Potency: Testosterone – Estrogen – Progesterone

Includes the reproductive hormones estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone. These hormones play a vital role in the human reproduction lifecycle. They confer a sense of potency, power, and self-esteem for both men and women. For men, production engenders a sense of reward while for women, reproduction gives them a sense of security.

ESTROGEN (HORMONE)Estrogen

LOCATION

Estrogen is a steroid hormone produced in the ovaries, adrenal  glands and fat tissue in women and the testes, adrenals and fat  tissue in men. Estrogen is thought of as a hormone that is involved  in female reproduction, but it also occurs in males in smaller  amounts and affects the growth, differentiation and function of  many tissues in the body. Estrogen is a term that is used to  collectively describe the hormones estradiol, estrone and estriol.

In the body, estrogens circulate mainly bound to the sex hormone  binding globulin (SHBG) and only unbound (or “free”) estrogens  can enter cells and lead to biological effects. Various lifestyle and  environmental factors can influence the production, binding,  metabolism and function of estrogens in men and women, including:

  • Genetics
  • Age
  • Poor diet, high in refined carbohydrates like  whitebreads, sugars and low in vegetables, low fiber  and high saturated fat
  • Excessive alcohol consumption
    Poor glycemic control and insulin signaling sensitivity
  • Certain medications, including hormone replacement  therapy (HRT) and oral contraceptives (OC’s)
  • Exposure to environmental contaminants (xenoestrogens)  such as pesticides, found in industrial chemicals and  foods contaminated with agricultural hormones
  • Excessive visceral (belly) fat

FUNCTION

Estrone (E1) is the main estrogen made by women after menopause  and is associated with the development of breast, uterine and  prostate cancer. Before menopause your body makes estradiol out  of estrone in the ovaries. Once this stops estrone is no longer  converted to estradiol. Once in menopause fat cells, the liver and Estrone (E1) is the main estrogen made by women after menopause  and is associated with the development of breast, uterine and  prostate cancer. Before menopause your body makes estradiol out  of estrone in the ovaries. Once this stops estrone is no longer  converted to estradiol. Once in menopause fat cells, the liver and the adrenal glands make estrone. Obese women  have a higher rate of breast cancer, and increased  estrone production is thought to be a significant  contributing factor. Alcohol consumption also makes  your body favor estrone production – being a reason  for the association between alcohol intake and breast cancer.estrogen3

Estradiol (E2) the strongest estrogen, it is produced in  the ovaries has many protective effects, including  protecting bone health/density, improving growth  hormone levels, improving blood vessel flexibility and keeping your blood from getting sticky, supporting  memory/cognitive function and mood, supporting  growth hormone release as well as improving your  cholesteron/lipid profile. Estradiol is also the primary  heart-protective estrogen. Too much estradiol can be  associated with estrogen related cancers, but  deficiencies can lead to osteoporosis, heart disease, dementia and other diseases of aging.

Estriol (E3) is the weakest of the three estrogens and  has protective role in breast tissue health, along with  vaginal and urethra tissue protective properties as well. It can help improve your cholesterol profile by  increasing HDL and decreasing LDL so estriol is heart  protective. Estriol also helps decrease hot flashes in  women, protect the unrinary tract and plays a role in  retention of bone density. It blocks the effects of  estrone by occupying estrogen receptor sites, an  important anti-cancer mechanism.

The major method that estrogen affects the body  depends on its metabolism. The metabolism of  estrogens takes place mainly in the liver, allowing the  estrogen to be detoxified and excreted from the  body. Estrogens are also metabolized in your  intestines, and are dependent upon the health of the  gastrointestinal tract.

Estrogens convert into many metabolites. Estrone, for  example, may convert into three different forms:

  • 2-hydroxyestrone – protective
  • 4-hydroxyestrone – cancer causing and active
  • 16-alpha-hydroxyestrone – cancer causing and active

Research has identified 2-hydroxyestrone as a “good  estrogen,” while 16-alpha-hydroxyestrone and  4-hydroxyestrone (“bad” estrogens) have been  associated with the development of certain types of  cancer, like breast and ovarian with uterine fibroids,  ovarian cysts and fibrocystic breasts. By increasing  the ratio of the good form to the bad form you can  reduce your chances of developing hormonal related  cancers like breast, uterine and ovarian.

RELATIONSHIP 

As men and women age, their hormones change.

