Tag Archives: hormones

Cortisol: the Stress Hormone’s Effect on Your Health and Weight Loss

Stress is simply a part of life. Stress can be a positive thing: It can save your life in a fight or flight situation, or it can be the kick in the butt you need to finally finish that project at work you’ve been putting off. Too much stress, however, can have a negative effect on your mental and physical health. In today’s society, where we are moving faster, taking on more responsibility and are constantly technologically connected to the demands of work and home, our lives are becoming more overwhelming, and it may be taking a toll on our waistlines.

Cortisol, dubbed the “stress hormone”, is an important hormone secreted by the adrenal glands, responsible for many functions in the body including regulating metabolism and blood pressure, immune function, inflammatory response, and releasing insulin, which maintains blood sugar levels.

Cortisol isn’t only secreted when the body is under stress, but it is secreted in higher levels during the body’s “fight or flight” response to stress (think of when something pops out and scares the crap out of you. That surge you get is your body’s fight or flight response- you either jump and run, or start swinging.) The stress we encounter on a daily basis isn’t always so obvious or sudden, but daily stress, i.e. a jam packed schedule the next day or not knowing how you are going to afford next month’s bills, isn’t immediately remedied, so your stress levels stay elevated for an extended period of time until the stressor is remedied, or more often than not, until another stressor comes along and takes over.

Just as with everything in life, too much of something is never a good thing. Elevated cortisol levels cause many physical, negative changes to the body, including impaired cognitive function, blood sugar imbalances, high blood pressure, and lower immunity, causing you to feel slow and drained of energy, or even come down with an illness.

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What You Need to Know About Natural and Artificial Hormones

Carolyn Dean, MD, ND is a health pioneer with over 25 years of experience with women’s health issues. She’s authored 22 books including “Future Health Now Encyclopedia”, “The Complete Natural Guide to Women’s Health, “Hormone Balance”, “Menopause Naturally”, “The Yeast Connection and Women’s Health”, “IBS for Dummies” and “The Magnesium Miracle”. She is the medical director for the Nutritional Magnesium Association. For more info you can access a Free 32-page guide to the benefits of magnesium written by Dr. Dean at the non-profit www.nutritionalmagnesium.org.

Hormones have an important role to play in every woman’s health and well-being. When hormone levels fluctuate, this can cause weight gain and affect your ability to lose weight as well as affect mood, sexual desire, fertility and ovulation.

The female hormones estrogen and progesterone are produced by the female body in specific ratios every month. An imbalance of either can cause menopause and all the symptoms associated with it. These hormones are influenced by certain factors such as nutrition, diet, lifestyle, exercise, stress, emotions, age and ovulation. When estrogen and progesterone dance to the tune of stress and chemical disruption, they can fluctuate wildly and then gradually decline as we age.

Aging brings its own “blessings”—wisdom and memories—but also the possibility of weight gain and declining organ function—thyroid and adrenals, especially.

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Your Perception of Food Affects Your Hunger Levels

Can just the way you perceive the food you are about to eat have an impact on how satisfied you will feel afterward? That’s what researchers at Yale University set out to find when they performed a new study.

The researchers measured levels of the hormone gherkin, which is released in the stomach as a response to hunger. When your blood contains high levels of the so-called “hunger hormone,” it sends your brain the signal that it wants food.

In the study, they took 46 volunteers between 18 and 35 years old. They were told that they were going to test two new milkshakes. One of them would be labeled high fat, 620-calorie “indulgent” milkshake, the other was a no-fat 140-calorie “sensi-shake,” for being a “sensible” choice. Thing is, both shakes had the same calorie content (380). In fact, they were the exact same french vanilla milkshakes, just in different packaging.

Amazingly, the volunteers’ levels of the hunger hormone was different, depending on their perception of what they were drinking. When they were anticipating a decedent treat, their gherkin levels dramatically increased in anticipation, which was followed by a steep decline afterward. This indicates that they were more satisfied by it. (more…)

Suzanne Somers on LIVE with Regis and Kelly

Tune in this Monday, January 10 to LIVE! with Regis and Kelly to see Suzanne Somers talk about her new book Slim and Sexy Forever: How to Fight Fat Over 40.

Suzanne has long been the perfect image of health and beauty ever since her entertainment career began on the hit sitcom, Three’s Company. After a serious battle with breast cancer, Suzanne came out looking and feeling better than ever. Today, she continues to be a role model for women of all ages who want to continue to be and feel their best as they get older.

