Join Now!      Login

Whole Person Wellness Program
 
healthy.net Wellness Model
Skip Navigation Links
 
 
FREE NEWSLETTER
   
   
   
 
Health Centers
Key Services
 
America's Worst Enemy?
What is the leading cause of death in the United States?
Cancer
Auto Accidents
Heart Disease
Perscription Meds

 
 

 New Discovery May Help Doctors Treat Infertility 
 
by U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services - 7/20/2005
New research suggests that medications commonly referred to as fertility drugs may be ineffective for women who lack a gene called the estrogen receptor beta. The study showed that fertility drugs did not improve ovulation rates in mice that were genetically engineered to lack estrogen receptor beta. The estrogen receptor beta is one of two estrogen receptor proteins which mediate the effects of estrogen hormones and are present throughout the female reproductive tissues. These new data indicate that this receptor plays a critical role in ovulation, and suggests that women who do not have this receptor may benefit more from alternative infertility treatments. The findings are reported in Endocrinology, published in August, 2005.

"What we found is that the beta estrogen receptor plays a role in moving the egg outside the ovary so it can be fertilized," said Kenneth Korach, Ph.D., Laboratory Chief at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) where the research was conducted. "We never knew before what function this receptor played in reproduction."

If the results from this animal study are found to be applicable to humans, a simple blood test will be able to provide enough information to determine if a genetic mutation may be altering the function of the estrogen receptor beta. The results of this blood test, coupled with information from other medical tests and evaluations conducted by the physician, will help diagnose infertility and better determine treatment options.

"Dealing with infertility can be emotionally, financially, and physically draining" said Dr. David Schwartz, Director of the NIEHS, a part of the National Institutes of Health, which funded the research. "If we can help couples understand the reasons for their infertility, doctors can further define their treatment options, help them to minimize the expense and risk of taking drugs that may be less effective for them, and increase their chances of having a safe and healthy child," he added.

The NIEHS researchers treated normal female mice and female mice that lack estrogen receptor beta with fertility drugs similar to those commonly used by women undergoing fertility treatments. The mice lacking this receptor are more likely to exhibit infertility or subfertility, including producing fewer offspring, or having less frequent pregnancies. Treatment with fertility drugs did not improve ovulation rates in these studies.

Years of study have shown that the hormone estrogen plays an important role in a variety of systems, most especially female reproduction. However, it was generally thought that there was only one receptor, the alpha receptor, that responded to estrogen. It wasn’t until 1996 that the second receptor, estrogen receptor beta, was discovered. The current study provides evidence that the beta receptor plays a more significant role in ovarian function than the alpha receptor. Researchers would like to further their investigation into the role of the beta receptor by studying women already undergoing fertility treatment.

"The tools and animal models necessary to do these types of studies have only recently become available, but are already helping us to better understand the role of estrogen in the ovary," said John Couse, Ph.D., lead author of the August paper.

An earlier NIEHS study published in the June issue of Endocrinology, used a test tube or in vitro approach, to elucidate the role that estrogen receptors play in ovulation. "The combination of the two different methods, the in vivo and in vitro studies, complement each other nicely and provide more precise answers to the role that the estrogen receptor beta plays in ovulation," said lead author Judith Emmen, Ph.D.

The estrogen receptor beta is also known to respond to environmental and dietary chemicals that can mimic the effects of estrogen and stimulate the body’s natural hormones. One example is genistein, a common component of soy products. These new studies by Korach and colleagues suggest that such environmental exposures could interact with estrogen receptor beta and possibly alter ovarian function in women.

NIEHS, a component of the National Institutes of Health, supports research to understand the effects of the environment on human health. For more information about reproductive and developmental toxicology and other environmental health topics, please visit our website at http://www.niehs.nih.gov/.

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) — The Nation's Medical Research Agency — is comprised of 27 Institutes and Centers and is a component of the U. S. Department of Health and Human Services. It is the primary Federal agency for conducting and supporting basic, clinical, and translational medical research, and investigates the causes, treatments, and cures for both common and rare diseases. For more information about NIH and its programs, visit www.nih.gov.

   
Provided by U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services on 7/20/2005
 
 From Our Friends
 
 
 
Popular & Related Products
 
Popular & Featured Events
Wellness Inventory Certification Training
     September 16-December 16, 2014
     Teleclass, CA USA
 
Additional Calendar Links
 
Stevia Products & Info
 
Dimensions of Wellness
Wellness, Sensing, dimension!

Home       Wellness       Health A-Z       Alternative Therapies       Find a Practitioner       Healthy Products       Bookstore       Wellness Inventory
Healthy Kitchen       Healthy Woman       Healthy Man       Healthy Child       Healthy Aging       Wellness Center       Nutrition Center       Fitness Center
Free Newsletter      What Doctor's Don't Tell You      Stevia.com      Discount Lab Tests      First Aid      Global Health Calendar      Privacy Policy     Contact Us
Disclaimer: The information provided on HealthWorld Online is for educational purposes only and IS NOT intended as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek professional medical advice from your physician or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
Are you ready to embark on a personal wellness journey with our whole person approach?
Learn More/Subscribe
Are you looking to create or enhance a culture of wellness in your organization?
Learn More
Do you want to become a wellness coach?
Learn More
Free Webinar