This hormonal change can be slow and gradual or  can be sudden, bringing with it health issues  associated with aging. You could be noticing  depression and mood changes, weight gain, achiness and joint stiffness, blood pressure changes,  numbness or tingling in the toes, feet or hands, loss  of muscle and strength, cognitive decline, blood  sugar imbalances, dizziness and even changes in  your sex drive. You may not realize these issues are  related to changes in your hormones. How your  hormones are working in your body is influenced by  the balance between different hormones – the  interrelationship between the hormones, and  whether your body is metabolizing (processing) them  properly and if any environmental toxins are blocking  their effects.

As women age their estradiol levels goes down and  their estrone levels increase and in men their relative  estradiol and estrone levels go up. Both men and  women will make more estrogens if they accumulate  visceral (belly) fat.

Excessive estrogen makes cells grow which makes  tissues grow, affecting the ovaries and breast in  women and the prostate tissue in men. Estrogen is  needed particularly in women to make serotonin receptors function in the brain, affecting mood and  increasing anxiousness and depression. Serotonin is  the “calming” brain chemical.

Estradiol has heart-protective effects, so as women  enter menopause and loose their estradiol  production, they actually have higher heart disease  risks than men.

Estrogen also helps keep bones strong, as women  will lose up to 25% of their bone density in the first  year of menopause. Skin wrinkling is accelerated as  estrogen is lost from a women’s body and cognitive  function- critical thinking and short-term memory are  eroded with the loss of estrogen production.  Symptoms such as vaginal dryness and urinary  leakage can also occur.

Drugs that can decrease levels of estradiol include:

  • Oral contraceptives
  • Anticonvulsants
  • Clomiphene (Clomid, Serophene)

Too much estrogen in men, particularly estradiol, can  lead to increased risk of stroke and heart disease,  loss of sexual desire and function, prostate problems  and increased belly fat/weight gain. High estradiol  levels in ovulating women can lead to decreases in  pregnancy rates but lowers the incidence of heart  disease in postmenopausal women.

Drugs that can increase estradiol levels include:

  • Corticosteroids (including prednisone,  cortisone, hydrocortisone and  methylprednisolone)
  • Antibiotics including ampicillin and tetracycline
  • Estrogen-containing drugs, including hormonal replacement therapy
  • Phenothiazine antipsychotics (including chlorpromazine and promethazine)

Also, environmental toxins like xenoestrogens found  in pesticides, phthalates in cosmetics and BPA in  plastic bottles can lead to signs of estrogen  dominance and imbalance other hormones.

PROGESTERONE (HORMONE)

LOCATION

PROGESTERONE
Progesterone is a steroid sex hormone made from cholesterol.  Progesterone is a hormone produced mainly by the ovaries and  the placenta in women during the period when they are able to  bear young. This hormone can also be produced by the adrenal  glands in both the females and males by the testes in males. Adult  males have levels similar to those in women during the follicular  phase of the menstrual cycle.

FUNCTION 

Progesterone works in conjunction with estrogen as the main sex  hormones responsible for the menstrual cycle in women and helps  prepare the body for pregnancy. Progesterone levels rise during  the middle of the cycle, while estrogen increases in the first half of  a menstrual cycle. Progesterone helps to prepare the uterus for  implantation with a healthy fertilized egg and supports pregnancy  in its early stages. If no implantation occurs, progesterone levels  drop, and another cycle begins.

Progesterone helps make other steroid sex hormones, including  dehydroepiandosterone (DHEA), testosterone and estrogen.  Progesterone also helps make cortisol, the stress hormone.  Progesterone receptors are found in high concentrations in the  brain, where it acts to protect nerve cells and supports the myelin  sheath that covers neurons. It helps to relax the nervous system to  improve sleep and stimulates bone growth for maintaining bone  health.

RELATIONSHIP  

PROGESTERONE As men and women age, their hormones change. This hormonal  change can be slow and gradual or can be sudden, bringing with it  health issues associated with aging. You could be noticing  depression and mood changes, weight gain, achiness and joint  stiffness, blood pressure changes, numbness or tingling in the  toes, feet or hands, loss of muscle and strength, cognitive decline, blood sugar imbalances, dizziness and even changes  in your sex drive. You may not realize these issues  are related to changes in your hormones. How your  hormones are working in your body is influenced by  the balance between different hormones – the  interrelationship between the hormones, and whether  your body is metabolizing (processing) them properly  and if any environmental toxins are blocking their effects.

For women, it is important to compare the  relationship between estradiol and progesterone in  evaluating menopausal symptoms such as hot  flashes, mood disorders, and aging skin. Breast  cancer is reported to be less common in women with  adequate progesterone levels. Men also need a  balanced progesterone to estrogen level. Excessive  estrogen and deficient progesterone leads to  estrogen dominance in both men and women. Too  much estrogen and too little progesterone has been  associated in women with heart disease, obesity, the  development of certain types of cancer, like breast  and ovarian, ovarian cysts, PCOS or polycystic ovary  disease, fibrocystic disease and uterine fibroids.  Decreased levels of progesterone are often seen in  those with chronic stress, insufficient exercise, low  thyroid hormone levels, a diet high in refined sugar  and saturated fats, in those on antidepressants, and  those with a deficiency of vitamin A, B6, C or zinc.