Her new book is a weight loss and health plan that helps women take control of their health and beauty, regardless of their age. Her plan, Sexy Forever can also be followed online. Both the book and online weight loss program show women how their shifting hormones, the combination of foods they eat, and even the cosmetics they wear on their bodies play a role in the ability to lose weight.

Suzanne will give you on the inside scoop on her new project with Regis and Kelly.

Check your local listings for exact show times.

What the Labels on Your Meat Really Mean

When it comes to the meat and poultry aisle in the grocery store, how much do consumers really know? Words like “mechanically separated” and “all-natural” can be convoluted, so we talked to some of the experts at Coleman Natural Meats to decode some of the most confusing labels that we see on meat packaging today.

Certified Organic: While organic food arguably offers some health benefits that conventionally prepared foods do not, an organic designation is not one-size-fits-all. In the US, any item that was made entirely with certified organic ingredients can be labeled “100% organic.” Products that contain 95% organic ingredients can use the word “organic” on their labels.  Any products that contain 70% organic ingredients, can be labeled “made with organic ingredients.”

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Men Sweat, Women Really Do Glow

You know the saying “women don’t sweat, they glow”? Turns out it’s more than just a cute phrase. It’s kind of true.

A recent study published in the journal Experimental Physiology found that men are more effective sweaters during exercise. How is one more effective, you ask? Well, when it comes to exercising, women have to work harder and more intensely than men to start sweating. (more…)

Cortisol’s Risks and Rewards Based on Your Stress Level

Cortisol is a hormone that’s released into the bloodstream by the adrenal glands. It’s released in two ways: in low, steady levels and in high, short bursts. Releasing a short burst of concentrated cortisol is part of your body’s survival mechanism, also know as the fight or flight response.

Steady levels of cortisol provide low doses that help to regulate:

Hormone-Free Milk Can Keep its Label

Dairy CowThis past week a federal judge repealed the Ohio law banning “rbST free” and “rbGH free” milk labels. The court further ruled that milk from cows treated with hormones is constitutionally different from hormone-free milk, overturning the FDA’s finding that there is “no significant difference” between the two. The 17-year-old study was much-touted by those in the dairy industry who use artificial hormones to increase their production.

The Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit cited the following three differences in milk from cows treated with rbST and rbGH:

  • Higher counts of somatic cells, which means there’s more pus in the milk
  • A period of milk with lower nutritional quality during each lactation
  • Increased levels of the hormone IGF-1, which is an insulin-like growth factor

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Hormones May Predict Regaining Weight

It’s become an ending just as predictable as the latest Hollywood romantic comedy: weight gain after a successful run on a diet. While the most common explanation for this unhappy ending is dieting methods that will never turn into lifestyle changes, you may have hormones to blame as well.

According to a new study, the levels of appetite hormones in the body before dieting may be a predictor of weight regain after dieting.

Treating obesity with drugs or dietary programs can be very effective in the short-term, but the long-term success of maintaining the weight lost is usually poor,” said lead study author Ana Crujeiras, PhD, of Compejo Hospitalario Universitario de Santiago in Spain.

“Our study sheds light on how the appetite hormones leptin and ghrelin affect weight regain after weight loss. This knowledge could be used as a tool to personalize weight-loss programs that could guarantee success in keeping off the weight.” (more…)

Interview with Hormone Diet Author, Dr. Natasha Turner

Dr. Natasha Turner, author of The Hormone Diet

Natasha Turner is one of Canada’s leading naturopathic doctors and natural health consultants. Her passion for promoting wellness, fitness and integrated medicine makes her a sought-after speaker for corporations, the public and the education of other medical professionals. Her book, The Hormone Diet, is a national bestseller and has been receiving critical acclaim, including praise from Christiane Northrup, MD.

DietsInReview.com had an opportunity to speak with Dr. Turner and her approach for hormone balance. Here is an excerpt of that conversation:

This book is one of the first book that talks about the importance of hormone balance for men. Why should men be concerned about keeping their hormones in check?

Most people hear hormone and think women and menopause. But the approach outlined in The Hormone Diet can be used by both men and women. I see many men in my office of all ages that are experiencing anxiety, depression, weight gain, belly fat, low testosterone levels and low libido.

Hormone imbalance is the cause of so many of our health conditions. The research and clinical experience that is included in this book is applicable for both men and women. It is important to recognize that men will naturally get quicker results than women on The Hormone Diet. Both men and women will ultimately get to the same place, but at a different rate. (more…)