TOPIC · HEALTH · HORMONES · EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW

Every week I am posting about  everything you need to know about hormones. This weeks topic is about hormones.

Did you know

  • The word hormone comes from the Greek ‘hormon’, which means “that which sets in motion.”
  • Hormones are chemical substances that are part of a bigger group of signalling molecules
  • Classically they, where thought to be made in one part of the body then transported in the blood to another part where they would deliver their message
  • But today we know that they can be made and used within the same cell or affect a neighbouring cell or are even transported via the nervous and immune systems
  • Every hormone has a specific message or speaks its own language which activates or inhibits the activity of cells.
  • In other words, it modulates what the cell is doing
  • You can’t change the message but you can affect how much hormone is being produced
  • Cells are primarily building / making something or breaking something down, such as proteins – see more about proteins in last week’s blog
  • So the cells can be making or breaking down structural proteins such as muscle or maybe they’re making or breaking down enzymes which change biochemical actions
  • This means hormones regulate physiological processes and behavioural activities, such as digestion, metabolism, respiration, sensory perception, sleep, excretion, lactation, stress response, growth and development, movement, reproduction, and mood, and so much more
  • The way you look, feel and function is dictated my messages from hormones
  • Back in 1849 German physiologist and zoologist Arnold Adolph Berthold discovered that testicles in rooster produced something that affected their behaviour, basically this chemical made them more horny and more aggressive – yes it was Testosterone
  • Darwin had a go in 1880, when working with plants
  • In 1902 Bayliss and Starling discovered a chemical they called Secretin which affected Gut activity
  • But it wasn’t until 1905 that Starling coined the name hormone.

Meet Sally and get to know all about hormones

Intro

Anabolic & Catabolic Hormones

HRT Hormone Replacement Therapy

The Hypothalamus - Commander in Chief

Hormone Regulation

Hormone Disruptors

Types of hormones

Science shows that the body produces approx. 150,000 different proteins all of which have specific functions, with one thing in common supporting body form and function

TypeDescription 
Peptide – ProteinPeptide Hormones are made of a chain of amino acids, such as oxytocin and insulin. They are water soluble and need help to travel through the cell membrane.

 

Amino acid – ProteinAmino acids hormones are derived from single amino acid, most commonly tyrosine, such as melatonin and thyroxine.

 

SteroidSteroid hormones are derived from cholesterol, such the sex hormones Estradiol and Testosterone and the stress hormone Cortisol. Steroids are fat soluble and can cross cell membranes, binding to receptor in the cell nucleus where they change gene transcription / activity

 

EicosanoidEicosanoid hormones are derived from polyunsaturated fats such as Omega 6 Arachidonic acid / AA and Omega 3 Eicosapentaenoic acid / EPA, creating prostaglandins and thromboxanes involved in immune responses such as the control of inflammation.

 

 

What does the word Endocrine mean?

  • The word endocrine is derived from the Greek terms “endo,” meaning within, and “krine,” meaning to secrete
  • Ie. within a structure a chemical is secreted
  • Eg. a gland or organ produces a hormone which is secreted into the blood for delivery to other areas in the body.
  • An Endocrinologist is a doctor specialising in hormones
  • The Endocrine system is a collection of glands, such as The Pituitary, Thyroid, Adrenals, Pancreas and Gonads, which produce hormones that are released into the blood and delivered to cells all over the body to create a change in activity.

Where are Hormones made?

Hormones are made in Endocrine Glands – called Endocrine Hormones.

Pituitary
– communicates with other glands and also makes hormones that trigger growth.

Thyroid
– produces the hormones T4 and T3 associated with calorie burning and heart rate

Adrenals
– produce the hormones that control sex drive and pregnancy, anabolic and catabolic processes, water retention, stress response, such as Estrogens, Testosterone, Progesterone, DHEA, Aldosterone, and Cortisol.

Pineal
– produces melatonin, which induces tiredness.

Ovaries
– exclusively female, secrete Testosterone Estrogen, Progesterone, the female sex hormones

Testes
– exclusively male produce the male sex hormone, Testosterone and a small amount of Estrogen, and together with the Prostate produce the sperm.

