BALANCING HORMONE LEVELS IN THE BODY
In a perfect world, there would be no need to address this aspect of health at all, but the world we live in is far from perfect. Again, diet, stress, and environmental factors are constantly working
to throw our bodies out of balance. Specifically, we need to address the following problem areas.
> Due to exposure to chemical estrogens omnipresent in our food, water, and air, the vast majority of men and women already suffer the effects of estrogen dominance by the time they are in their early 30s.
> Again due to diet and lifestyle, most men and women find that their testosterone has become "unavailable" by the time they are in their early 30s. For men, that problem is compounded by the fact that what testosterone they do have is being converted into
dihydrotestosterone, which leads to prostate enlargement and cancer.
For years, I have been leery of recommending the use of formulas that modify the body's hormonal balance, and certainly the misuse of hormone altering formulas by athletes and medical doctors in the last decade has not helped change that point of view.
Nevertheless, once you throw out all of the preconceptions and look at the issue objectively (and look at the real results—short and long term), the case for selectively altering your hormonal balance becomes compelling—with a few caveats:
> Only selected hormones should be "adjusted" without a doctor's guidance.
> Use only natural hormones (or hormones that are chemically identical to the natural hormone)
Note: hormones are produced from many different sources. Some are derived from animals; some from plants; some are created in laboratories; and some are created through changing the DNA of bacteria or single-celled plants so that they produce the desired hormone. As it turns out, for hormones, the source is not the
real question. The real question is: Is the hormone a perfect match for the hormone in our bodies? As we will soon see for estrogen and progesterone, things are not always what they seem.
> Use only therapeutic or homeopathic doses. Never, ever use pharmacological doseswithout a doctor's guidance.
Estrogen and Progesterone
Vital Information for Women (and Men)
Every woman between the ages of 13 and 117 needs to seriously consider supplementation with a natural progesterone creme.
Why? Because virtually every woman who lives in an industrialized country (the United States, in particular) is at high risk of estrogen dominance because of exposure to xenoestrogens.
Xenoestrogens, which are mostly petroleum-based synthetic estrogens, are now present in massive amounts in our food chain, water supply, and environment.
At one time, our diets afforded some protection. Fruits and grains and vegetables (in their natural state) provide low-action phytoestrogens for the body. These low-action estrogens fill the
body's estrogen receptor sites—making them unavailable for use by the more potent estrogens—both natural and synthetic. Unfortunately, today's diets are dominated by processed foods,
which are stripped of these beneficial phytoestrogens. The net result is that virtually all of the body's receptor sites are ready and waiting for the far more intense estrogens.
Some high-potency estrogens (such as estrone and estradiol) are produced by the body itself. But far and away, the greatest problem comes from the powerful and destructive petrochemicalbased
xenoestrogens. Not only are these xenoestrogens omnipresent, they are considerably more potent than estrogen made by the ovaries—some even potent in amounts as small as a billionth of a gram.
Before we proceed, it is important to understand what role estrogen plays in the body. In addition to promoting the growth of female characteristics at puberty, the estrogen hormones also
promote cell growth. It is the estrogens, for example, that stimulate the buildup of tissue and blood in the uterus at the start of the menstrual cycle. The problem comes when high levels of ...
[1 Therapeutic doses mimic the amount of hormone your body normally produces. Pharmacological (or medicinal
doses) are substantially higher than therapeutic doses—and are often accompanied by significant side effects.]
...estrogen (natural and synthetic) are unopposed by sufficient amounts of natural progesterone, which leads to continuous, unrestrained cell stimulation. Problems that can occur include:
Excess estrogen is the only known cause of endometrial cancer
Increased risk of breast cancer.
Loss of bone mass.
Increased risk of autoimmune disorders such as lupus.
Depression and irritability.
PMS symptoms such as cramping and bloating—in addition to depression and irritability.
Menopausal symptoms such as hot flashes and night sweats—again, in addition to depression and irritability.
Decreased sex drive.
Increased body hair and thinning of scalp hair.
Impaired thyroid function, including Grave's disease.
Increased body fat.
Increased blood clotting.
Impaired blood sugar control.
The astounding acceleration of puberty in young girls from an average age of 14 to 15, to now as young as 9 or 10. (This represents a speed up of as much as 1/3 sooner in their lives and has frightening implications for long-term health.)
And, finally, xenoestrogens have been strongly implicated in declining male sperm production and the increase in the rates of testicular cancer and prostate cancer.
