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Coffee and Estrogen Dominance
Understanding Acid-Base Balance, Hormones, and Disease
Jul 30, 2007 Ronald K. Frazer
What is estrogen dominance?
Estrogen dominance is a condition where the estrogen in a woman’s body is not balanced by progesterone. That doesn’t sound like a big deal on the surface, but, according to Dr. John Lee, it is thought to be a contributing factor in many diseases including allergies, breast and cervical cancer, endometriosis, PMS, breast and uterine cysts, decreased sex drive, infertility, hair loss, osteoporosis, and many other conditions.
Coffee contributes to estrogen dominance. The way that it contributes may be by making the body more acid. Once our bodies are too acid, the production processes of all hormones are altered; and we all know how dependent women are on hormones for their health and happiness.
It seems that when a woman’s body is too acid, it produces too much estrogen and not enough progesterone. Dr. Michael Lam of the American Academy of Anti-aging Research reports that in a small study of 500 women, those who consumed four or five cups of coffee per day had 70% more estrogen that those who drank less than one cup per day.
There is no research that proves that coffee reduces progesterone production but there are anecdotal reports from women that suggest that this is true. Kerri-Lynn Lapointe, N.D., writes in Menopause Myths Debunked that coffee and stress force the body to convert progesterone to cortisol which suggests a link between coffee and progesterone deficiency. Whatever the cause of a progesterone deficiency is, drinking coffee will make estrogen dominance worse by increasing the estrogen levels.
Coffee is such a delicious institution in many countries. It’s tempting to deny the facts in favor of the wonderful smell of a fresh pot. But there is no doubt that coffee makes the body more acid than it was designed to be.
Besides the acid-base problem, an article in Better Nutrition reports that there are 17 known carcinogens in coffee. There are hundreds more chemicals in the delicious brew that are yet to be evaluated. Coffee is a good example of a natural product that has some very deadly ingredients totalling 10 mg in each cup, including benzene and formaldehyde among others.
Is coffee the only cause of estrogen dominance?
No. There are other causes:
- Xenoestrogen exposure–pesticides, herbicides, beauty products, solvents, adhesives, birth control pills, etc.
- Eating non-organic meat which is fed estrogen to plump it up
Is coffee the only cause of acid-base imbalance?
No. Much of the American diet causes an acid-base imbalance:
- Carbonated drinks
- Excessive protein in the diet, insufficient vegetables
- Artificial sweeteners
So what does this all mean?
If a woman is concerned with cancer, endometriosis, a lack of sex drive, or any of the other conditions in the first paragraph, she should be concerned about estrogen dominance. She should:
- explore all the factors that produce estrogen dominance and eliminate as many as possible from her life.
- learn what makes her body more acid and substitute things that make it more alkaline.
It would be nice if there was a single cause of cancer, of endometriosis or of the many other ailments that plague women. Then science could come up with a pill that would block that process–maybe even reverse it. But there isn’t a single cause, except perhaps living an unnatural lifestyle. But they can’t make a pill for that. So it’s really up to us to be aware of the dozens of things we do each day that stress our body’s biochemistry, and avoid as many as possible–replacing them with natural health and wellness.
Top 10 Reasons to Drink Aloe Vera Juice
Dental Health and Hygiene—Aloe Vera helps your mouth and gums.
Provides Rapid Soothing–Aloe Vera enhances fibroblast function. Fibroblasts are those remarkable little cells responsible for collagen formation. They also assist in the soothing of minor burns, cuts, scrapes, sunburn, and skin irritations.
Aids in Healthy Digestion –A healthy digestive tract ensures that nutrients from the foods we eat are absorbed into the blood stream. Aloe Vera Juice has natural, detoxifying abilities. Drinking Aloe Vera Gel daily may improve bowel regularity and increase protein absorption, while at the same time decrease unfriendly bacteria and yeast. Aloe Vera has also demonstrated its ability to assist in soothing heartburn and other types of digestive upset.
Immune Support and Function –Aloe Vera provides natural support for the immune system. Since the immune system works around the clock protecting the body, aloe vera, with its natural immune enhancers, gives the body a continual arsenal from which to draw.
