Cover image of Dr. Berkson's Best Health Radio Podcast
Alternative Health
Health & Fitness

Dr. Berkson's Best Health Radio Podcast

Updated 5 days ago

Alternative Health
Health & Fitness
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Dr. Devaki Lindsey Berkson shares decades of experience as a hormone and nutrition expert so you can be a healthier, happier you.

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Dr. Devaki Lindsey Berkson shares decades of experience as a hormone and nutrition expert so you can be a healthier, happier you.

iTunes Ratings

74 Ratings
Average Ratings


By Bobbi_O - Oct 10 2019
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Always great information! Terrific guests and I want to visit Austin Texas! Keep going strong!

Digestible information

By nocallforme - Feb 14 2019
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Great information, good resources.

iTunes Ratings

74 Ratings
Average Ratings


By Bobbi_O - Oct 10 2019
Read more
Always great information! Terrific guests and I want to visit Austin Texas! Keep going strong!

Digestible information

By nocallforme - Feb 14 2019
Read more
Great information, good resources.
Cover image of Dr. Berkson's Best Health Radio Podcast

Dr. Berkson's Best Health Radio Podcast

Updated 5 days ago

Read more

Dr. Devaki Lindsey Berkson shares decades of experience as a hormone and nutrition expert so you can be a healthier, happier you.

Rank #1: Menopause & Estrogen—10 issues & 10 natural answers (#106)

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There are ten common issues patients identify with menopause: 

1.     Resistant Weight Gain

2.     Insomnia

3.     Hot flashes

4.     Fatigue

5.     Brain mood cognition perception of life

6.     Brand new issues including skin problems

7.     Gut issues

8.     Genitourinary issues – leaking, dryness of vaginal and painful intercourse

9.     Libido

10. Joint pain

In this episode, you will learn:

  • What estrogen has to do with fat cell genes and mass and weight loss.
  • Low estrogen + menopause + hormone altering chemicals is a recipe for resistant fat, and what to do about it.
  • Hormones, appetite, weight control and metabolic syndrome helpers.
  • Sitting and estrogens, what's the scoop and how to help.
  • Insomnia and natural answers from hormones, to nutrients, to a special off label use of a med.
  • Hot flashes: why they occur, what they suggest about longevity, efficacy of black cohosh, roasted soy nuts, and estrogen receptor beta's amazing role that you can tweak with rhubarb.
  • Breast cancer risk, estrogen's, and the "good estrogen dominance".
  • Fatigue: what works, how PABA is a "hormone  and fatigue helper" and more.
  • Estrogen's and the brain, why you want a SEXY or sex steroid brain (check out Dr. Berkson's latest book SEXY BRAIN on hormones and the brain, what tests tor run, what chemicals to detox and more).
  • Hormones and the aging gut and IBS and more.
  • Do male hormones really help women's genitourinary issues including leakage, orgasms and more.
  • How much T do you need? What if you are a high risk woman?
  • Vaginal boosting creams for high risk women and more.
  • Hormone replacement therapy in menopause a review of peer review literature: evidence and relevance for estrogen, progesterone, testosterone, and oxytocin.

Jun 25 2018

1hr 12mins


Rank #2: The Flaxseed Controversy (#18)

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To flax, or not to flax? Especially if you have had a hormonally driven cancer. Learn the science-based facts that even a lot of oncologists don’t know. Flax and other seeds are protective against incidence of first time cancers (primary cancers) and recurrence (secondary cancers). Learn how seeds protect men and women both and in what exact amounts.

Oct 13 2016



Rank #3: Dr. Barbara Demeneix - Toxic Cocktail - your child’s thyroid, brain and IQ, dangers of sea salt and how birth control pills might be contributing to our toxic mess and increasing rates of thyroid disease. (#57)

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All earth’s populations are struggling with pollution. There are over 700,000 pollution related deaths a year, but what about your baby’s brain? Dr. Barbara Demeneix is a scientist and professor at the Sorbonne University, Paris, France. Dr B’s 40-year career focus has been on endocrinology with a particular investigation of the thyroid gland and its essential role in intelligence. 