[1 Recent reports indicate that as many as 1% of all girls now show signs of breast development and pubic hair before the age of 3!]
What's the Answer?
Once we understand the problem, it is easy to see that for the vast majority of women, hormone replacement therapy with conjugated estrogens such as Premarin® is not the answer. It very well may be a major contributor to the problem.
Most people are not aware that Premarin® is actually derived from horse urine. Hence the name: Pregnant mare urine. This is not a problem in itself,but it does lead to three significant problems.
1. First, and most important: there is no estriol in Premarin®, only estrone and estradiol. Why is this so significant? Because research has shown that the average ratio of serum estrogen in the female body is 90% estriol, 7% estradiol, and 3% estrone. This takes on particular importance when one notes that both estrone and estradiol are pro-carcinogenic, whereas estriol is anti-carcinogenic.
So why in the word would you want to use an estrogen supplement that has only the pro-carcinogenic estrogens, and not one single drop of the anticarcinogenic estrogen that normally represents 90% of the body's total? The bottom line is that in those cases where estrogen supplementation is warranted, demand either "true triple estrogen" from your doctor (and insist that it be in a ratio similar to the 90-7-3 shown above) or use pure estriol.
2. Second, there are over a dozen different estrogens in Premarin®. As you may remember from our earlier discussion of estrogen, there are only three estrogens in the human body: estrone, estradiol, and estriol. Only two of those are present in Premarin®: estrone and estradiol. That means that there are a whole bunch of estrogens in Premarin® that have nothing to do with the human body. They are specifically designed for horses. (Keep in mind that the Latin word for horse is equs, from which comes equestrian.) Some of these include equilin, 17 alpha-dihydroequilin, and equilenin.) Another way of looking at it is that those "extra" estrogens are specifically designed to make you gallop and
3. Third, the process of producing Premarin® is inherently cruel. The mares are kept in tiny pens to eliminate movement. They are kept constantly pregnant. And they are kept constantly catheterized. The process is so stressful that the average life expectancy of these animals is less than half that of a normal horse. And of course the foals are not needed, so they are destroyed.
You really have to wonder why more doctors don't ask, "If estrogen dominance got you there in the first place, then why in the world would you want to be adding a powerful estrogen complex
made from horse urine to your body?" Of course you wouldn't. And yet, conjugated estrogen is the most frequently prescribed drug in America. Consider the following scenario—one that millions
of women have already lived through.
One day you notice minor symptoms such as a sudden gain in weight or a disruption in sleep patterns or a decreased sex drive. You go for a check-up and receive a prescription for estrogen. As instructed, you take your daily dose of horse urine, but the symptoms get steadily worse. You're told to increase your dosage. Which you do. But the symptoms continue to get worse, and over time become alarming, since they now include problems such as irregular cycles, heavy clotting, or excessive bleeding. An examination of your uterus reveals significant abnormality. You are told your uterus is precancerous.Your hysterectomy is scheduled; your uterus is removed.
This is absolutely and totally unacceptable. Every woman should be furious!
The only natural balancer to excessive estrogen in the body is natural progesterone—not more estrogen. This has been clearly detailed in books such as What Your Doctor May Not Tell
You About Menopause, by Dr. John R. Lee. Natural progesterone is the only known substance that mitigates virtually all of the problems associated with estrogen dominance, and with virtually
no side effects of its own.
But what about the synthetic "progesterones" (such as Provera) that your doctor recommends? Progesterone is a natural substance, and as such cannot be patented. The pharmaceutical companies, therefore, have to modify it slightly. They literally create a new molecule, called medroxyprogesterone—that does not exist in nature—in order to take out a patent. This "slightly" modified artificial progesterone is what most doctors prescribe. What effect does slight modification have?
Consider the fact that the testosterone molecule and the estrone molecule are virtually identical—except for the fact that the positions of the oxygen atom and the OH atoms change places.
This slight "modification," however, happens to be enough so that one hormone makes men...and the other women.
1. testosterone common structural formula
2. estrone common structural formula
Even closer is the similarity between DHEA and estrone. The molecules are actually identical except for the location of some of the double bonds between carbon atoms. You cannot get closer. And yet the function of DHEA and estrone could not be more different.
