Andrew Huberman – Dr. Sara Gottfried: How to Optimize Female Hormone Health for Vitality & Longevity Podcast Summary

Dr. Sara Gottfried: How to Optimize Female Hormone Health for Vitality & Longevity | Free Podcast Summary

Andrew Huberman – Dr. Sara Gottfried: How to Optimize Female Hormone Health for Vitality & Longevity

  • Andrew Huberman is a professor of neurobiology and ophthalmology at Stanford School of Medicine
  • Dr. Sarah Gottfried is an obstetrician gynecologist and clinical professor of integrative medicine and nutritional sciences at Thomas Jefferson University
  • They discuss science and science-based tools for everyday life, including the gut microbiome, nutrition, exercise, omega-3 fatty acids, and the digestive system

Micronutrients, vegetables and the Microbiome

  • Precision medicine is used to test patients, often including nutritional testing
  • Micronutrients play a role in hormone production, such as magnesium and estrogen
  • Eating vegetables is an important predictor of future breast cancer risk, especially in teenagers.
  • Smoothies with vegetables can be used to help support the microbiome.
  • Supplements can be used as a distant second to smoothies.
  • One patient changed their microbiome by having a smoothie with 57 vegetables and fruits every day.

Eat your vegetables

  • Probiotics can be beneficial for people under significant stress or after taking antibiotics
  • Randomized trials are needed to support the use of probiotics
  • Prebiotics and polyphenols may be more beneficial than probiotics
  • Eating more vegetables is a great starting place for gut microbiome health
  • Stool sample testing can be used to analyze nutritional deficiencies and microbiome health


  • Constipation is a common symptom in women and can signal a larger set of problems
  • Women experience more trauma than men, which can affect their HPA response and perceived stress
  • Constipation can be used as a target for intervention to open up discussions about other issues
  • Constipation is defined as having a bowel movement less than once a day and feeling a complete evacuation

Stress, Meditation and breathwork

  • Stress reduction is important for relieving constipation and other indicators of health
  • Different stress reduction tools work for different people, such as physiological sighing, transcendental meditation, yoga, holotropic breath work, and box breathing
  • A study found that cyclic sighing led to the greatest improvements in mood and lowered resting heart rate
  • Other stress reduction tools include sex, orgasm, connection, and feeling heard and seen and loved

Testing and future behaviour

  • Women in their late teens and early 20s should be aware of their testosterone, estrogen, thyroid, and cortisol levels, as well as their microbiome.
  • Different opportunities for health exist by decade.
  • Knowing testosterone levels in the teenage years can help inform how to take care of oneself.
  • Testosterone levels can decline starting in the 20s due to stress.
  • For women post-25, a healthy reference point is the top half of the normal range.

Behaviour for vitality

  • Sleep is essential for vitality and longevity
  • Avoid too much alcohol, perceived stress, and eating the wrong foods
  • Avoid toxic relationships and isolation
  • Exercise regularly with a combination of cardio and resistance training
  • Consider cortisol levels when exercising and use vitamin C to buffer it
  • Consider hormone panels to identify root causes of health issues

Ashwagandha to lower cortisol levels

  • Ashwagandha and Rhodiola Rosacea can help lower cortisol levels
  • Phosphatidylserine (PS) can also reduce cortisol, with a dose of 400-800 milligrams
  • Cortisol Manager by Integrative Therapeutics is a combination of PS and Ashwagandha
  • Cortisol typically peaks 30-60 minutes after waking and gradually declines until bedtime
  • PS should be taken when cortisol is highest (morning or night)

Omega-3s and fish oil

  • Omega-3s and fish oil are generally accepted as important for health
  • Consider taking 1-2 grams of EPA per day, depending on diet
  • Omega-3s alone may not be enough to resolve inflammation; consider combining with specialized pro-resolving mediators
  • Rank order of supplements for college students: fish oil, magnesium, vitamin D, phosphatidylserine
  • Vitamin D dosage should be between 1,000-2,000 IU per day, or dose to a serum level between 50-90

Anti-Mullerian Hormone(AMH)

  • Women should get their follicle number and AMH levels assessed to get a sense of their ovarian reserve.
  • Most women don’t get this done until they are in their late 30s or early 40s.
  • AMH levels are not included in a standard blood panel.
  • Women who want to freeze their eggs or are having trouble getting pregnant are the ones who usually get AMH levels tested.
  • Women who are experiencing symptoms of early menopause also get tested.
  • There is a double standard between those who want to get pregnant and those who don’t when it comes to hormone testing.

Fasting and diet

  • Intermittent fasting, time-restricted feeding, and/or a ketogenic diet can increase cells sensitivity to insulin.
  • Women don’t need to stay on the ketogenic diet for long periods of time.
  • Metabolic flexibility can be increased by periodically switching back and forth between a typical eating pattern and a ketogenic diet.
  • A ketogenic diet should be used as a short-term experiment (4 weeks).
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