Regulates Weight and Energy Levels–Aloe Vera Gel naturally allows the body to cleanse the digestive system. Our diets include many unwanted substances which can cause lethargy and exhaustion. Taken regularly, Aloe Vera Gel ensures a greater feeling of well-being, allowing energy levels to increase while helping to maintain a healthy body weight.
Collagen and Elastin Repair –Aloe Vera can add a rich supply of building materials to produce and maintain healthy skin. The skin replenishes itself every 21 to 28 days. Using the nutritional building blocks of aloe vera, the skin can utilize these nutrients daily to help combat the effects of aging.
Daily Dose of Minerals–Some of the minerals found in aloe vera include calcium, sodium, iron, potassium, chromium, magnesium, manganese, copper, and zinc. We all know that adding foods to our diets with naturally occurring vitamins and minerals is recommended for overall health. Drinking Aloe Vera Gel is a natural and healthful way to replenish the body’s supply.
Daily Dose of Vitamins–Aloe Vera Gel includes Vitamins A, B1, B2, B6, B12, C and E, Folic Acid and Niacin. The human body simply cannot store some of these vitamins; therefore we need to supplement them regularly through our diets.
Anti-inflammatory Properties–Aloe Vera Gel has 12 natural substances that have been shown to inhibit inflammation without side effects. Aloe may also support proper joint and muscle mobility.
Body-Building Blocks–Amino acids are our body’s building blocks. Eight which are essential and cannot be made by the body are found within the aloe plant! Drinking Aloe Vera Juice on a regular basis allows you to help maintain your health by replenishing your body naturally with these essential amino acids. An analysis of the aloe vera plant shows that it comes closer than any other known plant to the duplication of essential amino acids.
* All of this, with just 2 to 4 ounces, twice a day!
Are You Suffering From Exercise Burnout?
Get tips on how to avoid exercise burnout and maintain a healthy fitness schedule.
Two of the most popular New Year’s resolutions are to exercise more and get in better shape. Many people start January with high hopes of big success, yet by March find themselves struggling to get to the gym and watching their home treadmill collect dust. What happened in the intervening weeks?
A simple thing called, “exercise burnout,” most likely. “Positive enthusiasm often turns into negative because the individual forgets another key component of success: moderation,” says Erica Tuttolomondo, athletic director at Rush-Copley Healthplex, a fitness center in Aurora, Ill.
While many believe the faster and harder they exercise the better; in reality, this can lead to physical and mental exhaustion. Overtraining can cause loss of appetite, lack of progression, extreme fatigue, and even recurring injury. The mind, too, needs time to adjust to exercise. “For many, the thought of exercising every day becomes a chore,” says Tuttolomondo. And that’s when many people quit.
Beat Exercise Burnout
“Spend a week evaluating current activities,” says Thomas A. Fox, an exercise physiologist and author of The System for Health and Weight Loss. “Look at what you’re eating, and even use a camera to help. Then it’s easier to know what to change.”
If exercising is new to you, start out slowly, gradually building up to a reasonable routine. Beginners should keep with the same routine for a couple of months. At first, you will notice physical and mental changes until eventually your body adapts to the routine and hits a plateau. At this point, it’s time to add variety to the workout by using different machines or adjusting frequency, intensity, and time spent exercising.
“If you’re carrying extra weight, physical activity is going to be more difficult for you than for someone else, so be realistic in your goals,” adds Edward Abramson, PhD, professor emeritus of psychology at California State University, in Chico, and author of Body Intelligence: Lose Weight, Keep It Off, and Feel Great About Your Body Without Dieting!
Be sure to go in with the proper mindset. Realize that you won’t see results overnight. It takes time to get into shape. Weight loss occurs gradually over time, so don’t get discouraged if the scale doesn’t show a big drop after one week of working out.
Set a Realistic Exercise Schedule
While everyone’s situation is different, the American College of Sports Medicine and the American Heart Association recommend aiming for moderately intense cardio, 30 minutes a day, five days a week (or vigorous cardio 20 minutes a day, three days a week) plus 8 to 10 strength training exercises at 8 to 12 repetitions of each exercise, twice a week, to maintain health. (For weight loss, 60 to 90 minutes of exercise a day may be necessary.) These guidelines are for healthy adults under age 65.
