Innate Wisdom Podcast

Season 1 | Episode 11

Sperm Quality, Testosterone, Male Vitality, & Masculinity Part 2 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 epidemic of poor sperm motility
- How to support sperm motility, sperm quality, and testosterone levels
- Key supplements for increasing male vitality, testosterone, and sperm quality
- Other hormones important for male fertility
- Contraceptive options for the health conscious couple
- Vasectomies
- And much more


[00:00:00] Loren: So my next question for you is a lot of men are struggling with sperm motility as well. I think that's one of the most common questions I get when it comes to male fertility issues. Not necessarily testosterone levels, but sperm motility specifically. But then a huge part of sperm health is also dictated by testosterone.

So can you talk about ways that men can support their sperm motility and testosterone levels? 

[00:00:30] Matt: Yeah, so this is fine sperm motility. So the sperm has to reach the place of fertilization, and that's in the uterine or the fallopian tube. And if it can't get there, then there's no chance of it even reaching the egg and having that whole process happen.

So this is kind of like the first step after the sperm is made and we're back to mitochondria. So mitochondria are the energy source of the sperm and so abnormalities of the mitochondrial membrane and that whole process, not functioning of electrons moving across, that will cause sperm motility disorders. And there's a lot of factors.

We talked about PUFAs and there's this MDA compound, which is a really hard word to say, but it's malondialdehyde. That's a big issue that decreases sperm motility. So you know, decreasing the fish oil or eliminating that in the seed oils like we talked about. Excess alcohol intake. So alcoholics, you know, and we're talking about five beers a night, you know, kinda thing.

There's just like a lot that will decrease sperm, motility. Excessive smoking. But what's interesting in the research is it's not the nicotine, it's the other stuff in the smoke. Carbon monoxide, the hydrogen cyanide, the hydrocarbons, the ALDs that decrease the sperm motility, which is fascinating cuz tobacco, it's like, it's all about the nicotine.

You know, nicotine is the worst part. But no, it's actually the oxidative stress caused by the smoke. And there's also a differentiation between smoke getting in the lungs and cheek smoking like a cigar, which I'm a fan of. And I think the missing context often with smoking anything is vitamin C and vitamin E status.

And so if you look up smoker studies and they were just taking ascorbic acid, which is not ideal, it's gonna cause secondary negative effects, but they were using like ascorbic acid and alpha tocopherol, not even mixed tocopherol. And that mitigated the oxidative stress and the cascade of harmful reactions caused by smoke hitting the mucus membranes and the lungs.

So that's a consideration. You know, I'd say if, if anyone enjoys cigars, it's like, make sure you're taking whole food vitamin C every day and vitamin E just as a protective mechanism. And of course general dental health, oil pulling. I like water pick, tongue scraping. These are all great things. EMFs, that's been a huge focus of mine for several years now.

So electromagnetic fields, and when you get into this in the natural health community, it's kind of funny because there's a million stickers, you know, just slap this on the back of your phone and you're protected. And I fell for a lot of that, you know, tacky on energy. We don't know exactly how it works, but you know, these few studies or whatever, you know, and the studies are always kind of not legitimate proof that it works. 

And there are certain things that work. So first, let's go into the problem of how EMFs harm. So there's a study I found EMFs hitting the genitals. So from keeping an iPhone in the pocket with location services on, with wifi enabled, with Bluetooth enabled, most people have all three things going on.

Each one is its own antenna, and so each one is ramping up the fields that are being created. Of everything, location services is the absolute worst. It's just having a GPS by your testes. That's, you're just frying yourself. And the study found as low as 850 megahertz of non-ionizing radiation impaired sperm motility.

And so the testes are extremely sensitive to radiation. That's why they use lead shields when they're doing radiotherapy over the genitals. So, I think people just overlook this thing, you know, putting a laptop on the lap. It's a magic spell they did on this there, but it's a lap, it's not a laptop, it's not for your lap.

And yeah, there's, you know, plates and things you could buy, I think the Vendor Shield makes one. And there's other companies where it does work. You know, it blocks both the heat and the EMFs from going through and hitting your testee so you can put your laptop on your lap if you're sandwiching it between that.

But I would say never ever put a cell phone up to your head or your reproductive organs, man or woman. You know, if something I'm religious about is that if I'm walking into the store and you see me, I'm gonna have my cell phone in my hand, or I'm gonna put it in the cart or the hand basket. I'm just not gonna have it on my body unless I have to, and then it's gonna be an airplane mode every time. 

[00:05:40] Loren: That's really solid advice there. I can't tell you how many men I see with the phone in their pocket, front or back all the time, all day, and even women. Same thing in their sweatshirt pocket or. I don't know. 

[00:05:58] Matt: Or their bra. 

[00:05:59] Loren: Or they're bra

I will tell you though, in college, that was me, and I can't tell you how many phones I dropped in the toilet because of that. But, uh, yeah, so EMFs for sure. 

[00:06:20] Matt: That’s hilarious. 

[00:06:20] Loren: I dunno what that says about me, but alright.

[00:06:22] Matt: Yeah. And, and there's also other things, like one thing I found in the research that was fascinating was NO, so nitric oxide and there are people promoting these nitric oxide supplements now. Mm-hmm. And these are, you know, beet root extract and L citraline, you know, which is amino acid found in watermelons, actually did do a 10 day watermelon fast back in the day.

