Stress, hormones and the fountain of youth

Stress, hormones and the fountain of youth

Stress, hormones and the fountain of youth

The following is a transcript of an interview between Patrick Wanis, Human Behavior and Relationship Expert, PhD and Dr. Michael Bauerschmidt, Medical Director of Full Potential Health Care  revealing the links between stress, hormones and staying young. Patrick Wanis and Dr. Mike also reveal ways you can maintain youthful levels of hormones.

Patrick: This is Patrick Wanis, celebrity life coach, human behavior and relationship expert, PhD.

As part of the series exploring and discovering and looking into the link between emotions and health, we are talking with Dr. Mike Bauerschmidt.

Dr. Mike Bauerschmidt is the medical director of Full Potential Healthcare.

Please also take a look at the other topics, interviews, and also transcripts of interviews between myself and Dr. Mike Bauerschmidt looking at the link between, particularly anger, anxiety and other negative emotions and your health.

Today, we’re talking about hormonal health.

Dr. Mike, what is a hormone?

Dr. Mike: Patrick, thanks again for having me on. I really enjoy talking with you and sharing this information.

A hormone is basically a chemical substance that’s secreted by your body that has particular actions on what we call the target organs. It depends on what the hormone is and what the target organ is in terms of its effect. As an example, thyroid hormone is secreted by the thyroid gland, but the target organ is basically every other organ in the body because it really helps regulate – it’s sort of the thermostat for your body.

Your sex hormones, for women, estrogen and progesterone are secreted primarily by the ovaries but also, to a degree, by the adrenal gland; and in men, of course, the testicles and testosterone.

The target organs vary with the effect. But basically, all our cells are affected by an imbalance of our hormones.

Patrick: Is it true that if we were looking for the fountain of youth, it would be maintaining hormone levels at the same levels as a youth or a young person?

Dr. Mike: Yes and no. We don’t lose our hormones because we get older. We get older because we lose our hormones. So, to that degree, you’re correct.

However, the body of evidence has been primarily with women. As women approach their 40s and early 50s, they go into this period called perimenopause where their periods start to become irregular, they don’t ovulate as frequently or as regularly and that kind of throws their system off.

The idea is not to replace their hormones to the levels that they were when they were 20 because our body actually — you can increase the rate at which you age if you — it’s like having a car tuned perfectly and not running it over the speed limit as opposed to having your car tuned perfectly and running it like an Indy racecar; Indy racecars, the engines have a very short half-life.

What we want is for everything to be running as smoothly and as evenly for as long as we can. That doesn’t necessarily mean replacing your hormones with levels that they were when you’re in 20s. However, it is replacing your hormones to the degree to which your body no longer experiences symptoms from the lack of the hormone.

Patrick: Let me understand this properly. Why would it be bad, wrong or even possibly dangerous to maintain youthful hormonal levels at a much older age?

Dr. Mike: Define youthful. Again, if we’re talking you’re in your 60s and you want to be in your 20s, once structural changes start to take place it’s very hard from a functional medicine standpoint to reverse structural changes. It is quite possible and is often the case that we delay the rate at which we age.

The bottom line, Patrick, is it goes back to what we’ve talked about on our first discussion about oxidative stress. Oxidative stress occurs normally in the production of energy. Every time we produce a molecule of energy, we create another free radical, that free radical creates the oxidative stress that we experience in our bodies. So, even under optimum conditions, we are slowly aging, which is why we can’t live forever.


If we take a 60-year-old engine and try to make it run like a 20-year-old engine, we’re just going to increase the rate at which we’re creating that oxidative stress because the engine is just not mechanically capable of having that degree of efficiency and power that the younger engine did.

Patrick: But why is it not capable, that’s the real question.

Dr. Mike: Because, along the line, we have accumulated degrees of oxidative stress. We have created free radicals throughout our existence that have slowly been aging us. That damage has been done.


The newest research in anti-aging medicine, the hottest button that everybody talks about is telomeres. Telomeres are the caps at the end of our chromosomes. Each time our chromosomes open to replicate our cells, we lose a little bit of that telomere. The quicker that we set our bodies through this replication phase, the quicker we lose telomeres.

If we take the 60-year-old engine and we try to make it 20 years old again, we’ve got a lot of damage repair we’ve got to deal with. So to the degree that we are really forcing that repair is the degree that we’re really pushing our aging process. We might do it enough to keep us from aging quickly, but we don’t want to do it so much that we put our body into overdrive. Does that make sense?

Patrick: Not completely to me yet, but I’ll keep working on it. Meaning, if you started at age 40 to try and maintain youthful levels, levels of a 25‑year‑old, would that work?

Dr. Mike: Yeah, that’s much more doable. Absolutely, that’s much more doable than starting at 60 and trying to hit 20.

Patrick: Okay. You also talked about telomeres and you talked about the fact that telomeres are being used up. Is there any way to refill the telomeres?

Dr. Mike: That’s really the basis of discussion; it depends on who you talk to.

