One of the major concerns of both men and women is how to maintain or restore levels of the sex hormones estrogen, progesterone and testosterone.
It is likely you have heard about many different supplements that help. Things like Deer Velvet Antler or Tribulus Teretris or some other herb. I can tell you with certainty these things do not work.
How do I know? I have read the research and tried these things both on myself, and with my clients. Guess what I have found? There is zero good research to confirm the reports and zero clinical effectiveness.
I have, however found other things that do work. There are three major ways to help keep and/or restore these hormones. I want to cover them for you here.
1 Stress management
The first thing to understand is some basic physiology. The hypothalamus is an area of your brain that receives feedback from your hormones and then adjusts its feedback signals up or down depending on need.
This area is exquisitely sensitive to stress. This could be stress of exercise, stress of low calories, stress of nutrient need, sleep deprivation or even emotional stress.
So the first step in keeping or raising your sex hormones is making sure you control the stress in your life.
This is pretty easily done by prioritizing rest and recovery activities like relaxing baths, massage, nap, spa time, restorative yoga/stretching, sauna therapy, sex/physical affection and perhaps the best of all slow leisurely walking.
You may not be able to keep your hormone levels in the healthy ranges if you are under chronic stress even if you are young.
There are no supplements I am aware of in clinical practice or research that will raise estrogen, progesterone and testosterone if you already have adequate amounts of that nutrient. However, there are several, that when deficient make a big difference.
Top 3 Nutrient Deficiencies in Menopause
Three of the most depleted nutrients in the western world are Vitamin D, Zinc and Magnesium.
In fact I would estimate over 70% of the people I work with are deficient in one or more of these nutrients.
Each of these nutrients, if they are low, can lead to low hormone levels especially testosterone. And each has good research showing that supplementing in those with low levels can increase hormone concentration.
Pretty cool right? You don’t need any fancy designer magic pills. Just good some good old fashion nutrients. So if you are interested here is what I would do.
Go get your levels of Vitamin D checked. If your levels are below 50ng/ml, you should talk to your doctor about supplementing.
Next, find a good supplement that gives you about 20-30g per day of a quality zinc, like zinc aspartate per day.
Also take 200-300mg of a quality magnesium like magnesium glycinate, citrate, malate or aspartate, or something similar.
Supplements for Menopause
There are a few other possibilities. But DHEA may be the next best thing before moving to actual hormone replacement therapy. It works far better in those who are deficient.
Check out the chart I provided and get your levels measured if your levels are low or on the low side of normal, you may want to consider talking to your doctor about using DHEA.
One thing to understand is that there is a popular product on the market called 7-keto-DHEA that MAY be good for fat loss, but will not raise sex hormones the way DHEA will.
The dose of DHEA is typically 5 to 50 mg/day and some studies have gone as high as 200 mg/day.
Clinically I have found DHEA best when levels are low. It is also one of the best ways to restore libido when both libido and DHEA are low.
Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) is an entirely different topic and would take two or three more articles to teach you the basics. The gist of it is that some may need to use these hormones, but most will not.
In the ME Menopause Program you’ll have 4 or 5 in-depth videos on everything you would want to know about testing hormones and making a decision about HRT.
If bone health is of concern, one of the best things you can do bone health is exercise using weights and resistance training.
I did a video so you can peak inside that program to see what you get. Click HERE TO SEE IT.
Quick review to restore hormone function
- Get stress under control.
- Don’t under-eat or over-exercise.
- Make sure you are feeding your body healthy foods adequate in protein, carbs and fat.
- Make sure you are taking time for rest and recovery activities.
- Supplement with zinc and magnesium.
- Get your vitamin D levels checked and supplement with vitamin D as well if it is low.
- Restore your vitamin D levels to 50-100 ng/ml
- Get your DHEA levels tested. If low, supplement with 5 to 50mg/day.
- Talk to your doctor.
Hope that helps.
Dr. Jade Teta is an integrative physician specializing in natural health, fitness and body transformation. He is the co-author of The Metabolic Effect Diet, the co-founder of the Naturopathic Health Clinic of North Carolina and the co-developer of the international health, fitness and fat loss company, Metabolic Effect. Dr. Teta is a contributing writer for The Huffington Post, the Townsend Letter, Textbook of Natural Medicine, and writes and lectures extensively on the subjects of lifestyle medicine, natural health, fitness and weight loss to both health care professionals and the public. Dr. Jade has been a contributing expert on Lifetime TV, Fox News, Onfitness magazine, Oxygen, Delicious and many more.
In addition, Jade blogs extensively in humorous and entertaining style, while informing on topics central to all of us. We hope you enjoy his blog, as much as we do!