BB, BL Podcast Episodes|Better Business, Better Life - Tips|Better Business, Better Life!|BL Podcast Episodes

Natural Health Revival | Dr. Vanessa Ingraham| Episode 169

Top tips from Dr, Vanessa Ingraham.

1. Get your light, right.

Definitely get your light, right. Boring, no, get your morning light, you know, get get outside during the day, block that light at night.

2. Really assess your breathing be quite important diet, and we didn’t really talk too much about blood sugar.

Really assess your breathing be quite important diet, and we didn’t really talk too much about blood sugar. But for men, especially if you if your insulin regulation is off, if you’re gaining weight, and men’s fat cells have a hormone called aromatase, which will take testosterone turn into estrogen.

3. Our stress response.

Our stress response is probably the key thing I want people to take away.





testosterone, light, hormones, stress, cortisol, supplements, sex hormones, men, estrogen, body, circadian rhythm, work, good, alcohol, people, effect, glasses, caffeine, high, interesting


Debra Chantry-Taylor  00:01

Welcome to another episode of Better Business Better Life. I’m your host, Debra Chantry-Taylor. And I’m passionate about helping entrepreneurs live their ideal lives by creating better businesses. I’m a certified EOS implementer and FPA accredited family business adviser, and a business owner myself with several business interests. I work with established business owners and their leadership teams to help them live their ideal entrepreneurial life using Eos, the Entrepreneurial Operating System. My guests authentically share the highs and lows of credit successful business and how they turn things around their business using IRS tools and traction, or they’re specialists in their area of expertise. And they will actually share with you the things that you can do to improve yourself as an entrepreneur.

Dr. Vanessa Ingraham  00:55

Are light environment profoundly affects our hormonal cascade, I’ve been like to say light is the conductor of our hormonal orchestra. Because in fact, all of the hormones are going to be released in response to certain frequency or certain types of light. And I think it’s important to understand it to appreciate that light isn’t just one thing like this information, it’s information coming into your eyes or onto your skin, talking to your hypothalamus or pituitary gland in the brain, and telling it what what hormone or what neurotransmitters to make.

Debra Chantry-Taylor  01:33

Today’s guest was brought to New Zealand to help formulate the neutral rescue products. She’s a daughter of a doctor and a mother, he ran a health food stores. So as never any doubt about what she’s gonna get into. She is actually a kundalini yoga teacher and practitioner. And today she’s gonna share with us the effects of stress on both male and female hormones, and how it can affect your actual health, but also your relationships. So please welcome Dr. Vanessa, who’s an integrative physician from Dr. Vanessa dot life. Welcome to the show.

Dr. Vanessa Ingraham  02:02

Great, thanks so much, Deb. Great to be here.

Debra Chantry-Taylor  02:04

It’s really good to have you back on the show again. So last time you came on board, we talked about a whole bunch of things. And today we’re gonna delve a little bit deeper into that, aren’t we? So stress is one of those things that as entrepreneurs, we often get affected by it. And we think we’ve got it under control, because generally control freaks, but what effect can stress have on us in our lives,

Dr. Vanessa Ingraham  02:25

I mean, I don’t think a lot of people realize it, but stress. Now we know from research, it probably contributes to about 75 to 80% of all chronic disease. So when we’re under either psychological stress, environmental stress, even things like things like inflammation in the body chronic infections that causes stress in the body that can impact every single organ system, and contribute to pretty much all chronic disease. I think it’s important to realize that when we think about stress, it’s not just psychological stress and work stress, as I mentioned, things like environmental stress, so you know, having light at the wrong time of day, and we’ll talk about that much more soon. And things like having chronic infections, gut dysbiosis, anything that turns on the inflammatory response in the body will trigger stress hormone and cortisol and cause physiological stress.

Debra Chantry-Taylor  03:17

And it’s really interesting. So we just been covering a lot about, you know, women and menopause and all the effects of it, but it affects men just as much, right? So stress can actually have an effect on their hormones and their physiological makeup as well, too, right? Absolutely.

Dr. Vanessa Ingraham  03:33

When it comes to stress, so we have to think about it. Often we think about our sex hormones only to do with reproduction and fertility. But our stress hormones, and our sex hormones are all made from the same precursor. And evolutionarily we have, we have a choice to make, we either can survive, or we can reproduce. And so anytime we’re under chronic stress, again, environmental, physiological or psychological, that’s going to impact our stress our sex hormones, so it’s going to impact everything from how difficult menopause is for women, to things like testosterone levels in men. And there’s a lot of awareness around, you know, menopause. And you know, some of the the effects of that on women’s health. But men also will have a natural decline in testosterone. And there’s even a name for this is called andropause. So as men get older, their testosterone levels will drop. And they go through a similar change, not quite as dramatic. But we’ve seen from the research that since probably the 50s, and 60s, testosterone levels in men are just chronic, getting lower and lower. So every year, when we look at average serum testosterone in the male population, you see it declining. And this a big factor is stress. A big factor is environmental. We can get into all those reasons. But I guess the bottom line is just to understand that just as women go through change in hormones, men will as well. In fact, because of our life because of our levels of stress and because of our environment, we’re actually seeing a much more dramatic decline in testosterone and more difficulty as men get older in terms of their physical health, but really big also their emotional health and their risk of anxiety and depression. So

Debra Chantry-Taylor  05:09

What I mean, what is low lowering testosterone? What does that really look like? What impact does that have on the way you present or the way that you react to things?

