The health protective benefits of bio-identical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT) are becoming more widely known. However, there is still a large misconception that BHRT does not protect against heart disease. The truth is BHRT is protective to our heart and prevents heart disease and cardiovascular events. Studies have shown estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone to all protect the heart and cardiovascular system. Cardiovascular bio-markers such as CRP, clotting factors, blood sugar levels, triglycerides, and blood pressure are all favorably impacted with the use of BHRT.

Testosterone in men has been shown to reduce chest pain, reduce ischemia, improve exercise tolerance, decrease inflammation, decrease hardening and or/thickening or the arteries, and improve congestive heart failure. The lower the testosterone level, the more likely a male is to have coronary artery disease. Low testosterone has also been associated with increased all cause mortality. Here is an update from Carol Petersen RPh, CNP from Women’s International Pharmacy citing recent information about the beneficial effects of testosterone replacement for men:

Testosterone Treatment Vindicated? 

Nearly a year ago, the FDA was prevailed upon to change the labeling on testosterone drug products to include warnings of increased risk of heart attack, stroke and death in men using testosterone supplementation. They were petitioned by the group, Public Citizen, to add their strongest black box warning, but the FDA stopped just short.

Dr. Abraham Morgentaler, writing on behalf of the Androgen Study Group and 29 medical societies, strongly defended the use of testosterone.  He was very critical of the quality of the studies that were cited in the petition. http:// twww.androgenstudygroup.org/initiatives/letter-to-fda-asking-to-deny-black-box-petition

The article “Normalization of testosterone level is associated with reduced incidence of myocardial infarction and mortality in men” was recently published in the European Heart Journal (2015) 36, 2706-2715. The study examines the effects of testosterone use in a huge cohort of men.  83,010 men with no prior history of heart attack or stroke and documented low testosterone levels were divided into three groups.  One group received testosterone and testosterone levels were normalized with supplementation. The second group received testosterone, but normal levels were not achieved. The third group did not receive testosterone supplementation. The group with testosterone levels that were normalized using testosterone supplementation had lower mortality, fewer heart attacks and fewer strokes than the men in the other two groups. No other study of this magnitude has been done before and no other study has actually documented testosterone levels before and after treatment.

Based on the results of the above study, we should not accept the warnings assigned to testosterone drug products without question. At this time, we are being warned testosterone may cause the very conditions it may prevent.

 

For women, low dose testosterone has been shown to have no adverse cardiovascular effects.

Estrogen in women has been shown to increase HDL (the “good” cholesterol) by 10-15%, reduce overall risk of heart disease by 40-50%, decrease lipoprotein (a major factor of heart disease), and act as a calcium channel blocker to keep arteries open and prevent heart attack. Estrogen also decreases LDL (the “bad” cholesterol).

Progesterone in women increases the beneficial effects of estrogen on blood vessels,  increases metabolic rate, acts as a natural diuretic to lower blood pressure, is anti-inflammatory, lowers cholesterol, and decreases myocardial ischemia.

Have a glorious February…and here’s to your heart!

 

Geri JonesGeralene “Geri” Jones, RNP  is a Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner, specializing in bio-identical hormone replacement therapy for menopause, perimenopause, and PMS. She administers hormone replacement therapy to be an adjunctive therapy to anti-aging medicine, which is the prevention of the diseases of “old age” such as osteoporosis, Alzheimer’s disease, the various forms of cancer, heart disease, and other chronic illnesses in women.