Hey everyone. As promised, we are doing our best to keep you up to date with all things related to Covid-19 and your health. And today, we are bringing you another episode of the coffee with Alice segment. In this week, Amir and Dr. Alice dig into some breaking news that is attempting to associate high testosterone with increased risk of mortality from Covid-19, but don’t worry, in the next 15 minutes we will uncover the truth.
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Hey everyone. Welcome to another exciting episode of Coffee with Alice. This is coffee, that is Dr.Alice. You already know who I am. If you don’t, probably better for you. We have some breaking news, that’s what we do here at coffee with Alice. We talk about the naked truth. We give you the straight shoot. So there’s news reports coming from medical outlets that they’re trying to link Testosterone to Covid-19. What?
Dr. Alice (01:45):
So that has been something that has been causing a lot of angst, at least on my side. So let me just read off some stats.
Oh man, I can’t wait for this. I can’t wait.
Dr. Alice (01:57):
So I’ll read off some stats in regards to the reason why people are coming to this conclusion, this link or something like that. So, it appears that 58% of the patients who are passing from Covid are male. Okay?
Dr. Alice (02:17):
58. Now, if you break it down and stratify it, like who’s actually dying according to age, then they’re saying that about, the 30 to 39 group, about 82.4% are actually male. Among the 40 to 49 year olds, 73.1% are male and 50 to 59 year olds, 78.5% are male and 60 to 69, that’s 79% male. And blah, blah, blah. So of course some scientists are asking, Oh, is it testosterone? That’s actually…
Of all the things, hang on, hang on a second. All the possible things, possible factors that could go into the mortality rate of a male and Covid 19, testosterone? That doesn’t make any sense, but go on. I don’t want want to speak for you.
Dr. Alice (03:20):
I look at that, I’m like, okay, first of all, you know, we already know that testosterone has been on a massive decline for the past few decades now, right? So sperm count has dropped by 50% in first world countries.
That is a sore subject, but that is okay keep going.
Dr. Alice (03:35):
Sorry, sorry. Yeah, but 50% at least, I think it was a study that was released about two years ago as a med analysis finding that it has dropped by 50%. Here, clinically speaking, I have tested teenagers who have lower testosterone than their fathers who are 40 or 50 years old. I really don’t, I mean, honestly, this is not a testosterone issue. This is one of those situations where you have a bunch of PhDs, maybe some MDs who are PhDs as well or DO’s, whoever and they’re more on the research mind and they’re not really going out there and clinically treating patients and making unfortunately really, really unfortunate correlations.
So I mean, you can easily test that by pulling the testosterone from either, can you do a postmortem? I don’t know if you can do that?
Dr. Alice (04:24):
No, no, no you can’t do that.
While they’re in treatment, you pull a hormonal panel.
Dr. Alice (04:31):
No, unfortunately that’s not a part of, of their concern.
There’s always a catch, right? Who benefits? Like what’s the catch? Why would they single this out?
Dr. Alice (04:44):
I’m really uncertain as to why they’re doing this. And first of all, they’re even talking about maybe using testosterone deprivation therapy to try to treat Covid and male patients who are hospitalized for this sort of thing too, which I’m like, you’re going to take away their testosterone.
My, my libido just, uh, just left the room crying. So I’ve heard of oxygen deprivation or sensory deprivation. What is testosterone deprivation?
Speaker 4 (05:12):
So in some cases where patients are being treated for prostate cancers and it appears that the testosterone is in fact feeding into that cancerous pathway. There are, testosterone deprivation. So I’m not sure, I’m not that. I mean, again, this isn’t something I would never, ever personally look into. That’s why I don’t know what the drug is, but they would give them a particular drug that will completely castrate them.
Is it like, okay, I want to be really careful. So if someone is, let’s say trying to hormonally transition, right? Is that what we’re talking about?
Dr. Alice (05:50):
I believe so. That’s part of that as well. Yeah.
So like a ton of estrogen, testosterone blockers?
Dr. Alice (05:56):
So there is a testosterone blocker, yes. The other kind of side is that there are some researchers who are thinking about giving men estrogen to try to treat this virus as well too, which I’m like, Oh no, what are you doing? It’s so the,
So the media thinks that our president recommends drinking fish tank cleaner. And then there’s another group that says, hey, well let’s give them a boatload of it.
Dr. Alice (06:19):
Right? I mean, here’s, here’s the fact gross majority, and I just read that the age group in which these men that are the, the stratification of who’s passing from this, that age group notoriously has low testosterone already.
