Speaker 1 (00:00):
Welcome to the Dr. Gundry Podcast, the weekly podcast where Dr. G gives you the tools you need to boost your health and live your healthiest life.
Dr. Steven Gundry (00:16):
Welcome to the Dr. Gundry Podcast. Today, I’m going to discuss a very important health topic. It’s one of the most basic human drives, and quite frankly, we don’t talk about it enough. This episode of the Dr. Gundry Podcast is all about sex. In just a moment I’ll answer some questions from you about libido and other sexual health issues. I’ll also share tips for having a great sex life at any age. So stay tuned. This is an episode you won’t want to miss.
Dr. Steven Gundry (00:54):
So let’s start with some questions about libido. “What do you think about Viagra? Is it good or bad for your gut buddies?” Well, the good news is Viagra has nothing to do with your gut buddies, but here’s the bad news that I tell any one of my male patients who’s looking for erectile help from one of these medications. If you can’t get it up without assistance from Viagra or any of the other compounds, you have serious health issues, serious, and it has nothing to do with an erection.
Dr. Steven Gundry (01:33):
It turns out that the same process that’s preventing you from getting an erection is happening in your coronary arteries and in the blood vessels to your brain. And countless studies show that the need for Viagra or any of the other medications, like Cialis, for instance, means that your arteries in your heart and in your brain are incapable of dilating properly. And there’s an expression in longevity that says you are only as young as your blood vessels are flexible. And I couldn’t agree more with that assessment.
Dr. Steven Gundry (02:16):
So number one, I won’t prescribe by Viagra, or Cialis, or any of the other ones without a stress test first to show me that when you possibly can dilate your blood vessels with this medication, you won’t have a heart attack. But the point is, if you need these medications, that is probably the best wake up call that what you’re doing at any point in your life is really a warning sign that there’s something going on with the blood vessels in your heart and brain.
Dr. Steven Gundry (02:54):
And I got news for you. If Joe won’t wake up when he needs to, that means your brain won’t wake up when it needs to. So this is a huge warning sign and that’s the first thing that you should look for.
Dr. Steven Gundry (03:10):
Second, many men don’t realize that the inability to get an erection has nothing to do with testosterone, and I’ll get to that in a minute. So please stay tuned.
Dr. Steven Gundry (03:23):
Is there a natural Viagra? That’s a great question. There are actually many natural compounds that aid in dilatation of blood vessels. There’s actually a very good study that suggests having about a half a cup of walnuts will produce more l-arginine, which is the precursor for nitric oxide, which believe it or not, that’s what Viagra does. L-citrulline is the precursor for l-arginine. I personally think it works much better than l-arginine.
Dr. Steven Gundry (03:59):
Word of warning with l-arginine, the herpes virus actually uses l-arginine to reproduce. So if you have a history of cold sores, if you’re going to take l-arginine, makes sure you supplement with another amino acid called l-lysine, which will block herpes ability to use l-arginine.
Dr. Steven Gundry (04:24):
There are several other compounds that dilate blood vessels. One is hawthorne, and interestingly enough, there’s recent research that shows that aged garlic extract will actually dilate blood vessels in a totally different mechanism.
Dr. Steven Gundry (04:39):
So all of these are options for “natural” Viagra. But the important thing is if you’re looking for help in the erection department, you need to totally examine your diet and change it immediately it’s one of the scariest things that you should be aware of.
Dr. Steven Gundry (05:00):
I have a very good friend in longevity who used to say, “Men, no matter what your age, if you don’t wake up early in the morning with a boner, death is on the way.” And he actually makes an incredibly good point. And all you guys who are listening, you better be waking up with one or something’s radically wrong with your blood vessels. Is that scary or what?
Dr. Steven Gundry (05:29):
Next question. “I have low testosterone and it’s affecting my sex drive. How do I improve it?” Well, first of all, are you sure you have low testosterone? The usual test that’s available in most doctor’s offices, most labs, is total testosterone, but what you actually want is free testosterone.
