More New Body News: Estrogen

As the NY Times puts it, “Estrogen Lowers Breast Cancer and Heart Attack Risk in Some.”

The old news, now 6-7 years old, was that all hormone replacement therapy was BAD. Consequently, the Women’s Health Initiative participants all stopped taking any estrogen or progestin in 2004. But now studies of the group suggest those who were taking estrogen alone are doing better than expected.

This is mixed news. It is not clear how to generalize from the women in the study to the general population, critics claim. In the meantime, it is still thought that the combined HRT is BAD, but estrogen alone if you don’t have a uterus might be good.  If you have a uterus, then you’d need progestin to counteract some of the estrogen’s effects, so for you HRT is still BAD.

Do read the article if you are thinking of changing your hormone medication.

Previous new body news has covered the discovery that fat around the middle doesn’t seem to be worse for your heart health than fat around the hips.  We’ve also looked at the “no, you almost certainly  don’t need extra calcium” and “yes, you probably do need extra calcium” back and forth.