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Med Hypotheses. 1995 Aug;45(2):169-89.

The estrogen connection: the etiological relationship between diabetes, cancer, rheumatoid arthritis and psychiatric disorders.

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Medical Research Unit, University of Wollongong, NSW, Australia.


For some considerable time, there has been a growing awareness that defective essential fatty acid metabolism plays a causal role in the pathogenesis of both schizophrenia and non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (NIDDM) but the influence of defective essential fatty acid metabolism in the pathogenesis of rheumatoid arthritis and cancer is less well appreciated. An EFA deficiency, or defective EFA metabolism, negatively influences prostaglandin synthesis and glucose regulation and transport. Moreover, defective EFA metabolism negatively influences estrogen availability which contributes to the observed gender bias some of these illnesses manifest. While fluctuations of estrogen are known to contribute to the pathogenesis of these conditions, so also do fluctuations of IGF-II and there is some suggestion that IGF-II and insulin may well be inversely regulated. In addition, insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (IDDM), rheumatoid arthritis, and schizophrenia are thought to be autoimmune disorders, while cancer is associated with immune system failure. Consequently, this paper aims to examine the pathophysiological similarities and differences between mental illness, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis and cancer in respect of which the causal relationship that obtains between essential fatty acids, estrogen, IGF-II, glucose regulation and autoimmunity will be addressed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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