How to Maximize Your Brain Power While on BHRT

BHRT Restores Key Hormones

Once you have chosen bioidentical hormone replacement using pellet therapy, you’ve already gone a long way towards supporting a healthy brain. That’s because your sex hormones—estradiol, progesterone and testosterone—remain essential throughout your life and are especially good for your brain. When they diminish and disappear at menopause and andropause, it changes the way your brain works. You may experience moodiness, negativity, depression, foggy thinking, memory loss, trouble concentrating, forgetfulness and other cognitive issues.

Healthy, youthful levels of hormones, on the other hand, work synergistically to protect brain function and keep your mind sharp as you age. Research studies are ongoing, but considerable data exists to support the important role in cognitive health played by key hormones. 1,2,3

Maximizing Brain Power as You Age

BHRT is only one piece of the puzzle. The other piece is you. There are known risk factors for what is called age-related cognitive decline. Lack of physical activity, excess body weight, chronic low-level inflammation and uncontrolled high blood pressure are examples. So what can you do that is proactive and possibly preventive?

Diet. Focus on nutrient dense whole foods that are rich in fiber, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, omega 3 fatty acids and other beneficial substances. Some great brain foods include beets, spinach, walnuts, celery, dark chocolate, apples, cinnamon, chia seeds and turmeric.

Physical Exercise. This is perhaps the best elixir you could take to improve your memory and alertness, and for building new brain cells. Exercise increases circulation and metabolism, lowers stress and elevates mood. Research has shown that physical exercise can both prevent later-life dementia4 and improve memory and learning in older adults.5

Mental exercise. Like your muscles, your brain needs to be stretched to keep it supple and strong. The best brain boosting activities take you out of your comfort zone to learn something new and unfamiliar. If it isn’t challenging, you aren’t stretching enough. Pick an activity that is mentally demanding, engaging and requires effort.

There are plenty of helpful online resources with many more suggestions on how to keep your brain healthy. For a starting point, check out some ideas at the Open Education Database,

1 Antonella Gasbarri; Assunta Pompili; Maria Clotilde Tavares; Carlos Tomaz. Estrogen and Cognitive Function. Expert Rev Endocrinol Metab. 2009;5(5):507-520.
2 Brinton RD, Thompson RF, Foy MR, Baudry M, Wang J, Finch CE, Morgan TE, Pike CJ, Mack WJ, Stanczyk FZ, Nilsen J. Progesterone receptors: form and function in brain. Front Neuroendocrinol. 2008 May;29(2):313-39. doi: 10.1016/j.yfrne.2008.02.001. Epub 2008 Feb 23.
3 Zitzmann M. Testosterone and the brain. Aging Male. 2006 Dec;9(4):195-9.
4 Laura F. DeFina, Benjamin L. Willis, Nina B. Radford, Ang Gao, David Leonard, William L. Haskell, Myron F. Weiner, Jarett D. Berry. The Association Between Midlife Cardiorespiratory Fitness Levels and Later-Life Dementia: A Cohort Study. Annals of Internal Medicine, 5 February 2013, Vol 158, No. 3.
5 Gregory MA, Gill DP, Petrella RJ. Brain health and exercise in older adults. Curr Sports Med Rep. 2013 Jul-Aug;12(4):256-71. doi: 10.1249/JSR.0b013e31829a74fd.maximize-your-brain-power-on-BHRT

Can Hormone Deficiency Cause Weight Gain?

Yes. Perhaps one of the most discouraging parts of approaching menopause is the weight gain. In fact, almost 90% of women between the ages of 35 and 55 gain weight. Total body fat increases, especially around the waistline, while at the same time lean muscle mass decreases. The same is true for men experiencing andropause.

Hormone imbalance makes it difficult to maintain a healthy weight. For women, waning estrogen levels often trigger the body to store fat. According to medical research, hormone loss does even more damage. Diminished estrogen levels or a lessening of estrogen receptor function in women also raises the risk for developing insulin resistance1, increased belly fat, 2,3 liver dysfunction, 4,5 and skeletal muscle dysfunction.6,7 Low levels of total, bioavailable and free testosterone in both men and women are likewise scientifically linked to increased risk of various diseases including cardiovascular disease, atherosclerosis and even mortality8. Bone mass, muscle mass, strength, libido and sex drive are also negatively impacted by testosterone deficiency.

Combatting weight gain begins with restoring your hormones to youthful levels.

Correctly administered bioidentical hormone replacement therapy can be your path to regaining and maintaining a healthy weight and increased well-being as you age. Make sure you see a physician who is expert in balancing hormones. We recommend using the pellet implant method as it is scientifically proven to be the safest and most effective BHRT method available.9,10,11,12 This technique is the closest thing we have to the way the body works, especially when given in individualized doses. And it is the only delivery system that allows the body to control the release of the hormone so that during vigorous exercise or increased stress when you need more hormone, you’re capable of getting it.