Dr. Vanessa Ingraham  05:18

Yeah, I mean, there’s, in terms of looking at things like you know, muscle strength, and obviously, libido and sex drive. But I think one of the things that we don’t consider when we, when men have sub optimal or low testosterone is the effect on mood. So we see a lot of lack of drive, lack of motivation, just, you know, that feeling of apathy, not being able to complete tasks, because we often think of testosterone is like, or, you know, aggression and things like that. But really, physiologically, the effect on the body or the effect on these psychological state is more just the ability to persevere when things get tough. So testosterone and dopamine as well, which is closely tied, is all about being able to complete challenges and you know, finish a workout or, you know, have a good day at work and things like that. And when testosterone drops, we often see that just lack of motivation, lack of being able to complete tasks, but also really big is the effect on the brain and in terms of just low mood. So depression, is that the client?

Debra Chantry-Taylor  06:18

And depression Yeah, depression, anxiety are becoming more and more obvious in though in the workplace, aren’t they? In terms of in particular with men? I think so. What? What does, how does it present? What does that look like?

Dr. Vanessa Ingraham  06:31

Yeah, culturally, I think, you know, there is this idea, men, especially in New Zealand, countries that are just get over it, you know, just Yeah, yeah, take Concord pill or keep going, whatever. But, um, obviously, it’s kind of undiagnosed, and just very, like chronic and low grade. So again, just not feeling fulfilled, feeling just a little bit down again, that lack of motivation, lack of drive is probably the biggest thing. And also, it’s interesting in men as testosterone drops, but estrogen increases. So we can talk about what causes in men, you know, higher testosterone, or estrogen to testosterone ratio, we actually see more irritability. So when you think of the guys with road rage, and just snapping, it’s often not that they have, they have to have lower testosterone and higher estrogen. And that just causes estrogen when it’s too high in men, it causes a level of irritability in the brain, that just makes them a little bit more reactive. Interesting.

Debra Chantry-Taylor  07:24

So what we’re really sort of saying is that, it all it’s all linked together, right? So you find yourself getting stressed, that will then lead to a decrease in the sort of testosterone levels, which will then lead to perhaps not wanting to finish things, perhaps feeling a bit down, feeling a bit sort of miserable. And then that can also lead to irritability, and it becomes a little bit of a cycle, doesn’t it? In terms of you get caught up in that? How? How do you deal with it? What do you do? What do you need it? How do you recognize it? First of all, and how do you deal with it?

Dr. Vanessa Ingraham  07:52

I mean, recognizing it probably is just to having a level of self awareness. And also just open communication with partners and with work colleagues, you know, if, if things like your performance is decreasing, either be sexual or something like, you know, work, you’re just not doing as well, or you’re having communication issues with your partner, because you’re a little bit more reactive, then it’s a good idea, just to kind of step back and have the self awareness, look at is this a pattern? Is this just due to, you know, a chronic and acute stress? Is it something just happened? Or is it kind of getting worse, and especially the seed kind of getting worse, and just the decline and other things, especially physiologically, like maybe higher cholesterol levels, and then because our testosterone and our cortisol are actually products of, of cholesterol. So often, if we’re not making the sex hormones, sometimes we can see lipids looking a little bit funny. And that can be because it’s not flowing down to the being made to the sex hormones. So you can you can get your doctor to measure your serum testosterone, it’s a blood test, it’s important to also look at if you’re, if you’re a male, free testosterone, as well as total, and there’s a hormone or there’s a carrier protein called Sex, hormone binding, globin. And measuring all three of those together can give you a good sense of where you are, and if it’s declining. And for most men, it’s actually a pretty good idea to get your baseline hormones done. Your testosterone, your sex hormone binding, globin, your free testosterone, also your estradiol, your estrogen, kind of midlife. So when you’re at a, like maybe late 20s, early 30s, when you’re when you’re feeling good, and then instead of looking at reference ranges, and you can revert back, you can look at those again and see, not just oh, it’s normal in the range, but it’s, you know, based on how I was doing. Okay,

Debra Chantry-Taylor  09:39

So you’re feeling perhaps a little bit sort of yeah, that something’s not quite right that you’re not feeling as enthused and motivated as you had been, you’re feeling a bit tired a bit stressed. You’re gonna have some of these these tests on it shows there’s a there’s a pattern, there’s something to be looking at. What’s the what do you do next? What are the first things that you would normally do when you’re working with somebody like this? Because you have a lot of entrepreneurs obviously.

Dr. Vanessa Ingraham  09:57

Mean one home Test or kind of thing to kind of look at is testosterone is a circadian hormone, so it should rise in the morning. And when your testosterone is at a physiologically healthy level, what you’ll often find is a man is you have morning erections like unstimulated. Just wake up, oh, hello, it’s there. So that’s actually a really good thing to keep track of if you know that was happening a couple times a week, and that’s not happening at all. That can be actually a really good sign in the absence of getting a blood draw. To let you know, just in general, how your hormonal balances

Debra Chantry-Taylor  10:32

that is really good. Yeah. Okay. So, yeah. Hotez. It is interesting. When the the intro I said, you know, we’re gonna talk about how it actually affects relationships. I mean, obviously, it’s going to be affecting the person who’s who’s having these drops and testosterone levels, but it has an effect on the relationship. Right? Absolutely. Because there will be changes there in terms of the irritability in terms of, I think, also, from a male perspective, you know, that sort of, you’re expected to perform, you’re expected to always be on you’re expected to be the man, you know, and so what effect does that have on the relationship?

