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Hormones and Your Body: 6 Surprising Effects

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Effects of Everyday Habits

These everyday habits influence your hormones:

Exercising regularly: This disease-beating habit has been found to help keep hormones, including estrogen, at a healthy, stable level, thus lowering cancer risk.

Eating healthy: If you're underweight, you're likely not producing enough estrogen, which can raise your risk of osteoporosis. Carrying extra pounds can stimulate too much estrogen, increasing your risk of breast cancer. A balanced diet that includes no more than 35 percent of calories from fat (mostly the heart-healthy vegetable and lean-protein kind) can help your body maintain ideal hormone levels.

Smoking: Lighting up causes you to produce less estrogen, a risk factor for osteoporosis. Smokers also tend to experience menopause two years earlier than nonsmokers (also due to less estrogen), which ups heart disease risk.

Drinking too much: Indulging in more than one alcoholic drink per day is associated with too-high estrogen levels, which can increase breast cancer risk.

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