Eating healthy and getting regular exercise must be a priority.

When you combine the pellet method of hormone restoration with a new exercise regime and a healthy diet, remarkable things can happen. Once your estrogen (i.e. estradiol) and testosterone levels are returned to consistent, healthy, youthful levels, you’ll find your motivation to exercise return. Additionally, you’ll begin to notice results from your workouts, lose your foggy thinking and grumpy, apathetic, stay-at-home attitude. Like so many others, you’ll feel like you’ve regained your life!


1 Gorres BK, Bomhoff GL, Morris JK, Geiger PC. In vivo stimulation of estrogen receptor-alpha increases insulin-stimulated skeletal muscle glucose uptake. J. Physiol. 2011; 589(Pt 8):2041–54.
2 Wohlers LM, Jackson KC, Spangenburg EE. Lipolytic signaling in response to acute exercise is altered in female mice following ovariectomy. J. Cell. Biochem. 2011; 112(12):3675–84.
3 Wohlers LM, Spangenburg EE. 17Beta-estradiol supplementation attenuates ovariectomy-induced increases in ATGL signaling and reduced perilipin expression in visceral adipose tissue. J. Cell. Biochem. 2010; 110(2):420–7.
4 Jackson KC, Wohlers LM, Valencia AP, et al. Wheel running prevents the accumulation of monounsaturated fatty acids in the liver of ovariectomized mice by attenuating changes in SCD-1 content. Appl. Physiol. Nutr. Metab. 2011; 36(6):798–810.
5 Lavoie JM, Pighon A. NAFLD, estrogens, and physical exercise: the animal model. J. Nutr. Metab. 2012; 2012:914938.
6 Moran AL, Nelson SA, Landisch RM, Warren GL, Lowe DA. Estradiol replacement reverses ovariectomy-induced muscle contractile and myosin dysfunction in mature female mice. J. Appl. Physiol. 2007; 102(4): 1387–93.
7 Sitnick M, Foley AM, Brown M, Spangenburg EE. Ovariectomy prevents the recovery of atrophied gastrocnemius skeletal muscle mass. J. Appl. Physiol. 2006; 100(1):286–93.
8 Morgentaler A, Miner MM, Caliber M, Guay AT, Khera M, Traish AM. Testosterone therapy and cardiovascular risk: advances and controversies.Mayo Clin. Proc. 2015;90(2):224-251.
9 Salmon U, et. al.: Use of estradiol subcutaneous pellets in humans. Science 1939,90:162.
10 Mishel, D: Clinical study of estrogenic therapy with pellet implantation. Am J Obstet-Gynecol 1941:41:1009.
11 Studd, J: Estradiol and testosterone implants in the treatment of psychosexual problems in postmenopausal women. Br J Obstet Gynaecol 1977:84:314.
12 Greenblatt, R: Indications for hormone pellets in the therapy of endocrine and gynaecological disorders. American J Obstet Gyn, 1949:57:294.

The Science Behind the Safety & Effectiveness of Bioidentical Hormones

The grip that pharmaceutical companies have on the HRT industry is slowly loosening. Increasing numbers of physicians and their patients are choosing bioidentical hormones over synthetic or animal-derived versions. The reason for the new wave of bioidentical hormone users can likely be attributed to more widespread awareness of the risks and side effects of synthetic hormone substitutes, combined with a public that increasingly demands “natural” products of all kinds.

Research Evidence on the Safety of Bioidentical Hormones

Synthetic hormones are not the same as human hormones. They do not have the same molecular structure, receptor affinity, absorption capabilities or other functional traits. For many years, research has continued to associate these chemical mismatches with increased incidence of breast, endometrium and prostate cancer in addition to a greater risk for cardiovascular disease, blood clots and other maladies.1

Bioidentical hormones, on the other hand, are identical to those made in your body. They work in synchronicity with one another—which is why BHRT must address multiple hormones, not just one, and strive to achieve hormonal balance. When you restore hormone equilibrium using bioidenticals, you are actually physiologically replacing what is missing. These hormones will communicate perfectly with receptor cells, metabolize properly and perform the tasks the body needs. In a seminal review of research literature published in 2008, Schwartz & Holtorf examined 267 scientific articles regarding hormone replacement using bioidentical hormones versus synthetic and animal-derived hormone substitutes.2 In their summary, they stated, “we believe the well-informed use of hormones in wellness and disease prevention will result in symptomatic improvement and should be considered an integral part in the armamentarium of options we offer our patients.”