Dr. Vanessa Ingraham  11:07

Absolutely, it’s huge. And also, just, I think that your ability is the big one. And then that, that kind of confidence, that shaking effect of you know, you’re not, you know, you’re not doing good, so you’re a little more irritable. And I think that affects relationships quite a bit. Okay,

Debra Chantry-Taylor  11:23

So we’ve done some of the home tests, we recognize that some stuff going on that we bring outside come to with, we might have done some actual physical tests or their doctor we have we’re recognizing there’s something going on, what are some of the common things that can influence can create stress, because you talked about environmental, you talked about physiological, give us some of the things that can actually cause stress, it’s not just about being stressed at work, and it’s busy, what else can actually cause it?

Dr. Vanessa Ingraham  11:46

Actually, one more thing, just to go back really important. Another sign that maybe your androgens, your testosterone are a bit on the suboptimal side, or if you’re working out and you find you’re not getting the results of your workout, so you’re losing muscle mass, or you’re, you’re training a lot, but you’re not seeing the effect. And that’s also a bit of a red flag for women and men. That your your androgens are testosterone. DHEA is another important hormone, you’re just not able to kind of maintain muscle or put on muscle. And that’s interesting density as well is a good marker. Okay. All right.

Debra Chantry-Taylor  12:19

Now let’s go down. It’s pretty good. So okay, so we’re looking for things like yep, so, you know, are you getting that morning erection? Are you perhaps not getting the results that you want from the gym? Are you finding yourself more irritable? Or you’re just finding yourself lacking in motivation to complete things? They’re all signs that potentially something’s going on? Yeah. So where to from that? What do you do that?

Dr. Vanessa Ingraham  12:38

Yeah, that it’s important to just consider the underlying causes. And, you know, start start simple before getting into kind of the details. I mean, the biggest one, I think I mentioned that testosterone is a circadian hormone. So basically, the morning we wake up should be high, and then it’ll decrease throughout the day. And that’s why when you go to take your blood tests, I say do it before 7am. One to get that peak level. But our light environment profoundly affects our hormone, our hormonal cascade, I’ve been like to say light is the conductor of our hormonal orchestra, because in fact, all of the hormones are going to be released in response to certain frequency or certain types of light. And I think it’s important to understand it to appreciate that light isn’t just one thing like this information, it’s information coming into your eyes or onto your skin, talking to your hypothalamus or pituitary gland in the brain, and telling it what, what hormone or what neurotransmitters to make. So in the morning, have your testosterone release, if we don’t get if we don’t have exposure to early morning light, and that’s when the sun is low on the horizon. The light is made up of a few things, infrared light is about 40%, then we have visible light, and the brightness. And then we have UV light. In the morning, we have a lot of infrared light, we don’t have a lot of UV, and that’s a signal to make, to start to wake you up and the signal to make your thyroid hormones. So you get that morning life, your energy for metabolism helps the testosterone throughout the day the sun gets brighter. As the sun starts getting brighter. That’s your cortisol trigger. So our cortisol, which is known as stress hormone, but it’s also the hormone just to get us awake and get us moving and wake up the body. And so if you don’t get morning light, we don’t make the thyroid cortisol, cortisol should be high in the morning, and it should go low at night. So cortisol is most stimulated by blue light. And at the beginning, I said that at any time, our body has the that has to make the decision versus are we stressed? Are we in survival mode? And that has to do with cortisol, or are we in reproductive mode. So during the day cortisol is high, then our sex hormones as cortisol kind of goes down midday will get me and, but the kind of the moral of the story is if we have bright light throughout the period, especially that blue light which is rich in our room lighting in our computer screens. That light signal that stimulates cortisol persists after the lights is supposed to go away after sunset, that simulates cortisol, that puts us back into the the stress mode and that we don’t make our sex hormones at night. So we don’t make our growth hormone and all of the the hormones that kind of repair after you’ve had a stressful day. So the one of the big, big factors I see in a lot of the guys I are helping women as well, is that light signals, so having light when it should be dark, and not having the normal, natural light, which kind of changes throughout the day, any, that’ll increase cortisol and increased cortisol when it should be low. So anytime you’re at your laptop, or watching TV, that’s increasing your cortisol and stealing the precursors for your testosterone. So late at night is a huge driver of hormonal imbalance, and especially low testosterone that I’ve seen in male patients.

Debra Chantry-Taylor  15:57

And so that comes from, as you said, being on your laptop and watching TV. And but even some of our lighting in our house can have an effect too, right? Because I’d be laughing. Obviously, the listeners can’t see. But we’re sitting in a podcast. And we’ve literally got these bright lights on that light right now. So that’s just put on some yellow glasses when blue blocking light glasses, which is really important, because the lights that we have in our environment, the overhead lights in our homes, particularly modern house, we’ve got all of these downlights every single rooms got 1224 downlights. in it. It’s a lot of lights that we don’t really need to have at that time of the evening. Is that right?

