REVIEW OF DR. COLGAN’S “HORMONAL HEALTH”
This is a review of an intriguing book that at last pays attention to the central importance of the Brain in the hormonal balance in the body. Dr. Colgan is correct in paying so much attention to the Brain. He presents the idea that aging starts chiefly “upstream,” with the Brain hormone-releasing hormones. And yet, apart from Melatonin, we seem to be in the dark ages about this. With aging, things start to go wrong at the Brain level first.
Unless we somehow slow down the aging of the Brain, all our attempts at hormone replacement are just crude manipulations whose anti-aging action is ultimately defeated by the degeneration taking place “upstream.” A lot of aging related problem start not in the body organs on the peripherally, but at the control center of our body, the Brain.
Regarding the Brain and our mental well being, increasing levels of Serotonin are required to inhibit aging. Nutrition for the Brain and is recommended to increase Serotonin and restore Dopamine levels in the brain.
Dr. Colgan’s explains how the hormonal cascade from the Pineal gland, the “master controller”, determines everything from your sexuality and emotions, your muscles and bones, to your intelligence and immunity. The hormonal cascade is orchestrated by the output of Brain hormones and neurotransmitters in specific areas. This is primarily the Hypothalamus and its interaction with the glandular system, beginning with the Pineal and Pituitary glands.
He disagrees with much of today’s hormone replacements targeted at correcting hormonal problems at the end of the cascade such as Estrogen (the pill) and Testosterone (steroids).
His basic principle of hormonal health is: Never replace anything at any point in the hormonal cascade, unless you ensure that controlling hormones and other chemicals further upstream have also been restored to youthful levels, so they can work in synergy with the new downstream influx. It is unwise to restore other downstream hormones (such as female Estrogen) to youthful levels without restoring Serotonin, Melatonin, HGH or any of the other upstream hormones first.
For women, maintaining appropriate Estrogen levels is emphasized and a surprisingly large portion of the book is devoted to its effects on all aspects of a woman’s health and how it is affected through the hormonal cascade from the Brain.
He identifies the Pineal gland as the “master controller” and the important hormone it produces, Melatonin. The amount of Melatonin produced by the Pineal gland is our “Aging Clock “as figures show that Melatonin production drops off rapidly with age. Dr Colgan describes the role of Melatonin in improving sleep, increasing libido and the prevention of disease.
The amino acid Acetyl-l-Carnitine ** improves cognitive function of the Brain and strengthens the Hypothalamus â€“ Brain interaction. Exercise in the form of weight training is recommended to maintain fitness and weight, and is a key to promoting the natural production of Endorphins.
Restoring the youthful appearance sought after by so many health enthusiasts today can be accomplished with supplementation according to Dr. Colgan. Increasing levels of the hormone produced by the Pituitary gland, Human Growth Hormone (HGH) is recommended. This hormone determines muscle mass, bone density and skin thickness. It also is know to reduce body fat with mild or moderate exercise.
Dr. Colgan’s book is packed with interesting and thought-provoking material. He wastes very few words so the reader is constantly bombarded with new information. His presentation is accessible to the reader with little previous background on the brain and hormonal issues, and at the same time technical enough to satisfy the scholarly student.
** What is the difference between Acetyl L-Carnitine and L-Carnitine?
Carnitine is critical for the transport of fatty acids into the cell mitochondria, where energy is produced. The Acetyl L-Carnitine form is preferred by brain cells. heart muscle cells have a preference for the L- Carnitine form.