The Influence Of The Pituitary Gland On Your Body
The pituitary gland, through the little-known hypothal-amus that lies directly above it, is also the appetite center and the sleep center of the body. Loss of appetite, and insomnia! Two universal complaints found in thousands of the past-forty group who have strayed from the rules of good nutrition.Exhaustive research has discovered that the pituitary is extremely sensitive to diet. If you do not eat enough high-protein foods (meat, especially, seems to have a stimulating effect on this gland), then your pituitary cannot produce a normal supply of its own dozen or more vitally needed hormones which, themselves, are made of protein. In addition to protein, the pituitary is stimulated by vitamin E (richest source is wheat germ); and increased amounts of vitamin A either in foods or in concentrated form, have directly beneficial effects on the entire endocrine group.
Also essential to a healthy pituitary gland is the mineral manganese. Foods rich in this mineral are citrus fruits, outer coatings of grains, green leaves of edible plants, egg yolk and all fish, especially those from salt water.It might be well to mention here that a derangement of the posterior (back) lobe of the pituitary gland always causes an abnormal craving for sweets. And again we see the old vicious circle beginning to form-too many starches and sweets, and too little protein resulting in a starved, deranged pituitary gland; and then a still greater craving for more and more of the same high-starch foods that caused the trouble in the first place.
Your Thyroid Sets the Pace
This well-known member of the endocrine family is located in the front of the neck. (A goiter is nothing more than a greatly enlarged thyroid gland.) The thyroid is larger in women than in men, and becomes still larger during adolescence, menstruation, pregnancy and menopause. Thyroxine, as the hormone secreted by the thyroid gland is called, is about 60 per cent iodine. This vital hormone is formed when organic iodine combines in the thyroid gland with an amino acid (protein), assisted by still another amino acid. From this, we establish the fact that protein is essential to a healthily functioning thyroid gland. Chief task of the thyroid hormone is to determine the speed at which you live-in other words, the rate at which your body consumes its oxygen. For this reason, the thyroid gland has the power to increase your sensitivity to all normal mental and physical stimuli. To an astonishing degree, the thyroid also governs the constantly changing flow of your emotions. When functioning normally, the thyroid keeps you from becoming either too fat, or too thin. Texture and quality of your skin and hair is regulated by the thyroid hormone. Surest symptoms of too little thyroxine in the blood are dry, coarse, goose-pimply skin; and dry, lifeless, brittle hair.
The thyroid gland is also closely linked with the normal functioning of all other glands in your body. Because the thyroid gives your body much of its energy and virility, serious interference with the work of this gland causes the sex glands to slow down, even to lose all functioning powers. That is why the sex instinct is very often dormant in a grossly overweight man or woman-their abnormally fat bodies bespeak a diseased thyroid gland. From the foregoing, you can begin to appreciate that the thyroid gland determines to a marked degree how youthfully attractive you are-and remain. Since the thyroid hormone helps regulate the texture of your skin and hair, controls your weight, determines the amount of energy you possess and stimulates your sexual powers, it’s no exaggeration to say that the first outward signs of premature old age have their beginning in an under-par thyroid gland.
When secreted in normal amounts, the thyroid hormone helps you stay mentally alert and physically attractive-two things that comprise the very essence of youth. A healthy, properly nourished thyroid gland is especially important to the woman who is either approaching, or going through, her menopause. The thyroid hormone helps combat the overweight, dullness and apathy that commonly afflict a woman during this emotionally trying period. A serious decrease in the thyroid hormone at this time is also known to bring on arthritis. A normal thyroid gland can also help maintain sexual desire in a woman during the menopause, and for years after she has passed through her climacteric. The same holds true for sexual power in men, who must also undergo a climacteric that usually sets in from about fifty to fifty-five. I don’t need to dwell at length on the fact that a normal sex life does more to help a man, or a woman, maintain a feeling of youth than any other single factor. And not only do they feel young, they actually look younger. The sense of loving, and being loved, brings a sparkle to the eye and a spring to the step that no other tonic in the world can bestow, whatever your age.
Protein has a specific and dynamic effect on all the endocrine glands, but particularly on the thyroid. This is true because protein activates the thyroid, keeping it from becoming sluggish, from atrophying. Gland specialists will tell you it is a well-known fact that the thyroid glands of senile persons are almost invariably atrophied. Further, these same specialists will tell you that keeping the thyroid gland healthy will prevent the dry and flabby skin, thinning hair, poor circulation, sensitivity to cold, easy fatigue, faulty elimination, lowered bodymetabolism and total loss of sexual powers which not only are characteristic of old age, but which are also the unmistakable symptoms of an underactive thyroid in a prematurely aging body. The foods, then, that are necessary for proper nourishment of your thyroid gland include high-grade proteins; iodine as found in sea foods, in vegetables grown near the ocean, and in mineral concentrates; and thiamin (vitamin B-i) which is especially abundant in millet and sunflower seeds, in all gland meats such as liver, heart, brains, in lean beef and lamb, in egg yolk, sardines, fish roe, codfish and chicken, together with whole grains, fresh fruits and vegetables. If there is any doubt at all in your mind about obtaining generous amounts of either iodine or thiamin in your diet (the soil in which foods are grown determines the actual quantities of a
mineral or a vitamin available to you), then I would advise supplementing your meals with these two nutrients in concentrated form. Your thyroid gland needs both these food elements too urgently for you to ‘guess I’m getting enough.’