Dr. Demeneix discusses how contemporary thyroid health, especially in fetuses and babies, is under attack by today’s toxic environment. Dr. Demeneix’s book is called Toxic Cocktail. She shares how thyroid function, in both the pregnant mom and baby, are a major influence of the child’s IQ and brain function. In contrast, the thyroid gland is one of the most vulnerable tissues of the human body, affected severely by endocrine-disrupting pollutants in today’s chemical soup that we all eat, live and breathe. 

There are many “action steps” that a pregnant woman can take in putting the new baby room together, in choice of self-care products, food choices and preparation, and even weight loss and detox protocols, to help protect your baby’s brain.  

The last chapter of Dr. D’s book gives a list of to-dos for specific protection. 

Toxic chemical exposure during pre-conception (before the egg and sperm come together), throughout pregnancy, and up to 3 years of age of your infant, are all “vulnerable windows” of exposure where chemicals that lurk in your home, air and water can damage your baby’s brain, health and immune system. This radio show should be heard and shared foreword to all those with children, grandchildren or planning to continue to grow their families. 

Pesticides on commonly consumed inorganic foods, foam often found inside furniture or baby mattresses, flame-retardants in computers heated up from prolonged use, and on and on, put your child at increased risk of ADHD or Asperger’s syndrome or even obesity and cancer. Dr. D. explains the details of how this is possible.  

These are real human health threats, yet, as Drs. D and B deliberate, at the same time Trump has just signed an EPA gag-order to deny the use of research to block more pesticide sales. The argument is that de-regulation creates more jobs. But it makes more people ill, especially children. California has the strictest environmental laws but has accomplished one of the most robust economies in the world. Dr. D shares how regulatory action can actually create more jobs.  

We go on to discuss specific minerals that are protective against these environmental assaults. Dr. D warns about the “dangers” of relying solely on sea salt as your salt of choice. Sea salt is deficient in iodine and may be contributing to thyroid disorders as well as increasing human vulnerabilities of the thyroid gland to today’s toxic exposures. We also discuss “zinc fingers” and oral contraceptives. Birth control pills appear to be potentially increasing thyroid vulnerabilities to toxic exposures by causing zinc deficiency inside red blood cells. Two atoms of zinc, called “zinc fingers” are critical for all sex, thyroid and adrenal hormones to deliver their signals to genes effectively. This spurned possibly new research directions with some of Dr. D’s European cohorts with banked blood. That would be so cool.

Drs. D. and B. discuss the intimate role of the adrenal hormone cortisol with the thyroid hormones. 

Dr. D. explains that thyroid dynamics are extremely complex. Wherever there is more complexity, more can go wrong and there can be more vulnerability to all these toxic interfaces.

We discuss the use of IQ air filters to come to the aid of the “gray matter “of your family. Click here for IQ airlifters. Click here for Dr. Demeneix’s new book, Toxic Cocktail.

Apr 26 2017



Rank #4: Probiotics - Facts and Fiction with a Microbiologist (#97)

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In this show you will hear probiotics myths explored and busted with microbiologist Kiran Krishnan. You will discover the “mucosal system” and what this has to do with protecting your health.

Kiran and Berkson discuss:

  • Probiotic myths — explored and busted.
  • Differences between “live” and “dead” probiotics.
  • What are “spores”,
  • Do you need to refrigerate probiotics?
  • What are “gut model studies” and why are they critical?
  • How esophageal reflux is linked to downstream intestinal gases from pathogenic overgrowth
  • What you should expect from a great probiotic.

You learn that bacterial translocation (leaky gut) occurs in most of us after most meals but in a very small amount for a very short period of time. This is normal.

In contrast, in disease states or with poor dietary choices, bacterial translocation (also referred to as metabolic endotoxemia) can occur for pathologically longer times, creating inflammatory havoc throughout the body.

