Hormones play important roles in maintaining cells throughout the body. They also play special roles in protecting the brain.
Studies have shown that fluctuations in sex hormones — such as different levels of estrogen during the menstrual cycle — can alter the electrical activity of the brain, which, as all husbands know, corresponds to changes in behavior.
New information demonstrates that similar fluctuations in male hormones, such as testosterone, can also alter behavior — as wives know.
Many people are aware that excess testosterone can make men short-tempered. But what about low testosterone levels?
This condition has been referred to as male menopause or as andropause. It can lower a man’s energy levels, affect his libido, and even impair his memory.
In normal levels, both estrogen and testosterone are protective of the brain. This justifies replacement with natural hormones for both men and women when blood levels begin to decline. (
Find more details on how you can keep your brain healthy as you age by reading my report "Save Your Brain."
Despite some claims, men do not need to worry about testosterone replacement causing prostate cancer. In fact, more recent studies have found that prostate cancer, especially the most aggressive kinds, are actually more common in men with low testosterone levels.
Another protective substance is growth hormone. Human growth hormone (HGH) became popular among bodybuilders because of its ability to stimulate muscle growth. But recent studies have also found that it protects the brain and may reverse some cases of mild cognitive impairment.
One randomized, placebo-controlled study involving 152 older adults found that treatment with human growth hormone significantly improved memory and other cognitive functions in elderly adults.
In addition, high levels of certain amino acids — such as ornithine, lysine, and arginine — can stimulate growth hormone’s release from the hypothalamus.
The advantage of the oral amino acids is that one does not need injections or a prescription. Unfortunately, the amount of the amino acids needed to stimulate HGH can be very high, and some studies have found no increase in HGH release using several commercial products.
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