Hormones Explained by Hormone Health Network
healthy lifestyle = hormone health = cancer prevention
Carbohydrates raise your blood sugar levels.
Fiber improves blood sugar control, lowers cholesterol and helps you feel full so you don’t overeat.
One in three adults have prediabetes*, 90% don’t know they have it.
* = blood glucose levels higher than normal, but not high enough to be diagnosed as diabetes. (src)
-Take vitamin D3 (4000IU/day) and aspirin (6 tablets/week)
-Protect your skin when outdoors (src)
Is a series of glands that produce and secrete hormones that the body uses for a wide range of functions. Hormones regulate some of our body’s most important functions, such as metabolism and sexual development. When your hormonal balance is off, negative effects can occur (mostly leading to cancer). Hormones are really important to bone health and strength as well. Too much or too little of certain hormones in the body can contribute to osteopenia and osteoporosis.
The endocrine system controls the way your body develops and functions. It produces hormones that travel to all parts of your body to maintain your tissues and organs, and to participate in overall health. (more)
Hormones are your body’s chemical messengers. They travel in your bloodstream to tissues or organs to help them do their work. They work slowly, over time, and affect many different process, including :
➜ Growth and development
➜ Metabolism (how your body gets energy from the foods you eat)
➜ Sexual function
Exercise and a healthy diet are most helpful for overall good health, including natural hormonal development. Follow these tips for better health :
➜ Reduce portions of foods high in fat or sugar.
➜ Eat more fruits, vegetables and whole grains.
➜ Eat three meals each day, including breakfast.
➜ Spend 30 minutes a day in moderate physical activity. (src)
Exercise is key to a healthy endocrine system. When you move, your muscles release hormones. Exercise doesn’t have to be intimidating. You don’t have to exercise at a gym for hours at a time. Exercise breaks can be taken by anyone, anywhere, from the office to the classroom. (more) Physical activity has the ability to keep hormones in balance that are necessary for regular functioning (energy level, bone and muscle strength) and help your body cope with symptoms of endocrine conditions such as diabetes and thyroid disorders.
Osteoporosis prevention :
Get enough calcium and vitamin D, either through diet or supplements at least 1,000-1,200 mg of calcium; 400-800 IU of vitamin D daily under age 50 or at least 800-1,000 IU after age 50. (src)
Recommended steps/day: 10,000 = 8km (5 miles)
Recommended serving dark chocolate : two small squares of dark chocolate (28gr / 1 oz) per day (src)
Are special groups of cells, make hormones. Hormones circulate through our endocrine system and perform important bodily processes that can affect how we feel and function. The major endocrine glands are:
➜ Hypothalamus: Produces hormones that control body temperature, hunger, moods, release of hormones from many glands (especially the pituitary), sex drive, sleep, and thirst
➜ Ovaries (women): Secrete estrogen, testosterone and progesterone, the female sex hormones
➜ Pancreas: Produces insulin, which decreases blood sugar
➜ Parathyroid: Controls the amount of calcium in our blood and bones
➜ Thymus: T-cells, critical to the adaptive immune system, mature in the thymus
➜ Pineal (thalamus): Produces the serotonin derivative melatonin, a hormone that affects sleep patterns
➜ Thyroid: Produces hormones that control the rate at which the body burns calories and how fast the heart beats
➜ Adrenal: Produces sex hormones and cortisol, which helps you respond to stress and has many other important functions
➜ Pituitary: The “master control gland,” makes hormones that affect growth and the functions of other glands
➜ Testes (men): Produce sperm and testosterone, the male sex hormone (src)
Hormones flaw in blood stream and attached to a compatible cell receptor, cause the target cell to produce proteins via chemical reactions.
Hypothalamus is deep inside the brain. Produces, releasing and inhibiting hormones and controls the pituitary. Together, the hypothalamus and pituitary tell the other endocrine glands in your body to make the hormones that affect and protect every aspect of your health.
➜ Anti-Diuretic Hormone Regulates water levels in the body; affects blood pressure and volume.
➜ Corticotropin (releasing hormone) – Drives the body’s response to physical and emotional stress; stimulates anxiety; suppresses appetite.
➜ Gonadotropin (releasing hormone) – Stimulates release of hormones that act on testes and ovaries to initiate and maintain reproductive function; levels increase in puberty to trigger sexual maturation (puberty depends upon the appropriate timing and release of hormones).
➜ Growth Hormone (releasing hormone) – Controls normal physical development in children, metabolism in adults; increased by sleep, stress, exercise, and low blood glucose.
