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Articles on Hormone Balance

Hormones and Their Function in the Body

Progesterone  - the hormone of pregnancy
Progesterone is produced in the corpus luteum of the ovaries of menstruating women through the conversion of pregnenolone to progesterone. It is also synthesized by the placenta, is found in the adrenals and is stored in fat tissue. Whether from your own ovaries or from an external source, progesterone works in the body by traveling in the blood to tissues where there are progesterone receptors. Progesterone molecules attach to these receptors and begin their actions in the body. 

  • Called "the feel good" hormone
  • Counters the effects of excess estrogen in various parts of the body by "downregulating" estrogen receptors
  • Acts as a natural anti-depressant
  • Helps thyroid hormone function
  • Protects against anxiety and irritability
  • Has a calming effect on the body to reduce nervousness
  • Helps build bone density
  • Helps fat metabolism
  • Can help normalize blood sugar
  • Can lower tryglycerides
  • May protect against stroke
  • Can decrease blood pressure
  • Can improve heart health
  • Can protect against fibrocystic breast disease

Estrogen - the female hormone
Estrogen is made in the ovaries, for follicle around the ovum, adrenal glands and fat cells. There are 3 types of estrogen made by the body (Estriol, Estradiol, & Estrone). Estradiol is the most active form of estrogen made by our ovaries when we are young, adrenals and fat cells as we get older. Estriol is the weakest of estrogens. It is mainly made by the placenta and is most abundant during pregnancy. Estrone is made after menopause in the fat cells primarily from testosterone derivatives. When we refer to estrogen we refer to its three components as one. During the aging process, the ovaries stop producing estrogen on a regular basis, and the main source of it in the body comes from the adrenal glands. The body transforms unused testosterone into needed estrogen and calls upon estrogen stored in fast cells as well.

  • Makes the lining of the uterus grow to prepare for pregnancy
  • Helps the breast tissue grow in preparation for making milk
  • Causes the ovum (egg) to mature inside the ovary to prepare for oculation
  • Creaste the follicle where the egg matures
  • Promotes growth of underarm and pubic hair, and pigmentation of the nipples
  • Stimulates body fat accumulation to prevent starvation of the fetus
  • Support healthy bone strength & density
  • Protects from hypertension by relaxing the lining of blood vessels
  • Alleviates symptoms of menopause: headaches, mood swings, bloating, hot flashes, fatigue, & low libido
  • Can improve memory & lower incidence of Alzheimer's
  • Lowers insulin levels
  • Induces relaxation of blood vessels in the circulation in general and heart in particular
  • Promotes & maintains vaginal mucosal thickness and secretions 

Testosterone - the "male" hormone

If you thought testosterone was only important in men, you'd be mistaken. Testosterone is produced in the ovaries and adrenal gland. It's one of several androgens (male sex hormones) in females. The proper balance between testosterone (along with other androgens) and estrogen is important for the ovaries to work normally. While the specifics are uncertain, it's possible that androgens also play an important role in normal brain function (including mood, sex drive and cognitive function).Ovarian function

  • Bone strength
  • Boosting libido
  • Increasing fertility
  • Strengthening and energizing the body and brain tissue

Signals sent from the brain to the pituitary gland at the base of the brain control the production of testosterone in men. The pituitary gland then relays signals to the testes to produce testosterone. A "feedback loop" closely regulates the amount of hormone in the blood. When testosterone levels rise too high, the brain sends signals to the pituitary to reduce production.

  • The development of the penis and testes
  • The deepening of the voice during puberty
  • The appearance of facial and pubic hair starting at puberty; later in life, it may play a role in balding
  • Muscle size and strength
  • Bone growth and strength
    Sex drive (libido)
    Sperm production


DHEA - "The Fountain of Youth"

Made in the body and secreted by the adrenal gland in men and women, DHEA (Dehydroepiandrosterone) can convert into male and female sex hormones (testosterone and estrogen). DHEA is also responsible for producing hormones that control fat and mineral metabolism as well as stress. DHEA levels in the body peak at the age of 20 for both men & women. Declining DHEA levels have been associated with arthritis, memory loss, and heart disease.

  • Responsible for maintaining "youthful vigor" & a lean body
  • Maintains muscle mass & muscle tone
  • Boosts libido in both men & women
  • Enhances the thermogenic process (Food is transferred into energy instead of fat)
  • Enhances mood, relieves depression
  • Supports hormone balance and regulates thyroid gland
  • Has anti-dementia effects
  • Counter-balances cortisol
  • Maintains energy & adrenal health & increases stamina
  • Decreases the stickiness of platelets, to help prevent heart attacks and strokes
  • Can increase bone density to prevent or reduce osteoporosis

    Pregnenolone - the gateway hormone
    Pregnenolone is made primarily in the adrenal gland but also in the brain. It is a precursor, or starting raw material, for the production of ALL the human steroid hormones, including DHEA, progesterone, estrogen, testosterone, cortisol and aldosterone. Pregnenolone is synthesized directly from cholesterol and is responsible for countless functions in our bodies. By the age of 75, however, the body’s production of this valuable hormone has declined by as much as 60%, and levels of the hormones for which pregnenolone is a precursor have also diminished.

    • Counteracts effects of cortisol
    • Promotes formation of other hormones
    • Repairs brain and nerve tissue
    • Enhances memory & cognition
    • Prevents aging skin
    • Combats depression
    • Increases energy
    • Alleviates arthritis symptoms
    • Improve sleep quality
    • Counteracts fatigue and stress
    • Protects brain cells against the long-term damage that can lead to Alzheimer's disease and other forms of dementia

    Thyroid - the hormone of metabolism
    The hypothalamus sends a signal to the pituitary gland through a hormone called TRH (thyrotropin releasing hormone), and the pituitary gland then releases TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone) to the thyroid gland. The thyroid gland then releases T4 and T3 hormones, which enter the bloodstream and affect the metabolism of the heart, liver, muscle and other organs. The pituitary gland regulates the level of thyroid hormone in the blood and increases or decreases the amount of TSH released.

    • Responsible for burning the calories, fats and other nutrients used by our body for energy
    • Maintains balanced body temperature