Biohacking Hormones on Bulletproof Radio

Dr. Jolene BrightenPublished: Last Reviewed: Wellbeing Leave a Comment

In this episode of Bulletproof Radio, Dave and I covered a lot of ground about all things woman's hormones, including biohacking hormones for better performance and how hormones help brain injuries. We also had a great discussion on post-birth control syndrome and how these hormones can mess you up! Oh, you didn't know? Well then you need to listen to this episode!

Having a medical practice in the heart of silicon valley has afforded me the opportunity to work with many biohackers and I gotta admit, I love this crowd. My background in nutritional biochemistry, along with my love of reading research means that this data driven crowd and I jive.

There's a lot of juicy women centered information you'll find in this episode. In fact, several times Dave said, “this is a lot of info.” But don't worry, there's also a transcript!

Hormonal Birth Control

Dave has been an outspoken advocate of women not taking the pill on the Bulletproof blog since day one. A big reason he is against women taking the pill is that in his words, “Mostly that I like women, and the pill is bad for women.” It's why when he and I got to talking about the side effects and long term consequences (like post-birth control syndrome) that we instantly knew we needed to record it for all of you. And yes, I am a nerdy biochemist, which is also why we chatted for a good time in this episode.

Biohacking Your Hormones

Did you know that stress can prevent you from ovulating? And if you don't ovulate you can become more stressed? Buh-bye focus, concentration, and any signs of high performance.

You need to ovulate to make progesterone and if you don't make progesterone…well, that's when things can feel a little crazy.

If you don’t have the progesterone, GABA doesn’t stimulate the brain. GABA is a neurotransmitter that makes you feel chilled out and calm. Without it you can find yourself flying off the handle.

I like to ask women, “Do you, A, want to kill somebody? B, run off to the woods and never be seen? Or C, do all of the above, the week before your period?” Yes, this is how many women feel without this awesome hormone. The struggle is real, when progesterone gets low.

So let’s say you’re going to have a really stressful meeting in that follicular phase (roughly days 1-14 of your cycle), you can start to support your progesterone levels knowing this is coming. How can we do that?

Biohacking Progesterone

Lifestyle, nutrition and targeted supplements are an effective three step approach to biohacking your progesterone. In this episode I share how each of the following can help and more!

Vitamin C.

Vitex (Chaste tree berry).



When you can understand your cycle in this way, you can see how one event actually impacted what’s going on two weeks from now, and you can really biohack the system, and really get in there and say, “Okay, because of this event, now I’m gonna do X, Y, and Z, so I don’t feel like I’m losing my mind the second half of the month.”

Progesterone and Brain Injuries

So, if you don't know, I had a brain injury and it was actually Dave who was the first person to tell me to use progesterone. I told him I was debating it and he said, “do the progesterone therapy.” He was right!

I used progesterone therapy and as I share in this episode, I leveraged my natural hormones and menstrual cycle to accelerate healing. Good stuff, huh? Yes, it is all in this episode.

Join me on Bulletproof Radio where we talk Women's Hormones, Post-Birth Control Syndrome, and Brain Injuries.

Looking to Biohack Your Hormones?

Grab my Hormone Hacking Kit, which teaches you how your menstrual works, plus gives you meal plans, recipe guides, and crucial info to help you balance your hormones naturally.

Biohacking Hormones on Bulletproof Radio

  • 00:00 – Health I.Q. can help you get lower rates on life insurance due to your healthy lifestyle. Find out more + special offer!
  • 01:49 – Cool Fact of the Day: Bacteria May Fight PTSD
  • 03:34 – More info on Bulletproof Collagen Protein from Dave
  • 04:37 – Check out Bulletproof on YouTube!
  • 04:49 – Find out more about TrueDark Glasses – Dave describes the healthy benefits of wearing all the styles, including the DayWalker.
  • 06:39 – Dave intros Dr. Jolene Brighten, Functional Medicine Naturopathic Physician and Author
  • 08:30 – What really happens to women’s bodies after having babies?
  • 10:44 – What is “Mommy Brain”?
  • 13:18 – How circadian rhythms impact both mom and baby
  • 14:10 – Dave discusses “Lights Out” by T.S. Wiley + why darkness is important for optimal sleep
  • 16:54 – Dave talks about “The Better Baby Book” + setting yourself up for a healthy lifestyle, despite your genetics
  • 20:50 – Dr. Brighten discusses how childbirth increases your chances of developing an auto-immune disorder, like thyroid disease
  • 24:12 – Why modern motherhood/parenting is an evolutionary mismatch
  • 26:03 – The best way for new parents and baby to get more sleep
  • 28:17 – When new moms can have sex again + all the healthy benefits
  • 33:30 – Can having a baby trigger PTSD in adults?
  • 36:50 – The Pill…good or bad, really?
  • 46:24 – Post Birth Control Syndrome…what really happens to women’s bodies when they go off the Pill
  • 50:48 – Best birth control options besides the Pill, the Daysy thermometer + other technology, and the fertility awareness method
  • 53:40 – Dave tells Dr. Brighten about Viome
  • 57:18 – More about the fertility awareness method
  • 1:07:45 – Dr. Brighten’s traumatic brain injury
  • 1:11:30 – New progesterone treatments that can help with brain injuries
  • 1:14:48 – Dr. Brighten and Dave’s recommendations after a brain injury
  • 1:30:30 – Dr. Brighten’s three most important pieces of advice…
  • 1:32:30 – Visit Dr. Brighten online at
  • 1:32:08 – Go to iTunes and leave a review for Bulletproof Radio

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About The Author

Dr. Jolene Brighten

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Dr. Jolene Brighten, NMD, is a women’s hormone expert and prominent leader in women’s medicine. As a licensed naturopathic physician who is board certified in naturopathic endocrinology, she takes an integrative approach in her clinical practice. A fierce patient advocate and completely dedicated to uncovering the root cause of hormonal imbalances, Dr. Brighten empowers women worldwide to take control of their health and their hormones. She is the best selling author of Beyond the Pill and Healing Your Body Naturally After Childbirth. Dr. Brighten is an international speaker, clinical educator, medical advisor within the tech community, and considered a leading authority on women’s health. She is a member of the MindBodyGreen Collective and a faculty member for the American Academy of Anti Aging Medicine. Her work has been featured in the New York Post, Forbes, Cosmopolitan, Huffington Post, Bustle, The Guardian, Sports Illustrated, Elle, and ABC News. Read more about me here.