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episode #295

It’s Time to Level up your Cortisol to DHEA ratio

October 16, 2023 in Podcast


This week I discuss another important marker of building optimal health: Cortisol to DHEA ratio.

Georgi Dinkov mentioned this important ratio month's ago and I have been learning about it through my FDN Certification. Cortisol is produced by the adrenal glands and is produced in response to daily stress, emotional upset, infections and surgery. DHEA is also produced in the adrenals. DHEA reflects anabolism which builds simple molecules into more complex ones (muscle mass and strength). It’s considered to be one of the most important hormones for overall health, as it plays an important role in numerous bodily functions.

DHEA, together with Cortisol, also plays an important role in maintaining normal blood glucose levels, which are important for proper metabolism of carbs, fats, and proteins. These tests can be done through saliva in which the ideal ratio should be around 5 (Sum Cortisol) to 1 (DHEA) and through blood the ratio should be 0.5 (Cortisol to DHEA).

I recommend checking this ratio the next time you get blood work in order to optimize your vitality. Have a great day!

Brian (1s):

Hello and welcome to the GETLEAN and Eat Clean podcast. My name is Brian Gryn. I'm a certified health coach, trainer and author, and this podcast is for middle aged men and women looking to optimize their health and get their bodies back to what it once was 10 to 15 years ago. I will give you simple, actionable items to get long term sustainable results. Thanks for listening and enjoy the show. All, right Welcome to the Get Lean Eat Clean podcast. My name is Brian Gryn. I hope you had a great weekend and happy Tuesday if you're listening to this on Tuesday. Hopefully you're listening to my interview with Dr.

Brian (42s):

Judson Brandeis. He's a board certified urologist, currently practices men's health and sexual medicine in Northern California. and we touched on his book 21st Century Man, along with how to optimize testosterone cutting edge technology to help build muscle importance of increasing VO two max and much, much more. So if you haven't already, check out episode 2 94, my interview with Dr. Judson Brandeis. Now on today's micro podcast, I wanted to touch on a ratio that was, has been brought up on the podcast a few times, and I'm actually in the midst of getting a new Certification through a company called FDN and Functional Diagnostic Nutrition and one of the ratios that we've been spending some time on, and I thought it would be important for you guys to bring it up and revisit it and maybe you can take a look at what ratio you're at, but that's Cortisol to DHEA ratio.

Brian (1m 43s):

And Georgi Dinkov who've, who's come on my podcast a few times has talked about the importance of knowing and optimizing your DHEA to Cortisol ratio. And it's interesting, he pretty much said it was like one of the most important predictors of having vitality or morbidity. So he mentioned that months ago, and then I've been studying for this FDN Certification and we're touching on a saliva hormone test that we're going through. And one of the markers that we're looking at is that same ratio.

Brian (2m 24s):

So I thought that was really interesting. I'm gonna bring up a few things on YouTube just to show you if you're watching of a, just a mock client that I'm going through and his DHEA to, to his Cortisol to d h a ratio. But I really wanna touch on, you know, what the definitions of each of these are and then what ratio you potentially should be looking for if you do blood work or if you do a saliva test. Part of the reason why I wanted to get the Certification with FDN is so I can start doing some more testing on my clients. And there's a few different, few different tests that we're using. This one in in particular, it's called a saliva hormone test and it not only gives you your Cortisol, your DHEA, but also other markers such as testosterone and, and progesterone and things like that.

Brian (3m 10s):

So today we're just gonna touch on those two markers, the Cortisol to DHEA, DHEA ratio, And, what we can do to help improve that ratio. George Dinkov mentioned, ideally if for blood, you want a two to one ratio, DHEA should be two to one to Cortisol in the blood and in the saliva it's a little bit different, but I'm gonna go through that right now. Let me just share my screen real quick and I'll just pull up sort of a, a comparison work worksheet here that I'll sort of show you what I've been looking at for this mock client. And here we go.

Brian (3m 51s):

If you're looking at the screen. So the cool thing about what I'm doing with FDN is, is it's showing Cortisol not only in one point of the day, but different, different times throughout the day, morning, noon, afternoon, night, and then sort of a, a Sum of all of them. And you can see that from, if you're watching on YouTube, that for this individual he had high morning Cortisol, which is normal But, it was almost too high. And so the, just a little background on Cortisol, it's produced by the adrenal glands it, which is controlled by parts of the brain called the hypothalamus. And the pituitary Cortisol plays an important bro, important role in breaking down glycogen, the glucose in the liver and muscle tissue.

