(Health and weight optimization for men and women with Bioidentical Pellets, DIM, and healthy lifestyle.)
In Part 1 of this two-part series, I talked about the general rationale for hormone therapy to improve health optimization for men and women as we age. I also introduced pellets as an ideal delivery system for delivering BHRT/hormone therapy. In this Part 2, I’d like to speak about “age management” (sustaining optimal health as we age), expand on the use of pellets as a BHRT delivery system, introduce you to the helpful supplement DIM, and help you coordinate lifestyle choices for healthy age management and weight loss.
Hormone therapy (testosterone for men and estrogen plus testosterone for women) along with a small handful of proper nutritional supplements and, most importantly, healthy lifestyle choices and stress reduction will guarantee optimization of your own aging process.
I’ve spoken elsewhere and at length about the necessity of stress reduction for continued health as we age, as well as about the pros and cons and overall health benefits of hormone therapy (HT). In this post, I’d like to speak specifically about the potential advantages of pellets as a delivery system for HT. We’ll also be discussing estrogen and testosterone metabolism, fat metabolism, free radicals and healthful and non-healthful hormone metabolites, and the rationale for DIM supplementation.
Densely compacted bioidentical estradiol and testosterone hormone pellets inserted under the skin of the flank or buttock will continually, in a time-release fashion, release testosterone (for men and women) and/or estradiol (for women). These pellet last 3-4 months in men and 4-6 months in women, depending on individual metabolic activity.
These insertions may appear pricy (approx. $650 for men and $450 – $500 for women for estrogen, testosterone, or both, or a total of approx. $2,000/year for men and $1,000 – $1,300/year for women). However, when you think of not needing to rub on a cream, get a weekly shot, apply a daily or twice-daily gel, change a patch twice a week or take a daily pill—along with the monthly co-pay costs and multiple trips to the pharmacy these necessitate—pellet systems become quite an appealing alternative for many patients.
All About DIM
Diindolymethane, or DIM, is a plant indole (a plant compound with healh-promoting properties) found in large amounts in cruciferous vegetables such as Brussels sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage. DIM is active in estrogen and testosterone metabolism in both men and women. Whatever the body endogenously produces (such as hormones) and whatever is ingested, applied or absorbed by the body through our mouths, skin or tissues in the form of supplements, food stuffs, hormones, herbs and botanicals, etc, must be broken down (metabolized) and either utilized, gotten rid of, or changed into other substances.
Testosterone, in proper amounts, is necessary in men and women for muscle development and strength, energy, a good sex drive, healthy erections (in men), and as a fatigue and depression fighter. In both men and women, testosterone is metabolized to, among other things, estrogen compounds. There are both “good” and “bad” estrogen metabolites. DIM stimulates more efficient estrogen metabolism by facilitating production of “good” metabolites (2-hydroxy estrogens) and discouraging metabolism into “bad” metabolites (16-hydroxy and 4-hydroxy estrogens).
Greater production of “bad” estrogens is a result of factors like obesity and exposure to a variety of man-made environmental chemicals. Too high a level of unfavorable estrogen metabolites is responsible for weight gain, the PMS-like symptoms of “estrogen dominance,” moodiness and breast pain in women, and greater risk of cardiovascular disease, prostate enlargement, weight gain and loss of sex drive in men. “Bad” estrogen byproducts can also act negatively to damage DNA and promote cancer.
DIM essentially helps improve a “sluggish” estrogen metabolism, preventing excess metabolic transition of testosterone into estrogen in men and properly and safely disposing of estrogen metabolites and free radicals (unhealthful metabolic byproducts) in men and womenBoth plant indoles and good estrogen metabolites are cell promoters through their action as antioxidants and absorb and neutralize free radicals. DIM is given in a dose of 100-200 mg/day in women and 200-400 mg/day in men.
How Better Estrogen Metabolism Helps Improve Fat Metabolism
“Good” estrogen metabolites promote the active release of stored fat for better energy during exercise. They regulate cell growth and help get rid of damaged cells. They promote fat loss and weight loss by interacting with one’s natural fat mobilizing system of hormones (known as catecholamines), including epinephrine and norepinephrine, part of the “fight or flight” hormone system. Catecholamines act to help cells release stored fat, and the 2-hydroxy metabolites of estradiol, promoted by DIM, slow the natural breakdown of catecholamines, leading to better fat metabolism.
Unequivocally, a combination of estrogen/testosterone therapy, healthy diet, exercise and DIM will facilitate both weight loss and weight maintenance. All of this will result in more optimal cardiovascular health—as the Men’s Warehouse ad used to say, “ I guar-an-TEE it!”
An Ideal Combination
Unfortunately, taking DIM alone will not do the trick, but for many men and women, it may be an important ingredient, along with a healthy lifestyle and hormone therapy, in the optimization of health, lean body mass, good sex drive, energy and overall quality longevity.
Hormone supplementation by itself will be of modest aid, so if you wish to thrive, you must have all three:
- Adequate estrogen and testosterone levels, with a robust delivery system that “works” for you;
- A balanced, multi-meal (eating small portions every 2-3 hours) plant-based Mediterranean-type of diet, high in protein and complex carbs and low in simple carbs; and
- An active, intense, 4+ times/week (a total of at least 3 full aerobic hours/week) “no excuses” workout program. Accept only results—not excuses. (S)he who does not make room for exercise will have to make room for illness.