Tag Archives: hormones

3 Most Important Hormones for a Woman’s Good Health

women

It’s a popular punchline in movies and TV sitcoms when a woman is acting irrational — “It’s her hormones.” As it turns out, there’s more than a kernel of truth in this stereotype. While wonky hormone levels can’t be blamed for every strange thing a woman says or does, they can be the culprit in a variety of areas. Shape Magazine’s talking about the 20 most important hormones for our health (yes, 20!). We’re looking at the ones most key for women.

3 Important Hormones for Women’s General Health

Estrogens

This household-name hormone is produced in the ovaries and helps control sexual development (puberty, menstrual cycle, pregnancy) and also maintain bone strength. When levels are too high, it can cause increased risk of breast cancer, dementia and even uterine cancer.

Progestogens

As the uterus prepares for fertilization, these levels rise after ovulation, maintaining the uterine lining in preparation for implantation and throughout gestation. If pregnancy doesn’t occur, levels drop, causing menstruation to start. (more…)

Maca Powder: The Best Thing You’ll Find in the Supplement Aisle

If you’re looking to decrease stress, stabilize your hormones, boost your sex drive, neutralize the acidity of your body, and blast your system with nutrients, look no further than that section at the health food store you always ignore: the supplement aisle.

I know what you’re thinking: Supplements? Aren’t those the often untested, unapproved sorta drugs that always seem too good to be true. For the most part yes—I largely avoid most of the powders, pills, and formulas available in this section of the health food store. But there’s one supplement that’s definitely worth picking up for any of the above conditions: Maca powder.

maca

Maca-what?
Maca powder has also been called “Peruvian ginseng”. Although it’s thought of as a supplement, researchers suspect this South American staple has been consumed for around 2,000 years. The Incas considered maca to be a gift of the gods, due to its superior nutritional value, and it’s one of the only plants to thrive in the tough conditions of the Andes mountains. Maca powder comes from the root of the plant. (more…)

Detox Diets and Fasts Do Not Work and May Increase Toxins in the Body

bottle

To detox or not to detox? That is the question I had for Gerard Mullin, MD of Johns Hopkins University as he spoke about nutritional detoxification at the 2013 Food & Nutrition Conferences and Expo a few weeks ago.

Dr. Mullin said that toxins are everywhere – in the food we eat, the air we breathe, and the things we touch.

Bisphenol A (BPA), a carcinogen, is in plastics, dental sealants, canned food linings, and cash register receipts.

Phthalates, other carcinogens, are found in fatty milk, butter and meats, along with personal care products, detergents, children’s toys, printing inks, and more.

Heavy metals, like arsenic, mercury and lead, are in food, batteries, paints, plastics, and fertilizers.

For the most part, toxins are “endocrine disruptors” that change the way our hormones regulate bodily functions. In animal studies, endocrine disruptors are linked to cancers, birth defects, diabetes, and other diseases. What is worse is that, when they work together, the sum of their actions is greater than the whole, and they are stored practically forever in body fat. Whether or not an individual develops a problem depends on genetics, level of exposure, and the quality of nutrients in the diet. (more…)

Hormones in Food: The Good, The Bad, and The Potentially Dangerous

Love it or hate it, unless you seek out hormone-free options, the food you eat likely contains additional hormones. From meat to milk, hormones are added to increase productivity. Some are produced naturally by the foods themselves. We teamed up with our favorite registered dietitian Mary Hartley to look at foods containing hormones, what their effects might be and how you can avoid them.

cow in field

Hormones are most commonly found in meat, milk and plants. In meat and milk, they are added through production. Steroid hormones are given to beef cattle to make them grow faster, build more muscle and make their meat leaner. Two-thirds of all cattle and about 90 percent of the cattle on feedlots in the United States are given hormones. Six steroid hormones are approved by the FDA for use in food production. They are: estradiol, progesterone, testosterone, zeranol, trenbolone acetate and melengestrol acetate. Steroid hormones are released into the animal from a pellet that is implanted under the skin of the ear. Due to federal regulations, these hormones can only be used on sheep and cattle.

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Peggy Bradford Used Facebook to Rally 3,000 People to Better Health

Peggy Bradford of Sewell, New Jersey hasn’t always been the avid promoter of health that she is today. Before losing 70 pounds the 47-year-old mother weighed close to 220 pounds and suffered from severe depression. The weight gain came after a major surgery that required her to be on a hormone replacement for one year, which left her feeling terrible both physically and emotionally.

After facing resistance from her doctor about getting off of her medications, Peggy told her husband she was going to take matters into her own hands, and that’s exactly what she did.

Peggy almost instantly began eating healthier and watching her calories, cutting out soda and choosing protein bars over candy bars. For exercise she purchased a pedometer to encouragement more daily movement.

