Published April 2022 on YouTube

Dr. Kyle Gillett: How to Optimize Your Hormones for Health & Vitality | Huberman Lab Podcast #67

1. Hormone Optimization

Dr. Kyle shares his expertise on hormone optimization, covering a range of hormones including thyroid, testosterone, estrogen, and prolactin. He provides insights on how to optimize hormones through behavioral tools, nutrition, exercise-based tools, supplementation, and hormone therapies.

2. The Brain-Body Contract

Andrew announces two live events in May 2022 as part of his lecture series, The Brain Body Contract. These events will cover new science-based tools and topics, and include a Q&A session. Tickets are available on

3. Thesis, InsideTracker, ROKA

Custom Nootropics:Andrew discusses Thesis, a company that creates custom nootropics designed to bring your body and brain into specific states, with each nootropic custom designed for you. They use only the highest quality ingredients and have solved the problem of individual variation by creating a brief quiz.
Personalized Health Tools:Andrew discusses the benefits of getting regular blood work done and introduces Inside Tracker, a personalized nutritional tool that analyzes data from your blood and DNA to help you better understand your body and reach your health goals. He explains how Inside Tracker creates a personalized dashboard that gives you information about where your health stands and directives on how to improve it.

4. Hormone Health Insights

Hormone Health:Dr. Gillette discusses his background in medicine and his approach to balanced health, including the importance of preventative medicine. He emphasizes the role of hormones in overall health and shares the types of questions he asks patients to assess their hormone health.
Hormone Health:Kyle explains the importance of a physical exam and history to identify pertinent symptoms for a lab work-up. Andrew and Kyle discuss how the discussion around hormone health is a bit of a barbed wire topic, but that it's equally important for men and women to access their deeper hormone data through blood tests.

5. Hormone Health Optimization

Kyle shares the six pillars of lifestyle interventions to optimize hormone health, with diet and exercise being the most important. He emphasizes the importance of doing a little bit over a long period of time rather than doing a lot and then doing nothing. The other four pillars include stress optimization, sleep optimization, sunlight exposure, and spiritual health.

6. Personalized Diet

Kyle Gillett discusses the importance of a personalized approach to diet, taking into account genetics and individual needs. He also mentions the potential benefits of a lower carb diet for those at risk of cancer or with autoimmune diseases.

7. Exercise for Hormone Health

Andrew and Kyle discuss the importance of getting 150 to 180 minutes of zone two cardio per week for cardiovascular and general brain and musculoskeletal health. Resistance exercise is also important.

8. Caloric Restriction

Kyle Gillett, a board-certified obesity medicine physician, explains that caloric restriction can improve testosterone parameters in obese or metabolic syndrome individuals. However, in young and healthy men, caloric restriction can decrease testosterone levels. The reason for exercise and caloric restriction is for health reasons, not necessarily weight loss.

9. Intermittent Fasting, Growth Hormone (GH), IGF-1

Intermittent Fasting Benefits:Andrew and Kyle discuss the benefits of intermittent fasting for hormone health, including increased growth hormone output and improved mental clarity. They also address concerns about oscillating between feast and famine periods and whether intermittent fasting is a bad idea for hormone health.
Growth Hormones:Kyle and Andrew discuss the functions of growth hormone and IGF One, clarifying the differences between the two. They also address concerns about the potential for increased levels of growth hormone to cause cancer.

10. Sleep Quality & Hormones

Hormones and Sleep:Kyle explains the correlation between hormone optimization and sleep, including how growth hormone deficiency and progestogenic activity can affect sleep. He also discusses how progesterone can help with sleep and its relationship to GABA agonists.
TRT and Sleep:Kyle and Andrew discuss how testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) can increase the risk of sleep apnea, even in individuals who are not hypogonadal. They also mention how TRT can cause a hypersympathetic state, leading to poor sleep.

11. Testosterone in Women

Kyle explains that women have more testosterone than estrogen and significantly more Dhea than either. Most testosterone in women comes from theca cells in the ovaries. Andrew and Kyle discuss the controversy surrounding natural variation in hormones on different chromosomal backgrounds.

12. Dht and Male Baldness

Dht in Men:Kyle explains that Dht is a very androgenic hormone that binds to the androgen receptor in both men and women. Men get their androgen receptor gene from their mother, and women get one from their father and one from their mother. Dht is responsible for male pattern baldness and beard growth, and one can determine their likelihood of developing male pattern baldness by looking at their mother's father.
Male Pattern Baldness:Kyle explains how male pattern baldness is related to the gene transcription of the androgen receptor and how the number of CAG repeats affects the activation of the gene. He also talks about how 500 years ago, people were more sensitive to androgens and experienced more significant hair loss.