And now look at the difference between natural progesterone and Provera
The bottom line is that Provera is not natural. It's a synthetic form of progesterone that carries a whole range of serious side effects. A small sampling of these side effects, as listed in the Physician's
Desk Reference, includes:
Increased body hair
Risk of embolism
Decreased glucose tolerance
Now, in exchange for these significant side effects, Provera does offer some protection against endometrial cancer and a very modest increase in bone formation.
On the other hand, supplementation with natural progesterone has no known side effects. It is best utilized by the body when administered transdermally with a skin cream that contains approximately 500 milligrams per ounce of natural progesterone and offers the following potential health benefits.
According to Dr. John R. Lee, the author of What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Menopause, natural progesterone may significantly improve bone formation—by as much as 15%-35%. (Understand, this is unique to natural progesterone.
Estrogen supplementation does not increase bone formation; it merely slows the rate of loss for a 5-year period around the time of menopause. And man-made progestin only mildly increases bone formation. If you are worried about osteoporosis, there is only one substance known that significantly improves bone formation—and that's natural progesterone.)
Increased progesterone levels in the body may help to protect against endometrial cancer.
They may also help protect against breast cancer In addition, supplementation with natural progesterone can help relieve symptoms of PMS
Relieve symptoms of menopause
Improve the body-fat profile
Improve sleep patterns
And help relieve migraine headaches
The bottom line is that every woman living in the industrialized world should seriously consider supplementation with natural progesterone.
If you decide to begin a regimen of natural progesterone supplementation, look for a premium quality balancing cream that contains a minimum of 500 milligrams per ounce (the amount recommended by Dr. Lee) of 100% pure, USP grade progesterone, naturally derived from soybeans. Look for a natural vegetarian formula that uses no artificial or synthetically derived fragrances,
parabens or preservatives. Look for a formula that uses all natural oils and an enhanced liposome delivery system to help move the progesterone through the skin. And finally, look for a formula
that uses only full-profile organic wild yam.
Whether you're still going through your menstrual cycles (or whether you're pre-menopausal, menopausal, or post-menopausal), you need to seriously consider supplementation. The benefits
are extraordinary; the risks virtually non-existent. And the risks of not supplementing potentially include an increased risk of breast cancer, endometrial cancer, and osteoporosis—to reiterate just
And as for Men
As we've already mentioned in the preceding paragraphs, men too are exposed to the effects of xenoestrogens. In addition, as their testosterone levels drop with age (see next section), there is, in many cases, a concomitant rise in estradiol levels—the major reason that many older men develop breasts.
Just as with women, estradiol stimulates cell growth
in men too and is potentially cancerous.
THIS IS ONE OF THE MAIN FACTORS INVOLVED IN THE DRAMATICALLY INCREASED INCIDENCE OF PROSTATE CANCER. In other words, any man over 30 years old would be well advised to supplement with a natural progesterone cream.
A growing body of evidence suggests that testosterone levels drop as much as 40% in men between their early 40s and early 70s. And for 10 to 15 percent of all men, those levels will dip below
normal even as early as their 30s if there is stress, depression, personal life changes or medications. This in turn causes a decrease, not only in sexual desire and performance, but in the
competitive drive to succeed and accomplish in life. In women, excessive estrogen in the body causes a reduction in testosterone levels, which leads to a similar decline in sexual desire and performance and a similar reduction in "life drive."
[1 Estradiol stimulates the BCL2 gene, which is the gene responsible for stopping cell death. What at first glance sounds like a positive, is, upon closer inspection, not. When cell death in prostate tissue, for example, is blocked, cell growth continues unabated, becoming a major contributing factor in the enlargement of the prostate and the development of prostate cancer.]
Wild Oats and Nettles
As we've just discussed, available testosterone levels tend to diminish with age. Adequate testosterone levels are essential in sexual functioning and "life drive" for both sexes. Women, for example, with high testosterone levels have more sex, increased libido, more orgasms, and tighter bonds with their mates.
Interestingly enough, in a 1986 clinical study, it was documented that it's not actual testosterone production that decreases as people age. What happens is that it's the amount of free circulating
testosterone that decreases—as more and more of it gets bound to albumin and becomes unavailable for the body's use. These changes appear to begin by middle age and happen through a
natural chemical process called "sex-hormone-binding-globulin" or "SHBG".
The problem is that bound testosterone is not nearly as effective as free testosterone in stimulating the sex and "life drive" centers in the brain. Avena sativa (green oats) and urtica dioica (nettles) easily travel throughout the body and free up testosterone---thus increasing desire. In studies, these two herbs increased free testosterone levels an astounding 105% on average!
