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An Overview of the 8 Major Hormones_Final

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>> Hello and welcome back. You now know about the function and importance of the endocrine glands. But these key players are only as important as the hormones they produce, what exactly do these hormones do, what's contained in the information they send. In this lecture, I'm excited to introduce to you the eight major hormones and describe their roles they play in the body. Hormones affect every tissue and organ in the body. They impact everything from gut function, muscle growth, and recovery, bone health, and brain function. So when hormones get out of whack, there can be far reaching consequences in terms of symptoms and effects. Understanding the roles and proper function of hormones will provide you with the context for what's going on when there is an imbalance. In this lecture, you'll learn about the eight major hormones in the female body. We'll start with the two female sex hormones. The first is estrogen. We usually think of estrogen as a single hormone, but did you know that estrogens are actually a group of sex hormones. Yup, more than 15 forms of estrogen have been identified and they all play an important role in sexual and reproductive health in women. Does this surprise you? Don't worry, we won't ask you to memorize them all, we'll just focus on the three main estrogens, estrone estradiol, and estriol. Each of these has specific functions. Estradiol also known as E2 is the predominant form in females of reproductive age who are not pregnant. E2 helps facilitate the cyclic release of eggs from the ovaries during ovulation. This is the estrogen that benefits the heart, bone health, the brain, and the colon. The decrease in E2 is what causes common menopausal symptoms like night sweats and hot flashes. Estrone or E1 is a dominant estrogen in postmenopausal women. And estriol or E3 is estrogen that's released from the placenta during pregnancy. Estrogen is produced mainly in the ovaries, although the adrenal glands and fat cells can also make small amounts. You can think of estrogen as the hormone of femininity because it's responsible for the physical features that we associate with being female. When estrogen begins to rise in young girls, it's what triggers the onset of puberty and the physical changes that come with it, the onset of the menstrual cycle, the formation of thighs, hips, breasts, and the growth of pubic and underarm hair. This hormone is best known for its function during the menstrual cycle and its importance in child bearing. But did you know there are so many other roles estrogen plays in the body? It's true, estrogen plays a role in regulating cholesterol levels and it also plays a role in regulating the urinary tract, the heart and blood vessels, bones, breast health, skin, hair, mucous membranes, pelvic muscles, and it plays a role in brain health and function. Men have estrogen too but ideally it's in much smaller amounts. The other main female sex hormone is progesterone. It's secreted by the corpus luteum, a temporary endocrine gland that the body produces in the ovary during the second half of the menstrual cycle. You can think of progesterone as the keep calm and carry on hormone because it has the ability to sooth the nervous system. Progesterone is best known for its role in preparing the endometrium, the lining of the uterus for the potential of pregnancy after ovulation. It's what triggers the endometrial lining to thicken to house a fertilized egg. High progesterone levels during pregnancy help to maintain the life and development of the fetus. Progesterone has direct access to the brain and nerves when it's circulating in the bloodstream. In fact, one of progesterone's main jobs is to protect the brain from damage and help repair it after injury. It does this by promoting the growth and repair of the myelin sheaths, the protective layer of nerve fibers that facilitate communication between neurons. Progesterone's other roles in the body include supporting breast health, cardiovascular health, and the health of the nervous system. Progesterone also helps maintain healthy brain function and mood regulation. It plays a role in easing anxiety, facilitating memory, promoting healthy sleep, and relaxation. People tend to think of progesterone as women's hormone, but men have it and need it too. Progesterone is actually a precursor to testosterone and it helps preserve the traits of masculinity by counteracting the estrogen in men's bodies. Interesting, huh? Now that we've established that, let's move on to hormone number three. The next hormone we'll discuss is cortisol. As the body's main stress hormone, it's easy to demonize cortisol. After all, we're a society that runs off of caffeine and chronic stimulation. We're constantly told and rightly so to keep cortisol levels down at all costs. But did you know that cortisol actually has some really interesting functions in the body. Let's take a look. Cortisol is released from the adrenal glands at any sign of stress, physical, emotional, or mental. You can think of it as the alpha hormone because we literally need it for survival. You've probably heard the analogy of how our bodies have adapted to the physical stressors of being chased by a lion. Cortisol release in this instance is great because it helps your body shut down functions that are unnecessary when you need to run for your life like digestion. That means the digestive organs are virtually shutdown when the stress response is triggered and cortisol is released. Because when you're escaping from a life threatening situation, digesting your lunch falls off the list of priorities. Makes sense, right? Cortisol's roles in the body include mobilizing energy from storage sites in the body for immediate use, breaking down molecules to release energy, reducing inflammation and allergies, preventing the loss of sodium in the urine to help maintain blood volume and blood pressure, and helping to maintain mood and emotional stability. This is all great stuff when danger is abound but here is the problem with our stress response system, chronic stressors from things like desk jobs, and sitting in traffic, or tensions with the spouse can release the same chemical stress response, releasing cortisol into the bloodstream on an almost constant basis. This is where the system backfires because this is detrimental to health. Let's look at exactly what this does to the body. When cortisol mobilizes energy from storage sites in the body, it increases amino acids in the blood and the liver. It then stimulates the liver to convert these amino acids into glucose, so the body can use this for more energy. It also rounds up glycogen and fatty acids in the blood to be used as fuel. In other words, the body thinks it needs to run from a lion, so it works to produce all the energy generating glucose it can to use as fuel. But you're not running from a lion, you're sitting in your car on the freeway in bumper to bumper traffic. All of this extra energy produced doesn't need to be used, so it's stored. This is why people with high cortisol levels tend to take on that apple-shaped appearance with extra fat stored in their mid section. Next, let's talk about the thyroid gland. This gland produces