Dr. Vanessa Ingraham  16:30

Absolutely. And like so that’ll keep you in that high cortisol mode. So light in the morning natural light really, really good for hormones, light at night, really bad. And the other kind of part of the story is as the light goes away completely, we start to make melatonin, or we start to release melatonin, it’s actually made during the day when we have bright light. And it’s released at night when that light goes away. Melatonin opposes estrogen. So in men and women, if you don’t have the darkness at night, you have too much light, you have high cortisol, low melatonin, and then high estrogen because the melatonin doesn’t turn the estrogen off. So then we have a situation and guys and women where we have estrogen dominance or high estrogen and low testosterone. So it’s such an important factor.

Debra Chantry-Taylor  17:15

Yeah, absolutely. Okay, so the blue blocking glasses is one way that you can actually do that, what else can you do to kind of ensure that you get the right types of light at the right time of the day.

Dr. Vanessa Ingraham  17:26

I mean, people don’t smoke anymore, which is amazing. But take some breaks, pretend you’re a smoker. And if you work in an office just go outside a few times a day. And with you know without glasses, so you get the natural light coming into your eyes. And even better if you get some on your skin because we actually have a light sensing pigment in our skin and our blood vessels and our subcutaneous fat, called melanopsin. And that is also in our eye but really sensitive to the light and will basically track as the light changes what time it is. And this this idea of circadian rhythm or the body’s timing underlies also all chronic disease. So when we see our our light environment is off, it messes up our body’s circadian rhythm, we see an increase in cancer and cardiovascular diseases is a big one in diabetes in mental health disorders. And it covers pretty much the whole spectrum because it’s such a foundational part of health because we think about it for 3.4 ish, billion year, billion years should Google that, that we’ve kind of evolved, we’ve had a planet with 24 hour light, light and dark cycles. So every part of our physiology is optimized to light during the day bright light track as it changes, different things happen, and like going away. So if we screw up the signals, we basically we basically increase our risk of all chronic disease. Wow.

Debra Chantry-Taylor  18:44

Okay, so I know that you and I have been working together for a while now about getting some of these things, right. And it’s simple things like getting up and actually going for a walk first thing in the morning, right? exposing yourself to that sort of sunlight to hear why taking off glasses, why do you need to take your glasses off, I’m always intrigued by that,

Dr. Vanessa Ingraham  19:01

Because we need the signal through our eyes to our brain have a part of the brain called the suprachiasmatic nucleus that’s basically super light sensitive. And glasses, they, they reduce some of the light signals. And like we mentioned before, so light isn’t one thing, there’s all of these different spectrums, and there’s infrared and there’s UV and there’s visible light, and we really need the entire all of the signal to come through. And when we wear glasses or even work inside behind a window, we blocked some of the signals so we don’t get that full. Basically, information download. Okay, so

Debra Chantry-Taylor  19:38

Walking outside without glasses is certainly a way to get those things into brain as you said, exposing skin to the daylight as well as really important.

Dr. Vanessa Ingraham  19:46

What else can you do? Also, so really important that that you know, the signal throughout the day as the light changes, so there’s two times a day, I’ll say three times a day, they’re most important to get that light signal in the morning, midday really Be Bright. And then in the evening as the sun kind of goes down. So getting at least getting outside for 10 minutes, those three times a day will do wonders for your, your hormone balance and risk of all chronic disease. But then when the light goes away, or when the sun sets, what we really want to do is to like you said, avoid especially downlights you know, our skin is sensitive to light, the most sensitive part or the photoreceptor or the light receptors in the bottom back of our eyes. So light from above, like the sun, if it’s fake light is going to be the worst. From that better is have lights at eye level or below. So lamps are good downlights that are, you can even get different bulbs that are a little bit warmer color. So the amber bulbs, the old incandescent bulbs are much better, you can go even further than that. And like we do make your neighborhood think you have a brothel, you can actually get our red lights. So these are basically bulbs or you know, LEDs also that are basically just have the red spectrum because the eyes and that the cortisol signals are most sensitive to the blue part of the visible spectrum. So we use orange or red, it’s going to be much less disruptive. Um, you can also wear blue light blocking glasses, these are yellow ones, so they’re more of a daytime one that cut down some of the light signal, but not all. But you can get this I mean, I guess kind of give a shameless plug, there’s a company called Block blue, light Dakota, NZ New Zealand. And they’re excellent, they have light bulbs, they have amazing blue light blocking glasses. And if you’re going to use any technology or be in a room, even in the bathroom, when you’re gonna wash your face, or whatever, you know, wear the glasses is so important. When it comes to obviously, don’t use screens, if you can, as much as possible after sunset, there’s a couple of cool overlays or apps you can download on your laptop. One is called Flux, and that’s a free software, it’s just get And the other one that’s a little bit better, it’s called Iris. And both of those will basically change the color temperature of your screen to be more in line with that aspect, GPS location or what time you get up. And so basically, it’ll remove a lot of the, the really stimulating blue spectrum as you get later in the day. So glasses, lights, what else

Debra Chantry-Taylor  22:21

You’ll find. Remember, we all look at our phone right now the

Dr. Vanessa Ingraham  22:24

Phone is the big one. So I don’t night shift. And those things that come on the farm quite enough, they still allow quite a bit of light. Don’t know the website, but if you just Google red light hack for iPhone or Android, you can find some great info there. And

Debra Chantry-Taylor  22:42

That just literally means you can push a button and it will change it to a mode that cuts out all that blue light for you. Absolutely, it’s

Dr. Vanessa Ingraham  22:47

interesting to the the spectrum of light, just like it controls hormones also controls neurotransmitters. So the the wavelengths that are used in most of our LED screens are closer to around 470 nanometers. And actually, that’s the very same in the same range of the the light spectrum stimulates dopamine. So we all think, you know, social media, and everything is so addictive because of the scrolling and the intensity. But also the light from devices is actually physiologically addictive. And over time will decrease your dopamine, which can also lead to, you know, mood disorders and depression.

