Innate Wisdom Podcast

Season 2 | Episode 5

The Bioenergetics of Male Fertility: with Jay Feldman

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What It's About:

Join Loren Sofia, Functional Fertility Coach and owner of Innate Fertility, and Jay Feldman, a health coach, independent health researcher, and the host of The Energy Balance Podcast, as they discuss the bioenergetics of male fertility and how you can optimize male fertility for not only reproduction, but long-lasting, vibrant wellness.

In this episode, you’ll learn:

-What bioenergetics really mean & why it’s important
-How mitochondrial health can influence male reproductive health, especially sperm health
-If intermittent fasting and/or caloric restriction can really increase testosterone production
-Foods that you should avoid when trying to optimize male fertility
-Foods that you should incorporate when trying to optimize male fertility
-What’s causing your libido issues, including erectile dysfunction
-Supplements to support male reproduction and fertility



[00:00:00] Loren: Welcome to the Innate Wisdom Podcast. I'm your host, Lauren Safiya, Functional Fertility Coach and owner of Innate Fertility, and I'm honored to guide you through each episode where we'll cover not just fertility, but how to rediscover the innate wisdom of your body, restore your connection with your physiology, bioenergetics and metabolism, and get back in touch with Mother Nature and ancestral traditions.

[00:00:26] Loren: Welcome to another episode of the Innate Wisdom Podcast. On today's show, I'm excited to invite health coach, independent health researcher, and the host of the Energy Balance podcast, Jay Feldman to chat all about male fertility. In the fertility world, male fertility is so overlooked, but guess what?

[00:00:44] Loren: They're half of the picture if you're trying to conceive a baby and his health matters just as much as her health when it comes to doing that successfully. His health can not only influence the chances of pregnancy, but influence the health of your baby and the health of your pregnancy. Believe it or not, I've been working on a very special resource for male fertility that I cannot wait to share with you soon.

[00:01:07] Loren: In the meantime, make sure to continue listening to hear my conversation with Jay, where we talk all about how to support male fertility through diet, nutrition, supplements, and lifestyle, but most of all, energy production. Enjoy the show. Today I have the amazing Jay Feldman. Welcome, Jay. I'm so excited to have you on the podcast.

[00:01:28] Loren: Welcome to the innate wisdom podcast. How are you doing today?

[00:01:30] Jay: Yeah. Thanks so much for having me. I'm doing well. 

[00:01:33] Loren: Glad to see it. Glad to hear it. For those of you that are just listening, Jay has an amazing background. The house he's staying at is just beautiful and it has mosaic. So definitely take a look on the YouTube if you can.

[00:01:47] Jay: Yeah. Yeah. We really lucked out finding the spot. 

[00:01:50] Loren: It's beautiful. Well, I love to start out by kind of getting background on what kind of led you to where you are today. And so would you mind sharing with the audience this sort of journey that led you to what you're doing today? 

[00:02:05] Jay: Yeah, of course. So my interest in health started early on, you know, I was in my early teens and Focused on fitness.

[00:02:14] Jay: And of course, as a by product of that nutrition became important. And so that started things off and as it grew and became something I became passionate about, and as I learned more and more, I decided that I wanted to be able to help people improve their health. And so I was pre med in college and plan was to become a doctor and, you know, a little ways into that education, I realized that.

[00:02:37] Jay: That system isn't built toward supporting people's health or it isn't built toward improving health. It isn't built toward resolving issues, but rather just managing symptoms. And that wasn't something I was interested in. So I switched gears a little bit and decided to work with. People and help people improve their health in other ways.

[00:02:56] Jay: So I do health coaching and I have a podcast and do independent research, write articles and things like that. And with the goal of helping people improve their health, work with people with all sorts of different chronic health conditions, men and women, and all sorts of things like that. And yeah, throughout that time, there were a number of different trials and errors you could say, especially on myself.

[00:03:16] Jay: I mean, I was always looking to improve my own health. Again, whether we're talking fitness and body composition and building more muscle, but also improving various health issues I was dealing with that I think will be semi related to what we'll talk about today. So we can dig into those, but that led to a number of trialing of different health modalities, low carb and fasting and vegetarianism and, you know, whole spectrum.

[00:03:37] Jay: And so I landed in the bioenergetic view of health. And so I know we'll be discussing that as well. 

[00:03:43] Loren: Yeah, I definitely want to touch on bioenergetics, but what an amazing pivot that is just to say you were going to become a doctor and decided not to. That is really quite the story. And I think kind of similarly, not quite, not quite to the depth that you went through.

[00:04:04] Loren: But when I was considering going back to school to learn about nutrition, to support people, my story is I had gone through my own health issues and. Done a lot of experimentation and finally figured out nutrition and lifestyle could make such a big difference and I didn't have to be on medications and I thought I'd discovered gold.

[00:04:24] Loren: And so I wanted to help people implement this for themselves too. And I thought it was so important that there was so much better way, but I talked to a bunch of different people. One of them was a dietician. My really good friend's mother was a dietician and I was like, I'm thinking about going back to school for nutrition.

[00:04:42] Loren: Should I become a dietician? She was like, don't do it. She felt so constricted, restricted, I should say. And she felt that it was so bureaucratic and you had to abide by certain guidelines. And she felt like she really couldn't help people even with this. It's extremely profound education. So I get that and I'm really grateful that I had that conversation because I went on a completely different path.

[00:05:10] Loren: I don't know that I'd be where I am today if it wasn't for her.

[00:05:12] Jay: Yeah. No, that was certainly a route I considered as well. I considered a number of different, I mean, naturopathic doctor, PhD research and dietitian, but yeah, I ran into, it sounds like some very similar ideas and reasons why that might not be the best way to actually be able to help people.

[00:05:30] Loren: Mm hmm. Yeah, I think it's definitely personal too, but having those conversations and really reflecting is definitely important. But yeah, back to bioenergetics. So your work primarily focuses on this and for the audience and for anyone who had no idea what that means, I'd love to hear your take on what bioenergetics is and why this frame of thinking and this approach can be so beneficial, not just for reproductive health, which is a really common topic on this podcast, but just vibrant health in general.

[00:06:01] Jay: Yeah, so what we're talking about here, as you mentioned, is a frame. It's a lens through which we can view health. And there are a lot of different lenses that we have. We can be looking at health in terms of genetics being a primary driver, where everything is built on, essentially, randomness. We can be looking at health in terms of more simplified ideas, that animal products are bad, and anything that includes animal products causes disease, and vice versa, that plants are bad.

[00:06:27] Jay: You know, we have different ways of... Viewing health. And it's important to consider what scope we're using, what we're actually using to determine what it means to be healthy and how we are going to fit different interventions that will come across into that lens, you know, when we see a supplement, when we see a different diet or a food, or, you know, we're talking about sunlight or exercise.

[00:06:49] Jay: What are we integrating that into? What's our general framework through which we're viewing health? Again, I've had some of the more conventional education, most of which centers on genetics being a driver and that's a whole rabbit hole we don't need to get into. And then also came through low carb and vegetarianism, the whole spectrum there.

