Estriol (E3) is considered to be the mildest and briefest-acting of the three estrogens.
Estrogens play a critical role in female sexual development, menstrual function, protein synthesis, cardiovascular function, bone formation and remodeling, cognitive function, emotional balance and other important health factors.
- The estrogenic potency of estradiol (E2) is 12 times that of estrone (E1) and 80 times that of estriol (E3).
- Estradiol (E2) is the primary estrogen in premenopausal women.
- Estrone (E1) is the second most potent estrogen compared to estradiol.
- After menopause, estrone (E1) becomes the primary estrogen as the ovary loses its ability to manufacture estradiol, and it is synthesized in the adrenal glands and fat cells.
Estrogen in men:
Estrogen metabolism and synthesis in men appears to remain relatively stable across the life course.
In women, lower levels of estrogens have been associated with a variety of clinical symptoms:
- peri/menopausal symptoms (vasomotor symptoms; mood and memory alterations; diminished skin tone, atrophic vaginitis – a condition associated with decreased vaginal lubrication and thinner vaginal epithelial lining);
- altered lipid metabolism;
- accelerated rate of bone loss.
Excessive estrogen levels have been associated with increased risk of some hormonedependent cancers.
In men, low levels of estrogen may be associated with decreased bone density, cognitive decline and cardiovascular disease. Excessive estradiol levels have been associated with greater risk of stroke and cardiovascular disease, as well as BPH, gynecomastia, decreased sexual function and weight gain. Men who have a higher body fat percentage may also have increased estrogen levels, as increased aromatization of testosterone to estradiol can occur in adipose tissue.
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