1) What are the appropriate levels of the hormones WLF regulates? 2) Can they be tested? If so, how or what do I ask my doctor? 3) Can proper levels ever be maintained since stress and sleep are contributors to the problems?
What are the appropriate (normal) levels of the hormones WLF1 helps regulate?
Clinical research shows key ingredients in WLF1 significantly increase adiponectin (the fat-regulating hormone) and reduces ghrelin (the hunger hormone), so let me focus on these hormones first.
For adiponectin, the normal reference ranges are based on a person’s body mass index (BMI) and are listed below. It’s a bit counterintuitive, but as a person gains weight, their fat cells secrete less of this fat-regulating hormone.
Normal Weight (BMI <25): 4-26 mcg/mL (men); 5-37 mcg/mL (women)
Overweight (BMI = 25-30): 4-20 mcg/mL (men); 5-28 mcg/mL (women)
Obese (BMI >30): 2-20 mcg/mL (men); 4-22 mcg/mL (women)
For ghrelin, specific reference standards have yet to be established. Lab tests, however, are available and typical values fall in the range of 600 pg/ml and 1400 pg/ml.
Next, it’s important to talk about your cortisol level. WLF1 includes a standardized extract of rhodiola root clinically shown to help fortify your body’s response to stress, reduce anxiety and tension and promote emotional well-being. This effect can help reduce an elevated cortisol level that may be preventing you from losing weight. Cortisol is tested from saliva or blood with normal values listed below.
Morning: 7-25 mcg/dL
Evening: 2-14 mcg/dL
7 a.m. to 9 a.m.: 100-750 ng/dL
3 p.m. to 5 p.m.: less than 401 ng/dL
11 p.m. to midnight: less than 100 ng/dL
Finally, various blood sugar tests can provide an indication of your blood glucose and insulin function. These values include a fasting blood sugar, a 2-hour post-meal test (to see how well you body handles carbohydrates you consume in a test meal) and an A1C test (to see what your blood sugar control has been like over the previous few months). Results from these lab tests help paint a picture of your overall metabolic health. Normal ranges are listed below.
Normal fasting blood sugar: 70-100 mg/dL
Normal 2-hour post-meal test: 139 mg/dL or below
Normal AIC: Below 5.7%
Can I be tested for my levels? If so, how or what do I ask my doctor?
Yes, laboratory tests are available for all these hormones. Most doctors, however, don’t routinely test for adiponectin or ghrelin and such tests are unlikely to be covered by insurance. Cortisol is a more common test and can be tested from a blood or saliva sample. Both have been reported to be accurate measures, but the saliva test is easier to do. For this test, your doctor will instruct you on the time of day to collect the sample. Finally, blood glucose tests—fasting, post-meal challenge (also known as an oral glucose tolerance test) and the AIC test (also known as a glycated hemoglobin test) are routinely performed in a clinical setting.
Can proper levels ever be maintained since stress and sleep are contributors to the problems?
Yes. A healthy diet and lifestyle, including stress management and adequate sleep, are critical to maintain healthy levels of these fat-burning hormones. Achieving—and maintaining a healthy body weight—is equally important. For example, as you lose weight, your adiponectin level begins to rise, and a higher circulating level is not only associated with a leaner body weight, but also heart health and optimal insulin function. Add a regular exercise routine, and a healthy diet rich in anti-inflammatory foods, and you have the perfect combination to enjoy optimal health.