Archive for hormone
Hypothalamo-Pituitary-Adrenal Axis Dysfunction in Chronic Fatigue
It is wonderful to see an article address this aspect of fatigue, whether related to CFS or not. Slowing down of the adrenal cortex, most commonly as a result of the nutrient deprived, high stress Western lifestyle, can lead to fatigue. Adrenal function tests are well accepted and easy to do. Salivary analysis of the free hormones (remember that the “free” ones are the form of hormones that do the work…typical bloodwork looks for the bound hormones, which are non-functional) can give a very good picture of the health of the adrenal cortex. Most studies look for levels of dhea and cortisol. Treatment for hypocortisolism in this study looks to low dose hydrocortisone. However, natural treatments to balance out cortisol levels are also quite common and effective.
JCEM — Abstracts: Cleare et al. 86 (8): 3545
Age-related changes of sex hormones, IGF-1 levels in men
This study identifies a decrease in levels of circulating IGF-1 levels in men as they age. Many in the anti-aging camp would jump on this as support for the use of growth hormone (which stimulates release of IGF-1) as a fountain of youth. Too many times in the past we have jumped on just such a bandwagon; DHEA, colostrum and many others. Many times, what we find when we dig deeper is that these hormonal levels have dropped because of some shift in metabolism; either as a result of deficiencies in some nutrient or as a protective factor. I always hesitate to mess with Mother Nature. Lets work on quality of life, not quantity.
EU Scientists Confirm Hormone-Treated Beef Risks
Okay…so Europe won’t take most of our beef because the growth hormones in them pose a potential risk to human health. But here in the United States this same hormone treated beef is perfectly safe. Looking at the fact that we have girls developing breasts at single digit ages possibly due to the “safe” hormones in meat, I would lean just a little more towards Europes’ stance…
Apr 23 – New checks by European scientists have confirmed fears that using growth hormones on cattle could affect human health, the European Commission said on Tuesday. The findings reinforce opinions issued in 1999 and 2000 on hormone-treated beef, which the EU used to support its ban on them. This resulted in a trade row with the United States where they are used extensively. The European Union’s scientific committee, which reviewed 17 case studies, “confirmed that the use of hormones to stimulate the growth of cattle raises a potential risk for consumers’ health,” the Commission said. The committee “has found no reason to change its earlier opinions issued in 1999 and 2000,” it added in a statement. In 1999, the World Trade Organisation (WTO) ruled that the EU’s decade-old embargo was illegal and authorized Washington to impose $117 million of sanctions on EU goods in retaliation. In response to the ruling, the Commission promised regularly to evaluate scientific data on hormone use. Talks between Brussels and Washington on beef are ongoing. The EU has offered compensation in the form of increased duty-free access for US meat free of hormones. Under current arrangements, US and Canadian producers can export 11,500 tonnes a year duty-free to the 15-nation EU. “We would prefer a switch from sanctions to compensation. There are ongoing technical talks and we shall see what they deliver,” Commission spokesman Anthony Gooch told journalists. The EU executive decided in February to end extra testing of US hormone-free beef for residues due to growing confidence that the meat exported as such contained no banned substances.