And, I definitely still kept my male aspects going, which was interesting, cause I had zero animal protein, but I was blending up the entire thing. So with the seeds, I think I only did the skin once, which was not enjoyable. But I was blending the watermelon seeds and organic, you know, seedless watermelon.

And yeah, it was a fun experiment. But increased nitric oxide actually leaves to proxy nitrate radicals. A lot of the time, which will cause oxidative stress. Mitochondrial dysfunction, and then lower sperm motility, so, mm-hmm, a lot of this stuff is like kind of a domino cascade effect, but a lot of the ways that we live increase nitric oxide.

Psychological stress will do it alone, and then you add WiFi on top of that, or let's just say 10 or 20 wifi bubbles that you're in, and that will form that proxy nitrate compound, which is like a super harmful free radical, which will, you know, if that's happening in your testes, then yeah, there goes sperm motility. 

[00:07:55] Loren: Right. That's a really interesting byproduct. And so is the MDA and the MDA, I've studied a bit in relation to the digestion of PUFAs and iron together, and it's quite interesting, even just seafood, and this goes back to what we were talking about before, is that fish oils are chemically the same as the industrial seed oils, even fish or seafood ingested with iron. 

Maybe it's the iron within the fish itself. I think that's what it was. It leads to something called mega trans fats and byproducts that are called MDA and other things. I think it might even be something like the proxy nitrite. I think there's another one that starts with a P that I'm not remembering right now, but it leads to a few byproducts, and the MDA is extremely harmful. 

It's kind of unavoidable. The study that I'm referring to, they experimented with seafood, which has naturally occurring antioxidants, zincs, other B-vitamins, other nutrients, and then they did it with, I think it was fish oil and iron. And the fish itself, the whole fish seemed to have some mitigating effect because of the other nutrients, although it still happened. But the polyunsaturated fat from the fish oil and iron was kind of the worst outcome, which is interesting.

[00:09:20] Matt: That's fascinating. Before I got into the PUFAs, I was going out, you know, for sushi with my friends and the first thing I would mitigate is that Kikoman, you know, horrible demonic soy sauce, I would bring, uh, coconut aminos, and that's such a good, you know, so good. Yeah. So I'd bring that. And then what I used to do is crack cell chlorella tablets for the heavy metals, but I think that was borderline orthorexic. Cause then I learned that the selenium in the fish protects against mercury. Mm-hmm. And you know, a lot of these minerals, just like I mentioned earlier, the magnesium and zinc, those minerals and heavy metals, they balance each other, you know, like at silica and aluminum I've been looking into for years and they're almost the same compound molecularly. 

And so I think most people have aluminum toxicity, which will decrease energy production. And so just adding in more silica, I know morally uses diatomaceous earth. I like the liquid silica, the like the living silica stuff, liquid bamboo, and just doing that and lowering your aluminum can increase energy production, so…

[00:10:33] Loren: Yeah, it's so fascinating. Definitely get your minerals in. That's constant theme here.

[00:10:43] Matt: Yeah. Another one I found for decreasing sperm motility is fluorinated substances. So a lot of us familiar with sodium fluoride and I think that's why the Berkely filter became popular, you know, cause they're just hyper-focusing on fluoride and forget about that.

The water's hard and, you know, ppms around 500 just getting this fluoride out. So I think it's, you know, multiple factors to view here. But PFOAs and PFOS, those are really long, hard words to say, but uh, yeah, they are, exposure to those reduce sperm, motility and viability. So I recommend people just, you know, if they can't afford a water filter, like a under counter, just fill up water jugs with reverse osmosis water and get a shower filter.

Get a decent one and keep up with the filter changes. I know it's, you know, just another thing to to keep track of, but once you get in the habit of it, and ideally I would recommend just moving towards a well, you know, if you can get outta the city life, like move from municipal to a well, and then I did from well to spring, which is like the next level, and I still filter the spring water, which people would say is overkill, but I just want to get, you know, zero iron that I'm bathing and, and drinking.


[00:12:03] Loren: Yeah. Well, that's a great point too. It comes back to kind of the basics and if you're thinking about all of these things and you're like, oh my gosh, where do I start? Just pick one thing and go from there. Just start with one thing. But the PFOAs are interesting because they're often used as coating for our cookware too, so you could be getting it from not only water or fluoride from water, but the PFOAs from cookware, and you also have fluoridated medications as well.

Any fluo, luo, dash whatever is also gonna have fluoride in it. So it's pretty insidious, but as long as you're aware and can make sustainable changes and reasonable changes, feasible changes, I think it's worth looking at.

[00:12:51] Matt: Yeah, I would look for a ceramic coded, you know, people. Create entire businesses around cookware and education and I think you can get lost in there.

Mm-hmm. I just try to keep it simple and just say, avoid cast iron unless you're camping and you need it, or whatever. But even then you could probably bring something else and look for a ceramic coated. I like Ozeri. I think it's called stone or earth wear. Mm-hmm. And just ceramic coated cookware and then people even try to say, you know, there's still this and that, and there and it's, it's like you do your best, you know, you can't manage everything. 

[00:13:28] Loren: Right. I agree. That's well said. And there's no perfect cookware either. Like everything has an exchange that you have to make. I use a couple different ones like ceramic stainless steel, and I also have vision glassware and kind of use them as I need. I do use my cast iron for steak. There's just nothing like a cast iron seared steak.