“I started out doing 10,000 steps a day with 4 pound weights,” she said. “I’ve built myself up to between 20,00-30,000 steps a day and 12-15 pound weights. I not only jog in place when I do my workout, but I jog in place when I talk on phone, iron, do dishes, etc.,” she said. “It sounds crazy, but the steps add up and have been a huge part of my weight loss journey.” (more…)

Check in With Your Thyroid for National Thyroid Month

February is not just all about Valentine’s Day, chocolates and hearts. It’s also focuses on awareness of a butterfly-shaped hormone gland known as the thyroid. The thyroid has the difficult task of controlling your metabolism, growth, development, and body temperature. The thyroid gland is located on the throat and wraps around the windpipe. The presence of too much or too little thyroid hormone is determined by a blood test. So how will you know if you have an over or underactive thyroid and why would it happen?

There are many ways thyroid function to be affected, including the body attacking itself or cancers. Graves disease is an autoimmune disease that causes an increase in thyroid hormone. Overactive thyroid causes symptoms like more frequent bowel movements, feeling anxious, increased body temperature and sweating, loss of hair, increased heartbeat, and weight loss even with having increased appetite. It can also affect the menstrual cycle by causing lighter, shorter periods. It also possible to develop a goiter which is an enlarged thyroid gland. This condition is usually treated with medication to block the stimulation of the thyroid, removal of the thyroid, or radioactive iodine to help shutdown overactive thyroid cells. Many of these procedures end up causing patients to have an underactive thyroid that has to be treated with medication.

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Vaportrim Claims Smell can Trick Your Brain Into Being Full

The concept is fascinating: message receptors in the brain tell your body you’ve eaten. Introducing Vaportrim, a new entry into the diet market. It is a plastic cylindrical device, the size of a ballpoint pen, that looks like an embellished electronic cigarette. The cylinder, or cartridge, contains a liquid solution of water and flavors (natural and artificial) in a glycerin base, along with an atomizer, a tiny heating element. When you inhale with your mouth, the liquid passes through the atomizer, turning into a vapor. The vapor is held in your mouth and exhaled, just like smoking. Vaportrim comes in 14 flavors including raspberry cheesecake, milk chocolate, vanilla cupcake, and cinnamon bun.

The manufacturer says it works because our smell receptors message our brain, which, in turn, release hormones that tell the body it’s full. Legitimate research does show that appetite and smell are closely connected and smell can trigger fullness before the stomach can, but whether Vaportrim can curb cravings is unknown. No research has been done using the actual product for appetite suppression or weight control. Le Whif is a similar diet aid, but with it, vapor is not exhaled, and the Sensa Sprinkle Diet, also relies on smell receptors, but calls for sprinkling crystals on your food.
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40 Chews the Magic Number for Weight Loss

We have pedometers to count our daily steps, maybe it’s time to have a device that measures our bites – a biteometer, maybe? That’s because a new study out of China says there is an ideal number of bites you should take in order to lose weight.

While we already knew that we shouldn’t eat our food fast, the latest research pins it down to 40 bites as the ideal number. The researchers got 16 lean and 14 obese young men to participate in the study. Before they started, the researchers believed the obese participants would chew less per bite, which proved to be true. (more…)

Lazy Larry Brownies Remind of the Danger of Natural Additives in Food

By Jill Buonomo

Most health-conscious consumers routinely avoid additive-laden foods. But are they missing hidden dangers by accepting “natural” additives at face value?

The Food and Drug Administration might say so. Earlier this week, the FDA issued a strong warning to HBB LLC, the manufacturers of “Lazy Larry” brownies, a product laced with melatonin and marketed through convenience stores and the company’s website. The FDA says it can seize the brownies if the company continues to manufacture and sell them.

Melatonin is a hormone that, while “natural,” affects the sleep-wake cycle and can make consumers sleepy. According to the FDA the addition of melatonin makes the brownies unsafe. Included on the packaging is a warning against driving or operating heavy machinery after consumption.

Although melatonin is fairly unregulated as an over-the-counter supplement, the FDA suggests that consumers, especially children, pregnant or breastfeeding women, and those with autoimmune diseases should consult their doctor before eating melatonin-laced foods. Some medical research suggests that use of melatonin could result in reproductive, cardiovascular, ocular and neurological issues.

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Are Environmental Toxins Causing Your Weight Gain?

By Steven V. Joyal, MD, VP of Medical & Scientific Affairs at Life Extension.

The simplistic “eat less, move around more” solution for weight loss cannot explain the sharp increase in the rise of obesity over the past 30 years. The disturbing fact is that toxins in our environment are hidden causes of weight gain.

Our children represent the future. Yet their future may be irrevocably mortgaged by toxic chemicals that seep into our food supply, lying in wait to trigger damaging effects. The startling truth is that infant obesity rates have skyrocketed 73% over the past 30 years (since 1980), and an important, yet under-recognized culprit, is the presence of special types of environmental toxins in our food supply.

Certain hormone-mimicking chemical toxins in our foods act on genes during development that literally create more fat cells. These toxic endocrine disruptor chemicals change our metabolism to hoard calories as body fat. Endocrine disruptors are chemicals that mimic the effects of certain types of hormones in your body to promote weight gain.

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