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Hormones

Selenium – A Vital Trace Mineral for Thyroid and Hormonal Health

Selenium for Thyroid and Hormonal Health
A perhaps neglected trace mineral, selenium must be obtained through diet and is absolutely vital to optimal thyroid and hormonal health.  Selenium serves a variety of essential roles within the body, including enzymatic functions that “catalyze thyroid hormone production.” This means they contribute to normal thyroid hormone production and also help to regulate the immune system – which relies on selenium. Selenium also serves as an antioxidant within the body to help protect against oxidative damage and stress. It helps the production of glutathione, deiodinase enzymes (thyroid and hormonal metabolites), and thioredoxin reductase (making DNA from RNA precursors). There is some general speculation that selenium can help in conditions of Hashimoto’s by lowering the amount of thyroid peroxidase antibodies.  In food, selenium is commonly derived from Brazil nuts, mushrooms, seeds, seafood & fish, and beef. While the forms of selenium found both in meat and in plant foods are highly bioavailable (90%), those who don’t eat meat or nuts (due to allergy, belief, or dietary restriction) may be lacking enough of this important mineral.  Selenium Supplementation – Why it Matters Many of the benefits of selenium are believed to be due to ‘selenoproteins,’ which modulate the biological effects of selenium within the body.  As we cannot produce selenium ourselves internally, we need to rely on our diet to obtain enough for healthy physiological function.  Selenium was found to: Enhance the body’s immune response; both TH1 (viruses + intracellular bacteria) and TH2 (parasitic infections and extracellular parasites). A selenium deficiency has been demonstrated to slow immune cell response, with higher markers of inflammation, and reduced function of T-cells.   Prevent oxidative damage from free radicals, as selenium functions as an antioxidant – this can prevent cellular damage from internal bodily processes (metabolizing food) and external toxins (cigarettes, pollution). Oxidative stress is a well-known marker of chronic disease and a contributor to cognitive disorders and cardiovascular disorders.  A meta-analysis found that increased levels of selenium were associated with a reduced risk of heart disease, with selenium effectively reducing “C-reactive protein” (CRP), which is a prominent marker of inflammation. Conversely, selenium helped to raise the levels of the powerful antioxidant glutathione peroxidase.  Selenium functions as a catalyst for proper thyroid hormone production. There is an evident link between thyroid metabolism and selenium deficiency. It helps protect the thyroid from oxidative damage, and from antibodies that contribute to or progress thyroid diseases like Hashimoto’s or Graves. Selenium supplementation appeared to drastically reduce the percentage of thyroiditis and hypothyroidism in clinical students, and decrease anti-thyroid antibody levels. The research regarding selenium for thyroid health is extremely promising.    Selenium Supplementation – Is it Safe? When it comes to supplementation, they offer an effective way to either ensure enough dietary selenium intake or reverse a deficiency.  Generally, the recommended dietary allowance (RDA) is 55mcg daily, with the “tolerable upper intake” (I.E., the safest maximum dosage) at 400mcg daily. Most supplemental forms of selenium will be in the range of 50mcg – 200mcg, so taking one capsule daily can help you maintain intake without going overboard.  Selenium has a very low-risk factor when it comes to safety profile; most adverse impacts result from topical selenium sulfide – this is generally not the form you’ll find present in the supplements we carry. Ingesting internally, there are no severe adverse reactions reported.  However, those with a thyroid issue or hormonal issue may want to ensure they don’t exceed the RDA and talk to a health care professional like a naturopath prior to use. Selenium may also cause some slight gastrointestinal distress in users with IBD or IBS. Extremely high levels of selenium can cause fatigue, joint pain, nausea, and diarrhea. Ceasing the use of selenium supplements seems to prevent the progression of these symptoms. 

