Despite all the deserved hubbub over prescribed testosterone and growth hormone these days, you can increase your energy, lean muscle mass, sexual energy, and reduce your body fat by using combinations of exercise, healthy food and very specific natural herbs. And, men, the ultimate key to maintaining a lean physique, without observable body fat on your waistline, is not just about your blood level of testosterone, but it's about estrogen, too.
Testosterone's little sister is more important than most scientists have thought in the intense search of ultimate muscularity, good health and energy, all in our wonderful complex system of hormone interconnections.
The New Aphrodisiacs: Egg Yolks or Viagra?
Believe it or not, your sexual and adrenal hormones have a common origin and can be made directly from cholesterol. But, you don't have to eat 12 egg yolks a day (or use Viagra) to be a Don Juan. Instead, even without eating foods with cholesterol you always have enough in your body for hormone production. In fact, your body needs only a small amount of cholesterol to make a master hormone—pregnenolone.
Pregnenolone can be catalyzed to numerous other body hormones. But what about estrogen? But what about estrogen? Hormone production can be viewed as an interconnected pyramid with some 40 different types of estrogen metabolites. Many endocrinologists maintain that some excess estrogens, like estradiol and 16-hydroxyestrone, may potentially increase a risk for cancer of the breast, cervix, uterus and prostate. They are also implicated in obesity. Too much of some estrogens may cause mood changes, hair thinning in both sexes, and feminizing problems in men. Look at the hormone cycle below.
In this cycle, the word "to" should be reviewed as a reversible arrow going both ways. The hormone pathway can continue to convert to the next hormone below it or next to it and as well, convert back into the prior hormone depending upon many factors including supply and need.)
Both men and women can have undesirable levels of excess estrogen metabolites. On the graph, I made note of a good type of estrogen called 2-hydroxyestrone and a bad type of estrogen metabolite called 16-alpha hydroxyestrone. As I say, there are over 40 estrogen metabolites, yet because they end up in directed pathways and hydroxyestradiol eventually converts to hydroxyestrone, it is sufficient to just measure hydroxyestrone. This "good and bad" estrogen can be measured in the urine and possibly in the saliva as well.
We now offer this urine test to detect the presence of the bad compared to the good estrogen for only $70, performed with a small 4-ml. morning urine sample. (Please understand every hormone has some sort of necessary, and thus positive, effect in the body. Evolution is not stupid. But when some excesses occur, negative effects may manifest themselves-thus the terminology, good and bad. Men, especially those with genetic predisposition, should have these estrogen metabolite levels monitored if they want to do all they can to avoid baldness, prostate cancer and obesity, all associated with high estrogens (especially estradiol and 16-alpha-hydroxestrone).
Of course, bodybuilders have known about the need to manage estrogen for years. But what they have not realized is that they do not need synthetic drugs to do it!
Great Foods, Great Sex, Supplements Fight "Bad" Estrogens.
Many men and women have imbalances of estrogen and testosterone and of specific estrogens in both blood and fatty tissues. Too much of specific estrogens in your blood and tissue cause fat gains, slow loss of muscle and the reduction of both sexual performance and drive.
Some women may have too much of the wrong kind of estrogen because of artificial synthetic hormone replacement and after being on a high fat, low protein diet. Men of all ages under great physical and emotional/mental stress, and specifically older men, suffer from decreasing testosterone and high relative estrogen. High estrogen can actually decrease the benefits of testosterone.
Alcohol always makes matters worse by inhibiting your ability to clear estrogen from the blood stream, by acting as a central system depressant and also by decreasing zinc. And food? Well, even grapefruit can inhibit your liver's ability to breakdown estrogen. Broccoli and cauliflower may mitigate some effects of some estrogens. Soy products may help your liver metabolize/excrete excess estrogen.
Isoflavones found in soy (like genistein and diadzein) block some receptor sites where estrogen binds to cells. The effect is to prevent estrogen from accumulating in your body. Red grape skin extract (resveratrol) improves the liver P450 system and effectively removes excess estrogen. Vegetables rich in vitamin C like bell peppers and fruit reduce aromatase reductase, the major enzyme responsible for converting androstenedione and testosterone into estrogen.
Di-Indolin is a substance believed to be an active cruciferous substance (broccoli, cauliflower, kale) for promoting beneficial estrogen metabolism. Di-Indolin helps increase, by 75%, the "good" 2 hydroxy estrogens, which have an affinity to bind blood proteins (SHBG). The effect of this is to leave greater levels of free testosterone.
Diindolylmethane also dramatically decreases the "bad" estrogen 16-hydroxyestrone by 50%. This product is for athletes and bodybuilders or men taking testosterone who are interested in the best possible control of estrogen to obtain the maximally lean, hard strong body.
There are indications that chrysin, also called Flavone X, a supplement from the herb passion flower (passiflora coerulea L) derived from vegetables rich in bioflavonoid and quercetin (a very strong anti-oxidant), helps absorb enzymes that catalyze increased estrogen production. Of all the tested theoretical flavone anti-estrogens, chrysin measures as the most favorable.
The mineral zinc inhibits the aromatase enzyme that converts testosterone into excess estrogen. Some men, who are not meat eaters and have reduced sexual drive, may actually restore normal levels of testosterone with zinc gluconate, taken at 50 mg. BID.
