Can Collagen Affect Hormones? What You Need To Know

Are you curious about can collagen affect hormones? You’re not alone! Collagen is becoming a more popular supplement every day, and there’s a lot of speculation about what it can do–both the benefits and the possible side effects. 

As more and more people turn to supplements to integrate into their daily routines, it’s important to get the facts about what these products can actually do. In this beginner’s guide, we’ll go over the basics of collagen, hormones, and the potential benefits of taking a supplement so you can make an informed decision about whether or not collagen supplements will fit into your lifestyle. Stay tuned!

What is Collagen, Exactly? 

Collagen is a hot topic these days, but what is it, exactly? Well, to put it simply, collagen is a protein that occurs naturally in our bodies. It’s found in our bones, muscles, skin, and connective tissues and it’s basically the glue that holds us all together. Collagen provides strength and structure to our bodies, and it’s also responsible for giving our skin its elasticity. 

As we age, our bodies produce less collagen, which can lead to wrinkles, sagging skin, and weaker bones. Unfortunately, there’s no surefire way to prevent the wrinkles and fine lines of aging (other than maybe not smiling so much in your life). That’s why some people turn to supplements or creams that help to boost their natural collagen production and try to fight the dreaded symptoms of getting older. 

There are several ways you can incorporate collagen into your diet. Collagen supplements come in powder form and can be added to smoothies, oatmeal, or basically any other food or drink. Collagen peptides are also popular–these are hydrolyzed collagen molecules that have been broken down so that they’re easier for your body to absorb. You can find collagen peptides in powder form as well, and they can be added to food and drinks in the same way as collagen powder. 

Whatever your niche, it’s important to do your research before you start taking any new supplements. Collagen is generally considered safe, but as with anything, there are potential side effects and risks associated with taking it. Be sure to talk to a healthcare professional before starting a collagen supplement regimen if you’re worried about any detrimental effects, especially if you have any preexisting medical conditions.

Can Collagen Affect Hormones? 

While there’s no direct evidence that collagen supplements can alter hormone levels, there is some indirect evidence that they may be able to help. 

For one thing, collagen is known to support the health of skin and hair, both of which are controlled in part by hormones. Additionally, collagen has been shown to promote gut health, and a healthy gut is essential for balanced hormone levels. Finally, collagen is thought to boost energy levels and improve sleep quality, both of which can also have an impact on hormones. 

So while we can’t say for sure that taking collagen will help to regulate your hormones, it certainly couldn’t hurt!

The Benefits of Collagen for Your Hormones 

If you’re like most people, you probably think of collagen as something that’s good for your skin. And it is! Collagen helps to keep your skin looking young and healthy. But did you know that collagen can also have a positive impact on your hormones?

That’s right, collagen is packed with nutrients that can help to support your endocrine system. We’re going to dive a little deeper into the many benefits of collagen for your hormones and explain just what it can do for you!

Excellent source of amino acids 

Amino acids are the building blocks of protein. They help to repair and build muscle tissue and play a vital role in many other body processes. Without enough amino acids, we would be a big ol’ mess! Luckily, collagen is a rich source of these important nutrients. Collagen has been shown to boost levels of testosterone and other hormones, which can improve your overall health and well-being. 

Collagen contains high levels of two particular amino acids, glycine and proline. Glycine helps to strengthen connective tissue, while proline helps to repair damaged tissue.

As if that weren’t enough, collagen is also a good source of other essential nutrients, such as vitamin C and copper. These nutrients are important for maintaining healthy skin, bones, and connective tissues. As a result, collagen is an important part of a healthy diet.

Can help with gut health issues 

Anyone who’s ever suffered from gut issues knows that they’re no laughing matter. Bloating, cramping, and gas can make even the simplest tasks feel impossible. And while there are a number of over-the-counter treatments that can provide some relief, they don’t always get to the root of the problem. That’s where collagen comes in. 

Collagen is an abundant protein that’s found naturally in the body, and it plays a vital role in gut health. It helps to repair the lining of the digestive tract, which can become damaged thanks to inflammation or stress. 

What’s more, collagen has been shown to boost levels of “good” bacteria in the gut, which are essential for proper digestion. So if you’re struggling with gut issues, adding collagen to your diet just might provide some much-needed relief.

Supports liver function 

The liver is one hard-working organ! It’s responsible for filtering toxins out of the blood, producing bile to help with digestion, and so much more. So it’s no surprise that this organ needs all the support it can get! (Enter collagen!)

This wonderful protein can be found all throughout the body, but it’s particularly abundant in the liver. Collagen helps to keep liver cells healthy and functioning properly. Additionally, collagen provides support for the blood vessels in the liver, helping to prevent damage and disease.

Supports thyroid function 

Did you know that collagen plays an important role in thyroid function? That’s right, this essential protein helps to keep your thyroid happy and healthy. 