[00:13:52] Matt: Yeah, I could see that. I tried the vision glassware and I just kept staining them, or I couldn't clean 'em after a certain time, so,

[00:14:01] Loren: Gotcha. Yeah, it can be tough. If you don't put enough oil on it, your eggs can definitely stick. That's kind of what I use it for most of the time, or to warm up leftovers or something like that.

[00:14:09] Matt: Right, right. Yeah. I found a, you know, I'm in a town where Walmart is sometimes my only source for things, unfortunately. And you know, I go in there once a month or so, and I actually found ceramic pans there. I was shocked. It was just one or two brands, but I was like, wow, Walmart. They're stepping up. 

[00:14:31] Loren: Yeah, might be surprised what you find.

So we've talked about certain things that you can do to mitigate what's affecting sperm health, testosterone health. Things that support sperm health and testosterone health. So let's talk about supplements, because I think there's definitely a balance between immediately reaching for a supplement bottle to solve every problem that you have, but in the spirit of supplements can really move the needle for a lot of people.

What would you say are your go-to supplements for supporting male vitality? 

[00:15:07] Matt: Yeah, so one of them I've been experimenting with, especially as a previous vegan, is Vitamin K2. And you know, the dentist, Wes Price called it Factor X and he didn't use, you know, the form that I use, which is on the capsule form, which is powder, which is a blend of largely MK4 and MK7, so called Menaquinone four and seven.

And so there are different, like vitamin E, there are different types under the umbrella of vitamin K. And you know, a lot of people are familiar with vitamin K injections, you know, which, mm-hmm, we're talking about something different. And Phylloquinone K one is found in greens, so vegans, vegetarians are getting that.

But it's the MK four and the MK seven form that are mostly found in animal foods. I mean, NATO has MK seven, but MK four, that's gonna be in your eggs, your meat, your cheese, you know, dairy, things like that. And, a lot of people don't know, like besides promoting overall mitochondrial function in multiple different ways, vitamin K2 actually supports testosterone production and it does that by improving mitochondrial function.

But it activates this protein called kinase A or PKA, protein kinase A, and that is required for the latic cells to produce testosterone. So, one study in 2011, uh, found that rats, I know it's a rat study, it's not humans, but a lot of the time it transfers over. Just MK four for five weeks had double the testosterone after five weeks.

Wow. And what's interesting cuz a lot of people don't, Tend to look into the dosing on studies. Like I know I didn't used to in the past be like, oh wow, it increases this or doubles this, but like how much did they use is always fascinating to me. And in this study they used 75 milligrams per kilogram of body weight.

So for me that's roughly five grams, 5,000 milligrams. If my math is right, it's been years since I've done math. But, you know, with supplements, a lot of people tend to underdose the right ones and overdose the wrong ones. Mm-hmm. Right? So they're taking mega doses of liposomal ascorbic acid, mega doses of zinc, mega doses of omega-3s, and they're not doing vitamin E or K2, insufficient amounts, or even just retinol for a food source.

And so this is another case of underdosing. Because I know a lot of people supplementing K2, they're just taking maybe 2,000 max a day. And a lot of these K2 supplements are with vitamin D three, which I think both of us are not a fan of. And if you take K2 in this dose of five grams in the D three combo, you will get vitamin D toxicity and essentially you'll deplete your magnesium because the more vitamin D you take, the more magnesium’s needed to convert it from D3 to 25 to 125. 

So that's why my Purely K, just not to make this commercial, but it only contains K one, MK four and MK seven. So just vitamin K so that you can high dose it.

And I think people tend to focus on dental health with vitamin K, but that's kinda like a side benefit. It does regulate the pH of your saliva, which has tremendous overall effects for your teeth and gum health, and it will through osteocalcin and Matrix GLA protein. A lot of proteins are dependent on minerals and vitamins, and so you know, we're talking about hormones which are way downstream.

So I'd like to just emphasize that people focus on the vitamin and mineral piece. To have the enzymes work to then make the hormones. So it's like the foundational stuff is really treating the vitamin and mineral imbalances slash deficiencies and mm-hmm to me that vitamin K2 is one of 'em. It's a piece of why people have chronic fatigue or just feel drained, why they have dental issues, why they have calcification, why they have different stones, gallstones, kidney stones, all of that is helped by sufficient vitamin K2 coming in. 

[00:19:47] Loren: Absolutely. Vitamin K2 is incredible and I think it doesn't get enough credit for sure.

[00:19:54] Matt: Yeah, absolutely. And another one I've been experimenting with for several years. I got into this, I don't know, maybe eight, nine years ago. It was near the start of my journey.

I wanna say 2011, 2012, I got into shilajit. Yeah, maybe a decade ago, and I started with the powder, and so for someone that doesn't know, this is a cornerstone of Ayurvedic medicine. It's called a Rasa Yana, which is like a total body rejuvenator, and it's this resin, this tar that oozes out of high elevation mountain ranges.

So the Andes, the Himalayas, Siberian Mountains, even the Rockies, anywhere where it's above 9,000, 10,000 feet. Generally in the summer, you're gonna have this oozing out of cracks in the mountain, and a lot of people think it's not food and there's all this misinformation and it's one of the most demonized or bastardized supplements at this point, I think because it's become so trendy and there are tons of companies, MLM and not, just selling fulvic acid extracts and just making wild claims. 

