Estrogen / Progesterone
Estrogen is considered a female hormone, but it is also found in men. Estrogens are traced in significantly higher amounts at the onset of menstrual period and can be found until menopause, when menstrual period ceases. Due to estrogens’ function, women develop their secondary sexual characteristics, including endometrium and breasts, among others. Moreover, they help: slow down height increase that occurs during puberty; keep normal muscle size; speeds up body-fat burning; increase the growth of the uterus; and enhances vaginal lubrication, among others.
Estrogens, which act through receptors on the skin, increase cortisol, pheomelanin, and melamine and reduce eumelanin, and help slow down and maintain hormone-sensitive breast cancers. Sexual desire is not affected by estrogens, but estrogens play a crucial role in women’s mental health. When estrogen levels drop, usually near menopause and after it, women’s mood is lowered, which may lead to depression. Furthermore, estrogens are found to be important in maintaining human skin, improving collagen quality and content, among others. On top of that, estrogen deficiency increases the risk of atherosclerosis and heart disease.
In males, estrogens help sustain libido healthy, as well as spermatogenesis and sperm maturation. Furthermore, they help a male’s cholesterol metabolism and increase in bone strength. Estrogens are sometimes found in higher amounts than women during post-menopause.
Progesterone, which is produced in the adrenal glands, the placenta of a pregnant woman, and the ovaries is responsible for a number of functions on the human body, including an increase of the sexual desire, regulation of monthly menstrual cycles and preparation of the female body for conception and pregnancy. In a pregnant woman’s body, progesterone levels are increased throughout the pregnancy and encourages milk-producing glands to grow. Premenstrual syndrome is the outcome of progesterone levels.
When estrogen effects cannot be efficiently counteracted, due to progesterone deficiency, a condition termed estrogen dominance occurs, and can be caused even by a combination of normal estrogen levels and low progesterone levels, or vice versa. Estrogen levels are affected by external factors, including environmental pesticides and Xenoestrogens.
Progesterone deficiency is distinguished by irritability, anxiety, sleep disorders, pre-menstrual headaches, weight gain, nervousness, and breast tenderness, among others.
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