Do Nutraceuticals Support Hormone Replacement Therapy?
As we age, hormone production within our endocrine system changes and hormonal imbalances occur. These imbalances produce symptoms in both men and women, such as: decreased energy, low sex drive, weight gain, lack of sleep, and more. While these symptoms used to be thought of as “normal signs of aging,” the evidence is clear that hormone replacement therapy can drastically help to reduce these symptoms. A comprehensive hormone replacement treatment will include supportive supplements called. Nutraceuticals support hormone replacement therapy by providing essential nutrients that optimize function in your body.
What are Nutraceuticals?
A nutraceutical is any vitamin, mineral, supplement, trace element, or bio-botanical plant-based substance that has known healing properties and is produce or isolated with the highest pharmaceutical grade purity.
How do Nutraceuticals Support Hormone Replacement Therapy?
Nutraceuticals support hormone replacement therapy by supplementing necessary nutrients for the body that have been depleted due to the natural aging process and other factors, such as: poor diet, sleep habits, medications, etc.
With nutraceutical support, hormone replacement therapies can optimize your body and reduce your symptoms more comprehensively.
See below for three important nutraceuticals to take while undergoing HRT.
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Three Important Nutraceuticals that Support HRT:
Probiotics are live microorganisms (bacteria and yeasts) that are either the same as, or similar two those found in the body. Although we tend to think of bacteria as harmful, many bacteria actually help the body to function properly. Probiotics support what is called a balanced “microbiome,” which is the internal complex ecosystem of bacteria located within our bodies. It is a community of microbes that live in our digestive systems. The importance of our gut microbiome cannot be overstated: poor gut health can lead to autoimmune diseases, arthritis, dementia, heart disease, and more, while effecting our health, fertility, and longevity.
The reason for this is that gut health may affect estrogen levels. Some “gut bugs” can overproduce an enzyme called betaglucoronidase, which can re-cycle estrogen and increase the number of estrogen receptors. In layman’s terms, this can cause increased tissue growth, inability to lose fat, and can even produce large breasts in men. Therefore, a hormone replacement treatment will work better to balance your hormones with the help of a nutraceutical that optimizes your gut health.
Omega-3 fatty acids are necessary for human health and development, but they cannot be produced by the body. Like a healthy gut, they can have an effect on estrogen receptors. Omega-3 fatty acids in fish oil contain lignans which can trick the body into thinking they are estrogen, taking the place of stronger estrogen cells. An article published in Obstetrical and Gynecological Survey in 2004 women, especially, and Omega 3 fatty acids, stating that:
supplementation with omega-3 FA might help to prevent preeclampsia, postpartum depression, menopausal problems, postmenopausal osteoporosis, and breast cancer. Furthermore, because elevated triglyceride levels are associated with cardiovascular disease, especially in women; and because omega-3 FA have powerful effects on triglycerides, women in particular gain from an increased intake of these fatty acids (1)
Again, a nutraceutical like Omega-3 can work alongside a hormone replacement treatment to comprehensively optimize the hormone system. However, even without HRT, our bodies need “good fats.” Omega-3s have been shown to aid in muscle activity, blood-clotting prevention, digestion, fertility, brain health, and so much more.
Unlike the last two mentioned nutraceuticals, DIM is lesser known but just as important as the above. Diindolylmethane (DIM) is a versatile nutraceutical that can be naturally obtained via dietary consumption of cruciferous vegetables and possesses hormone-modulating effects. However, consumption of large amounts of cruciferous vegetables have been tied to goitrogenic isothiocyanates and other thyroid issues. Thus, the advantage of a nutraceutical supplement with DIM is that it is does not have goitrogenic properties and shows beneficial effects on estrogen metabolism.
DIM, has been shown in scientific studies to reduce the risk of breast, cervical and other estrogen-driven cancers cancer by helping the body to make a better balance of the “good estrogen” (2-hydroxy-estrone) compared to the “bad estrogen” (16-alpha-hydroxy-estrone). That said, while DIM does convert excess estrogen to useful metabolites, it has no estrogenic activity in itself. This means that, if your body does require estrogen replacement, it will not replace it in your body.
These are just three of the important nutraceuticals that support hormone replacement therapies. There are many more, such as Vitamins A, D, K and more that deserve their own explanation. However, as with ANY nutraceutical or vitamin supplement, every “body” is different. It is imperative that you speak with a practitioner who performs diagnostic testing on your body’s current nutrient and hormone levels to customize an appropriate nutraceutical regimen for you.
If you are interested in learning more about what nutrients you may deficient in, schedule an appointment with a Functional Medicine center like Revitalogy, today!
-Whitney F. Brown, ARNP at Revitalogy
Call 561-406-2269 to schedule an appointment with me, or leave a comment below!
Whitney F. Brown, ARNP
With deep understanding an experience in hormone therapies, alternative medicine, and aesthetics, nurse practitioner Whitney F. Brown’s provides a patient-focused, holistic, and functional approach to wellness. Her priority is to help her patients feel better on the inside while giving them more confidence about the way they look on the outside. To achieve this, she considers her patient’s entire medical, wellness, and nutritional history with their wants and needs.
Whitney considers nutrition to play a pivotal role in optimal wellness. As a collegiate athlete, she realized years ago that her own vegan diet was negatively affecting her bloodwork values. This inspired her to study nutrition extensively, and allowed her to use her own story to help relate to her patients’ frustration with the overwhelming information about nutrition today. Whitney blends her traditional medical education and experience with proven natural therapies to restore vitality to her patients from the inside out.