➜ Oxytocin Controls aspects of some human behavior (sexual arousal, recognition, trust, anxiety, and mother-infant bonding) and key aspects of reproductive system (childbirth and lactation in women, ejaculation and conversion of testosterone into dihydrotestosterone in men).
➜ Somatostatin In the central nervous system, works to inhibit other hormones, most notably growth and thyroid-stimulating hormones.
➜ Thyrotropin (releasing hormone) – Stimulates production of thyroid hormone, which plays important role in the body’s metabolism, heart and digestive functions, muscle control, brain development, and preservation of bones.
Traumatic brain injury can affect the production levels of hormones that originate in the brain and can lead to serious physical diseases and disorders. (src)
Makes hormones that travel through your bloodstream and regulate how your body breaks down food and uses it for energy. It is part of the endocrine system, which includes the pituitary gland, hypothalamus, thymus, pineal gland, testes, ovaries, adrenal glands, parathyroid and pancreas.
The thyroid is governed by the pituitary, a pea-sized organ located at the base of the brain. The thyroid secretes hormones that help regulate:
➜ brain development and function
➜ skin and hair
➜ intestine function
Thyroid in nutshell :
1) Pituitary gland checks amount of thyroid hormone in blood
2) Pituitary tells thyroid to make more or less hormone so there’s always a balanced amount
3) Thyroid uses iodine (mainly from seafood and dairy products) to make thyroid hormone; iodine is absorbed through intestine into bloodstream, then makes its way to thyroid
4) Thyroid disorders occur when something goes wrong with the process, and too much or too little thyroid hormone is produced (src)
Is a hormone made in the pancreas, allows your body to use sugar (glucose) from carbohydrates in food you eat for energy or store it for future use. Insulin also helps keep your blood sugar level from getting too high (hyperglycemia*) or too low (hypoglycemia*). Blood sugar rises when you don’t have enough insulin or your cells are unable to use the insulin already there.
Blood sugar goals (if you have diabetes):
➜ before meals 70-130 mg/dL
➜ after meals Less than 180 mg/dL 1-2 hours
*Hypoglycemia may be caused by:
➜ Too much medication
➜ A missed meal
➜ A delayed meal
➜ Too little food eaten as compared to the amount of insulin taken
*Hyperglycemia may be caused by:
➜ Not enough insulin (type 1)
➜ Enough insulin, but not effective (type 2)
➜ Too much food, too little exercise
➜ Illness such as cold or flu
➜ Stress (family, work)
➜ Dawn phenomenon (surge of hormones produced by body between 4-5am) (src)
Is one of two main sex hormones that women have. The other one is progesterone. Estrogen is responsible for female physical features and reproduction. Men have estrogen, too, but in smaller amounts.
Why is estrogen important?
Estrogen helps bring about the physical changes that turn a girl into a woman. This time of life is called puberty. These changes include:
➜ Growth of the breasts
➜ Growth of pubic and underarm hair
➜ Start of menstrual cycles
Estrogen helps control the menstrual cycle and is important for childbearing. This hormone has other functions:
➜ Keeps cholesterol in control
➜ Protects bone health for both women and men
➜ Affects your brain (including mood), bones, heart, skin, and other tissues
Your estrogen levels change throughout the month. They are highest in the middle of your menstrual cycle and lowest during your period. Estrogen levels drop at menopause.
How does estrogen work?
The ovaries, which produce a woman’s eggs, are the main source of estrogen from your body. Your adrenal glands, located at the top of each kidney, make small amounts of this hormone. So does fat tissue. Estrogen moves through your blood and acts everywhere in your body. (src)
Dopamine (organic chemical)
Is an organic chemical of the catecholamine and phenethylamine families that plays several important roles in the brain and body.