Here’s how it works: The thyroid is a small gland in the neck that produces hormones that regulate metabolism. Collagen helps to regulate the production of thyroid hormone, which is responsible for regulating metabolism, by providing it with the structure and support it needs to function properly. 

On top of that, collagen helps to keep the thyroid gland from becoming inflamed or enlarged. As a result, maintaining a healthy level of collagen is essential for keeping your thyroid at bay. So if you’re looking for a way to support thyroid function, make sure to include collagen in your diet!

May counter low estrogen production 

As any woman over the age of 30 knows, collagen production starts to decline around that time, resulting in wrinkles and sagging skin. Estrogen levels also start to drop, which can lead to a variety of problems, including hot flashes, night sweats, and dry skin.

But there’s good news! Recent studies have shown that taking collagen supplements may help to counteract the effects of low estrogen production. So if you’re struggling with low estrogen levels, consider giving collagen supplements a try. They just might help you feel (and look) like yourself again.

Provides post-menopause bone support 

Every woman who’s every gone through menopause knows that the aging process can be tough on our bones. We can find ourselves dealing with things like osteoporosis and other age-related bone problems. 

Here comes collagen to save the day! Research has shown that collagen can help to improve bone density and even reduce the risk of fractures. While it’s not a signed, sealed, medical cure-all, collagen can help to provide some much-needed support for our bones as we age.

The Bottom Line

Collagen is a vital protein that shows its face everywhere in the body–from hair and nails to bones and joints! The sad fact of the matter is that, with age, comes a decrease in this miracle protein that seems to have a fix for everything. Not only does this affect our outward appearance, but it can also wreak havoc on our hormones!

But don’t despair! By coupling a collagen-rich diet with a healthy lifestyle and the addition of collagen supplements, you can look and feel your best right through to your golden years! So what are you waiting for? Start reaping the benefits of collagen today!

If you still have more questions or concerns on whether or not collagen supplements can affect your hormones or what kind of benefits you can expect from taking peptides, you can do some simple research. Check out some other health blogs, or just jump on in and give collagen supplements a try! Be sure to look for clean-sourced, natural products like these for the best results.

Organixx Clean Sourced Collagens blend contains five types of collagen from four sources. What’s more, it’s combined with targeted nutrients such as zinc, vitamin C, and vitamin B6 which specifically enhance the bioavailability and potency of collagen. Clean Sourced Collagens is formulated from the ground up to enhance and support your body’s natural ability to heal and rebuild itself from the INSIDE out.

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Hair Loss or Thinning? Studies Show Collagen Can Help

You may have heard that increasing your collagen levels can do wonders for your skin, but did you know that collagen is also needed for healthy hair production? With the right amount of collagen at your body’s disposal, you can have thicker and more lustrous locks.

Collagen and Hair: What’s the Connection?

Collagen is the primary protein in all animals (including people). It helps to maintain structural integrity in bones, tendons, cartilage, and ligaments.

Collagen also plays a big part in renewing cells in general, and the cells in hair are no exception. The body relies on the amino acids found in collagen to create hair strands, which are made primarily of a tough protein cousin to collagen called keratin.

Collagen is a building-block protein for hair as it surrounds and protects each strand. Collagen also helps to protect hair from the damaging effects of too much sun, as well as chemical irritants in the water and toxins in the air and soil. It possesses antioxidant properties which help to fight free radicals in the body.

Why We Lose Hair as We Age

man looking at thinning hair in the mirrorAs we get older, our collagen levels decrease. This is considered a “natural process” that will continue unabated – unless we’re proactive in curbing the decline through proper diet, lifestyle, and supplementation.

Some estimate that by the time a woman is in her 50s, her collagen levels may have declined by as much as 40%. With less collagen to protect it, hair falls victim to free radicals and begins to weaken. Dull, listless hair, graying, and even patterned baldness may be the result.

Both male and female pattern baldness affects millions in the U.S. alone. According to statistics gathered by the American Hair Loss Association [1], by the time most men are age 35, two-thirds of them will be experiencing some degree of hair loss.

Another survey found that roughly 50% of women over 65 will experience thinning of their hair at some point in their later years. For both women and men, hair loss (especially at a young age) can lead to depression as well as social isolation.

The Link Between Decreasing Collagen and Thinning Hair

Hair loss can occur for a number of reasons. A few possible causes include:

Another huge reason for hair loss and thinning is collagen deficiency, especially as we age. In 2016, researchers from the Tokyo Medical and Dental University [2]  found that aging mice had thinner hair follicles than younger mice and the common denominator was collagen. The investigators discovered the link between decreasing collagen levels in stem cells near hair follicles, especially type XVII, and hair loss.

In an earlier Japanese study [3],  investigators studied the scalps of women over 50 and found that they had smaller hair follicles than women in their 30s and even 40s. These discoveries could lead to possible remedies for pattern baldness in both men and women where augmenting collagen stores in the body may play a major role.

