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healingways Hormone by James Occhiogrosso W

ithout hormones, the body’s chemical messengers affect- ing every human biologi- cal system, nothing works correctly. Testosterone, in particular, is critically important for male development, start- ing in the embryo, through puberty and into old age.

After reaching peak levels in a man during his mid-to-late-20s, his testosterone level begins a slow decline. From the age of about 35, it drops by about 10 percent per decade for the rest of his life, accompanied by a slight increase in estrogen levels. While women experience physi- cal markers when they enter meno- pause, there is no specific point at which men typically enter andropause, the less extreme male version of the change of life due to low hormone production. Related changes usually cause minor problems at first and then tend to become more severe. Medical studies from Seattle’s

Veterans Administration Puget Sound Health Care System, the University of Washington and Harvard Univer- sity show that testosterone deficiency contributes to reduced muscle and bone mass, male breast enlargement, depression, atherosclerosis, anemia and diabetes.

Test First

Hormones travel the bloodstream in bound and unbound (free) forms; only the free ones activate various body functions. When evaluating a man, a doctor will typically order a

30 Hudson County

blood test for total testosterone, com- bining both forms.

Older men often can show a nor- mal total testosterone level, but have a low level of free testosterone. A saliva test brings clarity, because saliva only contains free hormones. Fifty-plus- year-old men with low free testosterone that show signs of hormone imbalance should consider natural supplementa- tion, even when total testoster- one is normal. It’s best to test before starting a rebalancing program and to retest after a few months. Establishing a record over time allows a man to monitor and adjust progress.

Hormone Help Starts Here

Taking supportive steps in nutrition and lifestyle choices can make a big difference.

“When a man with low testos- terone restores his level back to its biological norm—he feels like a man again!”

~ Dr. Eugene R. Shippen

Help for Guys Natural Ways to Boost Vitality

Diet. Proper nutrition, embrac- ing a full complement of vitamins and minerals, is essential. Eliminate red meat, cheese, fast food and processed snack foods, which can increase estrogen levels. Herbal sup- plements such as Tribulus (Tribulus terrestris), or puncture vine; ginkgo (Ginkgo biloba), Korean red ginseng (Panex ginseng) and maca (Lepidium meyenii or Lepidium peruvianum) can help by increasing testosterone levels, sexual libido or erectile func- tion. Some influence testosterone levels directly; others help enhance function by indirectly providing nutrients to improve circulation and general sexual health. Weight control. Excess fat, par- ticularly around the abdomen, stores and produces estrogen. Reducing fat tissue can help both lower estrogen and enhance testosterone. Environmental

exposure. Endocrine disruptors, called xenoestrogens, from everyday exposure to toxic estrogenic indus- trial chemicals, can mimic the effects of estrogen in a

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