Debra Chantry-Taylor  23:22

So it’s quite interesting. It is you’re doing a whole thesis at the moment, aren’t you on?

Dr. Vanessa Ingraham  23:25

Oh, gosh, I’m obsessed with this light. Wow. Yeah, that’s it’s, you know, we think so much about diet and supplements and all these other things. But if we don’t optimize our light environment, it’s you know, we’re not going to get the benefits from these things. Because light is the fundamental driver of our biology and controls everything. I mean, we know there’s hundreds of studies showing that light at night from devices or even light. If women or people sleep in a room that’s not completely dark, there’s just the amount of light of say a streetlight outside shining in our insulin level increase. So if light can increase blood sugar, insulin and cortisol, independent of diet, and why are we talking more about, like, quite obsessed. Now,

Debra Chantry-Taylor  24:08

And it’s true. And as you as you said, that kind of effect on your, your entire body’s functioning and what it I mean, as you said, 3.4 billion years where the where the magic number is of us, where we’ve had that natural thing and now all of a sudden, we’re living in a very artificial environment where things are being, you know, naturally changed by our devices, by our lighting by whatever it might be. And we’re seeing you know, a lot more people being overweight, not able to get the body that they want to no matter what they eat, how they exercise, and that really comes down to those circadian rhythms and getting those things right doesn’t have

Dr. Vanessa Ingraham  24:41

Absalutely Okay, so

Debra Chantry-Taylor  24:44

Getting the light is obviously really, really important supplements I’ve seen on TV, they’ve got the these, the real truth about various bits and pieces. I was watching cosmetic surgery the other day and there was one about supplements as well. So there are different types of stuff. convinced right? You can buy supplements from this rose and rose them in the supermarket. And they met this all in money made out of supplements, do they work? And do all supplements work? What’s your view on supplementation?

Dr. Vanessa Ingraham  25:09

Oh, I come from a my entire education was funded by my mom’s supplements source. And so I’ve had a lot of experience in the industry and obviously as a clinician using supplements. And to start with, I guess, it’s important to understand that supplement industry isn’t very well regulated. And there’s a lot of on the market. So a lot of our say B vitamins or a lot of the vitamins we take are actually synthetic, they’re made from coal tar derivatives, so the petroleum bass, so even though we think we’re taking natural B vitamins could be, it’s likely not a very good form. And a lot of the supplements mentioning forms are in the wrong form, or that they to the body. So they require a couple of enzymatic steps before the body can actually utilize them. So obviously, we want to get our most of our nutrition food. I think herbal supplements can be very useful in terms of treating certain conditions or shifting our body back to health, but I don’t, I’m not anymore. I’m not a huge fan of kind of chronic long term supplementation. In terms of quality, there is a big difference between the things you buy at the grocery store versus practitioner level supplements. So if you’re, yeah, and it has to be very tailored to the person, like they’re very personalized, you know, just because one thing is good for stress for somebody, it’s just gonna depend on the underlying cause, if they actually meet that will benefit from that. So I guess, to kind of summarize, those quality really matters and form matters. So a lot of them more practitioner grade companies, you know, they’re produced improper GMP labs are, it is very important to kind of maybe speak to someone who’s, who has a bit of awareness or do your own research. And there’s a really good company, it’s called consumer And they do a lot of testing on supplements, because the other issue is the labeling. So because there’s not great regulation, you know, what are what you see on a label may not be what’s actually in the supplement. So consumer Labs is a great place to look at it, just in terms of brands, being practitioners and naturopaths, integrative doctors, they can often because they’re, because I’ve done a lot of this research for you, you can prescribe things that are kind of professional grade, maybe higher dose in the correct forms. When it comes to herbal supplements, velour botanicals, plants are going to be different based on where they’re grown, and how much you know, light, they’ve gotten all these things. So in terms of herbal supplements, a lot of the reason why, you know, people say oh, they don’t work, whatever is because the dose is wrong. And because plants based in their environment, produce different levels of some of the phytonutrients that affect if they’re going to be effective or effective, they’re going to work in the body. So standardized herbal supplements are really important. So say, you know, there’s all this research search on something like milk thistle, being good for liver and regenerating liver cells. But the but because there’s such a variability, you want to look at something that’s standardized to the active component of the milk thistle, just silymarin. So there’s all these little kind of tweaks you got to think of. But at the end of the day, if you don’t get your light environment, right, and you can spend a lot of money on taking supplements that may or may not work. Well,

Debra Chantry-Taylor  28:23

That’s not being activated properly by the bodies, therefore that you might as well just and flush them out and call everyone. Yeah. And also, I guess, I mean, you and I have been talking before we came on the podcast. I mean, there’s ways to test for certain things to like sometimes you might not need supplementation, maybe you actually are getting the right amount of supplements from your food or your body is processing things. Well, so there are tests you can do for certain supplementation before you start taking supplements, right? Absolutely.

