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03.05.2022


Fit after menopause? Hormone treatment not necessary

Women who have gone through the menopause do not need hormone treatment if they want to get or stay fit. Sports scientists at the University of Toronto in Canada discovered this. The Canadians got two dozen healthy post-menopausal women, with and without synthetic hormones, running.


Fit after menopause? Hormone treatment not necessary


Study
Modern societies have built a pharmacological mythology around hormones like estradiol and progesterone. According to that mythology, synthetic versions of those hormones keep women slim and fit when their bodies stop producing those hormones.

The Canadians tested that mythology, and gave a dozen women in their mid-50s, who had just gone through menopause, hormone therapy for 12 weeks. The women were alternately given 1 milligram of estradiol daily for 3 weeks, followed by 200 milligrams of progesterone per day for 10 days.

Another group of women was given a placebo.


Fit after menopause? Hormone treatment not necessary


The researchers got the women to train for an hour 5 times a week. The heart of that training consisted of running for 45 minutes. The researchers gradually increased the intensity to 70 percent of the maximum oxygen uptake, or vO2max.

Results
Both groups got fitter. Whether they were synthetic hormones [HT] or not [N-HT], their oxygen uptake at the ventilatory threshold [left] and peak oxygen uptake increased.


Fit after menopause? Hormone treatment not necessary


The women's blood vessels became more flexible as a result of their training. Also in this regard it did not matter whether the women were given hormones or not.

Conclusion
"This finding suggests that in the absence of disease, short-term hormone therapy does not influence peripheral or central cardiovascular adaptations", summarize the researchers.

Source:
Menopause. 2009 Jul-Aug;16(4):770-6.

More:
Weight loss goes better after menopause 13.12.2010
Strength training keeps women in better shape than HRT 15.01.2010

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