Your life hormones are very important to overall body regulation and function. When these hormone levels decline, we slip slowly into the downward spiral of aging. But boosting these life hormones can drastically increase the quality of our lives. Aging is inevitable, but looking and feeling old is optional.
There are several life hormones produced by your body, but none are more important than testosterone and growth hormone, and boosting them is easy to do with the right plan and program.
Controlling Blood Sugar Levels. All carbohydrates increase your blood sugar and elevate your energy level. Since complex carbohydrates take longer to digest, they increase blood sugar over a longer period of time. You can tell whether or not it is a simple carbohydrate (starch) by its Glycemic Index Number. The higher the GI, the worse it is for your blood sugar. Low GI Foods (complex carbohydrates) allow for sustained energy, as the sugar your body needs to operate is transferred into the blood, where it can be utilized as fuel over an extended period of time.
Simple carbohydrates break down very rapidly. This causes insulin levels to spike. Growth hormone levels increase significantly when insulin levels are low. More precisely, growth hormone inhibition is not caused by high insulin levels but rather high blood sugar (which, because insulin is secreted to bring down blood sugar levels, overlaps in time with high insulin levels). Consequently, during the day, when food is consumed periodically, growth hormone secretion by the pituitary is suppressed, and insulin release by the pancreas is increased.
What this means is, consuming a large amount of high glycemic carbohydrates by themselves could completely halt growth hormone release. Or more generally, a high carbohydrate, low fat diet is absolutely devastating to growth hormone levels. This is one of the reasons why many people trying to lose weight on such a diet "plateau" after a period of time. Their inability to continue to lose weight is partly due to suppressed GH levels.
A study comparing a group of boys consuming meals composed of high-glycemic index (GI) foods verses low GI foods found there were higher levels of the hormones insulin, noradrenaline, and cortisol after the high-GI meals. So a rapid rise in blood sugar and insulin can lead to a rise in cortisol, with its attendant catabolic and lipogenic properties.
However, we need insulin to promote the benefits of growth hormone. Studies show that GH fails to promote growth in animals lacking a pancreas, and it also fails if carbohydrates are completely restricted from the diet. The reason for this is that a strict low carbohydrate diet leads to chronically low insulin levels, and insulin is needed to drive amino acids into the muscle cells.
Moreover, IGF-1 is produced in the body through the combined actions of GH and insulin. And IGF-1 is at least as powerful an anabolic agent as either of its parents. But a low carbohydrate diet would lead to a reduction in IGF-1 levels. So a low carbohydrate diet is not the answer either. In fact, this relationship of insulin, growth hormone, and IGF-1 is one reason why those following a low carbohydrate diet also plateau after a period of time.
There is a relationship with thyroid hormone here as well. Raising GH has a profound effect on normalizing thyroid function. However, studies also show that diets that continuously restrict carbohydrates, like the Atkin's diet for instance, cause a reduction in T3, and that administering carbohydrates can restore T3 levels after they have declined. This reduction in T3 is another reason people will plateau on low carbohydrate diets.
Adding to this is The American Physicians' Association finding that fibers in vegetables, whole grains, and some fruits keep sugars in the intestinal tract for longer periods. This increases your blood glucose level more slowly than if you ate a simple sugar. So, fiber consumption would help to stabilize blood sugar, thus further enhancing GH release. So an ideal GH enhancing diet would include some carbohydrates, but not an excessive amount. And the focus would be on low glycemic carbohydrates, which are mainly vegetables, fruits, and whole grains.
Forget the Low Fat Myth. Penn State conducted a study looking at the issues of Hormones and Fat intake. They found that subjects who ate a moderate fat diet exhibited higher testosterone levels than the subjects eating low fat - this finding merely confirmed previous studies demonstrating that dietary fat is positively linked with hormone levels.
More impressively, the Penn State researchers showed that the effect of dietary fat on hormone levels depended on the kind of fat consumed. Specifically, they found that monounsaturated and saturated fat raised testosterone levels, but polyunsaturated fat does not.
Other studies confirm these results. For instance, in a 2005 study, "39 middle-aged white, healthy men (50 to 60 yr) were studied while they were consuming their usual high fat, low carbohydrate diet and after 8 weeks modulation to an isocaloric low fat, high carbohydrate diet. The results of the dietary change were a reduction in total Testosterone and free Testosterone and some of the Testosterone precursors."
The researchers concluded, "metabolic clearance rates of Testosterone were not changed and production rates of Testosterone showed a downward trend while on low fat diet modulation. We conclude that reduction in dietary fat intake (and increase in carbohydrate) results in 12% consistent lowering of circulating androgens levels without changing the clearance."
A 1984 study had similar results. The possible effect of dietary fat content and the ratio of polyunsaturated to saturated fatty acids (P/S-ratio) on serum sex hormones was studied in 30 healthy male volunteers. The customary diet of the subjects, which supplied 40% of energy as fat (mainly from animal sources, P/S-ratio 0.15) was replaced for a 6 weeks period by a practically isocaloric experimental diet containing significantly less fat (25% of energy) with a higher P/S-ratio (1.22) and other environmental factors were stabilized.
As a result of the dietary change, there was a 15% drop in total Testosterone, with corresponding drops in Free Test and androstenedione. The researchers concluded that the results indicate that a decrease in dietary fat content and an increase in the degree of unsaturation of fatty acids reduce the serum concentrations of androstenedione, testosterone, and free testosterone.
An interesting 1987 study put men on a high-fat diet (about 50 percent of calories from fat) for 2 weeks, then had them switch to a low-fat diet (about 10 percent fat) for 2 weeks. Their free testosterone--the part that's available for use in building muscle--dropped 21 percent on the low-fat diet.
