- Aynsley Fisher
Combating Hormonal Aging and Collagen Loss Naturally
Hormonal aging is a b*tch. The good news is we can take a proactive approach to mitigating the negative effects of estrogen loss.
Not only is loss of estrogen associated with hormonal aging a leading cause of wrinkles, dry and sagging skin, but is a factor in the loss of bone density, joint flexibility, moisture in our eyes and resilient ligaments.
Of course estrogen enhances flexibility in the pelvic bones to help with vaginal delivery, and we can understand that the “glow” of peaking estrogen in skin is useful as a signal of who is fertile for the warrior or hunter returning home on a brief leave from his duties, but what is the evolutionary benefit of the matriarch becoming a “little old lady” as a result of her menopause-accelerated loss of bone matrix collagen?
Men have a very gradual decline in testosterone (also a collagen supporter) as their gonads do not have a programmed retirement; this helps them maintain their bone density, muscle strength, even experiencing less wrinkling compare to same aged women for whom Mother Nature has relieved reproductive duty.
So what can we do to stave off the negative effects of aging?
1. Avoid Collagen Killers: Smoking, too much sun, diabetes, poor nutrition, stress (from excess cortisol), and poor hydration.
2. Consume a diet high in plant protein (soy protein, hummus, nuts, nut butters, foods made with almond flour, etc) can offer the support of plant estrogens, or phytoestrogens, which have been demonstrated to have a positive effect on collagen.
3. Consume Omega 3 Fatty Acids (fish oils and flax seed oils) are excellent “lubricators” of joints (to help with flexibility), improve dry eye, and a host of other metabolic and mood elevating properties.
4. Get Your Vitamin D: (at least 1000 IU a day) now thought of as a hormone as it has so many varied effects on body systems, vitamin D can contribute to a healthy, flexible, bone matrix...and has positive effects on skin as well.
5. Get Your Calcium: 1000mg prior to, and 1500 mg a day, after menopause through diet or supplements; best spread out through the day, as the body cannot absorb more than 500 to 600mg at once.
6. Get Your Vitamin C: 400mg day can help support healthy collagen.
7. Exercise: Muscle development can stimulate new growth of collagen and prevent atrophy, or loss of muscle mass that can contribute to sagging tissues and declining bone density.