Tag Archives: Hormones

How Exercise Affects Hormones for the Better


We know exercise is good for us in a variety of ways.

It promotes strength, balance and agility, helps control weight, combats disease, aids mood, and supports energy levels, better sleep, social connections, and much more.

But did you know that exercise also affects hormones for the better? Read on to learn how.

How Exercise Affects Hormones for the Better

Exercise Lowers Stress Hormones

The first way that exercise affects hormones for the better is by lowering stress hormones.

Research shows that after physical activity, people experience lower levels of stress hormones like cortisol and epinephrine. This matters because long-term stress, which triggers higher levels of cortisol, can lead to a number of health issues, such as high blood pressure, a weakened immune system, and higher instances of anxiety and depression.

Exercise Provides Higher LEvels of Serotonin and Dopamine

Exercise is known to boost levels of serotonin and dopamine – hormones and neurotransmitters in the brain related to neurological functioning and mood.

Dopamine is often referred to as the “feel-good” hormone. You most often experience this chemical when doing something pleasurable. Serotonin, on the other hand, acts more as a mood regulator and stabilizer.

Both dopamine and serotonin are involved in a number of biological functions. These include helping to regulate your mood and emotions, the stress response, memory, cognition, executive functioning, sleep, energy, focus, blood flow, digestion, heart and kidney function, and more.

Exercise Helps Promote Increased Testosterone and Estrogen

As men age, their testosterone levels decrease. Regular exercise can help boost those testosterone levels. That matters because testosterone affects men’s muscle mass, strength, libido, and more. Regular exercise, which boosts testosterone levels, may also slow some of the effects of aging.

For women, menopause signals the beginning of declining and imbalanced estrogen levels, leading to many of the symptoms of menopause, including hot flashes, mood swings, and more. At least thirty minutes of daily exercise helps boost estrogen levels, which may provide temporary relief from occasional symptoms.

Another way to support healthy levels of hormones in your body is with supplements from Bezwecken, Douglas Laboratories, Designs for Health, and Integrative Therapeutics.

Hormonal Balance Supplements

PhytoB-L 4X – Bezwecken

PhytoB-L 4X from Bezwecken is a plant derived formula that supports hormonal balance naturally for those looking for a natural alternative to traditional hormone replacement therapy. PhytoB-L 4X Oil Blend contains 40 milligrams of Progesterone, 1.6 milligrams of Estriol, and 0.4 milligrams of Estradiol per every 10 drops.

DHEA 5 mg Dissolvable Tablets – Douglas Laboratories

DHEA 5 mg Dissolvable Tablets from Douglas Laboratories is a natural DHEA supplement for women and men looking for weight loss, anti-aging, and natural energy support. DHEA 5 mg Dissolvable Tablets contain the highest purity dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) produced under strict Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP), providing vital support for adrenal hormone production.

DIM-Evail – Designs for Health

Each softgel of DIM-Evail from Designs for Health contains 100 milligrams of diindolylmethane (DIM), a compound that helps to support healthy estrogen metabolism. While it is normally difficult to absorb DIM orally, DIM-Evail has been manufactured utilizing the new Designs for Health Evail process, an all-natural process, and formulation that improves the absorption of DIM.

Indolplex – Integrative Therapeutics

Indolplex from Integrative Therapeutics is a dietary supplement that contains diindolylmethane (DIM), a dietary indole found in cruciferous vegetables that may help maintain a healthy estrogen metabolism. DIM in Indolplex is a patented, highly bioavailable form of DIM that is 10 times more potent than its precursor, indol-3 carbinol (I3C). Because of its enhanced absorption and bioavailability, Indolplex may assist a healthy estrogen metabolism and encourage healthy breast, uterine, cervical, and prostate tissues.

How do you find that exercise affects your health and wellness for the better?

Protein – Too Much, Too Little or Just Right

proteinJacquie Eubanks RN BSN



If only we could choose the perfect amount of daily protein as easily as Goldilocks determined which porridge, chair and bed were “just right” for her. The research on the optimal amount of protein required for good health support and maintenance is ongoing. Some of us are concerned that we don’t get enough protein, while others worry about getting too much. The popularity of protein shakes and supplements is not limited to athletes looking to increase lean muscle mass, and shows that people are becoming aware that protein plays a vital role in our health management.

However, while many may look to protein simply for weight management and muscle support, proteins serve a variety of purposes, not the least of which is providing crucial life sustaining support for bodily functions. It is proteins that are responsible for a cell or organism’s unique characteristics, including the DNA and RNA responsible for our genetic code. Protein molecules are involved in virtually all cell functions, with each protein having a specific role. Some provide structural support or are involved in movement, while others defend against germs.

  • Antibodies – Specialized proteins travel through the bloodstream and aid the immune system in identifying, immobilizing or defending against pathogens.
  • Movement – Contractile proteins are responsible for muscle contraction and movement.
  • Enzymes – All enzymes are proteins. Enzymes facilitate all biochemical reactions, such as digestion.
  • Hormones – Hormonal proteins, such as insulin, regulate glucose metabolism and stimulate muscle growth by enhancing protein synthesis and facilitating the movement of glucose into cells.
  • Structure – Structural proteins, such as keratin, strengthen hair and nails, while collagen and elastin provide support for connective tissues, including tendons and ligaments.
  • Transport – Carrier proteins include hemoglobin, which transports oxygen, and other transport proteins that bind to minerals and distribute them around the body.  
  • Cellular repair – Proteins repair trauma to muscle tissue whether from athletics or injury, increasing muscle fiber and activating muscle growth. Specific proteins help cells repair DNA damage and help prevent damaged cells from replicating before damage is repaired, a critical function in preventing tumor growth and accelerated aging.