Dr. Alice (06:35):
You know, we rarely ever see optimal levels of testosterone without some sort of assistance.
Yeah. So unassisted meaning like testosterone replacement or…
Dr. Alice (06:45):
We should do a talk on Clomiphene but, so you can count on probably one hand the amount of like booming testosterone in the optimal. And I don’t mean normal because normal’s range…
Dr. Alice (06:58):
And like Homer Simpson is considered normal now, right? Like, as far as BMI is concerned. Uh, and I love the Simpsons by the way. Seasons 4 through 10.
Dr. Alice (07:07):
Yeah, the range is It’s 200 to 1400.
Yeah. 200 to 1400. So if you throw a dart in any direction, you can speak considered normal.
Dr. Alice (07:14):
Uh, so, the idea is you can count on one hand the amount of population that amount of men, you’ve seen with normal testosterone, optimal testosterone rather.
Dr. Alice (07:24):
In fact, I could tell you I’ve only seen one person who had higher than normal, testosterone.
And because of HIPAA we can’t reveal that, but was it me?
Dr. Alice (07:36):
Huh? No. [Laughs].
Okay. So now, getting back to the data that you just shared. It is clear based on the reporting that there is a over population of males that are seen in these age groups. So if you were to kind of create some correlations, What other factors? Like men who maybe don’t see their doctor very much? They’re kind of stubborn. They eat hamburgers and fries, you know, what other factors do you actually see that would actually contribute to this perfect storm of mortality?
Dr. Alice (08:11):
So I think Davidson Claire, he’s a longevity researcher at Harvard. He actually just did a post where the top five kind of, risk factors, are kind of elements that would result in you passing from this particular drug. One was yes being male. The other one was in fact, being over the age of 65, the other one, diabetes. The other one is hypertension and I believe the last one is obesity. So in general, males are going to have a lot more of an issue around cardiovascular disease.
Dr. Alice (08:49):
Most males do not eat well. They drink a lot and they definitely don’t go to the doctor. So they don’t even know that any of this is happening in their system. And that’s in fact what we see mostly here at Stark is just like the early signs of some sort of cardiovascular disease. Either high lipids, high inflammation or prediabetes or overt diabetes. And a lot of these patients had no idea that was happening,
Dr. Alice (09:15):
So in fact, some of them weren’t even aware that they had high blood pressure until they walked into my office and we did their vitals and I’m like, Ooh, we’ve got a hypertensive, potential hypertensive emergency here. And they’re like, no, I feel fine. I haven’t, you know, it’s the silent killer.
Dr. Alice (09:31):
And this happened back in even my Equinox days, whenever we would do an initial kind of intake for a training client, we take their blood pressure and then we would see high blood pressure. It was, it would be pretty crazy.
So aside from taking more enjoyment out of romantic comedies, what are some of the effects that a male would experience? Like by going on testosterone deprivation.
Dr. Alice (09:54):
Listen, so many things. Your brain’s not going to work.
Now why not? So, when someone thinks testosterone, I think road rage or an 18 year old guy, kinda like hitting the clubs or 21 years I guess. And so you don’t think brain function, what is the link there?
Dr. Alice (10:12):
There’s a lot of receptors in the brain for testosterone. Now, a gross majority of my men, whenever they go on testosterone, they will tell me man, it’s like a light switch.
Like a lightswitch, yeah.
Dr. Alice (10:27):
My motivation is so much higher. I feel so much better. I feel so much more motivated. I’m not a cranky, I’m not a crabby old man. You know?
Dr. Alice (10:37):
Some patients who had to come off of their testosterone for reproductive reasons,
Right they get …Excuse me, I almos slipped. That they get kind of crabby.
Dr. Alice (10:49):
No, they will definitely, they will feel it. It’s like, it’s a sudden drop because of course if you go on TRT, you’re not making your own testosterone anymore.
Dr. Alice (10:58):
So they will feel a sudden drop and they’re like, wow, I feel old now. Your ability to regenerate as well and heal that is something that is mediated by testosterone as well. So they’re going to feel like joint pain. They’re not going to recover from their workouts as well. You know, in fact, I had one patient whose orthopedic surgeon put a testosterone pellet in him, so that he would heal from his surgery a lot faster. He had like a freak accident on his bike and broke his femur.