Research Evidence on the Effectiveness of Bioidentical Hormones

Despite efforts to discredit bioidentical hormones, scientific research continues to accrue in support of the use of these hormones. Bioidentical hormones have been successfully used around the world since the 1930s. They still enjoy widespread popularity in Europe, Australia and, now, in the United States.

So, what does the research say? In a review of scientific literature published in 2006, 138 articles were evaluated for disparities in safety and efficacy between synthetic and bioidentical estrogens, as well as progestins and progesterone.3 Special attention was paid to clinical outcomes in the breast, endometrium, bone, cardiovascular system, and brain. The studies suggested that, “bioidentical progesterone does not have a negative effect on blood lipids or vasculature as do many synthetic progestins, and may carry less risk with respect to breast cancer incidence. Studies of both bioidentical estrogens and progesterone suggest a reduced risk of blood clots compared to non-bioidentical preparations. Bioidentical hormone preparations have demonstrated effectiveness in addressing menopausal symptoms. The author advocates for continued research on bioidentical hormones and concludes there is currently sufficient evidence to support their preferred use over that of their synthetic cousins.”

Likewise, in another important scientific review published in 2008, Schwartz and Holtorf assessed the evidence in 267 studies and came to these same conclusions. “A thorough review of the medical literature clearly supports the claim that bioidentical hormones have some distinctly different, often opposite, physiological effects to those of their synthetic [non-bioidentical counterpart] hormones. With respect to the risk for breast cancer, heart disease, heart attack, and stroke, substantial scientific and medical evidence demonstrates that bioidentical hormones are safer and more efficacious forms of HRT than commonly used synthetic versions.”

The Takeaway

The question is why would you choose a synthetic hormone replacement therapy that puts you at serious risk for health problems? Data and clinical outcomes associate bioidentical hormones with lower risks of breast and prostate cancer, cardiovascular disease, as well as a reduced risk of blood clots and osteoporosis. In fact, bioidentical hormones have been shown to have positive effects on overall health and well-being.

When it’s time to consider hormone replacement, chose a physician who is expert in the use of bioidenticals and understands the need for balanced, youthful levels of hormones; one who will offer you individualized treatment based on your unique biochemistry; whose method is grounded in science, not guesswork.

This is precisely what we do at Advanced Hormone Solutionssafety-of-bioidentical-hormones.

1 Rossouw JE, Anderson GL, Prentice RL, et al. Risks and benefits of estrogen plus progestin in healthy postmenopausal women: principal results From the Women’s Health Initiative randomized controlled trial. JAMA 2002;288:321-333.
2 Schwartz ET1, Holtorf K. Hormones in wellness and disease prevention: common practices, current state of the evidence, and questions for the future. Prim Care. 2008 Dec;35(4):669-705. doi: 10.1016/j.pop.2008.07.015.
3 Moskowitz D. A comprehensive review of the safety and efficacy of bioidentical hormones for the management of menopause and related health risks. Altern Med Rev. 2006 Sep;11(3):208-23.

5 Key Ways to Take Charge of Your Health as You Age

A respected physician tells his diabetic patients that out of the 8,760 hours there are in a year, they see their health care providers on average only 10 of those hours. That leaves more than 99% of the time that they, the patients, are in charge of their own health. After all, it is their health. It’s the doctor’s responsibility to help patients understand how to do the best job possible to manage it.

Great perspective and great advice that is relevant to all of us. We are the deciders when it comes to our well-being.

Here are a few ways to help you take charge of your own health as you age:

1) Educate yourself. The Internet is both a blessing and a curse. You have an unlimited resource at your fingertips, but there’s also a lot of misinformation. Read widely but with a healthy skepticism. Remember, there’s never just one answer to good health and one study does not establish a scientific truth. You are unique and what works for someone else, may not be right for you. Nonetheless, be informed and do your homework.

2) Do some serious soul searching. What are your biggest health hurdles? Do you have any serious conditions or minor ones that could become serious? Are you overweight? Do you exercise enough? Do you see your doctor for regular checkups? Are you worried about your health as you age? What are you willing to do to be healthy? Do you have the discipline to make changes and stick to them? Once you’ve surveyed your status quo, make a checklist and then make a sincere commitment to take steps.

3) Food is your ally. An abundance of long term studies and surveys continue to show a strong connection between diet and disease. In other words, what you eat can influence whether you fall victim to many aging-related illnesses like type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cancer, osteoporosis, and others. Some good reads on the topic include Dr. Neal Barnard’s Program for Reversing Diabetes. In this evidence-based book, author and clinical researcher, Dr. Neal Barnard, explains the nutrition-diabetes relationship. Dr. Caldwell B. Esselstyn, Jr. presents a strong argument for implementing a plant-based diet in Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease. Perhaps the most compelling case for adopting a healthy diet is The China Study, authored by Drs. T. Colin Campbell and Thomas M. Campbell II. This comprehensive study of nutrition has been called “one of the most important books about nutrition every written.”