Collagen Benefits for Hair

Happily, other studies have also discovered the link between collagen supplementation and the return of healthy hair. A 2012 study conducted at the University of California, Los Angeles, found that supplementing with collagen promoted “significant” hair growth in women with hair thinning. They also determined that collagen supplements were safe and effective [4].

Studies like these are promising news for people of all ages who want to regrow hair; this can be life-changing and even life-savingwoman looking at hair brush concerned about hair loss for some. Many studies, such as a 2001 investigation conducted by the University Hospital of Wales, have linked alopecia (a condition where hair falls out) with loss of self-confidence and low self-esteem.

Visible hair loss also seems to take its psychological toll on women more than on men. An older survey study [5]  conducted in the Netherlands found that women who had hair loss scored higher for “inadequacy, rigidity and general psychological maladjustment” as well as having more psychosocial problems than men who had the same condition.

Collagen may also help hair that is dry, brittle, or gray as well. As stated earlier, collagen supports the health of each hair follicle. At the intersections where collagen and keratin meet are also where the pigment is produced that gives your hair its unique color.

Restoring the right levels of collagen to hair follicles and cells around the hair could help bring back pigment. Its hair-supporting nature is also the reason why having the right amount of collagen in your system can help dull, drab, split-end hair regain its shine and luster as well as retain moisture.

Use Only the Best Collagen Supplement for Hair Growth

There is ample evidence to support the notion that raising the bar on your collagen levels, in general, may help bring back healthy hair. You can do this is many ways. Reducing stress and eating a diet that is rich in amino acids and minerals such as zinc, iron, and vitamin C is definitely one step.

Broccoli, bell peppers, dark, leafy greens, and fish like salmon (which contains high amounts of omega-3s) are just some examples of foods that can help support the natural mechanisms in the body that build collagen.

Collagen supplementation is also a good option for restoring low collagen levels. Be sure you obtain the best collagen supplement for your needs that is of the utmost quality.

Organixx Clean Sourced Collagens blend contains five types of collagen from four sources. What’s more, it’s combined with targeted nutrients such as zinc, vitamin C, and vitamin B6 which specifically enhance the bioavailability and potency of collagen. Clean Sourced Collagens is formulated from the ground up to enhance and support your body’s natural ability to heal and rebuild itself from the INSIDE out.

Organixx Clean Sourced Collagens

Dong Quai: Restore Proper Order With the Chinese “Empress of Herbs”

Chances are, you’ve never heard of dong quai before – yet it’s a very popular health product in China, Japan, and Korea.

Pronounced as dang gui in Chinese, the name literally means “restore proper order.” A member of the same family as carrots, celery, parsley, and coriander, dong quai is a traditional medicinal and edible plant, typically harvested for its leaves and roots. The roots are usually dried and cut up into pieces or ground into powder for brewing into an herbal tea with a strong, bitter taste similar to anise (the distinctive flavor of licorice).
fresh dong quai leaves and roots

Also known as Chinese angelica (scientific name Angelica sinensis), the “Empress of herbs,” and female ginseng, dong quai has long been used in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) for toning, replenishing, and invigorating blood as well as relieving pain, combating constipation, and treating irregular menstruation and amenorrhea [1].

It is believed that dong quai’s health-promoting properties are because of the naturally occurring compound coumarin, along with others, such as ferulic acid and phytosterols.

Dong Quai in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM)

The biological actions of dong quai have been extensively researched for thousands of years in China, where it has a well-established reputation as a remedy for ailments of the female reproductive system and as a blood tonic.

Research from China indicates that dong quai boosts production of red blood cells, promotes better blood circulation, and dissolves blood clots. Chinese herbalists typically prescribe this herb to women who need to enrich the quality of their blood throughout the menstrual cycle, during and after childbirth, and during the transition to menopause.

For women in menopause, it is prescribed to reduce the severity of hot flashes, insomnia, and mood changes. This is why dong quai is known as the “female ginseng.”

Additionally, dong quai has been shown to contain high levels of vitamin A, C, B3, B12, and E, along with the minerals iron, cobalt, magnesium, and potassium. For this reason, this medicinal herb is routinely prescribed as a tonic, usually in combination with other Chinese herbs, to treat fatigue, mild anemia, high blood pressure, and poor circulation in both men and women.

Dong Quai Relieves Symptoms of Menopause

Menopause is a natural reduction in the number of female hormones produced by the ovaries, especially estrogen, typically as women get into their 40s and 50s. Symptoms of this decline include hot flashes, night sweats, hair loss, changes in mood, and loss of bone strength and density, known as osteoporosis.

An Alternative to HRT?

Many women turn to hormone replacement therapy (HRT) which provides synthetic hormones to combat the effects of menopause – however, these come with their health risks and adverse effects.

As we have already seen, dong quai has a long history in TCM as a natural resource to help alleviate symptoms of menopause. woman in menopause experiencing hot flashModern scientific research supports this therapeutic function of dong quai.

