by Dr. David Minkoff July 09, 2019 4 min read
The following is adapted from The Search for the Perfect Protein.
What’s the common link between menopause and beauty concerns (sagging skin, hair loss) in women who are aging? It might surprise you to learn it’s a lack of protein.
One study showed that over a month’s period of time, adding an essential amino acid blend (amino acids are critical for making protein in the body) to a 2,000 calorie diet of mainly vegetables and some fruits plus walking for an hour a day resulted in significant weight loss without sagging skin under the chin or in other areas of the body.
Amino acids also help women mitigate the effects of menopause. During menopause, falling levels of hormones cause lean body tissue to begin to break down. Loss of bone, skin collagen, muscle mass, brain cells, and neurotransmitters all lead to more rapid aging, and the feeling that one is getting old. Wrinkles, weakness, osteoporosis, sagging skin, and a loss of energy occurs—all things women want to avoid.
However, if whole-body nutrition—especially with essential amino acids—is maintained, women can age more gracefully into their 90s and beyond. This is critical not just for appearance, but also self-confidence. For many women, the reality check of a daily look in the mirror can determine their entire outlook for the day (for better or worse).
When they are able to think, “My skin has few wrinkles, my eyes are bright, my hair is thick and full, and I have some muscles over my shoulders,” that creates an optimistic attitude to start the day. These are the desirable effects of good protein nutrition, and they can go a long way in aiding both physical health and a positive mental outlook.
Through personal experience and all that I have seen with patients, I believe that having adequate essential amino acids in the diet allows the aging body to make the necessary enzymes for energy production, detoxification, neurotransmitters, and muscle building.
When that happens, it can help to greatly slow the aging process.
However, maintaining appropriate amino acid levels doesn’t just help with the effects of aging in older women. Younger women can also benefit from it. Here’s how.
During menstruation, the average woman loses about a pint of blood, which is largely protein. During the next month, the body must manufacture anew all the blood that was lost. It needs essential amino acids to do this, along with iron and other nutrients.
Amino acids, along with adequate vitamins, minerals, and essential fats, can also decrease the intensity of premenstrual syndrome (PMS) by helping restore production of progesterone, a hormone that is often absent in women suffering from PMS.
The story of one of our clients, Jill, illustrates this well.
Jill had always enjoyed good health, but her PMS was bad. About a week before her cycle she became moody, anxious, and very intolerant of anyone. She was also losing hair and having problems sleeping. Her mother and husband accompanied her to her first visit, and honestly, they looked about as desperate as she was.
She told me she had become a vegan a few years before, thinking it was going to be healthy for her. Through lab testing, we discovered she had deficiencies of essential amino acids, low magnesium and progesterone, and multiple vitamin deficiencies.
I asked her to change her diet to a Paleo-type eating program, so she added organic meats, fish, and eggs back into her diet, while keeping up a high intake of vegetables. We added digestive enzymes, amino acid supplements, and a little OTC progesterone cream. I asked her to come back for a recheck in three months.
When she returned, she was bright and cheery.
“Look at me!” she exclaimed. “My hair and nails are growing so well—they look nice, and they glisten. And see my muscles? She smiled as she flexed her biceps. You really helped me! Oh, and most importantly, my PMS is not an issue anymore.”
Whether it’s menopause, PMS, or the effects both can cause, proper amino acid intake can work wonders when combined with a nutritious diet and exercise.
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Dr. David Minkoff is board certified in pediatrics and served as codirector of the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Palomar Medical Center in San Diego, California. With his wife, Sue, he cofounded LifeWorks Wellness Center in 1997, and in 2000, he cofounded BodyHealth, a nutrition company that offers a unique range of dietary supplements to the public and medical practitioners. A forty-two-time IRONMAN finisher, Dr. Minkoff is passionate about fitness and continues to train on a regular basis. He and his wife reside in Clearwater, Florida.Perfect Amino Facebook VIP Group - Join now!
by Dr. David Minkoff
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