AskTheNurseProteins are made up of long molecules called polypeptides. Polypeptides are made up of thousands of complex combinations of smaller chemical compounds we know as amino acids, which link together to form chains. The sequence of amino acids determines each protein’s unique 3-dimensional structure and its specific function. A large percentage of our cells, muscles and tissue is made up of amino acids. While there may be thousands of amino acids, scientists have identified 20 that are vital for health, including 10 essential amino acids that cannot be synthesized by the body and must be obtained through daily diet or supplementation. The amino acid pool, available free amino acids in the body, is vital for achieving a balanced metabolism. Failure to obtain all amino acids in the correct combination limits protein production and may weaken metabolism.

So, how much protein is too much, how much is too little and how much is “just right?” The Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for protein is a modest 0.8 grams per kilogram (2.2 lbs) of body weight, approximately 56 grams for the average sedentary man and 46 grams for the average sedentary woman. The RDA recommendation is the specific amount you need to prevent illness, but not necessarily the proper amount needed to support optimal health. Getting the minimum RDA of protein would supply about 10% of the day’s total caloric intake for a relatively active adult. By contrast, most Americans consume about 16% of their calories in plant and animal proteins.

Still, according to a special supplement to the June issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (AJCN), “16% is anything but excessive.” While people in general think we consume too much protein, this research says we eat too little. Protein needs vary for individuals according to activity level, age, muscle mass, current state of health and physique goals, such as body building or weight loss. Physically active people, nursing mothers, seniors and those recovering from injuries require a higher protein intake. Endurance athletes or those looking to gain a significant amount of muscle mass, such as body builders, often increase their protein intake by 50% over the RDA for sedentary people.

Based on the research as reported in the AJCN article, 15 – 25% of total daily calories or up to twice the amount of RDA recommended protein is safe and within the proper range to support optimal health and body composition. This amount is more in line with the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommendation that proteins should comprise 10 – 35% of total daily calories and should include more plant proteins, such as beans, legumes or quinoa. Protein intake of 25 -35% may aid weight loss as it may provide an increased feeling of satiety, resulting in decreased overall caloric intake. It appears that protein intake of about 30% may be “just right” for many people who want to lose weight, while maintaining muscle mass.

Protein deficiency is essentially an amino acid deficiency that prohibits the synthesis of a variety of proteins, which can cause muscle loss, fatigue, depression, anxiety and low libido. Excessive amounts of protein may promote the use of amino acids as fuel rather than building material and can overburden the kidneys, which are responsible for excess protein excretion and may cause vomiting or loss of appetite. Some think that consuming very large amounts of protein will increase muscle mass, but only physical activity can increase muscle mass and strength. Protein consumption post exercise optimizes glycogen storage and promotes muscle growth, repair and restoration.

Increase your daily protein the easy way with these high quality protein formulas:

Beyond Whey - PowderBeyond Whey® by Natura Health Products – This very high quality powdered formula features Proserum®, a proprietary non-denatured whey protein concentrate that provides a perfectly balanced blend of amino acids and peptides in support of lean muscle development and optimal digestion. Provides 6 g of protein per serving. Gluten and soy free. Contains dairy.  Learn More

PaleoMeal-DF VanillaPaleoMeal®-DF (Dairy Free) Vanilla by Designs for Health – This plant-derived pea protein powdered formula is designed to promote an optimal intake of protein, fats, carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals and digestive enzymes necessary to support overall health and wellness. Peatein™ contains the full array of amino acids and includes high levels of branched chain amino acids. This easy to digest, natural vegan formula provides 17 g of protein per serving. Gluten and dairy free, Non-GMO hypoallergenic formulation. Also available in Chocolate or Berry flavor.  Learn More

Physicians' Protein Pure Vegetarian FormulaPhysicians’ Protein Pure Vegetarian Formula by Integrative Therapeutics – This formula combines high-purity pea protein and organic hemp seed to create a premium quality vegetarian protein complex that provides the full array of amino acids.   15 g of protein per serving. Soy, dairy and wheat free, Non-GMO vegetarian formula.  Learn More

Ultra Protein Plus Natural Chocolate Almond Flavor (57053)Ultra Protein Plus Natural Chocolate Almond Flavor by Douglas Laboratories® – This nutritionally fortified yellow pea protein powdered vegan formula provides 18 g of protein per serving along with essential nutrients and prebiotics. Gluten soy and dairy free, vegan formula. Also available in Natural Vanilla Bean flavor.  Learn More

Proteins. http://www.geogene.com/biology-basics.html
How much protein do you need every day? http://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/how-much-protein-do-you-need-every-day-201506188096
Polypeptide Chain: Definition, Structure & Synthesis. http://study.com/academy/lesson/polypeptide-chain-definition-structure-synthesis.html
The Chemistry of Amino Acids. http://www.biology.arizona.edu/biochemistry/problem_sets/aa/aa.html
How do muscles grow? http://www.unm.edu/~lkravitz/Article%20folder/musclesgrowLK.html
A Protein’s Role in Helping Cells Repair DNA Damage. http://www.buffalo.edu/news/releases/2012/11/13777.html
DNA damage as the primary cause of aging. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7031747
Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2010. http://health.gov/dietaryguidelines/dga2010/DietaryGuidelines2010.pdf