Dr. Steven Gundry (05:53):
The reason for that is there are a large number of men who make hilariously sounding compound called sex hormone binding globulin. And if you make sex hormone binding globulin, a great deal of your testosterone will be bound to this protein and it will not be available. So for instance, I see many men, you walk through the door with testosterone of 1000, and yet they are weak, they have no muscle mass, and when we measured their free testosterone, their free testosterone is low because they have a very high sex hormone binding globulin, which we also measure.
Dr. Steven Gundry (06:41):
On the other hand, the vast majority of men who I see with low T, with low testosterone, actually have a normal free testosterone. So you can ignore total testosterone as a useful test, what you want to ask for is free testosterone.
Dr. Steven Gundry (07:06):
Now here’s the other important point. Most men who I see with low testosterone can absolutely positively have a normal free testosterone if they will give up sugars and carbohydrates. Remember those commercials when testosterone was available as prescriptions and you could advertise it? All those guys talking about their low T, we’re sitting around the campfire eating chips and having a beer, and it’s amazing the number of men that I see who have prediabetes, high insulin levels, or diabetes, who have low testosterone. And they come in looking for a testosterone prescription.
Dr. Steven Gundry (07:56):
And first of all, I won’t write for it because I have not met a man yet who cannot get a normal free testosterone by changing his diet, by getting rid of the sugars and carbohydrates in their diet, and these men come back shocked that they now have normal testosterone.
Dr. Steven Gundry (08:17):
The other important thing to realize if you are considering testosterone replacement is that testosterone will suppress your testicle ability to produce testosterone and your testicles will shrink to little bitty tiny balls. And if you stop testosterone, you in fact will take a very long time to regenerate your own testicles ability to make testosterone.
Dr. Steven Gundry (08:49):
Lastly, on the same point, the reason you do not see testosterone commercials on TV anymore is that the FDA banned it because most men who take testosterone don’t realize that they convert a lot of that topical testosterone into estrogen, the female hormone. And the reason testosterone commercials are banned is because of this fact. And we now know that topical testosterone replacement increased estrogen in men and estrogen is one of the leading causes of heart disease and strokes. And that explains why testosterone replacement was causing more heart attacks and more strokes, not because of testosterone, but because it was converted to estrogen.
Dr. Steven Gundry (09:41):
And lastly, guys, you’ll convert the testosterone into estrogen and guess what? You’ll get man boobs. And that’s not what you’re looking for with testosterone replacement. So lots of good reasons not to look for topical testosterone or those crazy testosterone pellets, and all have more to say about that.
Dr. Steven Gundry (10:02):
So women, if you have a low libido, what can you do to amp up your sex life? So I’ve been taking care of women and men in my practice for over 20 years now. And one of the things I’ve learned from listening to a great deal of men and women is one of the worst ways to screw up your libido is when you’re busy with a project, such as a child, sex goes way down the line. The other thing that you should know is that during lactation and during breastfeeding, your child and your interaction actually suppresses your desire to have sex. Because quite frankly, your child wants your undivided attention. And there is a really cool hormonal interplay between breastfeeding and not having a desire for sex.
Dr. Steven Gundry (11:03):
And this has actually been shown over and over again, particularly in societies where breastfeeding is done until three or four years of age. And it’s actually a very useful way of limiting the population.
Dr. Steven Gundry (11:18):
So number one, don’t feel bad that there’s somehow something wrong with you hormonally because you’re not very interested in sex. Your children are keeping you from doing that.
Dr. Steven Gundry (11:37):
Now one of the interesting things that I see in women, particularly in the perimenopause or even the post menopause period is there is a huge amount of information out there that menopause is going to decrease your sex drive or the perimenopause is going to deep crease your sex drive and you need hormonal replacement to get your sex drive back.
