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Reproductive (Sex) Hormones

While this topic is both wide ranging and complex, there are similarities, trends, and simplicities common to both male and female hormonal status. First and foremost, we must understand some basic principles and facts.

All reproductive hormones are made from cholesterol. Cholesterol need not be ingested as it is made inside the body. One of the uses of cholesterol is to synthesize pregnenolone. This in turn becomes progesterone, estrone, estradiol, cortisol, androstenedione, DHEA, aldosterone plus all their intermediaries. The body also has many feedback loops so if one hormone needs to be in higher concentration, another will be made to a lesser extent.

All this happens in response to hormone triggers, which come from the pituitary gland. It secretes its triggers in response to both internal and external stimuli. In both men and women pregnenolone is turned into progesterone and that in turn into all the other reproductive hormones. It is just the ratio of each that is different in men and women.

These hormones are affected by stress, genetics, liver toxicity, diet, pharmaceuticals, nutraceuticals, exercise, and metabolism. One can see all the variables that could possibly affect the proper functioning of the reproductive glands.

If we look at just one variable like the liver, it is known that one of its functions is to deconjugate (break down into different parts) estrogen. Now let's look at a women who has a drinking problem and eats processed foods with chemicals. The liver has too great a burden to perform all of its deconjugation functions and because of that there is a relative increase in the amount of circulating estrogens in the body. These do what they are supposed to do, stimulate the sex glands, but at a greater level and at unusual times. This leads to one of many abnormal conditions such as endometriosis, fibrocystic breast disease, PMS, ovarian cysts, irregular menses, infertility, must to name a few. But we can see that the body is actually acting correctly, we are just giving it the wrong directions.

So, where am I going with this information? One must first correct all the wrong directions we give our bodies before we expect them to act normally. If we all did this, the cases of reproductive problems would be just a fraction of what they are now. I do not believe that is is correct to put otherwise healthy individuals on medications and hormones to control these normal reactions to abnormal inputs, even if they are only vitamins, minerals, and nutraceuticals. These substances should be used how they were intended, that is, as supplements to correct deficits, increase functions, and add to otherwise lacking nutritional needs. Once a person has been educated as to the proper habits for themselves and implements them we can then take a look at what problems are truly functional or pathological.

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These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.
They are the sole opinion of Dr. Schwartz and are not intented to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

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