If exercise is new to you or if you have an existing health problem, consult with your doctor before beginning an exercise program. “A beginner should start at the low end of the recommendation,” says Tuttolomondo. Consider two 20-minute sessions per week and aim to increase the time each session. Alternating between two or three different cardio machines during a single workout is a good way to avoid physical and mental fatigue.
Choosing a time and place that is easy and convenient will also help you maintain a successful exercise schedule. Tracking your progress on a chart may give you extra motivation as well. “Research shows that graphic feedback about our performance tends to be even more effective than written or verbal feedback, probably because we can see our improvements over time,” says Nicole Gravina, PhD, assistant professor at Roosevelt University in Chicago.
Most importantly, find something you enjoy. Before long, the dreaded chore of exercise might become something to look forward to.
How to Feel Sexy for Life
Don’t let your age keep you from experiencing the pleasures of intimacy. Although libido may lessen as you age, here’s how to feel sexy for a lifetime.
As you grow older, it’s easy to lose that spark in the bedroom. Boredom, loss of adventurousness, physical ailments, and other problems can overcome even the healthiest of relationships over time, causing a loss of libido and creating emotional distance. But keeping intimacy alive can have profound effects on your life.
Research has shown that healthy people have better sex lives. Fit people enjoy sex more and have a lower chance of dealing with a sexual dysfunction that can impair their love life. If you’re experiencing a loss of intimacy, there are steps you can take to reclaim it. Here’s how to feel sexy again.
Intimacy Tip No. 1: Stay Healthy
To keep your libido revved for lovemaking you should:
- Exercise regularly. Your arousal depends in large part on how well blood flows through your body. Regular aerobic exercise can help keep the heart pumping and the blood flowing.
- Eat right. Maintain your health by eating a diet low in fats and sugars and high in fiber and good nutrition. Eat lots of fruits and vegetables, plenty of whole grains, and a good daily amount of low-fat dairy products. Protein should come in the form of fish, poultry, and lean meats.
- Sleep well. Good, healthy sleep gives your body the chance to refresh and recuperate.
- Stop bad habits. Alcohol and tobacco can harm sexual function and can negatively affect your overall health.
Intimacy Tip No. 2: Communicate
Partners with a satisfying sex life talk to one another; those with an unsatisfying one need to talk to one another.
- Voice your concerns. Tell your partner about changes in your body that worry you along with any other issues that bother you about your sex life.
- Describe what makes you feel good. Your partner can’t satisfy you if he doesn’t know what you desire.
- Don’t criticize. Focus on what he’s doing right, rather than pointing out the things he’s doing wrong.
- Talk at the right time. During lovemaking is the right time for discussing what you like and enjoy. Save your concerns, worries, and more negative issues for outside the bedroom.
Intimacy Tip No. 3: Improve Your Own Game
Try these ways to be a better lover:
- Think about sex. The brain is an important — some say the most important — sexual organ. Get your head in the game by thinking about your fantasies and desires more often. Write down your sexual fantasies and share them with your partner.
- Touch. Maintaining physical affection is critical to keeping a love life happy and frisky. Cuddle, hug, kiss, and hold hands often, even if you’re tired or not in the mood for sex. During lovemaking, experiment with touching your partner in ways that please and arouse him.
- Educate yourself. There are plenty of self-help books available that will give you tips on improving your sexual technique.
Intimacy Tip No. 4: Have Fun
Don’t forget that sex is supposed to be an enjoyable experience. Be sure to have fun in the bedroom (and elsewhere) by:
- Trying out different sexual positions. The tried-and-true missionary position can become stale. Experiment.
- Taking a break from intercourse. Try pleasing each other with oral sex, manual sex, massage, and caressing.
- Being inventive. Leave love notes. Plan an erotic getaway. Try making love at different times of the day. Read a love poem. Craft a scene that appeals to all five senses. Try having sex in different locations.
Most importantly, have sex and enjoy intimacy on a regular basis with your partner.
4 Ways to Boost Your Confidence During Menopause
Besides the physical changes that menopause brings, it also can shake your sense of self-assurance — but these confidence boosters can help.
