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MENOPAUSE AND ANDROPAUSE

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New Parma / december 2011

Anti-ageing medicine is basically preventive medicine based on the changes in our lifestyle. The most important changes are about nutrition, the use of integrators, physical exercise and stress management. These hints are fundamental to fight hormonal deficit which inevitably occur in years and which lead to damages in our organs. If an intervention on lifestyle is not enough, then we will need a hormonal balance through the use of bioidentical hormones, that is, hormones which are identical to the ones produced by our body.

It has been widely demonstrated on a scientific level that lifestyle influences hormonal levels, yet we may also give the example of the citizens in Okinawa (an island which is famous for its centenary people), who mainly consume vegetables, fruit, fish, green tea and curcuma. The hormonal values of 70-year-old people are the same as 50-year-old western people.

One of the most important moments in ageing is certainly menopause in women and andropause in men. Both are associated to a great decrease in sexual hormones: estrogens in women and testosterone in men. While in women menopause is defined by the end of the menstrual cycle, in men it is more indefinite, but it is commonly recognised by the medical-scientific community. The common symptoms in men and women who are in this situation are: tendency to accumulate fat, tiredness, difficulty in sleeping, depression, decrease in one’s libido, and they normally occur between the age of 45 and 55. In order to check if lifestyle changes may positively influence the symptoms connected to menopause and andropause, the “Menopause-Andropause Health Study”, of the duration of three months, where 51 people followed a programme based on a multiple protocol in relation to their lifestyle. At the end of the experiment on the participants, 37 parameters where tested through a questionnaire. These 37 parameters were divided in 5 areas of major interest:

1)     symptoms of menopause and andropause.

2)     Mental conditions.

3)     Level of energy.

4)     Percentage of body fat, allergies and digestion.

5)     State of one’s hair and skin.

The protocols the participants followed were about nutrition, integration, physical exercise and stress reduction.

As for food integration, I suggest the article “Menopause and Andropause” published on my website www.massimospattini.it where I explain all the integrators to be consumed during the experiment, and which I cannot mention here due to limits of space.

As for nutrition, the participants had to follow these indications:

1)     avoid meat, beef and chicken included, and replace it with wild fish from fresh water (salmon, trout, sole, mackerel, sardines, prawns, cod, octopus, halibut, sea bass, mahi-mahi) and with vegetable proteinous sources including nocispecies, soy, quinoa, legumes; low protein shakes with soy proteins and proteins isolated from delactose serum were admitted.

2)     Avoid dairy products, including milk, yoghurt, cheese, butter, ice creams, creams and anything containing caseins.

3)     Consume organic fruit and vegetables. Possibly 9 portions of fruit and vegetables and 4 portions of legumes and wholegrain cereal.

4)     Avoid wheat replacing it with rice, kamut, amaranth, quinoa, buckwheat. Bread from wholegrain sprouts and Essene bread were admitted.

5)      Avoid sugar and artificial sweeteners. Replace them with stevia, agave, integral honey, syrup of integral rice, kiwi sugar.

6)     Avoid caffeine (chocolate, coffee, tea, coke) and alcohol (wine, beer, liquors). Green tea, white tea, Japanese tea were admitted.

7)     Avoid fizzy drinks.

8)     Avoid fried and processed food.

9)     Avoid chemical additives, preservatives, sodium glutamate, replace common salt with sea salt and use spices to flavour food.

10) Use the following healthy foods: sprouts, seaweeds, onions, garlic. When cooking, use coconut and macadamia oil. For salads use linseed oil, cold-pressed extra virgin olive oil, sesame oil and sunflower seed oil, and nut oil (almonds, peanuts and walnuts).

11) Moreover, the participants consumed about 3.5 litres a week of a centrifuged juice of fruit and vegetables containing: celery, parsley, cucumbers, lemon, apples, broccoli, with small amounts of carrots and tomatoes to make it taste sweeter.

The protocol of physical exercise included 45 minutes of daily aerobic exercise at 70% of MAX C.P. and training with weights for 30 minutes every day. Many studies demonstrate that exercise reduces the frequency of “hot flushes” and improves depression stimulating endorphins and serotonin. In men it has been demonstrated that physical exercise with weights increases testosterone. Moreover, regular aerobic activity helps the body detoxify through an increase in respiration and sweating. Physical exercise improves oxygenation in all the tissues, including our brain, cellular metabolism and bone density, preventing from osteoporosis.

For stress reduction, at least 2 half-an-hour sessions of relaxation techniques were recommended: TAI CHI, QI GONG, meditation, prayer, yoga, autogenous training, listening to classical music or going for a walk. Also massage is a great technique of relaxation. It was also recommended, as much as possible, to act on stressing behaviour such as work in excess, dysfunctional relationships, following a positive attitude aiming at overcoming obstacles and achieving one’s goal. NLP (Neurolinguistic programming) was in this case highly recommended.

At the end of the study the majority of participants had improved in 35 parameters out of 37 in the questionnaire, in particular those regarding menopause and andropause symptoms. Moreover, 100% of the participants declared their level of energy had increased, and they reached better mental conditions. Besides the proof of written data, all the participants were enthusiastic about their personal experience, experiencing further positive aspects such as loss of weight, growth of hair, disappearance of articular pain and an increase in self-esteem.

Obviously, this study is based on quite a demanding protocol and it cannot be followed by anybody. However, changing one’s lifestyle can be enough to age less and better. Simply avoiding farinaceous food and dairy products can be of great help: 75% of the world adult population is intolerant to dairy products and only in the USA at least 2-3 million people are intolerant to gluten. It is also important to consume a high amount of fruit, vegetables and integral food – possibly organic – to get at least 25g of fibres a day and the highest possible quantity of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, fitonutrients necessary to fight free radicals and to detoxify our body, trying to avoid consuming preservatives, colouring agents, pesticides, heavy metals etc…

Take some integrators such as a multi-vitamin-multi-mineral and separately taking VIT C, E, D, complex B, alphalipoic acid, omega 3, acetylcarnitine, arginine (don’t be afraid, compared to the protocol in the study these are really the lowest amount) to make up for nutritional lacks and stimulate cellular metabolism. Do at least 30’ a day of physical activity, alternating aerobic activities with weights. If you have a vibrant board, 10’ a day can be enough instead of weights.

Dedicate at least one moment for ourselves when we can relax every day.

These things, which I believe can be achieved by anybody (if you really want to), can really make the difference between a shorter life spent fighting degenerative and disabling diseases, and a longer life based on quality.

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