[00:07:07] Jay: But the bioenergetic view of health that I then came to really flipped everything on its head for me and made me realize how little I knew about how physiology worked and also allowed me to recognize that so much of what's being spoken about in the alternative health world is extremely surface level and is just drawing kind of very basic associative ideas.

[00:07:32] Jay: And we're told the ideas get thrown around that insulin equals fat gain and fructose is like alcohol and it's a poison and you know, on and on these things are all kind of spoken about as independent ideas as opposed to really some generalized larger framework of understanding that we can build on.

[00:07:48] Jay: And so the bioenergetic view is essentially coming down to the idea that the energy that we're producing inside the mitochondria of our cells is the determinant of our health. When those systems are working well, when we're efficiently producing a lot of energy, that leads to better health. And when we are not doing that, when we're unable to do that due to various reasons, that's going to lead to deterioration, it's going to lead to disease.

[00:08:12] Jay: We see this play out in every disease process, whether we're talking fatty liver disease, we're talking diabetes, we're talking autoimmune issues, we're talking reproductive health. When we're not effectively producing energy, that's going to be a primary or the primary thing that's going to lead to those sorts of issues.

[00:08:29] Jay: And so that is the kind of space that I landed in, in a framework that's been incredibly helpful when helping people to resolve these sorts of issues. 

[00:08:39] Loren: Thank you for that breakdown, Jay, of bioenergetics. I hope that makes sense for the audience. And when I think of energy production, I think of immediately mitochondria, and you mentioned this.

[00:08:50] Loren: But the mitochondria, for those of you who don't know, are the powerhouses of the cell. They produce energy in cells. And so I would love to hear more about potentially how mitochondrial health plays into the health of your reproductive system specifically, especially sperm production. 

[00:09:07] Jay: So for one, when we're talking mitochondria, this is the central place where energy production occurs.

[00:09:11] Jay: And so when we're looking through this bioenergetic lens and trying to determine what sorts of things are going to support us or what's going wrong in certain disease states, this is a really helpful place to look because this is where we're producing energy either very well or not very well. And so there is.

[00:09:28] Jay: A direct tie here when we're talking about male reproductive hormones, male reproductive health, and including sperm production will kind of draw some of those links. But right before I do that, I just want to zoom out for a moment because when we're thinking reproductive health, this is something that of course is essential to us as a species, but also is incredibly energy intensive for both male and female side.

[00:09:52] Jay: And so. Our bodies have been tuned to regulate the reproductive status based on the energetic availability of the environment. So if we're in, we're in a really great environment, food is abundant, we've got lots of sunlight, we're able to rest, we're not over using our bodies, we're not over exercising, those kinds of things.

[00:10:12] Jay: That is going to be a general state where it makes sense for us to be favoring a good reproductive status. Whereas if those things are not happening, if we think about this maybe a little bit more historically as opposed to now, but if we're dealing with famine, if we're not getting enough food, if there's general starvation or fasting going on, if there isn't good quality food, if we are needing to move a lot without resting and Getting that nutrition in those are all going to be things that indicate that our environment isn't great right now.

[00:10:40] Jay: And this isn't a time when we would want to favor reproduction. This isn't a time where it makes sense to try to bring another human into this situation because of how energy intensive that is and how taxing it can be. So with that in mind, the energetic availability of the environment translates into their effects of how much energy we're producing on the cellular level, and that tells our body whether or not we want to be favoring things like reproduction.

[00:11:06] Jay: And so that's really key because when we then go and look at the things that affect, let's say, testosterone production or sperm production or sperm quality, they're all going to tie in with these sorts of signals. And it's basically a question of. Is our body interpreting that we're in a really good supportive environment or is it interpreting instead that we're in an extremely stressful environment where we wouldn't want to favor reproduction?

[00:11:29] Jay: And so that's a really helpful lens to keep in mind. And we see that play out every step of the way. So when we're in a more stressful environment, we tend to have higher stress hormones. Most people think of cortisol when they're thinking stress hormones, and it also includes hormones like adrenaline and glucagon.

[00:11:46] Jay: And we're going to have lower. Pro metabolic hormones, lower hormones that keep our metabolism high and that are produced in a good supportive environment. And that's going to be the thyroid hormones. It's also going to be reproductive hormones like testosterone on the male side, progesterone on the female side.

[00:12:01] Jay: And so we can then see the relationship between these sorts of hormonal states and the energetic state. and reproductive health at every step. And so when we're looking kind of in this broader context, when we don't have the energy being produced, let's say we just don't eat for a day, our energy production goes down, our stress hormones go up.

[00:12:23] Jay: And if this sort of thing continues, it'll decrease testosterone. It'll decrease thyroid hormones. These are all the things that are going to regulate reproduction. So when our thyroid hormones are low, That's going to reduce the amount of testosterone we produce in the first place. And that's going to be essential for reproductive health, maintaining muscle mass, all the secondary male characteristics, but also sperm production.

[00:12:44] Jay: So that's one side of things. And on the other side, when we have a lot of stress hormones, That's going to additionally impair thyroid hormone activity and testosterone production and lead to that same state. So we've got this hormonal regulation here that is again biologically consistent That is telling us hey when we're not in a good environment that's going to lead to a worse reproductive state And if we then zoom in on what's actually going on, let's say in the testes where we're producing sperm or producing testosterone, we see the same thing.

[00:13:14] Jay: So if we're not producing energy very well in that place, like the mitochondria in those cells aren't working well, we're not going to produce very much testosterone. That's going to directly impair testosterone production from the latex cells in the testes, which is where it's produced. And at the same time, if we're seeing a lot of oxidative stress in that situation, a lot of inflammation, that's also going to impair testosterone production.

[00:13:36] Jay: And then we see that same thing when it comes to actual sperm production too. It's all regulated by those same mechanisms. So when we are having a lot of stress hormones that reduces the activity of the Sertoli cells, these are the cells in the testes that maintain good sperm quality and help basically the sperm develop.

[00:13:52] Jay: And so that's not going to happen effectively when we have a lot of cortisol. Same type of thing will happen in low thyroid and low testosterone states is we're not going to have proper sperm development and we're not even going to have the signals to produce sperm because that's also going to depend on things like testosterone and also FSH, which is one of the hormones that basically regulates sperm production and sperm quality.

[00:14:14] Loren: Absolutely. And I think it's a great time to kind of like step back and just remind everyone that I think when we think of fertility, we think of it as like this compartmentalized aspect of our being. And in reality, just like Jay has described, it's really part of our overall health. It's part of our overall function that is affected by the environment that we live in and the inputs that we are giving ourselves.

[00:14:43] Loren: And. When we have fertility issues. It's really important to not just think about, Oh, I have poor sperm quality. What supplement can I take to improve sperm quality, for example? Or, I have low testosterone. Should I take testosterone replacement? Like, it's really easy to think about things as like, Oh, I have a deficiency.