A human randomized trial by researchers from the University of North Texas published in World Journal of Gastrointestinal Pathophysiology demonstrated, in seventy-five healthy college students, that this dangerous “leaky gut” scenario can continue for up to two weeks after consuming only ONE junk food meal!

These researchers further demonstrated that consuming “spore” probiotics for a month, at the same time as consuming junk food meals like fast food burgers and fries (citation below), significantly reduced leaky gut. Spores also normalized triglyceride levels and reduced overall systemic inflammation.

At the show’s end, Dr. Berkson and Kiran joke that their conversation was so thrilling, perhaps they should share metaphoric cigarettes? This is an agile conversation that definitely weaves science with comedy.

Kiran Krishnan is a research microbiologist and expert on metabolic endotoxemia. He’s a frequent lecturer on the Human Microbiome at medical and nutritional conferences —

Kiran also conducts a monthly Microbiome Series Webinar and is on advisory positions at the following companies:

  • Microbiome Labs, LLC.
  • Nu Science Trading, LLC.
  • DMS Natural Health, LLC. –
  • HB Specialty Foods, Inc.
  • SilverFern Brands, Inc.
  • WR Group – Probiogen
  • Sun Genomics Labs
  • Body & Eden – Member
  • The Human Longevity Project


World J Gastrointest Pathophysiol 2017 August 15; 8(3): 117-126 DOI: 10.4291/wjgp.v8.i3.117 Oral spore-based probiotic supplementation was associated with reduced incidence of post-prandial dietary endotoxin,

triglycerides, and disease risk biomarkers

Mar 25 2018

1hr 27mins


Rank #5: Thyroid and Iodine with Dr. David Brownstein (#123)

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David Brownstein, M.D. is a board-certified family physician that combines conventional with alternative therapies.  He is the Medical Director for the Center for Holistic Medicine in West Bloomfield, MI. 

Dr. Brownstein has lectured internationally to physicians and the public about his success in using natural hormones and nutritional therapies in his practice. He and Dr. Berkson are graduates of the University of Michigan.

In this show you’ll learn:

  • Why regular medicine isn’t enough and how and why Dr. Brownstein changed his practice.
  • Why salt is good and which ones are best.
  • Where iodine “lives” in the body and how it protects against cancer and other diseases.
  • The best thyroid blood tests.
  • How Dr. Brownstein tests and addresses issues to find natural solutions for his patients.
  • And more!

Feb 01 2019



Rank #6: Dr. Walter Crinnion - neuroinflammation, your brain on fire. What are the symptoms, the cause, the treatment. (#37)

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Brain on fire is linked to ADHD, depression, autoimmune diseases, cognitive diseases, eye diseases and more. What is the one thing a pregnant mom can do to reduce the risk of her child's brain on fire (ADHD) and how can you do this yourself in your home? Dr. Walter Crinnion is known as the physician that put environmental medicine on the map. Barbara Walters had him on The View. He's been a reviewer for the prestigious New England J of Medicine. And He trains physicians around the world in how to figure out if chronic illness is due to environmental every day toxicants, what tests to run and what to do about it. This is chock full of amazing helpful steps as to what are good or bad foods for toxic exposure, the low down on turmeric and the most absorbable kind, and what you can do inside your own home. Bad news: home is where most of the toxicants are. Good news: you can do something about it. This podcast informs you to know what steps to take.

Dec 28 2016



Rank #7: Orgasmanaut Susan Bratton on Achieving Passionate Intimacy (#146)

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Susan Bratton is an advocate and champion of all who desire passionate intimacy. She is a best-selling author of 34 books and multiple online programs that teach passionate lovemaking, bedroom communication skills and restorative sexual wellness techniques. In addition, Susan frequently trains PhD’s in intimacy and sexual behavior.

Just a few of the sizzling things you will learn in this interview:

  • The best lubes; ditch the AstroGlide.
  • How there are over 10 types of orgasms and how to practice some of them.
  • The difference between estrogen and testosterone in the bedroom.
  • That “Old farts want orgasms!”
  • How our toxic planet is adversely effecting marriage.