In medical terms, menopause — the absence of a woman’s menstrual period for at least a year — is a strictly physical phenomenon. However, most women find that, beyond physical symptoms, menopause can also be a time of emotional upheaval.
“It can be a sad time,” says Dale Perry, a nurse practitioner at Women’s Care of Beverly Hills in California and a specialist in menopausal issues. “You know you’re not going to have any more children. You throw that last box of tampons away. You can have mood swings, fatigue — you may just not feel like you’re completely on top of things.”
This combination of physical changes and emotional stress can be enough to make a woman feel a little down or unsure of herself. But you can regain the confidence that menopause symptoms may have shaken. Try some of these tips to start feeling like yourself again.
Confidence Booster No. 1: Have Sex
If you’re feeling less than feminine because of menopause, a great way to overcome that is by being intimate with your partner.
Some menopausal women find sex to be uncomfortable because of vaginal dryness, which can happen when estrogen levels go down. If you experience this, an estrogen supplement can help increase moisture. Some of the newest estrogen supplements, like Evamist and Vivelle-Dot, are delivered through the skin. “It’s a much lower dose, you can swim with it, and it slowly releases the hormone into your bloodstream,” Perry says. Other options are topical estrogen creams and estrogen tablets that deliver the hormone directly to the vaginal tissues.
Confidence Booster No. 2: Get More Exercise
Regular physical activity can help relieve some of the stress of menopause and improve your physical health, leading to a general sense of well-being. “I think yoga works particularly well,” Perry says. “You can ease yourself in by starting with a gentle stretch class, and move from there.”
Adults should aim for a total of 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity, like brisk walking, every week. All of the body’s major muscle groups should be exercised at least twice a week.
Confidence Booster No. 3: Pamper Yourself
Breaking out of your routine by treating yourself to something new or luxurious can be a real confidence booster, Perry says. Also, since your body is changing, this is a perfect time to change your outward appearance in small ways. “Let a personal shopper pick out some clothes you wouldn’t have chosen yourself,” Perry says. “Do something different. That can be really exciting.”
Confidence Booster No. 4: Get Help if You Need It
Many women sail through menopause with no major problems, but others may need to consult with their doctor if they’re feeling symptoms of depression or anxiety. Women with a history of these problems should be on the lookout for signs, which can include loss of energy, sadness, and constant feelings of worry and tension. “If your sleep is disturbed, you need to talk to your doctor,” Perry says. “If you’re not sleeping well, nothing else in your life seems to go well. You start the day already feeling behind.”
If you are diagnosed with anxiety or depression, your doctor may prescribe an antidepressant medication to help improve your mood. Commonly prescribed medications include Zoloft ( sertraline ) and Lexapro (escitalopram ). One antidepressant, Effexor (venlafaxine ), also tends to relieve the hot flashes associated with menopause.
While there’s plenty to moan about during menopause, there’s also a lot to celebrate at this time in your life. “In some ways, it’s a very freeing age for women,” Perry says. “In your twenties and thirties, you really care what people think of you. But now, you’re much more comfortable in your own skin. Many women are at the height of their careers … This is not a time of life when life is over. The best stuff is not necessarily behind you at this point.”
A Delicious Holiday Treat
(From the South Beach Diet- Phase 2)
This tasty twist on the traditional apple crisp is the perfect ending to any holiday meal. Made with fresh apples and dried cherries, it’s a healthy way to enhance the holidays.
Holiday Apple Crisp
Warm and fruity, this seemingly familiar apple crisp is spiked with sweet and tangy dried cherries. Fresh or dried, cherries contain impressive amounts of antioxidants, as well as soluble fiber and potassium. Ounce for ounce, dried cherries are higher in nutrients than their fresh counterparts, but they also have more calories, so it’s best to enjoy them in moderation — as you will here.
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 45 minutes
Makes 12 (1-cup) servings
1/4 cup unsweetened dried cherries
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
1/2 cup trans-fat-free margarine
1/2 cup whole-grain pastry flour
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons granular sugar substitute
2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
9 Granny Smith apples, sliced (9 to 10 cups)
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly coat a 9″ by 13″ baking dish with cooking spray.
