Estrone is one of the three major sex hormones (estrogens) produced by the female body. The other two estrogens are estradiol and estriol.

Estrone is one of the three major sex hormones ( estrogens ) produced by the female body. The other two estrogens are estradiol  and estriol .

Estrone is mainly produced by the ovaries, adipose tissue and the adrenal glands. It has a much weaker biological activity than estradiol.

The activity of estrone in the body

Hormones  are chemicals produced by the body that act as messengers, in the sense that they transmit signals from one cell/cells to another/s, and in this way serve to control and coordinate the functioning and our body’s response.

There are three female sex hormones ( estrogens) par excellence that the woman’s body produces:

Over a woman’s lifetime, the amount of each of these estrogens varies. As regards more specifically estrone;

  1. during a woman’s childbearing age, its concentration in the body is lower than that of estradiol;
  2. has a weaker effect than estradiol on estrogen-specific hormone receptors;
  3. since it is less active than estradiol, it is believed that it can constitute a kind of reserve reservoir which, depending on the needs, can be converted into estradiol.

How it is produced in the female body

Estrone is produced through a special biochemical process called aromatase (aromatase is an enzyme system that operates the synthesis of estradiol), mainly from the conversion of androgens (another type of hormone).

Androgens can therefore be considered the prohormones of estrogens (i.e. the precursors of these hormones).

Estrone is produced to a large extent by the ovaries, adipose tissue, and adrenal glands, and is the main type of estrogen hormone produced in postmenopausal women.

In  premenopausal women , about 50% of estrone is produced by the ovaries.

The remaining 50% is produced by adipose tissue and the adrenal glands, which are also the sources of estrone in children, men and post-menopausal women.

Its too low levels

Low  estrogen levels  in women can cause: osteoporosis, fatigue, hot flashes, loss of libido and depression.

Given that estrone is the main estrogen** in postmenopausal women, it is believed that low levels of estrone may be the cause of worsening of the symptoms described above and other symptoms also common during menopause, particularly osteoporosis.

Its too high standards

In women with breast cancer, there may be increased production of estrone. Thus, an overproduction of estrone may be associated with the development of breast and endometrial cancer in women.

Even obese women produce a greater quantity of estrone (remember that aromatase also occurs in adipose tissue).

Aside from that, estrone production could have other health impacts, both positive and negative. Unfortunately however, being the least potent of the three estrogens, it is also the least studied and the one on which we have the least information.

Katherine Johnson, M.D., is a board-certified obstetrician-gynecologist with clinical expertise in general obstetrics and gynecology, family planning, women’s health, and gynecology.

She is affiliated with the Obstetrics and Gynecology division at an undisclosed healthcare institution and the online platform,

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