While there are over 200 hormones in the body – estrogen, testosterone, cortisol, insulin, leptin, and thyroid hormones are the most commonly known and closely linked to metabolism, fertility, mood, and other vital functions. Changes in hormone production, such as under- or over-production, or interferences in signaling pathways contribute to the development of hormonal imbalances, which can lead to diabetes, weight gain, infertility, and other health concerns if not managed appropriately. Sudden weight fluctuations or changes in energy levels can signal hormonal abnormalities, as can muscle aches and weakness, joint inflammation, and increased temperature sensitivity. There are many possible causes of hormonal imbalances, such as medications, tumors, and underlying health conditions; diet-related hormonal fluctuations, including those spurred by eating disorders, are also prevalent and underscore the connection between the endocrine system and eating patterns.
In a growing aging population, increasing life expectancy is becoming a secondary concern to mitigating age-related disease and the associated repercussions. Improving health outcomes for rising older population is necessary to decrease the socio-economic burden of age-related disease, while promoting overall population health. Although the human lifespan has greatly expanded over the past century, good health and its maintenance remain topics of importance. Recently, dietary solutions to quelling the aging process have surged in popularity, with intermittent fasting, calorie restriction, and other diet plans spearheading the movement.
Maintaining healthy cholesterol levels can greatly reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease development and stroke while promoting heart health. According to current guidelines for blood cholesterol management, adults should have a total cholesterol reading of less than 200 mg/dL however, many individuals struggle with high levels of triglycerides and low levels of HDL putting them at risk for heart disease.
For some, lowering cholesterol levels requires a multifactorial approach comprised of medication, weight management, physical activity, and nutritional restrictions. Other individuals with elevated cholesterol levels may benefit from simple dietary changes such as reducing animal protein intake and increasing vegetable consumption, which can lower total cholesterol by 25% or more.