This show explains how to achieve the true Vitamin C - Connection!

Guest Resources & Links

Check out Susan’s summit:

You can also enjoy more of Susan’s work at:


YouTube channel: Better Lover


Sep 18 2019

1hr 6mins


Rank #8: Hormones after 50 with Gynecologist Jack Monaco (#111)

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Dr. Jack Monaco is a board certified OB/GYN, anti-aging functional medicine MD along with a masters in nutrition. Dr. Berkson and Dr. Monaco were lecturing together at PCCA, sponsor of symposiums for pharmacists, MDs and NPs.

It was a meeting of the minds immediately.

This is a must-not miss show that will arm you with knowledge and hormone power. You get “in on” a masterful dialogue on hormones that will answers many of your questions!

PS: Dr. Jack is known for downloading complex information rapidly, making it very easy and very entertaining to grasp. And to immediately translate into your own life and decision making processes.

In this show you will learn:

  • The hormonal phases of a woman’s life.
  • Who is a candidate for hormone therapy and who is not, and how to help your doctor figure this out.
  • The “good” and “bad” of estrogen.
  • What exactly does estrogen do.
  • How estrogen does different things in different tissues.
  • What exactly does progesterone do?
  • Should women worry about chin hair growth?
  • Should women worry about breast cancer?
  • What is the difference between “synthetic” and “bio-identical” hormones?
  • What is the problem with birth control and how to do it naturally and as safe as possible?
  • What was the “Women’s Health Initiative” and why should we care?
  • What you must know to take hormones safely.
  • What is the difference between “physiologic” and “replacement” dosages that most doctors’ don’t know?
  • Why is it dangerous to ask most doctors about hormones?
  • What are the facts about what is taught in med school about hormones even to gynecologists?
  • Why should women consider hormone therapy?
  • What are the exact benefits of hormone therapy?
  • Heart disease is the number one killer of women of ALL ages, how do hormone therapies prevent this tragedy?
  • Why is it “natural” to consider hormone technologies versus aging “naturally” without hormones.

Aug 03 2018



Rank #9: Secrets to eating less without starving or going postal (#24)

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Appetite control has a number of unappreciated factors. Learn how to eat less more easily. Learn which digestive enzymes, hormones and foods help you accomplish your healthy eating goals. It is more difficult in 2016 to keep a healthy weight than it was in the 1980’s. But armed with this smart information you can be a healthy, and leaner, winner.

Nov 03 2016



Rank #10: Oxytocin (#6)

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The love hormone is all about the most important Vitamin C – connection. But it also holds promise for much more: weight loss, buffed muscles, and as a real tool to heal leaky guts and keep guts healthy and free from nasty inflammation.

Aug 25 2016



Rank #11: Dr. Alan Gaby MD - Minerals (#40)

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Internationally acclaimed nutritional medical expert. Dr. Gaby speaks on magnesium, oral vs. intravenous, controversies surrounding IV use and why the misunderstanding, how stress makes magnesium rinse out of the body, the difference between alternative and allopathic medicine, the role of Vitamin C in viral diseases, the environmental attack on Vitamin B6, the rise of fairly new Vitamin B6 deficiency diseases, the role of nutrients vs. dietary intervention (you can't take a lot of expensive and sophisticated nutrients and expect them to help without positive dietary changes), and why is it so difficult to find doctors that truly respect, understand and implement "natural" answers. Dr .Gaby discusses the reality of "sugar addiction" demonstrated by fascinating animal model experiments. Sugar cravings are real when consuming a relatively higher refined carb diet.   Dr. Berkson and Dr. Gaby have been life-long colleagues. They did their 1st rotation in integrative medicine together with Dr. Jonathan Wright (the father of bioidentical hormones) in 1977. They've been learning, respecting and laughing together ever since. Get Dr. Gaby's new book Nutritional Medicine at

Jan 10 2017



Rank #12: Sugars, Stats & Shockers (#90)

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Sugars, Stats & Shockers.  Why you should make this one “New Year’s Resolution” and stick to it! 