Dr. Alice (11:28):
And he was given a pellet. To facilitate the healing process. So
I mean, obviously that would work downstream. So if you can’t really train as hard as you could and maybe be as active, chances are your overall level of activity would go down, your ability to process nutrients. I imagine like, you know, where calories go when they’re consumed would not be as high. So chances of more diabetes or heart disease would be kind of in the mail for that person.
Dr. Alice (12:01):
Insulin resistance, yeah. So then if they’re not able to actually build muscle as well anymore, then they’re going to start to develop insulin resistance. So the more muscle mass you have, the more sensitive your insulin receptors are.
What about, cancer risk with, being bottomed out on testosterone? Is there a link there?
Dr. Alice (12:19):
Yeah. In fact, they recently found that patients who had, and this was like a really I think was some sort of oncology journal, I don’t recall exactly which one, but it was a reputable one. If the patient had low free testosterone, their chances of actually developing an aggressive prostate cancer is higher. So that goes counter to what everyone was concerned about in regards to prostate cancer or you know, enlarging the prostate. But yes, that’s what they have found.
Now, you touched on something and I want to end there. And we can kind of leave this on a cliffhanger cause I know there’s a lot to talk about hormones and Covid. Hormones in general is always so fascinating. What is the difference between free testosterone and total testosterone? Because you know, people, sometimes they think they’re interchangeable but they’re not,
Dr. Alice (13:09):
No not at all. Total testosterone is the total output of “your boys”.
Dr. Alice (13:14):
So you know, or…
Got it, got it.
Dr. Alice (13:17):
Or if you were on replacement therapy, then it’s going to be the total amount that’s actually injected into you. Now, most of that testosterone is actually bound up by something called sex hormone binding globulin.
Sex hormone binding globulin.
Dr. Alice (13:32):
Yeah. It’s kind of, I like to call it, it’s kind of like the needy partner. Kind of like clings onto the testosterone, doesn’t let it do anything. So you can’t go work out, you can’t go shopping, you can’t go have fun, you know? So, whenever it’s bound up by sex hormone binding globulin, the testosterone, it is inactive.
Dr. Alice (13:54):
So again, that can be a positive, but in the case of most males that is, that is not a positive. So the free testosterone is whatever that’s left around to actually go and exert.
So whatever is active?
Dr. Alice (14:08):
Yeah. So it depends. Now if a person, I have found maybe two cases and these patients were not under my care for testosterone by the way, they were under the care of another doctor, but they were on TRT. But their sex hormone binding globulin was also super high. So their total was around 1400 but their free was actually at like 10.
So they’re making a lot of testosterone, or at least they have a lot of testosterone coming in, but they can’t use any of it.
Dr. Alice (14:37):
Nope. It’s completely bound up. And there are reasons for it, multiple reasons. If the person’s not eating enough, if they’re Omega three status sucks. If they don’t have enough vitamin D, if they’re excessively stressed, there’s many things I’ll actually contribute. Or if there’s some sort of liver issue problems. So, yes. So that’s something that we try to avoid as much as possible by ensuring that patients are eating their protein, exercising, sleeping, and having all their nutrients on board, even before I start to have the conversation of testosterone replacement. So that is something to look at. So I’ve had just recently had a patient who said, yeah, my testosterone was he’s on TRT. He said, yeah, my doctor’s measured it at 600. And I’m like, what’s the free? And he said, Oh, I don’t know. They didn’t measure it. And, and this guy doesn’t feel good. He’s like, anxious, he’s depressed and this. And I was like, I really can’t tell you, why that’s so because I don’t know what your free testosterone looks like.
Now. Is estrogen protective against Covid-19?
Dr. Alice (15:42):
Estrogen is there to regulate your immune system. Okay. So you need a little bit of it. But men do not need excess amounts of it.
What about for females?
Dr. Alice (15:54):
Women, interestingly enough, once they start to head towards perimenopause and menopause, the chances of them developing an autoimmune disease actually goes up. So a lot of auto immune disease is actually start to rear its ugly head in like a woman’s forties. So that’s when her estrogen starts to decline. But again, this is, it’s a balance here. You don’t want too much, but you don’t want too little. And in the case of men, you do not want too much. That’s, you don’t want it. I mean, you start getting men boobs. I mean, if for a long period of time, you know,
Yeah, don’t say that around me. I’m always sensitive about that. So not too much. Not too little. Perfect balance. That’s the same principle with Coffee with Alice. That’s where we’re going to leave you this time and like I said, we try to give you the cutting edge information so if something hits the news cycle, we’ll be sure to talk about it. Dr Alice, thank you. See you next time.
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