The anticipation of most types of rewards increases the level of dopamine in the brain, and many addictive drugs increase dopamine release or block its reuptake into neurons following release. Other brain dopamine pathways are involved in motor control and in controlling the release of various hormones. These pathways and cell groups form a dopamine system which is neuromodulatory. (src)
Serotonin (monoamine neurotransmitter)
It is popularly thought to be a contributor to feelings of well-being and happiness. Approximately 90% of the human body’s total serotonin, where it is used to regulate intestinal movements. The serotonin is secreted luminally and basolaterally which leads to increased serotonin uptake by circulating platelets and activation after stimulation, which gives increased stimulation of myenteric neurons and gastrointestinal motility. The remainder is synthesized in serotonergic neurons of the CNS, where it has various functions. These include the regulation of mood, appetite, and sleep. Serotonin also has some cognitive functions, including memory and learning. Modulation of serotonin at synapses is thought to be a major action of several classes of pharmacological antidepressants. (src) (ref – ALS) (ref – internal article for ALS)
95% of serotonin is produced in the gut and not in the brain. What we eat does matter! Certain foods such as excessive granulated sugar, some genetically modified foods and other environmental toxins may cause inflammation in the body. The adage, ‘Dont eat anything white except yogurt’ may be true. Taking a daily probiotic may keep your microbiome in balance. If yogurt is something you enjoy, daily yogurt with active probiotics is now being recommended. Sleeping well and exercising daily also helps the gut and the mitochondria that are responsible for actually producing the needed energy to move the brain and body. (ref)
Somatotropin (peptide hormone)
Also known as ‘Growth hormone’, is a stress hormone that raises the concentration of glucose and free fatty acids. Stimulates growth, cell reproduction, and cell regeneration in humans and other animals. It is thus important in human development. Single-chain polypeptide that is synthesized, stored and secreted by somatotropic cells. (src)
Cholesterol (organic molecule)
Is biosynthesized by all animal cells, because it is an essential structural component of all animal cell membranes and is essential to maintain both membrane structural integrity and fluidity. (src)
Progesterone (endogenous steroid)
A progestogen sex hormone involved in the menstrual cycle, pregnancy, and embryogenesis of humans and other species. It belongs to a group of steroid hormones. (src)
Testosterone (sex hormone)
An anabolic steroid. In male humans, testosterone plays a key role in the development of male reproductive tissues such as testes and prostate, as well as promoting secondary sexual characteristics such as increased muscle and bone mass, and the growth of body hair. (src)
Estrogen (sex hormone)
It is responsible for the development and regulation of the female reproductive system and secondary sex characteristics. There are three major endogenous estrogens in females that have estrogenic hormonal activity: estrone, estradiol, and estriol. (src)
Endocrine disrupting chemicals
EDCs (Endocrine disrupting chemicals), are substances in the environment (air, soil, or water supply), food and beverages, and manufactured products that can interfere with the normal functioning of our body’s endocrine system. Many of their effects on humans are still unknown and require more research.
EDCs are found in everyday household products. As of October 2013, there are nearly 1,000 chemicals on The Endocrine Disruption Exchange (more)
EDCs are chemicals made outside of the body that can block, mimic or otherwise disrupt normal hormone signals. This can result in misinformation that leads to diseases and poor health conditions. Importantly, because small amounts of hormones play a role in so many of life’s functions, exposures to EDCs even at very low levels during certain times of life can have substantial and sometimes permanent impacts on health.
EDCs interact with the endocrine system, which is a complex chemical messaging system that is involved in every stage of life, from conception through gestation, birth, puberty, adulthood, and senescence. The endocrine system sends hormone signals such as estrogen, testosterone, thyroid hormone, and insulin from one organ to another and in turn controls cell function in the target organ. Thus it orchestrates vital functions including metabolism, immune function, reproduction, intelligence and a variety of behaviors.
Laboratory and epidemiological studies have confirmed that EDCs have a wide array of effects on humans and wildlife. Examples of effects include reduced reproductive ability, changes to secondary sex characteristics, certain cancers, delayed cognitive development, altered response to stress, increased accumulation of fat and changes in sensitivity to insulin. The effects of EDCs can vary depending on when in the lifetime exposure occurs. Fetal development, early childhood, and puberty are critical periods for exposure because events early in life set the stage for how the body responds to the environment throughout life. In the US, the disease burden and cost related to EDC exposure is estimated at $340 billion a year. It is imperative that we take actions now to reduce exposures to EDCs and thereby ensure a healthy environment for future generations.
We breathe, eat, drink, and touch EDCs every day. They are components of plastics, pesticides, flame retardants, fragrances and more. EDCs are in many common items in our homes, schools and workplaces, such as toys, clothing, cosmetics, sunscreens, electronics, furniture, cleaning products, lawn care products, automobiles, building materials, food, and food packaging. Some EDCs remain in the environment for many years and can build up in our bodies, others do not, but are always in us due to constant exposure. Research reveals numerous EDCs in most people who are tested, including newborns. (src)
Endocrine, reproductive and/or neurological problems occur more frequently in humans with higher amounts of EDCs in their bodies.
➜ Interferes with fetal growth and development while the body’s organs and tissues are still developing
➜ Affects sexual development, decreases fertility, causes diseases of male and female reproductive systems
➜ Increased risk of diabetes, obesity, and certain types of cancer
Where do EDCs impact our bodies?
