Hormones and Your Health
Hormones have a huge impact on our overall health. They affect not only our fitness goals, but many other functions in our body. Hormones are complex and coordinate many essential bodily functions including:
- Growth and development
- Sexual function
- Sleep-wake cycle
Many times athletes will struggle with imbalances at some point due to the stress impact of working out and low body fat percentages especially at elite levels. In case you didn’t know, yes hormones are all made from cholesterol, which is fat! This is why healthy fats are essential for our body’s natural hormone balances. Also why athletes who are at too lean, low fat body percentages for too long especially as females are at high risk of hormone imbalances.
There has been a recent turn in focus on overall lifestyle health by many sports’ nutrition companies. With this, there have been hormone support products released knowing about the imbalances many of these athletes combat. It has been encouraged to do blood work and check your hormone levels, especially when competing. But what do you do when you find an imbalance? How do you help reset your hormone balance?
Ingredients For Hormone Support
There are many ingredients that are suggested to help with hormone support. Some of these ingredients include DIM, Pregnenolone, L-Tyrosine , Setria L-Glutathione, Ashwanganda, Inositol, and Berberine.
Many of these ingredients focus on many different faucets of what may be contributing to hormone imbalances. Stress, thyroid function, glucose levels, toxins, and many more factors can all contribute to the very complicated causes of hormone imbalances. Did I mention stress? Because this is a big focus and many doctors will tell you to minimize stress. But in our daily lives? We all know how difficult that can be with finances, jobs, family life and balancing the busy lives we all live! When it comes to modern medical practice, there is no perfect fix or simple answer for hormone imbalances.
Products for Hormone Support
As some of you may know, I also have Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) which I officially was diagnosed after finding out I was pregnant. Though I had suspected it for a few years prior to my official diagnosis. I had never had a regular menstrual period even as a teenager. The response my doctor had as an 18-year-old? I was prescribed birth control to help “make my menstrual period regular”. Not once at this time was it mentioned that I may have PCOS. I covered up my symptoms of oligomenorrhea, or having less than 6-8 periods per year for years with birth control. After pregnancy, I breast fed for 9 months. My menstrual period did not return until almost a full year after birth of our daughter. But what did I trial to attempt to help menstrual period to regulate?
For the past 3-4 months, I have taken the following hormonal support products. Glow from Ghost for one month starting in middle of January 2022 after I had finished breastfeeding. Poise for one full month. Pregnenolone 25mg daily for one month in conjunction with Stabilize for Her by Arms Race Nutrition for one month. My menstrual period returned end of February and returned for 3 cycles in a row. While there are many factors that may have contributed to this, it was at the same time that I was taking these supplements with hormone supporting ingredients.
Arms Race Nutrition’s Stabilize for Her
Arms Race Nutrition created a product with a blend of ingredients that all offer ingredients that support overall hormone health. This product focuses on increased antioxidant support, decreasing stress, and improved weight management. This product was formulated for every female in relation to hormone health. Athlete, gym-goer or any women who wants to improve their hormone health. There initially was a Stabilize product made in general for men and women. ARN came out with this product later, more specialized for women. They also have a male version, Stabilize for Him.
As a branded ingredient, Shoden® Ashwagandha is an innovative, clinically proven ingredient with high bioavailability. It is beneficial in overall health, shown to aid in anxiety, stress, and improved sleep. How may this help with hormone balance? Stress has a medically known impact on hormone balance. This is a primary focus when trying to maintain hormone balance or battle hormone imbalances.
Berberine is a well-researched ingredient known to aid in glucose and lipid metabolism. In recent years there has been an increase in clinical studies focusing on the benefits of berberine and PCOS in relation to insulin resistance. According to this study, berberine can promote glucose uptake and further reduce PCOS pathology.
High insulin levels tells the ovaries to produce more testosterone, which results in hormone imbalance or even Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS). High insulin levels can also lower sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG). When your SHBG is low, the level of free unbound testosterone increases. Symptoms can be similar to those of excess testosterone or of estrogen including:
- Excess body and facial hair
- Hair thinning/loss
- Increased appetite and weight gain
- Irregular or absent periods
- Voice deepening
- Mood changes
- Breast pain
This product also includes hormone supporting ingredients like DIM, Setria® Glutathione, iodine, magnesium and Chaste Tea Extract.