And I've always tried to have a balanced message with my shilajit resin of what it actually does, and to simplify it for people, I often just tell them it's a mineral source and an iron chelator and a heavy metal chelator.

So it chelates, excess iron, cheltaes heavy metals, and it's a complete mineral source of not only trace minerals, but ultra trace rare minerals, some of which might have not even been discovered yet. And I found an interesting study where it showed 90% of the shilajit composition is actually calcium, magnesium, and potassium, which took me years to find, cuz I thought it was 90% trace minerals.

But that doesn't really make sense if you just think about it. So it's mostly these macro minerals and then 10%, all of these other things. You know, boron and silica and vanadium, indium, indiums, really powerful for mitochondrial energy production. Just minerals we've never heard of, right? But it's just like plants.

They can get by on three, but it's really 15 that they need at a bare minimum, just like we need, you know, four or five at a bare minimum. Mm-hmm. But then you add in these trace minerals, you know, 90 or so and it's like, or 90 total. And it's like, okay, now we're running on all cylinders. And that's kind of how I view the mineral game. 

It's like you've been deficient in sodium and potassium and magnesium your whole life, so plug those in. But after those are plugged in, let's look at these really rare trace minerals. And that's when you're really cooking with gas and activating these enzyme electrical pathways that have been shut off your entire life.

And that's why people get kind of scary results with shilajit. I mean, you really have to go slow. It's such a powerful supplement cuz we're working on the mineral enzyme level. and if you turn on these enzyme pathways too fast, you will detox or have a Herxheimer’s reaction. Yes. And that can be uncomfortable.

[00:23:08] Loren: Yeah. We were talking before we started recording and I was mentioning how I don't really have the supplements that like make a boom difference or are noticeable difference where I'm like, oh my gosh, I feel crazy right now. Shilajit is definitely one of them. I feel like when I started taking shilajit, the lights turned on and I just feel so much more energized when I take shilajit.

So that's definitely one of my favorite ones. And I take quite a bit actually. I take like five of your little pellets.

[00:23:43] Matt: Yeah, it's just purified compressed shilajit resin, and they're just really convenient to take, because I used to chisel it out of the jar and it would just take forever to do that.

Mm-hmm. And a lot of people melt it and hot liquid, that's not ideal because that will degrade some of the components of the shilajit, to dissolve it in hot tea. Mm-hmm. Some of the nutrients in there are heat sensitive. So yeah, it's same here. I take five at a time and it's, it's been a game changer. It's like that and magnesium together are so powerful and then you start adding these other pieces and it really helps.

But in the context of this conversation, there's a study I found where 2015 by Pandit, that shilajit increased total and free testosterone and the mechanism was, so DHEA sulfate is the precursor to testosterone. So kind of backing up your, the top of the top of the hierarchy of hormones, like the first things you make are progesterone, pregnenolone and DHEA.

And then from those you make your estradiol and your testosterone and everything else. Mm-hmm.  And, uh, with shilajit, again, the dosage, how much they use 500 milligrams for three months. So 90 days, half a gram increased that DHEA sulfate by 31%. So that increased the free and total testosterone. I think that's been a key factor in my life.

I didn't have a good start. I don't wanna talk down to my parents, you know, how they raised me. But, you know, it was traditional, you know, had fast food once or twice a week, a lot of home cooked meals. But the home cooked meals were just conventional, not organic at all. And. No bone broth my entire life growning up not once. And…

[00:25:32] Loren: Fortified pastas, freezer, freezer nuggets, freezer pizza, 

[00:25:38] Matt: Poptarts. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah, yeah. And so, I look at shilajit as just like a good reset button for someone that had the upbringing that we had. And it's great for male or female. I mean, women need testosterone too. Mm-hmm. And they can be deficient.

But this component, you know, I'm really against fulvic acid extracts, and I speak from experience because I used to take them and it's like the liquid fulvic. So it's the ascorbic acid view of vitamin C. It's like that's the active component. That's all we need. And people take that view with shilajit. Oh, fulvic acid is the active component.

So how about I just take the liquid fulvic? I think that's like the TRS supplement, if I'm not mistaken. So I think, so in shilajit, we have all these compounds and it's just like vitamin C with the rutin and all of the other components in there. Dibenzo alpha pyrones are in shilajit, and those increase spermatogenic activity.

So the overall health of the sperm is enhanced by just this one component of shilajit, and that's not even counting the copper in there and the magnesium, all the other things working together. It's like whole food C where yeah, you have the Tyrosinase Z enzyme, you have the copper, but you also have all these other things that gives the effect. 

Shilajit is no different. And yeah, that's been very powerful. I take five tablets usually with my goat milk and with a meal. But in India, that's how shilajit was traditionally consumed, was with goat milk. And that to me is a wild cock. I mean, you wanna talk about a speedball like you do, raw goat milk, three to five tablets of shilajit, I think five is good. Bee pollen, some honey. Bee bread like that, combo. Milk, bee products, shilajit, you're really on fire. You're just getting everything.

[00:27:38] Loren: That sounds so delicious too. I'm getting them right. Goat milk. That makes a lot of sense because a lot of ayurvedic herbs are also usually taken with milk to support the effectiveness of the herbs. So that makes a lot of sense. But shilajit, that's so fascinating. 

