Lowcarbezine! Archives

Lowcarbezine! 15 March 2000

News You Can Use

I've told you just recently in my article about plateaus that many women find that estrogen replacement therapy makes it much harder -- or even impossible -- for them to lose weight. It's well known that estrogen causes fat deposition and water retention; that's why meat producers give synthetic estrogens to livestock -- to make them weigh more. But many women have felt that hormone replacement therapy was essential to protect their health -- not only because estrogen seems to slow bone loss, but also because doctors believed that estrogen protected women from heart attacks.

The latest research seems to refute that assumption. In a story that hit the media two days ago (March 13th), we are informed that two years ago a medical study called the Heart and Estrogen-progestin Replacement Study or HERS showed that hormone replacement did nothing to prevent heart attacks in women who already had heart disease. And a new study has just come out, showing that hormone replacement therapy does nothing to prevent fatty buildup in the arteries.

"These results are indeed somewhat surprising in view of the large body of evidence indicating that estrogen does have a favorable effect on cholesterol and heart disease," said the study's director, Dr. David Herrington of Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center in Winston-Salem, N.C. "We can't say for certain there is no benefit, but we can rule out a large effect."

It had been assumed for many years that estrogen replacement could prevent heart disease because it lowers total cholesterol and LDL ("bad") cholesterol, while raising HDL ("good") cholesterol.

What this means for women currently taking hormone replacement therapy, and struggling to lose weight, is that if the main reason for the hormone therapy has been to prevent heart attack, this may well be the time to consult your doctor as to whether this is still an appropriate therapy.

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