There is a product that’s on the market now that does say that they can enhance the enzyme called Telomerase, which is the enzyme responsible for making your telomeres. It’s a product I use personally, but I don’t have any evidence. I measured my telomeres ahead of time. I’ve been taking it now for about two months, I need to take it for six months before I re-measure them again and tell you whether it’s working for me or not.

For right now, the product has been shown to increase the shortest telomeres, but it’s not been necessarily shown to add years to our life.

Patrick: If it could potentially show an increased level of telomeres, does that mean that we would have additional years and quality of life?

Dr. Mike: Yeah. That would truly be the fountain of youth because then we could control the four factors of oxidative stress: diet, emotions, environmental toxins and physical to reduce the rate at which we’re aging and also, on the backend, increase the length of our telomeres which has, basically, reversed the process of aging. The more that we do both of those things, the longer and healthier we live.

Patrick: Dr. Mike, please remember that the people you’re taking to are not medical doctors, so we ask you to slow down because there’s such amazing information that even I can’t keep up with at all. So, list again those four stressors.

Dr. Mike: Okay. This is what I call my DEEP approach. This is something that’s more or less going to be the title of my book that I’m in the process of writing.

It all has to do with the fact that as we are here on this earth and we are just going through the normal biochemistry of our life, we are creating oxidative stress, just from the production of our energy that we need to walk and talk and eat and sleep and all the other things that we do as human beings.

Under optimum circumstances, the degree of our oxidative stress just through normal cell rate production and replication should enable us to last about 120 years of life. This has been shown in the laboratory, taking our cells and putting them in the Petri dish and seeing how many times can they replicate before they finally quit doing that, and it usually would equate to 120 years of human life.

Now because of things like our diet, here it’s the processed foods, as we take — I can go into these individually as we go along, or I can give you an overview and then go into each one specifically, whichever you’d like to do.


Patrick: Let’s just do the overview because we have talked about it in our very first discussion, it’s good to summarize it again. The first one is diet, correct?

Dr. Mike: Diet, and basically get rid of the processed foods because the processed foods rob our body of nutrients. Nutrients basically serve as antioxidants. They reduce our oxidative stress from normal energy production. If we don’t have a good diet, we, by definition, are raising our oxidative stress because we’re lacking the nutrients to balance the reduction-oxidation equation.

The second is emotional, and this is what we’ve spent the vast majority of our time together on is the emotional impact on our health. The bottom line is bad emotions increase the wear and tear on our bodies. And in the repair of that wear and tear, we’re increasing our oxidative stress because we require more energy.

The third area is environmental. The environmental is the toxins we’re exposed to throughout our lifetime — all the chemicals in our foods, the GMOs and the growth hormones in our milk and the antibiotics in our animals, the pesticides, the herbicides, the phthalates.

Our little plastic bottles. We think we’re drinking all this good water in our little plastic bottles, we’re loading ourselves up with these plasticides, these are BPAs which are known hormone disruptors as well as carcinogens in some instances.

Patrick: So the BPA (Bisphenol A) actually increases estrogen, doesn’t it?

Dr. Mike: I’m sorry?

Patrick: BPA contributes to increased estrogen production, is that true?

Dr. Mike: Yeah. They mimic estrogen, so they act like estrogens. They’re what we call xenobiotics. They have all the action of the hormone without necessarily increasing the production of the hormone in the body. It’s like taking a birth control pill; it’s not a hormone that your body makes, but it will act like that hormone in your body.

Patrick: Is it true that as a way to counteract the effects of BPA because BPA is difficult to completely avoid, is it true that consuming or ingesting indole‑3-carbinol will rid your body of excess BPA or excess estrogen?

Dr. Mike: It helps with the methylation pathways, and those are primarily ways which your body can get rid of it. Basically, your body gets rid of toxins through sweat, through stool and through urine; those are your three routes of excretion. So having two good bowel movements a day will help dump the chemicals from the liver that are excreted in the bile.

So, in the instance of BPAs, you’re correct, doing indole-3-carbinol or I3C with DIM, which is basically just cruciferous vegetables. If you eat lots of broccoli, cauliflower, kale, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, you’re achieving the same thing as taking the pill. It’s just a little more convenient, the pill.

Patrick: Right and it’s concentrated.

Dr. Mike: It’s concentrated, yeah.

Patrick: Right. So that’s another reason why so many nutritionists recommend kale?

Dr. Mike: Yeah, kale is a great thing. I remember there was one woman that came in and she was a representative for a whole food product and she says, “You cannot get me to eat kale.”

Well, Patrick, I’m here to tell you that a kale salad tastes really good. You just chop it up finely and break it down a little bit, by crunching the leaves up, throwing on some lemon and some garlic and some salt. It’s a wonderful, wonderful salad. I’ll sit there and eat a bowl of it.

Patrick: Join us again for another addition of a recipe with Dr. Mike.

The fourth stressor in life is?

Dr. Mike: Yeah, part of the physical. The P of DEEP is physical. This is keeping your hormones balanced.

I see so many people coming in and they say, “I’m tired. My doctors told me my thyroid is fine.” Well, there’s ways to look at the thyroid and there’s ways not to look at the thyroid.

For Part 2 of this transcript – the continuation, click here: 

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