Hola! Hope everyone had a relaxing week because mine was all
over the place. By now my head has been spinning like a top for 48
hours since Friday's 'after' blood tests came in. Before I get to
that I wanted to talk about Tri Games.
So what are Tri Games?
Every trimester National has a friendly sports competition
between all the tris. In the fall, it was flag football; but on
Friday it was DODGEBALL! I was so excited to find out that we were
going to play a school-wide organized dodge ball tournament! Our
trimester had not made a good showing in the fall tri games by
getting knocked out in the earliest round, so this winter we were
up to avenge our pride.
How did we do this time? We rocked! We steam rolled our way to
the finals proudly sporting our tri colors (yellow) only to lose
against the superman dressed Tri 5's (blue). The whole thing was
run in the gym and there was plenty of laughs, sore rotator cuffs,
(I couldn't feel my arm after the finals), and Dr. Darby? Yes, even
Dr. Darby (our neuroanatomy teacher) made a surprise visit and
cheered us on. Perhaps it was because she had just graded our neuro
written midterms and wanted to see our smiling faces before we saw
our actual grades! (perhaps not ;) Nonetheless, the whole event was
an absolute blast and a wonderful excuse to throw out your shoulder
trying to establish top tri dominance!
So what about those blood tests?
Well, my 'after' blood tests came in this week and I was
expecting great results considering my bio-impedance came back
rather phenomenally. At my meeting before with Dr. Anderson, he
spilled the beans by saying I was going to be "surprised." I was
rather dumbfounded until I got to read my 'after' testosterone. It
had PLUMMETED in HALF (I can't recall exact numbers but 600 to 300
something)! I was shocked and nobody in clinic knew how the heck
that would be possible. I gained 20 lbs. of muscle and lost fat and
did it on half the testosterone? You're running a fun joke aren't
you? Apparently not.
So I left the clinic with a rather strange taste in my mouth.
The kind of taste you don't know whether to be excited or scared.
Had I miscalculated my diet? Had I not consumed enough fat? Had I
eaten too much for my body? Had I taxed my endocrine system? Was
the trend to continue downward? My mind was absolutely (and still
is) spinning. My cholesterol, despite eating a pound of grass fed
beef and 4 eggs a day stayed about the same (within a point or too
difference), which defied some conventional cholesterol theory. I
had been comfortable with that, however, more and more research is
now showing that saturated fat and exogenous cholesterol (dietary)
are not the bad culprits of heart disease and hypercholesterolemia
(high cholesterol) as once thought (refined carbs are).
However, this made the previous finding of lowered testosterone
even more plaguing. I had eaten PLENTY of fat (60% of my diet) and
protein (25%) to have PLENTY of building blocks for hormone
precursors but something happened along the way that screwed that
up. What could it be?
Flax: A Misunderstood Male Nightmare?
About 10 minutes after I got home from the clinic, I went to
make a shake and low and behold grabbed a jar of my favorite
almond/flax seed nut butter from the fridge. I ate A LOT of this to
increase my calories, fat and protein to hit the lofty goals I set
for my food intake over the last month. I looked down at the jar
and did one of those grossly exaggerated double takes. Flax seed!
WHOA. What's the matter with flax seed?
It's estrogenic! Apparently VERY estrogenic. It contains
phytoestrogens not unlike soy, yet the research isn't as clear as
it is with soy on the ill effects of flax when over-consumed. It
seems I became a guinea pig for flax seed consumption warnings. I
did a couple pub med searches without a whole lot of findings until
Dr. Anderson found one that said 30g/day of flax didn't have a
'statistically significant' drop in testosterone levels. The
problem? I was consuming on AVERAGE 150g and up to 240g a few
times. It wasn't all flax (mixed with almond butter) but at those
levels who knows. Another cited study confirmed it was
Next Order of Action?
Well, if you want your manhood to stay in tact (I assume you do)
and not grow breast tissue (I assume you don't) it's time to
rethink how much flax you want to consume as a male. If you were to
read the benefits of flax you'd think it was a super food that
should be consumed all the time for its omega 3's that fight
inflammation and speed healing time. However, if you take things to
the edge, which I have, a weird knack for doing, then you may want
to reign in the "everything in moderation" button.
So, will I start losing my hair and libido? No. Will I be
cutting flax out of my diet and retesting in a month to make sure
I'm back on track? Heck, yes.
Sooo much fun is there!