Green oats and nettles work naturally with the body to enhance sexual desire, sensation, and performance in both men and women. The effect on human sexual appetite is powerful. Both men and women can feel a boost in sexual desire—sometimes after only a few hours. Both men and women experience an increase in frequency of orgasms while taking wild oats and nettles, while
many women experience a dramatic 68% increase in multiple orgasms. Men also reported multiple orgasms while taking the wild oats and nettles combination.
Green oats and wild nettles also work naturally to enhance the "life drive," that competitive drive in both men and women to succeed and accomplish in life.
Human Growth Hormone
The rejuvenating powers of Growth Hormone are no secret to the wealthy. Unfortunately, for the last 30 years, GH has been available only from doctors, required two injections a day, and cost
approximately a thousand dollars a month. Recently, however, several alternatives for the rest of us have become available. And while I could never recommend the injections (for a variety of reasons),I can endorse the alternatives.
Many claims are made for the effects of Growth Hormone—some bordering on claims of "almost" immortality and "almost" eternal youth. Would that it were so! Although the effects are more subtle, for most people, than pronounced, they are nevertheless wide ranging, and include things such as:
14.4% loss of fat on average after six
months without dieting
Elimination of cellulite
Higher energy levels
Enhanced sexual performance
Regrowth of heart, liver, spleen, kidneys, and other organs that shrink with age
Greater cardiac output
Superior immune function
Increased exercise performance
Better kidney function
Lowered blood pressure
Improved cholesterol profile, with higher
HDL, and lower LDL
Faster wound healing
Younger, tighter, thicker skin
First of all, you can no longer actually buy true Human Growth Hormone. Technically, only actual growth hormone taken from human beings can be called Human Growth Hormone. And in
fact, 30 years ago, that was the sole source of Growth Hormone—human cadavers, that is. But that was abandoned when it turned out that growth hormone taken from people had a major downside (in addition to cost)—and that was that it occasionally caused the human equivalent of mad cow disease. Not good, as they say.
Fortunately, at around the same time it was determined that true Human Growth Hormone was not an acceptable alternative, recombinant DNA technology came into its own. The bottom
line is that scientists learned how to alter the DNA of a single-cell yeast plant so that it would produce large amounts of Growth Hormone (molecularly, absolutely identical to real Human Growth
Hormone) safely and inexpensively. Because this growth hormone is identical to HGH, people often use the terms Growth Hormone and Human Growth Hormone interchangeably. Technically,
however, it should be referred to as a plant-based Growth Hormone and not Human Growth Hormone. Many companies deliberately try and cross this line.
Anyway, given that there now existed a good, inexpensive source of Growth Hormone, another problem remained. It turns out that the Growth Hormone molecule is so large (containing 191
amino acids) that it could not be absorbed orally. That meant it could only be administered by injection. This, of course, required a doctor and was very expensive—costing between $1,000 and
$1,800 a month.
The only alternatives to this for years have been the amino acid-based precursor formulas (also called secretagogues). Although not as powerful as HGH injections, these formulas can be quite effective (provided your pituitary is still functioning well) and carry none of the downside of the injections.
[1 Because of the cost involved, growth hormone injections became known as the secret youth formula of movie stars and the very rich.]
Within the last two years, two alternatives have appeared on the market that actually use real Growth Hormone (the plant-based variety). One is homeopathic GH. This makes use of real GH,
diluted down to homeopathic levels. The jury is still out on homeopathic HGH, but the early indications are that it works at least as well as the secretagogues.
And recently, a new form of GH that can be absorbed orally has been introduced. This again works as well as a secretogogue for most people. Its advantage is that this version will work for
those few whose pituitaries are dead and no longer capable of producing HGH, whereas a secreatogogue will not. Its downside is cost, as it is the most expensive of the alternatives (but still far
less costly than the injections).
Let me digress for a moment and explain exactly how GH works. First of all, as we detailed in our discussion of progesterone, it is important to understand that hormones are the body's chemical
messenger system. They tell the body what to do and when. Adrenaline, for example, is produced in the adrenal glands, but serves to tell the heart to speed up and the blood vessels to
narrow in times of stress. HGH, on the other hand is produced in the pituitary gland. It is released in a series of 9-24 microscopic "pulses" throughout the day (mostly in the evening), and it signals
a number of body functions relative to aging and the production of other hormones such as DHEA and Melatonin and various parts of the endocrine system, including the hypothalamus (considered to be the master gland). Interestingly enough, the release of GH at "pulse" levels stimulates the pituitary to produce even more GH. However, it's most important function is telling the liver to produce Insulin-like Growth Factor (IGF-1). That's the main key to anti-aging. Specifically, the benefits of HGH can be measured in terms of how much it increases the body's production of IGF-1.
