How contraceptives may may cause high BPMay 27th, 2011 - 1:34 pm ICT by IANS
Washington, May 27 (IANS) Doctors believe the estrogen women consume as oral contraceptives and hormone replacement therapy (HRT) pills is good for their hearts. Recent studies, however, have shown that long-term exposure to estrogen can be a danger to women for its link with high blood pressure (BP), a key factor in heart and brain-attacks.
Although the process by which estrogen causes high BP in females is unclear, Michigan State University (MSU) researchers have found that long-term estrogen exposure generates excessive levels of a compound, superoxide, which causes stress in the body, reports the American Journal of Physiology.
Superoxide is a common reactive form of oxygen that can attack susceptible biological targets, including lipids, proteins, and nucleic acids, according to a Michigan statement.
The build-up of this compound occurs in an area of the brain that is crucial to regulating BP, suggesting that chronic estrogen induces a build-up of superoxide that in turn causes blood pressure to increase.
The study also found that the anti-oxidant resveratrol reverses the increase in both superoxide and blood pressure.
P.S. Mohan Kumar of Michigan State, who led the study, said: “This is an important study on at least two levels. First, it continues to confirm the negative effect that long-term estrogen exposure has for females. Second, it provides a new rationale for how and why this relationship occurs.”
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