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Hormones and Body Composition: Cortisol and Belly Fat, Part 1

Hormones are one of the bodys main internal messaging systems. We have many of them, and each one effects the body is different ways. Most of us have witnessed the effects of massive amounts of anabolic steroids, the change into menopause, or the beginning of puberty, what most of us dont realize is how hormones effect the way we express the storage of body fat. The most obviously example is the characteristic body fat distribution pattern women start to express at the beginning of puberty due to the effects of the estrogen hormones and the storage of body fat around the hips and thighs. The following is a discussion on the hormone most associated with belly fat, Cortisol! The stress hormone Cortisol stimulates the synthesis of abdominal fat by inhibiting growth hormone (GH). [1][2] Cortisol is a potent stimulus to both the subcutaneous fat stored around the belly and also visceral fat stored internally around the internal organs, causing the belly to protrude. [1][3] Cortisols inhibition of GH works to counter act GHs fatty acid liberating effects from fat cells, so less fat is being released from fat cells being converted to energy, and it works locally in the belly region because of the reduction of GH increases the activity of 11 beta-hydroxysteriod dehydrogenase-1, or HSD-1, which is the enzyme responsible for converting in-active cortisol, cortisone, back into cortisol [6]. This effect is localized because there are more HSD-1 enzymes located in the fat cells of the belly region then fat cells elsewhere in the body [4][5]. To summarize, more cortisol production (stress!) leads to less GH, which in turn leads to increased local cortisol production from overactive HSD-1 in the fat tissue surrounding the belly, leading to increased belly fat. Now what are some ways to prevent this besides living on another planet where we arent constantly bombarded with stress? Look at for Part 2 where I discuss the most common reason people are over-reactive to stress and help get the belly producing cortisol hormone under control! Nick Koller Koller Fitness Consulting and Personal Training References:

1. Sher et al. Type D personality: the heart, stress, and cortisol. QJM 205; 98:323329 2. Erfurth EM, Bulow B, Eskilsson J, Hagmar L. High incidence of cardiovascular disease and increased prevalence of cardiovascular risk factors in women with 3. hypopituitarism not receiving growth hormone treatment: Preliminary results. Growth Horm IGF Res 1999; 9(Suppl. A):214. 4. Gold PW, Chrousos GP. Organization of the stress system and its dysregulation in melancholic and atypical depression: high vs. low CRH/NE states. Mol Psychiatry 2002; 7:25475 5. Bujalsak, I. J., Quinkler, J.W. Tomlinson, C.T. Montague, D.M. Smith, and P. M. Stewart. Expression Profiling of 11-Beta-Hydroxysteriod Dehydrogenase Type1 and Glucocorticoid Target Genes in Subcutaneous and Omental Human Preadipocytes. Journal of Molecular Endocrinology, October 2006, 37(2): 327-40 6. Desbriere, R., V. Vuaroqueaux, V. Archard, S. Boullu-Ciocca, M. Labuhn, A. Dutour, and M. Grino. 11 Beta-Hydroxysteriod Dehydrogenase Type 1 mRNA Is Increased in Both Visceral and Subcutaneous Adipose Tissue of Obese Patients. Obesity, May 2006, 14(5): 794-8. 7. Paulsen, S. K., S.B. Pedersen, J.O. Jorgensen, S. Fisker, J.S. Christiansen, A. Flyvbjerg, and B. Richelsen. Growth Hormone (GH) Substitution in GH-Deficient Patients Inhibits 11 Beta-Hydroxysteroid Dehydrogenase Type 1 Messanger Ribonucleic Acid Expression in Adipose Tissue. Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, March 2006, 91(3): 1093-8, E-pub 20 December 2005