[00:15:06] Loren: Let me just take this. But in reality, you won't be solving much if you're just looking at it that way. And I think what Jay has described is that you have to really kind of step back and look at the overall sort of Mechanism going on and really take an eagle's eye view bird's eye view of what's actually happening.

[00:15:28] Loren: Are you also stressed? Are you eating enough? Are you having a fight with your partner? That's been going on for a long time. Are you in a toxic relationship? Are you getting exposed to chemicals in your water stuff like that? There's so many things that could possibly be adding to the overall sort of environmental toll.

[00:15:47] Loren: And when I say environmental, it's not just like nature or natural. It's really the overall ecosystem that you live in and how that's possibly affecting your fertility, which is sort of the way it's manifesting this stress rather than necessarily the actual issue. So that's what I've interpreted and really also very much in line with what I preached as well.

[00:16:11] Loren: But would you say I did that a little bit of justice there? 

[00:16:14] Jay: Yeah, absolutely. I think there's two really important points that you made. So one is that fertility and reproductive state is a symptom, right? This is a symptom of our general body state. This is not a root cause. This is not something that is separate from everything else.

[00:16:28] Jay: It's not independent from your liver health. Your brain health or anything like that. And that's that second point is that these things are all directly interrelated. So if you're in an insulin resistant state, like you're not using carbohydrates well, if you're exposed to a lot of environmental toxins, you know, on and on, not only do these things affect brain function and digestion and your liver health and kidney health and all of that, your vascular system, I mean, just on and on, but also it's going to affect your fertility, your reproductive health, these things all go hand in hand and that's because.

[00:16:59] Jay: Our bodies are these incredibly intelligent, adaptive systems and function in that way. And so when there is a suboptimal environment, and as you said, that doesn't just mean air and water and people around you, but it also means the kinds of things that you're ingesting, right? Like the food that you're taking in, the things you're putting on your skin, all of that.

[00:17:18] Jay: When that's not favorable, your body's going to adapt in a systemic way. And this is just a result of that issues with reproductive health, low testosterone, poor sperm quality, lack of sperm production. These are just effects of that state. These aren't independent things. And the vast majority of cases, we're not looking to some surgical intervention.

[00:17:37] Jay: We're not just looking to replace some hormone that's deficient. We're not looking for the magic supplement that fixes this, but rather we want to look deeper and figure out what's leading to low testosterone in the first place. What's leading to poor sperm quality in the first place. And that's. Where we get not only an answer that leads to a good solution that actually gets our testosterone up and our sperm quality back, but also something that helps our overall health and comes along with a general improvement and how we feel in every way, as well as on a long term basis, right.

[00:18:04] Jay: As opposed to some sort of short term fix. 

[00:18:07] Loren: Yeah, yes, instead of spot treating or trying to, which is basically almost impossible most of the time. You have to treat the whole being and that really gets you so much further than just trying to go down rabbit holes and chasing your tail. So thank you for that, Jay.

[00:18:25] Loren: I really appreciate that. And I think on the topic of inputs, diet is one of them. So I'd love to expand on this a little bit more. There is a lot of emphasis around intermittent fasting and caloric restriction to increase testosterone production. There are some influencers or scientists that swear by it.

[00:18:48] Loren: And a lot of the time these diets are promoted especially to males because they are quote unquote more resilient than females. And I would love if you could expand on the realities of this. Are they really more resilient to just, can you give us the download of everything? 

[00:19:06] Jay: Yeah, yeah, definitely. And so the first place here again, just like we're saying, let's not treat these as some independent pathways or some independent interventions, but rather let's plug them into our larger picture of what is this doing on that energetic level in terms of ATP production inside of each cell?

[00:19:24] Jay: What is this going to do to our stress hormones and all of that? And so. When it comes to calorie restriction, essentially what we're saying is eating less than we need to be consuming. And that is a mild form of starvation, mild form of fasting. Essentially, we're just reducing the amount of fuel coming in and we're taking in less fuel than we need.

[00:19:45] Jay: Inherently, just in the most basic way, that is going to induce a stressful state. And the whole point of stress is for our body to say, this is not optimal. This is not ideal for us. And that is exactly what would happen or what does happen in response to something like calorie restriction and you mentioned intermittent fasting.

[00:20:01] Jay: And of course, that goes hand in hand. Same idea where we're going for a period of time without eating and that triggers the exact same stress pathways. And again, we're often taught to think of stress in terms of some sort of psychological. You know, when we're feeling overwhelmed, when we're in a fight or something, and those things are stressful, they activate the exact same pathways as other things that are physiologically stressful, not just psychologically, but physiologically like calorie restriction, you're causing those same increases in cortisol, same increases in all sorts of different adaptive stress pathways.

[00:20:32] Jay: So, the general way that our body is going to respond to that is with increases in the stress hormones and decreases in overall function as a conservation pathway where our body is saying, if we're not going to have enough fuel, this is not going to be a good time to favor not only reproductive status, but that will be one thing.

[00:20:52] Jay: We're not going to want to favor reproductive status and fertility in a state like that. Thank you. We're also not going to want to favor really high level brain function. We're not going to want to favor really good digestion. All those things get turned down because our body has less fuel to work with.

[00:21:05] Jay: And that fuel has to come from somewhere. That energy has to come from somewhere. Before we dig into the details, that's just the overall expectation, right? Is we are reducing something that's going to cause stress. It sounds like a pretty bad idea when it comes to fertility and reproductive status.

[00:21:17] Jay: That's normally the first thing to go. And you mentioned this difference between men and women. Women tend to be more sensitive in terms of the reproductive state. to this. So they will see it much more clearly. It'll affect their reproductive status much more intimately. If they do these things, it'll just take a bit longer for men because the male reproductive status doesn't have to be quite as delicate because they don't have to then grow a human for nine months.

[00:21:45] Jay: And so if they're in some short term stress for the moment, they've got nine months to recover and then make sure that they can feed a child and things like that. Whereas for the women, they need to be able to do it right then. And so they're going to be a little bit more. sensitive, but that doesn't mean that it's a different signal.

[00:21:58] Jay: It's the exact same signal. It's just going to for women be more directed at reproductive function. The reproductive state is a little bit more sensitive, but for men, it'll do the same thing. It'll just take a little longer. And we do see that when we look at a lot of, especially the newer research, looking at things like fasting.

[00:22:15] Jay: Fasting has been on everyone's radar. It's been the kind of new thing for a little while now, but the newer research coming out is pointing to the exact effects that we would expect from the stress. It's pointing to lower active thyroid hormones, lower T3 and higher reverse T3. It's showing elevated stress hormones, which we would expect elevated cortisol, glucagon, adrenaline, and it's also pointing to decreases in testosterone.

[00:22:39] Jay: And this is not just, you know, long term fast where we're fasting for three days. This is things like intermittent fasting, where we're seeing decreases in testosterone. We're seeing decreases in muscle mass. And there's a couple of really interesting studies where the researchers are completely starting to flip in terms of their expectations and their suggestions, where they go in saying intermittent fasting is the way to go.

