Endocrine Journal
ORIGINALS
Effects of Hormone Replacement Therapy on Circulating Docosahexaenoic Acid and Eicosapentaenoic Acid Levels in Postmenopausal Women
HIROYUKI SUMINOSHUICHI ICHIKAWAMASAMI MURAKAMITETSUYA NAKAMURATSUGIYASU KANDATETSUO SAKAMAKIHIDEKI MIZUNUMAMASAHIKO KURABAYASHI
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Volume 50 (2003) Issue 1 Pages 51-59

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Abstract

Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) has antiatherosclerotic effects of which the mechanism remains unclear. The ingestion of fish oil or other sources of n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids has been included in comprehensive strategies to prevent atherosclerosis. Many epidemiologic studies have shown that the dietary intake of docosahexaenoic acid and eicosapentaenoic acid has antiatherosclerotic effects. We investigated the effect of HRT on plasma docosahexaenoic acid and eicosapentaenoic acid concentrations in postmenopausal women. Fifty-nine postmenopausal women, who received conjugated estrogens (0.625 mg/day) and medroxyprogesterone (2.5 mg/day) for 12 months, and 45 control postmenopausal women, who did not receive HRT, volunteered to participate in this study. Plasma docosahexaenoic acid and eicosapentaenoic acid concentrations were measured at baseline and at 6 and 12 months after the start of HRT. HRT significantly increased the plasma docosahexaenoic acid and eicosapentaenoic acid concentrations from 134 ± 5 μg/ml and 69 ± 4 μg/ml at baseline to 156 ± 7 μg/ml and 85 ± 7 μg/ml after 12 months (both p<0.01). However, the control group showed no significant change in their plasma docosahexaenoic acid and eicosapentaenoic acid levels during the study. HRT increased plasma docosahexaenoic acid and eicosapentaenoic acid levels in postmenopausal women. We propose that the increase in docosahexaenoic acid and eicosapentaenoic acid may be partially responsible for the beneficial mechanisms by which HRT induces an antiatherosclerotic effect in postmenopausal women.

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