Any number above 20% starts to be significant in terms of effectiveness for anti-aging.
Most of the formulas on the market will increase IGF-1 levels by a minimum of 20%—some even approaching 100%.
Keep in mind, however, that one 30 minute aerobic session can easily increase IGF-1 levels by a good 100%, and a solid session of weight training can increase levels by an incredible 400-800%.
In animal studies, DHEA supplementation bordered on the miraculous. It seemed to:
[1 There is some concern that HGH (because it increases IGF-1 levels in the body) may increase the risk of prostate cancer. This is based on three observations: a couple of in vitro studies that showed IGF-1 may stimulate tumor cell growth, a study out of the Harvard School of Public Health that equated high levels of IGF-1 with increased
risk of prostate cancer, and the fact that "giants" (who are, in fact, giants because of abnormally high HGH levels)
have a higher risk of cancer. A simple reality check, however, calls these observations into question. First, the reality
is that both HGH and IGF-1 levels decline as we age. The incidence of prostate cancer, on the other hand, increases
as these levels decline—the exact opposite of the expressed concern. In addition, in numerous studies with
thousands and thousands of patients receiving large amounts of HGH supplementation through injection over many
years, there was no observed increase in prostate cancer. In fact, based on real-life observation, there is evidence to
the contrary, that HGH supplementation may actually reduce the risk of prostate cancer.]
[2 Injections, which work directly on the liver (almost like a massive "pulse," can increase IGF-1 production by 20-40%. (A downside to injections, in addition to cost, is that they can give too much GH to the body, shock the body, and can stop the pituitary from producing its own GH. This may explain why injectable GH produces more immediate results, yet ultimately results in a plateau.)]
>Extend life by 50%
>Protect against heart disease, cancer, autoimmune diseases, obesity, and diabetes
>Boost the immune system
>Reverse the effects of stress
The reality turned out to be somewhat less.
I am not a big fan of DHEA supplementation (at least without a blood workup) for several reasons. First of all, the oral DHEA commonly used is composed of particles that are too big to be directly used by the body; therefore, it has to be sent to the liver to be broken down. Unfortunately, since the liver is unaccustomed to receiving DHEA in this form, it ends up converting most of it into androgens (sex hormones). It is these androgens that can cause the growth of facial hair in women and may contribute to prostate disorders in men.2 The second problem with standard oral DHEA supplementation is that there is strong evidence it reduces the body's own production of DHEA. And finally, DHEA supplementation (usually in doses greater than 10 mg a day) is often accompanied by side effects that include:
>Acne and excessive oiliness
>Growth of face and body hair in women
>Irritability or mood changes
>Over-stimulation and insomnia
As we mentioned earlier, the oral DHEA commonly available is composed of particles that are too big to be directly used; therefore, it is sent to the liver, which ends up converting most of it into androgens. What's left is converted into 7-Keto DHEA, the useful portion. Well, now a new form of DHEA is available, 7-Keto DHEA. It seems that 7-Keto may provide most of the benefits of regular DHEA, but since it can't be converted to active androgens (e.g., testosterone and estrogen), it should prove to be much safer and have minimal side effects.
The only downside is that 7-Keto is brand new and there have been no substantial clinicals to support it. All in all though, if you're looking to supplement with DHEA, 7-Keto probably makes the most sense.
[1 The DHEA commonly available as a supplement is not the same as that used in studies.]
[2 There has been a lot of debate as to whether DHEA contributes to prostate problems or not. I think that, as with HGH, once you step back, you see that most of the debate makes no sense. The argument is that since DHEA can be converted into testosterone and dihydrotestosterone, hormones that are believed to stimulate prostate tissue, it has also been proposed that DHEA is counterproductive in those who have prostate gland enlargement or prostate tumors. But actual experience does not support that conclusion. The only case I have heard of that showed a definite link was one in which the patient was receiving doses of DHEA that reached 700 mg a day. That's many many times the 2-50 mg a day dose that makes any sense. There is evidence that at low dosage levels DHEA works to block androgen receptor sites in the body—making them unavailable to the more potent androgens—thus serving to protect your prostate.]