The stress hormone cortisol is made from  progesterone. If your stress levels are high, then  more cortisol is produced, the less progesterone is  available, leading to more estrogen to progesterone  than is healthy. Less progesterone in men means less  testosterone is being made, which can lead to low  testosterone levels and metabolic imbalances (see  testosterone sheet). Environmental toxins like  xenoestrogens (hormone-disruptors) commonly found  in pesticides, phthalates in cosmetics and BPA in  plastic bottles can lead to signs of estrogen  dominance and decreased progesterone.

Symptoms of low progesterone include:

  • Anxiety/Depression
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Fibrocystic breasts
  • PMS
  • Premenstrual headaches
  • Bones loss

Elevated levels of progesterone compared to  estrogen can lead to insulin and blood sugar  problems. Excess progesterone can also lead to  anxiety, as progesterone is converted in the body  into cortisol, the stress hormone. Too much  progesterone can cause breast tenderness,  depression, fatigue, low sex drive, vaginal dryness,  and more. High progesterone levels may indicate  pregnancy. Synthetic progestins are found in  birth-control pills, in hormones given during  menopause for replacement therapy, or in  medications to correct abnormal bleeding problems  during menses. Taking these medications may lead  to an increased progesterone level.

If the progesterone to estrogen ratio is too high you  will store fat and tend toward insulin resistance. Too  much progesterone can lead to:

  • Elevated cortisol/stress hormone
  • Increased cravings
  • Reduced growth hormone
  • Immune imbalances

TESTOSTERONE (HORMONE)

LOCATION

testosterone1
Testosterone is a steroid sex hormone produced in the male and in  the female. Testosterone is produced in the male in the testes and in  women in the ovaries (to a much less extent), and in both male and  female in the adrenal glands in small amounts. On average, adult  males have approximately 7-8 times more testosterone than females.

FUNCTION   

Testosterone produces the male sexual characteristics, including  body hair and sex organ development. In both men and women,  testosterone is necessary for muscle growth and bone  development and strength. The hypothalamus is triggered to  release luteinizing hormone (LH) from the anterior pituitary gland,  which signals the Leydig cells in the testes to produce testosterone,  resulting in the development of male secondary sex characteristics.

RELATIONSHIP testosterone2

As men and women age, their hormones change. This hormonal  change can be slow and gradual or can be sudden, bringing with it  health issues associated with aging. You could be noticing  depression and mood changes, weight gain, achiness and joint  stiffness, blood pressure changes, numbness or tingling in the toes,  feet or hands, loss of muscle and strength, cognitive decline, blood  sugar imbalances, dizziness and even changes in your sex drive.   You may not realize these issues are related to changes in your  hormones. How your hormones are working in your body is  influenced by the balance between different hormones – the  interrelationship between the hormones, and whether your body is  metabolizing (processing) them properly and if any environmental  toxins are blocking their effects.

Too much testosterone in women can lead to masculinization and  weight gain. Declining testosterone levels are common in the aging  process in both men and women. Low levels have been reported in  as many as 38.7% of men over 45 years of age, and in 20% of women. The age-related decline in testosterone in men  can play a role in developing weight gain, insulin  resistance and type 2 diabetes, erectile dysfunction and  decreased libido, thyroid imbalances, cardiovascular  conditions, memory and cognitive decline including  Alzheimer’s disease, bone loss and loss of muscle mass  and resulting increased risk of osteoporosis, sleep and  immune problems, cancer and an increased the risk of  death in adult men.

Stress and the release of the stress hormone cortisol is  also a major contributor to a decline in testosterone.  Studies support having healthy testosterone levels  supports a healthy body composition in both men and women.

As men age, their serum hormone binding globulin  (SHBG) starts to increase, also leading to a decrease  in free testosterone while estrogen levels start to  increase. The estrogen/testosterone imbalance is  partly because aging men tend to convert more of  their testosterone into estradiol, by means of the  enzyme aromatase. Of the remaining testosterone,  much of it is bound to SHBG, making it hard to use by  the body. As long as free testosterone is low and the  relative estrogen (estradiol and estrone) is high, a man  will store fat around their belly, hence the “pot belly”.  Low plasma levels of SHBG and free testosterone  have been linked with increased insulin resistance and  risk for type 2 diabetes in males.

testosterone4