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sex hormones

  • By decoding all of your body’s distress signals and making some simple diet and exercise changes, you can restore optimal health while speeding up metabolism, overcoming stress and banishing hunger. Smart Fats are one of the top strategies for natural hormone therapy. They can help head off PMS, perimenopause and menopause symptoms, and even andropause (male menopause), while hormonal weight gain is dialed back.

    In fact, nothing beats a daily dose of hormone-balancing Smart Fat to offset estrogen dominance—the most common underlying cause of weight gain. Estrogen dominance impacts both men and women. In women, it occurs in our 20s, 30s, 40s, and 50s due to the see-saw balancing act between two of the big hormone players, estrogen and progesterone, which are in constant play during the menstrual years and beyond. The side effects of estrogen vs. progesterone hormone havoc can include fat storage and cellulite, hypothyroidism, increased incidence of fibroids, breast sensitivities, heavy periods and even breast cancer.

    In men, estrogen overload occurs in the early 40s and is characterized by a process called aromatization. It results in symptoms such as hair loss, prostate issues, a lack of sex drive, and weight gain in the upper body. In men, however, unlike their female counterparts, this process is primarily due to waning testosterone level, which triggers estrogen overload.

    In both sexes, estrogen dominance is linked to a tired and toxic liver due to the plethora of xenoestrogens or “estrogen mimics” in the environment. These fake estrogens are a whole new breed of toxins that have been around since World War II. They function as toxic infiltrators spearheading a continual assault on your weight loss efforts and overall hormonal health in the form of pesticides, plastics, personal care products, household cleaners, solvents, automobile exhaust, industrial chemicals, the Pill, a copper IUD, and synthetic hormone therapy—all stressing an already overloaded liver. Bisphenol, a common plastic used in water bottles, is one of the best known.

    The liver must detoxify these highly potent, fat-soluble, nonbiodegradable and extremely toxic estrogen-like substances in addition to its 400 other various jobs. This “living filter” which is like the body’s Grand Central Station cleanses your body by dumping toxins in the bile. So, any deficiency in bile production and/or flow will result in further estrogen overload. Xenoestrogens, in particular, are over 1,000 times more potent than the body’s naturally produced estrogen. Even in the smallest doses, they can significantly interfere with the body’s natural receptor sites resulting in a slew of hormonally-driven symptoms like depression, brain fog, headaches, and water retention, as well as fat gain.

    Hormonal weight gain can be turned around when our three key sex hormones—estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone—are managed with easy lifestyle tweaks and the Smart Fat solution.

    The sex hormone Estrogen is kept in balance by some very sexy Smart Fats:

    • Cold milled flax seeds and high lignan flax oil.
    • Chia seeds
    • Walnuts

    Estrogen has gotten a bad rap over the years, most likely due to the xenoestrogens and their hormone-disrupting side effects. But, let’s not forget that when estrogen is in balance, it is one powerful feminizing hormone, helping your libido, complexion, and brain, enabling you to feel calm. Adequate estrogen is also a surprising weight loss catalyst. When your estrogen levels are low, the body cannot synthesize as much choline, a key slimming nutrient, which produces low-density lipoprotein that escorts fat out of the liver. So, it turns out that hormonal fluctuations have a lot to do with your liver’s ability to ignite fat burning and detox. A congested liver or fatty liver, which cannot produce high-quality bile, may be another key underlying cause of an estrogen imbalance. Luckily, there are many Smart Fat-containing foods that will help round out a choline-deficient diet. One, for example, is omega-3 enriched eggs. As you may remember, this can be a double-edged sword as eggs are the number one allergy food for the gallbladder. If eggs are NOT an allergy-provoking food for you, then eggs are just about the most concentrated source of choline content in the diet—especially the yolk. Another source of slimming choline that estrogen can utilize is lecithin. Lecithin is derived from non-GMO soy or sunflowers and the word “lecithin” itself comes from the Greek word for “egg yolk.” If eggs are not an option, then non-GMO soy or sunflower lecithin may satisfy the body’s daily need just as well as dietary supplements. In any case, lecithin appears to be one highly underrated nutrient. The brain is composed of about 30 percent lecithin. The brain-protective insulating sheath that also protects the nerves are about 2/3 lecithin and the heart is loaded with lecithin. It also comes into play because it can thin out bile, which is especially important for women who are twice as likely as men to get gallstones. Higher estrogen levels due to hormone replacement therapy or pregnancy can increase cholesterol in the bile and impact gallbladder flow. Lecithin can help move bile along and thin it out.

    Flax seeds and Chia seeds

    While low estrogen has a far-reaching effect on your metabolism, excess estrogen is the ultimate hormone magnet for sodium and fat. Most of the estrogen dominance symptoms, as noted above, really only occur when levels rise too high in relationship to progesterone.

    Progesterone counters excess estrogen’s negative and often irritating excitable effects. Progesterone means “for gestation” and is touted as the feel-good hormone because it is up to 20 times more concentrated in the brain than in the bloodstream. As estrogen’s opposing “sister” hormone, progesterone helps burn fat as fuel, is a natural diuretic, stabilizes breast cell and uterine lining growth and is a natural antidepressant! It also enhances sex drive—a very big deal for many women during the “change before the change” and beyond. One very special hormone indeed, progesterone signals the hypothalamus to increase your core body temperature, thereby increasing your resting metabolic rate.

    And here’s the kicker.