The overall consensus of these studies and others that could be cited is that low fat diets lower total testosterone and/or free testosterone levels while a moderate to high fat diet raises testosterone levels. This shows that despite the anti-fat message we're bombarded with, it turns out that diets too low in dietary fat are actually harmful to healthy testosterone levels. It is also important to realize not just any fat, but saturated fatty acids (SFA) and monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFA) raise testosterone levels. Polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) do not.
As such, restricting total fat intake--and replacing saturated fat with polyunsaturated fat (exactly what the experts are telling you to do)--would appear to be the perfect prescription for lowering your testosterone levels, thus causing premature aging.
However, it is not necessary to consume a lot of saturated fat. Research shows that men with the highest testosterone levels eat nuts. Yes, monounsaturated fat seems to increase hormone levels, so include nuts, olive oil, canola oil, and peanut butter in your Rejuvenation diets.
Foods high in healthy Omega 3s fatty acids would also be good sources of testosterone-raising fat. The best sources of omega 3s are fatty fish like mackerel, herrings, sardines, tuna, sturgeon, and salmon. But they are also found in plant foods like walnuts, pumpkin seeds, flax seeds, flax seed oil, and canola oil. Keep your consumption of fat--preferably in the form of monounsaturates and omega-3s--up around 35-40 percent, the amount research shows to be optimal for robust testosterone levels.
We can point the so called "Experts" and their low fat propagandists to Penn State studies that show that a high fat, low carbohydrate diet reduced the risk of heart disease by 21%, while a low fat diet reduced it by only 12%; effectively demonstrating that a high fat diet could be the most heart-protective of all. So it is possible to have a healthy, moderate fat diet that increases your energy levels, builds muscle, burns fat, and increases your quality of life.
Intense Strength Training. All intense weight-training exercises are effective promoters of Testosterone&Growth Hormone (Life Hormone) production, but those that involve the use of high-resistance and major muscle groups tend to be the most effective. Applying maximum effort to fewer repetitions of squats, leg presses, dead-lifts, overhead presses, bench presses, and other compound Olympic-style lifts will optimize your results. This is why the Rejuvenation-Fitness Program focuses on compound lifts and non-competing supersets, allowing for the most intense workouts in the shortest amount of time.
The International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism has published numerous studies that show significant elevations (25%) above baseline concentrations for Total Testosterone and Free Testosterone after acute heavy resistance exercise in women. These results have also been repeated in men and show that hormone response to strength exercise depends greatly on the intensity of the exercises and the total amount of muscles recruited by the exercise. This association with the amount of total muscle mass recruited and activated, and the intensity at which the exercise is performed, proves that compound exercises done with a heavier weight and lower reps (6-8) increases the production of Growth Hormone and Testosterone, the two hormones proven to fight the diseases of aging.
Strength training produces a greater release of "Life Hormones" than aerobic exercise. Research shows that riding an exercise bike at a high intensity will cause a 166% increase in Test&GH, but weight training at a high intensity will cause a 400% increase. This is why we prescribe weight training and intervals in the Rejuvenation-Fitness Program; they are simply more effective. Boost your Life Hormones, and skyrocket your results today, by increasing the amount of weight you are using and concentrating on compound exercises that recruit several large muscle groups.
Interval Training. Most so called "Experts" in the health and fitness world promote Low Intensity Exercise (LIE). You walk into any gym in the country and you see countless elliptical machines, bikes, and treadmills. Every time you walk through the doors you see the same "Cardio Bunnies" putting in marathon sessions on these machines, but when was the last time you noticed a change in their bodies? Have their bodies changed in the past week? Month? Year?
The reason that their bodies are not changing is that they are breaking down their bodies day after day. The excessive amounts of cardio increase production of a catabolic hormone called Cortisol, which breaks down lean muscle and other tissues. So the long, slow cardio is increasing a catabolic hormone, while suppressing their production of the anabolic "Life Hormones". This deterioration of lean muscle actually decreases their bodies' ability to not only produce more "Life Hormones", but decreases their resting metabolic rate (RMR), and the RMR is what is responsible for 98% of all caloric burning throughout the day.
The International SportMed Journal has published numerous studies showing that high intensity exercise induces growth hormone production. One particular study observed high-intensity exercise resulted in a significant increase in GH only after 10 minutes of exercise, compared with low-intensity exercise where there was no significant GH response.
Sprint-type training also appeared to stimulate GH secretion. Several studies have showed that 30-second sprints resulted in a significant elevation in blood GH concentration. Another study compared 30-second cycle sprints to constant low intensity cycling. The sprinting group experienced a rise in GH approximately 450% greater than after the low intensity group. These results indicate that sprint type exercise is a major GH stimulus.
Hormone Replacement Therapy. Most people think of Hormone Replacement Therapy as the miraculous treatment for children otherwise doomed to dwarfism, which over the past thirty years has saved tens of thousands from this fate. But, the next great benefit of HRT appears to be in the aging population. People with age-related hormone deficiency become overweight, flabby, frail, and lethargic; lose interest in sex; have trouble sleeping, concentrating, and remembering things; tire easily; and in general, lose their zest for life. With HRT, all these so-called signs of aging can be reversed.
If you experience any of the following symptoms, we suggest contacting a certified Anti-Aging Specialist in your area.
- increasing fat/muscle ratio
- loss of sex drive/inability to maintain an erection
- depressed mood
- aches and pains in the joints
- dry skin
Life Hormones are extremely important for the quality of life you lead as you age. There is no inevitable Downward Cycle of Aging. You can take back control of your life. You can increase your energy, build a stronger less flabby body, and live the life you dreamt of having.