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Be Your Best with Happy Hormones
If there is one thing that is the bane of a good figure and vibrant health, it is belly fat. I am talking about that stubborn extra roll around the middle that does not seem to disappear, no matter how swift your metabolism, how much you exercise or how many sit ups you do. For some people, belly weight means the dreaded “muffin top” that escapes over the top of your jeans. For others, abdominal weight gain results in a round, apple shape. The fat in those love handles also contributes to increased blood triglyceride levels, inflammation and insulin resistance. Carrying extra weight around the middle puts you at higher risk of heart disease, cancers and diabetes.
So why do we gain weight? Our hormones are the short answer. Throughout life, hormones regulate everything from bone strength, to heart beat, to how quickly food is utilized by the body. Insulin is the main hormone contributing to belly fat. Insulin produced by the pancreas pushes glucose (sugar) into cells and thus decreases your blood sugar levels. The more sugar in your blood from eating high-carbohydrate, high-sugar, low-protein foods, the more insulin that the hard-working pancreas must produce. Eventually, however, your cells can become resistant to insulin, resulting in excess insulin in the blood and elevated blood sugar that isn’t pushed into the cells causing insulin resistance a pre-diabetic condition. Skin tags are a common early sign of pre-diabetes due to elevated insulin and blood sugar. If elevated blood sugar is not controlled, Type-2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome as well as elevated cholesterol and triglycerides ultimately result.
In women, when insulin levels become high, it also causes an increase in male hormones circulating in the blood, particularly testosterone. When insulin and testosterone are elevated, women develop hormone-related conditions like acne, male-pattern facial hair growth (e.g. hair above the lip, on and under the chin), infertility, and polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS). Chirositol has been researched with excellent results for the treatment of PCOS, restoring fertility, reducing weight, and halting male facial hair growth and acne.
Normalizing Insulin and Blood Sugar
A unique, well-researched ingredient derived from carob called chirositol has been involved in more than 30 published studies at Virginia Medical School over the past 25 years. Research on chirositol (pronounced kur-au-sit-ol) has shown excellent results in the treatment of insulin-resistant conditions like Type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome and PCOS as well as weight loss, especially belly fat. Chirositol stimulates insulin activity, helping to regulate glucose levels, which in turn helps to normalize blood sugar levels. At the same time, it will not cause low blood sugar in those with normal blood sugar levels. It acts like insulin in this action. Due to chirositol’s ability to improve the action of insulin, it thereby reduces the high testosterone seen in women with elevated insulin and improves conditions such as excessive weight gain around the middle and irregular ovulation or menstruation in women.
Elevate Happy Hormones
Chirositol has been shown to reduce appetite and improve serotonin, our happy hormone. Reduced serotonin or poor metabolism of serotonin is linked to increased sugar cravings. So by restoring serotonin, chirositol helps control appetite.
Stress and Belly Fat
When under constant stress, your adrenal glands pump out a hormone called cortisol to help you deal with the stressors you are facing. Just as insulin resistance promotes weight gain, so does chronic stress because it triggers the adrenal glands to produce cortisol. Elevated cortisol is associated with elevating insulin, blood sugar problems, fat accumulation, hormone imbalances and more. Cortisol also causes our fat cells to change structure and become resistant to fat loss. In short, cortisol makes our fat cell door slam shut and not let the fat out even when we reduce calories and exercise. For these reasons, it is imperative to reduce stressors and to support the adrenals too. Adrenal support nutrients like ashwagandha, rhodiola, suma, Siberian ginseng and schizandra berries work to normalize adrenal function.
Use chirositol daily, reduce stress, support your adrenals with the herbs mentioned above and eat a diet designed to keep insulin and blood sugar balanced. Make sure you have protein at every meal, and eat good carbohydrates including dark green vegetables and salads, along with healthy fats including extra virgin coconut butter and olive oil. Walk at least 30 minutes per day and watch that belly fat disappear.
Lorna Vanderhaeghe, MS, is Canada’s leading women’s health expert and has been researching nutritional medicine for over 25 years. With degrees in nutrition and biochemistry, she is the author of ten books including her newest A Smart Woman’s Guide to Weight Loss. Visit www.hormonehelp.com and sign up for her free monthly eletter.