Brian (4m 36s):

It mobilizes glucose so as to maintain normal blood sugar levels, which is the primary energy source for the brain. Cortisol's levels are highest in the morning, like I mentioned, approximately 8:00 AM So if you do get your, you know, if you go get your blood work done and it's in the morning and you're fasted, you know, those Cortisol levels will be higher, right? As as if you did, if you did blood tests later in the day, it would be different. So you gotta keep that in mind. It usually reaches, reaches its lowest about midnight to 4:00 AM So there's sort of this di diurnal cycles of Cortisol levels that are found in human saliva. And obviously Cortisol, if you listen to the podcast, enough production comes in response to daily stress.

Brian (5m 23s):

It could be from something emotionally infections, potentially even surgery. So it's important to understand your Cortisol levels. And the cool thing about the saliva test is it gives you sort of this cycles throughout the day and how, you know, morning it'll go up and then noon afternoon it'll come back down and then evening it should be fairly low as well. Now if you're having low Cortisol, and it remains throughout the day, this could be adrenal exhaustion, which is caused by stress, sleep deprivation, emotional stress, poor diet nutrient deficiencies.

Brian (6m 3s):

So if you're getting your blood work done in the morning and your Cortisol levels are really low, this could be some type of adrenal exhaustion or chronic stress. Even thyroid deficiency can be due to low Cortisol levels as well. So obviously having adequate sleep, exercise, diet with adequate protein, you know, these are all helpful, helpful ways to, to, to help with low Cortisol. Now, high cor Cortisol, that's a whole nother thing that if, if you have, you know, high Cortisol in the morning, not too high, but high in the morning, and then it continues high throughout the day, these elevated levels obviously could be detrimental.

Brian (6m 48s):

And this could be from, you know, chronic stress, you know, some symptoms that you might have, could be sleep disturbances, fatigue, depression, weight gain in the waist. So stress and persistently el elevated levels of Cortisol can, can also contribute to, you know, chronic illness and premature aging. So an important number to know. And then on top of that, we wanna know DHEA. Okay, I'm, I'm gonna stop sharing my screen. You can see that and if you're looking, it sort of shows you the, the sort of levels as they go from morning, noon, afternoon, or night. So pretty cool, love what I'm doing here with FDN and then DHEA in this individual is actually low.

Brian (7m 31s):

I'm gonna stop sharing for a second here. And d h a, just to let you know what that is, it's a hormone produced in the adrenal glands and it reflects anabolism. So anabolism is simply building simple molecules into more complex ones. If you think of like anabolic steroids, right? Those are the build you up build muscle mass and strength. Well, DHEA is the same way. It's considered be one of the most important hormones for overall health as it plays an important role in numerous bodily functions. One of its primary roles is producing hormones test such as testosterone and estrogen, which can affect sexual development and reproductive health.

Brian (8m 14s):

So it also can help regulate body composition, metabolism and play a role in weight management. So DHEA is an important level to know and it naturally decreases with age levels are highest during like puberty and they drop significantly after 30 years old. Low levels of DHEA have been linked to conditions such as fatigue, poor immune system, low libido, depression or anxiety disorders. In this example, my mock client Brad had low DHEA. And so you want to make sure this Cortisol and d H A should be in somewhat of balance.

Brian (8m 56s):

Georgi mentioned a two to one ratio for blood. So that is really important to look at and it's fundamental, it really is when it comes to health. Cortisol represents this catechism in the body, while DHEA reflects sort of this embolism in the body. So building up and you obviously wanna make sure that that ratio matches up meaning in blood more than two to one, DHEA to Cortisol. So having these critical hormones and balance is really important to function on a day-to-day basis and be able to maintain resiliency as well. So that's what I wanna touch on today.

Brian (9m 38s):

I know last time we to talked about H R V, now we're talking a little bit about a really important ratio Cortisol to DHEA DHEA. And it's something that if you haven't gotten it measured, maybe you should take some time and do that either through a simple blood test or shoot, shoot me a message and I'll, and I'll explain to you a little bit more about how we can do it through a saliva hormone test as well. So that's what I wanna touch on today. I thought this was an important ratio for you to look into. Georgi mentioned it months ago, And, now I've been studying it as well. So if you have any questions, feel free to email me, Brian at Brian Gryn dot com. If you have any thoughts about any micro Podcasts that you would love, feel free to email me as well.

Brian (10m 21s):

Let me know. Always looking for some beneficial topics to talk about and have a great rest of the week. I appreciate you listening and if you do love the podcast, we'd love a review and trying to get more and more reviews so we can get this podcast out to more and more people and help as many people as possible. So have a great rest of the week. I will talk to you on Friday with another great interview. Thanks for listening to the Get Lean Eat Clean podcast. I understand there are millions of other Podcasts out there and you've chosen to listen to mine and I appreciate that. Check out the show notes at Brian Gryn dot com for everything that was mentioned in this episode. Feel free to subscribe to the podcast and share it with a friend or family member that's looking to get their body back to what it once was.

Brian (11m 7s):

Thanks again, and Have a great day.

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