Note: Many people use supplements containing Mexican Wild Yam (Discorea villosa) as a DHEA supplement. The theory is that Wild Yam contains diosgenin, a DHEA precursor, that your body uses to produce its own DHEA. Unfortunately, there is no evidence that, in fact, your body converts any Wild Yam into DHEA. All benefits related to Wild Yam appear to be from its phytoestrogen effect.
Pregnenolone is the ultimate hormone precursor. Virtually every hormone in the body can be produced by your body, as required, from pregnenolone. Again, as with all of the other hormones
that we've talked about in this chapter, pregnenolone levels decline precipitously as you get older.
The prime benefit of pregnenolone is that it helps balance out your other hormone levels as required. In addition, though, it does provide specific benefits, such as:
> Extremely powerful memory enhancement and improved cognitive performance
> Supports the adrenals
> A strong anti-fatigue agent
> Of significant benefit in rheumatologic and connective tissue disorders such as rheumatism, osteoarthritis, scleroderma, psoriasis, lupus, and spondylitis
> Repair of the myelin sheath structure
> Improved immunity
> Reduced PMS and menopausal symptoms
> And it just makes you "feel" really good
Use of pregnenolone has shown no serious side effects even at very high doses of up to 700 mg. However, at the high dosage level, there has been some occurance of minor side effects, including overstimulation and insomnia, irritability, anger or anxiety, acne, and headaches.
Melatonin is a natural hormone made in the pineal gland, a pea-sized gland located in the brain. Since its first discovery in 1958, melatonin has been studied extensively and has been shown
to be widely beneficial to the body. As with all of the other hormones we're discussing, melatonin levels decline significantly as we age. An interesting note on melatonin. The trigger for production of melatonin is darkness—total darkness.
Any light in the room will inhibit production of your
body's melatonin. Today, however, living in a world with nightlights in the bedroom, or streetlights sneaking through the window, we actually have an epidemic of people with insufficient melatonin production, even at a very young age. Now here's the really interesting part. The problem doesn't just come from light falling on our eyes while we sleep, but from light falling on any part of the body. Even if you wear an eye-mask, so that you are in total darkness, if light is falling on your arms or chest or feet, that's enough to stop melatonin production.
[1 Without artificial light we would normally be in total darkness from 8-12 hours a night, producing melatonin
during all of those hours. Living in a city or suburban area may cut the hours of total darkness to 0-6, depending on
how light tight the bedroom is.]
The benefits of supplementation include:
> Better Sleep
Lowered levels of nighttime melatonin reduce the quality of sleep resulting in the need for more sleep. If your pineal gland does not produce adequate melatonin early enough in the evening, both the quality and quantity of your sleep may suffer. Lack of melatonin may make it difficult for you to fall asleep, or may cause you to wake up too soon. Too much melatonin and you will feel yourself feeling exhausted, or "drugged" throughout the day. If secretion does not continue, you may wake up too soon. By taking melatonin instead of other so-called sleeping aids, rapid eye movement sleep (REM=dreaming) is not suppressed nor does it induce "hangover" effects when used as directed.
> Enhanced Immune Function
Many people report that supplementation with melatonin has significantly reduced their incidence of colds and infections. The exact way in which melatonin affects the immune system is not known. However, since much of the activity of the immune
system takes place at night, some researchers have proposed that melatonin interacts with the immune system during sleep, helping to buffer the adverse effects of stress on the immune system
> Powerful Antioxidant Capabilities
Melatonin is one of the most powerful antioxidants produced in the body. In addition, since it is both water and fat soluble, melatonin can reach almost every singlecell in the body. On the down side, however, since it cannot store in the body, it must be replenished daily. This would normally not be a problem, except for the fact, as we've already mentioned, that constant exposure to artificial light has significantly reduced production of melatonin in our bodies.
> Mood Elevator
Nighttime melatonin levels are low in people with major depressive and panic disorders.
Individuals with noticeable mood swings or who are melancholic also have depressed melatonin levels. Both seasonal affective disorder and non-seasonal cyclic
depressions are related to the peaks and valleys of melatonin levels.
> Cancer Fighter
> Helps the Heart
> Relieves Asthma Symptoms
[1 It has been proposed by some that the increased incidence of cancer we are seeing is partially due to the extended time we are exposed to artificial lighting. This is reflected in the fact that melatonin levels of breast cancer and prostate cancer patients are half of normal.
