Fight aging and look younger by balancing your hormones

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Do you have lifeless hair, dull skin, and weak nails? If so, your new year’s resolution may be to turn back the clock and resolve these issues. I suggest starting your anti-aging regimen with an inside look at your hormones. Hormones affect everything from our immune response and inflammation to cellular growth and tissue repair. Let’s address each of the major hormones that impact our appearance and discuss methods you can use to achieve the healthy balance necessary for radiant, youthful looking skin.

Insulin
High levels of insulin can accelerate wrinkling of the skin. Excess insulin occurs with an overindulgence of foods high in sugar, such as pastries, muffins, white pasta, white rice and juice cause spikes in blood sugar and insulin. Avoiding these foods while also consuming a balanced diet of protein, carbohydrates and healthy fats every three to four hours will help keep your insulin levels balanced. Supplements such as chromium or conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) may help improve your insulin sensitivity, which results in less insulin release and overall lower insulin levels. Sleep deprivation is also associated with high insulin levels, so a good “beauty sleep” is essential.

Cortisol 
Stress is not only bad for your health, it also has documented aging effects on our skin cells. Studies conducted on laboratory rats, revealed that cortisol-induced collagen loss in the skin is ten times greater than any other tissue; It is one of the biggest culprits of dull, thin, and sagging skin. Anything that beats stress, beats aging too – Relora is one of my favourite supplements for reducing excess cortisol levels and increasing youthful DHEA levels. For best results, take two pills at night and one in the morning.

Estrogen
Estrogen is produced by the ovaries prior to menopause and by the adrenal glands after menopause. Your adrenal glands will produce less estrogen if they are fatigued, which is common with a stressful lifestyle, sleep disruption, irregular eating habits or illness. Estrogen levels begin to decline in most women in their mid to late 40s although some women, particularly those who are very thin, may experience a drop much sooner. Less estrogen production that naturally occurs with age makes our skin thinner and less elastic, which leads to more wrinkling and sagging. As estrogen dips, less collagen and elastin are produced. Estrogen also helps skin stay moist by boosting hyaluronic acid. A 1997 study of 3,875 postmenopausal women concluded that estrogen supplementation helped aging women have younger looking skin and also helped maintained skin’s collagen, thickness, elasticity and ability to retain moisture.

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