Medroxyprogesterone in Food Chain Raises Consternation in Europe
Medroxyprogesterone is used as HRT here in the US. However, in Europe it is showing up in the feed supply in certain areas of the Netherlands and Europe is extremely concerned. What I can’t figure out is why, if this is supposedly safe for use as a hormone replacement, has Europe banned it use in life-stock and why are they so scared now that it’s shown up in the food supply for animals? Vaguely reminiscent of “flouridation” in the US, huh???…
Jul 17 – France said on Wednesday it had imported hundreds of animals, up to 200 tonnes of feed and five tonnes of meat potentially tainted with a banned growth hormone which is at the centre of a food scare spreading across Europe. Contaminated feed and animals have turned up in most of the European Union’s 15 nations since the hormone medroxyprogesterone-acetate (MPA) was discovered last month in foodstuffs at three farms in the Netherlands. The French farm ministry said 200 pigs from a suspect Dutch farm were imported to the Ain region of eastern France in July and 3.7 tonnes of ham made from them were then shipped to Italy. An additional five tonnes of suspect ham had been imported from Belgium to two companies in the Ain region and the western Ille-et-Vilaine region in Brittany, the ministry said, although it added there was no evidence the meat was tainted. “We have no proof that there has been a contamination in France, these are just products that are potentially tainted because they come from suspect farms,” a spokesman said. MPA is banned in the European Union and in other countries as a growth hormone in livestock feed. It is, however, a component in some pharmaceuticals, such as hormone replacement therapies and contraceptives. The source of the contamination has been traced to waste water from an Irish pharmaceutical factory owned by U.S. drugmaker Wyeth, Irish officials said last week. The waste was shipped to a now-bankrupt Belgian reprocessing plant, Bioland, which in turn provided glucose syrup as raw materials to Belgian soft drink makers and Dutch feed producers. The Netherlands, Germany and Belgium have been hardest hit so far by the scare over MPA. In the Netherlands, the world’s third biggest pork exporting nation, officials have found that 73 feed makers who had received tainted raw materials have delivered feed to around half of all pig producers, or around 7,000 farms. In Brussels, EU veterinary experts met on Tuesday to review the MPA contamination, a day after officials said 11 EU countries had been touched by the problem, and they stressed the need for joint action to protect public health.
Non-CVD Disease Outcomes During 6.8 Years of Hormone Therapy
Oops, did I forget increased risk for gallstones requiring surgery and venous thromboembolism (potentially leading to pulmonary embolism or stroke)??
Cardiovascular Disease Outcomes During 6.8 Years of Hormone Therapy
I hate to beat a dead, crumbling dog, but I’m still confused as to why Premarin is one of the top few prescription drugs. No benefit and possible increased risk for heart disease. Increased risk for breast and endometrial cancer. Little, if any benefit on bone health. No benefit for Alzheimer’s disease. What the hell is left?? Hot flashes? Those respond very readily to phytoestrogens and progesterone cream. I’m scratching my head on this one….
Impaired Carotid Viscoelastic Properties with Polycystic Ovaries
The picture of insulin resistance, polycystic ovaries, and cardiovascular disease gets clearer with each research paper. Insulin affects conversion of testesterone to estrogen via 15,20 lyase and aromatase enzymes, leading to increased levels of testesterone. The increased testosterone strongly predisposes to PCOS. On the vascular side of the picture, insulin has been shown to reduce to “stretchiness” of arteries. Here we see A=B, B=C, with research to support A=C.
Circulation — Abstracts: Lakhani et al. 106 (1): 81
p53 Tumor Suppressor Down-Regulation by 17ß-Estradiol
The evidence continues to mount for estrogen being a carcinogen. Here we start seeing the potential biochemical reasoning for this outcome. Remember, however, that estrogen (as produced by the body) is a naturally occurring substance and serves its purpose. I firmly believe that the body, in its wisdom, down-regulates production of certain hormones as we age as a protective mechanism. Evidence strongly supports this theory for estrogen and HRT.
JCEM — Abstracts: Gao et al. 87 (8): 3915
Role of endogenous oestrogen in aetiology of coronary heart disease
I just hate it when research finds that estrogen, the wonder-substance of perimenopausal and postmenopausal women designed to eliminate all age related diseases and bring a woman back to her twenty-something health, really has little impact on heart disease and environmental risk factors are the major role. What a novel concept!! Imaging lifestyle changes such as exercise, healthy plant-based diets having more power to prevent disease that a prescription drug!!
bmj.com Lawlor et al. 325 (735 =9): 311
Prasterone on corticosteroid requirements of women with SLE
This study uses DHEA (an adrogen secreted by the adrenal cortex) to lower the necessary dose of prednisone in patients with lupus. I would like to see a similar study done on patients with adrenal support designed to balance out DHEA levels. Interestingly, this study may in reality be an attempt to correct some of the imbalances created by the prednisone in the first place. Chronic corticosteriod use is known to suppress adrenal cortex function which would in turn lower DHEA levels…