For example, in a 2003 study, 55 postmenopausal women complaining of hot flushes were randomly assigned to either chew five tablets daily of dong quai and chamomile or placebo tablets for 12 weeks [2]. For the entire duration of the study, these women were asked to complete a daily questionnaire that assessed the frequency and intensity of their menopausal symptoms.

Relative to women in the control group, women who took dong quai and chamomile experienced a dramatic reduction in both the number and intensity of hot flashes in the first month already, and reported fewer sleep disturbances and less fatigue.

The authors of the study concluded that dong quai helps to relieve the symptoms of menopause without any apparent major side effects and that it can be considered as a natural alternative to HRT [2].

Similarly, a randomized, crossover study published in 2016 showed that a combination of nutraceuticals – which contained a dry extract of dong quai – given to 43 postmenopausal women for four weeks helped to relieve their symptoms, while also improving their cardiovascular profile [3].

The results of these and other studies are not surprising, given that extracts of dong quai roots have been shown to have estrogenic activity in laboratory animal experiments [4].

Can Dong Quai Help Reverse Bone Loss (Osteoporosis)?

Osteoporosis is a bone disease. The word comes from the Latin for “porous bones.”

Healthy bones have small spaces inside them, like a honeycomb. These spaces tend to grow larger during osteoporosis so that bones lose both their strength and density.

Osteoporosis is quite common in older adults, especially in women when they reach menopause. Unfortunately, osteoporosis increases the risk of fractures – especially in the ribs, hips, and bones in the wrists and spine – even when carrying out routine activities such as standing or walking.

In China, dong quai is believed to help prevent bone loss and even to help build bone strength. Indeed, preliminary laboratory studies in cell lines and animals seem to confirm this, although there have been no human clinical trials confirming these results so far.

In a 2016 study, a natural compound known as ferulic acid, extracted from dong quai roots, was shown to boost bone mineral density, bone mineral content, and trigger bone cell growth in laboratory mice [5].

Similarly, treating rats with dong quai extract was seen to help preserve bone mineral density [6]. Even better, a dong quai extract was shown to trigger collagen synthesis and stimulate the growth of human bone precursor cells in a laboratory experiment [7].

Dong Quai Promotes Heart Health

female doctor listening to female patient's heartHeart disease is the leading cause of death in the U.S. today. Improving cardiovascular profile – specifically, reducing the ratio of total cholesterol to low-density lipoprotein (LDL) as well as the ratio of LDL to high-density lipoprotein or HDL, along with lowering levels of triglycerides are all considered effective ways to reduce heart disease risk.

Promisingly, a 2015 laboratory study has shown that treating mice with dong quai for four weeks lowered levels of both total cholesterol and triglycerides. Dong Quai was also seen to lower levels of fasting blood glucose and serum insulin, thereby reducing diabetes risk [8].

Similarly, combining dong quai with Huang qi, another medicinal plant, was seen to reduce levels of total cholesterol, triglycerides, LDL, and very low-density lipoprotein (VLDL) in a laboratory experiment on rats [9].

In a very promising outcome from a study in China back in 1992, treatment with dong quai lowered blood pressure and improved heart function in 40 patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) [10].

When Not to Take Dong Quai

Dong Quai consumption has been associated with some side effects, including the sensitivity of the eyes and skin to light, excessive development of breasts in men (gynecomastia), diarrhea, and fever – hence, it should only be taken medicinally under the supervision of a qualified herbal practitioner.

Further, it is advisable not to take dong quai in any form when:

Pregnant or lactating women and menstruating women who are experiencing unusually heavy bleeding, in particular, should not use dong quai unless advised by a qualified healthcare practitioner.

Organixx Clean Sourced Collagens blend contains five types of collagen from four sources. What’s more, it’s combined with targeted nutrients such as zinc, vitamin C, and vitamin B6 which specifically enhance the bioavailability and potency of collagen. Clean Sourced Collagens is formulated from the ground up to enhance and support your body’s natural ability to heal and rebuild itself from the INSIDE out.

Organixx Clean Sourced Collagens

The Benefits of Maca Root for Hormonal Health & Vitality

More than two centuries ago, Peruvians discovered that a tuberous vegetable growing high in the Andes mountain range had some noticeable benefits for their health and endurance. Men going into battle or performing other physical feats would take maca because they observed that it gave them stamina, strength, and virility.

Meanwhile, women who consumed maca had better reproductive health, energy, and focus. Does maca have something special in it that confers all of these benefits? Read on to discover just what it is that makes maca so marvelous.

What Is Maca?

Growing at an elevation of 12-14,000 feet above sea level in the Andes mountains of Peru, maca grows in extreme weather maca rootconditions. Thriving in a habitat of intense sunlight, cold temperatures, and strong winds, this tuberous plant is a part of the brassica family. Just like cauliflower, broccoli, and cabbage, maca is a cruciferous vegetable.

