Estriol the Forgotten Estrogen
This is the most prominent of all estrogens, and comprises about 80% of human and mammal estrogen. It is the good, friendly, beneficial, and safe estrogen, and has a lot of benefits. This is the orphan or forgotten hormone (along with pregnenolone). The research on estradiol and estrone is not only overwhelming, but very often unnecessary and repetitious. Much more work needs to be done with estriol, especially for various diseases and conditions. The research that has been done has been most impressive.
The more we learn about this basic hormone the more benefits we are going to find for women who are deficient. Even though most of the research was done with oral doses, the doctors still got dramatic results. They will get even better results when they use the proper sublingual and transdermal forms. Estriol is rarely deficient in men, by the way, and men do not need to test this. Deficiencies in women, especially over the age of 40, are all too common. You can even find estriol deficiencies in teenage girls, especially those who are overweight.
Western women are generally low in estriol, while high in estradiol and estrone. Doctors do not have the word “estriol” in their vocabulary. This lack of knowledge includes endocrinologists, gynecologists, naturopaths, holistic, and life extension specialists. Pharmacies do not carry it, and cannot even special order the oral tablets. Never take oral estriol, estradiol, estrone, progesterone or testosterone. Oral estriol does not work. One mg of sublingual estriol equals ten mg of oral estriol, so you get lots of unwanted and harmful metabolites. Regular pharmacists cannot help you here. Only a compounding pharmacist can get this, but they are rarely knowledgeable either. Only about 20% of transdermal estriol cream is absorbed into your blood stream, so 80% is wasted. You need 200 mg per two ounce jar, and use a half gram a day. Please remember that figure - 200 mg per 60 gram (two-ounce) jar of USP estriol. This is 0.33% or one third of one per cent (1 part in 333). Always use transdermal hormones on thin skin like your neck, abdomen, or inner wrists. DMSO solutions are 99% absorbed, but not approved by the FDA. Vaginal gels and suppositories are inconvenient and unnecessary. The best way to use estriol is to get 0.5 mg (500 mcg) per drop in vegetable (not 12 mineral) oil from a compounding pharmacist, and use this sublingually (under your tongue). You can expect about 99% absorption this way. Estriol is very inexpensive at about fifty cents a gram, or $500 a kilogram. Compounding pharmacists will literally charge $50 for fifty cents worth of this. Mexican and offshore online pharmacies just do not sell transdermal, much less sublingual estriol. Right now there are no good answers.
It is not legal to sell estriol without a prescription, but you will often see transdermal creams sold on the Internet. These are expensive, weak, and generally only contain about 50 mg of the hormone per two-ounce jar. Do not buy these, as they are too weak to have any beneficial effect. Homeopathic estriol (or any other homeopathic product) is a scam, and contains nothing at all.
How do we know higher levels of estriol are good for women? Rural Asian women in general have much higher plasma levels due to their much healthier diet and lifestyle. They also have lower estradiol and estrone levels. Rural Asian women have a small fraction of the various cancer rates Western women do, especially breast, uterine, cervical, and ovarian. They suffer far less from other diseases, such as coronary heart problems, osteoporosis, PMS, menopausal issues, diabetes, and the rest of the epidemic illnesses American women do. Vegetarian, macrobiotic, and athletic women all have higher estriol levels than normal women.
Blood levels go up dramatically during pregnancy, like progesterone, to protect the fetus. You must have high normal levels and not merely normal Western levels, since the rural Asian standard is healthier. High normal levels are the ideal here
Kathleen Head did a lot of research on estriol. She published a fine study complete with 47 very good references (Alternative Medicine Review v 3, 1998). She emphasized the benefits and safety. Estriol should be used with real progesterone for best results. She quoted international researchers on the known and proven benefits. Estriol helps reduce hot flashes and other menopausal problems, helps build bone, is brain and memory supporting, helps stabilize mood, helps urogenital conditions such as incontinence (common in older women), lowers blood pressure, lessens CHD risk, lowers LH and FSH levels, restores healthy vaginal flora, reduces vaginal dryness and atrophy, reduces breast disease risk, and helps oppose androgen dominance.
Some of the best proof we have for the benefits of high normal levels is obese women. Obese women suffer far more of every illness known to science (except osteoporosis). Studies show overweight women generally have low estriol and high estradiol and estrone levels. One study proves the case very well.
