Hormone support supplements replenish and revitalize the body’s hormone production.** Some of these hormones may naturally decline with age.
Optimize the endocrine system**
Enhance energy levels**
Rejuvenate sex drive**
What are Hormones?
Hormones are a set of chemical substances that regulate multiple systems within the body, including growth, metabolism, mood, behavior, sexual functioning and reproduction. Hormones are produced in the endocrine system, a series of eight glands in the testes, ovaries, thyroid, thymus, adrenal, pituitary, pineal and pancreas. These glands release hormones into the lymphatic system or the bloodstream; they then travel to receptor sites in organs and tissues throughout the body where they influence many responses and functions. There are about 100 known types of human hormones, including insulin, adrenaline, cortisol, estrogen, androgens and testosterone.
Hormones from the thyroid, thymus, pituitary, pineal and pancreas glands are proteins. When these proteins reach their intended cells, they react with receptor sites on the cells’ surface, so their action is relatively rapid. Hormones from the ovaries, testes and adrenal glands are classified as steroids. Steroid hormones must penetrate to the interior of cells in order to reach their specific receptor sites, so their action is relatively slow. In both cases, very small amounts of hormones result in powerful reactions, so the endocrine system must regulate hormone production and release very carefully in order to maintain stable hormone levels.**
When the body ages, its production of certain hormones – and the effects those hormones have on the body – changes. Hormone levels may decrease, increase, metabolize slowly or fall out of balance with age, leading to a number of changes such as hair loss, lower sex drive, weight gain, brain fog, sleep problems, and menopausal symptoms such as hot flashes and decreased bone density.**
Hormone support supplements help to stabilize hormone levels. Botanical hormone supplements, known as phytohormones, mimic the effects of certain hormones and have been identified in more than 300 plants, such as soybeans, flax seed, cherries and pomegranates. Phytoestrogens, or botanicals that imitate the effects of estrogen, are among the most studied in the world and have been used in Chinese wellness traditions for thousands of years. Research indicates that certain phytoestrogens, such as isoflavones and lignans, offer a cardioprotective effect and help maintain heart health.**
Some of the most popular hormone support supplements include:
- Melatonin: At night, the pineal gland produces melatonin, a hormone that governs the body’s sleep patterns and circadian rhythms. Melatonin helps to support restful sleep, relaxation and feelings of tranquility. Melatonin also regulates female reproductive hormones and plays a role in aging.**
- DHEA: Dehydropiandrosterone or DHEA is produced by the adrenal gland. The body uses this steroid hormone to produce female and male sex hormones. DHEA levels naturally decrease as the body ages. Research suggests that DHEA supports the immune system, helps stabilize mood, promotes energy and enhances libido.**
- 7-Keto: 7-Keto, also known as 7-oxy or 3-acetyl-7-oxo-dehydroepiandrosterone, is considered to be a gentler form of DHEA. Studies suggest that 7-Keto optimizes metabolism, and appears to be the metabolite of DHEA that is responsible for its weight management benefits.**
- Rhodiola: Derived from the root of the Rhodiola rosacea plant, this herb has been prized in high-elevation regions of Asia and Europe for centuries for its ability to promote a bright mood and enhance physical performance. As an adaptogenic herb, it is believed to influence overall endocrine system health.**
- Pregnenolone: Pregnenolone supplements are derived from soybeans. The body uses this precursor hormone to produce a number of other hormones, such as cortisol, DHEA, estrogen, progesterone and testosterone. Research has found that pregnenolone supports learning ability and memory, improves brain elasticity, and supplies inflammation-modulating compounds.**
- Progesterone Cream: Progesterone works with estrogen to prepare the female body for pregnancy, eases symptoms of menopause, such as hot flashes and unstable moods, and balances the effects of estrogen. Supplements are derived from Mexican yam or soybeans and are applied topically in cream form, as progesterone isn’t readily absorbed by the body when taken internally.**
- Vitex Chasteberry: Derived from the chaste tree, vitex chasteberry was once believed to suppress libido, a claim later found to be false. Research indicates that this herb stimulates the pituitary gland, stabilizing the hormones prolactin and progesterone. Vitex chasteberry supports fertility and relieves the effects of menopause and PMS.**
- Black Cohosh: The black cohosh plant has long been used by Native Americans and Europeans to balance mood, regulate sleep and ease hot flashes. Recent studies show that black cohosh binds only to certain hormone receptors, making it a viable natural estrogen replacement. The herb has also been shown to enhance fertility.**
- Soy Germ: Soy has long been valued as a phytoestrogen, or a substance that mimics the effects of estrogen. Soy germ contains rich concentrations of the isoflavones genistein and daidzein, both of which exert powerful estrogenic effects. Soy germ helps relieve menopausal symptoms and helps maintain heart health.**
Hormone Support Products
Hormone support supplement products are primarily derived from natural plant sources, though some are synthesized. Supplements are regularly available in capsule, tablet form, as well as creams and gels for topical application.**
Hormone Support Product Directions for Use
Consult your healthcare provider before adding hormone supplements to your regimen. Hormone supplements contain varying amounts of ingredients, so there is no set dosage.**