Core Nutritonals’ Poise
Core Nutritionals has a great product that is made to optimize hormone health. The ingredients in this product all contribute to overall hormone health, focusing on many faucets that contribute to hormone imbalances including stress, antioxidants, thyroid health, and inflammation. It was made under the PR series, or by Paul Revelia, for his athletes to aid in the hormone health while competing.
Glutathione is a natural tripeptide made of three amino acids within every cell, naturally made in our body’s liver. It is the body’s main defense against free radicals. The body’s need for glutathione often outpaces the production of it within the body. It is a powerful antioxidant which can help fight oxidative stress for overall health.
Free radicals are a natural byproduct of many different body processes such as exercising, foods, breathing, inflammation and even environmental pollutants. There are multiple studies that focus on the negative effects of oxidative stress and free radicals on hormone balance. Setria® L-Glutathione provides a potent supply of antioxidants that bind these free radicals. This prevents the damage these free radicals may cause. Setria L-Glutathione can also help stabilize or neutralize other free radicals, such as Vitamin C and Vitmain E. This is how Setria® Glutathione aids in hormone balance.
Pregnenolone is a hormone naturally produced in your body by the adrenal gland. This hormone is made up from cholesterol and is the starting point for the production of testosterone, progesterone, estrogen, cortisol and other hormones. It is often considered the “pre-cursor” hormone. Pregnenolone is often suggested for hormone replacement since it is considered the precursor to an abundance of other hormones including DHEA. It is shown that with age, both pregnenolone and DHEA plasma levels have been shown to decline progressively. Knowing this, studies suggest that pregnenolone may be beneficial for women for menopausal symptoms. Pregnenolone not only aids in hormone support, but has many other health benefits many focusing on improved cognition function and memory.
This product also includes ingredients like DIM, Chaste Tree Extract, iodine and magnesium all aiding in hormone support.
Use code INFORMANT to save 20%.
GHOST is known for their many innovative, lifestyle products that are constantly pushing the envelope for the new next best product. While this product is often noticed for its cosmetic effects to help with your skin and hair, it also has many ingredients that focus on hormone balance, detoxifying, and managing stress. One of the big ingredients I loved seeing in this product in the inositol. Not to mention, it is in a powder form to drink instead of capsules!
DIM has been shown to inhibit an enzyme called aromatase, which converts testosterone to estrogen. In this study, DIM is suggested to enhance estrogen metabolism. This means in theory, it decreases the overproduction of estrogen. It is seen to aid in hormone balance for both females and males. Also known to prevent hair loss as this can be a symptom of high levels of estrogen. Many studies focus on possible prevention of cancer with estrogen regulation, such as breast cancer, uterine cancer, and colon cancer.
Inositol is a water-soluble vitamin-like substance. Inositol is found in all cell membranes, with the highest concentration in the heart and the brain. Your liver needs it to process and breakdown fats. It is essential for your muscles and nerves to function. There are nine forms of inositol called isomers.
The connection with inositol, or more specifically myo-inositol, and hormone support is its ability to help improve insulin resistance. It is the precusor to inositol triphosphate which is a messenger for many hormones including insulin and follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH). According to this study, inositols have potential to reduce insulin resistance, improve ovarian function and reduce androgen levels in women with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS). PCOS is an endocrine disorder that is more and more common in our society. We are not claiming this will cure PCOS, but it may aid in helping with hormone imbalances.
Ghost Glow also includes key ingredients like Setria Glutathione, Astrion and L-Theanine.
Use code INFORMANT to save 20%.
While there may be many factors that play into hormone imbalances, including external factors such as stress, I do feel that many of these ingredients have clinical studies that suggest they may help. Anyone who has hormone imbalances understand the frustration of not knowing how to fix it. I will always recommend attempting to minimize stress and speaking with your physician to make sure nothing else may be going on. I do feel it is worth the money buying these supplements. Sure, you can buy some of these as individual ingredients. It would be equally, if not more expensive to buy these all separately. From my own experience, I do feel these ingredients may help with hormone imbalances or prevent them. Not to mention, many of the ingredients have other overall health benefits.