two main hormones, we can refer to them simply as T3 and T4. You may be surprised to discover that the thyroid hormone you're probably most familiar with, thyroid stimulating hormone, aka TSH isn't produced in the thyroid at all. It's actually produced in the pituitary. You can think of the thyroid hormones collectively as the go-go-go hormones because they help us feel energetic and upbeat. T3 is the active form of the thyroid hormone T4. The body does make a little bit of T3 on its own, but about 80% of this active thyroid hormone needs to be converted from T4 to T3. T4 is secreted into the bloodstream by the thyroid. It travels to other parts of the body, most notably the liver and kidneys where it's converted into the active T3 hormone. These hormones work together in a feedback loop along with hypothalamus and pituitary to coordinate production and release. When T3 and T4 levels drop, the hypothalamus sees that it's time to release thyroid releasing hormone or TRH which nudges the pituitary to let it know that thyroid stimulating hormone or TSH is needed, the pituitary then releases TSH, which stimulates the thyroid to produce more T3 and T4. As you can see, these guys have their act together and know how to practice teamwork. T3 plays a major role in regulating the body's metabolism, heart function, digestion, muscle control, brain development, and bone maintenance. In other words, T3 helps your body stay slender, prevents brain fog, and keeps you feeling happy. Got to love that T3. The thyroid can't do any of this however without help from iodine from your food and the amino acid tyrosine. Iodine is a critical micronutrient which is part of the reason it was originally added to table salt in the United States in the 1920s. We'll discuss why this isn't the nest source of iodine in an upcoming module. Now let's talk about pregnenolone. This is a steroidal hormone synthesized from cholesterol. It's produced mostly in the adrenal glands, then also in the ovaries, testis, brain, and white blood cells. Pregnenolone is known for being the master hormone, the precursor from which almost all other steroid hormones are made including progesterone, testosterone, the estrogens, DHEA, and cortisol. Pregnenolone protects neurons from damage, helps repair myelin sheaths, and is also known for enhancing memory, motivation and mood. In fact, pregnenolone supplements are often used to relieve the symptoms of many neuropsychiatric disorders including anxiety and depression. Pregnenolone also improves sleep quality, reduces symptoms of PMS and menopause, and improves immunity. Like many of the sex hormones, pregnenolone levels naturally peak during youth and decline with age. Next up, we'll introduce the three main androgens or male hormones that affect women's health, testosterone, DHEA, and androstenedione. Each of these exist in women in much smaller amounts than in men, but are just as important for sexual function and overall health. Let's start with testosterone. Let's set the record straight. Testosterone is typically treated as a hormone that only men should care about but this is a myth. Because of this, many woman don't realize its profound importance to them. If you've been told that testosterone is totally irrelevant to women, you'll want to pay extra attention here. It is true that testosterone is responsible for many of the physical and emotional characteristics in men, from facial hair to assertiveness and aggression. Testosterone is produced in the testis in men, but did you know it's also produced in the ovaries in women. And it's produced in small amounts in the adrenal glands in both sexes. For women, testosterone plays a critical role in having a healthy libido. In fact, a significant amount of estradiol, the principal female sex hormone is converted from testosterone in the body. Besides adding a spark to your sex drive, adequate levels of testosterone in women help turn fat into muscle, keep skin supple, increase bone density, boost mood, manage stress, and support cognitive function. It also signals the body to produce new blood cells and supports bone growth and maintenance. Testosterone is also what gives us a sense of power, motivation, and assertiveness. This is where that holds stereotype a big tough man having a lot of testosterone comes from. So saying that a strong, bold, confident man is fueled by testosterone is a pretty accurate assessment. But here is the thing, testosterone is what's responsible for this trait in women too. Now let's talk about DHEA, a hormone that's associated with youth and fertility. DHEA is a steroid hormone that's synthesized from cholesterol and produced by the adrenal glands. The body uses DHEA to make sex hormones in both men and women, which is why high DHEA levels are associated with youth and libido. DHEA production peaks during our mid 20s and steadily declines with age. You can think of this as the fountain of youth hormone. DHEA has been shown to reduce abdominal fat, improve insulin resistance, reduce inflammation, decrease the incidence of heart disease, improve libido, and improve the symptoms of depression. But more isn't always better, DHEA is an androgen or male hormone, so a too much, women can experience symptoms like aggression, adult acne, and unwanted hair growth if they take supplements. Like all hormones, supplementation should be done only with a guidance of an experienced practitioner. Next up is androstenedione, this important steroid hormone has effects on estrogen and testosterone levels in the body. In fact, 50% of a woman's testosterone comes from the conversion of DHEA and androstenedione in adipose tissue. In females, androstenedione is released from the adrenal glands and the ovaries into the bloodstream with some help from the hypothalamus and the pituitary glands. From here, it's converted into testosterone and estrogen. And there you have the top eight hormones and their functions in the body. To recap, they are estrogen, progesterone, cortisol, thyroid hormones T3 and T4, pregnenolone, testosterone, DHEA, and androstenedione. As you can see, each of these hormones has important roles to play in maintaining a healthy body. And they work closely together, so when one gets out of balance, it can affect the others. This basic overview will help you understand the distinct roles each hormone plays in this complex relationship. These systems are complex and we know this may feel like a ton of very scientific information. But just know that we'll continue to discuss these hormones in more detail throughout the course. So you'll have lots of time to apply and expand on this information and let it all sink in. In the meantime, go ahead and review the handout. If you need any clarification or support about the information we're covering or how to apply it to your work with clients, the education team is there in the Facebook group to mentor you and answer your questions. So don't hesitate to reach out. Thank you so much for watching, and I'll see you soon.

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Duration: 14 minutes and 19 seconds
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Language: English
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Posted by: ninaz on Mar 23, 2018

An Overview of the 8 Major Hormones_Final

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