Natural (not synthetic) estrogen health benefits in menopause
I recently wrote about the superiority of natural progesterone over the synthetic progestogens. Let’s look now at the health benefits of naturally-derived estrogens in menopause.
Natural versus synthetic estrogen
You may have heard of synthetic estrogen brand names such as Premarin, Cenestin, and Enjuvia. These conjugated estrogens have been manipulated in a laboratory and don’t carry the same health benefits as hormones manufactured naturally in your body.
(As I understand it, just more than a year ago the manufacturers of Enjuvia and Cenestin have discontinued their production of these tablets.)
Take Cenestin for example; it is an unnatural hormone used to treat moderate to severe vasomotor symptoms (such as hot flashes/flushes) and vulvar/vaginal atrophy due to menopause. It is recommended that you take this at the “lowest effective dose and for the shortest duration” for safety’s sake. It is widely known that conjugated estrogens do not prevent heart disease or dementia, but rather, they increase your risk of these illnesses.
Conjugated estrogens are mixtures of unnatural estrogen molecules such as sodium equilin sulfate, 17 alpha & 17 beta-dihydroequilin, 17alpha-estradiol, ethinyl estradiol, mestranol, quinestrol and (formerly) diethylstilbestrol. You may remember that in 1971, researchers discovered the link between prenatal DES exposure and clear cell adenocarcinoma of the cervix and vagina (and soon after was banned from the market).
We know from the Women’s Health Initiative 2009 and 2010 reports in the New England Journal of Medicine that women who take synthetic, chemically modified pres