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Women's natural hormones protect their brains

Natasha Kumar By Natasha Kumar Nov20,2023

Women's natural hormones protect their brains

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The longer a woman is exposed to her natural hormones, the less likely the small blood vessels in her brain are to show signs of disease, according to this Quebec study.

The Canadian Press

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Natural hormones produced by women would have a protective effect on their brain, reveals a study carried out by researchers at the University of Sherbrooke published in the journal Neurology (New window) (in English).

< p class="StyledBodyHtmlParagraph-sc-48221190-4 hnvfyV">According to this research, the longer a woman is exposed to her natural hormones, the less likely the small blood vessels in her brain will show signs of disease.

This observation is not trivial since, in concrete terms, healthy cerebral blood vessels reduce the risks of suffering strokes, developing cognitive disorders or even suffering from degenerative diseases.

The article is co-authored by six researchers, including Professor Kevin Whittigstall and his student Samantha Côté, both from the Sherbrooke University Hospital Research Center.

During her work, Samantha Côté, who holds a doctorate in radiation sciences and biomedical imaging, observed a link between the rate of production of estrogen and progesterone and blood flow in the brains of women. She then wondered whether it could also have longer-term effects.

So the researchers looked at data from 9,163 women in postmenopause from UK-Biobank. They calculated the number of years between the first menstruation at puberty and the last at menopause. They then added factors to the calculation, for example adding years for the number of pregnancies or subtracting years for taking anovulatory drugs.

It follows that women would benefit from a clear protective effect from 37 years of exposure to natural hormones. Then the effect is increased by additional years. With the average of 39 years of exposure to hormones among the 9,163 cases studied, it appears that many women are enjoying these benefits.

Natasha Kumar

By Natasha Kumar

Natasha Kumar has been a reporter on the news desk since 2018. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining The Times Hub, Natasha Kumar worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my 1-800-268-7116

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