Dr. Stephen Sinatra has been a cardiologist and nutritionist specializing in integrative medicine for nearly 40 years. He has appeared on several national television and radio programs (such as The Dr. Oz Show) and is the author of numerous books pertaining to natural health, including Reverse Heart Disease Now: Stop Deadly Cardiovascular Plaque Before It’s Too Late, and The Sinatra Solution: Metabolic Cardiology.
Here he shares some keen advice to guys who want to maintain good hormone health.
Begin with a Strong Foundation
When asked to recommend some practical tips to staying healthy, the good doctor doesn’t hesitate: “The most important things are staying trim and eating a diet that is not inflammatory, which means staying away from sugars.”
These sugars, by the way, aren’t just the kind you find in sodas or those donuts you ate this morning – they’re also in alcoholic beverages, breads, pastas and other starch-based foods. As far as your body is concerned, these are all concentrated sugar sources which can wreak havoc on how our hormones function.
According to Dr. Sinatra, getting a handle on your sugar consumption is one of the most important steps you can take to improve your health.
Hormones like insulin, testosterone, thyroid and adrenal hormones play a vital roles in maintaining heart health, weight control, mental clarity and sexual performance.
“We used to think these hormones were all individual players,” says Sinatra. “They’re not. They work collectively.”
How these hormones interact with one another is a complex subject, but the basic premise is a simple one: when one hormone functions with less than optimal levels, the others also fall behind.
He says the key to maintaining a healthy weight is not by jumping on the fad-diet bandwagon, but by understanding how these hormones relate and taking the right measures to ensure they function optimally.
Insulin is closely associated with diabetes, heart disease and obesity, among others. When you consume food, it’s converted over into glucose (commonly referred to as blood sugar) after which the pancreas produces insulin to acts as a vehicle for delivering glucose to cells as fuel for energy.
Foods and beverages that are high in sugars contribute to extreme spikes in glucose production, which in turn increases insulin levels. If this constant cycle of high-sugar and high-insulin levels continues often enough, the cells of the body become inundated with glucose, eventually not accepting it any more.
This condition is referred to as insulin resistance, and results in several health issues, including diabetes, obesity and heart disease.
Several factors can contribute to low testosterone levels, including obesity, poor physical fitness, insulin resistance and low levels of adrenal and thyroid hormones. Whatever the reason, low t-levels only lead to even more problems: lack of energy, more weight gain, mental fog and sexual performance issues.
“Weight loss is the most important factor, because when you lose weight, you improve insulin sensitivity, sparing the burden on your other hormone systems,” advises Sinatra.
Generally, both cholesterol and blood pressure numbers will improve at the same time.
This gland produces hormones which regulate the body’s metabolism, and one of the primary nutrients required to keep these hormone levels in adequate quantities is iodine.
Many adults in the United States have sluggish metabolisms from under-active thyroids as a result of low iodine intake. This is largely due to a reduction of naturally occurring iodine in foods and environmental toxins.
Having an under-active thyroid can lead to complications like weight gain and insulin resistance.
These hormones are manufactured by the adrenal gland and are responsible for maintaining healthy energy levels as well as ensuring proper function of the thyroid gland.
The Heart Solution
Dr. Sinatra also advises his male patients to take supplements like CoQ10, L-carnitine, D-ribose and magnesium in order to supply the heart with plenty of energy to use. These supplements support cell components known as mitochondria, which function to produce energy for the cell.
Since mitochondria are more prevalent in the heart than any other organ, the importance of their optimal performance is crucial.
“When I treat men who have heart disease with mitochondrial support, I hear from them and their wives that their libido and erectile potency improve, as well,” says Sinatra.