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The steroid deficiency behind stubborn weight gain
Doing all the right things, but not losing the weight can be beyond frustrating…
Before you decide to take drastic measures and see your doctor to get prescription weight loss pills that can cause side effects like headaches, dry mouth, constipation, gas and more, you’re going to want to read this…
You see, there’s a little known steroid you might be missing that could be the reason behind your weight gain.
You’ve probably heard of anorexia nervosa — the life-threatening emotional disorder that takes a very real physical toll on its victims. Unlike someone who just wants to lose a few pounds, people who suffer from anorexia — mostly women — experience a pathological fear of weight gain that leads to malnutrition and extreme weight loss… sometimes even death.
Now you may not expect someone with anorexia to have much in common with someone who is overweight or even obese, but more than 50 percent of women with anorexia nervosa have depression or anxiety, and 43 percent of adults who are obese have depression.
So researchers at University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine decided to look further to see if this link between these two groups of women at opposite ends of the weight spectrum was behind their very different weight problems…
Steroid linked to mood disorders and abnormal weight
Allopregnanolone (Allo), a neuroprotective steroid, is a metabolite of the hormone progesterone. Allo works by enhancing the signal produced when the neurotransmitter gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) binds to its receptors (the targets of many anti-anxiety drugs), generally producing a positive mood and feelings of well-being.
In numerous studies, allo has been tied to depression, anxiety and even post-traumatic stress disorders. But in the previous research, the steroid’s affect was only measured in women of “normal” weight.
This time, they recruited 12 women with anorexia nervosa, 12 normal-weight women and 12 obese women. None of the women had received a diagnosis of depression or ever took antidepressants, but completed questionnaires to assess for depression and anxiety. Then had blood drawn to measure levels of allo and other hormones.
And what they found is a prime example of the Goldilocks factor…
Both the women suffering with anorexia, as well as the group of obese women, had levels of allo that were 50 percent lower than in the women of normal weight.
And the levels of allo in all participants directly correlated with the severity of their depression and anxiety symptoms they’d reported: the lower the levels — the more severe the depression and anxiety.
Graziano Pinna, associate professor of psychiatry in the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine and an author on the paper, believes that the enzymes that convert progesterone into allo may not be working properly, causing decreases in allo that lead to mood disorders.
So it appears that if the other women could manage to get their body’s to produce just the right amount of allo, they could quite possibly see improvements not only in their mood disorders, but in their weight.
Boosting your allo
Anorexia is a serious disorder that requires special attention. But if you’re doing everything right, but still gaining weight, perhaps giving your allo a helping hand might be the nudge your body needs.
There are a few ways you can boost this hormone in your body.
- Drink Coffee or Tea – Caffeine has been shown to increase pregnenolone, progesterone and allo in the brain. The best time to consume it? Right after eating a meal — this helps you avoid the stress response and increased cortisol that can come with caffeine.
- Add Progesterone – Boosting you progesterone, which is one of allo’s precursors can also raise allo levels. Natural progesterone creams are available over-the-counter at drugstores and health stores as well as online. Make sure to purchase a progesterone cream that contains pure USP progesterone, which means that it meets the standards of the United States Pharmacopeia for strength, purity and quality.
- Supplement Glycine – Glycine is an amino acid that can increase allo. Glycine supplements are easy to find both in natural health stores and online.
- Supplement with niacinamide (vitamin B3) – may help enhance the conversion of allo by increasing the coenzyme NAD/NADH.
Don’t let your weight or low levels of the steroid allo get you down. Use the tips above to boost allo in your brain to feel better and finally lose the weight.
Editor’s note: Being healthy shouldn’t be complicated or consume your every waking moment. That’s why Dr. Michael Cutler decided to cut through the confusion and clutter of fitness crazes in his new guide, The Part-time Health Nut: Attain you best health ever without extreme diets, dangerous pills and brutal workouts. Click the link for a preview!
- Weight Loss Drugs Prescription and OTC — RxList
- Both obese and anorexic women have low levels of ‘feel good’ neurosteroid — University of Illinois at Chicago
- Caffeine-induced increases in the brain and plasma concentrations of neuroactive steroids in the rat — Pharmacology Biochemistry and Behavior
- Anxiolytic effect of progesterone is associated with increases in cortical allopregnanolone and GABAA receptor function — Pharmacology Biochemistry and Behavior
- Regulation of neurosteroid allopregnanolone biosynthesis in the rat spinal cord by glycine and the alkaloidal analogs strychnine and gelsemine — Neuroscience