Place cherries and water in a bowl, and soak cherries until ready to use. Meanwhile, combine oats, margarine, 1/4 cup of the flour, 1/4 cup of the sugar substitute, and 1 tablespoon of the cinnamon in a medium bowl; stir until mixture is crumbly.
Toss apples and lemon juice together in a large bowl. Add remaining 1/4 cup flour, 2 tablespoons sugar substitute, and 1 tablespoon cinnamon; stir to combine.
Place apples in baking dish. Pour cherries and soaking water over apple mixture; toss gently to combine. Sprinkle oat topping evenly over fruit. Bake until apples are tender, about 40 minutes. Serve warm.
Per (1-cup) serving:
7 g fat (2 g sat)
23 g carbohydrate
1 g protein
5 g fiber
60 mg sodium
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Adjust Your Weight-Loss Strategy With Age
Learn how aging affects weight loss and the best ways to modify your fitness plans to adjust to changes in your metabolism.
As you get older, your body doesn’t respond the same way to weight-loss efforts. This aggravating phenomenon occurs primarily because your metabolism is slowing down and you need fewer calories each day. Here’s how to adjust to get back on track.
Weight Gain and Aging: What’s Going On?
“The 40s are very different from the 30s, and the 50s are very different from the 40s as far as your metabolism,” observes longtime dieter Frances Simon of New Orleans. Simon turns 55 this year and says that number is causing her to get serious about achieving her weight-loss goals. “It seems like it’s harder and harder. But, boy, I remember when I was in my 20s — admittedly I was a lot more active, but I had a lot more energy then, too. I would go out dining and drinking a lot when I was in my 20s, but now in my 50s there is no way I would do that. It’s easier for the weight to come on than to try taking it off.”
Simon’s experiences are not unique. With menopause you may find your waist expands a bit, your muscles lose their tone, and you get new fat deposits. Researchers have yet to uncover the reason for these physical changes, but suspect that rapidly shifting hormones affect your body’s makeup.
While the factors that lead to weight gain as we age are the same for men and women (with the exception of menopause), national health data shows that men over age 65 are slightly more likely than women to be overweight. In fact, 76 percent of men ages 65 to 74 are obese, compared to 71.5 percent of women in that age group.
Weight Gain and Aging: Your Changing Body
Here are some of the contributing factors to your unwanted weight gain:
You’re burning less energy. “As you get older, you don’t need as many calories. Part of that is a little bit slower metabolism, but part of it is you’re not rushing around as much. You can’t believe how many calories you don’t need,” says Donna L. Weihofen, RD, MS, health nutritionist at the University of Wisconsin in Madison.
Weihofen says that learning to adjust your diet to your body’s changing needs is a gradual process. She gives her clients guidelines like switching to smaller portions and sharing at restaurants, especially if dining with a spouse who is having his own problems with weight gain.
You’re less active. Many people find they have less energy as they age, but you may also find that life is less demanding than it was in earlier years. Simon says that eating a Mediterranean-style diet, with an emphasis on fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and healthy fats, keeps her feeling full and gives her more energy to exercise.
However, she notes that there is another significant barrier to exercising for older women. “For people my age who want to exercise or get started exercising, I think it’s discouraging to go to a gym where there are lots of younger people,” she says. Simon’s goal is to attend Jazzercise three times a week, a class she enjoys because the participants are her age and older. “Some of those 60-year-olds look pretty fine, too!”
Weight Gain and Aging: How to Fight Back
A study of weight gain prevention in 284 women showed that women who maintained a healthy weight over a three-year period were more likely to:
- Carefully monitor food intake
- Avoid a loss of control of their diet (binging, for example)
- Not feel hungry
The strategies for combating weight gain as you age are the same you’ve used before:
- Count your calories
- Eat a hunger-busting diet rich in fruit, vegetables, whole grains, and healthy fats
- Keep fat intake below 30 percent of your calories
- Be physically active, at least 30 minutes a day, five days a week (more if possible)
Aging doesn’t mean you are destined for weight gain — just step up your diet and exercise routine to stay on track!