Estrogen therapy can help contribute to the reduction of atherosclerosis (is the buildup of fats, cholesterol, and other substances in and on the artery walls) through various mechanisms.

Here are ways estrogen therapy may help reduce the development and progression of atherosclerosis:

Lipid Modification

Estrogen has been shown to have a favorable effect on lipid profiles. Estrogen therapy, particularly when used in the form of oral conjugated equine estrogens (CEE), can increase the levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, also known as “good” cholesterol. HDL cholesterol helps remove low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, also known as “bad” cholesterol, from the bloodstream, preventing the buildup of plaque in the arteries.

Anti-Inflammatory Effects

Atherosclerosis involves chronic inflammation within the arterial walls. Estrogen has anti-inflammatory properties that can help mitigate inflammation and reduce the progression of atherosclerotic plaque. Estrogen therapy has been shown to decrease the production of pro-inflammatory molecules and increase the production of anti-inflammatory molecules, promoting a more favorable inflammatory balance within the arteries.

Preservation of Endothelial Function

The endothelium, the inner lining of blood vessels, plays a crucial role in maintaining vascular health. Estrogen helps preserve endothelial function by promoting the release of nitric oxide, a molecule that helps relax and dilate blood vessels. This vasodilatory effect improves blood flow and reduces the risk of endothelial dysfunction, a key step in the development of atherosclerosis.

Antioxidant Activity

Estrogen has antioxidant properties that can help protect against oxidative stress, a process implicated in the development of atherosclerosis. Oxidative stress occurs when there is an imbalance between the production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and the body’s antioxidant defense mechanisms. Estrogen therapy may help reduce oxidative stress by increasing the production of antioxidant enzymes and reducing ROS levels.

Modulation of Immune Response

Estrogen has immunomodulatory effects that can influence the immune response within the arterial walls. It can regulate the activity of immune cells involved in the development of atherosclerosis, such as macrophages and T-cells. Estrogen therapy may help modulate the immune response, reducing inflammation and inhibiting the formation of foam cells, which are key contributors to the formation of atherosclerotic plaque.

It’s important to note that the specific effects of estrogen therapy on atherosclerosis may vary depending on various factors, including the type of estrogen used, the dose, the route of administration, and individual characteristics. Additionally, the potential benefits of estrogen therapy should be carefully considered and discussed with a healthcare provider, taking into account individual factors and potential risks.

Explore Better Hormone Health

ReVital offers free consultations where you can speak to one of our clinicians about ReVital’s Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy. At ReVital, we can conduct simple blood tests to evaluate the levels of these hormones in your system and prescribe supplements or therapies to treat and control the majority of hormonal imbalances. Remember, every woman’s experience is unique, so it’s important to consult with your primary healthcare professional for guidance and support throughout your personal health journey.