Dr. Steven Gundry (12:08):
Quite frankly, there’s some very fascinating studies in psychology looking at the effect of a long term monogamous relationship on sex drive in the women, and it has nothing to do with hormones, and this is going to shock a lot of people, but check with Dr. Google, you’ll find the studies. Women in a longterm monogamous relationship tend to lose their libido, their sex drive, and it appears to have a psychologic reason to drive the longterm sexual partner, usually the husband absolutely crazy as to why you’re not interested and it actually keeps the husband fascinated with trying to get sex from you.
Dr. Steven Gundry (13:01):
Now one of two things happen. Either the husband finds an affair, a mistress, and can’t take it anymore, and can frequently leave the marriage over that. But what’s fascinating is, and I see this with a lot of my patients, let’s suppose either the husband dies, or the husband does go off and they get a divorce. The woman who supposedly has no sexual desire, no libido, then meets a new partner and that woman, universally, I’ve not seen it otherwise, becomes phenomenally interested in sex again, her libido goes crazy, even though she’s had no change in hormone status.
Dr. Steven Gundry (13:52):
So there’s really good psychology behind all this. Now how about hormonal replacement in females? So I do use hormone therapy in females, but it’s not for often the reasons you think. There are about 5% of women who are very vascularly sensitive to the effects of estrogen and those women as they go into perimenopause and menopause, they notice a distinct difference in the way their thought processes work.
Dr. Steven Gundry (14:27):
And I was taught by an excellent gynecologist on our staff that a small dose of estrogen, preferably topical, please folks do not swallow an estrogen containing substance, a small dose of estrogen will do dramatic changes in the way women feel. And I can see that very small dose of estrogen on their labs, but what amazing is the women, without knowing their estrogen level, will automatically say, ‘That was it. That’s what’s missing.” And sometimes they’ll actually forget the patch or change the patch, and we’ll see it on their labs and they’ll come in and say, “Something’s not right.” I’ll go, “What’s with your patch?” “Oh, that’s right I forgot it,” or “I ran out and I didn’t refill it.” So, that’s number one.
Dr. Steven Gundry (15:19):
Number two, there are a number of women who as their progesterone levels drop as they enter menopause, have a great deal of difficulty sleeping. Now the nice thing about progesterone is that it is of absorbable orally and easy to obtain from a compounding pharmacy. And usually the dose of progesterone that works is about 100 milligrams a day.
Dr. Steven Gundry (15:48):
Now, the third thing I’ll mention about hormone replacement is my good friend and colleague Dale Bredesen, who wrote The End of Alzheimer’s, and is probably I think one of the greatest neurologists in dementia there is, told me a number of years ago now that one of the missing links is another hormone called pregnenolone. Pregnenolone is sometimes called the queen of all hormones, the master of all hormones, because when we’re young, pregnenolone is made in our adrenal glands and quite frankly, it’s the precursor for estrogen, progesterone, testosterone, DH, EA, you name it, it comes from pregnenolone.
Dr. Steven Gundry (16:30):
But what’s fascinating is that as we get older, our adrenal glands, for most of us, stop making pregnenolone in any amount whatsoever. About 95% of adults don’t make pregnenolone. And Dr. Bredesen has shown, and others as well, that pregnenolone is probably very important in keeping neurons in your brain active and alive as we get older.
Dr. Steven Gundry (16:56):
So what Dr. Bredesen has shown is that he thinks, and I certainly have come to agree with him, that much of what we assume is forgetfulness as we get older is actually the effect of falling levels of pregnenolone.
Dr. Steven Gundry (17:17):
Now the good news is pregnenolone is over the counter in general and everybody’s different because I measure the effects of these doses every three months in my patients. In general, 50 milligrams a day for women is usually the right dose, 100 milligrams a day in men is usually the right dose.
Dr. Steven Gundry (17:39):
Now I’m not prescribing that to you, I’m not suggesting it. I’ve just found through the last few years of using this compound that that usually works out to the level that Dr. Bredesen likes. But everybody’s different and if you’re going to take a supplement, a hormonal supplement, you’ve got to measure what it’s going to do and it’s actually easy to do with simple blood test.
