Feeling stressed out? You certainly aren’t alone! You know that stress isn’t good for you, and you may have heard of cortisol (the stress hormone). When you are under stress, cortisol levels go up to help you cope. But did you know that estrogen is important for coping with stress as well?
A recent study looked at menopausal women who were put in a stressful situation. Their rise in cortisol was measured, and their memory was also tested, because we know that cortisol harms short term memory.
Women on estrogen replacement handled stress better!
After the stressful situation, cortisol levels went up and memory scores went down, as expected. But women who were on estrogen replacement therapy had a smaller rise in cortisol and their memory score didn’t drop as much! The authors of the study concluded that estrogen helps to protect memory in the presence of stress.
The results of this study aren’t really surprising – they are just proving what we already see on a daily basis. But it is noteworthy that they used bioidentical estrogen (meaning that the estrogen is an exact match to the estrogen women make in their ovaries!)
In the past almost ALL the research was done using synthetic or non-bioidentical estrogen. Not surprisingly, the results of those studies were often not what we had expected or hoped for.
The good news is that more and more research is being done using the natural (bioidentical) form of estrogen. As a result, more and more benefits are being shown! Interested in learning more about bioidentical hormone replacement? click here
Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, February 16, 2018