's different to how things like that affect them and different amounts will affect different people. So it's about finding what works. And you don't necessarily have to write everything off cuz that's also very extreme

[01:00:35] Matt: Insulin resistance too is another one. You've talked a lot about PUFAs and I have the last couple years and you know, mostly seed oils, but I also put, which a lot of the people talking about industrial seed oils that are causing cancer and diabetes, they're not talking about the fish oils, which are doing the same thing.

So Kirkland signature Costco fish oil is different from Rosita cod liver oil. It's completely, you know, one is a hundred percent PUFA and the Rosita is saturated, monounsaturated and PUFA. It has all three fatty acids in it. Mm-hmm. And so that's an important distinction to make. But whether it's krill oil, algae oil, any of these really concentrated just DHA and EPA sources, that's to me equal to canola oil and that will cause that insulin resistance problem, which actually decreases the late excel's production of testosterone 

[01:01:32] Loren: Hmm, that's a great point. A couple things there. So the polyunsaturated fats, I always get asked this when I post about PUFAs, and they are chemically, structurally, molecularly the same. So whether it's fish oil or industrial seed oils, granted they probably go through kind of a similar process too, as far as extraction and deodorization, and there's different levels.

And if you look at sort of a flow chart, there's a lot going on there to get it from The original seed or the original fish to an actual bottle. And I think Dr. Katherine Shanahan, who is the author of Deep Nutrition, she likes to say that fish oil is like trying to put lightning in a bottle. It's like almost impossible to do that without denaturing the polyunsaturated fats that are in there.

I think what you said about cod liver oil, it is a fish oil, but it's extracted from the liver and it's around 45% monounsaturated fat. And then the rest is basically split between saturated fat and polyunsaturated fat. And this is more like the other fat found in nature. Because we have these ways of labeling fats like monounsaturated, polyunsaturated saturated, but virtually no fat source is going to have just a concentrated source of one kind of fat.

It's always mostly saturated and then maybe a little bit of poly or mono or mostly mono, but it still has some saturated poly. So when you get this fish oil, that is pretty much all polyunsaturated, it's really unnatural. And as far as the ratio of fats go, also though, I think the insulin resistance piece, absolutely polyunsaturated fats prevent glucose from entering into the cell, can't make energy without glucose.

And then there's the aspect of polyunsaturated fats depleting vitamin E, which is super, super important for fertility and Vitamin E therapy has been used for almost a hundred years now to increase sperm counts and things like that and solve secondary infertility and things like that when you know that the connection is undeniable.

[01:04:00] Matt: Absolutely. Yeah. I really like Ray Peat’s article on vitamin E estrogen antagonist and I read that a few years ago and it changed my life. It's great. And uh, I think we're gonna talk about progesterone a little later, but yeah, the books by the Schute brothers, Alfred, I think, Schute, there's one on vitamin E for kids health.

Vitamin E Key to a Healthy Heart I think is one of my favorites. And, and all these books, they go through the studies and it's just amazing that these are hard to find cuz you Google vitamin E and you'll just find a lot of scare stuff. It's like the opposite of the fish oil when you search that. Yeah.

They just say, you know, don't take more than 80 IUs or 40 IUs, or whatever their low recommendation is. And that's not enough to do anything, especially to reverse a deficiency caused by seed oils and fish oils. But yeah, vitamin E’s an estrogen antagonist, and it inhibits the release of beta glucuronidase, which releases estrogen when there's inflammation in the tissue.

Mm-hmm. So estrogen doesn't play nice with iron. They grow things together. And so yeah, vitamin E stops half of that equation, you know? And it also protects from iron overload, just in general. 

[01:05:17] Loren: Mm-hmm. Super important. And that aspect of vitamin E too, we have fat cells, men have fat cells, women have fat cells, and maybe we have a bigger ratio, women to men, but our fat cells also produce hormones, and that's where a lot of estrogen can also be produced too.

So getting vitamin E in the diet. The kind of fats that we eat, it's been shown to affect the kind of fat composition that we have in our body too. So if we have this primarily estrogen producing fat that we've accumulated over X, Y, Z amount of years, then we probably need some vitamin E. 

[01:05:54] Matt: Yeah. I've been enjoying chicken for the first time in years just because it's easy and I kind of dropped my mental, you know, block of eating it cuz of PUFA or whatever.

And I've been cooking it in ghee, you know, chicken breasts and ghee and I feel that's super balancing, you know, with the carbohydrate on the side, potatoes or whatever. Mm-hmm. And that feels super balancing. And I'll take my one mix tocopherol Vitamin E capsule a day and getting a balanced fat intake there.

[01:06:26] Loren: Oh yeah. There's something really grounding about like a roast chicken. I don't know about you, but, I have fond memories of having roast chicken as a child and it's just really delicious. And pairing that with gee is really probably so good. 

[01:06:44] Matt: Yeah, I'll need to learn how to process birds. I have a friend that does that that educates people how to process ducks and geese and chickens and I think it's fairly easy.

You can get a de-feathering machine and then hop water and just a process and I guess depends how many you're doing, but that's my goal is to kind of work towards that direction.  

[01:07:06] Loren: That's one of my dreams, Matt.