Nutrients Found in Maca

Maca contains plenty of healthy fatty acids, the most abundant being linoleic, oleic, and palmitic acids. Maca contains vitamins A, C, B2, B6, and niacin, as well as minerals – zinc, iron, iodine, copper, calcium, potassium, and magnesium. Nine amino acids are considered essential for optimal health, and maca contains seven of them [1].

Maca is also a rich source of plant sterols, which are part of what makes it so beneficial for hormonal health. Plant sterols are (chemically speaking) structurally similar to the body’s own hormones such as estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone.

Maca Is an Adaptogen

So how exactly does it work? Maca is an adaptogen, meaning that it works to strengthen, balance, and help the body respond to internal and external changes and stressors. It regulates the production of hormones to maintain healthy organ function. Maca feeds the hypothalamus, pituitary, and adrenal glands, known as the Master Glands (more on that later).

Maca’s plant sterols appear to stimulate changes in the action of the hypothalamus, pituitary, and adrenal glands. Maca also seems to exert an influence on the ovaries, pineal gland, and thyroid.

How Maca Can Aid Fluctuating Hormones

Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS) is one of the most common complaints among women of reproductive age. When out of balance, estrogen – the hormone responsible for regulating the reproductive system – can cause a wide range of symptoms and annoyances for women (and their men!).

Mood swings, water retention, fatigue, food cravings, irritability, headaches, irregular menstrual periods, painful cramping… all can be attributable to estrogen imbalance.

Maca can help ease the rapid rise and fall of hormones in menstruating women due to its adaptogenic properties. Also, by improving the connection between the brain and the pituitary gland, maca’s ability to help balance levels of circulating hormones is further enhanced. Most PMS sufferers taking maca report a marked improvement in symptoms during their first menstrual period after commencement of maca.

Other times when maca may be of benefit to women is after coming off birth control pills, and after having a baby and breastfeeding has ceased. At such times, endocrine system function can be depleted, and maca’s adaptogenic properties mean it can help the body right itself again.
two happy post-menopausal women on day hike

Maca can also ease many of the symptoms of perimenopause and menopause. For those harried by hot flashes, night sweats, insomnia, depression, anxiety, and lack of energy, maca can provide some much-needed relief. Maca does not appear to mimic estrogen in the body but it can help to increase the body’s production of estrogen if levels are too low. That’s the beauty of an adaptogenic herb: it adapts to what the body needs.

In a 2006 clinical trial, 34 early-postmenopausal women were given a supplement containing either maca or a placebo twice per day for four months. Those receiving the maca had increased levels of estrogen, suppressed levels of FSH, T3 thyroid hormone, adrenocorticotropic hormone, and cortisol (the hormone secreted in response to stress). Body mass index also decreased. Iron levels increased, however, as did bone density markers, and maca relieved many of the symptoms of menopausal discomfort such as hot flashes and night sweats [2].

Another small 2014 clinical study found that maca reduced blood pressure and depression in postmenopausal women [3].

Can Maca Can Also Benefit Men?

Maca can also be helpful for male health. Recent studies have indicated that maca may assist male health by helping to increase sperm count and motility, increasing sexual desire, protecting the prostate and reducing the incidence of benign prostatic hyperplasia, reducing stress and depression, boosting energy levels, and easing mild erectile dysfunction [1, 4].

8 Additional Health Benefits of Maca

#1. Boosts Energy and Endurance

A 2009 study of male cyclists found that maca supplementation did indeed improve cycling time performance, as well as sexual desire (a perk for many) [5].

#2. Hypothalamus/Pituitary/Adrenal (HPA) Gland Nourishment

HPA glands are called the “Master Glands” because they regulate other glands (you may also hear it termed the “HPA Axis”). When HPA is well nourished, other glands of the body benefit as well. When under stress, the adrenal gland takes a big hit, especially if the stress moves from acute (short-lasting stress) to chronic (long-lasting stress).

Maca feeds all three glands by supporting the body’s production of hormones, either increasing or decreasing levels according to the need. As a result, maca may help prevent or repair adrenal exhaustion and all of the unhealthy follow-on effects this has on the body and mind.

#3. Libido Booster

Maca has been used traditionally by Peruvians to boost virility and libido. Science has not yet determined how maca does this, but it has been called “Nature’s Viagra” for good reason.

Some health experts believe maca’s effects on libido may be caused by its long-chain fatty acids known as macaenes and macamides, which are unique and have not been found in any other plant.

A 2008 clinical study followed women suffering from sexual dysfunction caused by selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) for depression. The study found that three grams of maca per day gave significant improvement in libido for the women taking it [6].

#4. Cardiovascular Health

Maca’s phytosterols – campesteroland beta-sitosterol, act to interfere with the absorption of LDLdoctor checking female patient's blood pressure cholesterol (the so-called “bad” cholesterol), making maca beneficial for the cardiovascular system [7]. Phytosterols have also been studied for their anti-inflammatory effects, which assist in balancing the immune system, and, as an added bonus, help to protect the body from abnormal cell growth.

