The pituitary gland, found in the brain and the thyroid gland, located in the front of the neck, as well as parathyroid (neck), adrenal (found on the kidneys) and pancreas (abdominal cavity) glands, all release different hormones that produce various instructions and functions for our organs. They control growth, and affect our bones, intestines, and kidneys. They regulate metabolism and help our body use energy and fuel efficiently. Hormone imbalances may cause anything from viral illnesses to autoimmune disorders to cancer and other medical conditions.
These glands produce important hormones that are related to aging processes,, including melatonin, endorphins, and estrogen and testosterone. The importance of such hormones in anyone's battle to slow down the aging process cannot be overlooked.
Hormones have the ability to make us feel happy or sad. Because changing our dieting, exercise and mental outlooks are nine-tenths attitude; understanding and realizing the importance of hormones and hormone production are as much a part of finding valuable antiaging techniques that will produce the results that we are all looking for.
So, let's become familiar with a few of the hormones associated with the aging process and the fight to stay younger, both in appearance and physique.
Melatonin is mainly responsible for regulating our sleep cycles. Adequate amounts of sleep are essential not only for our emotional and mental well-being, but our physical well-being as well. Those who are sleep deprived are generally more apt to grow ill or experience a decreased ability to fight off common colds and viruses than individuals with adequate amounts of melatonin. Produced by the pineal gland at the base of the brain, melatonin has been called the "wonder drug" that extends life spans by up to 25%.
Melatonin is also known to find and destroy free radicals that increase risks of cancer and heart disease. The pineal gland knows when we are growing older, and by the time we hit our mid-40s, it begins to produce lower levels of melatonin. However, individuals who take melatonin supplements in very small doses are literally able to "trick" the body into believing that we are younger than we are. Melatonin should not be taken under certain conditions, and by certain age groups, so always ask your doctor about advise for its use.
Endorphins are hormones released by the brain through exercise. Exercise increases the production and distribution of this chemical, one that makes people "feel good" and happy. Studies have shown that high levels of endorphins help to keep people active and maintain positive attitudes that help reduce stress and the damage that stress often causes the human body.
Estrogen , formed in adequate levels in a woman's ovaries, helps to prevent breast cancers, bone loss, and heart disease. Estrogen is also a major component of women's ability to maintain monthly cycles and fertility levels. It is considered one of the strongest hormones in the human body. Estrogen levels may affect multiple tissue and organ systems, from the bones to the liver to the brain. Estrogen helps skin, blood vessels, and reproductive organs and tissues maintain their strength and flexibility during a woman's childbearing years and beyond.
Testosterone is a male sex hormone. Women's endocrine systems typically create testosterone as well, though only about one tenth of the testosterone levels that men do. Testosterone promotes the ability of the body to use protein in the formation of skin, muscles, and bone. Men between the age of 40 and 70 years old experience a decrease in the levels of testosterone produced by the body, but like women, have the option of hormone replacement therapies when determined appropriate by physicians.
DHEA has literally been called the "fountain of youth" hormone. Produced by the adrenal glands, which sit on top of the kidneys, this hormone is linked to our immunity capacity, memory, and energy levels. It also plays an important role in our bone density as well as the way in which each individual handles stress. DHEA is available as a supplement, as is estrogen, testosterone, melatonin, and estrogen replacement therapy.
ACTH is known as the body's stress hormone. Suffering from chronic stress has negative impacts on the aging process. ACTH is a hormone that stimulates the adrenal gland to produce and disperse cortisol into the body. While cortisol is necessary in many body operations, when it's released as a response to stress, it can lead to negative effects that include but are not limited to weight change, poor skin condition, premature aging of immune cells, fatigue, aches and pains, and insomnia.
To put it very basically, hormones control the speed at which we age. Decreases in hormones produced by various glands in the body causes bone loss, depression, lots of slowing down, and the sex drive of many adults.
While this diminished hormone production may seem inevitable, the ability to restore some of our hormones and to balance hormone levels benefits bone strength and helps to prevent risks of dementia and a multitude of other medical conditions. Hormones also control the amount of elasticity in our skin. Remember that the loss of elasticity causes wrinkles. Collagen levels, a vital component of skin, may be stabilized and even enhanced through hormone supplementation.
The American Academy of Antiaging Medicine believes that "physical aging in humans can be slowed, stopped, or even reversed through existing medical and scientific interventions." As a matter of fact, the Academy recognizes that "aging may be a treatable condition rather than an inevitable reality of human existence." Gives us something to think about and look forward to, doesn't it?
When it comes to supplements, it is advised that individuals use common sense and do their homework before believing everything claimed in newspaper and television ads. Many of the ingredients sold in today's antiaging cosmetics, vitamin and mineral supplements and wonder drugs do nothing to prevent the aging process. However, choosing such products wisely, and based on proven studies is the best way to get your money's worth and enable the purchase the products that contain the most valuable and proven antiaging ingredients.
Remember that maintaining a balance of vitamins and minerals and other nutrients found in healthy and nutritious diets, as well as adequate hydration, is one of the best methods that any of us can choose when it comes to antiaging techniques that have been proven to maintain optimal physical and mental conditioning.
Quick fixes and shortcuts often prove more disappointing than taking the long way around, which means taking the time and the effort to exercise regularly, eat healthy, avoid habits that include health risks such as smoking and drinking and always trying to keep the brain active and challenged.
In addition, try to manage stress levels that create an overabundance of hormones that may have damaging effects on our skin, our organs, and our overall physical condition. Try to get adequate amounts of sleep and maintain preventative care through the use of regular medical checkups.
Taking vitamin and mineral supplementation products as well as hormone supplementation is an individual choice. However, remember that hormone supplements are only effective if you have a hormone deficiency. Also remember that you can save thousands of dollars on vitamin and mineral supplements over the course of your lifetime by eating wisely and choosing healthy foods.
Don't let aging get the best of you! Remember that antiaging techniques aren't found in a bottle or a jar, but are discovered through knowledge and education. Learn about your body, understand how it functions, and be informed about the vital nutrients it needs to maintain health, vigor, and a youthful appearance.