Dr. Vanessa Ingraham  28:47

Yeah, and again, just finding the root cause like back to say maybe low testosterone or hormonal imbalances, women, you’re looking at the light environment is key, the stress you know, psychological stress other, you know what people are doing lifestyle wise. So for testosterone, things like caffeine, things like alcohol consumption will drop their testosterone. So if you’re not looking, if you’re not kind of thinking holistically, you just go to trying to take Tribulus or something that’s going to increase testosterone, then you’re not addressing the root cause and you can spend a lot of money waste

Debra Chantry-Taylor  29:19

A lot of money as well. It’s pretty interesting. caffeine and alcohol. So this is the our favorite thing. Yeah, that well no, it was a little bit about this is this is really important. I think often as entrepreneurs one of the things we do tend to rely on is the caffeine to kind of give us that kick and keep us awake and give us the energy and then alcohol can often be used as a it becomes a habit doesn’t you come home in the evening and you have a glass of wine or a beer and it’s you’re switching off from the day. And so that becomes the both of those become quite habitual. So what is the effect of caffeine and alcohol on testosterone or on hormones in general?

Dr. Vanessa Ingraham  29:49

Yes, the biggest thing especially with the the alcohol is alcohol will for I mean it’s it’s for short term so a few hours after ingestion of a few beers, your testosterone little drop. And actually, I think that’s behind a lot of the bar fights. So these guys, you know, you had some drinks, your testosterone is lower, your estrogen is now higher from alcohol and then you’re more irritable you bigger porker the kid invites. But so the alcohol will interrupt sleep and back to the hormones. So circadian rhythm again, our body gets used to going to bed at a certain time. And about 60 to 90 minutes after we generally go to sleep, we have our deep sleep. And then we get our growth hormone release. And growth hormone has a lot to do with testosterone and other androgens, which are that kind of group of hormones. And so if we’re drinking, we’re going to miss that deep or if we’re staying up late drink even worse, we’re going to miss that growth hormone release. And if we go to bed, say an even an hour later than we normally do every day, our body’s used to secreting that the same time, we’re gonna miss that and that’s going to first off, or that’s going to throw up our hormonal cascade just from the alcohol at night. When we drink alcohol, we’re much more likely to fall asleep quick, but go into a lighter sleep. And that can affect mood and hormone regulation the next day as well. And the caffeine they go in as well. So caffeine will stimulate cortisol. And if you have caffeine too early in the day, your cortisol is rising, you’ve woken up if you hit it with kind of like caffeine on top, that’s just an extra stress to the body. And so anything that increases stress is gonna mess up our hormones again. So perfect world, you’re gonna have caffeine, not the end of the world, like a good coffee myself. Try to wait 60 to 90 minutes after waking and try to have it with some food. Otherwise, it just causes a lot of physiologic or a lot of physiological stress and then going to work and you have traffic and everything else is just a bit of a it’s really hard on the body boost.

Debra Chantry-Taylor  31:47

Yeah. Okay. And then in terms of alcohol, um, we’re not. We’re not saying everybody has to give up alcohol. I mean, ideally, yes, we could get rid eradicate it completely. But do you know if people want to work on getting the most from it, if you like, What’s the best thing to do? Perfect.

Dr. Vanessa Ingraham  32:03

Worlds have a long lunch, have your alcohol, finished your alcohol is a tricky part because as long as continue, but try to finish your alcohol two hours before bed. And that can really just help preserve your sleep. And by preserving your sleep and have less hangover, you’re going to detoxify the alcohol better, and you’re not gonna have such a hit on your hormones.

Debra Chantry-Taylor  32:23

You know, I’m really big into routines. And I’m very much I mean, I like to go to bed at a certain time. But you’ve said that, you know, if you go to bed an hour later can have a massive impact on you. What about people sort of say, oh, but on the weekends, I stopped later on throughout the week, I go to bed earlier. I don’t I go to bed early every night. I’m pretty. I’m pretty much into routine. But what effect does that have on you? Well, you’ve got different different days different times, when you actually go to bed.

Dr. Vanessa Ingraham  32:47

They actually have a name for that. And the research is called Social jetlag. So just like if you were to take a flight and go to a different timezone staying up an hour, two hours, three hours, four out worst case, you need to have a really big night, on Friday or Saturday, even though you feel like maybe you’re recovered on Monday, it actually takes your body’s circadian rhythm a few days to recover from that. So it’s going to be about a day for every two hours of that, that are one to two hours of staying up extra late. So then, you know by by Wednesday, you’re probably still recovering from that night on Friday. So it’s it’s quite hard on your body. The circadian rhythm is so important for things like gut function as well. And, you know, throws up the gut microbiome and that can have effects on how we detoxify and clear hormones and that can increase estrogen and cause all kinds of issues downstream as well. Wow. So ideally,

Debra Chantry-Taylor  33:38

Going to bed at the same same ish time every day is the best thing you could possibly do.

Dr. Vanessa Ingraham  33:43

Yeah, it’s it sounds boring and but you know, if you’re going to have social events, ideally have them earlier in the day. And if you’re going to misbehave a little bit and use alcohol and things like that, do you know do your caffeine your alcohol kind of earlier a little bit later caffeine a little bit earlier with your alcohol and try as much as possible. Get that bedtime around about an hour, maybe 90 minutes later than you normally would. So important for health. Perfect. Okay.

