Seems everything that happens as we age is harmful. We can’t see, can’t pee, can’t move, get decreased muscle mass, decreased immune system, decreased sex drive and gain belly fat. Although the wisdom that comes with age is nice, the wrinkles, ailing joints and general frailty are not. That’s why it is no surprise that ‘anti-aging’ is such a hot topic. Luckily, the key to anti-aging is within your reach.
When it comes to relaying chemical messages, inducing reactions, protecting tissue and looking good – it’s about your hormones.
Most people associate human growth hormone and DHEA with aging, but progesterone, testosterone, estrogen, cortisol and insulin play a role in aging as well. If the delicate balance of any one of these hormones is destroyed, it can take a serious toll on your body, mind and spirit – and be mistaken as classic signs of aging.
Typically, we have found that hormonal imbalance was the greatest hurdle and “missing link” for our clients over 40, wanting to lose fat weight, gain or maintain muscle, have more energy, feel better, and improve overall health. People with unbalanced hormones such as free testosterone, estradiol, progesterone, freeT3 and insulin (just to name a few that we blood test for), are not customarily checked by their doctor. The majority of physicians will either want to medicate or operate or give you useless advice like “you need to exercise more and watch what you eat”. Very little is normally done by your doctor for the prevention of diseases.
We make every effort to prevent, reduce or eliminate the need for RX medications. Our track record proves to be very successful at reversing diabetes and restoring health after cancer.
Insulin is a hormone. It makes our body’s cells absorb glucose from the blood. While insulin is storing glucose in the liver and muscle as glycogen it stops the body from using fat as a source of energy. When there is very little insulin in the blood, or none at all, glucose is not taken up by most body cells. When this happens our body uses fat as a source of energy. Insulin is also a control signal to other body systems, such as amino acid uptake by body cells. Insulin tells the body to make and store fat.
That being said, one of the most important hormones for fat loss or muscle gain is insulin. Insulin will affect how you look more than any other hormone. We routinely check fasting insulin levels. When you have excess insulin in your blood (normally from overeating carbs) it is physiologically impossible to burn fat no matter how much exercise you do. You could be insulin resistant and on your way to become diabetic and not know it!
Insulin resistance (IR) is a condition in which the body’s cells become resistant to the effects of insulin. This happens in stages. Liver first, muscles next then fat cells. We can explain what this means for YOU. With insulin resistance, the normal response to a given amount of insulin is reduced. As a result, higher levels of insulin are needed in order for insulin to have its proper effects. So, the pancreas compensates by trying to produce more insulin. Insulin is highly inflammatory to the linings of blood vessels. High insulin is a cause of high blood pressure, high cholesterol, obesity along with other unpleasant things.
So you’re wondering why your doctor doesn’t check fasting insulin levels? Until recently, there was no drug that a doctor could prescribe for elevated insulin levels so they figured there was no point in knowing the value. Typical doctor advice for the insulin resistant obese patient is to exercise more and eat less, WRONG! What kind of advice is that?
Testosterone is the principle hormone in the group of hormones known as androgens. Although classically associated with men, testosterone serves functions in both men and women. In men, in regards to aging, testosterone contributes to energy, memory, moods, muscle mass and strength, decreases fasting blood sugar, improves insulin sensitivity, lowers hemoglobin A1C, decreases visceral fat, decreases heart disease, decreases fibrinogen reducing risk of dangerous blood clots and improves sexual stamina and performance. Women must keep testosterone levels in fine balance, as it plays an integral role in mood, energy, weight and sex drive.
Without enough testosterone, gaining and sustaining lean body mass can be difficult. As testosterone declines with age, it impacts weight management and sex drive. Testosterone improves anything structural. This means joints, bones, tendons, ligaments, skin (increased collagen production prevents sagging skin) Testosterone also decreases C-Reactive Protein (CRP) a marker for inflammation that we test for in our clients. Healthy levels of testosterone have been shown to significantly decrease dangerous blood clotting, decrease inflammation and decrease heart disease…so WHAT do most doctors use? Statins and fish oil!! Really?
The term estrogen collectively refers to the hormones, estradiol, estrone and estriol. Each has a different chemical structure and function. Like testosterone, estrogen plays a role in the physiology of both men and women. However, estrogen plays a greater role in the recognizable aging process for women than in men. The primary role of estrogen in the female body is to stimulate growth and development of sexual characteristics and reproduction, induce the changes of the breasts during adolescence and pregnancy and aid the growth of the uterine lining during the follicular phase of the menstrual cycle. Estrogen is responsible for hundreds of functions in the male and female body including protecting from heart disease and colon cancer.
