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Do Hormones Really Protect Against Alzheimer’s Disease?


Most of us are aware of what Alzheimer’s disease is and we are afraid of getting it. This is a type of dementia that causes problems with memory, thinking and behavior. Symptoms usually develop slowly and get worse over time, becoming severe enough to interfere with daily tasks. Alzheimer’s disease accounts for 60-80% of the dementia-affecting people. This is not just a disease of the elderly about 5% of 40-50 year olds are affected as well. There is not a current cure for Alzheimer’s disease.

Many menopausal women present with concerns of memory loss and are fearful that they are developing Alzheimer’s disease. There are things that people can do to beef up their memory and prevent dementia along the way. First and foremost start early with your prevention including following an organic diet, stimulate your mind with mental exercise, and stay physically active your entire life.

When it comes to using hormone therapy it is important to establish teenage levels of estrogen. Some researches suggest that only estriol should be used and not estradiol, I think it is important to use a ratio of both estriol and estradiol but this research is strong which makes me believe we should be changing our formulations to a higher strength of estriol compared to estradiol. It is important to make sure the body is not converting estrogen to estrone and that the hormone receptors are not stimulated into the wrong pathway. To prevent that in the past we would use DIM or IC3 but new evidence shows that a Chinese herb called Myomin is more effective in preventing this conversion to alpha estrogen receptor.

Testosterone is also known to be helpful in reducing the secretion of beta amyloid this same research indicates when progesterone is given daily it can interfere with estrogens ability to reduce the beta amyloid levels. When it is given in a cyclic fashion for 10 days of the month estrogen can do its work. The only concern with this is that we may not be able to protect the lining of the uterus from thickening, which can cause endometrial cancer. Each case should be reviewed on a case-by-case basis. Some women feel better with progesterone given daily if that is the case I think using small doses for 10 days and larger doses for 10 day to mimic a natural cycle.

Neprilysin is an enzyme that is reduced in Alzheimer’s that actually degrades beta amyloid and is increased with the use of estradiol and testosterone.

Hormones are not the only beneficial means for treating Alzheimer’s disease. Diet is key not only organic but choosing the proper foods based on genetics. Measure APOe genes to see if you carry the gene for Alzheimer’s disease. If you do the testing it is important to follow a specific diet to assist in reducing the inflammation in your body to prevent disease. This test can be ordered by anyone but having a knowledgeable provider assist you with your diet plan is key.

Talk to your provider today about how you can adjust your hormone program to help prevent Alzheimer’s disease.

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