Does being exposed to too much estrogen lead to high blood pressure?
Contrary to widely-held belief, sustained high levels of estrogen in women via hormone replacement therapy (HRT) is not necessarily a good thing, as the hormone can create excess amounts of superoxide compound in the brain. According to new research out of Michigan State University (MSU), buildup of superoxide leads to blockages in the areas of the brain that regulate blood pressure, which has led researchers to conclude that estrogen may be directly responsible for high blood pressure and resultant heart disease.
Published in the American Journal of Physiology - Regulatory, Integrative, and Comparative Physiology, the study, led by P.S. Mohan Kumar and his team, investigated how the rostral ventrolateral medulla (RVM) area of the brain stem, which regulates blood pressure, was affected by estrogen. After injecting rats with either estrogen or resveratrol, a beneficial compound known to reduce superoxide levels as well as blood pressure, the team observed that rats given estrogen exhibited heavy buildup of superoxide and increased blood pressure, while resveratrol rats exhibited the opposite effect.
"This is an important study on at least two levels," MohanKumar said. "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."
But what the study also shows is that resveratrol, a natural compound found in grape skins, mulberries, and cacao, can help to extend life and maintain overall health during the senior years better than HRT can -- and all without raising blood pressure or causing other health problems such as cancer and dementia.
Mounds of research show that resveratrol helps to reverse the aging process and extend lifespan, burn excess fat, prevent dementia and other brain diseases, reduce inflammation and disease, and prevent cancer, among many other things. So why take the risk with synthetic HRT drugs when natural resveratrol performs better without any negative side effects?