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Oestrogen doesn't protect mental function in older women

BMJ 2004; 328 doi: (Published 24 June 2004) Cite this as: BMJ 2004;328:1514

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Dementia increase with oestrogen and progesterone use is predictable.


The most recent findings of the Women’s Health Initiative Study, of
increased risk of dementia and cognitive decline with HRT, are reported as
being unexpected.1

Skoog and Gustafason reviewed the evidence for the effect of HRT on
dementia and concluded that the results of 24 treatment trials published
by 1999 had methodological problems that prohibited definite conclusions
on the relationship between HRT and cognitive decline and dementia.2 I
commentated that increases in dementia were likely because exogenous
hormones can induce zinc deficiency and exogenous hormone use causes the
same pattern of mineral imbalance, lower zinc and higher copper levels,
which we had found in children with dyslexia.3,4

Zinc is essential for brain development and function. Lower zinc and
higher copper levels were shown to be caused by hormone use in 1968.5 The
mineral imbalance caused by hormone use increases the risk of all
illnesses including vascular diseases, cancers and osteoporosis.6,7 The
risk of strokes is increased and therefore the risk of vascular dementia
must also be increased.

It is difficult to see how any doctor who has monitored these basic
biochemical and vascular effects of hormones can believe that exogenous
hormone use is beneficial.

1 Tanne JH. Oestrogen doesn't protect mental function in older women.
BMJ 2004;328:1514 (26 June),doi:10.1136/bmj.328.7455.1514-b

2 Skoog I, Gustafason D. HRT and dementia. J Epidem Biostat 1999;

3 Grant E. Key nutrient deficiencies. J Epidem Biostat 1999; 4: 252.

4 Grant ECG, Howard JM, Davies S, et al. Zinc deficiency in children
with dyslexia: concentrations of zinc and other minerals in sweat and
hair. BMJ 1988: 296: 607-9.

5 Halstead HJ, Hackly BM, Smith JC. Plasma zinc and copper in
pregnancy and after oral contraception. Lancet 1968; 2: 178-83.

6 Grant ECG. The Pill, hormone replacement therapy, vascular and mood
-over-reactivity, and mineral imbalance. J Nutr Environ Med 1998; 8: 105-

7 McLaren-Howard J, Grant ECG, Davies S. Hormone replacement therapy
and osteoporosis; bone enzymes and nutrient imbalances. J Nutr Environ Med
1998; 8: 129-38.

Competing interests:
None declared

Competing interests: No competing interests

27 June 2004
Ellen C G Grant
physician and medical gynaecologist
20 Coombe Ridings, Kingston-upon-Thames, JT2 7JU