[00:23:01] Jay: This is what I recommend. And then they're coming out and saying, actually. The research isn't supporting that. And so I think that that's what we would expect when it comes to these things. And I, in general, would not recommend them. I will say when you induce some amount of stress in men, sometimes there's an initial rebound effect with something like testosterone.

[00:23:20] Jay: Sometimes I can increase testosterone short term, but I would more so point to the couple of benefits that fasting and calorie restriction do have. So there is one specific area where these things are really beneficial and that's in terms of. Basically relieving the gut from issues from an inflammatory state and from the production of various bacterial toxins So the average person is struggling in terms of gut health based on typical diets and what that means is that there's a lot of harmful bacteria that grow in the intestines and those produce a lot of Bacterial toxins and one of the most noteworthy is called endotoxin Endotoxin directly causes systemic inflammation throughout your entire body causes intestinal permeability.

[00:24:00] Jay: So it absorbs through your intestines Causes fatty liver and also directly impairs things like testosterone. We see those pretty direct connections. It also increases the activity of the enzyme aromatase, which causes the testosterone you do have to be converted to estrogen. So overall endotoxin and fertility are basically at odds.

[00:24:18] Jay: And one benefit of intermittent fasting calorie restriction is it lowers this burden on the gut and lowers endotoxin. That's great. But the alternative I would say is that you can. Achieve that same benefit without the stress and without the long term detriments of things like fasting and calorie restriction So you don't have to have the stress that causes low thyroid and low testosterone and reduce sperm production everything you can Fix the gut so to speak and reduce the endotoxin without doing those things and I think that makes a lot more sense Yeah, 

[00:24:51] Loren: yeah, that's a great point I always kind of like, think of this analogy when I think of how intermittent fasting and caloric restriction might relieve gut irritation, inflammation, because you're removing the problem, but you're not fixing the piping, the dysfunction in the first place.

[00:25:09] Loren: So of course, if you have a leak in your house, there will be mold growing, and you might start to feel sick after it, after a while. Sure, you could shut off the water to stop the mold from continuing to grow, but then you can't use the water, and you're stuck in a house that you can't fully utilize. So, I kind of think of it in that way.

[00:25:34] Loren: You're trading one thing for another, you're still not achieving optimal utilization of your body, of your digestive system by just avoiding these things. You really need to take some time to fix the problem versus just removing, you know, the irritation. That's the symptom of the actual dysfunction.

[00:25:52] Jay: There's a very similar example or analogy that I use just talking about stress overall. You know, it's cold outside. Let's say we don't have any central heating in our house. So we have a little fire. And when we're not getting enough firewood, then we need to still build that fire. So we start to tear down parts of the house and use those for the fire.

[00:26:10] Jay: And it works for a period of time until it doesn't. And you don't have a functional house anymore. And that's essentially what we're doing when we're creating stresses again, where. Running on some backup pathway, that's only going to last so long until we start to see that cost that deterioration doesn't exactly get to the endotoxin piece, but similar analogy.

[00:26:29] Loren: That's a really good analogy though, in terms of like, especially intermittent fasting and caloric restriction. I think it's really important to think about. The adaptation that you're going for and the short term and long term consequences of what you're doing because sure it might be really exciting and quote unquote sexy to see.

[00:26:48] Loren: Oh, my testosterone can increase temporarily or just kind of try to read between the lines and think further because you'll get promoted these articles. You'll see these news headlines like this type of diet is good for this or intermittent fasting is good for this. But. Usually they're only focusing on a short amount of time, and I think it's really important to think about understanding physiology and bioenergetics, what are the repercussions of that long term, and how long is this effect really going to last?

[00:27:21] Loren: And I think that you make a great point. And I do agree. Females are much more sensitive to caloric restriction because of their cycles. Men are on a 24 hour cycle, women are on a monthly cycle, and it's so sophisticated, and hormones are so different from day to day, hour to hour, so it completely makes sense that they'd be so much more sensitive to it.

[00:27:45] Loren: But I wanted to share that I have tracked labs for men in my practice, as far as fertility, and Those that intermittent fast, they come to me not believing it's their diet, not believing it's the intermittent fasting that was causing their low testosterone, their issues getting pregnant, their hypothyroid, and their testosterone is low, very low.

[00:28:09] Loren: So sometimes just looking at their testosterone levels is just enough to get them to start to make that connection and, okay, okay, what I'm doing is not working because no man wants to have low testosterone. So. I've seen exactly what you're saying in practice too. And I do see that coming more out in the research as well, where they're starting to question and actually kind of say, okay, intermittent fasting does lower testosterone.

[00:28:37] Loren: It's not really recommended for that long. So I really appreciate you sharing that. 

[00:28:42] Jay: Yeah, of course. And when it comes to the sensitivity question between men and women, there's not a difference energetically, right? It's not like men do better in an energy deficit and that doesn't count as a stress signal for them.

[00:28:55] Jay: It just doesn't show as much on the reproductive state. That energy is still coming from somewhere. And so whether it's in terms of digestive deterioration or skin or increasing body fat or brain function, I mean, there's all sorts of different areas. There's no free lunch there, so to speak. And as you're saying, it will also come at a cost in terms of seeing low testosterone and fertility issues for sure.

[00:29:16] Jay: It's just not something that men will typically notice as quickly, but we're looking at the same problem and both sexes being human. We're not talking about different systems here, just different appearances and different timelines. Yeah, 

[00:29:30] Loren: yeah, no one's immune to, to the effects of caloric restriction and intermittent fasting stressors.

[00:29:37] Loren: It's a great point. So, on the topic of diet still, I wanted to ask you, what are some foods that men should avoid when trying to optimize their reproductive health? And I could take a few guesses about what you're going to say, but I would love to hear from you exactly what those are. 

[00:29:56] Jay: Yeah, so a good one to start with, I would say, is the polyunsaturated fats.

[00:30:00] Jay: These are the omega 6s and omega 3s. A lot of people talking about the seed oils. And this includes the seed oils. It also includes nuts and seeds and fatty chicken and pork, fatty fish. And when it comes to these unsaturated fats, they're extremely unstable and very susceptible to oxidation. So whether we're cooking with them and creating.

[00:30:19] Jay: Damaged fats there or consuming them and they're becoming damaged internally. This is something that's directly been tied to a oxidative stress in the testes that prevents testosterone production. And so that's, I think reason enough, but also directly with low testosterone as well. There's some interesting studies where they look at different amounts of fat in the diet and different compositions of the fat.

[00:30:41] Jay: So more saturated versus less saturated, more PUFA, less PUFA, less polyunsaturated fats. And the ones with more PUFA also have lower testosterone. So yeah. Definitely. I would say right up there as far as things that would be on my list to avoid. So that would be a starting place. And again, I think people are catching on more and more to the idea of the seed oils being a problem.

