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The Endocrine System – Our Master Regulator

Posted on March 21, 2009 | Filed Under Articles  

While most of us don’t consider our endocrine system (glandular system), this delicate array of glands, hormones and neurotransmitters control all our life functions, from beginning to end. Growth and development, sexual activity, body temperature, heart rate, immune response and all other body functions are dependent on hormones released by different glands.

The greater endocrine glands are the hypothalamus and pituitary, adrenals, thyroid, and to a lesser degree, the pancreas, female ovaries and male testes.

When hormone levels reach a certain ‘normal’ amount in the blood to do their job, further secretion is controlled by other body mechanism to maintain balance o homeostasis. For instance, when the thyroid gland has secreted the appropriate amount of its hormone, the pituitary gland senses the normal level of thyroid hormone in the bloodstream and adjusts its own release of the thyrotropin, the pituitary hormone that stimulates the thyroid to secrete thyroid hormones.

This balancing act is critical to the proper development, maturing, and aging of the entire human body.

Hormones are vital for the repair and regulation of our cells and body systems. As we age we lose hormone production, which in turns results in loss of self-repair and self-regulation. Lifestyle also plays a vital role in the health of this system. The loss of one hormone or malfunctioning of one gland can result in the loss of several others, speeding up the aging process. Take for instance the epidemic of syndrome X and type II diabetes. In most cases the North America lifestyle has lead to an imbalance of glucose or the hormone insulin in the blood. In other cases the pancreas itself has malfunctioned, worn out from years or refined carbohydrates. The end result is a host of symptoms that are seemingly unrelated to the pancreas or insulin levels: high blood pressure, weight gain, high cholesterol and triglycerides, high cortisol levels and ultimately heart disease. Hormone systems are highly dependent upon one another, and the malfunctioning of one will affect the health of other body systems.

In recent years anti-aging researchers have studied the effects or replacing diminished hormones with dramatic results. Others see hormone replacement as nothing more than tinkering with nature’s delicate balance. Only time will decide this debate.

One thing is for sure: A healthy endocrine system that continues to secrete adequate amounts of hormones will slow the aging process and keep you vibrant and healthy as you age.

Thyroid

The thyroid gland is walnut-size, butterfly-shaped gland at the base of the neck, extending around the Adam’s apple. Weighing in a 1 ounce, its hormones exert enormous control throughout the body. Thyroid hormones control the growth, temperature and function of every cell in the body. The gland acts as the metabolic engine of the body-if it secrets too little hormone the body slows and dies; if it secrets too much the body burns out and dies. The thyroid malfunctioning is widespread due to environment pollutants.

Adrenals

Located one on top of each kidney, the adrenals are triangular shaped glands that regulate the body’s response to stress. Adrenal glands are made up of two parts, each secreting a separate set of hormones. The outer part of the glands (adrenal cortex), produces corticosteroid hormones that regulate the balance of salt and water, stress response, metabolism, immune function, and sexual development and function. The inner part (adrenal medulla) secretes adrenaline hormones that increase blood pressure and heart rate in response to stress.

Hypothalamus /Pituitary

The hypothalamus gland is really a collection of specialized cells that provide the primary link between the endocrine system and the central nervous system. Nerve cells and hormones in turn signal the pituitary gland to secret or suppress the release of various hormone messages to the other glands. Although no larger than pie, the pituitary gland is considered the master gland because it secrets hormones that control several other endocrine glands. It is also responsible for secreting growth hormones (HGH).

Pancreas

The pancreas is both a gland and an organ. As an endocrine gland, the pancreas produces insulin and glucagon-two hormones that work together to supply the body`s cells with a constant supply of energy in the form of glucose. The pancreas secretes its variety of hormones directly into the bloodstream. As a digestive organ, the pancreas secretes digestive enzymes directly tract through a system of ducts. Diets high in refined carbohydrates put this gland under tremendous stress.

Endocrine Nutrition

Master G Formula #2874-6, Essential Liquid Minerals # 4037-1, Chinese Chi # 1818-3
The endocrine system is nourished by trace minerals to facilitate the production of both neurotransmitters and hormones. Master G Formula provides nutritional support for all the glands to ensure balance and harmony. Essential Liquid Minerals and Chinese Mineral Chi contain potassium along with other vital minerals in suspension. These minerals come from ancient plant deposits in central Utah and provide varying amounts of naturally-occurring, easily assimilated minerals. Chinese Mineral Chi has the added benefit of Chinese botanicals including licorice, ginseng and schizandra for additional glandular support

Adrenal Support # 1507-0, Vitamin C # 1727-2
The adrenal glands are responsible or preparing the body to respond to stress. Modern dietary habits and stressful lifestyles have a ‘burn out’effect on the adrenal glands. The formulation includes adrenal glandular substance (from New Zealand BSE-free bovine) to compensate for weakened adrenal gland function plus vitamins and herbs to help nourish the glands back to health. Research has shown that high levels of vitamin C help individuals respond better to stress. The adrenal glands have one of the highest concentrations of vitamin C in the body.

Chromium GTF #1802-4, P-14 # 1023-0
Chromium helps cells use glucose or energy through the action of the hormone insulin. With the efficient use of insulin the pancreas is not overworked and blood glucose levels are kept in balance.

MACA # 1117-2, Siberian Ginseng # 660-9, Korean Ginseng # 665-4
It is believed that maca works by stimulating the thymus/pituitary axis to balance hormonal secretions. It has been particularly beneficial for older adults who are experiencing a reduction in hormonal secretions. Reported benefits include increased libido, increased stamina, and general reversal of glandular aging. Body builders report that it stimulates the secretion of growth hormone. Other well known glandular tonic herbs to help bring about homeostasis in the endocrine system are Korean ginseng (for men) and Siberian ginseng (for sexes).

F.E. Formula # 81-4, Women’s Formula # 891-0, Men’s Formula # 3111-3, P-14 # 1023-0
These formulas are specifically to nourish the female and male reproductive glands, respectively. Women’s Formula contain black cohosh and dong quai, both containing steroids that help balance estrogen and progesterone levels. Men’s Formula contains saw palmetto to prevent prostate inflammation. Zinc and stinging nettle are included to free up testosterone from building to h membrane of cells on the prostate gland and thus reducing symptoms of BPH and maintaining higher natural free testosterone levels in aging men

TSII # 1092-0, Kelp #410-3
TS II is designed to nutritionally support the thyroid gland with the trace mineral iodine. It contains kelp plant, Irish moss plant, parsley plant, hops flower and capsicum fruit. Kelp contains an above average amount of iodine, which is a nutrient essential for proper thyroid function. The thyroid is susceptible to damage from environmental toxins, especially chlorine, fluorine and bromine which are chemically related to iodine and compete with it for receptor sites on the thyroid gland.
Article Source: Sunshine Today

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