Pancreas
– produces Insulin and Glucagon which controls blood glucose levels.


In the Brain – called Neurosteroids

  • Neurosteroids refers to steroid hormones made in the brain or steroid hormones made by an endocrine gland, that then reach the brain through the bloodstream and effects brain function.
  • Inhibitory Neurosteroids – inhibit neurotransmission / nerve activity by stimulating GABA receptors which possess, anti-depressant, stress-reducing, rewarding, pro-social, anti-aggressive, pro-sexual, sedative, pro-sleep, cognitive and memory-impairing, analgesic, anaesthetic, anti-convulsant, neuroprotective, effects. Such as Allopregnenolone
  • Excitatory Neurosteroids excite neurotransmission having anti-depressant, cognitive and memory-enhancing, neuroprotective effects. Such as DHEA-S
  • Pheromones – a chemical that triggers a social response in members of the same species, by influencing brain activity, notably hypothalamic function, such as Androstadienol, and Androstadienone.
  • Other Neurosteroids – such as Pregnenolone, Progesterone, Estradiol, and Corticosterone, work directly or are converted to the above neurosteroids.


Neurohormones 

  • A type of hormone that are produced by endocrine cells that receive messages from neurons / nerve cells rather than from other hormones.
  • Neurohormones combine the electrical signals from neurons / nerve cells which stimulate the release of a chemical substance, the hormone.
  • Like a classic hormone, the neurohormone is released into the bloodstream to reach its target.
  • Examples are The Releasing Hormones produced in the Hypothalamus sent to The Pituitary, Oxytocin and Vasopressin and the hormones Nor-adrenalin and Adrenaline produced in the Adrenal Cortex,
  • Even the production of Serotonin in gut and Histamine in the stomach are regarded as neurohormones as are Insulin and Glucagon


In the Gut – Gut Hormones

  • A group of hormones, such as Gastrin, CCK, Secretin, Somatostatin, Ghrelin, Bombesin, Gastrin-Releasing Peptide (GRP), Cholecystokinin, GLP-1, etc secreted by entero / gut endocrine cells in the stomach, pancreas, and small intestine
  • Control various functions of the digestive system
  • Later studies showed that most of the gut hormones, such as Secretin, Cholecystokinin and Substance P, play a role of neurotransmitters and neuromodulators in the central and peripheral nervous systems.
  • Enteroendocrine cells do not form glands but are spread throughout the digestive tract
  • There are over 20 different hormones that stimulate enzyme production, other hormone production, gut motility, food absorption or the opposite and much more
  • Some of the hormones like GLP-1 affect structures outside the gut, such as the Hypothalamus.

How are hormones regulated?

  • Primarily by ‘negative feedback’
  • In hormonal negative feedback systems, a stimulus elicits the release of a hormone; Once the action of the hormone is completed, such as the decease of the initial stimulus further release of the hormone will decrease
  • Three types of stimuli control hormonal release
    – Humoral stimuli – such as blood glucose levels
    – Hormonal stimuli – such as Thyroid hormone levels
    – Neural stimuli – such as stress hormones Nor-adrenaline and Adrenaline


Humoral

  • The brain / Hypothalamus and Brain stem register high blood sugar / glucose after eating food.
  • They communicate with the Pancreas via the autonomic nervous system.
  • Signals from the parasympathetic nervous system stimulates the Pancreas to increase the production of Insulin to remove glucose from the blood into cells.
  • As blood glucose levels fall the Pancreas produces less Insulin, maybe due to less parasympathetic signaling or due to sympathetic signaling


Hormonal

  • The body needs to make more energy and needs more Thyroid hormones T4 and T3.
  • The Hypothalamus relays the message via Thyroid Releasing Hormone / TRH to the Pituitary
  • The Pituitary sends Thyroid Stimulating Hormone / TSH via the blood to the Thyroid
  • The Thyroid makes more T4 and T3.
  • The extra T4 and T3 are transported in blood to all the cells
  • The amount of T4 and T3 is registered in the Hypothalamus
  • When the level of T4 and T3 is sufficient the Hypothalamus stops sending TRH to Pituitary which in turn stops sending TSH to the Thyroid gland and the production of T4 and T3 decreases


