Many people think of testosterone as the gold standard for gaining lean muscle mass and that HGH alone will get rid of mid-section fat. This is true, but it’s only part of the overall picture. While both of these hormones individually perform specific functions affecting lean muscle mass, strength, body fat and overall health, it’s crucial to know about the synergistic effect of hormones when they are paired together.
Think of it like this: if your car has the check engine light on, won’t start, and you have a flat tire, would you just change the tire? Of course not.
So I’m going to explain the synergistic effect of some key hormones, showing how our hormones truly do work together like individual instruments in a symphony.
Testosterone and HGH
Both testosterone and human growth hormone (HGH) are anabolic (protein building) agents that promote muscle synthesis and growth as well as fat burning – but work through separate mechanisms. Researchers have found that the combined administration of HGH and testosterone results in greater fat burning and improved muscular mass and strength than either hormone alone. I call it the “1 + 1 = 3 effect.” Meaning your results will be better if you take both together.
In my practice I often recommend testosterone treatment in combination with either HGH or newer growth hormone releasing peptides such as CJC-1295, ipamorelin and sermorelin.
Cortisol and Pregnenolone
Cortisol is a powerful hormone that is directly related to your stress levels. It is often called “the stress hormone.” It is also a main culprit in accumulation of mid-section fat and weight loss resistance.
Pregnenolone, another key hormone, helps regulate the production of cortisol, which is one of the reasons it is a useful treatment in losing fat and reducing stress. When pregnenolone lowers cortisol levels, we see the added benefit of naturally raising testosterone levels, which can increase your metabolism and overall sense of well-being.
If you missed my last blog on pregnenolone click here.
Estrogen and Progesterone
Progesterone and estrogen are two key hormones in the female body (they are also important hormones for men but for today I’m going to keep the discussion to their effects in women). Depending on your age and your symptoms you may take these hormones alone, or in combination with each other.
Estrogen replacement is a mainstay of hormone replacement in postmenopausal women. It helps decrease your risk of heart disease and is cardioprotective. Estrogen also reduces the risk of bone loss (osteopenia and osteoporosis) and improves the integrity of your bones. Estrogen increases good cholesterol (HDL) and decreases bad cholesterol (LDL). It also reduces the risk of Alzheimer’s Disease.
However, estrogen should not be taken alone in postmenopausal women. It needs to be taken with progesterone, most importantly in women with a uterus. This is because estrogen causes the endometrium (lining of the uterus) to thicken and progesterone offsets this growth. Bioidentical progesterone also decreases breast cancer risk and endometrial cancer risk. Additionally, taking progesterone in combination with estrogen stimulates osteoblasts. Osteoblasts are key in making new bone to replace old bone.
Vitamin D and Testosterone
Vitamin D is a crucial vitamin (technically a hormone) that your body produces after exposure to sunlight and also comes from certain food sources. Unfortunately, most people are Vitamin D deficient – despite sun exposure and eating a balanced diet. It is probably the most common hormone deficiency I see in my practice.
Taking supplemental Vitamin-D in combination with testosterone has been shown to increase circulating levels of free testosterone. Free testosterone is different from your total testosterone level. Free testosterone is the portion of total testosterone that is able to perform the functions of testosterone such as muscle building, fat loss, and increased sex drive.
How Do I Get Started
Taking a single hormone alone often will not produce the results you are looking for. Often hormones need to be taken in combination with each other, not only to get maximum benefit but for safety reasons as well.
If you think you may benefit from hormone replacement, my first recommendation is a comprehensive hormonal evaluation. For this I would recommend seeing a physician who specializes in hormone optimization. If you are interested in learning more about our program or would like to schedule an evaluation contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at (323) 874-9355.