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Hormones that Age Us: Part 2

Bestselling author, The Carb Sensitivity Program and The Hormone Diet, Dr. Natasha Turner, talks about how hormones age the way you look. 


Low Growth Hormone:

This omnipotent hormone affects just about every cell in the body and has a major impact on our feelings, actions and appearance. Because this regenerative hormone tends to decline with age, growth hormone supplements are often promoted as a way to slow the effects of aging. Growth hormone is released during deep sleep and while we exercise. It’s essential for tissue repair, muscle building, bone density and healthy body composition. A 2007 study from the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism linked abdominal obesity in postmenopausal women with low growth hormone secretion, elevated inflammatory markers and increased risk of cardiovascular disease.

Body Fat Site: Thighs, Belly Fat

Skin Effects:

  • Dry skin
  • Thinning skin or skin has lost its fullness
  • Sagging skin

Solution: When we sleep in total darkness, melatonin is released, triggering a very slight but critical cool-down in the body. As body temperature drops, growth hormone is released and works its regenerative magic. 

Including short intense 30 minute strength training sessions three times  a week, you can naturally boost growth hormone levels. 

Recent research has shown that GABA can aid your muscle-building efforts by increasing your hormonal response to exercise. GABA is a shorter name for gamma-aminobutyric acid, an amino acid classified as a nuerotransmitter. The supplement works via the same pathways as many sleeping pills, but has an added bonus - enhancing release of growth hormone. Because of this tendency, researchers from Shenandoah University investigated what happens when weight training athletes take GABA in conjunction with workouts, rather than at bedtime.

Low Testosterone:

Testosterone levels tend to taper off with aging, obesity and stress, but today men are experiencing testosterone decline much earlier in life. This is quite an alarming finding, considering low testosterone has been linked to depression, obesity, osteoporosis, heart disease and even death. Researchers from the University of Washington found that men with low testosterone are more likely to develop a potbelly and other body fat. They also found that testosterone may prompt the loss of body fat when deficient levels are replaced. Other signs that you may have low testosterone levels include a loss of muscle tissue, depression, and decreased strength, stamina, drive and motivation. If you have your testosterone levels measured with a blood test, be sure to ask that both free and total testosterone be measured.

Body Fat Site: Generalized, but major cause of not being able to build muscle in both men and women, which impacts metabolism.

Skin Effects: 

  • Dry skin
  • Thinning skin or skin has lost its fullness

Solution: Exposure to early morning light and from a dietary prospective you need to ensure adequate protein and healthy fat while avoiding excessive carb restriction. Fitness competitors that cut their carbs before competition notice they get cranky and lose their sex drive because of the drop in testosterone that happens with that diet.

Cuddling in women increases testosterone, while in men a competitive activity does like playing a sport or winning a business deal

The herb tribulus terrestris may help raise levels by reducing the binding of testosterone to sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG) without side effects. Zinc supplements may also help raise testosterone levels.

Low Thyroid:

Without enough thyroid hormone, every system in the body slows down. Those who suffer from hypothyroidism feel tired, tend to sleep a lot, experience constipation and typically experience weight gain . Extremely dry skin, hair loss, slower mental processes, feeling cold, brittle hair, splitting nails, diminished ability to sweat during exercise, infertility, poor memory, depression, decreased libido or an inability to lose weight are also symptoms to watch for. If you suspect you have a thyroid condition, make sure your doctor assesses you and your full range of symptoms, not just your blood work. Even levels of TSH (an indicator of thyroid function) within the normal range has been proven to accelerate weight gain and to interfere with a healthy metabolic rate in both men and women.

Body Fat Site: Generalized Weight Gain

Skin Effects: 

  • Dry skin
  • Hair loss
  • Water retention/puffiness
  • Loss of lateral half of eyebrow

Solution: Avoid overexercising, excessive caloric restriction and sleep deprivation as they all decrease thyroid hormone

Supplements: Guggulipids, selenium

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