Hormones 101: Everything You Need To Know With Dr. Sara Gottfried

We’ve been talking about hormones all month and, as we’ve said a few times now, hormones are not just about sex. They’re not just a system that goes crazy when you’re pregnant or that is depleted when you reach a certain age. We all have functioning hormones – a vital and complex system kept in balance by some of the most basic tenets of good health. 

This list below is from our March Guest Editor Dr. Sara Gottfried‘s new book The Hormone Reset Diet. Here Dr. Sara outlines each of the twelve metabolic hormones, how they function, and which aspects of our health they affect. We found this basic snapshot of our twelve hormones so useful, we wanted to share the excerpt. Read it through and share with your friends and family…

Roll Call: Your Metabolic Hormones


A group of hormones produced primarily in the ovaries to promote female characteristics such as menstruation, breast growth, and hip growth.
Other sources of estrogen include adrenal glands and fat cells.
Estrogen grows your hips and breasts; regulates menstruation; builds uterine lining to prepare for pregnancy; and keeps women lubricated, from joints to vagina.


Drives glucose into cells as fuel and deposits fat. Chronically high insulin increases estrogen (specifically estrone) and increases cells’ resistance to insulin.


Regulates appetite, satiety, and adiponectin, which adjusts how you burn fat.


The main stress hormone, member of the glucocorticoid family. Governs blood sugar, blood pressure, and immune function. Cortisol is produced in your adrenal glands under most conditions, stressful or otherwise.


Essential to the smooth operation of hormone pathways. Adequate thyroid hormone is necessary to make pregnenolone from cholesterol, and then tofurther refine it into progesterone. Affects metabolism and energy, weight, mood.

Growth Hormone

Helps burn fat and gain lean muscle. Determines how much fat is deposited on your belly.


One of the sex hormones belonging to the androgen family. Although it is often thought of as the male hormone, women need to have some testosterone in their bodies as well. The difference between men and women lies in the quantity of testosterone (men produce much higher quantities). Hormone of vitality and self-confidence. Producing too much is the main reason for female infertility in this country. Also involved in sex drive; producing too little is linked to low libido in women and men.


Secreted by fat cells and adjusts how you burn fat.


Raises appetite in order to initiate eating. Acts in counterpart to leptin. Produced in stomach cells.


Both a hormone and a neurotransmitter, which means it acts as a brain chemical that transmits information from nerve to nerve. Called by some “the love hormone” because it increases in the blood with orgasm in both men and women. Oxytocin is also released when the cervix dilates, thereby augmenting labor, and when a woman’s nipples are stimulated, which facilitates breast-feeding and promotes bonding between mother and baby.


Can convert into testosterone when needed; member of androgen family. Affects mood and sex drive. Too much DHEA has been associated with acne and depression in menopause.


Regulates our sleep/wake cycle. Helps control the timing and release of female reproductive hormones.

From THE HORMONE RESET DIET: Heal Your Metabolism To Lose Up To 15 Pounds in 21 Days. Copyright © 2015 by Sara Gottfried. Reprinted with permission by HarperOne, a division of HarperCollinsPublishers

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Stick with us this month as we host hormone pro, Dr. Sara Gottfried as our monthly Guest Editor. We promise you at least one revelatory moment per week...

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