Dr. Steven Gundry (18:05):
Now the last big misconception about women’s libido is that somehow testosterone, either with creams or with pellets, is going to drive women crazy wild about having sex. About 85% of women will not respond to testosterone with sex drive. And as my colleague in gynecology has reminded me through the years, and I’ve certainly seen it in the last 20 years, that if a woman is complaining about libido and about sex drive, then he wants to talk about their marriage rather than giving her testosterone. Because 85% of women in general will not respond to testosterone replacement with a sex drive. 15% will, and I have certainly seen this in my practice, but it doesn’t happen very much.
Dr. Steven Gundry (19:06):
And I live in two communities where we have what are called Dr. Feelgood’s, that all they do is a large amount of hormone replacement, usually with pellets. And what happens to these women is they will keep giving these women testosterone until, I kid you not, these women are shaving their arms, they’re shaving their beards, and they still don’t have a sex drive even though their testosterone levels approach that or exceed that of their husbands. So I can assure you that testosterone is not the cure for a relationship issue. And so talk to your family counselor, if that’s what you need.
Dr. Steven Gundry (19:55):
Okay, so here’s some more Instagram questions. “Partner-less sex. Can you masturbate too much?” This is actually getting a lot of attention from mass media. The idea of is partner-less sex the new in thing. And quite frankly partner-less sex is on the rise. Whether it is internet porn based, whether it’s subscription service, or whether it’s now AI models that we have replaced the old inflatable dolls. There are now lifelike mannequins that can be purchased on the internet.
Dr. Steven Gundry (20:38):
And the interesting thing about can you masturbate too much? No, you won’t go blind. That’s the good news. It turns out that the problem with porn in general is that what we’re finding with men, and women, is that what happens with porn is you actually get this huge burst of dopamine and what you’re actually looking for is this dopamine hit in your brain. And what happens with more and more porn, as was shown in a very famous [inaudible 00:00:21:18], is that you have to have more and more, and you have to have more and more, for lack of a better word, erotic or kinky porn to have the same dopamine effect.
Dr. Steven Gundry (21:30):
And eventually it really fails to work because you flooded your dopamine receptors and you no longer get the hit you’re looking for. So that’s the danger of too much of a good thing.
Dr. Steven Gundry (21:46):
There’s nothing, obviously it’s big business, but the problem is it’s addictive in the same way any other addiction is addictive in that you have to have more and more to get the same result. And that’s the slippery slope.
Dr. Steven Gundry (22:03):
Now here’s another great question. “Is celibacy healthier than being sexually active or vice versa?” A few years ago, a colleague of mine, who’s well known in health, suggested and he’s a male, suggested that as you get older, men should stop having sex and they should stop masturbating because he believes that your sperm, your semen, is your life force. And that as you get older, you have to conserve your life force, and so the natural thing to do is to stop having sex and stop masturbating.
Dr. Steven Gundry (22:51):
Now, quite frankly, that goes against everything we know from an evolutionary perspective, particularly for men, and that is if you are sexually active or if you are ejaculating, that tells your genes, guess what, I’m still in the business of recreating myself, of making, or at least attempting to make, a new copy. And from a genetic standpoint, the more you demonstrate that you’re capable of doing that, the more your genes keep you around.
Dr. Steven Gundry (23:33):
The interesting thing is we know that sexual activity, particularly among couples, is one of the best ways to promote a healthy lifespan. Now, here’s the other thing that’s been fascinating to me for the last 20 years and that is listening to women in their late 70s, their early 80s, their mid 80s, their late 80s, begging me to get them some help for their husband to get an erection because they want it and they can’t believe that hubby isn’t willing to help out in that department.
Dr. Steven Gundry (24:15):
I think evolutionary, deal is the more you are sexually active or act like you’re sexually active from masturbation, the better your genes think that you’re still involved in recreation. So great question.
