Only a fool would fail to notice the differences between men and women. I'm not talking about the obvious physical differences, but rather the way men and women react differently to various aspects of life. While you cannot generalize, women do tend to be more emotional than men, with less potential for physical conflict. This difference in aggression is usually attributed to higher testosterone levels in men, which are about 10-times higher than that of women. There is some truth to this. On the other hand, studies show that the angriest and most aggressive of men are those with the lowest testosterone levels. Since women's testosterone levels are so much more comparatively lower than men's, shouldn't they be perpetually angry? The answer is no because the levels of testosterone in women are dwarfed when compared to the amount of estrogen they produce. The significance of this is that estrogen tends to have calming effects on the brain because it promotes the synthesis of calming brain neurotransmitters, such as serotonin.
When it comes to nutrition, health and fitness, there are also some notable differences between the sexes. For example, alpha-linoleic acid (ALA) is considered an essential fatty acid in human nutrition because it serves as the precursor for the bioactive omega-3 fatty acids, EPA and DHA. While ALA does provide some beneficial health effects itself, the primary health benefits offered by omega-3 fatty acid ingestion derive from the elemental forms, EPA and DHA. The reason why ALA is considered essential rather than EPA and DHA is because ALA is found in far more foods compared to EPA and DHA. For the latter, the primary food sources are fatty fish, such as halibut, sardines, mackerel, salmon, and others. But can't ALA provide these same omega-3 fatty acids? It can, but does so inefficiently. The human body poorly converts ALA into DHA and EPA, about 2% conversion in men. Yet, women can convert ALA into EPA at a rate of about 10%, with DHA about 5% or so. This is thought to be due to women's higher estrogen levels.
Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) is an adrenal steroid hormone that is produced by both men and women. The precise function of DHEA isn't clear, but it's thought to be a readily available precursor for the synthesis of other steroid hormones, including both estrogen and testosterone. Studies published over the years have attributed some useful health benefits to DHEA. These include maintenance of immune function with age and an increase in vitality. Similar to other steroid hormones, DHEA levels tend to decline with age. Since DHEA is the only legally sold over-the-counter steroid hormone available, many choose to supplement with it. In truth, no . . .