Want an easy way to look and feel years younger?
Well, the answer might not be as far from reach as you might think.
In fact, thyroid hormone (T3) is one of the most effective and natural anti-aging supplements available.
In this post, I’ll show you how thyroid hormone can help you to reverse the signs of aging and feel younger by lowering your “aging” hormones and boosting your “anti-aging” hormones.
Most people understand that adequate thyroid hormone is necessary for proper thyroid function and that it helps to improve one’s metabolism.
However, the benefits of using thyroid hormone and restoring proper thyroid hormone levels extend far beyond that.
There are many, potentially more important, benefits of thyroid hormone that have a lot more to do with the “aging” of your body.
That’s right, restoring proper thyroid hormone levels helps to keep you young.
And it does so in part by putting the brakes on a few thyroid-suppressive hormones that promote accelerated aging.
Thyroid-Suppressive Hormones That Accelerate Aging
In the 1930’s Dr. Hans Selye first discovered that chronically elevated stress hormone levels accelerated the aging process and shortened lifespan.
There are many hormones that promote stress and stress hormone production.
The most notable are:
And it just so happens that hypothyroidism promotes the overproduction of all three of these hormones due to what we call thyroid-suppressive feedback cycles.
For example, in hypothyroidism, your body compensates by over producing cortisol. Yet, cortisol strongly inhibits thyroid function.
So, this creates a feedback cycle where the more dependent you become on cortisol, the more hypothyroid you become.
And the more hypothyroid you become, the more cortisol you have to produce to compensate.
All three of these thyroid-suppressive hormones promote accelerated aging in many ways, such as causing:
- Premature cell death, especially in the brain
- Fibrosis or calcification of tissue, organs, joints, etc.
- Accelerated breakdown and wasting of healthy tissue
- Free radical damage
- Mitochondrial damage and dysfunction
As you can see, simply being hypothyroid promotes the overproduction of these “aging” hormones and both amplifies and accelerates the aging process.
Stopping these unwanted hormones is the first piece of the puzzle.
But how can thyroid hormone help?
And how can it help to make us look and feel younger?
The key to all of this is increasing what I like to call your Thyroid-Protective Youth Hormones.
Thyroid-Protective Youth Hormones That Reverse the Signs of Aging
This isn’t like those new anti-aging supplements that are supposed to be the “Holy Grail”, yet never pan out to anything.
Thyroid hormone (T3) is kind of a ‘primitive’ anti-aging supplement.
Remember, thyroid hormone does more than just give you energy and improve your metabolism.
Yes, those are important benefits, and yes those are important anti-aging factors but there’s much more to the story that most people don’t know about…
The bigger anti-aging effects of thyroid hormone (T3) stem from its ability to increase production of Thyroid-Protective Youth Hormones that protect you from those unwanted “aging” hormones.
These youth hormones are part of what makes us invulnerable to stress and full of energy when we are young.
Unfortunately, our production of these youth hormones drastically declines with age, making us more and more vulnerable to the negative effect of stress (and aging).
However, thyroid hormone (T3) increases the production of these youth hormones.
So, by supplementing thyroid hormone later in life, we can help to restore and maintain adequate levels of youth hormones to help reverse and prevent an accelerated aging process.
Now, let’s take a closer look at these Thyroid-Protective Youth Hormones and how they prevent accelerated aging.
Pregnenolone — The Body’s Answer to Cortisol
Pregnenolone is produced by thyroid hormone (T3), vitamin A and cholesterol.
When pregnenolone is produced at sufficient levels, then pregnenolone and its byproducts (progesterone and allopregnenolone) can help to decrease cortisol by up to 60% (see study below).
The neurosteroid tetrahydroprogesterone attenuates the endocrine response to stress…
“Pretreatment of rats with a single dose of THP or P4 (50 micrograms/kg) significantly attenuated the elevation of plasma adrenocorticotropin (ACTH) and serum corticosterone…”
That alone can provide a significant reduction in accelerated aging.
Yet, if someone is hypothyroid and they don’t have adequate T3 levels, then they can’t (efficiently) produce pregnenolone… and therefore will be more susceptible to the thyroid-suppressive and “aging” effects of cortisol.
And, as mentioned above, this also makes you susceptible to the dangerous thyroid-suppressive feedback cycles that trap you in your hypothyroid condition.
So, by supplementing thyroid hormone, you can boost your levels of the anti-aging hormone pregnenolone and help break that feedback cycle and get back on a healthy footing.
But, pregnenolone isn’t the only important anti-aging hormone your body depends on.
In fact, pregnenolone is the precursor hormone to two other essential hormones needed to reverse an accelerated aging process.