Debra Chantry-Taylor  34:16

So it’s an ideal bedtime. This is something that I’ve always wondered am i not i like to go to bed early but is there an ideal bedtime for people?

Dr. Vanessa Ingraham  34:23

I think an ideal bedtime for most people is something you can stick to within that 60 minutes so don’t say I want to go to bed at nine o’clock every day if no 11 is going to be closer so just pick a time where you know kind of accounts for an extra hour or so on the weekend and maybe an hour earlier if you’re having if you’re tired or want to have a little earlier night. So for most people that’s around 10 So that gives you an A go into bed between nine and 11 is going to be your your window can you make up sleep? Oh if

Debra Chantry-Taylor  34:51

You if you’ve lost a few hours sleep because you’ve been having some fun or whatever it might be or you’ll be traveling. Can you make it up? Not

Dr. Vanessa Ingraham  34:56

In the same way as like we think we sleep in we because then you’re also shifting your circadian rhythm as well. So the best thing to do if you’ve had a late night and no, it’s the hardest thing is still get up early, so go outside. So you’re going to recover better actually, if you get your circadian rhythm optimized, versus if you just try to sleep all day, because then you, you’re further kind of pushed out the recovery for more and more days. Okay.

Debra Chantry-Taylor  35:21

So we’ve discussed quite a lot here. But if I can summarize some of the things, so what I think I’m hearing is that, you know, if for for both males and females, if you’re finding yourself a bit more irritable, not quite so able to concentrate on things, you’re, you’re struggling to be motivated to finish things, it could be there was an imbalance in your hormones. And that imbalance in the hormones comes from initially from circadian rhythms and reducing this sort of stressful environments. So looking at those and making sure that you’re maximizing the circadian rhythms and getting them right. And then supplementation can be helpful. If you’ve got some some missing things, I suppose in your diet. Yeah, anything else you would add to that? So that’s my very, very brief summary of quite a long conversation and go

Dr. Vanessa Ingraham  36:06

Back to the kind of physiological stress, I think a big one to keep in mind of is obviously our breathing controls our stress response for our vagal tone, and our ox, our oxygen levels in our bloodstream will will also determine if we’re in a stress response or a relaxation response. And so another big thing I see quite a lot with people that are stress, and especially people, if they’re under a lot of pressure, or maybe they’ve gained a bit of weight, they’re not following their their lifestyle. You know, normal lifestyle habits is this idea of mouth breathing, or you know, when you’re stressed and you’re at the computer and your posture is bad. And when you start breathing through your mouth, that basically kicks your brain into stress mode. Evolutionarily, we’re only supposed to breathe through our mouth when we’re stressed and running away. And you know, we can’t cope with the the load of the exercise or the exertion. So nose breathing is so important for stress. And because it’s so important for stress, it’s really important for testosterone and our sex hormones. So becoming a nose breather, even when you work out, obviously, if you’re pushing it, breathing through your mouth is appropriate, as much as possible, breathing through our nose, really important, especially at night. And this is a big one, the snoring sleep apnea will absolutely destroy testosterone levels, that even just just mouth breathing is is people with allergies have been found to have lower, increased risk of cardiovascular disease as well, because that stress response and then much lower hormone levels. So you know, or being mindful or assessing how you’re breathing at night can be really helpful. I think we talked last time about about the mouth taping and things like that can be.

Debra Chantry-Taylor  37:48

And it’s really interesting, as you said, you know, with allergies, that I do actually have some hay fever only since I moved to New Zealand. But since I moved to New Zealand, I have hay fever, and I was really nervous about taping my mouth and trying to reach from my nose because I thought, well, I get blocked up it’s gonna be really challenging. But in actual fact, what I’ve now learned is that I breathe so much better at night when I have my mouth taped. And even when I don’t take my mouse now if I forget I can I still actually find myself breathing. So notice that so I need to train me to breathe that way. And I don’t have the block noses. I don’t have the sinus issues that I used to have. So it’s actually helping surprisingly,

Dr. Vanessa Ingraham  38:20

Yeah, no, it’s a big one. I mean, when we breathe through our nose, or when when our body senses we’re breathing through a nose, but we’re not getting the full breath or the amount of oxygen we need. Our body will actually or will scribble produce something called nitric oxide just that’s the same neurotransmitter or hormone that causes erections men in our our nasal tissue will actually expand to accommodate better, better airflow so

Debra Chantry-Taylor  38:47

I can speak from experience. It certainly has worked. I don’t know what directions but yeah, that’s okay, good. Um, so we’ve got breathing, we’ve got circadian rhythms, we’ve got supplementation. Anything else we should be aware of what else can lead to stress and lower testosterone levels? Or hormonal levels in either sex? Yeah,

Dr. Vanessa Ingraham  39:08

I mean, a big one. I think tests with testosterone that’s not that not that commonly discussed is our exposure to environmental estrogens. So fight our Xeno estrogens which are compounds in the environment or from our food that are getting in the body that actually interrupt our hormone, our proper hormones, and they tend to decrease testosterone preferentially and increasing can be stimulating, stimulating to estrogen. So things like ballots are a big one, you know, they got they got rid of a lot of the BPA and stuff in bottles but the other plasticizers and things that make plastic soft. So if you’re eating if you’re a guy, you’re eating a lot of you know, takeaways, things that are being microwaved and plastic, all of those, those plastics, especially with, you know, fatty foods, get into the body and can actually lower testosterone. So it’s a big one. An interesting one that I recently found out about is a lot of workout clothes and active wear is actually they use a like a like a chemical in the in the clothes that acts as a hormone disruptor. So you know that wearing gym clothes too much can actually through the skin, it’s more of an issue women cause hormonal hormonal disruption.