Response to stress
➜ Neurological and behavioral changes
➜ Reduced ability to handle stress
➜ Virtually all classes of EDCs (DDT, BPA, phthalates, PCBs) can mimic or block effects of male and female sex hormones, affecting reproductive health
Growth and development
➜ Neural development
➜ Disrupted sexual development
➜ Weakened immune system
Researchers are still working to define the relationship between the dose (low/high) of EDCs and how the body responds to it.
The (Hidden) High Costs of Junk Food
The obesity epidemic now under way in all countries is, in part, a result of the junk food we eat. This high-fat, low-nutrient, low-fiber diet exacts a high, hidden cost that makes junk food dangerously expensive, even deadly.
Junk food leads to:
➜ Heart Disease
➜ More Work Absences
➜ More Doctor Visits
Healthy food leads to:
➜ Good Blood Sugar
➜ Healthier Heart
➜ Stronger Bones
➜ Better Mental Clarity + Memory
➜ Fewer Work Absences
➜ Fewer Doctor Visits
The healthiest diet costs only 1.50e / day more than the least healthy diet. That is 547.50e yearly more to be much healthier for life. (src)
Studies showing that rising estrogen levels are causing young girls to begin puberty at an earlier age than ever documented in history. A study published in Pediatrics in 2011 found that in the United States alone, 15% of girls begin puberty by age 7. With breast development beginning at a younger age as well. Exposure to any chemicals, foods, or substances that increase estrogen levels unnaturally may lead to widespread fertility problems for future generations. Don’t think that males are immune, exposure to elevated estrogen levels can alter sperm health, count and liver function.
Animal sex hormones are identical to human hormones. Getting into to the human body with food, hormones are perceived by them as their own.
correlation with GMO genes :
What biotechnology and biotech corporations like Monsanto have done, is they have allowed the transfer of genes from one kingdom to the other without any regard for the biological limitations, or constraints. The problem with this is that it is based on very bad science.
Presents results on the effects of nutritional estrogens on metabolic processes in animals of different ages testify to the potential health risks of consumer products that may be contaminated with endogenous hormones.
The use of synthetic promoters of growth (for example, zeranol) as growth hormones in beef production in many countries, including Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Mexico, Chile, Japan and the USA (trade name Ralgro) and an anabolic agent for more efficient conversion of feed into meat is debatable because of their ability to mimic the action of endogenous hormones of animals potentially leading to abnormal results. At present zeranol officially is banned in Europe for safety reasons because of its potential carcinogenic and endocrine biological activity. Despite the prohibition by the European Union, the use of anabolic steroids and derivatives agents for cattle are still there. Mixtures consisting of several steroids are often used illegally, thereby impeding detection by lower levels of certain compounds.
In 1988, the FAO/WHO experts Committee on food additives declared that the steroid hormones remnants, usually presented in agricultural products were safe for human consumption. However, the risks associated with nutritional influence of exogenous hormones aren’t yet fully characterized, and publications give conflicting reports about long-term consequences of such products using
To grow a chicken to the size of a broiler, ready for human consumption, takes three months. The feed is filled with growth-boosting nutritional and non-nutritional products including steroids, antibiotics, minerals, cholesterol, and arsenic. These growth boosters result in chickens growing to maturity in 1-½ months. This is half the normal time of maturation.
Study found that eating inorganic chicken mess with human hormones. Found what did to estrogen, testosterone, and progesterone (the main sex steroid hormones in both males and females) to the entity ate those chickens. Remember, these sex steroid hormones are not only about pregnancy or intimacy. They also rule brain health and gut health.
Arsenic’s ability to damage the insulin receptor and contribute to insulin resistance. Arsenic has been linked to an increased risk of bladder and lung cancers, and to altering insulin receptors. Arsenic is now being viewed as a contributor to an increased risk of getting type-2 diabetes. In their investigation, 100 rats were divided into 4 groups, read more in original article.
DES was banned as a class one carcinogen in the U.S. in 1971. Switzerland is the only country that still tests for DES in beef. About eight years ago, a huge shipment of U.S. beef was shipped for sale to Switzerland. But the Swiss found that this U.S. meat was filled with DES. They rejected it. The Swiss government shipped this meat over to the estrogen think tank I used to work with, for the think tank to analyze. The meat was ‘mysteriously’ lost in route. It’s probably all about money!
Much of the time, farmers are not aware of these hormones and additives that are going into their cattle. Since they are grandfathered in, they don’t have to be on the label! How can that be in this time of transparency, but it is!
There seems to be a lot of potential for scam in the meat industry. Who suffers? Your hormones. And waistline. Also possibly your risk of getting other serious diseases.
Healing Foods Pyramid by University of Michigan (2011)
ref – GMO Explained