Want to optimize your hormones for health and vitality? Read this post to get some practical advice for achieving this goal!
In his podcast with Dr. Kyle Gillet, Dr. Huberman shed light on ways to optimize your hormone levels to promote health in both men and women. The podcast might be technical for people who lack knowledge of biological terms and processes. This post explains the most important key points in simple words. So, without further ado, let's begin!
Six Pillars of Hormone Health
Six most important factors that control hormone health are known as the pillars of hormone health, and these include:
Exercise (1) plays an essential role in improving your hormone health by increasing the blood flow to your muscles and the sensitivity of hormone receptors. It means the delivery of nutrients and hormones nutrient improves when you exercise.
As you age, the muscle-maintaining hormones, such as IGF-1, DHEA, testosterone, and human growth hormone (HGH), decline in your body. Physical activity helps restore their healthy levels. For good cardiovascular health, 150 to 180 zone of 2 cardio is recommended each week.
How diet affects hormone health. Your diet (2) should be carefully monitored if you want to improve your hormone health. Intermittent fasting (IF) will not affect your hormone health if you're taking enough calories in your diet. IF is good for boosting the levels of Growth Hormone at night. The longer the gap between your last meal and your sleep, the more will be the spike. Moreover, adding proteins to your diet also contributes to hormone health by increasing the production of peptide hormones.
Sleep optimization is essential for stabilizing your hormones,(3) and you should have an uninterrupted sleep to undergo all the five stages of the sleep cycle. Poor sleep reduces fulness hormones; as a result, you often feel hungry. Moreover, stress hormones and insulin resistance increase if you don't get sufficient sleep. Your growth hormone levels decrease significantly if you don't get proper sleep.
When you're stressed, the levels of cortisol hormone in your body increase which increase appetite and cravings for sugary and high-fat food items. As a result, calorie intake will increase and make you obese. You should indulge in healthy activities to reduce stress, such as meditation or yoga, to avoid this.
A very good way to reduce stress is by reducing synthetic caffeine and increase intake of magnesium supplementation, specially forms like threonate, bisglycinate and taurinate.
Your exposure to sunlight affects your desire to mat due to hormonal changes. When your skin is exposed to UV Blue Light, estrogen and testosterone production increase in the body, which leads to an increased desire for mating. Studies show that 20 to 30 minutes of sunlight exposure 2 to 3 times a week increases estrogen, testosterone, and the desire to mate. Main reason for this is the effect of Vitamin D3 on hormone health.
Your body, mind, and soul are interconnected, and they all work together to have a healthy life. Spiritual health has a strong effect on your mental health.
Dihydrotestosterone is an androgenic hormone and is considered an outgrowth of testosterone. DHT (4) can bind to the androgenic receptor leading to increased testosterone production in your body. High levels of DHT are associated with the following conditions:
Slow healing of the skin after injury
Coronary heart disease
If the levels of DHT are low in the body, it can delay puberty for all genders, but the effect will be more prominent in males.
DHT and Hair Loss
Hair loss is of two types:
Male pattern baldness / androgenetic alopecia
Other types of alopecia
DHT binds to androgen receptors involved in androgenetic alopecia, and the genes that determine the number and distribution of androgen receptors come from the mother. So, the male pattern of baldness isn't because of the father but the mother's father.
In the case of androgenetic alopecia, the activity of androgen receptors should be decreased to stop hair fall. Male pattern baldness can also occur in women.
How to Optimize DHT?
If your DHT levels are high, you can add turmeric, black pepper, and curcumin extract to your diet. They can stop the activity of the enzyme 5-alpha-reductase, which is involved in converting testosterone to DHT. If DHT levels are low, then avoid these.
Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)
It’s a hormonal disorder (5) during which the ovaries become enlarged and small cysts form on the outer edges. The common symptoms of this condition are:
Abnormal menstrual cycle
Excessive hair growth
Many people suffering from PCOS have even less than 9 periods a year, and many don’t have an idea of their condition until infertility.
Lifestyle Changes that Can Affect Hormones
The activity of the beta-adrenergic receptors increases with an ice bath.
Drinking alcohol daily affects testosterone, and the amount decreases if your alcohol consumption is more. It's recommended not to have more than 2 drinks of alcohol 1 to 2 days per week, rather than having it daily.
By smoking marijuana, the amount of estrogen decreases because the activity of the enzyme aromatase, which is involved in converting testosterone to estrogen, is decreased. It is not the cannabidiol per se, but the smoking that creates this effect.
Optimizing your hormones is crucial for your overall health. This post is a brief overview of Dr. Huberman's podcast that explains everything in detail. You can listen to the podcast if you want to dig into the details of the supplements and their benefits.