You will learn the differences between sugars, how to read labels like never before, and about the Harvard & New England Journal of Medicine “Sugar Scam” on the public that is still happening in variations on a theme. You’ll get angry and for a good reason!

You will learn the peer-review based sugar-links with leaky gut, post-prandial (after meals) bacterial translocation, fatty liver disease, inflammation (and the new anti-inflammatory molecule on the block “NLRP3-inflammasome” and how sugar disables it), the specific sugar-cancer link especially with colon and breast cancers, an Uber-like transporter molecule, GLUT12, that is an unappreciated sugar and breast cancer connection, and even the protective off-label use of metformin in fighting these cancer/insulin resistance/sugar cross-talks.

There is even discussion on sugar, cannabinoids and depression.

Don’t miss this chock full show to help you help yourself.

Go to for future further write-ups.

Jan 12 2018

1hr 11mins


Rank #13: Dr. Russell Jaffe - Part 2 (#48)

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Russ Jaffe MD PhD CNS is one of the fathers of functional nutritional medicine. Initially Dr. Jaffe was a coagulation specialist and also worked in regulatory medicine at the NIH. He heard of some alternative practitioners getting better results than many medical interventions. Being a Doubting Thomas and proactive on "rhoids" he went to check it out. Dr. Jaffe saw the many results of alternative care, like acupuncture. Due to his agile mind and spiritual nature, within time Dr. Jaffe became a moving force in integrative medicine himself. On this show, Dr. Jaffe discusses the 8 predictive biomarkers that clearly identify future risk of disease.  These are available for self-ordering at betterlabtestsnow.comunder the label of predictive biomarkers. 

Dr. Jaffe has trained 10,000 doctors in interpreting these results. Dr. J. feels that these tests give much more practical information than the typical yearly blood panels run by many facilities. Dr. Jaffe helped begin the higher board nutrition certification called the CNS.  Dr. J speaks about how to eat healthier, live healthier and walk your talk to give a higher probability of a healthier future. In this podcast, as in the first, Dr. J. combines scientific word-smithing with spiritual acumen (the Dalai Lama is his daughter's godfather) and much more. Dr. Jaffe says that sophisticated testing and nutrition are the real tools to survive this toxic present 21st Century.

Mar 03 2017

1hr 5mins


Rank #14: Dr. Alan Gaby on nutritional medicine (#50)

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Dr. Gaby discusses why and how he came to write Nutritional Medicine (Second Edition). This is an updated version of Nutritional Medicine (1st edition), which is a comprehensive textbook on the use of dietary modifications, nutritional supplements, and other natural substances for the prevention and treatment of more than 400 health conditions. Dr. Gaby is one of the world's foremost authorities on nutritional therapy. Dr. Gaby shares some of his favorite nutritional protocols from this work. This book has been widely acclaimed as the leading textbook in its field. It is meticulously documented and clearly written, combining an exhaustive review of the medical literature with Dr. Gaby's extensive clinical experience. While written for healthcare practitioners, it is also a valuable reference book for educated laypeople who are interested in viable alternatives to conventional medicine. "A landmark, a milestone in the history of 21st century medicine." - Jonathan V. Wright, M.D. "This is the single most valuable reference book on natural remedies I’ve ever come across." - Julian Whitaker, M.D. Berkson and Gaby have been close friends and colleagues for 39 years, "Dr. Gaby has spent his life researching the science behind natural answers and is respected for his nutritional acumen above most other physicians in the field." You won't want to miss this informational yet fun podcast as these docs chat like the dear friends they are. Read sample chapters at

Mar 10 2017



Rank #15: Functional gastroenterologist Dr. Kenneth Brown (#73)

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Functional gastroenterologist Dr. Kenneth Brown, looks at the bigger picture including food and herbs to heal America’s ill guts.

The gut has been called the 2nd brain, the mother ship of our health, the seat of our immune system, and the place where we get our authentic gut instinct—if all is working well. But if your gut is ill, “all” of you can feel miserable. This is difficult to appreciate if you haven’t experienced serious gut issues. But millions have.