Neural

  • The brain registers a ‘danger’, and needs you to move away from this danger asap.
  • The hypothalamus sends signals via the sympathetic nervous system to the Adrenal Medulla to increase the production of Nor-adrenaline and Adrenaline.
  • If the ‘danger’ resolves itself the signalling decreases.
  • If not the Hypothalamus starts a hormonal response sending Cortico Releasing Hormone / CRH to the Pituitary which send Adreno Cortico Tropic Hormone / ACTH to the Adrenal Cortex asking it to increase its production of Cortisol and DHEA

NB!

The Hypothalamus is the Commander in Chief but all input to the Hypothalamus is ‘completely’ under your control, so this means hormone production is under your control.

You can’t change the hormones message but you can control how much hormone is being produced.

The Commander in Chief – The Hypothalamus

  • Is situated in the limbic system under the Thalamus which is Grand Central Station of the nervous system
  • Hypothalamus connects the nervous system to the hormonal system
  • It regulates everything in the body, such as

–  Temperature

–  Hunger

–  Mood

–  Thirst

–  Sleep

–  Sex drive

–  Fertility

–  Circadian rhythms

–  Control of food intake

–  Desire for food

–  Fear processing

–  Stress response

–  Blood sugar

–  Blood pressure

–  And very much more

  • Everything is registered in the Hypothalamus which then instigates neural, hormonal, and or immune responses

 

Anabolic and Catabolic Hormones

Your body is continually in the process of building, growing and assimilating or breaking down and digesting and this is primarily controlled by hormones


Anabolic hormones

  • Insulin
  • Estrogens
  • Testosterone
  • Growth Hormone


Catabolic hormones

  • Glucagon
  • Cortisol
  • Adrenaline

Anabolic means build and anabolic processes need energy / ATP

Catabolic means breakdown and catabolic processes breakdown fuel, such as glucose to make ATP / energy

Metabolism is the sum of the anabolic and catabolic processes, ie how much energy made and how much lost

  • Most catabolism occurs from 6am – 6pm
  • Most anabolism occurs from 6pm – 6 am


NB!

As we age, we lose the major production of anabolic hormones therefore we repair less, which create the signs of aging

  • Wrinkles
  • Sagging skin
  • Osteoporosis – bone loss
  • Sarcopenia – muscle loss
  • Remember your tissue, glands and organs on the inside are also aging.

Hormone Replacement Therapy

Many hormones are used as medication to replace or support the body’s hormones that may be deficient or lacking due to disease or aging.


The most commonly prescribed hormones are:

  • Estrogens and Progestogens – for contraception and menopause
  • Thyroxine – for hypothyroidism
  • Steroids (Cortisol) – for allergies, infections, autoimmune diseases and respiratory disorders.
  • Insulin – for Diabetes.
  • Topical creams and gels, such as steroid and vitamin D creams – for skin problems.

Endocrine disruptors

  • Are endocrine disrupting chemicals that can interfere with hormonal systems.
  • They are found in many household and industrial products,
  • They “interfere with the synthesis, secretion, transport, binding, action, or elimination of natural hormones in the body, such as Estrogen
  • They can cause cancerous tumors, birth defects, and other developmental disorders.
  • Any system in the body controlled by hormones can be derailed by hormone disruptors.
  • They may be associated with the development of learning disabilities, severe attention deficit disorder, cognitive and brain development problems, breast cancer, prostate cancer, thyroid and other cancers; sexual development problems such as feminizing of males or masculinizing effects on females, etc.
  • There has been controversy over endocrine disruptors, some have been identified and removed from the market, but it is uncertain whether some endocrine disruptors on the market actually harm humans and wildlife at the doses to which they are exposed. Even though studies in cells and laboratory animals have shown that endocrine disruptors can cause adverse biological effects in animals, and low-level exposures may cause similar effects in human.