[00:31:01] Jay: That's something that I think is garnering a lot of attention right now, but I would say we also don't want to forget those fats that are in chicken and pork, especially the fattier cuts and are not super well raised, which is very hard to find. So the average chicken and pork are going to be very, very high in omega sixes.

[00:31:17] Jay: And then also nuts and seeds would fall in that category. And then one of the more controversial being fatty fish with the omega 3s are still ones that I would recommend avoiding as well due to their instability and the same oxidative stress issues.

[00:31:32] Loren: Hey, it's Lauren, just taking a quick break from this very stimulating conversation. If you want to learn more about how to support testosterone production, sperm quality, sperm count, Sperm motility and sperm morphology, make sure to check out my free guide fittingly called the sperm booster manual, a link to this and all my other freebies and resources are linked in the show notes.

[00:31:55] Loren: And if you're loving the show, don't forget to leave a review. Now back to the episode. I just want to pause here for a second and talk about just in case. The audience doesn't quite understand the oxidative stress or oxidation aspect of these fats. So, there are a couple of types of fats, and Each food will have a different ratio of the amount of these types of fats, there's three types, saturated, monounsaturated, and polyunsaturated, with saturated being the most stable, and polyunsaturated being the least stable, and by least stable, it means it can be denatured by light, heat, and oxygen.

[00:32:35] Loren: So, what Jay is talking about, and feel free to take it from here. These foods have a higher, much higher ratio of these polyunsaturated fats that oxidize very easily and then these fats create oxidative stress, free radicals, things that aren't really friendly to sperm quality and to mitochondrial health.

[00:32:57] Loren: But feel free to add or correct me any way you would like.

[00:33:00] Jay: Yeah. So in general, when we're talking oxidative stress, when we're thinking of kind of two sides of the coin, on one side, we have a high energy state, lots of ATP, good energy, high thyroid, high testosterone, good sperm production and quality. On the other side, we have the stress state where we're not producing energy.

[00:33:17] Jay: Well, we've got a lot of high stress hormones. We're not producing a lot of thyroid hormones, those kinds of things. And so in that latter state where things aren't working so well. Our mitochondria don't produce energy very efficiently and they produce on their own, even forget the unsaturated fats, they will produce on their own a lot of oxidative agents, so to speak, reactive oxygen species.

[00:33:39] Jay: And these, as you mentioned, involve free radicals and are essentially very unstable, reactive molecules that directly cause damage to the structure of our cells. And they act as a signal that things aren't right. They cause inflammation. Essentially, again, talking big picture and bigger biological scope.

[00:33:58] Jay: These are things that are just telling us like, Hey, we're not in a very good state right now. This is not a state where we want to be kind of expanding, favoring reproduction or anything like that, but rather, we need to work on healing things up and conserving energy and fixing this inflammation, and so the polyunsaturated fats fit into there.

[00:34:17] Jay: As you were saying, they're much less stable than the monounsaturated and saturated counterparts. And they alone will dramatically increase the amount of damage that's going on because they'll interact with the energy producing systems they get built into the mitochondria. And that's one area where you're going to see a lot of issues in terms of the oxidative stress.

[00:34:38] Jay: It creates what are called lipid peroxides, which are essentially damaged fats. that amplify this process dramatically. And so, yeah, they're going to amplify that signal of things not being in a good state. And that's going to also go along with low testosterone production or lack of testosterone production and poor sperm quality and things like that.

[00:34:57] Loren: Yeah. And you might see atherosclerosis or high hemoglobin A1C. So glycation, you might see high cholesterol. It all kind of. triggers this cascade of metabolic changes that can show up that way on your labs, that can show up in effect with low sperm quality, that can show up with other inflammatory markers being high.

[00:35:22] Loren: So this is like a really low hanging way to kind of reduce that and optimize the anti oxidation and the optimal quality of your sperm because these seed oils, they're very cheap. You can find them at the supermarket, literally anything that is in a plastic clear bottle at the bottom of the shelf, definitely no, but also just keep in mind that polyunsaturated fatty acids Are chemically the same and they can cause the same effect.

[00:35:56] Loren: So really try to incorporate more of the stable fats as much as you can. And that could involve, you know, cooking at home more, eating out less, but it's not about like depriving yourself of these things. If you really enjoy them, it's just about making more strategic choices and prioritizing, especially around the time that you're trying to conceive more of the high quality foods and that especially.

[00:36:21] Jay: Yeah, totally. And so, as you were alluding to, that can involve cooking with much more stable fats, coconut oil, butter, ghee, tallow, you can use some olive oil and avocado oil as well. Those are much more stable than the seed oils, even if they're not quite as stable as some of those more saturated fats.

[00:36:38] Jay: So just making those easy swaps when you're cooking, that alone will go a long way. As you were saying, pretty much any food at a restaurant is going to be cooked in the vegetable oils, the seed oils, the high PUFA oils. And so reducing that will help reducing the food choices that involve a lot of that, like fried foods will help even more.

[00:36:57] Jay: So yeah, everyone's got to find that balance. But I think importantly as well as recognizing the difference between thinking these things are healthy and trying to incorporate them versus looking at it the other way. And especially when it comes to things like the nuts and seeds, fatty chicken and pork and the fatty fish, those are I think more so looked at in the category of potentially healthy.

[00:37:16] Jay: And so shifting away from those in terms of the foods that you're choosing, I think can help as well. And there's always exceptions when it comes to nuts and seeds. I mean, macadamia nuts are very, very low in polyunsaturated fats. Coconut is fine as well, you know, very saturated. So there's still some things that fit in that category, but the almonds and the walnuts and things that are often even recommended for fertility and reproductive health are things that be careful of.

[00:37:42] Loren: Great points. I interrupted you as you wanted to continue down the list. So feel free to share additional foods that maybe men should avoid when trying to conceive and optimize their reproductive health. 

[00:37:53] Jay: Yeah. So I think one that nearly everyone agrees on, but it's definitely worth mentioning is alcohol.

[00:37:59] Jay: As far as something that We'll increase the endotoxin we were talking about earlier, that's actually one of the main ways it causes fatty liver is by just increasing endotoxin, not even its direct effects in the liver, also increasing estrogen or increasing the conversion from testosterone to estrogen by increasing aromatase.

[00:38:14] Jay: I mean, alcohol's got, uh, numerous issues associated with it, and I think that's worth highlighting when it comes to male hormonal health for sure, and really anyone's health. And when you're looking at any health outcome, I think reducing alcohol is generally a pretty good idea. So that's one I would throw in there.

[00:38:32] Jay: Another one that's maybe again, more specific to the reproductive side of things is being very careful of phytoestrogens in foods. So soy in particular is really well known for this, but many whole grains and other beans and legumes will also be high in these phytoestrogens. And so I would generally recommend leaning away from those, you know, definitely phytoestrogens

[00:38:58] Jay: will act like estrogen in the body. Definitely not something that's ideal. And yeah, leaning away from things like the grains and beans and legumes, which I think in mainstream are again, often things that are recommended when it comes to reproductive health. 

