Four Steps to Building a Healthy Foundation for Your Hormones by Joseph J. Collins, RN, ND
No matter what type of hormone problem you are struggling with – men’s hormone health, women’s hormone health, adrenal health, thyroid health, insulin and blood sugar health – or more than one problem, there are some certain things that must be done to build a healthy foundation on which to rebuild hormone health. Foundations of Hormone Health include these four important steps:
1. Healthy lifestyle and dietary choices that support optimal hormone function
2. Complete high-grade multiple vitamin-mineral formulation
3. Omega-3 essential fatty acids rich in DHA and EPA
4. Probiotics with multiple species and high count
These basic principles and concepts should be used when addressing any type of hormone health, including adrenal health, sex hormones, thyroid hormones, and blood sugar health.
Hormone Healthy Lifestyle & Diet
Appropriate diet, exercise, rest, sleep, recreation, social interactions, hydration, and detoxification contribute to vitality and replenishing of vital tissues best when these components are truly part of a lifestyle. Sleep deprivation, or excessive stress, or inadequate exercise can each result in decreased levels of testosterone and thyroid hormones, and in an increased risk of obesity. A balanced diet with fruits, vegetables, salads, fish, and lean meats or poultry will support optimal hormone health. Beyond the basics, specific foods can actually promote healthy estrogen metabolism, which is important for both men and women. Properly managing hormone health always requires optimal lifestyle first. Even bioidentical HRT cannot make up for unhealthy diet and lifestyle.
One diet that can support hormone health in both men and women in the estrogen metabolism diet, which supports proper metabolism and detoxification of estrogens. Women may benefit from eating foods rich in phytoestrogens.
Many times when people start a healthier diet with more legumes, vegetables and other foods rich in phytoestrogens, they experience gas and bloating, which may discourage them from eating healthy foods. Using herbs and spices that are carminatives can decrease gas and bloating, and make it easier to stay on the new diet of healthier foods.
Complete Multiple Vitamin & Mineral
Optimal hormone health requires the daily intake of a high-grade vitamin & mineral formulation. A high percentage of adults in North America take in less than the minimum daily requirement of 10 or more essential nutrients. This is a great concern as a adults goes through the biochemical changes seen in the aging process. Vitamins and minerals are used as cofactors for every biochemical process that takes place in your body. They are all essential for quality health in adults of all ages. Ultra Preventive III contains Metafolin®, a patented, natural form of (6S) 5-methyltetrahydrofolate (5-MTHF) as well as 1,000 IU of vitamin D3 per serving. 5-MTHF is the naturally occurring, predominant form of folate commonly found in cells and is essential for overall health, as it participates as a cofactor in a reaction that involves the remethylation of homocysteine to methionine. Unlike synthetic folic acid, 5-MTHF can be used directly by the body, without the need for an additional conversion via the enzyme (5,10-methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR)). In certain populations, the body's ability to convert folic acid to 5-MTHF by use of this enzyme may be compromised due to genetic differences. Metafolin® contains only the S isomer of 5-MTHF and has been shown to be the only form of folate to be able to cross the blood-brain barrier. Additional vitamin D3 (also known as cholecalciferol) has been added to this formula as numerous scientists now feel that supplementation with vitamin D at levels greater than previously thought necessary is critical to helping maintain overall health.
Omega-3 Essential Fatty Acids
The ability of essential fatty acids (EFAs) to influence hormone related health issues is so strong that EFAs must be used in any hormone health problem. EFAs, specifically docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), maintain ideal cell membrane fluidity, allowing optimal transport of hormones across the cell membrane and into the cell, where hormones affect the health of each cell. Proper EFA balance may also down regulate inflammation, and enhance tissue health and maintain bone density. Many of the optimal functions that have traditionally been surrendered as humans “grow old” are in fact due to becoming EFA deficient. The two most important essential fatty acids for hormone health are docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA).
DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) helps maintain ideal cell membrane fluidity allowing optimal transport of hormone molecules across the cell membrane, which is critical for hormone function. It is also very important for brain health. The best formulation for high amounts of DHA is QÜELL Fish Oil® Ultra DHA.
EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) helps the body control inflammation. In some cases, it may be best to use an essential fatty acid with more EPA than DHA, such as in patients experiencing increase systemic inflammation and those with autoimmune diseases. In those situations, the best formulation for high amounts of EPA is QÜELL Fish Oil® Ultra EPA.
QÜELL Fish Oil® is Supercritical CO2 extracted oils in triglyceride form, manufactured in Germany exclusively for Douglas Laboratories. QÜELL Fish Oil is unique among other fish oils for its’ critical extraction, purity, bioavailability and concentration. Many fish oils contain only about 30% omega-3 fatty acids, of which roughly 18% is EPA and 12% DHA. The remaining 70% is a varying mixture of other components. In other words, regular fish oil contains less than a third of the desired active ingredients and more than two thirds of “other” components. Those other components may include cholesterol, omega-6 fatty acids, saturated fatty acids, oxidation products and contaminants. Highly concentrated fish oil, like QÜELL, provide at least 75% active ingredients, leaving less room for nonessential compounds.
QÜELL Fish Oil® is the best omega-3 essential fatty acids rich in DHA and EPA to use with any of the Hormone Specific™ Formulations.
The advantages of using live, beneficial intestinal micro-organisms extend to every system of the body, and not just the digestive system. Probiotics are vital for establishing and maintaining a healthy population of beneficial intestinal microorganisms, which play an important role in conditions such as obesity, diabetes and metabolic syndrome. Healthy gut flora help balance the immune system and decrease systemic inflammation, help balance neurotransmitters, and assist with healthy detoxification of hormone metabolites (the end products of hormones that have been broken down by the liver). The probiotic formulation that I have found to be most beneficial is Multi-Probiotic® 4000. Each capsule contains over four billion beneficial organisms, including representatives of both the lactobacillus and bifidobacterium genera, mixed in a base of prebiotic fructooligosaccharide. The Multi-Probiotic® 4000 formulation allows people to personalize the dosage, similar to how I recommend personalization of the Hormone Specific™ Formulations by using Protocol 242™.
Multi-Probiotic® 4000 is the best high count, multiple species probiotic to use with any of the Hormone Specific™ Formulations.
Next: Learn about Fitness and Your Hormones
This article is part of the Educational Module on Hormone Health.