  • 60-70 million Americans suffer with gastrointestinal disease
  • 240,000 deaths yearly from severe gastrointestinal disease (this number is similar to the number of breast cancer diagnoses in 2016 and double that of colon cancer)
  • $141 billion dollars was spent in 2004 on gut illness

Health starts in the gut. Many respectable research institutions are proclaiming and demonstrating this. But Americans are having more and more gut issues and worse and worse overall health. We have the first generation of kids who are forecasted to die earlier than their parent’s generation.

Dr. Ken Brown admits that gastroenterology has insufficient tools to meet the demands and disease needs of our increasing ill Americans. That’s why he is the first gut doc, who used to design pharmaceuticals, to now recommend diet, herbs and even CBD oil.

Dr. Ken Brown received his medical degree from the University of Nebraska Medical School, and completed his fellowship in Gastroenterology in San Antonio Texas. He is a board certified gastroenterologist who has been in practice for the past 15 years. His clinical focus has been on inflammatory bowel disease and irritable bowel syndrome. 

For the last 10 years Dr. Brown has been conducting clinical research for various pharmacologic companies. During this time, he saw the unmet need for something natural that could help his IBS patients find real relief. After working on the development of Atrantil for over 6 years Atrantil launched in 2015.

Dr. Brown and his research team developed Atrantil with the intent of helping those suffering from the symptoms of IBS which we now know are caused by bacterial overgrowth. Dr. Brown shares how the application of Atrantil has expanded (when combined with diet, other herbs and functional medicine protocols) to include inflammatory bowel disease as well as a bucket list of other serious gut conditions often thought to either have no answers or require life long meds or surgery. Dr. Brown shares that he regularly gets his patients off drugs or into remission, rather rapidly, by these natural means, without meds or surgery.

This is a dynamic, informative and inspiring 1-1/2 hour show.

To purchase Atrantil: go to

And use the code “berkson” at checkout to get 10% off + free shipping!

Lastly, take a look at this fun Atrantil video!

Sep 09 2017

1hr 23mins


Rank #16: 3 Secrets to having gorgeous skin (#20)

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We all feel better when we look better, but how do we achieve gorgeous skin? Time outside is precious, but can be damaging to skin health and appearance. Learn about the two isomers (types) of metabolite equol that protect your skin along with an inexpensive nutritional secret that acts like a healthy daily microbrasion.

Oct 20 2016



Rank #17: Why Men And Women Are Biologically Hardwired to Need Each Other (#3)

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Hot off the press. Be the first to learn unpublished, brand new science about how the very first female and male signals on the planet evolved and needed each other right from the get go. This is mesmerizing info on how maleness and femaleness have always needed each other, but it’s been confusing and challenging right from the start. This info will help you come together more in harmony than in cacophony.

Aug 04 2016



Rank #18: Receptor Detox - what is endocrine disruption, and how to protect your family (#5)

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We live in a toxic world, and these toxins can assault your children’s brains, your fertility and your risk of diseases like cancer, diabetes and even cognitive decline. Learn some simple measures to protect yourself and your family.

Aug 25 2016



Rank #19: Male Hormones – Everything You Ever Wanted To Know with Dr. Mike Carragher (#148)

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This show has a lot of dynamic information for men!

Dr. Carragher is Board Certified in Family Medicine with advanced certification in Age Management Medicine and specializes in men’s hormones. Dr. Mike has been practicing in the Los Angeles for the past 10 years.

Dr. Mike's training is rooted in science. He received his training at New York University, Rutgers University, Yale University and Western University of Health Sciences. Thus, Dr. Mike’s hormone work is solidly based in science.

In this show, you will learn why there are so many frustrating ways that men miss out on science-based “optimal” hormone testing and treating.

Topics Include:

  • The in’s, out’s and pitfalls of testing hormones in males.
  • The low “T” epidemic - fact or fiction?
  • What else needs to be run in your blood work?
  • When to use HCG (Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (HCG) vs. Testosterone (T) and why.
  • How Dr. Mike feels about aromatase inhibitors, the good and the bad.
  • The role of pollution as part of the male hormone problem and solution.