[00:39:11] Loren: Yeah. Those are great things to keep in mind.

[00:39:14] Loren: Especially soy. I also want to mention on that topic flax, which is even more estrogenic than soy, and it's also touted as this, like, amazing fibrous thing you should add to all your smoothies. And so, just an FYI, that's another one to watch out for, flaxseed. And to be quite honest, something that's really funny, I have grown up painting my whole life, but kind of like as a hobby.

[00:39:43] Loren: And... Only until maybe five, ten years ago did I actually realize that the linseed oil that I use to clean my brushes is flax oil. And so, that just goes to show you how funny these things that we used to utilize for almost industrial purposes have made their way into our food system and being touted as health foods, which is, to me, kind of funny.

[00:40:11] Jay: Yeah, a lot of the healthy oils started off first industrially as, you know, waste products that could be used for industrial purposes, including things like the flaxseed oil and fish oil as well, and then became animal feed because they're really effective at fattening animals and then, you know, the even shinier outcome is recognizing they could be sold for considerably higher prices to humans under the guise of being healthy.

[00:40:37] Jay: I think it's always helpful to keep that context in mind and the history of these things in mind. It always helps to inform how we got to the place we are and helps us question things. And so I would say we generally don't want to be adding tablespoons of seeds to our smoothies. You know, the flax, the hemp, all of those not only are very high in the polyunsaturated fats, but as you were saying, are also very high in phytoestrogens.

[00:40:58] Jay: And yeah, fish oil falls in that category too with the polyunsaturated fats.

[00:41:03] Loren: Yeah, it's so interesting the industry behind a lot of these health foods. So, on the flip side, what are some foods that men should incorporate? And you kind of touched on this talking through a lot of these things that they should avoid, but would love to hear from you if there are any like top 1, 2, 3 items.

[00:41:22] Jay: So I'll provide a quick list, but first, I just wanted to mention when talking about things we want to include nutritionally that in most diet spheres, especially when talking about reproductive health, you know, it's really not absolved of this. There is a real tendency to want to reduce fat and carbs, and there's a real tendency to want to maximize or increase protein.

[00:41:44] Jay: And we definitely don't want to be in a low protein diet. However, when we eat protein beyond those needs and when we don't. Maintain or get enough fat and carbs for our needs. That's going to come at a major cost to. our reproductive health and our hormone production. So this has been shown when it comes to low carb diets, which mimic the fasting that we were talking about earlier.

[00:42:05] Jay: It's also been shown with low fat diets. Neither of these are optimal for stress hormone production or for testosterone production. So if we're eating too low of fat for our needs, that'll do it. And same thing, if we're eating too low of carbs. So just wanted to throw that out there that. I think we want to generally get away from this notion that we just want to focus all on protein and rather we want to get enough protein for our needs, but we also need to make sure we're getting enough carbs and fats to keep the stress hormones down and keep testosterone up.

[00:42:32] Jay: That will look different for every individual, but as kind of a baseline, I would say generally 20 percent of our total calories from protein will get us enough there. And then on the carb side, somewhere in the 40 to 55 percent range, and on the fat side, somewhere in the 25 to 40 percent range. Those are kind of wide ranges, but it really depends on the individual and how active they are, and their muscle mass, and a number of different factors.

[00:42:57] Jay: I would say there are costs to both low fat and low carb diets when it comes to the hormonal state, so it's something to be aware of going in. 

[00:43:04] Loren: Yeah, that's a great point. Macronutrient ratios are, I think, often overlooked, but when thinking about optimizing reproductive health, it's not just about the foods, because each macronutrient provides different kinds of energies.

[00:43:20] Loren: And supports different functions and I don't want to simplify it that much, but you need all three for optimal function. And so essentially that's going to be very unique to everyone, but don't fall into the habit of only focusing on like if J for example only talks about protein rich foods. Like, next.

[00:43:44] Loren: Don't only focus on those things. You're going to need healthy fatty foods. You're going to need healthy carbohydrate foods. If he only talks about carbohydrates next, then make sure you're not just focusing on those things too. But yeah, I think that's a really, really great point to make there. 

[00:44:00] Jay: Yeah, and on the calorie front too, you know, we talked about the cost of calorie restriction.

[00:44:04] Jay: What that means is we don't want to be eating a low calorie diet either when we're talking about optimizing hormonal health. When we do that, that will come directly at that cost that'll increase stress and lower our energetic state and lead to low Testosterone, low sperm production, all of that. So eating enough is massive.

[00:44:20] Jay: And that's again, talking about differences between men and women. I think it's pushed more on women, but men aren't fully able to escape it either, especially when they're seeing the same lean fitness models and wanting to mimic that. And just thinking that to get the washboard abs, you have to eat less.

[00:44:35] Jay: That was definitely something I fell into and ended up with a lot of issues as a result. So getting enough calories is also incredibly important. And just these sort of foundational things, avoiding the things I mentioned, the types of foods I mentioned, getting our macros in a good spot, and then including some of these other foods that we'll talk about in a moment can go a really long way.

[00:44:55] Jay: I've seen it many times be enough to really bring testosterone up and improve fertility. Awesome. Thank you for that. Yeah, of course. So anyway, as far as foods to include, just to maybe keep it real simple and brief, but try to encapsulate everything at the same time. On the protein side, I think meat that's low in PUFA, seafood, organ meats, eggs, Dairy are all really important sources when it comes to carbohydrates and then fruits and ripe, good quality fruit and cooked root vegetables, like potatoes and sweet potatoes, maybe throwing in some white rice or all good carbohydrate sources.

[00:45:32] Jay: I think it's fine to have some cooked vegetables as well, but trying to lean away from more of the raw vegetables that have. Some FIO estrogens, but also just different anti nutrients and can cause some intestinal irritation and endotoxin production and don't have bioavailable nutrients to begin with.

[00:45:47] Jay: That would kind of be just a very broad general basis for the kinds of things to include. And then focusing on the more saturated fats, the cooking oils we talked about or avoiding certain ones and yeah, favoring the more monounsaturated and saturated fats. Yeah. 

[00:46:01] Loren: It's amazing always to me how a bioenergetic way of eating always kind of mimics.

[00:46:07] Loren: It's a very traditional and ancestral way of eating too, for a lot of it, there's so much overlap. So I just think that there's. So much wisdom and sort of what our ancestors have been doing for so many years, and we've kind of like forgotten almost we have amnesia due to modern production and agriculture, but I think there's a lot of awareness coming back and trying to like reintroduce these types of ways of eating and food preparation methods and things like that.

[00:46:37] Loren: So thank you for sharing that.

[00:46:39] Jay: Yeah, of course. And along with that, one thing it makes me think of is making sure to get good amounts of gelatin and collagen, you know, including bones and skin and things like that as an important part of the diet. You know, making broths and all of that is, again, when we're talking about traditional wisdom, I think that that's an important one that's been lost, but of course is starting to come back.

[00:46:57] Jay: Another one being the organ meats as super nutrient dense foods that used to be included in traditional diets are, again, making a comeback at the moment. 

