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From puberty on, hormones take control of the body and impact daily life in many ways. Two hormones that are very important to the female body are estrogen and progesterone. While considered female hormones, estrogen and progesterone are present in both males and females.
What do estrogen and progesterone do in the body?
Estrogen is a steroid hormone which sends messages to the uterus in females to grow and replace the lining. Estrogen is responsible for the development of the reproductive system. Other major functions of estrogen are bone development, heart health, and mood balance. Progesterone helps to balance out estrogen and prepares the uterus for the egg and helps maintain early pregnancy. In males, progesterone is needed to produce testosterone.
How males use estrogen?
While females have a lot more estrogen in circulation, males also produce estrogen. Estradiol is essential to modulating libido, erectile function, and sperm count in males. Teenage males have high levels of testosterone and lower levels of estrogen to assist with puberty. However, as men age, testosterone levels in men decrease while estrogen levels increase.
Balancing estrogen or progesterone
Ultimately, you want a balance between estrogen and progesterone. Symptoms of high levels of estrogen in the body cause symptoms like bloating, swelling, fibrocystic breasts, decreased sex drive, mood swings, headaches, anxiety, weight gain, hair loss, trouble sleeping, and memory problems. Males experience infertility, larger breasts, and erectile dysfunction with increased levels of estrogen. Progesterone acts as the “good cop,” helping to keep levels of estrogen in balance. If left untreated for a significant period, hormone imbalances lead to serious health conditions like endometriosis, heavy bleeding, fibrosis, uterine cancer, breast cancer, heart disease, and stroke.
What is happening to the hormones during the menstrual cycle?
Hormone imbalance is understood best by knowing how the menstrual cycle works. There are three phases: follicular, ovulatory, and luteal. Levels of estrogen and progesterone are low in the follicular phase and rise in the ovulatory phase to prepare for ovulation if an egg is not fertilized during the phase, estrogen and progesterone drop, causing menstruation to begin.
So how do you keep your hormones balanced?
Good news, there are ways to balance your hormones naturally. Some nutrients to add to your daily routine to help include:
- DIM & I3C – 3,3′-diindolylmethane and indole-3-carbinol are compounds naturally found in cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, Brussel sprouts, and cabbage. These compounds have been found to alter estrogen metabolism in both men and women.
- HMR Lignans – HMR or hydroxymatairesino is metabolized in the body into a powerful antioxidant that prevents or limits oxidative stress, supporting the immune system. Also, they reduce cortisol and other hormones like estrogen.
- Green tea – Green tea is associated with lower levels of estrogen as a result of green tea’s polyphenol’s ability to inhibit aromatase, which is the enzyme which converts androgens to estrogens.
- Calcium D-glucarate – is calcium bound to d-glucaric acid, a natural compound produced in small amounts by the human body and found in abundance in plant foods like broccoli, cabbage, kale, apple, oranges, and grapefruit. Calcium D-glucarate assists with detox to help eliminate excess estrogenic hormones, which eliminated them from the body.
- Sulforaphane – A naturally occurring compound found in most cruciferous vegetables in the body. Sulforaphane has many benefits, including anticancer effects, may support heart health, antidiabetic effects, and helps to restore estrogen receptor expression.
- Black Cohosh – Commonly used to treat menopause and perimenopause symptoms like hot flashes, moodiness, and excessive sweating – relieving the symptoms related to reductions and imbalances in estrogen.
- Chaste Tree Extract – Used to treat menstrual cycle problems and pain, premenstrual syndrome and menopause by stimulating progesterone and helping to normalize estrogen.
- Magnesium – Magnesium is necessary to treat all hormone imbalance issues as it is the foundational support to all hormone functions in the body. It is essential to make the hormones progesterone, estrogen, and testosterone.
- Folic Acid – Along with magnesium, folic acid is essential for the treatment and prevention of premenstrual symptoms. Adequate levels of folic acid help to boost mood and is synergistic with serotonin production. Folate also plays a major role in methylation, a process which helps to maintain bodily functions, which include hormone balance. For men, folic acid helps to boost sperm count.
- Wild Yams – The bulb and roots of wild yams contain a chemical called diosgenin, which can influence the production of estrogen and progesterone. Wild yams are believed to influence hormonal balances to benefit symptoms like PMS, hot flashes, menstrual cramps, and low libido.
Your hormones are involved in every aspect of your health. You need them to be in specific amounts to create balance and allow your body to function optimally. Even though aging and some other factors are beyond your control, there are steps to take, which can help your hormones function optimally. Using some of the nutrients listed above can help naturally balance hormones, eating a nutrient-dense diet, and getting regular exercise all can have positive impacts on your hormonal health.
Recommended Supplements by INEVO Body
Fem Protx – Supports symptoms from perimenopause, menopause and PMS
Estrevo – Supports estrogen metabolism and detoxification
Progestevo Cream – Non-prescription progesterone cream
EvoBolix Shake – Go-to meal replacement shake supporting hormone balance and weight loss