No.12 How many different hormones do you have?

YOUR AMAZING BODY

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YOUR AMAZING BODY NO. 12


How many different hormones do you have?

a. 50

b. 80

c. 100


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A: You have at least 50 hormones – chemical messengers delivered through the blood stream and secreted by the endocrine system. Your body is extraordinarily sensitive to hormones. They typically work in the body at a level of one part per billion or even trillion – that’s like a teaspoon in an Olympic-sized swimming pool!

Hormones are produced using fats and cholesterol, so a lack of the right fats and nutrients can cause hormone problems, as the body doesn’t have the building blocks to make them.

Key vitamins to ensure ‘healthy’ hormones are Vitamin D – technically a pre-hormone – and vitamins A and K. Northern hemisphere dwellers are very often depleted in vitamin D due to low sunlight in winter.

Scientists are increasingly concerned about endocrine disruptors which have been linked to health problems like infertility, immune function, obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, Parkinson’s disease, autism and ADHD – all diseases that are increasing in prevalence.

Endocrine disruptors may mimic hormones and can interfere with hormone signalling and even turn one hormone into another. Endocrine disruptors include phthalates found in plastics and PVC wraps, fire retardant chemicals in furniture, PCBs in electrical equipment and organophosphate pesticides.

Leptin is a hormone of interest as the incidence of obesity rises, as it is a ‘master’ hormone in the body that controls hunger and feelings of satiety (fullness). Leptin is secreted by adipose (fat) tissue, so the more overweight a person is, typically, the higher his leptin levels.

The majority of overweight individuals who are having difficulty losing weight have a leptin resistance, so their leptin is unable to produce its normal effects to control weight.

You can help reduce leptin resistance by consuming protein and healthy fats first thing in the morning – for example a 2 egg omelette.  Eat (or take) more Omega-3s (from oily fish and grass fed meats) and minimise Omega-6 consumption (poly-unsaturated vegetable oils). This lowers inflammation and appears to increase the body’s sensitivity to leptin.

A high sugar diet can induce leptin resistance. Sugars make your brain less sensitive to leptin, which causes you to eat more and put on the pounds.


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