Research Shows Estrogen Replacement Helps Maintain Muscle
If you are a woman of a “certain age” who is approaching, experiencing, or past menopause, you may have noticed that jars are harder to open, doors feel heavier, and laundry is more difficult to lift. Erroneously, most women think that getting weaker is just a natural part of getting older. But there is actually a reason women lose muscle strength with age – and an easy and affordable treatment that can preserve muscle bulk and strength in women.
In this article the anti-aging experts at Tutera Medical in Scottsdale, AZ explain how estrogen replacement therapy can help women maintain strength and muscle function as they get older.
How Estrogen Replacement Therapy Maintains Muscle
Muscles continually need to be repaired following the stress, injury and damage of day-to-day use, wear, and tear. And it has long been known that the male sex hormone testosterone and related compounds contribute to the body’s muscle-building actions.
However, a new research study by the University of Minnesota has revealed that in women’s bodies, the stem cells in the muscles called “satellite cells” that are responsible for generating new muscle also depend on estrogen. This muscle rebuilding operates by a special class of estrogen receptors on the satellite cells called ERα.
How Satellite Cells Rebuild Muscle
Like all stem cells, satellite cells are able to differentiate to form mature muscle cells when needed. These Satellite cells are situated near the cell membrane of the muscle cell and activate only when they are needed to reproduce themselves to repair a muscle following injury. But, when these important cells are lacking, a person’s skeletal muscle regeneration is severely compromised.
However, in both men and in women there is a steady age-related drop in the number of satellite cells. While a number of factors are at play in this process, the sudden drop in estrogen levels in menopausal women leads to a significant drop in muscle-repairing satellite cells.
Estrogen deficiency not only reduces the bulk of skeletal muscle, but also results in a reduction in maximum muscular force in women and impairs women’s muscle recovery after injury.
University of Minnesota Study on Estrogen Replacement & Muscles
The University of Minnesota study used mice to compare muscle stem cells with their amount of estrogen exposure. One group of mice had their ovaries removed, which dramatically reduced their exposure to estrogen.
The researchers found that without estrogen stimulation, the number of muscle stem cells in the mice dropped dramatically – by 30% to 60%.
Then, to confirm that the muscle loss was due to estrogen deficiency, they treated some of the mice whose ovaries had been removed with estrogen. As expected, this resulted in maintaining the number of satellite cells.
The study’s researcher Dawn Lowe stated that, “This is the first work to show that estrogen deficiency affects the number as well as the function of satellite cells. What estrogen does in women in terms of reproduction has been known for decades. Now we’re learning what estrogens do in women’s muscles.”
Treating Muscle Loss in Menopause
One well known strategy recommended to maintain women’s muscle mass and power is to engage in resistance training – especially starting in middle-age. However, this new research also indicates that estrogen replacement therapy can help maintain muscle mass and strength during menopause.
Estrogen replacement therapy also treats fatigue, painful intercourse, vaginal dryness, weight gain, hot flashes, and other symptoms and side effects of menopause. Additionally, estrogen replacement therapy also plays a role in preventing osteoporosis, cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, and many other serious medical conditions.
Estrogen Replacement | Scottsdale, AZ
If you are a woman who is experiencing the challenges of perimenopause or menopause, schedule an appointment at Tutera Medical to see if estrogen replacement therapy is the right menopause treatment for you. We offer SottoPelle bioidentical hormone replacement pellets for the safest, most consistent, 100% natural, and easiest-to-use method of hormone replacement.
Estrogen Replacement | Scottsdale, AZ: 480-874-1515