Hormone Replacement Treatments and Antioxidant Vitamin Supplements Are Potentially Harmful

Tong Wenyu

PureInsight | December 30, 2002

A recent study has shown that hormone replacement therapy (HRT) and/or antioxidant vitamin supplements neither reduce the risk of myocardial infarction (MI) nor slow the progression of coronary artery disease. Instead, these treatments may cause more harm than good.

Research funded by the National Institute of Health (NIH) and the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) showed that women who took both hormone and antioxidant vitamins had a higher mortality rate than patients who took a placebo.

This research was published in the November 20, 2002 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) as a finding presented at the annual conference of the American Heart Association (AHA) in Chicago on November 20, 2002.

This study was conducted over a three-year period at seven clinical centers and included 423 women who had undergone menopause. The research subjects were randomly divided into four groups. Each group received different combinations of hormone treatment and antioxidant vitamins. The groups were as follows: 1.) hormone and placebo, 2.) placebo and vitamins E and C, 3.) both hormone and vitamin E and C, and 4.) placebo only. In the third group, twenty-six patients died or suffered from non-fatal heart attacks or strokes, compared to fifteen patients in the forth group. If we compare only the death rates, then the ratio of deaths in the third group as compared to the forth group is 16:6. The ratio is 20:10 if we include the number of nonfatal heart attacks. As to the risk of cancer, there was no difference found among the four groups.

Health examinations were performed on the study participants every six months over the three-year study period. The examinations showed that the progression of coronary artery disease in women who took the hormone treatment was faster than in those who took the placebo. In addition, taking vitamins didn't alleviate angiographic diseases. Instead, it increased the risk of death.

Earlier this year, the National Institute of Health terminated all clinical studies on hormone replacement medications because of the risk of fatality.

The medical community tried to use hormone treatments and vitamins to alleviate menopause and to cure cancer and heart disease, but the study results were not at all what people had expected.

The human body is a complicated system. Traditional Chinese medicine treated a patient as a whole, not just his illnesses. Man's birth, aging, illness, and death all follow a natural course. Some of the physiological changes starting in one's middle ages may be part of the natural development of life, or they may be caused by the imbalance of yin and yang in one's body. In the first case, we should follow the law of nature. As for the latter case, we should restore our health by following the formula of healthy living. Today's people have found that aging is related to changes in hormone levels. So, they have experimented with hormone replacement treatments, as in the aforementioned study. The direct thinking process in modern medicine is summarized as such: treat only where the pain is and it is not necessary to find the source of a disease. According to traditional Chinese medicine, a medical treatment based on this kind of philosophy would only disturb the balance of the "mechanism system" in the body and would achieve a result opposite than expected.

Water DD et al, Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), 2002 Nov 20; 228(19): 2432-40.

Translated from: http://www.zhengjian.org/zj/articles/2002/11/22/19343.html

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