[00:47:07] Loren: Yeah, I'm here for it. It's totally here for it, but thanks Jay. So I would love to switch to the topic of libido and male sexual health. This is a very difficult topic to talk about with men directly.

[00:47:22] Loren: So I think having you on the podcast to speak on it would be amazing if you could touch on it. And I think like, ED, so erectile dysfunction, for example, is an epidemic right now. Libido issues are really problematic for a lot of men. And that can be inhibitory if you're trying to conceive, too. And it's also, I think, a reflection of reproductive health, too.

[00:47:44] Loren: So I'm wondering if you know why you might think that is, and if there's anything that you've seen in your practice work particularly well to combat it. 

[00:47:53] Jay: Yeah, so first thing that I think is always going to be the answer, regardless of what we're talking about is those foundations and we'll talk through some specifics for these sorts of issues as well.

[00:48:04] Jay: But if we're generally leaning toward that stress state, it's going to cause all the things that will drop our libido that will potentially cause things like erectile dysfunction. I know that I experienced low libido for sure when I was in different low calorie diets and low carb. And. It's an expected result.

[00:48:21] Jay: It's an expected response of you telling your body. Hey, we're in a starvation state right now. We're not trying to favor reproduction. Those things are at odds. So the first thing would be hitting those foundations that we've talked about getting enough of the macronutrients. Of course, micronutrients are important too.

[00:48:37] Jay: Nearly all of them, essentially, that's part one. I think there are some other foundational things that we didn't touch on in as much detail, but getting enough sunlight, getting consistent movement, getting enough sleep, and sleep is a huge one when it comes to testosterone and libido. So that's certainly one that I think, just like sunlight and movement, we are lacking in our, Society, six to seven hours of sleep per night is considered normal and not spending time outside and all of those things, those sorts of foundations go such a long way.

[00:49:07] Jay: And I'll talk about some details, but nine times out of 10, those things will solve the issue or resolve the issue. And, you know, I've seen testosterone get up to a thousand or higher, or, you know, people who had it very low of hundreds, 200, 300 up to the eight hundreds, again, most of the time the foundations will get us there, but there are also the cases where.

[00:49:28] Jay: Either due to decades of doing things in the name of health, whether it's low carb or fasting or overexercising or also just getting sucked into modern life. Sometimes we've dug ourselves into holes and it can be really helpful to dig ourselves out or have some extra support on getting out. And so that's where there are some other things I might look to.

[00:49:49] Jay: One, and again this is assuming we've got the foundations in place. So one that would come to mind here would be certain precursors to the androgenic hormones like pregnenolone and DHEA. Those can be really helpful for getting us out of that state. If someone's in a hypothyroid state, and we're seeing that pretty clearly, sometimes it can help to restore and support or supply some thyroid hormone to also help shift out of that state.

[00:50:13] Jay: And sometimes just doing that will get testosterone up considerably. So we want to look at that full picture, and I like to start Normally looking at something like thyroid before the actual androgens, because it's more top down, that's going to affect our androgenic state. So those are some things to keep in mind, but there are some other components here as well, that in some ways are getting more recognition.

[00:50:35] Jay: I think there's a huge psychological component and there are certain things going on in modern society that are not necessarily surprisingly affecting libido and sometimes contributing to erectile dysfunction. One of these is porn, which. Is of course a very new introduction in its modern form to the average person's life.

[00:50:56] Jay: And again, any of these could be their own topic. It's something we've talked about for a long time, but in short, I would just say that's something I would consider as a contributing factor here and try to shift away from if possible. Anxiety is a major epidemic right now as well. And. That's in men and women and without a doubt affects performance in the bedroom as well.

[00:51:17] Jay: So again, assuming we've addressed the physiology, I think there are extra things to consider here. But a lot of times when we're talking anxiety That can improve dramatically just by Sorting out, you know, our nutrition and just by getting out in the sun and getting some good movement. But sometimes we want to look to extra things like journaling and meditation and all sorts of different techniques there that I think are worth considering.

[00:51:42] Jay: So that would be another point on the list to check off when it comes to these sorts of symptoms. There are also various other hormonal causes. So when we're talking anxiety, and then of course, depression being a major one, we know that the primary medication or medications, the primary class of medications that's used for depression, it's the SSRIs.

[00:52:03] Jay: Those are pretty effective at lowering libido and contributing to erectile dysfunction. And that's because the serotonin that they increase, which I think can be helpful to consider as kind of like a numbing hibernation type hormone is something that is not supportive of our reproductive state. And There's a lot of ways that we can make sure to keep serotonin at bay and it comes back mostly to the fundamentals and keeping endotoxin low as one of the main things that increases serotonin.

[00:52:29] Jay: But you know, if someone's using these medications, it's something I would consider that as a possible cause of these issues and something to dig into there. So yeah, those are some of the main things that come to mind here. There's also the vascular side, looking at blood flow and circulation, which most of the time will come back to fundamentals.

[00:52:49] Jay: If someone's looking for some quick. Kind of band aids that are also supportive of their health. Instead of something like Viagra or anything in that class, I would consider aspirin as something that in certain studies has been shown to be just as effective, but also comes with a lot of benefits in terms of general anti inflammatory effects, as well as improving our mitochondrial function.

[00:53:08] Jay: Whereas I would say the side effects of something like Viagra are actually pretty negative. So, you know, that's just something else to keep in mind. I guess one last thing I would mention beyond. Movement resistance training being helpful, just regular exercise, not being sedentary, which is not only a problem for blood flow and circulation, but also lymphatic flow and muscular activity.

[00:53:30] Jay: But another one that's a common modern problem is our exposure to. EMFs and especially very close to our reproductive organs. So if you're walking around with your phone in your pocket and it's not an airplane mode, I would recommend changing that practice. And anytime you're going to have your phone in your pocket to make sure that all of the signals are off like wifi and Bluetooth, so you can just turn it on airplane mode to do so.

[00:53:54] Jay: Yeah. If you're in front of a computer, I would try to get it wired up with ethernet if possible, instead of. You know, using Wi Fi, especially if it's going to be on your lap, I would say that's something I would just take out of the question right now, you know, really be aware of what's going on in that region in terms of electromagnetic radiation.

[00:54:12] Loren: Those are amazing things that you just mentioned. I think it's not just in relation to libido. All of these things still touch on your testosterone production, your sperm quality, just the heat from your cell phone can really diminish. Sperm quality and number and volume and things like that. So it's not like it's just unattached.

[00:54:32] Loren: What he's mentioning is unattached to what we were talking about earlier, as far as like libido and testosterone and sperm, it's really all really connected. And I'm glad you mentioned the medication piece. Cause I think that's often overlooked and having worked with men in my practice, even something as simple as.

[00:54:50] Loren: Hair loss medication like Rogaine or Finasteride tanks their libido, and they're like, I don't know why this is happening, not to mention there's possible, possible implications for like trying to conceive, but I think that that is also a role in ADHD medication or ADD medication, another one that I've seen really tank libido as well, and Our recommendation here is not to have any recommendation, but to talk to your physician about your medications and like how they're making you feel to then figure out a plan.