Most doctors mistakenly believe oral estradiol is most detrimental to the cardio vascular system but medical literature clearly shows JUST the opposite!! It is because of the first pass through the liver that oral estradiol gains it’s cardio protective advantage over transdermal forms. Estrogen also regulates several metabolic processes, including cholesterol levels and bone growth. Estrogen also helps to protect the bones and the brain. Research shows that women who take estradiol within the first 10 years of menopause are practically sure of not getting Alzheimer’s.
Estrogen has demonstrated that it increases HDL cholesterol, lowers LDL, and protects against heart disease. Literature reports that the longer you are without estrogen the more plaque you will deposit at any age, even postmenopausal women, ask your doc about that one! Many doctors don’t realize that men need estradiol as much as women do at levels that improve cardiovascular health, sustain bone mass and for memory. Men obtain estradiol through its conversion from testosterone.
Progesterone serves multiple functions in the body of both men and women. It is vital for regulating the sleep cycle, as well as boosting immunity and brain function. In women, progesterone is an essential hormone of the reproductive process. Many women will experience fluctuations of progesterone throughout their life cycles. An imbalance of this hormone can lead to symptoms classically associated with aging, such as poor sleep, mood swings and foggy thinking.
Progesterone also serves as a precursor hormone, converting to estrogen, testosterone or cortisol on the steroid hormone pathway. Low levels of progesterone can lead to increased levels of cortisol and low levels of the sex hormones, which will trigger impaired immune function and a host of other issues associated with hormone imbalance. Progesterone is the opposing hormone to estrogen in women. It is important for women to have adequate progesterone to lower risk of breast and uterine cancers.
DHEA is a precursor hormone produced from cholesterol by the adrenal glands inside the body. This hormone plays a crucial role in the formation of the sex hormones – estrogen and testosterone – as well as fuels the transformation that occurs as the body grows and matures.
Around your mid to late twenties, DHEA begins a gradual decline, which contributes to the aging process. By the age of 70, you generally have less than 10 percent of the DHEA you had in your twenties. Therapy with DHEA can be helpful in treating auto-immune disorders, obesity, dementia, osteoporosis and chronic fatigue. DHEA has been shown to decrease formation of plaque in the arteries.
The hormone HGH (human growth hormone) is secreted by the pituitary gland and is crucial for normal development and maintenance of organs and tissues – especially in children. HGH enhances tissue growth, increases muscle mass and strengthens bone density throughout the life cycle.
Hormone therapy with HGH is most commonly used in the medical industry to treat children with stunted growth or young people suffering from hormone deficiencies. In a few cases, HGH may be necessary for treatment of hormone imbalance in adults. There is overwhelming evidence that HGH decreases visceral fat and decreases cardiovascular disease with no side effects so why aren’t we using it Mr. politician and Mr. Big Pharma?
When FDA-approved HGH is prescribed, it is in the form of a powder with a diluting solution for use as an injection. This is the only formulation that has been approved by the FDA. Of the HGH sprays and pills that are available without a prescription, few have been proven to be effective.
Human chorionic gonadotropin is a protein composed of 237 amino acids. It’s structure is identical to luteinizing hormone (LH), follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH), and β (beta) subunit that is unique to HCG. Because of its similarity to LH, HCG is used clinically for fertility to induce ovulation in the ovaries as well as testosterone production in the testes.
When exogenous testosterone is put into the male body, natural negative-feedback loops cause the body to shut down its own production of testosterone via shutdown of the hypothalamic-pituitary-testicular axis. This causes testicular atrophy and reduced sperm count. HCG is commonly used to maintain and restore testicular size as well as normal testosterone production.
In the world of performance-enhancing drugs, HCG is increasingly used in combination with various anabolic androgenic steroids. As a result, HCG is included in some sports’ illegal drug lists. Professional athletes who have tested positive for HCG have been temporarily banned from their sport, including a 50-game ban from MLB for Manny Ramirez in 2009 and a 4-game ban from the NFL for Brian Cushing for a positive urine test for HCG.
