New Parma / may-june 2010

We all know that a healthy diet slows down the ageing process, above all if it includes healthy food rich in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, proteins, essential fatty acids, fibres and food which is relatively low in calories coming from saturated fats and simple sugars. Yet, not everybody knows that food does not affect the ageing process merely by means of its “nutritional value”, but also thanks to its capacity in affecting the hormone production. Unfortunately, the older we get, the more our hormones generally decline. We experience a decrease in the GH – also called growth hormone – which tones up muscles and skin and burns fats. The decrease also involves the DHEA – the youth hormone – which improves our energy level and mood. There is a decrease in the sexual hormones, testosterone in men and extrogens in women, thus leading to a decrease in sexual performances and to a predisposition to osteoporosis. Instead, there is an increase in hormones with negative effects, such as insulin – which favours excess weight, hypertension and type 2 diabetes – and cortisol, which favours the loss of muscular mass and the increase in abdominal fat, thus leading to a predisposition  to cardiovascular diseases. We could go on and on. However, what we need to know is that food and food consumption can influence the production of hormones. For example, the choice of carbohydrates rather than proteins in the evening before going to bed has some consequences. Carbohydrates inhibit the production of GH, while proteins stimulate it. Yet, there is an opposite effect on hormones such as cortisol and noradrenalin. So, in case of predominance of these hormones, the consumption of carbohydrates rather than proteins should be recommended in the evening since it favours a more physiological sleep, thus leading to positive hormonal benefits, including the GH secretion. These concepts are related to chronomorphodiet (http://www.massimospattini.it/cronomorfodieta.htm), that is, the modulation of hormonal production by means of the consumption of some food in different moments during the day, also taking into account the individual’s constitutional biotype. Soya causes an increase in extrogens, so it can be useful for women in their pre-menopause phase. On the contrary, it must be reduced in andropause, since men in andropause already tend to feminization, accumulating fat in the mammal and gluteal region. Also in this case we could quote many examples. What we must realise is that a personalised diet according to our hormonal profile can help us achieve great results, modulating our hormonal production and creating a renewed balance.

Sometimes, however, a diet is not enough to redress the balance of hormones. On this point I would like to quote an extract from Thierry Hertoghe’s book “The Hormone Diet”. Hertoghe is an endocrinologist and is president of the World Society of Anti-aging Medicine and of the International Hormone Society. He is also scientific director of the Anti-aging Medicine World Congress and of the European Congress of Anti-aging Medicine, and scientific consultant of the American Academy of Anti-aging Medicine.

“Of course, the most serious cases require substitutive hormone therapy, which in many cases still causes significant concern. The abuse of hormones by athletes – which has been widely reported in newspapers – has also created many taboos which have generated groundless anxiety. Unfortunately, this fear often involves doctors as well, so much so that they deter patients from following the treatment prescribed by a colleague.

Actually, hormone treatments have been more and more tested on a scientific basis. If used with precaution, in small doses and if adapted to the patient’s body, they have the same structure as the natural hormones the patient is short of. So, fear of these hormones would be groundless. The hormones which are properly prescribed do not cause cancer. The therapy aims at re-establishing an almost normal level and the hormones used are more and more similar to the natural ones. Moreover, they are not more dangerous than other medicines. Their effect ceases as soon as the treatment is interrupted. Their permanence in blood only lasts few hours and contraindications are very rare.

Patients who undergo the substitutive therapy reach hormone levels which are typical of a person ten or twenty years younger. The result is regaining of youth and fitness. There is not a unique hormone of youth, though. The substitutive hormone therapy and hormone diet stimulate the production of more hormones, which are then associated together in order to improve the metabolism of cells, regenerate organs and tissues. Thanks to strategies which have been especially studied, the results will imply: a renewed interest in life, an increase in sexual charge, unassailable contentedness, smooth and bright skin, thick hair, strong teeth, tined muscles and less pain, more resistance to exertion, stress and diseases… And the list could go on and on, because hormones are fundamental for health and beauty (which, actually, often mirrors our health).”