Inositol: A ‘Sugar’ For Diabetes, PCOS, PMS, and Anxiety

Inositol Sugar
Inositol is essentially a form of ‘sugar’ that can influence the way the body processes insulin. It is often referred to, incorrectly, as “Vitamin B8.” Inositol is not a B-Vitamin, nor is it a vitamin of any kind. Inositol is a compound that is naturally found in fruits and plant-based foods (beans, grains, nuts, and seeds) and is also sold as a supplement. It is also naturally produced by the body from the foods you eat. In supplement form, the term ‘inositol’ is actually a broad signifier. Usually, most supplements will be in the form of “myo-inositol” “IP6 – inositol hexaphosphate” and “D-chiro-inositol.” Inside your body, inositol plays several important roles related to the action of insulin and impacts serotonin and dopamine. Structurally, inositol is most similar to the sugar ‘glucose,’ and is involved in signaling between cells. While the benefits of inositol have been reported in doses of over 10 grams a day, the standard amount consumed through dietary means is a dramatically lower 1 gram. With higher doses, inositol is used to typically address concerns such as insulin resistance, PCOS, depression, anxiety, and PMS. How Inositol Works – and What It Can Be Used For So, how does inositol (or Myo-inositol) work, and does which form of inositol you choose to matter? Ultimately, which form of commercial inositol as a supplement you purchase does not matter – they will generally be in two forms and both have been studied for their protective benefits. As inositol(s) help the transduction of hormones and neurotransmitters, any sort of reduction in the amount of inositol or defective metabolism of inositol can help implicated in things like PCOS, anxiety, depression, and insulin resistance. In studies where women with PCOS were given either myo-inositol or D-chiro-inositol – markers of abnormalities and reproductive symptoms were improved. PCOS (polycystic ovary syndrome) can cause hormonal imbalances in women from the ovaries producing too many androgens – male sex hormones that women also have, but in much smaller amounts. Small cysts form in the ovaries. PCOS can lead to irregular or painful periods, infertility, and high blood sugar/cholesterol markers. In those with mood disorders such as anxiety and depression, inositol may help with the balance of certain chemical signals and hormone production – including serotonin and dopamine. Additionally, inositol was found to be helpful for metabolic disorders. These markers include things like higher blood pressure, higher blood sugar, and high “bad” cholesterol levels (LDL). In a study involving taking 4 grams of inositol for over a year, women with metabolic disorders saw an improvement in reduced cholesterol and triglycerides, blood pressure, and blood sugar. This was without changing any other sort of behavior or dietary habits.   Inositol is linked closely to the function of insulin in the body, and as such, appears to be highly beneficial for addressing type 2 diabetes. Is Inositol Safe?  Generally, inositol is extremely well-tolerated. It is a supplement that has been used at a fairly high dose for prolonged periods of time (years) without any reported side effects or adverse effects in multiple studies. It is also naturally obtained from food and produced by the body – just in smaller amounts. At dramatic doses of 10 grams or greater a day, some people do report nausea, gas, or upset stomach. As with any sort of health supplement, always do your independent research prior, and ensure you consult with a health care practitioner or naturopath prior to use. Generally, the dosage will depend on what symptoms you are trying to directly address. For PCOS, a dose of 2 grams twice daily for 6 months or greater is recommended, while for metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes, 2 grams twice daily for up to a year is recommended. In those with mental health conditions, up to 10 grams once daily (as tolerated) is recommended for a shorter duration of time while self-monitoring. 

How Stress Affects Your Body in the Long Run?

