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The Role of Sex Hormones in Heart Health

Holtorf Medical Group

Cardiac disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women in the United States. In fact, an American dies every 36 seconds from cardiac disease.

As February is Heart Health Awareness Month, Holtorf Medical Group aims to educate our readers on the importance of hormonal health in relation to this issue.

Hormones are chemical messengers that are responsible for relaying critical information all throughout the body. They send signals regarding libido, hunger, sleep, and more. Hormones are also incredibly influential on your heart health. According to research, gender-specific sex hormones are critical when it comes to cardiac function.

Testosterone & Men’s Heart Health

Testosterone is an essential element of overall male wellness. The hormone influences many factors of health including muscle building, endurance, fat regulation, regenerative ability, mental well-being, and sex drive. In men, testosterone also protects against hypertension, arthritis, and other age-related illness. But, of its many responsibilities, perhaps its most important is protecting against cardiovascular disease.

One study, focusing on the development of atherosclerosis, or hardening of the arteries, found that the lower a man’s testosterone values were the greater their chance for atherosclerosis.

Conversely, higher levels of testosterone were associated with reduced risk of atherosclerosis and heart issues. Research such as this strongly suggests that testosterone values have significant influence over male cardiovascular health.

The cardiovascular influence of testosterone is enforced further by research showing the impact of testosterone on myocardial ischemia. Myocardial ischemia is a cardiovascular condition wherein blood flow to the heart is inhibited by plaque that partially or completely blocks the arterial pathway. This often results in angina, or chest pain, that can occur seemingly at random and is often a precursor to more serious cardiovascular issues such as a heart attack. The results in question found that testosterone values influenced arterial health. Individuals with higher testosterone values were much less likely to suffer from myocardial ischemia and atherosclerosis.

Perhaps the best evidence we have regarding the importance of testosterone for preventing heart disease comes from the well-known 2002 Rotterdam Study. This study was composed of 1,032 nonsmoking men and women aged 55 and older with aortic atherosclerosis. The data collected showed that men who maintained appropriate testosterone values had a 60% lower chance of developing coronary artery disease. Findings such as this show that keeping testosterone at the right level is critical for male cardiovascular wellness.1,032 nonsmoking men and women aged 55 and older with aortic atherosclerosis. The data collected showed that men who maintained appropriate testosterone values had a 60% lower chance of developing coronary artery disease. Findings such as this show that keeping testosterone at the right level is critical for male cardiovascular wellness.

Women’s Heart Health & Estrogen

Although scientists are still learning and solidifying the importance of estrogen, this hormone affects nearly every bodily tissue. There is also a body of research demonstrating its importance when it comes to heart health in women. Estrogen has been shown to increase HDL (good) cholesterol and lower LDL (bad) cholesterol, which is beneficial because cholesterol is needed to build healthy cells but too much can lead to a buildup in the arteries, increasing the chance of cardiac disease.

There is also evidence that estrogen helps “relax” or smooth dilated blood vessels, increasing blood flow and allowing the heart to function with ease. Moreover, estrogen helps combat free radical damage. Free radicals lead to oxidative stress, which not only strains the heart but multiple bodily systems.

Experts attribute the positive correlation between women’s age and cardiac disease with estrogen levels. This is because estrogen levels significantly decline once menopause starts to occur, leading to lower levels of HDL cholesterol, higher levels of LDL cholesterol, and a higher risk of heart problems overall.

Bio-Identical Hormone Replacement Therapy

With such significant influence over the occurrence of cardiovascular disease, men and women should prioritize maintaining healthy hormone values. One of the most effective ways to do so is Bio-identical hormone replacement therapy.

Optimizing your hormones can improve mental well-being, improve weight management, and encourage longevity.

Optimizing hormone levels is associated with lower LDL or bad cholesterol, higher HDL or good cholesterol, lower blood pressure, improved heart rhythm, reduced body fat, lower triglyceride count, and better oxygen uptake. Each of these factors reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease and promotes longevity for both men and women.

What is bio-identical hormone replacement therapy? Bio-identical hormones are structurally identical to hormones that are produced by the human body. Holtorf Medical Group’s bio-identical hormones are derived from plants and are received from a highly trusted compounding pharmacy. Knowledgeable doctors will encourage bio-identical hormone replacement therapy as it can promote heart health in addition to boosting energy levels, supporting weight loss, decreasing recovery time, improving mood and mental clarity, and so much more.

If you are interested in bio-identical hormone therapy or are looking for other ways to support your heart, contact a member of Holtorf Medical Group today.

Holtorf Medical GroupThe Holtorf Medical Group specializes in optimizing quality of life and being medical detectives to uncover the underlying cause of symptoms, rather than just prescribing medications to cover-up the symptoms. We are experts in natural, prescription bioidentical hormone replacement and optimization, complex endocrine dysfunction, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome and Lyme disease. We’ve dedicated our practice to providing you the best in evidenced-based, integrative medicine that’s not only safe and effective, but provides measurable results.

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