#5. Anti-Cancer

A 2015 study found that phytosterols interfere with many different pathways in the carcinogenesis (cancer beginning) process [8]. In addition, an animal study found that beta-sitosterol decreased levels of circulating estrogen, and inhibited the growth of estrogen-receptor positive breast cancer tumors [9].

#6. Boosts Immunity

The phytosterols in maca stimulate the immune system and increased levels of interleukin-2 and natural killer cells [7] which the body needs to fight abnormal cell growth.

#7. Liver Support

Being a cruciferous vegetable, maca contains glucosinolates which, when chewed and digested, change into health-promoting chemicals that help protect against cancer. Sulfur-containing glucosinolates form bonds that help the body’s enzymes do their work better.

Both sulfur and plant sterols are required in the production of a master antioxidant called glutathione which boosts liver function and helps the liver with detoxification [10].

#8. Healthy Bones

Maca’s vitamins and minerals can help to build strong, healthy bones. A 2006 clinical trial found that maca increased bone density markers for the early-postmenopausal women taking it [2].

How to Take Maca

Look for organic maca powder grown in Peru. Maca can be added to juices, oatmeal, inside sandwiches, sprinkled on salads, and added to raw food recipes. Just keep in mind that it is best not to heat maca powder to high temperatures which might diminish some of its nutrients. If you use it in recipes, add it after cooking, just before serving.

A gentle approach is generally the best way to begin taking maca.

Recommendations are to start with a small dose of 1 teaspoon per day. If that is well tolerated, gradually increase the dose to 1 tablespoon, or more. If you haven’t noticed any improvement, remember one trial had women taking 3 grams per day.

It can take two or three weeks before you may notice the full benefits of maca. It is also recommended to only take maca daily for a few months and then take a break from it for a month or so before resuming consumption again.

Some health experts recommend avoiding maca under the following conditions. Please consult with your own healthcare provider if:

If hormonal fluctuations are creating havoc in your life, consult your natural health practitioner to see if maca might be right for you.

Organixx Clean Sourced Collagens blend contains five types of collagen from four sources. What’s more, it’s combined with targeted nutrients such as zinc, vitamin C, and vitamin B6 which specifically enhance the bioavailability and potency of collagen. Clean Sourced Collagens is formulated from the ground up to enhance and support your body’s natural ability to heal and rebuild itself from the INSIDE out.

Organixx Clean Sourced Collagens

Vitamin C and Collagen: What’s the Connection?

You may have heard already about some of the fantastic health benefits of collagen – especially for joint and skin health. Did you know, though, that certain micronutrients can boost your own body’s natural ability to produce and effectively use collagen? It’s true, and one of the most powerful is good old vitamin C.

Read on to learn just why collagen and vitamin C make ideal partners when it comes to improving your health – and beauty – at any age!

Vitamin C and Collagen: How It Works

Collagen is a vital substance made of amino acids (mainly glycine and proline and sometimes others such as lysine) and accounts for the majority of all protein in the body. Its job is the formation of connective tissue in the body: cartilage in joints, internal tissue in organs, fibrous substances in bones, skin tissue, and so much more.human anatomy muscles

Vitamin C is a necessary substance for collagen production in the body. Without it, the body simply cannot produce it. It is needed for collagen storage and synthesis (i.e. how the body absorbs substances and works with other substances for vital functions).

Collagen forms the fibers that “hold together” the body. Likewise, vitamin C is responsible for “holding together” cells during collagen creation [1]. It is the catalyst for a process called hydroxylation (adding hydrogen and oxygen) within the amino acids proline and lysine.

From this, a precursor molecule is created called procollagen within the cell. All of these microscopic steps are needed for collagen to be eventually be created outside of the cell and then go on to eventually form the tissues that hold us all together and that we can see with the naked eye [2].

Not Just a “Vanity Vitamin”

Vitamin C is considered a “vanity vitamin” for what it can do for skin, hair, and nails. We will explore this in the next section. As you shall see, however, vitamin C and collagen work together for the health of many other functions in your body as well.

Vitamin C plays a key role in skin health mainly because it saturates both the dermis (middle) and the epidermis (top) levels of skin. It is transported to the skin through the bloodstream. Transport proteins tuned specifically to vitamin C are found in all layers of the skin, but especially in the epidermis.

The high amounts of vitamin C that exist in the first two layers of skin makes it a photoprotective substance. This means it has the ability to protect the body from too much UV light from the sun. It is an antioxidant as well, so it also reduces damage caused by free radicals. In the early 1980s, natural health pioneer Linus Pauling became the first to study the protective effects of vitamin C against carcinoma in mice [3].

And, of course, vitamin C is essential for collagen production and synthesized in the skin too. The right amount of vitamin C in your diet every day can help collagen do its job by keeping skin hydrated and helping to maintain its elasticity.

A French study published in the International Journal of Cosmetic Science back in 1998 found that an “Exogenous Vit C supply could thus contribute to the maintenance of optimal collagenic density in the dermis and locally strengthen the collagen network [4].” [Note: “Exogenous” refers to something from outside the body.]