4) Exercise. Science shows that exercise at any age or stage of life will benefit you. And it’s never too late to start an exercise program. Join a gym, sign up for yoga or get together with friends for morning walks. You’ll find that the benefits of exercise are instantaneous and invigorating. Remember, it doesn’t have to be strenuous to be beneficial. When you do something as simple as walking, it raises your heart rate, increases your respiration, burns calories and gives your muscles a workout.

5) Hormonal balance is vital. Your long term health depends on more than just diet and exercise. Hormonal balance is key to maintaining many important internal body functions. As you age, the production of certain vital hormones—i.e. estradiol and testosterone—stops or slows down. You need physiologic levels of these hormones to stay healthy. They impact every system, cell, gland and organ in your body. Your brain, muscles, bones, heart, lungs, and so on, all depend on hormones to keep them healthy. As an essential part of managing your health as you age, see a hormone replacement expert like SottoPelle® to have your hormone health checkup.

4 Reasons Pellet BHRT Is the Most Effective and Safest Method Available

If you’ve tried other methods of hormone replacement therapy—for instance pills, patches, creams, gels, suppositories or others—you know they can be inconvenient, messy and pose other issues. Dosing can be tricky too. Oral methods mean you have to take high doses of hormones in order to attain proper blood levels; dosing schedules can get complicated; using gels and creams can result in too much or too little hormone and so on.

Pellet implants, on the other hand, provide biologically identical hormones in a way the body recognizes and can utilize. What makes them so effective are the consistent blood levels of bioavailable hormones. Also, the dosing can be individualized to your own body’s needs. And they last longer than any other hormone replacement method.

1) Pellet BHRT has been prescribed since the 1930s
Hormone replacement using the pellet delivery method (subcutaneous implants) has been widely available for more than three-quarters of a century. In fact, beginning in the early 1940s, it became a very popular HRT treatment in the U.S. for about 30 years. Then, in the 1970s, pharmaceutical manufacturers introduced their newly developed and patented synthetic hormones. Shrewd marketing convinced the public, the medical establishment and the FDA to accept these new drugs as healthy and efficacious despite the long list of side effects, warnings and health risks. That being said, subcutaneous implants have remained accepted and commonly prescribed in Europe, Australia and other parts of the world.

2) Research supports the pellet implant hormone delivery system
Since the early 1940s, reports have appeared in a wide range of respected international journals validating the many benefits of pellet HRT. In fact, there is more supportive data on this method than any other form of hormone replacement therapy. The longevity of this science-based modality attests to the fact that, when properly managed, it is scientifically recognized as the safest and most effective method available for administering hormone replacement therapy. 1,2,3,4

3) Pellets are made from natural plant sources and are biologically identical to human hormones
The bioidentical hormones in pellets are made from either wild yam or soybeans. They are manufactured to the highest quality standards by facilities that are registered and inspected by the FDA. The hormones are formulated to precisely match human hormones. In other words, bioidenticals are able to fully communicate with receptor cells throughout the body and perform the many important tasks it requires. This isn’t the case with synthetic hormones, which can accomplish some tasks but not all. The intended imperfection of these formulations is the reason that synthetics can be patented, but also why they can cause havoc within the body and why they are required by the FDA to come with warnings about side effects and serious health risks.

4) Pellet implants use very small doses of hormone
Pellets are designed to release small amounts of hormone directly into the blood stream around the clock over a period of months (typically they last 3 to 6 months). This very closely matches the body’s own feedback system for releasing hormones and provides the steady, physiologic blood levels the body is used to.

Because pellets don’t have to pass through the gastrointestinal system or liver, smaller doses can be used to accomplish successful results. This makes pellet implants a much healthier alternative than oral methods like pills, tablets or capsules, which must be given in high doses to achieve any results at all.  Click here to learn more about SottoPelle BHRT Pellets.

  1. Salmon, U., et al. Use of estradiol subcutaneous pellets in humans. Science 1939, 90: 162.
  2. Greenblatt R. Indications for hormone pellets in the therapy of endocrine and gynaecological disorders. AM J Obstet-Synecol 1949; 57:294.
  3. Morris Notelovitz et al. Metabolic & Hormonal Effects of 25mg & 50mg, 17-¬‐B-¬‐Estadiol Implants. Obstetrics & Gynecology, Volume 70, No. 5, Nov 1987
  4. Suhonen S1, Sipinen S, Lähteenmäki P, Laine H, Rainio J, Arko H. Postmenopausal oestrogen replacement therapy with subcutaneous oestradiol implants. Maturitas. 1993 Mar;16(2):123-31.Pellets_Bio