[00:27:56] Matt: I'm putting up a geodesic growing dome. Really excited. I have a lot to learn about gardening. Um, very beginner. But you know, having Jeff Lotton on my show. Here's one. I first heard talk about NPK in a lecture, and I have an idea of what to do.

But what's interesting in the soil is you have the fungus, you have the microbes, and then you have this thing called fulvic acid. Warm castings contain fulvic acid, but the way that conventional food, organic, or not’s being grown, there's no fulvic in the soil, and fulvic is how the plants uptake minerals.

And so, It's really powerful to just put that straight in your body, especially with minerals and goat milk cause it, it goes right in into your cells. So another one that's fun for me, I've really been experimenting with thanks to one of my podcast guests, I think Morley's talked about it, is boron.

Mm-hmm. I think a lot of people have read that study. Nothing Boring about Boron, which is yeah, a good intro. That's a great title. That's a good one. But I found another study on how boron frees testosterone by lowering sex hormone binding globulin. So Nagi 2010 is a study, daily and weekly boron supplementation on plasma steroid hormones and pro-inflammatory cytokines.

It was just 10 milligrams once a day in the morning, which is such a low dose. It is. That's a really easy way to optimize and I think it protects against vitamin D toxicity and it spares magnesium, and there's a lot of really interesting effects of boron that I've been looking into. 

[00:29:36] Loren: Yeah, it extends the lifespan of vitamin D in the body, and I think testosterone as well.

But I also read one study where the consistent use can have an estrogen suppressing effect. But only for like two weeks. And then after that, estrogen also starts to extend its life through boron. Wow. So I think that there's a cycling sort of way that boron should be taken, or at least from these studies, I think that everyone can kind of see for themselves. Cause I do know a lot of women that take boron, especially menopausal women that say it changed their life. So, 

[00:30:20] Matt: wow. You know my, it's very interesting. That's fascinating. Yeah. I think that's what Jason said on my show. I mean 50 milligrams a day. I was like, whoa. It's a trace mineral, but he is cycling it.

So he said, do that for a week and then a week off or whatever's. Mm-hmm. what he did. Mm-hmm. I started with 20 mule team Borax and you know, that's a source of boron. And I would just add an eighth of a teaspoon in my water and swish it around. And it's kind of scary cause it's like you're buying laundry detergent and you're ingesting it orally.

Yeah. And so, what I ended up doing after a while is just adding it to my bath. So to a hot bath. That's a really good bath additive to add. 

[00:31:00] Loren: Yeah, that's the way I use Borax. It's really nice. There's also the ionic boron that you can get that's a little less sketchy, visually sketchy. So we have K2, shilajit, Boron, what else?

[00:31:17] Matt: Yeah, those are the big ones. And then you also have like ones I've been playing with over the years is pine pollen, both in tincture form and the powder form. And I used to just carry the bag in my car with me and just like take scoops throughout the day, straight in my mouth and put a scoop in, and then take a swig of water.

Like I said, swallow pine pollen dust, you'll cough for a long time. Like the cinnamon challenge, right? Steven Herd Buener, I believe has a good book on pine pollen that I recommend, and that's a source of basically a bioidentical testosterone. And people say the powder doesn't work like it gets destroyed by your stomach acid.

That's not been my experience with taking the powder. I definitely feel it, but I would say I feel the tincture more. Mm-hmm. And you could easily make your own tincture if you don't wanna buy it. Like if you have pine pollen and season around you. I talked to a guy on the phone the other day, a friend of mine, and he was saying, just use a portable vacuum cleaner.

He thought was a good idea. Ooh, yeah. In the forest and just fill up the bat. Yeah. That's pretty neat. Yeah, and so that and elk antler velvet has been something that I've been playing with again, both in powdered and tincture form, and there's deer antler and there's elk antler, and they're pretty similar.

But what's interesting is in traditional Chinese medicine, it's a kidney tonic. Mm-hmm. So it supports the kidneys and Hoshi Wu does that as well. And kidneys like our candle, basically in traditional Chinese medicine. So I think you have like the three treasures, like chi, shen, and there's one more. Anyway, but yeah, basically it's your long burning fuel is your kidneys, like your battery pack essentially, especially as a male.

Mm-hmm. And elk antler really supports that, and so I've been averaging probably four capsules a day, which is, I think it's 1400 to 1600 milligrams of elk antler velvet a day. And it's not only the joint and muscle support and collagen, but it's such a dense source of minerals. There's copper in there, there's zinc, and I always just feel like a deep energizing kind of stabilization effect from that.

We kind of touched on it earlier, but I really recommend getting a red light panel. I use it minimum 20 minutes a day, 20 to 30 minutes, and like we said, if you don't wanna get on a list or get arrested, you just, I like really like the door hanging ones. And I would put this on anyone's wishlist, like, get one of the door hanging ones and avoid, you know, the big brands that are overpriced and just stand in front of it naked after you shower or whatever.

Even 10 minutes, twice a day has a huge. And play with the timing. If it energizes you before bed or screws with your sleep, then use it earlier. And it's been one of those things that just hitting my thyroid and my entire torso, reproductive, just that main center area has so many effects cause it's affecting the blood, but it's also affecting tissues that it's hitting.

So the thyroid and that near Infrared and near and mid penetrates pretty deeply. So I'm a huge fan of that just for hormonal health. Cause just being light deficient, I think is overlooked. Like we don't realize probably our entire life, like, you know, my family took me to the beach, but it was more like, long periods of darkness and being indoors and then huge blasts of the sun where I'd get fried like a lobster and get a sunburn.

