Correct Oestrogen Deficiency in Women
Women are lucky in many respects: the female hormone oestrogen, for instance, has a highly protective effect on health. Women die of heart attacks far later than men, and one of the reasons for this is thought to be their higher levels of oestrogen up to the menopause. After this watershed, their risk of heart disease starts to rise rapidly to the same level as men. But how oestrogen protects against heart disease has, until recently, been a mystery as has homocysteine’s part in the drama.
Two recent studies examining the connection between H levels and heart disease show that oestrogen lowers blood levels of homocysteine. One, a study from Peking’s University Hospital, found that six weeks on low-dose oestrogen hormone replacement therapy (HRT) resulted in a 14 per cent decrease in homocysteine.4O Another found an 11 per cent decrease when low-dose oestrogen HRT was given to elderly meni“ The reason why oestrogen may help keep homocysteine at bay is that it enhances the activity of an enzyme, TMG, that helps turn harmful homocysteine into its extremely helpful cousin, Same. However, before you rush out and start taking oestrogen HRT, there are some things you need to know.
First, while being on HRT may decrease homocysteine, there is little evidence that it actually does much to reduce risk of heart disease. Four studies involving 20,000 women on HRT for an average of live years found no difference in heart attack incidence compared to those not on HRT, but did find an increased incidence in strokes.
What’s more, the now well-established increased risk of breast and uterine cancer conferred by oestrogen and progestin HRT makes it impossible for us to recommend it to lower your homo« . cysteine levels.
So oestrogen HRT may lower homocysteine, but at a consider« able cost. The question is, how can you ensure optimal oestrogen without the risk?