Estriol: Emerging Clinical Benefits

Estriol is the main estrogen in pregnancy, but its other benefits are now receiving attention. It is well known that pregnancy has an immunosuppressive effect on many autoimmune diseases such as multiple sclerosis, psoriasis, thyroiditis, uveitis, and rheumatoid arthritis. Emerging evidence indicates that estriol has potential immunomodulatory benefits for many disease states including autoimmune, inflammatory, and neurodegen­erative conditions.

Estriol appears to offer a potentially cost-effective approach to a variety of conditions and may offer a wide range of health benefits. Estriol offers considerable benefits for postmenopausal women with reduced risks when compared to traditional hormone therapies. These benefits include improved control of menopausal symptoms and better urogenital health. Moreover, the immunomodulatory role of estriol in reducing proinflammatory cytokines may be an important new therapeutic option for chronic auto­immune and neurodegenerative illnesses. Since estriol is a relatively weak estrogen, there is potential for use in men for conditions such as multiple sclerosis.

Ali et al. of the Texas Tech University Health Science Center reviewed emerging roles for estriol in the treatment of menopausal symptoms, osteoporosis, cancer, hyperlipidemia, vascular disease, and multiple sclerosis. The group referenced 72 articles from 1974 through 2016 and concluded that transvaginal estriol potentially offers a suitable physiologic delivery and cost-effective alternative to currently available estrogen regimens in selected patients. Additional studies on mode of delivery, safety, and efficacy merit further investigation.

Menopause. 2017 Sep;24(9):1081-1085.