There are three main types of estrogen: E2 (estradiol), the form of estrogen that runs the menstrual cycle and fluctuates in amounts based on the ripening of eggs during the menstrual cycle, E1 (estrone), the form of estrogen produced mainly in fat cells, and E3 (estriol) the form of estrogen that is anti-inflammatory and highly protective to health that should be made at the rate of 2 mg per day for the entire lifespan of any woman.
Estriol is elevated 4-fold during pregnancy due to extra production of it within the liver of the developing fetus. This extra estriol influences the type of immune cells being made, meaning less T1 cells and more T2. This is to prevent the mother’s immune system from rejecting the fetus by preventing the mother’s immune system from seeing the fetus as “foreign.” The “side effect” of this immune system modulation by estriol during pregnancy is that mothers with autoimmune disease (typically T1 excess) go into remission, including mothers with MS.
A new review study (the full study is available to read by clicking here1) explains how researchers have used estriol in human studies to show that estriol given at the pregnancy amount (8 mg per day) causes MS lesions to go into remission. Estriol is acting both to reduce the acute immune system inflammation that drives myelin destruction as well as acting to protect against longer-term axonal degeneration. These are truly profound findings.
Estriol is not produced in relation to a woman’s menstrual cycle. Rather, 2 mg per day should be made every day by a woman’s ovaries even after menopause. The level of estriol production declines with age, and with it a significant amount of protection for the brain. This means that all women, especially those with any concern over mood health or nerve function should consider supplemental estriol as part of a healthy anti-aging program.