[00:55:25] Loren: If you feel strongly, you should, you know, it's really prohibitive, but I think medications can really come with a lot of symptoms like this. So it's an important thing to consider, especially if you feel like it's holding you back from conceiving. 

[00:55:41] Jay: Yeah, thanks for mentioning that. The hair loss medications are a huge one and it always pains me to see them being advertised on so many of the very popular podcasts and all sorts of different domains, not just health, but comedy podcasts and things.

[00:55:53] Jay: It's treated almost as separate from other medications. There's not such a stigma around it, I guess. You know, it's not the same as taking like a blood pressure medication, you're not looking at it as trying to fix a health issue, but I think that's really dangerous. I'm really glad you brought it up because the way these things work is by blocking the production of DHT, dihydrotestosterone, which is one of the primary androgens.

[00:56:14] Jay: And so when you consider that, there's no surprise that it's then tanking libido and causing fertility issues for men. So absolutely something to consider if that's something you've been using or considering using. 

[00:56:26] Loren: Yeah. It's a tough game. I feel for anyone that's like really experiencing hair loss because it's this symbolic thing for a lot of men, but also on the flip side, by taking it, you might actually be lowering your male essence.

[00:56:42] Loren: You just can't win with any of these medications, which is why the foundational things and really going back to the bioenergetic view of things. I think is so helpful and provides so much as far as like being able to resolve a lot of these things because it doesn't come with the exchange that you have to make with a lot of these medications.

[00:57:04] Loren: You always have to make an exchange. There's no compromise around it. So thank you for that. And my last question. around male reproductive health. Are there any specific supplements or lifestyle habits that you've seen work particularly well for male reproductive health outside of what we've already discussed, which is a lot, but just curious if you had any other additional sort of like tips.

[00:57:30] Jay: There's not too much outside of the things, you know, we've discussed because I think we've kind of at least brought up a number of different ones, but I think some that are maybe a little more ignored would be things like getting adequate sunlight and sleep. Being things that make a huge, huge difference.

[00:57:46] Jay: And it's not hard to find those things in the research, whether you're looking at vitamin D status or just sunlight exposure, hours of sleep and hormone production and insulin sensitivity. I mean, it's there. So those are, I think, two that are often overlooked. One that's often talked about is resistance training or just any sort of intense activity, I think can be really helpful.

[00:58:04] Jay: So I would encourage that. And then the last, as far as specific things that I've seen work after the foundations are in place. When somebody is still sometimes struggling in terms of the reproductive side is again, looking at thyroid a little more closely and sometimes considering supplements there.

[00:58:21] Jay: And then also using pregnenolone and DHEA, making sure the DHEA is in low doses, by the way, not wanting to go above 15 milligrams, at which point it can start to aromatize, you know, meaning convert to estrogen. So we don't want that to happen. And using the pregnenolone alongside it helps to minimize that too.

[00:58:37] Jay: But those are a couple that I've seen to be particularly effective. Sometimes estrogen is a major issue. Again, that's a whole other rabbit hole of considering what would increase it and how to reduce it. But I guess we'll leave that for another time.

[00:58:51] Loren: Yeah, we have many things that we could talk about next for next time, but thank you for that.

[00:58:56] Loren: That's really, really helpful. And it just goes to show you really can't encapsulate reproductive health, vitality, health into a pill. It's really, you got to cover the foundations and don't skip them. They make such a huge difference. I've seen exactly what Jay is saying in the research too, as far as sunlight and strength training and try to shift your lifestyle.

[00:59:18] Loren: Everyone's is different, of course, but in whatever way that you can, in whatever way that suits you best, really try to incorporate these foundations as much as you can because they're so worth it. 

[00:59:31] Loren: Yeah. Yeah, for sure. Thanks, Jay. Well, I want to ask you, what is one thing that you would like to share with the audience that they can start doing today to unlock the innate wisdom of their bodies?

[00:59:45] Jay: Yeah. So I like the question. I think when we're talking innate wisdom. You know, the thing that comes to mind is, is awareness and communication with yourself and learning to read your body signals. And so everything we've talked about today, you know, are things that can take some time to implement and there's nuance to all of it.

[01:00:04] Jay: And, you know, we kind of skimmed across the surface, but if we're listening to our bodies and learning to become aware of what it's telling us, I think that that's one of the most important things. that we can use to guide our health journey. And so that can be recognizing shifts in mood and energy. It can be recognizing shifts in libido.

[01:00:22] Jay: It can be tuning into ourselves at different points of the day. Something that I think, especially men are taught to tune out of and push through any discomfort, but instead I think it's actually helpful to tune into those things and recognize what that discomfort is telling us. And sometimes it means we should act in a certain way.

[01:00:40] Jay: Sometimes it doesn't, but I think that's a starting place. For everybody and when we can start to feel the differences in our blood sugar regulation or become aware of the differences in our digestion with different foods. I mean, those things will take us a really long way and help guide us more than any lab marker really could.

[01:00:58] Loren: I love it. I fully support that. Thank you for that, Jay. And last question. How can people find you?

[01:01:07] Jay: I've compiled most important recommendations, you know, in terms of getting the foundations right into a free mini course that listeners can find at jfeldmanmallness. com slash energy. And in that mini course, I go through diet suggestions and lifestyle, movement, sleep, stress, all those kinds of things.

[01:01:27] Jay: So I think that's a great starting place for anybody, whether they're working on reproductive health and fertility or working on any other issue. So yeah, that's I have a podcast called the energy balance podcast and my website is So lots of free content there, articles and links to the podcast episodes and all of that.

[01:01:49] Loren: Amazing, amazing resources and highly recommend the podcast as well. And the course definitely take it. Thank you so much for your time, Jay. It's been a pleasure speaking with you. And I can't wait to see what other conversations we have in the future. 

[01:02:05] Jay: Yeah, me too. Thanks for having me, Lauren. 

[01:02:07] Loren: Thank you for coming on.

[01:02:08] Loren: Take care.

[01:02:12] Loren: Thank you so much for listening to the Innate Wisdom Podcast. If you enjoyed today's episode, please leave us a review and share the podcast with someone who you think might benefit. If you're new here, we can't recommend enough that you take advantage of my free resources. Like the Get Pregnant Yesterday Checklist, Psycho Literacy Guide, Prenatal Primer, and Sperm Booster Manual.

[01:02:31] Loren: And if you're trying to conceive now or in the near future, I invite you to join my Pregnancy Prep eCourse, Conscious Inception. Make sure to follow me on Instagram too, at Inate. Underscore fertility and consider joining my newsletter to receive exclusive content related to fertility and so much more a friendly reminder The content shared on this podcast is for informational purposes only And should not be a substitute for the advice provided by your doctor or other health care professional It is not intended to be nor does it constitute health care or medical advice?