Estradiol is the main female sex hormone (estrogen). It is important for both female and male reproductive health, brain and thyroid function, bone health and development, and maintaining a healthy weight.

Estradiol is important to monitor, especially if you have weight, thyroid, or reproductive issues.

Keep reading to learn more about how estradiol helps improve cognitive function and how you can increase your levels.

What is Estradiol?

Estradiol (E2) is the most active estrogen in the body. It is produced mainly in the ovaries; however, the brain, fat cells, immune system cells, and bones can also produce estradiol. It is produced from the sex hormones testosterone, androstenedione, and progesterone [1].

Estradiol helps protect the brain. It also plays a role in the creation of connections between nerve cells in the brain and may inhibit or promote this process depending on the location. It also influences the development of nerve cells in the brain by controlling gene expression and calcium release [2, 3].

Estradiol influences cognitive function, which is the ability to learn, retain, and recall information. Cognition includes memory, reasoning, attention, and comprehension. Estradiol may be responsible for the differences in brain function between sexes, such as differences in thinking, stress and anxiety, aggression, and movement in males and females [3, 4].

Another important function of estradiol is influencing dopamine levels and activity. By increasing the release of dopamine, estradiol can enhance motivation, especially sexual motivation [5].

Estradiol levels decrease as you age. For women, estradiol levels decrease sharply during menopause. This decrease contributes to age-related declines in memory and learning [3].

Additionally, people with low estradiol levels can have an impaired stress response and are more susceptible to stress [6].

High Estradiol Levels Enhances Certain Cognitive Functions

There are notable differences in brain function between males and females. While men outperform women in spatial tasks, women perform better on tasks related to short-term memory and verbal abilities, including speech development, spelling, and grammar. These findings may be attributed to the difference in estrogen levels between women and men [3].

Estrogen Therapy Improves Memory

In a study (DB-CT) of 31 men and 39 women, women with higher salivary estradiol levels performed better on memory tasks than both women with low estradiol and men [7].

In a review of four studies (RCTs), post-menopausal women performed worse on verbal memory and fluency tasks than pre-menopausal women, who had higher estradiol levels [8].

Verbal Memory

One study (DB-RCT) of 29 postmenopausal women, treatment with estradiol slightly improved verbal memory [9].

Short-term memory

In one trial (DB-RCT) of 14 women, estrogen injections for three days improved short-term memory [10].

Another study looked at 343 women who participated in studies (RCTs) where they had short-term estrogen therapy administered in the early phase of menopause. The hormone therapy group had a 64% decreased risk of cognitive impairment, including memory [11].

Additionally, in various rat and mice studies, estradiol (most often 17ß-estradiol) enhanced brain function, such as object recognition and working memory [12, 3, 13].

However, a women’s responsiveness to estrogen therapy may decrease with age and time after menopause. After a certain age, estradiol may stop having protective effects on cognition [12].

How to Increase Estradiol Levels

Lifestyle and Diet

1) Yoga

Practicing yoga can help increase estradiol and increase the quality of life of postmenopausal women [14].

2) Fiber

Eating a diet rich in high-fiber vegetables, fruits, and grains may increase estradiol levels. High dietary fiber intake is associated with higher estradiol levels [15].

3) Black Tea

Regularly drinking black tea is associated with increased estradiol levels [16].

Supplements

4) Maca

In a pilot study (DB-RCT), two months of maca (Lepidium peruvianum Chacon) supplementation significantly increased estradiol levels in women who were transitioning into menopause [17].

5) Red Clover

A review of 11 studies (RCTs) concluded that red clover helped increase estrogen levels in women undergoing or about to undergo menopause [18].

6) Boron

Boron supplementation has been shown to increase estradiol levels in postmenopausal women [19, 20].

7) DHEA (Dehydroepiandrosterone)

In a study of 225 healthy adults (DB-RCT), a year of DHEA increased estradiol levels in women but not men [21].

Irregular Estrogen Results?

LabTestAnalyzer helps you make sense of your lab results. It informs you which labs are not in the optimal range and gives you guidance about how to get them to optimal. It also allows you to track your labs over time. No need to do thousands of hours of research on what to make of your lab tests.

LabTestAnalyzer is a sister company of SelfHacked. The proceeds from your purchase of this product are reinvested into our research and development, in order to serve you better. Thank you for your support.

Click here to subscribe

RATE THIS ARTICLE

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars
(6 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)
Loading...

FDA Compliance

The information on this website has not been evaluated by the Food & Drug Administration or any other medical body. We do not aim to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any illness or disease. Information is shared for educational purposes only. You must consult your doctor before acting on any content on this website, especially if you are pregnant, nursing, taking medication, or have a medical condition.