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How Does Aging Affect The Endocrine System?

Time is not the friend to your body's proper functioning. Time and aging may seem analogous but in reality aging is your body's response to time and the stresses of life and the environment that impact it.

If you think about aging from a statistical standpoint there is a chance that things in your body function correctly and there is a chance that it won’t. Every reaction is a dice roll where things can go right or wrong. Reactions occur hundreds of times in a moment and as the moments add up, the chances of something going wrong increases.

The longer you live, the more chances there are for something to go wrong. While a simple biological blunder typically doesn’t cause any harm, over time it can add up and cause body systems to become less efficient and only able to function at a partial capacity.

While this view may seem somewhat morbid, it is important to realize that aging is an unavoidable aspect of life and that the odds are stacked against you in trying to prevent aging. Knowing the things that are affected by aging can give you forethought into ways that you can promote and support them to prolong their function.

The endocrine system is one of the body systems that is most predictable as far as it being impacted by age. Both men and women experience changes within their hormone balance and are a key player in many different physiological processes. Below is a look into the specifics of how aging affects the endocrine system as well as other ways that aging can impact your health.

What is the endocrine system?

The endocrine system is made up of the body's hormonal messaging system and includes the glands that produce hormones, the hormones themselves, and the hormones' effects on the body.

The endocrine system plays a role in many aspects of the human body and works alongside the nervous system to direct the cells in the body of what to do. Where the nervous system sends signals nearly instantaneously, the endocrine system and hormonal messengers can take longer to work and are not as quickly dissipated. A majority of these hormones are released by their designated gland and enter the bloodstream where receptors on the target cells bind with the hormone and initiate a specific response to that hormone.

The level of circulation hormones is tightly controlled by the body and represents a delicate balance that must be maintained to achieve a state of homeostasis. When the delicate balance is disruptive it can cause a number of adverse effects.

Hormones affected by age

The endocrine system is affected largely by age. The cells that are responsible for the production of hormones are continuously pumping out these chemical messengers and over time this ability can become diminished.

Another way in which time affects the endocrine system is that the target cells can reduce their hormonal response after repeat messages over time.

Some hormones also utilize age as a trigger for promoting large physiological changes like those experienced during puberty. Below is a look at some of the hormones that are impacted by age.

Testosterone

Testosterone is a sex hormone that is produced in the testis. Its primary functions are to support libido, increases in bone mass, muscle mass, production of sperm, and regulate fat distribution.

In males, testosterone is a key signaling hormone for the onset of puberty and many changes throughout the lifespan. Prepubescent males undergo many changes as their testosterone levels spike. Muscle mass increases, the voice deepens, the genitals mature, and the production of sperm begins.

After puberty the level of testosterone decreases and then remains stable throughout the adulthood of a male. This steady flow of testosterone facilitates a healthy level of libido, sperm production, and other functions.

While testosterone remains fairly steady in adulthood, it is not uncommon for men to start to see a 1% decline every year after the age of 40. This gradual change is really not impactful on the day to day, but when men get into their 70s and 80s their testosterone would be 30-40% less than it once was.

Estrogen

Estrogen is the main female sex hormone that is produced by the ovaries in women. Like testosterone in men, estrogen is a key hormonal messenger that incites the physiological changes experienced during puberty. Breast development, changes in physique like increased hip size, and the beginning of menstruation are all effects estrogen has during puberty.

After puberty, the levels of estrogen follow the menstrual cycle where it increases throughout the cycle to increase the amount of endometrial lining. When the egg is not fertilized estrogen levels drop sharply and the cycle begins again.

A study found that in a sample of 786 menopausal women, that they had a median lifetime menstrual cycle count of approximately 451 cycles over 35 years of menstruation.

As women age and reach the end of their cycles, they experience what is known as menopause. Essentially what happens is that a woman no longer has eggs within her ovaries. The release of eggs is a major signal to the menstrual cycle and when there are no more to be released, the cycle stops. During menopause women's hormone levels are drastically reduced.

Insulin

Insulin is a vital hormone that is responsible for maintaining a healthy blood sugar balance and is produced by the pancreas. When you eat a large carbohydrate-dense meal, the pancreas secretes insulin to aid in the maintenance of a good blood sugar level. Insulin works by increasing the glucose intake of cells that it encounters.

Over time the sensitivity of cells to insulin can decrease and the body's ability to maintain blood sugar can be impacted.

Because aging is related to decreased insulin function, it is important to bolster and support your blood sugar regulation in any way that you can. MitoQ Blood Sugar is a great supplement to help your body maintain a healthy blood sugar balance and retain normal insulin effectiveness as you age.

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Other effects of aging on the body

While the effects of aging on the endocrine system are immense, it is important to know that aging impacts more than just the hormones within your body. The stressors of life take their toll on cells, cellular machinery, the skin, and the body as a whole. Below is a look at some other ways that aging affects the human body.

Decreased mitochondrial efficiency

Energy is most commonly thought of in terms of electrical energy, but in the world of biology, chemical energy is really what matters. Carbohydrates are a macromolecule that is utilized heavily as a source of energy for the body. The cells within your body take carbohydrates like glucose and break them down into a biologically relevant form of energy known as Adenosine Triphosphate(ATP).

The process of breaking high-energy bonds in glucose and converting it into ATP is largely performed by the cellular structure known as the mitochondria. The mitochondria for this reason is called the powerhouse of the cell and is responsible for providing a continuous supply of ATP to the cell.

As you age the levels of an antioxidant known as CoQ10 can decrease in the mitochondrial membrane. These results can result in a reduction of mitochondrial efficiency and ultimately have detrimental effects.

MitoQ is a specially formulated CoQ10 supplement that specifically targets the mitochondria and can help to restore CoQ10 levels to allow the mitochondria to function at its best.

Even though aging can impact your mitochondria, supporting it with MitoQ can help.

Conclusion

In summary, biological aging is a process that has effects throughout the body. The few listed above only represent some of the physiological changes experienced as a result of aging. In fact, there are specialized medical professionals that spend their careers treating, studying, and observing the changes to the human body inflicted by time.

The effects of aging on the endocrine are significant. If you look at hormone levels in a 30-year-old vs a 70-year-old you will most likely see very noticeable distinctions in their hormonal levels.

While these changes are typical of aging there are things that you can do to support your body and postpone these changes. Living a healthy lifestyle and taking care of yourself are the best way to maintain your health and youth in spite of time. Leading a healthy life helps to support your endocrine system as well as overall bodily function which is key to aging gracefully.

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