In women, estrogen is produced mainly in the ovaries. Estrogen is also produced by fat cells and the adrenal gland. Men produce estrogen as well, but at lower levels than women. Estrogen in males is secreted by the adrenal glands and by the testes. In men, estrogen is thought to affect sperm count. Overweight men are more commonly affected by low sperm count due to estrogen because there is more adipose tissue in the obese.
Estrogen is instrumental in bone formation, working with vitamin D, calcium and other hormones to effectively break down and rebuild bones. As estrogen levels start to decline in middle age, the process of rebuilding bones slows, leading to more bone breaking down than produced. Therefore, estrogen is important for osteoporosis prevention.
There have been numerous clinical studies that support the potential role of estrogens in reducing the risk for Alzheimer’s Dementia (Simpkins et al., 2009). Support for this hypothesis includes the observation that estrogen therapy can reduce the cognitive decline observed in women that have gone through either natural or surgical menopause.
Estrogen and the cardiovascular system: Studies have shown that estrogen affects almost every tissue or organ system, including the heart and blood vessels. Estrogen’s known effects on the cardiovascular system include increases HDL cholesterol (the good kind), decreases LDL cholesterol (the bad kind), dilates blood vessels so blood flow increases and soaks up free radicals, naturally occurring particles in the blood that can damage the arteries and other tissues.
Benefits of Estrogen Restoration
- Improved short-term symptoms of menopause such as hot flashes and mood swings
- Improved bladder and urinary health: decrease urinary tract infections and incontinence symptoms
- Breast Cancer prevention (blocks xenoestrogens)
- Sustains vaginal health: maintains favourable vaginal flora and pH, reduces atrophic vaginitis and vaginal dryness
- Decreased risk of osteoporosis and fractures (broken bones)
- Decreased incidence of Alzheimer’s disease
- Improvement of glucose levels; recent study using showed decreased risk of new onset diabetes in women using Estradiol (one form of estrogen)
Simpkins, J. W., Perez, E., Wang, X., Yang, S., Wen, Y., & Singh, M. (2009). The potential for estrogens in preventing Alzheimer's disease and vascular dementia. Therapeutic advances in neurological disorders, 2(1), 31–49. doi:10.1177/1756285608100427