The merciless and impersonal march of time affects each of us individually, transforming our appearance from the youthful glow of our younger years into something altogether different from the older that we get. These changes seem to happen more quickly to some people than to others, and everyone knows a sixty-year-old who radiates good health, as well as someone barely past thirty with the carriage and demeanor of someone twice their age.
While genetics obviously play a critical role in the hand we are dealt, it is important to understand the part that hormones play in the aging process, because therein lies the secret to our bodies anti-aging abilities.
The list of crucial anti-aging hormones is addressed in this article and the particular defense that they offer against the ravages of time and the aging process.
Also known as the stress hormone, cortisol is released into the body any time that we experience stress, speeding up the aging process, especially in regards to our largest organ, the skin.
The negative effects of cortisol on the skin cannot be overstated; it is a major factor in the dull, thin and sagging skin experienced by lifelong tobacco smokers. Anything that works to decrease stress also works to decrease cortisol levels, from exercise and meditation to anxiety medication.
Testosterone is the most important hormone in the group of hormones known as androgens. While typically associated with males, women must also keep testosterone levels calibrated, as it plays an important role in mood, energy, weight and sex drive.
As they age, women tend to see an uptick in the amount of testosterone present in their bodies, while men experience a decline. Men especially must maintain and work to protect their testosterone levels as they age, since “low T” is associated with muscle loss, weight gain, depressed mood, and erectile dysfunction.
Too much insulin, produced by consumption of large amounts of sugar and processed foods, as well as pasta and starchy carbohydrates, results in older, wrinkly looking skin. In order to maintain proper insulin levels, consume a balanced diet high in protein, healthy fats and complex carbohydrates every three to four levels. Additionally, sleep deprivation is known to spike insulin levels well past their normal levels, giving even more weight to the old term “beauty rest”.
The word estrogen actually refers to the hormones estradiol, estrone, and estriol. Collectively, they form the most important sex hormone for women, primarily responsible for reproductive changes in the female body during puberty, although, similar to testosterone, it is present in both males and females. Estrogen plays a critical role in hundreds of functions, and is one of the hormones that declines most severely in women during the aging process.
By mid to late 40’s, most women are experiencing this decline, something that can be clearly observed in their skin. Less estrogen produced results in skin that is less elastic, thinner, and dryer, resulting in skin that looks wrinkly, saggy, and dull.
The availability of creams that contain estrogen is regulated by prescription, however, simple dietary changes, such as the addition of phytoestrogens such as flaxseed and fermented soy, means that healthy estrogen levels can be maintained through natural means.
If this article has been helpful, check out more of our blogs and articles about anti-aging, hormones and ways to live a healthy life!