Types of Endocrine disruptors

All people are exposed to chemicals with Estrogenic effects in their everyday life, because endocrine disrupting chemicals are found in low doses in thousands of products.

Xenoestrogens are a type of foreign-hormone that imitates estrogen


Common environmental / xeno estrogens

Atrazine – herbicide for corn, sugarcane, hay, applied to Christmas trees, residential lawns, golf courses, and other recreational areas. Atrazine is the second largest selling pesticide in the world

BPA /Bisphenol A – used to manufacture polycarbonate plastic and epoxy resins used as a lining in most food and beverage cans. BPA is one of the highest-volume chemicals produced worldwide. BPA is a weak xenoestrogen compared to others, such as BPZ and BPS which also affects the Pituitary production of prolactin

DDT / Dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane – pesticide for agriculture until it was banned in 1972 in the United States though continues to be used in many parts of the world.  Banned In Europe but residues still found in soil and Spanish rivers.

Dioxin – released during combustion processes, pesticide manufacturing and chlorine bleaching of wood pulp discharged into waterways from pulp and paper mills. Consumption of animal fats is thought to be the primary pathway for human exposure

Endosulfan – an insecticide used on numerous vegetables, fruits, cereal grains and trees. Human exposure occurs through food consumption or ground and surface water contamination

PBB / Polybrominated biphenyls – chemicals added to plastics used in computer monitors, televisions, textiles and plastics foams in toys to make them more difficult to burn. Banned in the Us and Europe because they do not degrade easily and continue to be found in soil, water and air

PCBs / Polychlorinated biphenyls – are chlorinated hydrocarbons. PCBs were manufactured primarily for use as insulating properties and low inflammability are banned but like DDT continue to persist in the environment.

Phthalates – plasticizers providing durability and flexibility to plastics. High molecular weight used in flooring, wall coverings and medical device such as intravenous bags and tubing. Low molecular weight is found in perfumes, lotions, cosmetics, varnishes, lacquers and coatings including timed releases in pharmaceuticals/supplements.

Zeranol – an anabolic growth promoter for livestock in the US and Canada, banned in the EU since 1985,

Parabens – widely used preservatives in cosmetic and pharmaceutical products. Parabens are effective preservatives in many types of formulas. Used primarily for their bactericidal and fungicidal properties. In shampoos, commercial moisturizers, shaving gels, personal lubricants, topical/parenteral pharmaceuticals, suntan products, makeup, and toothpaste, etc. They are also used as food preservatives. Animal experiments have shown that parabens have weak estrogenic activity, acting as xenoestrogens, so a mild hormone disrupter. Butylparaben has the strongest Estrogen effect of the parabens

NB! As to date no effective direct links between parabens and cancer have been established.


Chemicals commonly detected in human urine include:

  • DDT
  • Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB’s)
  • Bisphenol A (BPA)
  • Polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDE’s)
  • A variety of phthalates –
  • Phytoestrogens (plant hormones)


NB!

Almost all plastic products, including those advertised as “BPA free”, have been found to leach endocrine-disrupting chemicals.

NB!

We may have a new endocrine disruptor in our midst – covid-19 vaccines


COVID-19 vaccines

  • Over 1000 DK women reported menstrual irregularities after vaccination.
  • Question is how many didn’t report it?
  • Are the 1000 just the top of the iceberg?


Why?

  • Too get menstrual irregularities there must be a change/disruption in Ovarian hormone production that create and control the cycle, ie. Testosterone, Estrogen and Progesterone
  • The Hypothalamus – the Commander in Chief instigates and controls the production of the Ovarian hormones.
  • The irregularities after vaccination may suggest that contents of the vaccine in some way have a disrupting effect on the Hypothalamus and or the Ovaries
  • How permanent and how intense this disruption will be only time will tell
  • Men’s testicle production of Testosterone is controlled in the same way and by the same hormones. As men don’t have a monthly cycle there is no conscious awareness of any disruptions. But it is entirely possible that testosterone production is affected
  • Ladies if you have noticed any changes in your cycle after vaccination, please report this.

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Questions? Please don't hesitate to contact me