There are 3 types of Estrogens: Estrone (E1), Estradiol (E2) and Estriol (E3).
And each of these Estrogens have distinct differences. Here is what you need to know about them.
E1 is Estrone (E1 is easy to remember because it has a "ONE" in the name EstrONE). Higher levels of EstrONE in women are associated with higher rates of Breast Cancer. Plus Women make Estrone after menopause in their fat cells.
So you never want to supplement with more Estrone!
E3 is Estriol (E3 is easy to remember because it has "TRI" in its name.) EsTRIol is the type of Estrogen that our ovaries make when we are pregnant. It appears to be associated with LOWER Rates of Breast Cancer. So it is the primary type of Estrogen you want to use after menopause.
E2 is Estradiol. (E2 is easy to remember because it has a "DI" in it's name.). EstraDIol is our most Luscious Estrogen that drives our bodies during our Reproductive years, keeps our skin smooth and plump, our bones strong, our hair shiny, full and in the growth stage, our cholesterol ratio healthier and heart stronger, and our brains and memory functioning at a optimal level.
Estradiol (E2) is far less problematic than Estrone (E1), but E2 can potentially convert to Estrone (E1), AND if doses are excessive, this can be problematic.
So we definitely want the benefits of Estradiol (E2), but we want to be smart about it. We want to use smaller amounts of Estradiol (E2) that maintain NORMAL physiologic levels of Estradiol - my preference, and what most of my patients tend to find most helpful for slowing the signs and symptoms of aging, is to use doses that maintain a 30 year old level of Estradiol.
For the vast majority of women, as our EstraDIol declines, it takes only a very low dose of bioidentical EstraDIol (E2) to keep our body's levels at Youthful 30-year-old levels.
It doesn’t take high doses – EVER! Even after menopause.
For all of these reasons, this is why most compounded bioidentical hormone formulations that are prescribed by Functional Medical Physicians prescribe an 80/20 mix of Estriol (E3) to Estradiol (E2).
This 80/20 mix, (which is the formulation of Hormone Heaven), means that there is 80% Estriol (E3) and 20% Estradiol (E2) in each pump (or serving).
For MOST women this 80/20 formulation mixed with Progesterone is the perfect choice for at least 10 years beyond menopause. After that, we aren't totally sure because there are no studies that have gone much beyond 10 years post menopause.
And for that reason, many of us Functional Docs support switching to a 100% Estriol (E3) formulation mixed with Progesterone (which is the formulation of Hormone Support).