Anti Aging Today

Hormones and Aging

A large and rapidly growing body of scientific evidence demonstrates that a number of hormones decline with aging, and that these declines can result in many of the manifestations of aging.  The first to be recognized, of course, is the precipitous decline in estrogen and progesterone production in women called 'menopause.'  This is most likely because of the signaling of ovarian failure by the absence of menstruation, infertility, and relatively acute symptoms such as hot flushes. The other hormones that are well-documented to decline are testosterone in men (and, interestingly, women), growth hormone,  and the adrenal hormone  DHEA.  The decline in these hormones starts much earlier and is more gradual; however, because of the analogy with menopause,  the terms andropause, somatopause, and adrenopause have been adopted.  Melatonin also declines in many individuals, but a term describing this phenomenon has not been adopted.  

The blood levels of other hormones can actually increase with aging.  Tissue resistance to insulin can result in an increase in fasting levels and the levels in response to a meal.  This can leads to an increased risk of diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and cancer.   Similarly, our bodies' response to stress can result in prolonged elevations of cortisol, which can wreak havoc on body composition, brain function, and immune system function.  

Put together, this body of data comprises the endocrine theory of aging.

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