It's like that's not a healthy relationship with light you like. Yeah. Consistent thing. 

[00:35:16] Loren: Awesome. So pine pollen, which has phytoandrogens is that. 

[00:35:23] Matt: Phytoandrogens. Yeah. So basically it's a bioidentical testosterone to ours, but from a plant form. So it's interesting the, the pine tree, when it's pine pollen season, and I'm trying to remember the months.

I think it's like late summer, I wanna say like June, July. It might vary per geographical region, but pine pollen is sperm. So, it's pretty much the ejaculate of the pine tree when it's pine pollen season. And what happens is the wind blows this pine pollen throughout the land. You know, that's how the pine trees proliferate.

It's pretty fascinating. Mm-hmm. And I've actually experimented, I have a MitoLife Academy video. It's like my private YouTube channel. One of my most controversial videos was Smart Snorting and

[00:36:14] Loren: Not the ivory stuff, right?

[00:36:17] Matt: Right. And if you think about it, just going on a nature walk, going on a hike during pine pollen season, you will be inhaling into your respiratory system through nasal cavity, pine pollen particulates, and you could just do it straight. And I've actually done that with shilajit powder as well.

I think I tried it with elk antler powder. Pine pollen's. Definitely the most gentle. I think that's the most natural, naturally would not be snorting shilajit powder. 

[00:36:51] Loren: That sounds pretty brutal. But that's awesome. So pine pollen, phytoandrogens. We have elk antler, which stimulates the kidney. And I actually did talk to a Chinese medicine doctor recently and the kidney seems to be a really big focus for fertility, and one of the things that she recommends is keeping your feet warm because the feet are connected to the kidney, and so if anyone's trying to conceive or pregnant, always keeping those feet warm, which is so interesting. And then we have red light, which stimulates mitochondrial function.

I think we all know that. And that's gonna be important for making energy in all the organs that you want to function properly. So I think that those are solid, solid suggestions. 

[00:37:37] Matt: Yeah. Specifically the mitochondria and the late cells. And so that's what's often highlighted with red light therapy companies, it's boost your testosterone and by hitting your balls with red light.

And it is true, but let's not just focus on the mitochondria there, right? There's, yeah. All these other mitochondria. And another whole conversation, which we haven't talked about is the aromatase enzyme. Mm-hmm. Which I think has a relationship to PUFAs. So aromatization is basically people on TRT. You know, injecting testosterone know this well because they have to inject aromatase inhibitor to protect against gynecomastia and all these negative effects from TRT.

But that's when testosterone is converted to estradiol. In the hypothalamus and limbic system, and they're called aromatase inhibitors that protect that conversion. And there's a lot of 'em. You could look up the list. One of my favorites over the years has been nettle root. That's like a really powerful natural aromatase inhibitor.

And so one stack I've used over the years when I was like reclaiming my masculinity was all the things we've talked about, but stacked with nettle root. Again, getting out in nature. I'm not a fan of just walking and just doing nothing. Like let's do something. Let's like forage. Let's look for huckleberries.

Let's try to find some stuff. And one fun thing to do is nettles, stinging nettles and bring some kitchen gloves. Bring like a trash bag and don't over harvest, but find a huge nettle patch. They're like a weed and you could pull them up and pull the roots out and chop off the leaves. Just get the roots, put 'em in a mason jar, fill that with vodka and make your own nettle root tincture.

That's what I did years ago and it was so powerful. 

[00:39:32] Loren: That's awesome. Nettles are amazing. I used nettle a lot when I was coming off of my asthma medication. Again, it goes back to the aromatase inhibition. That helps because estrogen can promote histamine too in sort of the allergic reaction, feeling nettles are effective for a lot of things.

[00:39:54] Matt: Yeah. Both the leaf and the root one study. I mean the sex hormone binding globulin things. There's so many things that unbind testosterone, right? Just like the tyrosinase copper story, that kind of like, lassos it, but it's 1200 milligrams a day. If nettle root decreases the SHBG. So there's multiple ways that nettle root's working, but that's a, mm-hmm.

A really interesting one. I think vitamin E has a similar effect too. Yeah. 

[00:40:24] Loren: If there were one thing I would add to that stack, I would probably say vitamin E.

[00:40:27] Matt: Yeah. It actually decreases the period in between ejaculations, like the recovery time. Mm-hmm, yes. Uh, vitamin E decreases that time. So if a couple's trying to get pregnant, they probably wanna decrease that time, so. 

[00:40:44] Loren: Yeah. Yeah. Try more frequently in that fertile window, which yeah, men need to recover, so. That's awesome. Very cool. Well, one question for you. This will be my last question. This podcast itself is about male fertility, but I don't think we can talk about male fertility without talking about progesterone.

And a lot of people think that progesterone is only a women's hormone or a pregnancy hormone. Of course, that that is true, but I think there's a lot of benefits to overall male health and wellbeing and fertility too. Do you know if and how it's important to male health and wellbeing? 

[00:41:28] Matt: Absolutely. Yeah. It's a good question.