> Progesterone: Whether you're still going through your menstrual cycles (or whether you're pre-menopausal, menopausal, or post-menopausal), you need to seriously consider supplementation with an all-natural progesterone cream. The benefits can be profound, and the risks of not supplementing potentially include an increased risk of breast cancer, endometrial cancer, and osteoporosis—to reiterate just a few.
And for men, since they are not immune to the effects of xenoestrogens, low levels of natural progesterone supplementation can help with depression and can help relieve prostate problems and help prevent prostate cancer.
> Estrogen: In most cases, estrogen supplementation is not called for. The problem is usually related to a lack of progesterone, not estrogen. But in those cases where it is required, make sure your doctor uses either all-natural triple-estrogen in the normal body-ratio of approximately 90% estriol, 7% estradiol, and 3% estrone—or use pure estriol. As we discussed earlier, this is the exception, not the rule; and most doctors are unaware of the difference.
> Testosterone: Extracts of wild oats and nettles can safely help increase testosterone levels in the body by releasing the bound testosterone already there and helping to prevent conversion of testosterone to dihydrotestosterone in men. For men, zinc supplementation of approximately 50 mg a day is also advisable to help prevent production of dihydrotestosterone in the body.
> HGH: Supplementation with a secretagogue, a homeopathic HGH formula, or the new sublingual polymer matrix HGH makes sense for anyone over 35. All of these are okay to use on a daily basis as they do not suppress the body's own production of HGH. Of the three, however, the polymer matrix HGH is the most effective. You also might want to try increasing your exercise levels. Aerobic exercise can double HGH levels in the body, but weight training can increase levels by as much as 400-800%.
> DHEA: I do not recommend supplementation with DHEA at this time without monitoring DHEA levels in your blood. If you insist, try the new 7-Keto formulas. In any case, supplementation with pregnenolone and/or HGH will help raise DHEA levels in the body. If you choose to supplement, do not use daily, as supplementation may suppress the body's own production of DHEA.
> Pregnenolone: Start with 5 mg a day and increase by 5 mg a day (to a maximum of 30 mg) until you "feel" really good. Then try backing it down to the lowest level that still produces that same feeling. Finally, start backing off on the days that you use it until you are using it only 2 or 3 times a week (so as not to suppress your body's own production). As needed, as you age, you can increase the days and dosage. The final recommended dosage is age dependent. If you're younger than 50, you might consider dosages in the range of 10-20 mg 2 to 3 times a week. If you're over 50, you may end up using 15-30 mg daily.
[1 Make sure you avoid the synthetic forms of progesterone such as Provera.]
> Melatonin: Melatonin, in small doses, several times a week (so as not to suppress your body's own production), makes sense for supplementation. There's virtually no downside; it can help restore optimum sleep patterns, and it's a powerful antioxidant
and immune enhancer. As you get older, you can increase the amount and frequency as needed. There is, of course, another option. Use black-out curtains in the bedroom, and turn off any nightlights. Try to get the bedroom as close to total darkness as you
can get. This will help increase your bodies own melatonin production. And when you wake up in the morning, expose yourself to sunlight ASAP to cut melatonin production and wake yourself up.
There are several cautions that should be observed when supplementing hormones.
> Pregnant or nursing mothers should not supplement without guidance from their doctors
> Likewise, women trying to conceive would be advised to check with their doctor first
> Anyone being treated by a doctor for a pre-existing condition should check with their doctor. This would include conditions such as:
Mental illness or depression
> Anyone on prescription steroids should check with their doctor first.
In fact, it probably makes sense to check with an anti-aging specialist before starting a program of hormone supplementation. Yes, that's right. There is now such a thing as an anti-aging specialist.
[1 Dosage varies according to what your body needs. It can range from .2 mg to 20 mg a day. The key to determining
the correct dosage is that which helps you sleep, but let's you wake up without feeling "drugged." Start with
.5 mg and increase by .5 mg a night until you find what works for you. Note: the effect of supplementation often
carries over several nights so that you may only need to supplement every other night or every third night.
[2 Keep in mind that these specialists are still medical doctors and still prone to some of the same paradigm
blindness that afflicts most doctors. Many of these specialists will recommend horse urine and synthetic progestin
for women. You were given a brain. Use it, even when talking to a specialist.]
Next Chapter 11- DYING OF THIRST