Hormones A to Z

This page will discuss hormones, particularily how nutrition affects specific hormones. Some attempt at summarizing the biological role and health effects will be attempted, although my main research focus isn’t endocrinology so these aspects may be neglected.

Cortisol — Cortisol appears to be raised by high protein diets and high caffeine intake and lowered by fish oil and pre-workout carbohydrates.

Glutathione – Glutathione is an antioxidant and detoxifying chemical which seems to provide a number or health benefits. It is increased by coffee, particularly unfiltered coffee (e.g. made in a french press) and reduced by an inadequate protein intake.

Growth Hormone/IGF-1 — Some amount of controversy surrounds growth hormones and its downstream product IGF-1. GH/IGF-1 appear to exert favorable and unfavorable health effects, promoting muscle growth and fat loss and appearing to protect against cardiovascular disease while also seemingly adversely affecting cancer risk.

Prostaglandins — Prostaglandins are a group of lipid derived signaling molecules involved in various processes, particularly inflammation. Prostaglandins are made from polyunsaturated fats by the cycloxygenase (COX) enzymes, but their production can be reduced by COX inhibiting drugs, e.g. Aspirin. Significant evidence supports the idea that certain prostaglandins promote certain forms of cancer. There is some dispute regarding whether manipulating dietary intake of prostaglandin precursors (for example linoleic acid) affects prostaglandin levels.

Testosterone — Testosterone production is affected by a variety of dietary changes. Testosterone is lowered by zinc deficiency and soy intake and increased by certain types of dietary fat (saturated and monounsaturated fat). Diets containing large amounts of protein relative to carbohydrates seem to lower testosterone levels.

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