Dr. Steven Gundry (24:40):
All right, let’s get some more questions from Instagram. “Can oral sex give you bad bacteria?” Well, the vaginal microbiome is actually very interesting and replete with its own set of microbiome that’s actually different than the oral microbiome. But here’s the deal. A few years ago, a very famous actor got a throat cancer and went through thankfully successful treatment for that throat cancer.
Dr. Steven Gundry (25:14):
Now it got a lot of talk in the tabloids, but in fact we now know that about 75% of all oral and throat, head and neck cancers, are caused by the HPV virus, the human papilloma virus, and we all hear about HPV injection shots, vaccines for young kids and pre-pubescent females.
Dr. Steven Gundry (25:42):
And we’re now actually finding that men can contract the human papilloma virus from oral sex. Now, here’s I guess the good news is that if you have a head and neck cancer that tests positive for HPV, and about 75% of them now test positive for HPV, that the treatment, the chemotherapy treatment, the radiation treatment, is incredibly effective at curing that problem.
Dr. Steven Gundry (26:19):
Quite frankly, my longterm partner at Loma Linda, Dr. Leonard Bailey, eventually passed away this past year from recurrent head and neck cancer. And I am no way saying that it was HPV because we didn’t test for that back then. But the point is that used to be a lethal disease, almost no cures, but now we’re incredibly successful at treating that disease, if you’re positive for HPV.
Dr. Steven Gundry (26:51):
But be careful and that is a real consideration, we now know that if you are infected with HPV that that’s a consideration. The same thing we know about anal sex. Number one, please use protection. In my community of Palm Springs, a huge number of my patients are gay or lesbian and anal sex is a huge part of their lifestyle.
Dr. Steven Gundry (27:21):
But just as you can get the HPV virus transmitted orally, you can also transmit the HPV virus anally. But we also see a large number of men get anal and rectal cancers from viral transmission. So let’s be careful out there. That’s all I’m going to say on the subject.
Dr. Steven Gundry (27:43):
All right. Finally, “Can you fix Peyronie’s disease with a lectin free diet?” So Peyronie’s disease is where your penis is not straight, but it’s got a curve like a banana, just like the things you see. Believe it or not, Peyronie’s disease is an autoimmune disease caused by lectins. And I have a number of men who have come to me with that problem and then we get a lectin free diet and guess what, Willy straightens right back up. So Peyronie’s disease is curable with a lectin free diet. I’ve seen it in my own practice.
Dr. Steven Gundry (28:12):
Okay, it’s time for the audience question. Following my lecture on hydration, John Hall on YouTube asks, “I had been drinking distilled water for 30 years. What about collecting fresh rainwater for drinking?”
Dr. Steven Gundry (28:26):
That’s a great question. And believe it or not, there are a number of Island countries, particularly Bermuda comes to mind, where their entire source of drinking water is collecting rain water off of their roofs. And that’s what they’ve been living on for generations and generations. So yeah, go collect rain water. It’s a really great way of getting your water. So that’s a great question.
Dr. Steven Gundry (28:50):
And now the review of the week. After my talk of the HCG Diet, Costa acupuncture on YouTube wrote, “Another excellent podcast. Dr. G, thanks for setting the record straight on the HCG diet. Intermittent fasting and managing lectins leads patients back to health.” Thank you. Costa acupuncture. I’m glad you liked it and keep the comments coming in because that’s why we do this.
Dr. Steven Gundry (29:16):
Okay, so that wraps it up for today. I tell you, we got so many questions on this subject that I promise you we’ll have a part two in the foreseeable future. So thanks for listening to the Dr. Gundry Podcast.
Dr. Steven Gundry (29:34):
Thanks for joining me on this episode of the Dr. Gundry Podcast. Before you go. I just wanted to remind you that you can find the show on iTunes, Google Play, Stitcher, or wherever you get your podcasts. And if you want to watch each episode of the Dr. Gundry podcast, you can always find me on YouTube at youtube.com/drgundry, because I’m Dr. Gundry and I’m always looking out for you.