Ms Ainhoa Ruiz del Aguas PhD thesis addressed these questions when she recently defended it at the University of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU): Oxidative stress biomarkers during postmenopause: effect of substitutive treatments. Dr Ruiz del Agua is a biochemistry graduate who is currently working as a researcher contracted by the Department of Physiology in the Faculty of Medicine and Odontology of the UPV/EHU. Her work was led by Ms Mara Begoa Ruiz Larrea and Mr Jos Ignacio Ruiz Sanz.
Treatment with diverse effects
The principal aim of the research is to determine the effect of substitutive treatments normally administered during postmenopause. Moreover, it aims to define the genetic markers that condition the response to each of the treatments. To this end, Doctor Ruiz del Agua analysed the response by a group of women from Bizkaia to two treatments: on the one hand, to raloxifene and, on the other, to a substitutive hormonal treatment combining estradiol (a type of oestrogen) and progesterone (another female sex hormone).
The conclusions of Doctor Ruiz del Aguas thesis point to raloxifene, while increasing the antioxidant activity of an enzyme known as arilesterase, which is beneficial, has a neutral effect on the cardiovascular system, given that it does not modifiy other cardiovascular risk markers, nor the characteristics of LDL (bad cholesterol) particles.
As regards combined hormonal therapy, Ruiz del Agua points to two main conclusions: it reduces one of the cardiovascular risk markers studied, which is beneficial, but it also reduces antioxidant activity of the serum, which means an adverse effect on the endothelial function (which avoids blood clots forming) and on the balance necessary between oxidant and antioxidant substances.
Genetic factors determining response to treatment
On the one hand
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