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T.S. Wiley


Estrogen Dilemma: There Is No Dilemma When You Know the Details

Posted: 04/27/10 04:30 PM ET

Dying of Cancer is something we all fear.

Having a heart attack, although it seems more remote, because we don't hear about it on television every day, would probably kill us where we stand. But the possibility of losing our minds and independence and not even really knowing it is truly the most dreaded potential out there ahead of us.

Every day, we're all one day closer to Alzheimer's disease.

Over four million people suffer from Alzheimer's disease, which affects one in two people over the age of eighty. That means if you're in a room with one person right now, it will, sooner or later, down the line, be you or him.

And it's completely preventable, according to the gold standard of research. Dementia, memory loss, and Alzheimer's may, in fact, be preventable with natural hormones prescribed in a cycle that mimics the rhythmic, escalating, and descending doses your body naturally produced when you were young; this is not the case with conventional synthetic pharmaceutical HRT.

Hormones you biologically produced in your brain like estrogen and progesterone orchestrate, directly, and indirectly, your entire nervous system. Your nervous system, under the control of directives from the brain, includes your heart, stomach, liver, pancreas, and immune system. All of these organs were created from the neural crest when you were an embryo. The neural crest is the visible backbone of the tadpole fetus in the pictures of life in utero.

The cells of the neural crest divide and differentiate into your brain, heart, stomach, liver, and pancreas, all connected by your spinal cord to the outside world by your immune system.

All of these organs respond not only to sex hormones fitting into their own hormone receptors directly, but to proteins called neurotransmitters, such as serotonin, dopamine, and acetylcholine.

These neurotransmitters are the stop/start currency of cells called neurons in your brain and in target organs and muscles. All of the firing, the snap-crackle-and-pop of thinking moving, and even autonomic functions like lungs breathing and hearts beating, happens because of neurotransmitters and thereby directly because of hormones.

Hormones made in the brain can act too, locally, as avatar neurotransmitters; which are the cables and wiring along which firing happens. That fact is the reason that synthetic hormones and derivatives of hormones from another species like the horse cause such havoc in your body and brain.

You are hardwired for the "radio frequency" of sex hormones, insulin, melatonin and prolactin to read the environment, and literally, throw the switches on your behavior and thinking.

The main mechanism of destruction that ensues when you take Premarin isn't actually only caused by its weak estrogenic action. It's primarily caused by an immune response to Premarin due to cross-species reaction, because, for your body, it's foreign substance that actually puts your immune system on alert.

Synthetic Progestins, on the other hand, confuse all of your neurological systems because they have the supreme power to affect estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone receptors, but not in any natural or known template, because they are invented in a lab.

Progestins do not occur in nature.

Since all of the cells in your brain produce sex hormones from cholesterol, the entire nervous system from your head to your toes and fingers is really, itself, an endocrine system. And why estrogen and progesterone are classified as neurosteroids.

The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, has in a review article sponsored by the Endocrine Society, reported that "estrogen maintains functions of key neural structures, such as the hippocampus and basal forebrain, and the widely projecting dopaminergic, serotongenic, and noradrenergic systems."

That's pretty much all of your brain.

They go on, "as estrogen levels decline over the menopause, these systems and the cognitive and other behavioral processes that depend on them also decline, at least functionally, yet they appear to respond to estrogen replacement." That means that running out of estrogen makes you display the behaviors that we all identify as "old," and putting estrogen back can reverse that.

Insulin resistance, getting fat and higher cholesterol levels in old age are a compensatory mechanism to produce more estrogen in the brain, since you make estrogen locally in your fat base, too, through an enzyme called aromatase.

Cholesterol becomes pregnelanone, then progesterone, then testosterone, and finally the testosterone converts through aromatase to the most active sex steroid in the brain--estrogen. The irony here is that the drugs for high cholesterol, osteoporosis, or cancer that will be prescribed to you as you age and get fat can cause brain injury in a myriad of other ways that can only exacerbate aging even further.