Vitamin C and Gut Healing

Vitamin C also plays a vital role in helping form collagen networks in the body which form healthy tissues in internal organs, including the gut. Believe it or not, collagen assists in several functions in your digestive tract:

Collagen and Vitamin C Supplements

Vitamin C is a water soluble vitamin which means it is not stored in the body. This means that if you want optimal health, you must feed your body plenty of it every day from the foods you consume. This is especially true if you are deficient in collagen as well.

Some foods that are high in vitamin C include:foods high in vitamin C

Just like with collagen deficiency, when a person suffers from a chronic deficiency of vitamin C or if a person is older, supplementation can be very helpful. And even people consuming a real, whole foods diet can still end up deficient in many vitamins and minerals.

According to a study of 43 garden crops conducted by the University of Texas in Austin, nutrient content across the board has declined significantly in the last five decades [8]. Environmental pollution, soil-depleting farming practices, poor lifestyle habits like smoking, and boatloads of stress all lead to chronic deficiencies of many essential nutrients like vitamin C.

Fortunately, some quality collagen products include vitamin C in their formulas because of the intimate relationship between the two substances. This is the case with Organixx’s Clean Sourced Collagens blend, one of the purest, most well-researched collagen products on the market today.

Organixx Clean Sourced Collagens blend contains five types of collagen from four sources. What’s more, it’s combined with targeted nutrients such as zinc, vitamin C, and vitamin B6 which specifically enhance the bioavailability and potency of collagen. Clean Sourced Collagens is formulated from the ground up to enhance and support your body’s natural ability to heal and rebuild itself from the INSIDE out.

Organixx Clean Sourced Collagens

Perimenopause and Adrenal Fatigue: What You Need to Know Now

Menopause (the ceasing of menstruation and reproduction) is a normal change that a woman will go through on average between the ages of 50 and 55 – although it can happen much earlier. Understanding the changes that happen in the body is vital, as natural decline in hormone levels during menopause can significantly affect a woman’s health for years to come.

The menopause process is gradual and has a few stages along the way. It starts as perimenopause, during which time the ovaries begin to make less of the hormones estrogen and progesterone, which interferes with an egg being consistently released each month. (By the way, the term menopause actually refers to when a woman has been 12 consecutive months without a period or other signs of fertility. Postmenopause is the stage after menopause has occurred. However many people use the term “menopause” to describe the entire process.)

The decline of hormone production starts slow (typically around age 35) and speeds up through her 40s as a woman approaches actual menopause. At some point during this transition, the ovaries get smaller and stop producing estrogen and progesterone altogether. At this stage, the adrenals take over the job of producing the sex hormones and menopause symptoms often become more pronounced.

The Problem With Diminishing Progesterone

The adrenal glands are widely known for the production of the stress hormones cortisol and adrenaline. But what many people female urogenital system with arrows pointing to adrenal glandsdon’t realize is that the adrenals also produce other hormones, including the sex hormones estrogen and progesterone.

The adrenal glands are part of your long-term, back-up hormonal replacement part system and are designed to release whatever female hormone you may need. However, if the adrenals are not functioning well, sufficient progesterone won’t be produced which can cause havoc in the body.

The main purpose of progesterone is to prepare the body for pregnancy and provide the necessary support to ensure the fetus is carried to term. However, that is not the only role that progesterone plays in a woman’s body.

Progesterone is responsible for many important tasks, such as:

Other Hormones Also Need Progesterone

Progesterone is also the precursors for other important stress and sex hormones (which means it’s needed to make other hormones). While estrogen levels don’t fall until later in the menopause transition, progesterone levels decline sooner and more dramatically leading up to menopause.

Body signals that include symptoms such as hot flashes are most likely the result in a shift in the balance between estrogen and progesterone.
stressed out woman

The Impact of Stress on Progesterone

Another risk to progesterone is that the body releases cortisol in response to physical and psychological stress.

When we experience periods of stress, our bodies excrete cortisol to help us work through whatever the situation may be. If there’s a high demand for cortisol due to prolonged stress and the body is unable to keep up with the supply, it will take from cortisol’s pre-hormone, pregnenolone (the mother hormone of all sex hormones).

When more of pregnenolone is used to make cortisol, less will be available to make progesterone, which will further exacerbate menopausal symptoms and affect overall well-being.

The short-term results of stress may not be noticeable, but in the long run chronic stress can lead to adrenal fatigue. This sets the stage for increased inflammation in the body and lowered immunity, which creates numerous disease states.

Are YOU Suffering From Adrenal Exhaustion?

If you have been under constant stress for a prolonged period of time, you may be at the point where your adrenals are fatigued and your hormones are significantly out of balance.

Noticeable symptoms, such as weight gain, irritability, racing thoughts, chronic fatigue, and sleep disturbance are common in people who have adrenal fatigue. When adrenal fatigue is the primary cause of your low progesterone level, you need to focus on rebuilding your adrenal foundation.

