Estrone, Estradiol and Estriol – A quick overview

July 29, 2011

As the Hotze site expands its educational scope I am happy for the opportunity to slow down and share a lot of the basic information we all need to become our best advocates and real experts in the area of hormones.
Today, we will address estrogens.
Estrogen is considered the defining female hormone. Although that is an over-simplification, estrogen is one of the defining hormones of our femininity.
Estrogen is a large molecule. It is made primarily by the ovary, but also the adrenal glands and in our fat cells. Estrogen is made of Estradiol, Estriol and Estrone. The three estrogen molecules have different primary actions and roles throughout our lives.
Estradiol is the estrogen of youth. It is most abundant when we are young and full of energy, no wrinkles, weight easily to control, sex drive skyrocketing, low to no incidence of heart disease, cancer – in general feeling great and if we took a minute to be thankful to any hormone in our life, Estradiol should be the one.
Estradiol stays high during the teens and twenties and starts to slowly decrease in the 30s and 40s and by the time we reach menopause, this beautiful hormone has all but disappeared from the estrogen scene. Not to worry, we can supplement its loss with bioidentical Estradiol which looks exactly the same as the human Estradiol molecularly and does have the same effects.
Estriol is the estrogen of pregnancy. When we aren’t pregnant we do not make any significant amounts of this hormone. Life during pregnancy is very different not only from what we see in the outside world but even more from the hormonal balance perspective specifically the amount of estriol produced. Large quantities of estriol are released into the blood stream to help feed the baby’s nourishment and life source, the placenta. When the pregnancy ends, the amount of estriol we make rapidly diminishes and we are back in the Estradiol production mode.
Some research on estriol has suggested that the use of estriol in menopausal or just estrogen deficient women is better or safer than Estradiol. The data seemed to support a hormonal support for the heart and also for vaginal and other mucosa. Many physicians use estriol in conjunction with Estradiol in the form of Bi-est to help balance estrogen need in states of estrogen deficiency or imbalance.
Estrone is the estrogen of menopause. It is a reactive, negative and miserable feeling estrogen. The increased production of estrone coincides with the increased incidence of breast cancer and heart disease in women over 50. I am not a fan of estrone and in my experience with estrogen has taught me to avoid the use of estrone and even neutralize it by increased use of progesterone as the women age and make more of this angry, old estrogen.
Finally, keep in mind that estrogen is only one hormone even though we speak of it as being the be-all, end-all of our femininity and life. It is only as helpful as we can use it to get your body into balance and keep it as natural as possible. All positive results can only be obtained if you and your doctor understand your particular body’s way of functioning and integrate as many pieces of your life’s puzzle into a hormonally balanced healthy and happy life. 

Written By: Steven F. Hotze, M.D.

Steven F. Hotze, M.D., is the founder and CEO of the Hotze Health & Wellness Center, Hotze Vitamins and Physicians Preference Pharmacy International, LLC.


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