    Low levels of progesterone trigger your body to burn 15,000 to 20,000 fewer calories per year and encourage increased water retention.

    As I discovered with my clients, progesterone—not estrogen—is actually the first hormone to decline during the perimenopausal years so making sure your progesterone levels are in balance is just as vital as taking the estrogen-modulating flax seeds and high lignan flax oil. When estrogen presides over progesterone, you may even develop hypothyroidism.

    The Smart Fat connection for blocking hormonal weight comes into focus when we look at the high lignin content of flax seeds and flax oil. Lignans are potent phytoestrogens. Flax seeds have 800 times more concentration than any other source. They can help alleviate hormonal discomforts and have stellar breast cancer-fighting abilities. In fact, a study conducted at the Princess Margaret Hospital and the Toronto Hospital in Canada showed how as little as two tablespoons a day of ground flax seeds markedly slowed down tumor growth in women with breast cancer1. A similar study was later conducted at Duke University that proved the tumor-slowing ability of flax seeds with prostate cancer2.

    Science confirms that the essential fatty acid alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) content of lignan-rich flax oil has stand-alone benefits all of its own, without having to be converted into EPA and DHA. For example, in several studies of breast cancer risk, the higher the concentration of ALA in breast tissue, the lower the risk of manifesting breast cancer. Moreover, if breast cancer arises, the higher the breast tissue concentration of ALA, the lower the risk of cancer metastasis to other parts of the body.

    Fiber can also help to rid your body of excess estrogen. Eating five or more veggies and fruits daily along with fiber-rich seeds (like chia), and of course, flax seeds and legumes are terrific ways to healthfully excrete estrogen so it doesn’t keep recirculating in your body.

    Also, nosh on walnuts. Their rich phytosterol content can assist in preventing toxic environmental estrogens from binding to receptor sites.



  • Endocrinologists have known for a long time that testosterone increases the body’s ratio of lean muscle mass to fat. In both animals and humans, tongkat ali extract increases muscle mass. In a study of men, half of the subjects ingested tongkat ali extract and half did not. In an eight-week physical training program the men who consumed tongkat ali extract experienced greater gains in muscle mass and strength than those who did not. This demonstrates the powerful anabolic properties of tongkat ali. Instead of turning to the use of dangerous and potentially lethal steroids, perhaps more athletes will opt for tongkat ali. In Malaysia, many professional field hockey players use tongkat ali extract as an androgen and swear to its performance-enhancing effects.

    The Extract Secret
    Dr. Johari has solved a problem with tongkat ali extraction: “One of the things we found is that when organic solvents are used to extract tongkat ali, you get a number of toxic compounds, especially the quassinoids, in the extract.” To get around this problem, Dr. Johari began to experiment with a water extract. Using water, pressure, a very specific range of temperature and freeze drying, he was able to develop a proprietary tongkat ali extract with a very low quassinoid level and high amounts of the active glycoproteins. That extract has been used in all the animal and human studies that have been conducted on tongkat ali. In the United States, Dr. Johari’s proprietary tongkat ali extract goes by the name LJ100. I asked him how much LJ100 tongkat ali extract people should take. “We have found that men need about 100 mg (milligrams) of extract per day, while women need about 50 mg,” he said.

    Tongkat Ali and Sexuality
    Dr. Ismail Tamby directs the Human Reproduction Specialist Center in the Malaysian capital of Kuala Lumpur. Dr. Tamby is one of the foremost experts on reproductive health in Southeast Asia. He works with men and women in all cases of sexual dysfunction, reproductive disorders and fertility problems. He is also the leading medical expert on the effects of tongkat ali root extract on human subjects. In his work with men, Dr. Tamby has found that use of tongkat ali extract significantly increases testosterone production. He said, “I was very skeptical at first about this type of thing, using some plant to change hormone levels. But I did some work with it and tongkat ali turned out to be highly potent. In our studies, we found that tongkat ali extract increased the serum level of testosterone considerably.” I asked Dr. Tamby if the men in his study experienced renewed sexual vitality or heightened sexual desire. “Oh, yes, most definitely,” he said. “The men found that tongkat ali boosted their sex drive quite a lot. I think that for low libido, tongkat ali extract is very valuable. I have seen this result for myself and can say that this plant really works.”

    Dr. Tamby conducted the PADAM study in which he investigated partial androgen deficiency in males. He selected 30 adult males of various ages, assessed their testosterone levels and then gave them 100 mg of tongkat ali extract daily. The testosterone levels of all the subjects rose, from somewhat to a lot, depending on age. Dr. Tamby’s study resulted in a 91 percent improvement in libido, a reported 73 percent improvement in sexual function and an 82 percent psychological improvement relative to sex among the men who participated in the study. His work shows that while the level of testosterone in the blood decreases with age, tongkat ali can reelevate the level of this important sex hormone.

    Using Tongkat Ali
    Dr. Johari, Dr. Tamby and other experts involved with this plant recommend around 100 milligrams of FDAE (freeze-dried aqueous extract, or LJ100) tongkat ali daily for men, and around 50 milligrams for women, to boost testosterone, enhance sexual function, increase ATP production and improve lean muscle mass.

    Though tongkat ali extract is by no means a cure-all, it does offer a solution to some of the vexing problems of aging. Demonstrating a high level of safety, tongkat ali delivers youth-enhancing effects. For this reason, its increased use in dietary supplements seems guaranteed.