Do you find yourself constantly fatigued and struggling to get out of bed in the morning? Do you feel unable to cope with stressful situations? If so, you might be suffering from Adrenal Fatigue Syndrome.

Answer These 18 Yes or No Questions

The more “yes” answers you have to the following questions, the more likely you are to have exhausted your adrenals:

  1. Do you have difficulty getting up in the morning?
  2. Do you have continued fatigue or low energy?
  3. Are your thoughts less focused; do you have brain fog?
  4. Do you have difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep?
  5. Do you crave salty, fatty, or sweet foods?
  6. Do you have blood sugars issues (hyperglycemia or hypoglycemia)?
  7. Do you have an afternoon slump between the hours of 2 and 5 pm?
  8. Do you often have muscle aches or pains for no apparent reason?
  9. Do you have an increased sense of irritability?
  10. Do you feel overwhelmed by all that needs to be done?
  11. Have you noticed an increase in belly fat and an inability to get rid of it?
  12. Do you have a decreased sex drive?
  13. Do you have low blood pressure?
  14. Do you have a low body temperature or feel cold all of the time?
  15. Do you have an increase in mood swings and or depression? Lack of enthusiasm?
  16. Do you experience dizziness when getting up quickly from a lying or sitting position?
  17. Do you suffer from increased allergies even if you have never had allergies before? Do you have food allergies?
  18. Do you have increased menopausal symptoms?

If you suspect you have adrenal fatigue, here are 6 ways you can do an adrenal fatigue test at home (and also consult with your healthcare provider!)

How to Support Your Adrenal Glands

The adrenal glands, just like the other glands in your body, need quality food to do their job effectively. It’s important to consumehappy African American woman eating salad a clean diet loaded with organic fruits and vegetables that is devoid of artificial sweeteners and processed foods.

Daily detoxification is also essential. Cruciferous vegetables such as kale, broccoli, and cauliflower help detoxify the body.

Milk thistle can be helpful as it helps to break down and eliminate excess hormones and toxins. Be sure to drink plenty of water from a pure source. Your liver has to process any unused chemicals – the more toxins you put in your body, the harder the organs of detoxification have to work.

Stress reduction is also important as research shows that stress and anger are significant factors in menopausal symptoms and contribute to adrenal fatigue. Many women find they have more hot flashes and other symptoms when the adrenal glands are overworked by stress.

Electric and magnetic fields (EMFs) emitted from electronic devices (including your cell phone!) stimulate the body’s stress system, decreasing the ability to wind down and fall asleep. Once you finally do fall asleep, EMFs interfere with the deep sleep your body needs. Poor sleep also causes the adrenals to pump more cortisol, which keeps you awake longer and causes you to wake up after you fall asleep.

The bottom line is that women are systemically being told that their hormone levels are “within range,” but this is far from the truth. Further investigation with a healthcare professional fluent in hormonal issues is often required.

Feeding the adrenals, reducing your toxic load, supporting the liver, and addressing adrenal fatigue can help balance the hormones, which can actually make women healthier, happier, and more balanced during all phases of the menopause process.

13 Tips for Reducing Adrenal Fatigue

  1. Get 7-8 hours sleep every night.
  2. Heal the gut with probiotics and bone broth.
  3. Optimize liver function and detoxification with milk thistle and cruciferous vegetables.
  4. Get enough B5, also known as pantothenic acid, as it helps provide the extra energy your adrenal glands need to respond to stress and helps repair previous damage to these glands.
  5. Herbs such as Holy basil help to inhibit the release of cortisol and balance blood sugar levels.
  6. Reishi mushroom can help resolve the hormonal imbalance.
  7. Ashwagandha helps alleviate brain fog and memory problems associated with chronic stress and bring a sense of calm to the body.
  8. Walk briskly or engage in another exercise 4-7 hours per week, with a balance of cardio and strength training. (Go here to discover more about the Best Exercises for Women Over 50)
  9. Give yourself “me time” for at least one hour a day, which can include stress-relieving activities such as QiGong and Yoga Nidra, or simply taking a walk in nature.
  10. Consume a healthy diet including adrenal-supportive omega 3-rich foods.
  11. Keep a gratitude journal.
  12. Limit cell phone and computer use in the evening hours.
  13. Enjoy life, laugh more, and find joy in every day.

While the cessation of the menstrual cycle may be an inevitable transition all women go through, supporting your adrenal glands as early as you can in the process will have a huge impact on how you look and feel through menopause and beyond.

Organixx Clean Sourced Collagens blend contains five types of collagen from four sources. What’s more, it’s combined with targeted nutrients such as zinc, vitamin C, and vitamin B6 which specifically enhance the bioavailability and potency of collagen. Clean Sourced Collagens is formulated from the ground up to enhance and support your body’s natural ability to heal and rebuild itself from the INSIDE out.

Organixx Clean Sourced Collagens