Hormones and Body Composition: Cortisol and Belly Fat, Part 2

For those looking to be proactive in combating the excesses of cortisol in terms of belly fat gain here are the most important factors one should address, starting with the mineral Magnesium! I mention Magnesium first because it has a role in all of the other cortisol control strategies. If you dont address a Magnesium deficiency, one will always be spinning their wheels in terms of getting belly fat producing cortisol under control! 1. Restore bodily stores of Magnesium! Below is a protocol I have used successfully numerous times to successfully restore my clients magnesium stores in as little as 3 months. *3-5 Poly Mag capsules at Dinner (Poliquin) *3-5 Uber Mag capsules before bed (Poliquin) *2 Magnesium Glycinate capsules post workout (Poliquin or other brands) *For males, same as above but also include Topical Magnesium (Poliquin), 2-4 pumps, applied behind the knees before bed. Poliquin products can only be found through their website here or through a local BioSignature Practitioner found here Males require more magnesium because of increased levels of muscle mass so they would tend to need closer to the 5 Poly Mag and 5 Uber Mag[1] Why those specific products? These 4 products contain a total of 8 different types of Magnesium. The more kinds of Magnesium one supplements with, the faster, and more likely one will restore bodily stores of Magnesium. [2] Poly Mag and Uber Mag are products with 6 different chelates of Magnesium which are much more absorbable than the cheap salt forms of Magnesium like Magnesium Oxide typically found in cheap multivitamins and cheap Magnesium supplements [3]. One will only absorb about 5% of the cheap Magnesium salts! Choosing salt forms of Magnesium or just a couple chelates will just lead to diarrhea. A book could be written on the science behind choosing multiple chelates of Magnesium and restoring bodily stores so

dont go buy a bunch of inexpensive salt forms or just a couple forms of chelates and come back complaining to me the protocol didnt work! I provide options as far as other brands when applicable! How do I test to see if my bodily stores are sub-optimal? One needs a RBC Magnesium blood test, NOT whole blood or serum levels. Less than 1% of ones total bodily stores are housed in blood and the body will draw from ones bones and muscles to keep these levels within range, so unless one is hours from death, these are NOT indicative of sub-optimal levels of Magnesium![4] Where can I get a RBC Magnesium test? Most times general practitioners will just order a serum or whole blood magnesium test so its usually best to just find a private lab like Any Blood Test Now or What is considered optimal RBC Magnesium value? The closer one is to 6.8 mg/dl the better one will be at managing stress and cortisol levels which will affect the ability to reduce belly fat![5] What causes the most of the population to be deficient or at sub-optimal levels? 1. Most fertilizers on crops block the absorption of Magnesium so people arent getting enough to start with![6] 2. Phosphoric Acid from fizzy drinks combine with Magnesium in the gut and led to excretion [7]. 3. The body being acidic. Think processed foods and low fruit-vegetable intake, leads to increase excretion of Magnesium[8] 4. Increased stress leads to increased excretion! Yes a nasty positive feed-back loop![ 9] 5. Sweets and sugar also lead to increased Magnesium excretion [10]

So as you can see, basically everyone is doing everything wrong as and you can see from the first point, no one is getting enough Magnesium to start with! Key point is, if you have sub-optimal levels of Magnesium, you will be hyper-reactive to all stress meaning you will over produce cortisol in reaction to all stressors! And the more stress, the more Magnesium you will excrete leading to more hyper reaction! 2. Get 8-9 hours of sleep As I said from the beginning, restoring ones Magnesium will affect many of the other factors related to controlling cortisol and sleep being the first one.