Each mineral has a specific effect and works in balance. Manganese gluconate should be taken with zinc (tropical fruits like mangos and pineapples). Zinc is a bit of a wild card. Just recently again, zinc has been shown to mitigate the development of colds if taken at first onset. On the other hand, too much zinc can lower your HDL levels of cholesterol. That is not desirable. This is why blood, urine and/or saliva testing should always be recommended by your attending physician.
Fat cells are loaded with aromatase, storing large quantities of estrogen. The higher your percentage of body fat, the more estrogen you can produce and the fatter you will be unless you control your diet and use supplements and exercise to lower estrogen production. As you reduce stored body fat, your estrogen conversion will be reduced and symptoms of male menopause and female disorders associated with high estrogen will be greatly retarded.
It will actually become easier for you to lose weight with proper hormone balance, correct eating, supplementation and exercise. Fish is high in L-Dopa and helps release dopamine and enhance testosterone levels. And certain forms of fatty fish are high in the favorable omega fish for good heart health. You should eat only small amounts of fatty fish though, as even fish can have undesirable effects on your cholesterol and coronary circulation.
Some studies have suggested that the pro-hormone, androstenedione, can boost transient levels of testosterone. Such increased levels might lead to slight increases in strength, muscular size and endurance over time (assuming one trains while experiencing the elevated T-levels). However, while a few studies have shown that an oral ingestion of 300 mg. of androstenedione can raise testosterone levels, much more than DHEA, other studies strongly suggest that androstenedione conversion can catalyze reversibly and increase estrogen compounds instead.
If you use androstenedione, it should only be taken 30 minutes before training or sex and not more than 2-3 times a week. Likewise, if you are someone of such variability who develops high testosterone production from andro excess, this might also lead to estrogen rebound and the formation of fatty tissue in the male breast. This is, of course, a major problem with users of more potent anabolic steroids as well.
I also believe that androstenediol is the more potent form of prohormone as compared to androstenedione. When combined they can be effective if used two or three times a week.
If you are interested in obtaining any and all advanced hormone testing, you will need a doctor's order for the blood test. You may check out our web site aginghealthy.net for a listing of doctors.
If interested readers do not have a doctor familiar with comprehensive hormone testing, they may contact one of Dr. Delgado's web sites to network or contact us at Health Wellness Studios, 25422 Trabuco Road, Suite 105, #141, Lake Forest, CA 92630. Or, for growth hormone, testosterone and estrogen testing and prescription, Planet Muscle readers may also contact us for referral to Dr. Phil St. John.
Testosterone, estrogen, progesterone and melatonin are cyclic, going up and down throughout the day, night and month. Saliva tests for free testosterone can be performed with three samples, one in the morning, afternoon and late night. A man's testosterone level is usually highest in the morning. The levels change every 3 minutes.
DHEA sulfate is very stable with very little change in levels from day to day. A single saliva test for DHEA can tell you if your levels are below ideal. The addition of DHEA can convert into the necessary testosterone for women, as the body needs, but men generally do not get much conversion of DHEA to testosterone. In fact, men tend to get more estrogen conversion from DHEA, if they use too much (over 50 mg. of DHEA per day). Herbs like avena sativa, maca and Horny Goat Weed may completely restore the free and total testosterone to normal levels in many cases.
During menopause, women have typically been given small amounts of estrogen and progesterone if needed; but we are starting to give a small amount of testosterone, too, as this replenishes energy, libido, bone and immune strength just as it does in males.
I like to use soy phytoestrogens supplements and foods (tofu, soy milk). These block certain cell receptor sites for estradiol. This can help both men and women to reduce problems caused by having too much estrogen. Also, as you lose weight and reduce fat in your diet, your levels of bad estrogen will decline. Your body will have less fat to make more of the bad type of estrogen. It's best to take supplements of natural steroid hormones (testosterone, progesterone, estrogen, pregnenolone, DHEA) in the morning. All hormones peak at 4-5 hours after ingestion, then, within 24 hours, the levels come back down.
GH - Thyroid - Melatonin
Peptide hormones such as melatonin and growth hormone are usually the opposite of testosterone in that they are highest at night and lowest in the day. It's best to take peptide hormones such as melatonin at night. You need to mimic what the body does, which is to spike or release growth hormone in early morning, afternoon and late at night. Thyroid also naturally spikes at night in a young, healthy individual. If you take thyroid glandular or a natural prescription at night, you might contribute to insomnia.
Take Melatonin only at night. Melatonin should drop in the morning and increase at night. If melatonin is too high during the day it can cause you to be tired, groggy and sleepy. Daylight will help lower melatonin. If melatonin is too high, you need fluorescent or outdoor light.
Exercise lowers melatonin and this may be another reason to exercise in the morning to enhance energy and alertness. If you exercise at night, it may be necessary to take a spray sublingual supplement of melatonin (1 mg.). One milligram (mg.) is what the body would naturally produce each night if you were in optimum health. [Jeff's Note: Melatonin never did a thing to make me sleepy no matter how much or what kind I took.]
Dr. Delgado says "I usually do my exercise (high intensity, short workouts) in the morning; yet, on the times I exercise at night, I take some melatonin along with an oral spray growth hormone just before bed and it seems to work quite well for me to get deep, rejuvenating sleep. Certain foods that contain melatonin such as rice, ginger, tomatoes and corn also may help you sleep better".