The Adrenals, Your Glands of Survival
These bean-sized glands are located one above each kidney; they are called your ’emergency glands.’ It is adrenalin, one of their hormones, that spurs every nerve and muscle into immediate, perfect coordination when you face a crisis or a great danger. That split-second leap to safety from the path of a speeding auto; that burst of energy to save a loved one in peril-these are the kinds of superhuman reactions which adrenalin gives you. When adrenalin is poured into the bloodstream from your adrenal glands at the moment that some emergency message is telegraphed to them by your brain, your entire nervous and muscular system grows tense, prepared for instantaneous action. Your brain becomes more alert; your senses of sight and hearing become acute; your heart beats more rapidly; your breathing becomes faster; and your blood pressure rises. As an added safeguard during any emergency, adrenalin (secreted by the medulla, the pulpy inner part of the adrenal glands) sends continuous supplies of quick-burning glucose as fuel for your greatly speeded-up heart muscle. Then, after the crisis is over, the thick outer part of the adrenals, called the cortex, immediately takes command and calms down all the organs which adrenalin has excited into great bursts of superhuman activity. Healthy adrenal glands are one of the most effective beauty aids you could desire, since the color and quality of the skin is one indication of the way in which your adrenal glands are performing. A clear, rosy color usually indicates properly functioning adrenals; whereas dark, sallow skin, heavily lined, should warn you that all is not well with them.
The adrenal glands also have a lot to do with helping your hair remain young. The cortex is suspected of being the culprit when your hair starts to become gray, since the pigment which colors hair is partially formed and stored in this outer layer of the adrenal glands. Obviously, sluggish adrenals would more than likely be unable to provide enough pigment to keep your hair colored, and this ‘rationing’ of normal pigment would result in faded or gray hair.
This pair of little glands also helps neutralize any poisons that may sneak into your bloodstream-and believe me there are hundreds of them waiting to destroy you every second of your life. A disease such as blood poisoning or influenza, as well as surgical operations, places such heavy demands on the adrenal glands to ‘clean up’ the bloodstream that the glands afterwards become weary, and their hormone secretions fall far below normal. That is one reason why acute nervous symptoms or severe physical exhaustion nearly always follow a surgical operation or a serious illness. The hormone that controls your amount of pep, as well as your ability to fight off disease, is called cortin; it is secreted by the cortex (outer layer) of the adrenals. Even a mild upset of the adrenals-chances are pretty good that you’re suffering such an adrenal upset at this very moment, since it’s a common ailment in today’s world-will cause lack of pep, and what is mistaken for ‘plain laziness.’ That is, you can’t bring yourself to plunge into the round of ordinary social, domestic and business activities that face you. So beware whenever you tire too easily and seem to need more than seven or eight hours’ sleep night after night, then the chances are you may be suffering from what is called hypo-adrenia. Other common warning signs of this glandular disturbance are cold hands or feet, and low blood pressure. Along with this mistakenly called ‘physical laziness’ comes a marked mental lethargy that leaves you unable to think clearly, or to concentrate on important matters. Since poorly functioning adrenal glands are certain to make you lose your youthful appearance and to expose you to chronic disease, you’d be well advised to pamper these two bean-sized glands-that is, if you don’t relish the idea of an early, ailing old age.
The adrenals, especially the cortex or outer layer, are usually the first gland to be damaged by injury. (Because these two small glands are not very well protected within the body, they usually suffer from any blow that damages the kidneys.) These sensitive glands are also injured by disease, and by certain chemicals. We know that lead poisoning, or excess amounts of nicotine, severely damage the cortex. This is also true of the sulfa drugs in large doses, and the same can be said for potassium chlorate, a chemical most unwisely used in some toothpastes. The adrenals, particularly the cortex, are also the first glands to be damaged by malnutrition. A lot of intensive research has been done in recent years on the effect of diet on hormone production, especially the hormones secreted by the adrenals. The conclusions reached were that through proper diet it is quite possible to renew the vitality of the adrenal glands. Protein, together with vitamin C, seems to have the most beneficial effect on the adrenal glands. This is true because high-protein diets have been found to be the best measure for successfully combating hypo-adrenia-the ailment that keeps your blood pressure too low, your hands and feet like ice, and your mind and muscles about as peppy as those of a sloth.
Article by: Luzia Braun