13. DHT and Heart Health

Dht and Heart Health:Kyle explains how Dht is involved in heart health and how inhibiting its production can improve cardiac remodeling. He also discusses how dietary changes and supplementation can affect Dht levels.
Curcumin and DHT:Kyle explains how certain curcuminoids found in turmeric can inhibit the enzyme that converts testosterone to DHT, and how this can affect men and women differently depending on their genetics and lifestyle. He also recommends avoiding bioavailable curcuminoids for those who already have low DHT levels, and suggests Creatine as an alternative. Andrew shares his personal experience with taking turmeric and the importance of caution when experimenting with supplements.

14. 5-Alpha Reductase, Finasteride, Saw Palmetto

Kyle and Andrew discuss the effects of saw palmetto and finasteride on prostate health and potential side effects. They also touch on the controversial topic of Finasteride Syndrome and the importance of experimenting with supplements. Andrew shares his personal experience with taking Creatine monohydrate for brain effects and a DHT bump.

15. Creatine and Hair Loss

Andrew and Kyle discuss whether Creatine monohydrate can cause hair loss due to its potential to increase Dht levels. Kyle explains that while it may not directly cause hair loss, it can worsen the condition for those who are already sensitive to Dht. They also discuss the natural hair cycle and how stem cell niches in the hair follicle can regenerate new, healthier follicles.

16. Hair Loss Solutions

Kyle Gillett discusses different options for offsetting hair loss, including finasteride mesotherapy, a localized injection that decreases the conversion of testosterone to DHT only in the scalp, avoiding negative effects on other tissues sensitive to DHT. He also mentions that women can experience male pattern baldness and that oral contraceptives can increase SHBG and lower free DHT in women.

17. Understanding PCOS

Understanding PCOS:Kyle explains that PCOS is a condition that is often underdiagnosed and can be identified through symptoms such as androgen excess, insulin resistance, and oligomenorrhea. It is prevalent in women in their 30s and can lead to fertility issues.
PCOS Prevention:Kyle and Andrew discuss the different ways to prevent PCOS, including optimizing body composition, decreasing body fat, and treating metabolic syndrome. They also talk about the use of inositol and metformin as tools for insulin sensitization, and the importance of choosing the right type of inositol depending on whether you want to reduce estrogen or androgen activity.

18. Contraceptive Effects

Oral Contraceptives' Effects:Andrew and Kyle discuss the perceptual effects of oral contraceptives on men and women's attractiveness. Oral contraceptives alter hormone levels, blunting the increase in testosterone that occurs before ovulation and decreasing libido.
Oral Contraception Effects:Kyle explains that the choice of synthetic progestin can affect platelets and Shbg levels, which can increase the risk of blood clots. Taking oral contraception for six to twelve months does not cause permanent damage to fertility, but persistently elevated Shbg can be present for quite some time.

19. Hormones and Substances

Kyle explains that smoked marijuana can increase the conversion of testosterone to estrogen, leading to a decrease in testosterone. High alcohol intake and potent GABA agonist also decrease testosterone. However, moderate alcohol intake, recommended by the American Heart Association, can have a protective effect on the heart.

20. Sleep Supplement Frequency

Andrew and Kyle discuss the importance of not taking sleep supplements like GABA and Trazodone every night, while highlighting exceptions like magnesium.

21. Male Prostate Health

Kyle and Andrew discuss the correlation between testosterone and prostate health. They explain how testosterone does not cause prostate cancer, but it can grow it. They also give tips on how to maintain prostate health, such as monitoring PSA levels and getting regular checkups.

22. Prostate Health

Kyle Gillett discusses how to maintain prostate health through prevention and a healthy diet. He recommends avoiding chronic constipation and having regular bowel movements with a diet rich in prebiotic fiber and probiotics. Sal palmetto supplements and curcumin can be taken on an individualized basis for those with a genetic predisposition to prostate issues.

23. Pelvic Health Insights

Pelvic Floor Health:Kyle and Andrew discuss the importance of pelvic floor health, including maintaining adequate blood flow and exercising the pelvic floor muscles. They also touch on medications that can positively or negatively affect pelvic floor health, such as tadalafil.
Prostate Health:Kyle and Andrew discuss the effects of tadalafil on prostate health. They mention that taking low doses of tadalafil can help with prostate health by improving blood flow. However, they also mention that there can be negative effects such as lowered blood pressure and increased chance of vasal vagal syncope.

24. Optimizing Testosterone

Kyle and Andrew discuss the benefits and risks of testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) and the importance of a steady state. They also explore different types of esters and methods of administration, with injections being the preferred method for most people. The recommended replacement dose is 100-120 milligrams per week, divided into two or three smaller doses.