At Fujita University in Japan obese women were studied for an entire panel of hormones. Of course their estradiol and estrone were too high. The estriol levels in every one of these women
were deficient! Not 99%, but 100% of the obese women were low in estriol and needed supplementation. (Nippon Naibunpi Gakkai Zasshi v 72,1996). One third of American women are obese, and two thirds are overweight. The real answer here, of course, is not just to use estriol, but to lose weight with diet and lifestyle.
Osteoporosis is an epidemic in the elderly, especially women. A total program of diet and lifestyle will certainly include estriol balance. Estriol is proven to help promote bone and joint health. A study in Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecological Research v 22, 1996 showed this. Also studies in Maturitas v 1, 1979, and Nippon Sanka Fujinka Gakkai Zasshi v 48, 1996, International Journal of Gynecology and Obstetrics v 92, 2006, and Nippon Ronen Igakkai Zasshi v 33, 1996. Estriol works best with a comprehensive program of diet, lifestyle, proven supplements (like flax oil, glucosamine, minerals, and vitamin D) hormone balancing, and resistance exercise to prevent and cure bone loss. Rural Asian women do not experience this epidemic of osteoporosis because of their diet, lifestyle, and manual labor.
As women age their urogenital system tends to weaken, and many problems can develop. Estriol can help with many of these as well. In the New England Journal of Medicine v 329, 1993 doctors found this helped reduce urinary tract infections. These are all too common in women, especially as they age.
In the journal Menopause v. 11, 2004, at the University of Sassari in Italy, doctors found urogenital health was improved with estriol supplementation alone. No other treatments but this, yet they got very impressive results. This included the usual symptoms such as incontinence, vaginal atrophy, and urinary tract infections.
In Turkey vaginitis was reduced (Turkish Journal of Medical Sciences v 28, 1998). Vaginal infections by Ganarella and other yeasts are common, as well as chronic, in many women and difficult to treat. This therapy was aided by acidophilus supplements.
In China (Zhongguo Linchuang Yaolixue Zazhi v 16, 2000) vaginal atropy was successfully treated with estriol suppositories.
In Copenhagen (British Journal of Gynecology v 107, 2000) the same treatment of this was also successful as well as incontinence, urgency, nocturia, and dysuria. Estriol was applied directly to the vagina. Same results for urogenital atropy in general in the Netherlands (European Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology v 71, 1997).
In Brussels doctors treated bacterial vaginosis with low dose estriol and acidophilus very successfully (Arzneimittel-Forschung v 46, 1996) with an 88% cure rate and no other treatments.
Estriol gel was directly administered to women with vaginal atrophy in Basel (Archives of Gynecology v 239, 1986) at only 0.5 mg (500 mcg) daily. “Atrophy symptoms were alleviated almost immediately.” Why aren’t medical doctors using this?
It is very interesting that estriol cream (0.1% to 0.3%) has been shown to be a wonderful skin cream especially to reduce scars. Generally only surgical procedures can reduce scarring, and they are expensive and of limited effectiveness.
At University Hospital in Finland (Annales Chirurgiae et Gynaecologiae v 76, 1987) women with acne scars with were treated with topical estriol cream. The elastic fibers in their faces were thickened, scarring was reduced, and the total skin thickness was actually increased which is all but medically impossible.
Doctors at the University of Hautlinik in Vienna (Zeitschrift fur Hautkrankheiten v 58, 1983) showed that raising blood estriol levels in women with acne improved their condition. Doctors who used 0.3% estriol cream (International Journal of Dermatology v 38, 1995) found that it reduced atrophic acne scars in men and women in only 90 days. The photos were very dramatic. More studies were published in International Journal of Dermatology v 34, 1995 and Archives of Dermatological Research v 256, 1976. This has been known about for more than 30 years, but unknown to the medical profession, even to dermatologists and plastic surgeons.
Doctors are in the Dark Ages and almost completely divorced from the amazing advances in the international published research. Estriol should be a mainstream, normal part of medical practice but is almost completely unknown….the “orphan or unknown estrogen.”
This article is from the book Natural Health for Women by Roger Mason. You can read the book for free as a PDF file http://www.youngagain.org/books/NHFW.pdf It is an excellent book.
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