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Dr. Thierry Hertoghe: Health optimization, hormones and how to be your own doctor.

Dr. Hertoghe is a reference in the anti-aging community. He has a wealth of knowledge in hormone treatment.

We recently traveled to Belgium to interview him, among other questions related to health, we asked him:

Dr. Barry Sears wrote the foreword for your book The Hormone Solution and in it he says that hormones not only control your life but can also alter the expression of our genes. What does he mean by that?

One the main ideas behind that book is that we suffer a deep decline in hormone production as we age that profoundly diminish our quality of life and health, and that with proper nutrition, lifestyle and maybe with a tailored hormone replacement therapy we can minimize the effects of that decline and potentially even reverse its negative effects. Why is it that the use of hormone therapy has such a bad public image?

Most people go the endocrinologist because they are sick, not because they are fine but they want to be even better. What has to change in the health industry for that to change?

The human body produces more than one hundred hormones, which production declines with age. This decline is especially acute early in life in two very important hormones, Melatonin and Growth Hormone. Tell me about GH how does this deep decline affect our health and lives?

Many people in the biohacking community recommend taking melatonin not only as sleeping aid, but as a supplement. They claim it triggers some sort autophagy, or some sort of cleansing process in the brain… Is this nonsense? What is your take on melatonin?

One of the main concerns that people have about HRT and supplementation is that they might develop some type of tolerance or negative feedback loop or side effects from chronic use HRT and supplementation. Is this a reasonable concern to have?

You often stress the fact that pollution, the use of pesticides and soil depletion have a negative effect on the capacity of the human body to produce the right level of hormones. Many people don´t see the link between the two? Can you expand on that.

Proper nutrition is one of the pillars of health, and the baseline for hormone treatment. Which are your basic dietary guidelines?

What is your take on coffee and alcohol?

My understanding is that you run marathons, but dont recommend other people to run them. It´s sort of do as i say but not as i do type of thing… What is the problem with long distance running and steady state cardio?

What type of physical training would you recommend for someone that doesn´t like to train, doesn´t like sports but is willing to invest 45 mn a week to make his body and his health thrive?

What makes the difference between a very good doctor and an excellent doctor?

How can someone find out if a self-proclaimed anti-aging doctor is actually a good fit for him, what questions can he or she ask or what clues or hints can he or she look for when prospecting for a clinic or a doctor?

I am specially interested in oxytocin, the hormone of pleasure, socialization and joy. You wrote an entire book about it. Me personally, I am not shy at all, and I am not an introvert either, but I don´t have a natural tendency to socialize. Left to my own instincts I would spend my days reading and doing sports by myself, but i force myself because i know it´s important for humans to interact. How can someone like me increase the endogenous production of oxytocin?

This a very specific question tailored for the fitness nuts… Please correct me if I say something that is not correct, but my understanding is that pregnenolone is the precursor of both testosterone and cortisol, depending on the signaling the body produces one or the other. Many people in the fitness industry take cortisol blockers because they consider them catabolic hormone. Is this a reasonable approach?

According to the WHO testosterone levels in males have been dropping 1% per year since the 1950´s. What can someone do to increase testosterone naturally?

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