Stress
When was the last time you felt stressed? Perhaps not too long ago – we live in a world where we are dealing with chronic daily stressors. You may not even realize the number of stressors in your life or the significant impacts they can have on your health. The Effect of Stress on the Adrenals The adrenal glands are two little glands that sit on top of your kidneys. They control your stress response and as a result, can affect almost every system in your body. When your stress hormones are imbalanced, you may find yourself feeling unwell, tired, and irritable. When it comes to the effects of stress, you are more likely to be familiar with the fight-or-flight response. When you are in danger, your adrenals will kick in and use your body’s resources to help you fight or flee. Nowadays, the stress that we face doesn’t always require us to fight or flee, but your body still uses the same response. Modern-Day Factors that Can Trigger the Stress Response Emotional stress Lack of sleep High sugar and white flour products Acute and chronic infections Lack of nutrients Trauma Lack of exercise or excessive exercise Fasting Lack of relaxation Overexertion Toxins When the stress response is activated, we release a hormone called cortisol. This hormone helps us increase our heart rate and blood flow in order to handle the stressor. However, if the stressors are not addressed or removed after a short period, the adrenals are pushed into overdrive. This can lead to burnout and exhaustion. Cortisol is an essential hormone, but when it is overproduced, can lead to miscommunication between the adrenals and the brain. Over time, your body can stop producing enough cortisol, leading to low cortisol instead. Both high and low cortisol levels can have harmful effects on the body. Signs that Your Body is Affected by Chronic Stress You have low levels of thyroid hormone You are gaining weight around your midsection You catch colds easily and have a difficult time recovering You are quick to anger You are frequently anxious or irritated You experience severe PMS symptoms each month You have trouble concentrating on simple tasks You are tired throughout the day, especially around 2 pm The stress response is designed to help you get through short-term stressors, though that is rarely the case for most people today. When the stress hormones are imbalanced, normal body functions are not prioritized. This includes the immune and digestive systems. Have you ever noticed that you tend to get sick during periods of stress? Or that your digestive symptoms become worse? It is because when cortisol is not balanced, your body has a difficult time focusing on other functions. 3 Important Steps to Healing Your Adrenals Incorporate Adaptogenic Herbs Adaptogens help the body adapt and cope with stress. They help to nourish and replenish the adrenals, whether they are in overdrive or fatigued. Ashwagandha helps to calm the mind, while Rhodiola helps to decrease fatigue. Both are highly studied herbs used to combat the effects of stress. Holy basil is another herb that can be used for extra immune support and reducing anxiety.  Ashwagandha: Himalaya Ashwagandha 60 Capulets, NFH Ashwagandha SAP 60 capsules, Botanica Ashwagandha 60 Liquid Capsules Rhodiola: AOR Rhodiola 60 Veggie Caps, Natural Factors Rhodiola 150mg 60 Capsules, St. Francis Rhodiola 50mL Holy Basil: New Chapter Holy Basil Force 60 Capsules, Living Alchemy Holy Basil Alive 60 Capsules, Organic Traditions Organic Holy Basil Tulsi Tea 200g Protect Your Bedtime Sleep is essential for overall hormone health. Your cortisol levels are closely intertwined with your sleep hormone, melatonin. When the sun rises, cortisol should be at its highest, and when the sun sets, it should start to decrease. As cortisol lowers, melatonin levels increase, allowing you to feel tired as you reach your bedtime. However, if you are constantly stimulated by blue light or other activities during your bedtime, you may have a more difficult time keeping your cortisol balanced. Winding down with a book or journaling before bedtime can signal your body to regulate cortisol levels. Use Relaxation Techniques Techniques such as meditation and mindfulness are powerful activities that can activate your parasympathetic nervous system (relaxed state) and deactivate your sympathetic nervous system (fight-or-flight) system. They help your body to release fewer stress hormones when they are not truly needed, so your adrenals can restore themselves. Start by incorporating 5 minutes a day, and slowly increase as it starts to become a habit. The Importance of Stress-Reducing Habits Your body is smart and can adapt to some stress. But when the stressor is not addressed, you may find yourself experiencing more signs and symptoms. The goal is not to reduce all stressors, but to equip your body in handling the stress. Healing your adrenal glands takes time and there is no ...

Happy Mother's Day from Healthy Planet!

Mother’s Day is quickly approaching! This is the perfect opportunity to treat all the Mama's in your life and even yourself to a few sweet gifts to celebrate this beautiful day. Healthy Planet is currently running an INCREDIBLE Mother's Day Sale, full of pampering and practical products for all Mothers! I have narrowed down my top 4 favourite products that not only do I use, but would make the  perfect Health & Wellness gifts for the Mama's in your life this Mother’s Day!   Organika Collagen – Because healthy skin is always on trend. Collagen has many beautiful benefits that does our body so good - promotes skin health, boost muscle mass, improve ingestive health, burns fat, alleviate joint pains, promotes heart health, and improves cognitive health. Our bodies naturally produce collagen, however our ability to produce it decreases less and less as we age. This is why it is so important to either incorporate foods that contain collagen in our diet or supplement it with a product like, Organika Collagen. Because let’s be real, who doesn’t want beautiful skin? Skin Essence Facial in a Jar – Spoil the Mama's in your life with this multipurpose product. You can either use this as an exfoliator to scrub away dead skin or leave it on as a mask so that the product can absorb all the oils and impurities out of your skin. Either way, this product will leave your skin super soft, supple, nourished and will brighten your overall complexion!   Everyone Hand Soap Coconut Lavender – This is the best naturally smelling hand soap on the market. I really love that it is kind to our earth, cruelty free, gluten free, does not contain synthetic fragrance, and really does a wonderful job at cleansing and moisturizing the skin.   Andalou Naturals Body Lotion Lavender Thyme – You will not catch me without some sort of hand lotion in my diaper bag. With all the diaper changing and constantly washing my hands to avoid catching my toddler’s germs, it strips away my natural oils leaving my skin super dry and cracked. I love this hand lotion not only does it DELICIOUS but it also does a fab job at moisturizing and keeping the skin moisturized for a long period of time. If Lavender Thyme isn’t your jam, they also have a large selection of other scents as well!   Written by Healthy Planet Ambassador @lifestylebycp.  Follow Cherrie as she lives her best life spreading her vision of the Health and Wellness lifestyle with the help of Healthy Planet!

