Sunday, May 9, 2010

Women with low estrogen look older

A study published in the medical journal The Lancet found that women with low estrogen look significantly older than women the same age with more optimal levels of estrogen

Low estrogen levels are associated with loss of collagen and moisture content of skin, which leads to increased facial wrinkling.

In this study, independent reviewers estimated the ages of 100 women. The women’s estimated age was then compared to their real age and their estrogen level
. The women in the study were between 35-55 years of age. The reviewers estimated the women with low estrogen to be significantly older than their age and those with more optimal estrogen levels to be much younger than their age.
 The women with the lowest level of estrogen looked 8 years older than their age and those with the most optimal levels looked 8 years younger than their age (a 16 year differential).

According to the authors, “The age of women with low estradiol serum concentrations was systematically overestimated; with increasing serum estrogen levels the reverse was the case. Women with high estrogen concentrations looked younger, women with low estradiol concentrations older than they really were. The discrepancy between estimated and real age could be as high as 8 years in either direction [16 year differential]. These data suggest that serum estrogen concentrations have a pronounced impact on the estimation of age.”

Lancet. 1999 Jul 17;354(9174):224.
Oestrogen and age estimations of perimenopausal women.
Wildt L, Sir-Petermann T.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Bioidentical progesterone restores sleep

This study looked at insomnia in menopausal women and found that different types of progesterone replacement had different effects.

Twenty-one postmenopausal women were studied. They were randomized to receive estrogen plus synthetic medroxyprogesterone acetate or estrogen plus bioidentical progesterone.

Sleep efficiency was found to be significantly improved in the progesterone group with no such increase observed in the medroxyprogesterone acetate group. Time spent awake after sleep onset was also significantly improved in the progesterone group but not in the medroxyprogesterone acetate group.

CONCLUSION: This study suggests that bioidentical progesterone might better improve the quality of sleep in postmenopausal women taking estrogen.

OUR COMMENT: We regularly see women complaining of poor sleep during perimenopause and menopause. Chronic sleep deprivation may contribute to weight gain, insulin resistance, mood problems, cognitive function and daytime fatigue. Restoring healthy sleep can make a profound difference in a woman's quality of life.

Menopause. 2001 Jan-Feb;8(1):10-6.
Sleep in menopause: differential effects of two forms of hormone replacement therapy.
Montplaisir J, Lorrain J, Denesle R, Petit D.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

The North American Menopause Society released a new position statement.

We have been advocating individualized dosing and the importance of using the smallest dose possible. Here is an excerpt:

"The lowest effective dose of estrogen consistent with
treatment goals, benefits, and risks for the individual woman
should be the therapeutic goal, with a corresponding low
dose of progestogen added to counter the adverse effects of
systemic ET on the uterus. Lower ET and EPT doses are
better tolerated and may have a more favorable benefit-risk
ratio than standard doses."

Youtube Channel

We have added some videos about bioidentical hormones, risks, options and other health related issues on a new youtube channel. You can view videos at

There is an option to subscribe and that will notify subscribers about new videos.

Deb Matthew MD
Signature Wellness
Charlotte, NC

Friday, February 5, 2010

Bio-identical hormones improve bone density

A 2003 study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA 290:1042-1048) studied whether hormone replacement at low doses would be effective at maintaining bone mineral density. Lower doses are desirable as higher doses are associated with more adverse events. Bio-identical hormones were used in this study (hormones that are an exact chemical match to human hormones).

This was a “gold standard” double-blind, placebo controlled trial done at an American university research center from 1998-2002, following 167 healthy women 65 years and older.

The bone mineral density of the hip, spine, wrist, and total body was measured annually for 3 years. Mean bone mineral density increased at all sites for participants taking low-dose bio-identical hormone replacement (BHRT) compared with placebo . There were no statistically significant differences in breast tenderness, changes in uterine thickness, or annual mammographic results between women on BHRT and the placebo group. There were no reports of breast cancer during the study.

For more information visit

Monday, January 4, 2010

Plans for 2010

The pace at which research is now publishing meaningful health related papers is growing exponentially. We will attempt to share with our subscribers those findings that merit mention.