So, as I said earlier, like pregnenolone, progesterone and DHEA are at the top, and those are built out of like vitamin A and cholesterol to build our, our sex steroid hormones. And so pregnenolone is the precursor for progesterone, and you need progesterone to produce testosterone. And progesterone itself increases spermatogenesis, testosterone synthesis, in the latic cells, something called sperm capacitation.

It basically facilitates all the functions of sperm. The capacitation function is the sperm’s ability to penetrate and fertilize the egg. And what's interesting is it does that via progesterone’ll bind to an enzyme called ABHD two, and that actually inhibits the calcium channel. So basically the calcium channel's opened, calcium can get in, and then the sperm is activated and actually can fertilize the egg. 

That was actually a study out of Berkeley University is pretty interesting. There's a good study 2004 that I found progesterone, the Forgotten Hormone in Men, and it specifically speaks to this point of all the aspects of male fertility that's involved with.

And it's so much more than that too for the innate immune system, for cognitive function, for neuroprotection, from the chemical and EMF assault that we get exposed to every day. For balanced mood, for deep sleep, for respiratory function, cardiovascular, central nervous system function, good libido or skeletal health.

I mean, there's no aspect that progesterone doesn’t touch. And again, I think it goes back to when I was vegan, I was getting goose egg, zero cholesterol. And yes, our liver makes it, but we can't synthesize everything. You know, it takes energy to do that, honestly. And so for years I've been getting cholesterol in with pasture eggs and high quality milk and red meat.

Chicken, seafood and all the, or just, you know, getting cholesterol in my system. But it's really that combo of cholesterol and retinol that I found to really make the huge difference, cuz that's where it starts. So if we go all the way back from testosterone, we go to progesterone, go to pregnenalone, we go in further back, we go to vitamin A, thyroid hormone, cholesterol, and it's all involved.

And so I think men and women tend to jump to hormonal therapy. And I'm gonna do some DHEA cream or some testosterone cream or progesterone cream, or hopefully not estrogen cream. And just start from that hormonal aspect. But you don't wanna start there. And if you do play around with hormones, either orally or transdermally, I played around with that and I think that it should be later on down the road.

Not without the foundation of supporting thyroid, with supporting the liver carbs and animal protein and eating animal foods for the cholesterol and getting good vitamin A sources where for some people, grass-fed beef liver might not be enough. So experimenting with combining that with unfortified, unfermented cod liver oil might work better.

And yeah, it's so many things. Progesterone's, fascinating. I highly recommend reading Ray Peat’s article on it, and especially if you've been convinced that estrogen's the female hormone, that's like a big thing to unlearn for people. It's like, oh wait, progesterone, but it's not only female hormone, it's also necessary for males and all the things I listed.

[00:45:27] Loren: Mm-hmm. Yeah. That's so fascinating what you said about that channel. 

[00:45:32] Matt: Yeah. ABH two, it takes off a lipid called 2 AG. And that lipid is what inhibits the calcium channel. And so by removing that and the calcium, which is usually a stressor, but it's also, it's a signaling molecule, right? In this capacity, it's actually signaling the activation of the sperm and its functions.

Um, so interesting. Yeah. Here's the Berkeley 2016 Preventing Sperm’s Power Could be Key to Unisex Contraceptive, but, it's a, it's an interesting article. 

[00:46:08] Loren: Definitely, definitely. Well, did you hear about that new birth control pill for men? 

[00:46:14] Matt: I did. Is that oral form right? 

[00:46:16] Loren: Yeah. It's like a retinoid acid receptor inhibitor, and it basically causes infertility.

For that period of time that you're taking it, this goes to show you how important retinol is. 

[00:46:32] Matt: It's so bad. Yeah, the whole birth control subject is fascinating cause I've had a lot of women on my podcast talking about it. I think you talked about it on my show and yes, there's the IUDs, there's the oral forms.

I think there's like the transdermal, there's a lot of different things and a lot of women I know do the fertility awareness method. There's various things. I think a lot of vegans are pushing the vasectomy, kinda, oh gosh. Procedure. I don't know. I haven't looked at the side effects for that. I can't imagine it's not, 

[00:47:04] Loren: I have, yeah, aside from chronic pain, that doesn't go away.

I've actually had women message me about their husbands. It just comes up in like Q and A sometimes, and how their husbands have had chronic gonadal pain since they got their vasectomies, and it's ruined their sex life and it's ruined his quality of life and he's just constantly in pain. But also the hormonal aspect, I think that there's some, forget which doctor it is, but he's talked about how mastectomies can affect the production of progesterone and men. 

So just as we've talked about, progesterone is really important, not only for women, but men too. And there can be some repercussions when we can't make enough.

[00:47:46] Matt: Interesting. Wow. Yeah, I feel like actually safe birth control methods are being suppressed.

Just like, you know, advanced health technology, same kind of thing. I know some people will promote the pullout method and I think that's scary for a lot of couples, cuz a lot of men lack that level of control. And I think that lack of control goes back to all the things we've been talking about and deficiencies in K2 and vitamin E and retinol and copper, magnesium.

I think that all helps as well, which we didn't really touch on, is just man's performance. A lot of it's in the head, so like mental from previous experiences. Men could have performance anxiety or kind of PTSD from like bad experiences in the past. So that's where, you know, maybe sensory deprivation, floating or, I don't know, hypnotherapy or there's neurofeedback or, a bunch of the things where you could kind of reprogram, you know, your brain from traumatic experiences, memories, but yeah, I think it all plays a role there. 