What is PMS?

Pre-menstrual Syndrome (PMS), or Pre-menstrual Tension (PMT) as it was formerly known, is a common condition which is said to affect up to 80% of women. It is a chronic problem which gives rise to both physical and psychological symptoms regularly each month, between the time of ovulation to the first few days of menstruation. This part of a woman’s menstrual cycle, known scientifically as the luteal phase, is associated with big changes in the levels of the two main female hormones oestrogen and progesterone. What causes PMS? The precise cause of PMS is still not clear but current scientific thinking strongly suggests that hormonal changes during specific points of the menstrual cycle play a significant role. Evidence in support of this include: Most women suffering PMS experience symptoms at the same point of their monthly cycle PMS is not experienced by women who are not menstruating (eg. during pregnancy) Symptoms tend to be worse when big hormonal changes occur, such as during puberty (before periods start), just before the menopause, or after coming off hormonal treatment such as the oral contraceptive pill. It is not clear why some women experience PMS whilst others don’t. One theory is that it is not so much the fluctuations of hormones which occur naturally with the menstrual cycle that causes PMS, but the relative ‘balance’ of oestrogen and progesterone that is important. What are the symptoms of PMS? Symptoms of PMS may be either physical or emotional. Over 150 have been described although thankfully, it is unlikely that all are experienced at once. Nevertheless, the combination of symptoms affecting these two key aspects of health can make one feel pretty miserable until they lift. Emotional symptoms of PMS affect the way you think, feel and respond and can give rise to a lower ability to cope with stress, irritability, feeling fed-up or even depression Physical symptoms tend to affect a specific body part giving rise to bloating, acne, weight gain, food cravings, period pains and a general feeling of being tired or unwell. Although they vary from one woman to another, what is consistent is that PMS symptoms arise in the week (or sometimes two weeks) before your menstrual period begins. Most women experience the same consistent handful of symptoms each month.   Factors influencing PMS Several factors are known to influence your tendency to develop PMS symptoms. These include: Diet – your diet can affect the degree of PMS symptoms. If you are feeling irritable or anxious, reduce the amount of caffeine you consume. If bloating is a symptom, reduce your intake of salt Genetics – doctors have long observed that a woman is more likely to experience symptoms if a close relative has PMS, but no clear genetic reason has been found to explain this. However, as our genes influence practically every part of our emotional and physical health, it seems unlikely that it does not play a role in PMS Chemical changes - changes in the levels of female hormones can influence the amount of chemicals produced in your brain. These, particularly serotonin, have a significant influence over your mood and sleep and help us understand why these emotional symptoms occur Depression – research suggests that women who experience low mood as part of PMS are more prone to developing some forms of depression, particularly post-natal depression, and vice-versa Stress – feeling under pressure at work or home can make any situation appear worse. This won’t help emotional symptoms of PMS such as irritability, anxiety or mood swings, or the ability to cope with physical symptoms such as period pain or bloating. Diagnosis of PMS Many symptoms described for PMS may also be experienced as part of the menstrual cycle, making it difficult in some cases for doctors to make the diagnosis of PMS. These ‘normal’ premenstrual symptoms are mild and short lived. In general, PMS is not diagnosed until symptoms occur regularly and start to affect normal daily activities and quality of life. There are no blood tests available to help and doctors will use a ‘clinical diagnosis’, relying on the pattern of symptoms and their experience when assessing the problem. Often, keeping a diary such as in the form of the PMS menstrual chart can help clarify matters.