In fact, taking Lipitor, Tamoxifen, Raloxifene, or Arimidex will increase your chances of developing brain disease. Cholesterol-inhibiting drugs, by inhibiting the enzyme HMG-CoA-reductase locally in the brain, can cause dementia faster than normal aging can without drugs, because cholesterol is the precursor needed to make estrogen and progesterone in the brain. Tamoxifen, too, is well documented to cause brain damage and memory loss by blocking estrogen reception in the brain.

When doctors misuse testosterone as hormone replacement for women, it just seems to make you better because it converts to estrogen in the brain, just as our adrenal testosterone can as long as we have fat around. Remember, it takes some body fat to have aromatase, being thin is a deficit in making hormones. The trendy new aromatase inhibitors like Armidex now being used to block estrogen production in breast cancer must cause dementia in the long run--because testosterone converts to estrogen by way of aromatase, and it's estrogen that controls brain function primarily on its own and also through the generation of progesterone receptors.

In the brain, the high levels of escalating estrogen and progesterone in pregnancy have also been found to change the brain in some permanent fashion, too. That means pregnancy and lactation serve to developmentally design continuing brain health.

University of Richmond, Professor Craig Kinsley reported that, "Our research shows that the hormones of pregnancy are protective to the brain." His group's tests on rats show that those who raise two or more litters of pups do significantly better in tests of memory and skills than rats who have no babies, and their brains show changes that suggest they may be protected against such diseases as Alzheimer's, too. Kinsley concluded his report with, "It's rat data but humans are mammals just like these animals are mammals."

The brain's architecture is constantly being modified and remodeled by sex hormones, depending on the demands that it must meet. In order to retain the same plasticity of youth, your brain must be soaked in hormones that control all of the on and off switches as well as the maintenance routines. Sex hormones actually "activate and deactivate" the nervous system.

In adults, the effects of sex hormones are reversible, meaning... the effects only last as long as the hormone is around. It is exactly the same ups and downs of FSH, estrogen, LH, and progesterone that control ovulation and menstruation, that control myelination and demylenation of neurons simultaneously. The natural fluctuations in estrogen levels in youth stimulate a coordinated and dramatic reorganization of synapses and glia on a monthly basis. The cyclic rhythm of sex hormone production in young women unsheath and resheath axions and retracts neurons. The preovulatory surge in estrogen literally remyelinates the brain and body (spinal cord included) every month.

Taking these facts into consideration, you can see why losing your menstrual cycle can mean losing your mind in such an elaborate way.

An article published in the Journal of Neurobiology by Cynthia L. Jordan at Berkley states, "It is clear that exogenous estrogen produces the same effects." That means we should be able to get our minds and memories back with the correct hormone replacement. Bio-identical estradiol and progesterone dosed bio-mimetically should successfully restore lost youth in the brain.

For example: Progesterone modulates, among others, nicotinic receptors in the brain. Nicotine was so named because it affected these receptors. Nicotinic receptors use a neurotransmitter called acetylcholine, too. Acetylcholine is the neurotransmitter that enhances the flow of information from one neuron to another through synapses. This synaptic activity is the snap, crackle, pop of thinking. Cigarettes really do really help you to think more clearly. Synaptic function between neurons depends on cell adhesion molecules called e-cadherins that are controlled by estrogen. Estrogen is the "glue" between neurons that fosters synaptic plasticity (flexibility) and dendritic growth (branching out of neurons).

The big point here is that your brain, too, must have rhythmic blasts of estrogen and then progesterone repeatedly in different harmonies with other hormones--like thyroid, cortisol and human growth hormone, just like your breasts, ovaries, and heart to be healthy.

Overall, bio-identical hormones when delivered biomimically and monitored to be in sync with your body will have a dramatic effect on your whole mental balance as well as body balance.

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