And so much more,

Listen in and Learn!

Want to know more about Dr. Mike?


Oct 01 2019

1hr 25mins


Rank #20: 15 Belly-Fat Busters (#82)

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When it’s fat or real estate, it’s all about location, location, location!

Where your fat is located on your body, affects your overall health, your brain structure and function, and even your ability to be mindful… or not.

In this show you learn plenty of facts and fiction about fat cells.

Fat has more functions than we thought.

  • Fat stores excess calories so you can mobilize the fat stores for energy when you need them.
  • Fat releases hormones that control metabolism (metabolism refers to how you burn calories as energy, or store calories as fat).
  • Fat protects organs.
  • Fat acts like Jekyll and Hyde depending on where it lives, what type of fat it is and how many of them are there.
  • Hormone altering chemicals love fat.  Pollutants that mascaraed as hormones, can hide inside fats cells making them act physiologically nasty. Dr. Bruce Blumberg has labeled these endocrine disruptors that especially make for unhealthy fat cells, obesogens.

Fat cares about location.

Not all fat is created equal. Where your fat “lives” modifies it’s function.

  • Visceral fat lives inside your gut surrounding your organs.
  • Subcutaneous fat lies under your skin.

Mounting evidence shows that fat lying deep within the abdomen is more perilous than the fat you can pinch with your fingers on your underarm, inner thigh and even on your belly just under your skin.

Fat that lives right underneath your skin, that feels relatively soft and that you can pinch between your fingers, is called subcutaneous fat.

In a healthy person, you should have a bit of fat under your skin that makes up a bout 90% of your fat stores.

The remaining 10% — called visceral or intra-abdominal fat —lies outside of your easy reach, beneath your firm abdominal wall. This fat fills the spaces surrounding abdominal organs like your liver, intestines, spleen and others. Visceral fact can also be found inside your omentum. This is an apron-like flap of tissue that lies under the belly muscles and blankets the intestines. The omentum gets harder and thicker as it fills with fat.

As women approach middle years, their proportion of fat to body weight increases often more than this happens in males.  Their belly enlarges. Fat storage starts to thicken the torso, fill up under the armpits, and thicken the waist, especially in the back.  

Even if you don't actually gain weight, your waistline can grow by inches as visceral fat pushes out against the abdominal wall.

Fat is biologically active. It releases hormones that affect our health.

Subcutaneous fat releases healthy hormones.

  1. Subcutaneous fat releases the hormone leptin. When leptin is released in optimal amounts, it acts on the brain to suppress appetite (to help you not over eat) and even helps burn stored fat throughout the body so you don’t get fat.
  2. Subcutaneous fat also releases adiponectin. Adiponectin protects the body against diabetes and heart disease by regulating how the body processes fats and sugars. Adiponectin also is a powerful anti-inflammatory molecule, especially protecting the linings of blood vessels.
    • Adiponectin is made a bit by visceral fat, too, as long as there isn’t too much of it. But adiponectin production falls severely as visceral fat volume increases.
    • As people become fatter, they make less adiponectin. This increases their risk of diabetes, heart disease, dementia and the list keeps growing.

Visceral fat cells, in comparison, secrete unhealthy molecules and hormones.

  1. Visceral produces proteins called cytokines. These can trigger and maintain low-levels of unhealthy inflammation. Excessive inflammation is an independent risk factor for heart disease, type 2 diabetes, dementias and other serious chronic conditions.
  2. Visceral fat also produces a precursor to angiotensin, a protein that causes blood vessels to constrict, blood pressure to rise, and increases the risk of stroke.
  3. Visceral fat sets the scene for insulin resistance, another risk factor for many diseases as well as symptoms like fatigue, insomnia, out of control hunger and brain fog.

How to tell if you have too much bad visceral fat?