25. Estrogen Control

Estrogen Control:Andrew and Kyle discuss the importance of maintaining healthy estrogen levels and how aromatase inhibitors can disrupt brain function, cause connective tissue issues, and even reduce libido. They suggest lifestyle interventions and supplements like calcium Dglucarate to control estrogen levels instead of relying on aromatase inhibitors.
Estrogen Supplementation:Kyle explains that estrogen supplementation is not as potent as aromatase inhibitors and helps with excretion and sensitivity of the estrogen receptor. They also discuss the use of cruciferous vegetables like kale or broccoli as an estrogen and antianrogen. Andrew shares his cautious approach to supplements and recalls considering dim supplementation but ultimately deciding against it due to its potential impact on testosterone levels. The conversation also touches on sports TRT and the high end range for testosterone levels in different countries.

26. Hormone Hacks

Testosterone Supplementation:Kyle and Andrew discuss the individualized approach to testosterone supplementation, including non-prescription approaches such as ice baths and Lcarnitine. They also touch on the importance of an individualized approach to TRT dosing and the sensitivity of androgen receptors.
Fats and Hormones:Kyle and Andrew discuss the effects of consuming fats on estrogen and testosterone levels. They explore how different types of fats can impact the body and the importance of maintaining a healthy ratio of testosterone to estrogen. They also touch on the benefits of grass-fed foods and the risks of a vegan diet.

27. Supplements for Hormone Balance

Kyle and Andrew discuss how nutrition and supplements can support healthy testosterone to estrogen ratios, including the use of tercastron and beta estradiol receptor agonists. They also address concerns about potential side effects such as water retention and reduced libido.

28. Tongkat Ali Mechanisms

Tongkat Ali Mechanisms:Andrew and Kyle discuss the mechanisms of Tongkat Ali, an Indonesian herb that potentially reduces sex hormone and binding globulin, freeing up testosterone. They also talk about its weak aromatase and non-selective estrogen receptor modifier effects, which can help decrease negative feedback inhibition of estradiol and increase testosterone. The herb can be beneficial for both men and women, especially for those with hyperestrogenism.
Tongkat Ali Cycle:Kyle explains that Tongkat Ali likely does not need to be cycled off, but to be safe, an eleven months on, one month off cycle is reasonable. If combined with Fidoja, a three weeks on, one week off cycle is recommended.

29. Nigerian Testosterone Boosters

Nigerian Testosterone Booster:Andrew and Kyle discuss Fadogia Agrestis, a Nigerian shrub extract that has the potential to increase testosterone by stimulating luteinizing hormone. While there is not enough evidence to recommend long-term consistent administration, cycling the supplement is likely safe.
Testosterone Augmentation:Kyle Gillett recommends fidojia and Tonga Ali for people with subclinical secondary hypogonadism, which is essentially just low LH. Andrew Huberman emphasizes the importance of consulting a physician and doing blood work before taking any supplements or medications. They also discuss the supplement boron for testosterone augmentation.

30. Boron Supplementation

Kyle explains that boron is an element that can regulate SHBG, and its effect is mostly acute, so it's unlikely to have a bad effect. He recommends taking three to six milligrams of boron once to twice a day to lower SHBG levels.

31. HCG and Thyroid

Hcg and Thyroid:Kyle explains how Hcg, a hormone produced during pregnancy, can improve thyroid function and prevent hypothyroidism. However, taking high doses of Hcg can suppress one's normal luteinizing hormone output.
HCG and Hormone Augmentation:Kyle and Andrew discuss the use of HCG for maintaining testicular function and as an alternative to TRT. They also explore the effects of HCG on sensitivity of the genitals and its use in treating post finasteride syndrome. The chapter concludes with a brief discussion on the risks of HCG for women.

32. Hormones and Tumors

Prolactin and Dopamine:Andrew and Kyle discuss the relationship between prolactin and dopamine, and how they affect motivated behaviors, including sexual behavior. They also touch on the importance of appropriate ratios of dopamine and prolactin and the potential drawbacks of dopamine agonists.
Pituitary Tumors:Kyle explains that pituitary tumors are more common than people think and can cause hypogonadism and high prolactin levels. Pituitary mycordinomas can also cause acromegaly or gigantism. Many people have small tumors that are hard to detect and are asymptomatic.

33. Dopamine and Hormonal Pathways

Andrew and Kyle discuss the delicate dance between the sympathetic and parasympathetic drives in the arousal arc for mating behavior. They explore interventions to increase dopamine levels, including eliminating mu opioid receptor agonists, taking dopamine agonists like P5P and Vitamin B6, and taking Vitamin E. They also touch on the potential neurotoxicity of Vitamin B6 and the importance of taking the active form of the enzyme.

