Men who suffer from varicose veins have more estradiol in their blood than men who do not have varicose veins. Dermatologists at the Universitaetsklinikum Leipzig discovered this in a small study of 21 men with the complaint. Their publication in Angiology may be interesting for chemical athletes who use testosterone and for men who are considering using supplements to prevent varicose veins.
Varicose veins are more common in women who have a raised estradiol level in their blood. And men with Klinefelter syndrome, who also have more estradiol in their blood than other men, are also more likely to have have the problem. That’s why the Germans wanted to know whether there’s a relationship between sex hormones and varicose veins in ‘normal’ men. They compared the hormone levels of 21 men who had varicose veins with those of 13 men without the complaint.
Suspect number one on the Germans’ list was testosterone. Although men with low testosterone levels have more risk of cardiovascular disease, test tube studies show that androgen hormones are associated with damage to blood vessel walls. But the Germans found no relationship between the amount of free testosterone and varicose veins. The men with varicose veins had just as much free testosterone in their blood as the men who did not have varicose veins.
However, there was a relationship between estradiol and varicose veins. The men with varicose veins had more estradiol in their blood than the men with smooth legs.
The ratio of estradiol to testosterone was also higher in the men with varicose veins than the men who did not have varicose veins. Sounds logical.
It looks like estradiol is the culprit. Why this is the case the researchers don’t yet know. Nor are they entirely sure how to interpret their results. This study is the first step in a larger research project on the relationship between sex hormones and varicose veins.
If the results of the study are correct, then supplements that inhibit the conversion of testosterone into estradiol may help against varicose veins.
Elevated Serum Estradiol/Testosterone Ratio in Men With Primary Varicose Veins Compared With a Healthy Control Group
The role of sex hormones in men with varicose veins remains unclear. Therefore, we set up a prospective pilot-study. In 34 men, venous blood was sampled during morning hours, for the determination of serum estradiol (E2), dehydroepiandrostendion, androstendion, and free testosterone (fT). Serum E2:fT ratio was calculated. The study protocol also included patient history, physical examination, color duplex ultrasound of both limbs, and assignment of CEAP clinical stage (C) classification. About 21 symptomatic varicose men (VM [C ? 2] mean age of 40.3/+6.9 years) and 13 healthy men (HM [C ? 1] mean age of 38.1/+ 7.4 years) were analyzed. The serum E2:fT ratio (VM 2.83/+ 0.79 and HM 2.32/+0.63) was significantly different (P < .05) between the two groups. No major differences were seen on the serum levels of the sex hormones. In summary, our results demonstrate a changed serum E2:fT ratio among men with varicose veins compared to healthy men. By the fact of a small study sample, the interpretabillity of this result is limited. Source: http://ang.sagepub.com/content/60/3/283.abstract