Oestrogen: Not just for women

Most fruits, vegetables, pulses and whole grains are good sources of fibre

Having looked at testosterone, the “male” sex hormone, today we’ll be discussing oestrogen, the “female” sex hormone.  Like testosterone, oestrogen is present in men and women, simply in different amounts. And like testosterone, oestrogen is essential for both sexes.

It is known as the female sex hormone because oestrogen is responsible for turning girls into women by stimulating the growth of breasts, increasing fat mass, and starting ovulation and menstruation. However, oestrogen acts all over the body and can have many diverse effects. For example, it can increase serotonin, a feel-good neurotransmitter, and increase factors that help blood to clot properly. Oestrogen also regulates certain functions of the male reproductive system important for the maturation of sperm. What’s more, testosterone needs oestrogen to increase sex drive in both men and women: Without oestrogen, testosterone actually decreases sexual desire.

The difference is that in men, oestrogen remains at a fairly constant low level. However, in women, oestrogen levels fluctuate in line with their menstrual cycle. Oestrogen levels rise rapidly after menstruation, to a sharp peak just before ovulation, then drop quickly, reaching their lowest point just before the start of the next cycle. This means most women experience higher energy levels and better moods in the week following their period, when oestrogen levels are high. They then have low energy and low moods the week before their period starts, when oestrogen is at its lowest level.

What many people don’t realize is that oestrogen also has an important role in appetite and weight gain. High levels of oestrogen suppress appetite, while low levels can lead to binge eating. You would think this means high levels would be good for fat loss, but oestrogen is also responsible for a woman’s ability to store more body fat. If oestrogen levels get so high they overpower progesterone (the second female sex hormone) it then becomes impossible to lose weight. Likewise, if a man has unusually high levels of oestrogen, he will find it much harder to lose body fat.

Once again, a healthy diet is your friend. In this case, fibre is the key to keeping oestrogen under control. Fibre binds to oestrogen and moves it out through the bowels, managing the amount in circulation. Yet another reason why high fibre diets help with fat loss!

The Score for 14 March:

Calories: Protein: Carbs: Sugars: Fat: Sat Fat: Fibre:  
1987 104.83g 256.63g 109.69g 55.47g 17.09g 35.45g
22% 52% 26%
Calories burned through exercise: 528

 

What I ate:

Time Item Amount Calories Protein Carbs Sugars Fibre Fat Sat Fat Alcohol
07:45 Centrum Multivitamin,  Vitamin E 400IU, Vitamin D 25 µg
Tap water 250mL 0 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00
Soft boiled eggs, 2 large 115g 150 14.49 0.00 0.00 0.00 10.35 2.88 0.00
Free From pure oats 50g 171 6.40 30.30 0.60 4.30 2.70 0.50 0.00
made with boiling water 250mL 0 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00
topped with sultanas 25g 74 0.68 17.35 17.35 0.50 0.10 0.03 0.00
and ground flaxseed 10g 45 2.21 0.30 0.18 2.37 4.00 0.45 0.00
Black tea 450mL 0 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00
10:00 Fresh ginger tea with a splash of lemon juice and 1 tsp honey 250mL 25 0.00 6.25 6.25 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00
12:30 Homemade carrot and lentil soup 350g 217 8.93 26.68 9.45 4.69 7.53 1.47 0.00
Tesco free from seeded sandwich thins 58g 145 4.52 18.73 0.64 6.26 4.41 0.35 0.00
Skimmed milk 250mL 87 8.50 12.50 12.50 0.00 0.25 0.00 0.00
Fresh raspberries 45g 14 0.63 2.07 2.07 1.13 0.14 0.05 0.00
Fresh blueberries 55g 37 0.39 7.98 5.50 1.32 0.17 0.00 0.00
Green tea 250mL 0 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00
15:00 Natures Path Mesa Sunrise cereal 50g 195 5.00 40.00 6.50 5.00 1.65 0.25 0.00
with skimmed milk 200mL 69 6.80 10.00 10.00 0.00 0.20 0.10 0.00
topped with sliced nectarine 87g 39 1.22 7.83 7.83 1.04 0.09 0.00 0.00
16:00 Medicine Ball session
18:45 Salad with spinach, 30g 8 0.84 0.48 0.45 0.63 0.24 0.03 0.00
sliced tomato, 99g 20 0.70 3.10 3.10 1.00 0.30 0.10 0.00
Merchant Gourmet red and white quinoa, 100g 185 6.10 28.60 1.50 4.00 4.20 0.50 0.00
Steamed sweet potato, 150g 131 1.63 28.66 12.48 3.11 0.45 0.15 0.00
Baked chicken breast, 100g 135 31.90 0.00 0.00 0.00 1.90 0.60 0.00
and Tesco French Dressing 1 tbsp 13 0.10 2.20 1.70 0.10 0.40 0.05 0.00
Lindt Excellence 70% Cocoa chocolate bar, 4 squares 40g 226 3.80 13.60 11.60 0.00 16.40 9.60 0.00
21:15 Twinings camomile and spiced apple tea 250mL 0 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00

Image Copyright: <a href=’https://www.123rf.com/profile_baibakova’>baibakova / 123RF Stock Photo</a>

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