34. Lcarnitine Benefits

Lcarnitine and Fertility:Andrew and Kyle discuss the benefits of Lcarnitine in enhancing sperm and egg quality and even rates of oral contraception. Lcarnitine acts as a shuttle that helps get the fuel into the motor to use the motor. It upregulates the mitochondria and increases the density of the androgen receptor, leading to better performance of flagella and overall better mitochondrial function.
Lcarnitine and Tmao:Kyle explains that Lcarnitine is a micropeptide that is not very bioavailable if taken orally and recommends 1 gram per day for fertility and androgen receptor upregulation. However, taking 10 grams of oral capsules is required to achieve this dose. Andrew and Kyle discuss the potential increase of Tmao with Lcarnitine intake and suggest taking 600 milligrams of garlic capsule for the allison to reduce Tmao.

35. Blood Test Frequency

Andrew suggests that people should have annual blood testing to know their hormone levels, metabolic markers, and lipids. He believes that everyone should get at least one mood test a year, regardless of whether they have a problem or not. Kyle doubts that insurance will cover it, but it will become affordable as advanced testing continues to come down in price.

36. Hormones and Relationships

Hormones and Relationships:Andrew and Kyle discuss the effects of hormones on social interactions and relationships, particularly the role of dopamine and prolactin in attraction and excitement. They also offer insights on how to optimize hormones in relationships, including the importance of experiencing different stages of life together.
Relationship Dynamics:Kyle and Andrew discuss the importance of dopamine and prolactin levels in relationships. They explain how spending too much time together can cause dopamine levels to decrease, leading to a decrease in excitement towards each other. They also discuss how planning time apart and together can help maintain stable relationships, and how hormone levels can play a role in this.

37. Hormonal Changes

Andrew and Kyle discuss the impact of prolactin on hormonal changes during and after pregnancy. They explore how prolactin can impact sexual activity and the "nesting instinct" in both men and women. While prolactin is often associated with negative side effects, it is also vital for the health of infants and mothers.

38. Cold Exposure Hormone Effects

Andrew and Kyle discuss the effects of cold exposure on hormone levels, specifically testosterone and estrogen. They explore the benefits of cold exposure for those with varicoseal or primary hypogonadism and caution against the negative effects of hot tubs and saunas on sperm production. They also touch on the potential benefits for women, although there is no evidence of estrogen modification.

39. Peptides and Growth Hormones

Andrew and Kyle discuss the safety and benefits of peptides, including Tessa Moralin and BPC one five seven, which are being used to treat injuries and stimulate the release of growth hormone. They also touch on the different mechanisms of action of growth hormonereleasing peptides and hormones like ghrelin and insulin.

40. Growth Hormone Risks

Kyle and Andrew discuss the risks and benefits of taking growth hormone releasing hormones like Cermolin. While there are benefits like lipolysis and increased lean body mass, there are also risks like tumor growth and cancer. They suggest that there are other ways to achieve similar benefits without the use of growth hormones.

41. BPC-157 & Injury, Dosing Frequency

Peptides 101:Kyle and Andrew discuss the benefits and risks of using peptides, specifically BPC 157 and Melanotan. BPC 157 is commonly used and well-tolerated, but should be avoided by those at risk for cancer. Melanotan has FDA approval for treating hypoactive sexual disorder and lipodystrophy, but also has a rare approved use for deficiency in the melanocorticin receptor.
Peptides and Recovery:Kyle and Andrew discuss the benefits and dangers of peptides for recovery, emphasizing the importance of working with a doctor and understanding dosing regimens. They also touch on the synergistic effects of GHK copper peptide and thymus and beta four.

42. Uses for Melanotan

Kyle Gillett and Andrew Huberman discuss the clinical applications of Melanotan, including its FDA-approved uses for hypoactive sexual disorder and lipodystrophy. They also caution against long-term administration due to potential side effects.

43. The 6th Pillar

The 6th Pillar:Andrew and Kyle discuss the importance of spirituality as the 6th pillar of health, and how it affects mental and physical well-being regardless of religious beliefs. They emphasize the interconnectedness of body, mind, and soul and how neglecting one can have a profound effect on the others.
Integrating Health:Kyle emphasizes the importance of bringing together physical, mental, and spiritual health for improved patient outcomes. Andrew asks about practices for those who are agnostic or atheist, and Kyle stresses the importance of personal spiritual journeys without pressure from others. The discussion highlights the role of spirituality in medicine and neuroscience.

44. Caffeine & Hormones

Kyle Gillett explains that caffeine only affects hormones if it affects your sleep, but has a negligible effect otherwise. He also mentions that caffeine can slightly improve allergies.

45. Hormone Optimization

Andrew Huberman and Dr. Kyle Gillett discuss the importance of hormone health and the benefits of supplements in optimizing sleep, focus, and overall health. They recommend high-quality supplements from Thorn and provide a discount code for listeners.