Posted on: 15.01.2022 Posted by: Drlark Comments: 0

June 17, 2004



JAMA Study on HRT

If you own a television or radio, read any newspaper

or magazine, or even had a conversation with a friend, family member,

or co-worker, then you’ve undoubtedly heard what my newsletter and

e-letter subscribers have known for years—conventional hormone

replacement therapy (HRT) is dangerous and should be avoided.

While I am thrilled that women across America have

finally heard loud and clear what I have been saying for years,

it seems that as many questions have been raised as answers given.

I’d like to spend our time together today helping you to sort out

the findings of the eye-opening study presented in the July 17,

2002 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association

(JAMA), highlight a few studies that have actually prophesized these

findings, show you how to wean yourself off of conventional HRT,

and offer natural solutions for relief from menopausal symptoms.

Be sure to share this information with all the women in your life.

Explanation of the Study

The study presented in last week’s issue of JAMA

reported on the findings from one part of the Women’s Health Initiative

(WHI), an 8.5 year project funded by the National Institutes of

Health. The WHI involves 161,809 postmenopausal women between the

ages of 50 and 79 and focuses on outlining the benefits and risks

of a variety of treatments designed to lower the incidences of several

diseases, including heart disease, breast and colon cancer, and

fractures in postmenopausal women. Of this group, 16,608 women who

were healthy and had an intact uterus participated in one part of

the WHI, which tested the effectiveness of estrogen/progestin therapy.

According to the findings, women taking estrogen/progestin

for five years or more had an increased risk for blood clots, coronary

heart disease (CHD), strokes, and breast cancer. They did find that

the treatment decreased the risk for colorectal cancer and hip fracture.

The researchers concluded that, “The results

indicate that this regimen should not be initiated or continued

for primary prevention of CHD.” In fact, researchers felt so

strongly about the negative implications of long-term combined HRT,

especially the unacceptably high risk for breast cancer, that they

ended the study three years early.

The Research Path Leading Up to the Study

While the national media reports that the medical

community is shocked and stunned by the results of the recent JAMA

study, I can’t help but wonder why. Reports on the risks associated

with conventional HRT have filled medical journals for more than

twenty years. Two different studies presented in 1975 in the New

England Journal of Medicine found that estrogen significantly

increased the risk of cancer of the uterine lining.

In a 1997 study published in the Lancet, researchers looked

at 51 earlier studies involving a total of more than 161,000 women.

They concluded that conventional HRT increased the risk of breast

cancer with each year of use. Women using HRT for five or more years

were at 35 percent greater risk. In that same year, the Medical

Tribune reported that after ten years of use, ERT (replacement

therapy using estrogen alone) increased a woman’s risk of dying

from breast cancer by 43 percent.

In 1998, the Heart and Estrogen/progestin Replacement

Study (HERS), focused on the connection between conventional HRT

and heart disease, and involved nearly 2,800 postmenopausal women

with an average age of 67 who were given either a combination of

estrogen/progestin or placebo for about four years. All participants

had a history of heart disease.

The findings of this study, which were presented

in the August 19, 1998 issue of JAMA, found that the estrogen/progestin

combination did not prevent heart attacks or death from coronary

heart disease, but in fact, did increase the risk for clots in the

veins and lungs.

Finally, in January 2000, concerns about combined

estrogen-progestin hormone replacement treatment identified by a

large National Cancer Institute study were reported in JAMA.

The study concluded that women who took the combined treatment for

five years had a 40 percent greater chance of developing breast

cancer than women taking estrogen alone or no hormones. Similarly,

other recent studies have confirmed an even higher 60 to 70 percent

increase in breast cancer risk with the long-term use of HRT.

My Recommendations

One of the questions that has been posed in every

newspaper and on every television program since the release of the

JAMA findings is “Now What?” Many women fear that

giving up HRT means a return of dreaded menopausal symptoms such

as hot flashes, night sweats, and anxiety. For those of you who

receive my newsletter, my answer to this question is quite simple—use

a combination of safe, natural therapies like phytoestrogens, vitamins,

and natural progesterone. Not only are these complementary treatments

gentle and highly effective, they are readily available in most

health food stores.

For relief of the symptoms associated with menopause,

as well as support for your cardiovascular system and bones, I recommend

taking the following daily dosages: 400 to 2,000 IU of vitamin E

per day; 80 to 160 mg of a standardized extract of black cohosh

per day (this dose should contain a total of 2 to 4 mg of the active

component triterpenes, calculated as 27-deoxyacteine); and/or 50

to 150 mg of soy isoflavones per day.

You will also need to elevate your progesterone

levels with a natural form. Although it’s available by prescription

as a pill, most women prefer to use natural progesterone as a topical

cream or spray, which is absorbed through the skin. A typical dosage

of natural progesterone cream is 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon applied to

any clean area of the skin once or twice a day (be sure it contains

400 to 600 mg of progesterone per ounce). A typical dosage of the

spray is 5-10 sprays per day.

Read More on Menopause:

Getting Started

What is Menopause?

Quiz: Is it Menopause?

Keep it SIMPLE Tip — Taking Herbs

Nutritional Therapies

Power Nutrients for Menopause


Making the HRT Decision

Who Benefits from HRT

If You Must Take HRT

JAMA Study on HRT

Weaning off HRT



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