It is only recently that the accepted medical wisdom that the estrogen women consumed in the form of oral contraceptives and HRT was good for their hearts has been comprehensively overturned. Recent studies however have shown that long-term exposure to estrogen can actually be a danger to women as it has been associated with high blood pressure, a key link to heart attacks and strokes.
Now new research at Michigan State University has found that long-term estrogen exposure generates excessive levels of a compound, superoxide, which causes stress in the body. The build-up of this compound occurs in an area of the brain that is crucial to regulating blood pressure, suggesting that chronic estrogen induces a build up of superoxide that in turn causes blood pressure to increase. Although the process by which estrogen induces high blood pressure in women is unclear, it is yet another reason to ensure that estrogen levels in the body are properly balanced with bio-identical natural progesterone during menopause.
The Good News Lead study author Dr. P.S. MohanKumar said, “This is an important study on at least two levels. First, it continues to confirm the negative effect that long-term estrogen exposure has for females. Second, it provides a new rationale for how and why this relationship occurs. Because so many women use estrogen-only HRT to combat the effects of menopause, it is imperative that we better understand the risks that chronic exposure has for females and why these effects occur. In studies such as this we come one step closer to clarifying the relationship and have established a launch pad for identifying how the process might be interrupted in the future.”
The good news is that the study also found that giving the anti-oxidant resveratrol reverses the increase in both superoxide and blood pressure . Resveratrol is a compound present naturally in red grape skin and red wine and is also being studied for its beneficial effects on both diabetes and multiple sclerosis. Seems like it would be a good idea add a daily bunch – or glass – to help lower your blood pressure and improve your health generally.