British endocrinologist Albert T. W. Simeons proposed HCG as an adjunct to an ultra-low-calorie weight-loss diet (less than 500 calories). Simeons, while studying pregnant women in India on a calorie-deficient diet, and “fat boys” with pituitary problems (Frölich’s syndrome) treated with low-dose HCG, claimed that both lost fat rather than lean (muscle) tissue. In 1957 Simeons recommended low-dose daily HCG injections (125 IU) in combination with a customized ultra-low-calorie (500 cal/day, high-protein, low-carbohydrate/fat) diet, which was supposed to result in a loss of adipose tissue without loss of lean tissue.
Simeons’ results were not reproduced by other researchers and in 1976 in response to complaints, the FDA required Simeons and others to include the following disclaimer on all advertisements:
These weight reduction treatments include the injection of HCG, a drug which has not been approved by the Food and Drug Administration as safe and effective in the treatment of obesity or weight control. There is no substantial evidence that HCG increases weight loss beyond that resulting from caloric restriction, that it causes a more attractive or “normal” distribution of fat, or that it decreases the hunger and discomfort associated with calorie-restrictive diets.
— 1976 FDA-mandated disclaimer for HCG diet advertisements
Review studies refuting the HCG diet have been published in the Journal of the American Medical Association and the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, both concluding that HCG is neither safe nor effective as a weight-loss aid.
The scientific consensus is that any weight loss reported by individuals on an “HCG diet” may be attributed entirely to the fact that such diets prescribe calorie intake of between 500 and 1,000 calories per day, substantially below recommended levels for an adult, to the point that this may risk health effects associated with malnutrition.
Homeopathic HCG for weight control
Controversy about, and shortages of, injected HCG for weight loss have led to substantial Internet promotion of “homeopathic HCG” for weight control. The ingredients in these products are often obscure, but if prepared from true HCG via homeopathic dilution, they contain either no HCG at all or only trace amounts.
The United States Food and Drug Administration has stated that over-the-counter products containing HCG are fraudulent and ineffective for weight loss. They are also not protected as homeopathic drugs and have been deemed illegal substances. HCG itself is classified as a prescription drug in the United States and it has not been approved for over-the-counter sales by the FDA as a weight loss product or for any other purposes, and therefore neither HCG in its pure form nor any preparations containing HCG may be sold legally in the country except by prescription. In December 2011, FDA and FTC started to take actions to pull unapproved HCG products from the market. In the aftermath, some suppliers started to switch to “hormone-free” versions of their weight loss products, where the hormone is replaced with an unproven mixture of free amino acids.
I know what the government and medical “studies” say now, but ARE people losing weight with prescription HCG?
Young women and men do. (this is consistent with Simeons observation with young pregnant women and fat boys described earlier) The Firm U’s real world experience has shown us that most women over 40 fail on the HCG diet. HCG contains FSH. Older women usually already have high FSH levels which is the reason it doesn’t work so well for them. They lose some weight from the 500 calorie diet but eventually they eat again and they get fat again. The low calorie diet ends up putting them into diet induced hypothyroidism and then they come to us saying “they’ve tried everything and nothing works!” People who lose “40 lbs in 40 days” don’t learn anything and when the diet ends, they return to their old ways. If you don’t believe in get rich quick schemes, why would you believe in quick weight loss? We teach clients HOW to lose 40 lbs for 40 years!
Why do some doctors require dieters to see them every two weeks on the HCG diet?
First, to make sure that they are in good health to do the diet. Some patients with debilitating diseases such as uncontrolled diabetes or advanced heart disease should probably not do the HCG program. Blood tests need to be evaluated for potential problems and a heart exam is done including an EKG. High protein diets have been associated with electrolyte disturbances; therefore regular blood tests should be performed to catch these problems early. Very low calorie diets have been associated with vitamin deficiencies, therefore a shot of vitamin is recommended to maintain this nutrition.
Can men use HCG for weight loss?
Yes. In fact, men usually achieve a better result than women and it is equally safe in healthy men as in women and usually no significant side effects are seen. It does not give them man-boobs or estrogen effects as it is not a sex hormone like estrogen, progesterone, or testosterone. Some doctors say it acts more like the hormones adrenalin or Thyroxine.
Do we include HCG in our hormone replacement therapy?
Yes. Not for weight loss though, because we have a more preferred method for fat loss.
Any statements made are for educational purposes only. They do not constitute medical advice, do not substitute for proper medical evaluation from a qualified medical provider nor create a doctor/patient relationship. If you would like medical advice please ask your doctor.