Magnesium induces relaxation, which is why one wants to start taking Magnesium starting at dinner. Magnesium also affects quality and quantity of sleep due to its mitigating affects on norepinephrine. [11][12] 1 Hour after one falls asleep is when one will produce the most growth hormone, which if you read Part 1 is critical for controlling the enzyme HSD-1. Key point is if you are Magnesium deficient, this key to controlling cortisol becomes much more difficult! 3. Control blood sugar! One thing many people dont realize is when people eat large amounts of carbohydrates, which in turn leads to high amount of insulin secretion, is that around 2-4 hours later the body is forced to pump out large amounts of cortisol to counter act low blood sugar because the body stored too much sugar into muscles but mostly fat cells and now has to force some of that sugar back out but releasing large amounts of cortisol [13]. Again Magnesium plays a role in this because Magnesium improves insulin sensitivity so your body will have to produce less insulin in response to sugar and more of it will be stored in your muscles instead of stored as fat in your fat cells[14] 4. Remove foods from your diet you are intolerant to! When you eat something your body is intolerant to your body will undergo a stress response releasing more you got it cortisol![15] So adopting a Paleolithic diet is the best thing you can do to start removing food you are intolerant to. Another way is to undergo a LEAP MRT food intolerance test to determine many more sources, such as artificial colors and preservatives one is intolerant to. These can present themselves as inflammatory reactions hours and sometimes days after you eat them![16] 5. Make sure you stay hydrated! Dehydration is another source of stress on our bodies.[17] Drink filtered water to remove toxins from tap water and put a little lemon or lime to alkalize the water to make sure the body absorbs it Nick Koller Koller Fitness Consulting and Personal Training References: 1. Rubenowitz, E., Landin, K., and Wilhelmsen, L., Skeletal Muscle Magnesium and Potassium by Gender and Hypertensive Status, Scandinavian Journal of Clinical and Laboratory Investigation 58 (1998): 47-54

2. Lindberg, J et al. Magnesium bioavailability from magnesium citrate and magnesium oxide. J Am Coll Nutr 1990, 9:48-55 3. Firoz M, Graber M. Bioavailability of US commercial magnesium preparations. Magnes Res 2001, 14:257-62 4. Nielsen, F., Jornson, L., Zeng, H. Magnesium Supplementation Improves Indicators of Low Magnesium Status and Inflammatory Stress in Adults Older than 51 Years with Poor Quality Sleep. Magnesium Research. 2010. 23(4), 158-168. 5. Millart H, Durlach V, Durlach J. Red blood cell magnesium concentrations: analytical problems and significance. Magnesium Research. 1995;8(1):65-76. 6. Worthington V. Nutritional Quality of Organic Versus Conventional Fruits, Vegetables, and Grains. Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine. 2001;7(2):161-173. 7. Franz, K.B., Influences of Phosphorus on Intestinal Absorption of Calcium and Magnesium, in Proceedings of the Fifth International Magnesium Symposium, Magnesium in Health and Disease, ed. Y, Itokawa and J. Durlach (London, England: John Libbey & Company; 1989), 71-78. 8. Rylander, R., Remer, T., Berkemeyer, S., Vormann, J. Acid-Base Status Affects Renal Magnesium Losses in Healthy, Elderly Persons. Journal of Nutrition, 2006; 136(9), 2374-2377 9. Ryzen, E., Servis, K.L., and Rude, R.K., Effects of Intravenous Epinephrine on Serum Magnesium and Free Intracellular Red Blood Cell Magnesium Concentratations Measured by Nuclear Magnetic Resonane, Journal of the American College of Nutrition 9 (1990); 114-119 10. Ericsson, Y, Angmar-Mansson, B., and Flores, M., Urinary Mineral Ion Loss After Sugar Ingestion,: Bone and Mineral 9 (1990): 233-237 11. Slutsky I, Sadeghpour S, Li B, Liu G. Enhancement of synaptic plasticity through chronically reduced Ca2+ flux during uncorrelated activity. Neuron. 2004 Dec 2;44(5):835-49.) 12. Penland J. Effects of trace element nutrition on sleep patterns in adult women. Fed Am Soc Exp Biol J 2:A434, 1988 13. Gth M, Gnczi J. Effects of insulin-induced hypoglycemia on the plasma cortisol and growth-hormone levels in obese and diabetic persons. Endokrinologie. 1972 Jun; 60(1):8-16. 14. Chaudhary, D., Sharma, R., Bansal, D. Implications of Magnesium Deficiency in Type 2 Diabetes: A Review. Biological Trace Element Research. 2010. 134, 119-129.

15. Benedict, C. et al. Gut Protein Uptake and Mechanisms of Meal-Induced Cortisol Release. The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism. 2004. 90(3), 1692-1696
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J, Challacombe S: Mechanisms: an introduction. Food Allergy and Food Intolerance, First Edition. 24; 433-53, Bailliere Tindall, 1989