Weight Loss is More than Just Cutting Calories

It is not uncommon to hear a friend or family member say that they are trying to lose weight. In fact, the vast majority of us spend our entire lives struggling to maintain a weight that is healthy or desirable. There are certainly many people that are over-eating or under-exercising for their caloric requirements. But what about the rest of us? For some individuals, it doesn’t matter how little we eat because the weigh scale doesn’t seem to budge! Weight loss can be quite complex with many contributing factors and the simple reality is that cutting calories is not a clear solution for losing weight. Here’s why. Calorie Counting Is Good… In Theory: When we eat food, we are consuming energy. When we exercise or create movement, we are burning energy. When attempting to lose weight, the simplest goal is to eat less energy relative to the amount of energy that your body outputs. In fact, it has often been stated that an energy deficit of 3500 kcal will lead to fat loss of exactly one pound because that’s how much energy is provided when you break down fat. And this will work in many people. But this simple equation does not take into account the type of macronutrients or micronutrients that you are actually consuming, nor does it consider the strong influence of hormones as we’ll discuss below. A Calorie is Not Just a Calorie: Most people that have done their own dietary research know that the human body does not respond to refined carbohydrates (ie. added sugars) the same way that it does to protein, fats or even complex carbohydrates. When we eat natural sugars found in fruit that are paired with the high fibre content, we have a blunted rise in blood glucose and insulin. If you eat the same number of calories from a donut, your sugar spikes and excess sugars become converted and deposited into fat. Similarly, low-carbohydrate diets have consistently shown greater weight loss when compared to low-fat diets with equal caloric intake. Physiologically, the body treats fats, proteins and carbohydrates quite differently. What About Hormones? The thyroid is largely responsible for maintaining a proper metabolic rate, meaning that it dictates how fast or slow our cells burn energy. This explains why those with low thyroid function can present with weight gain or the inability to lose weight. If you haven’t had your thyroid function checked by your doctor, this is a great place to start. However, just as your thyroid needs to be balanced to maintain a healthy weight, so does your estrogen, progesterone, testosterone and cortisol. Factors such as stress, poor liver function and nutritional deficiencies can all imbalance these crucial hormones. The Importance of Stress: When we are stressed, our body releases cortisol. Cortisol is a hormone that tells the body to release sugar into the blood. This is great to provide energy to get through a short stressful event, but what about when cortisol is elevated for days, weeks or months at a time? Imbalanced sugar levels can lead to fat deposition over the long haul! Stress management is so important, in fact, that some research has found stress-management programs with no dietary changes to be more effective for weight loss than dietary changes alone. Sleep and its role in Weight Management: A large-scale study examining sleep habits in over 86,000 postmenopausal women found a strong association between both lack of sleep and excess sleep with obesity risk. Other studies have found shorter and longer sleep durations to be associated with greater body mass and greater abdominal fat measurements. Sleep deprivation’s association with obesity appears to be due not only with behavioral changes (such as exercising less when you’re tired), but also to hormonal dysregulation. Sleeping less than 6 hours per night results in blood sugar imbalances, insulin resistance and, ultimately, widespread inflammation in the body. Environmental Toxins: There is now a mountain of evidence to show that toxins in our environment can play a great role in body size. Ongoing exposure to chemicals with names like hexachlorobenzene, polybrominated biphenyl and phthalates can wreak havoc on your hormones and your weight loss attempts. Start eliminating the plastics and use glass containers or water bottles instead. Reduce your daily makeup and cosmetic exposure when possible. Avoid unnecessary air-fresheners, chemical-laden cleaners and pesticides. These small changes will all add up.         As you can clearly see, there is much more to consider than just calories in and calories out when it comes to weight loss. Eating real food, getting restful sleep, avoiding toxic chemicals, improving relationships and minimizing stressors in your life will all help to normalize your hormones and improve your weight in the long-run. Got some weight loss t ...