Debra Chantry-Taylor  40:23

Does that no wash out there?

Dr. Vanessa Ingraham  40:25

I mean, does that stuff not wash out when you wash your clothing? Yeah, over time, but it’s the stuff that like the sweat guard stuff and all those chemicals that are in the clothes. Interesting. And for women, it’s even worse. I mean, we have a such a high risk of or high rate of things like endometriosis and fibroids in New Zealand. And you know, a lot of us guilty too. You know, we’re we wear yoga pants with that underwear and that’s directly against our mucous membranes. And so we’re absorbing a lot of the chemicals from especially the newer clothes into our body, which can disrupt our hormones, actually. And also, you know, things are things like pesticide residues that can be Xeno estrogens. So that’s why you know, organic food is is beneficial for hormone balance and male testosterone. And just being really the big one, you know, if you live in the city filtering your water is absolutely, I think one of the most important things you do for hormone balance and overall health. Because a lot of the environmental chemicals end up in the in the water table end up in our, our drinking water and our unless we filter that we can be that can be a source of hormones, hormone disrupting chemicals. Okay, lots to think about.

Debra Chantry-Taylor  41:28

Okay, so we’ve we’ve had to summarize it into three kind of key things you would encourage them to do if they feel like they might be, you know, at risk of stress and low hormone levels, with the three things you would suggest that they they undertake.

Dr. Vanessa Ingraham  41:41

Definitely get your light, right. Boring, no, get your morning light, you know, get get outside during the day, block that light at night. Really assess your breathing be quite important diet, and we didn’t really talk too much about blood sugar. But for men, especially if you if your insulin regulation is off, if you’re gaining weight, and men’s fat cells have a hormone called aromatase, which will take testosterone turn into estrogen. So being mindful of, you know, your eating styles, you know, eating seasonally, locally is so important. Keeping your blood sugar regulated is really important for hormone balance as well. So breathing, you know, our breathing, and our stress response is probably the key thing I want people to take away. There’s plenty of things there.

Debra Chantry-Taylor  42:28

Perfect. Now I know that you do you do a lot of work with entrepreneurs, you’re all about actually helping entrepreneurs who want to make a difference in the world. And by helping them to make a difference in their life. Once your ideal kind of client that you work with.

Dr. Vanessa Ingraham  42:39

 Again, I like to work with people that are ready to make changes and that are open to modifying their schedule to make changes. So you know, there’s different stages and people’s health and also obviously, their business and as you’re building their business. So there’s obviously this, or this often this, this kind of period in entrepreneurial life, where it’s just going to push through. So that’s not a great time for me to work with people, you know, if they’re kind of working towards a goal. But ideally, we want to kind of work with people to support them before they get to the point of burnout. Because once people reach a certain age, or get to this point where they’re kind of burnt out, they’re already very inflamed, their blood sugar’s all over the place are not sleeping well, their hormones are out of balance, and it’s a lot harder to fix them. So perfect world is people that are, you know, aware enough to understand that by putting the time the effort and making the changes to optimize their biology. It’s, it’s worth it, it’s a good investment to do it now. So earlier in the game better than later, but also to work with people that are already kind of, you know, need help, because, you know, they’re getting sick a lot, and they’re not sleeping well. But I guess sorry, back to the original question. Accountable people, people that are ready, and you’re gonna make the changes because a lot of my recommendations aren’t just like, take this pill, I’m asking you to actually make the changes in your life, they’re gonna adopt, hopefully first thing in the morning, they lay their caffeine, just do it for a month and see.

Debra Chantry-Taylor  44:07

And I think that’s actually a really good way to approach things right, because we’ve just had this conversation about myself before the podcast about the better if I didn’t drink coffee when I first woke up and and it really is about trialing things and being prepared to give something a go and see what effect it has. And then making a decision once you have an idea what kind of effect that has had on you. And I think that’s probably the best way to approach it is to kind of get this is not may not be may baby forever. It may not be forever, but give it a try and see what actually happens. Absolutely. Yes, I look thank you so much for coming in. Again, always lovely to see you and thank you for sharing all your knowledge. We’ll put the website that they can get ahold of you on in the notes for the show, but thank you appreciate it.

Dr. Vanessa Ingraham  44:42

Thanks as well.









Debra Chantry-Taylor 

Certified EOS Implementer | Entrepreneurial Leadership & Business Coach | Business Owner

#betterbusinessbetterlife #entrepreneur #leadership #eosimplementer #professionaleosimplementer #entrepreneurialbusinesscoach

Certified EOS Implementer New Zealand

Certified EOS Implementer  Australia

Certified EOS Implementer UK

Certified EOS Implementer NZ

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Fill out this field
Fill out this field
Please enter a valid email address.