But yeah, I would say, you know, fertility awareness method plus the pullout method because women are only fertile for a short period of time. Right. But three or four days. 

[00:49:04] Loren: Well, it's really 24 to 48 hours, but because our cervical mucus keeps sperm alive for a bit longer, it can last five to six or seven days depending on the person.

So that's why the fertile window's about a week long or less. But you know, if we weren't sexually active, it would be 24 to 48 hours.

[00:49:22] Matt: Interesting. Yeah, there's so much education. It's just funny thinking back to like sex ed, you know, that we had in school and just like all I remember is the banana and the condom. That's my only memory from. 

[00:49:37] Loren: Oh my goodness. I went to an all girls Catholic school and I'm pretty sure we had very little sex ed. I don't even remember. If we did, it was probably the exact same as the mean girls sex ed meme that goes around don't have sex. You'll get pregnant, which is just not true. 

[00:49:58] Matt: Yeah, and one thing we didn't touch on, which I haven't looked too deeply into, is the health effects of condoms.

You know, that's one form of birth control, but the latex and the chemicals that they use can be super endocrine disruptors, both for the man and the woman, I mean, that probably is, you know, a bigger role in non-committal partners, right? That aren't in a relationship together. It's probably gonna be more of an issue, but you have options.

There's, I think, healthier brands like Kimono. There's Lambskin condoms, which doesn't freak people out. Yeah. 

[00:50:35] Loren: That's a great option, you know, versus the plastics. And even things like lube can also have detrimental effects to the cells inside of the vagina too, and I'm sure the cells also on the penis as well.

So there's just tons of things, tons of inputs to think about. 

[00:50:54] Matt: Yeah. Literally every detail you look at. It's just like the food you buy, like you should look at what's going into your body or on your skin, right? 

[00:51:04] Loren: Literally. Yeah. Mm-hmm. Awesome. Matt, this has been a super illuminating conversation. Thank you for spending so much time chatting with me.

I wanna know where can people find you and support? 

[00:51:18] Matt: Yeah, so I have basically two websites that can find me at and that's kind of the hub where you can find my podcast, my blogs, and I'm excited to announce, way overdue, I updated my CLF protocol, which is my calcification, lipofuscin, and fibrosis protocol, which I'm learning the last four months, thank, thank you, Morley is really an offshoot from Iron Overload, so these three things are actually just symptoms, even calcification. What do you mean excess calcium comes from iron overload? It does, but still it's very helpful to tackle those and people are getting a lot of results I think, because it's mitigating a lot of the effects of iron overload.

Mm-hmm. So you can read that there. I have my recommended products. One thing I didn't talk about is EMF blocking underwear and that's huge for men. That's all I wear. And I still think about Elon satellites and we're still getting exposed to a lot of places. So men and women just wearing underwear that's silver embedded.

I don't wanna get too deep into EMFs, but there's priorities there. Number one priority with EMF sensitivity is reducing your iron overload, which will decrease its effects and then up near magnesium and then wearing EMF blocking clothing. Try a combination of those and play with it, but I talk a lot about that stuff on my YouTube channel.

I have like a MitoLife Academy, so I put out four videos a month, and then I have a live q and a, usually the last day of the month where I talk about my latest research and new devices I'm playing with or supplements and fun stuff. And then my brand MitoLife, you can find at And I'm actually working on a freeze-dried, a hundred percent New Zealand grass-fed liver product.

I'm really excited about. Yay. It'll be spiked with something, so make it a little different from all the others and, um, really, really excited for that. Yeah, and that's where you could find my vitamin k2, the vitamin E, the shilajit, which with the whole Russia debacle Ukraine. It's been a, a hassle to get that imported here, but we finally got it cleared.

So tablets are on the way from Russia. It took months, and that will be back in stock very soon. Yeah, so mainly those three. Then I'm on Instagram Matt Blackburn and I'm most active there. You know, usually posts like 40 times a day on there. 

[00:53:50] Loren: Oh, I, I always find your content super interesting and informative and it really connects to dots, but yeah, I'm so glad to hear shilajit’s back because I'm on my last little dish or, you know, my last little packet, so I'll need to re-up very soon.

[00:54:06] Matt: Good timing. My trash person's just pulled up. All right, perfect. Yeah, but you, should I say some parting words? 

[00:54:16] Loren: Yeah. If only if you want to. I typically ask everyone at the end of the podcast, if there was one piece of advice our listeners could take action on today, what would that be? So what would you say?

[00:54:28] Matt: Take inventory of everything in your life and pick the things that you think are making a big negative effect in your health. So it might simply be unplugging your WiFi router at night. During the day, getting a mesh WiFi guard to go over it. Less EMF, no affiliation. Getting a grounding sheet, sleeping grounded rod to earth can make a huge difference.

If you're not sleeping properly, switching out the bulbs in your home. I like Sunlite, L-I-T-E light A-19 very specific, but it matters orange and red bulbs. So in your bedroom. Put the red bulbs in your bathroom, put the orange bulbs and the flicker is low. The EMFs are low, especially being off grid.

LED is not evil. And so just changing the lighting, changing certain things and that's it. Yeah. 

[00:55:25] Loren: Awesome. Well start small. That's basically it. All right. Thank you so much, Matt. Really appreciate it all and I hope everyone enjoys this episode. 

[00:55:36] Matt: Thanks, Loren.