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is the most common hormonal disorder among women of reproductive age. Infertility is one of the most common PCOS symptoms. Because the symptoms of PCOS are seemingly unrelated to one another, the condition is often overlooked and undiagnosed. Overview Polycystic ovary syndrome causes irregular menstrual cycles, excessive body or facial hair and polycystic ovaries as its main symptoms. Polycystic means "many cysts," and PCOS often causes clusters of small, pearl-sized cysts in the ovaries. The cysts are fluid-filled and contain immature eggs. Women with PCOS produce slightly higher amounts of male hormones known as androgens, which contribute to some of the symptoms of the condition. The cause of PCOS is not known. Some women with PCOS are less sensitive to insulin than other women, a condition known as insulin resistance. Insulin resistance can cause the ovaries to produce too many male hormones. The resulting hormonal imbalance can cause the symptoms of PCOS. The condition appears to run in families, and sisters of those with it are twice as likely to have it. Currently, PCOS has no cure, but a variety of PCOS treatments can help alleviate the symptoms of this disease, including infertility. PCOS Symptoms PCOS is a syndrome disease defined by a collection of signs and symptoms. The symptoms of PCOS that one patient experiences can be very different from the symptoms of another patient. If you have two or more of the following symptoms, you need to have a thorough checkup to determine if you need PCOS treatment: Irregular or missing menstrual periods Infertility Excess or unwanted body or facial hair growth Thinning hair on the scalp Weight problems, often including weight gain around the waist Skin problems, including skin tags, darkening skin and acne Complications of PCOS The common PCOS symptoms are difficult enough for most women, but some will experience further complications, including: Diabetes, elevated insulin levels or insulin resistance Heart and blood vessel problems Uterine cancer Sleep apnea Each of these problems can be life threatening, which is why treatment for PCOS is so important. PCOS Treatments Polycystic ovary syndrome treatment starts with a proper diagnosis. Treatments are then chosen based on a woman's symptoms, age and future pregnancy plans. Treatment for PCOS may include: Birth control pills to regulate menstruation Insulin-sensitizing medications Ovulation induction to treat infertility Androgen-blocking medications Topical anti-hair-growth medications Other excess hair treatments Treatments for hair loss Acne treatments Removal of other skin problems Lifestyle and Prevention One of the best treatments for PCOS is a healthy lifestyle. A healthy diet, low in refined carbohydrates, is important, as this can help regulate blood sugar levels. Exercise can also help the body regulate insulin and keep excess weight off. Losing weight is challenging with PCOS, but doing so can help reduce the male hormone levels in the body, and some women will begin to ovulate naturally. With a proper diagnosis, lifestyle changes, and PCOS treatment, women can get relief from this condition and the overwhelming health problems it can cause. Editors: Cristina Meriggiola, MD, PhDUniversity of Bologna Musa Zamah, MD, PhDUniversity of California, San Francisco   Ref: http://www.hormone.org/diseases-and-conditions/womens-health/polycystic-ovary-syndrome

Foods That Are Testosterone Antagonists

Foods That Are Testosterone Antagonists by TOMAS LINNAEUS      The endocrine system produces different hormones that circulate throughout the body. Maintaining the proper balance between these substances ensures good health. Excessive levels of the androgen testosterone, for example, can cause unwanted reactions, such as menstrual irregularity, voice deepening and hair growth. Women with polycystic ovary disease and adolescent girls often have these symptoms. Eating certain foods may help lower testosterone, but speak with a doctor for the proper diagnosis and treatment. Spearmint Tea The spearmint plant, Mentha spicata, grows freely in Europe and Asia. Used for a variety of ailments, traditional healers suspected that ingesting this plant reduces libido. Such an anti-androgenic effect suggests that spearmint may block testosterone. An experiment outlined in the February 2010 issue of "Phytotherapy Research" tested this hypothesis in women with polycystic ovary disease. Patients received spearmint tea twice a day for a month. Relative to placebo, this treatment caused a decrease in circulating testosterone. It also decreased unwanted hair growth. The women did not experience serious side effects, but the long-term impact of spearmint remains unknown.   Bael Leaf Leaves from the bael tree, Aegle marmelos, play a significant role in Ayurvedic medicine. Eaten in salads to relieve constipation, bael leaves may help treat diabetes. This finding indicates that the food may affect hormone regulation. A 2007 article presented in "Contraception" evaluated bael's effect on testosterone. Laboratory animals received extracted bael leaves daily for two months. Relative to baseline, bael leaves suppressed testosterone and reduced fertility in male rats. Ending the treatment reversed these effects, and that change eliminated all signs of toxicity within four months. While suggestive, results obtained in animals may not generalize well to humans. Pegaga The pegaga plant, Centella asiatica, also has medicinal properties. People in Malaysia eat this herb raw as a salad green. Preliminary data suggest that pegaga treats symptoms of diabetes and affects the endocrine system. A 2010 paper in "La Clinica Terapeutica" looked at pegaga's impact on male fertility. Rodents were given daily injections of either Centella asiatica or distilled water for three months. The pegaga treatment decreased testosterone production and reduced sperm count relative to the inert treatment. The food did not affect other physiological systems, but patients should wait until scientists collect more safety data for pegaga. Potato Fiber Potatoes and potato products remain some of the most popular foods. Potato fiber is made from the resistant starch contained in the vegetable, and it can prevent colon cancer. This fiber may have other medical applications as well. A study described in the April 2010 edition of "Archives of Animal Nutrition" assessed the effect of potato fiber on laboratory animals. Male and female rodents received a diet supplemented with either fiber or cellulose for six months. Relative to the cellulose-enriched diet, the fiber-enriched diet suppressed testosterone levels and enhanced mineral absorption. Additional tests will reveal the mechanisms underlying these effects. References: http://www.livestrong.com/article/412385-foods-that-are-testosterone-antagonists/
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