  • If you have a pot belly you most like have excess visceral fat.
  • If you gut protrudes past your breasts.
  • If a woman’s waist is over 35 inches.
  • If a man’s waist is over 40 inches.

Your belly/your brain.

One study followed 6,500 members of Kaiser Permanente of Northern California, a large HMO (health maintenance organization), for an average of 36 years, from the time they were in their 40s until they were in their 70s. They tracked who got dementia, and compared this to their belly fat.

Those with the biggest bellies had the higher risk of dementia compared to people with smaller bellies. The link was true even for people with excess belly fat but overall of normal weight.

How does belly fat cause brain damage?

  1. Leptin: Excess belly fat can cause leptin malfunction. This can cause issues with cognition, memory and hunger control.
  2. RBP4: Researchers at Harvard have discovered that, compared with subcutaneous fat, visceral fat secretes larger amounts of retinol-binding protein 4 (RBP4). Excesses of this molecule increase insulin resistance. As the volume of visceral fat increases, so do levels of RBP4.
  • This connection is so predictable, researchers are developing a blood test for RBP4 as a way for physicians to accurately measure an individual's amount of visceral fat.

Belly fat can be confusing. It can be both visceral and subcutaneous. It’s not easy to know exactly how much of your gut fat is killing your brain and your future. At the moment, the only way to determine which of your belly fat is subcutaneous or visceral, is by CT scan. This is expensive. And creates huge radiation exposure .So the test of RBP4  mentioned above, is promising, but not yet available

Did you know there are 3 types of fat cells: white, brown and brite (beige).

  1. White fat. This is stored energy. When you cut calories, you tend to loose white fat cells. When you add more exercise expenditure to smaller portions, you tend to loose more white fat cells. Most of visceral fat is white fat cells.
  2. Brown fat. Brown fat is now thought to be more like muscle than like white fat. When activated, brown fat burns white fat. Brown adipose tissue contributes to your body’s core temperature maintenance through a process called non-shivering thermogenesis. Lean people have more brown fat and more non-shivering thermogenesis. Children have more brown fat than adults and it helps keep them warm. Cold weather promotes brown fat synthesis. Studies show that in Boston in the wintertime, brown fat is more active, and this stimulates metabolism and burning of calories.
  3. Brite (beige fat) is brow fat marbled within white fat. Brite fat regulates energy expenditure and fights against obesity.


White fat can turn beige. Beige fat can revert back to white fat. Conversion factors depend upon how you eat, move and the balance of all your hormone family members. For example, underactive thyroid or testosterone can be tamping down your metabolism and play a role into your types of fat cells.

  • Obesity = occurs when you have more white fat than the other types of fat, from consuming more energy than you use, or having unhealthy hormones and nutrient status (hormone depend on nutrients to keep you health).
  • You can fight obesity = by eating less, moving more, and eating more fishmeals or taking essential fatty acid fish supplements.
  • Why? Fish oil helps you make more brown and brite fat, which ups your ability to burn calories.

The “Browning of White Fat” (white fat turning beige).

Exercise promotes the release of an exercise hormone called Irisin. In 2012, Bruce Spiegelman, PhD, a cell biologist at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, dubbed this exercise hormone as "Irisin," after Iris, the Greek messenger goddess. Spiegelman said that exercise “signals” your body to maintain healthier weight.

You make the choice to exercise. As you exercise, your activated muscles produce and release irisin. Irisin promotes brown fat cell production within white fat cells. This is browning of white fat, by exercise through the middleman of irisin.

More browned white fat means your metabolism increase. You burn more calories. It’s less difficult to maintain a healthier weight.

Irisin has multiple benefits.

  • Promotes white fat browning.
  • Triggers neurogenesis (the growth of new neurons), especially within your brain.
  • Increases the expression of BDNF(brain-derived neurotrophic factor).
  • Activates genes involved in learning and memory.
  • Lengthens telomeres (tips of DNA). The longer your telomeres, the more you fight off disease, aging and premature death.

In-depth article at Berkson’s Blog: 

Nov 14 2017