One of which is…
Progesterone — The Most Protective Hormone in the Body
Progesterone protects you from stress in many different ways…
…which is why it’s considered to be the most protective hormone in your body.
For example, it inhibits cortisol in two ways, by:
- Lowering ACTH (the pituitary hormone that activates the adrenal glands to produce cortisol).
- Inhibiting cortisol’s actions by blocking cortisol cell receptors.
By blocking cortisol receptors, progesterone essentially blocks the action of excess cortisol, even when excess cortisol is present.
That might seem impressive, but progesterone does much more than that…
Progesterone can also decrease and inhibit the actions of estrogen, another hormone that accelerates aging when overproduced.
For example, it does so through its ability to inhibit aromatase enzyme, an enzyme found in fat cells.
Estrogen is often overproduced in hypothyroidism by increased production of aromatase, which converts testosterone and other androgens into estrogen.
A lot of women who are postmenopausal think they no longer produce estrogen.
In fact, their bodies can still produce lots of estrogen through increased aromatase activity.
Progesterone inhibits the aromatase enzyme, which can help prevent the overproduction of estrogen in your body.
Progesterone inhibits glucocorticoid-dependent aromatase induction in human adipose fibroblasts.
“Progesterone must be considered a potential physiological inhibitor of glucocorticoid-dependent aromatase induction in adipose tissue. It is proposed that it is a suppressor of aromatase induction in adipose tissue in premenopausal women.”
Aside from progesterone’s ability to lower estrogen…
T3 itself is essential to normalizing estrogen levels because it’s necessary for detoxifying excess estrogen through glucuronidation.
Glucuronidation is a detox pathway by which fat-soluble hormones are made water-soluble, so they can be eliminated from your body through your urine.
If we can’t detoxify estrogen, then it tends to increase and build up in the body, which is when it suppresses thyroid function and promotes accelerated aging.
Then there’s another important youth hormone…
DHEA — Stops Cortisol Before It Starts
Remember, thyroid Hormone (T3) increases the production of the anti-aging hormone pregnenolone.
Pregnenolone is also the precursor to another important youth hormone, DHEA, which has additional anti-aging benefits.
For example, DHEA inhibits an enzyme called 11β-HSD1.
This is the enzyme that actually controls the synthesis of the “aging” hormone cortisol.
So even if the pituitary hormone ACTH is elevated and the adrenal glands are activated, DHEA can still help stop the excess production of cortisol.
Dehydroepiandrosterone [DHEA] inhibits the amplification of glucocorticoid action in adipose tissue.
“Nevertheless, a recent randomized controlled trial in elderly women and men demonstrated that administration of 50 mg/day of DHEA for 6 mo significantly reduced abdominal visceral fat as well as abdominal subcutaneous fat (57). DHEA treatment also led to a significant increase in insulin sensitivity… In conclusion, DHEA downregulates 11β-HSD1 both in the liver and in adipose tissue, thereby inhibiting the local amplification of glucocorticoids.”
In other words, by blocking the enzyme, it blocks excessive cortisol production at a completely different level than the other two Thyroid-Protective Youth Hormones we’ve covered.
This is very important, because we need to address thyroid issues at all levels in order to make true progress towards health.
It’s more effective to decrease cortisol by both preventing the overstimulation of the adrenal glands and blocking the synthesis of the hormone than either one alone.
But, that’s not the only benefit DHEA has to offer…
The study referenced above also showed that DHEA reduced (dangerous) visceral fat and stubborn abdominal fat, while helping to reverse diabetes…
…all of which help to protect you from accelerated aging.
(NOTE: To learn more about the connection between diabetes and hypothyroidism, check out the article, Hypothyroidism and Diabetes: How to Reverse It and Why Sugar Is NOT the Problem.)
We’ve just covered how all three of these youth hormones protect us from the aging effects of cortisol and estrogen.
But, what about the stress and aging effects of serotonin?
(NOTE: Serotonin, is not the “happy hormone” you might have heard about. It’s not only thyroid-suppressive, it has also been implicated in many major disease processes. But, we’ll save that discussion for a later date.)
Well, the good news is that research shows that all three of these Thyroid-Protective Youth Hormones (and others like testosterone) also help to block serotonin receptors.
In doing so, they help block the accelerated aging and other negative effects of serotonin.
That was surely a lot to cover.
But, what’s important to understand is that thyroid hormone (T3) is essential for the production of all of these Thyroid-Protective Youth Hormones that protect you from aging and keep you looking and feeling young and health.
But that’s a topic for another day.
For now, use thyroid hormone to your advantage.
Use it to restore, protect, and preserve your youth.