Estrogen refers to a group of similar hormones produced in the body. Produced by the adrenal glands and fat cells, estrone is the most prevalent after menopause. Estradiol is produced mainly by the ovaries and of the three estrogens is the most stimulating to breast tissue. Estriol is produced in large quantities in pregnancy and is also the main circulating estrogen in young women. Estriol is made from estrone and estradiol and is the least stimulating to breast tissue. Estrogens are helpful in relieving hot flashes and nightsweats as well as helping the urinary tract, breasts, skin, and blood vessels and keeping the uterus toned and flexible. Estrogens may also slow the development of osteoporosis by slowing down the rate of bone loss.
Anti-aging and longevity medicine are paving the way to healthy aging. As time passes, our hormone production slows and hormonal imbalances result, leading to many symptoms associated with aging. By restoring hormones to their optimal levels and being committed to a consistent, preventive maintenance program, it is possible to delay, or even avoid the side effects of aging.
The best way to restore your hormones is with natural bioidentical hormone replacement therapy. Natural bioidentical hormones are the key to hormone replacement because they replicate exactly the hormones we make in our own bodies.
Progesterone is primarily produced by the corpus luteum in the ovary just prior to and after ovulation. It is also produced in large quantities by the placenta during pregnancy and in small quantities by the adrenal glands. Progesterone has many functions including moderating symptoms of estrogen excess such as water retention, fat accumulation, uterine bleeding, and mood swings. Progesterone helps promote thyroid activity and may also stimulate cells (osteoblasts) necessary for bone building.
In men, testosterone is mainly produced by the testicles and in smaller quantities by the adrenal glands. In women, testosterone is produced in both the ovaries and the adrenal glands. In both men and women, testosterone may be helpful for increasing sex drive, energy, and muscle strength.
The two main thyroid hormones are thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3). T4 is produced by the thyroid gland and is the inactive thyroid hormone in the body. T3 is produced in the brain and the liver through the conversion of T4 and is the active thyroid hormone in the body. Thyroid hormones are involved in weight control, regulating the body’s metabolism and increasing energy.
DHEA is made by the adrenal glands. Once DHEA enters the cells, it may be converted to testosterone and estrogens. DHEA enhances the immune system to help protect against infection, injury, and illness. DHEA may also be helpful in enhancing energy and muscle strength. DHEA may be beneficial in autoimmune disorders such as Chrohn’s disease, lupus, fibromyalgia, and rheumatoid arthritis. (Now available in Canada by prescription)
Melatonin is a hormone produced by the pineal gland in the brain and released mainly at night in the absence of light from the retina. It regulates the circadian rhythm as well as the onset and timing of the deep stages of sleep. Studies suggest that the immune system is stimulated during the deep stages of sleep. Hundreds of studies show that melatonin can scavenge free radicals, induce youthful sleep patterns, and possibly slow the aging process.