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A Canary's Eye View — Metabolic Basis
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Caffeine, menopause lower blood sulfate

My overall health took a steep dive at menopause; this certainly contributed. Perhaps a lot of post-menopausal women could benefit from Epsom Salts baths, especially if they don't take estrogen.

From PubMed, a service of the National Library of Medicine and the National Institutes of Health:

Effects of acute caffeine ingestion and menopause on sulfate homeostasis in women. Benincosa LJ, Sagawa K, Massey LK, Morris ME.
Department of Pharmaceutics, School of Pharmacy, State University of New York at Buffalo 14260, USA.

Inorganic sulfate is a physiological anion which is utilized in the metabolism of both endogenous compounds and xenobiotics. Its homeostasis is maintained predominantly by facilitated reabsorptive processes in the kidneys. The objectives of the present investigation were to evaluate the effects of menopausal status and caffeine ingestion on the serum concentrations and clearance of inorganic sulfate. Thirty-nine women who were classified as premenopausal, postmenopausal with or without estrogen treatment, and postmenopausal with osteoporosis participated in the study. The women were studied on two separate occasions following the ingestion of a decaffeinated beverage to which 6 mg caffeine/kg lean body mass or no caffeine was added. All women were habitual caffeine users (mean ingestion of 588 mg caffeine per day) but abstained from all caffeine sources for 2 weeks prior to the control study day. Postmenopausal women with estrogen supplementation exhibited significantly lower sulfate serum concentrations (0.24 +/- 0.02 mM vs. 0.32 +/- 0.04 mM in premenopausal women, mean +/- SD, p < 0.05) and a decreased renal reabsorption of sulfate for the control (no caffeine) period. There was no difference in serum sulfate or sulfate reabsorption in estrogen supplemented postmenopausal women, compared with women not taking estrogen. Postmenopausal women with osteoporosis had significantly lower creatinine and sulfate clearances than postmenopausal women with estrogen supplementation which may be related to their older age, or factors related to the disease process. The 6 mg/kg dose of caffeine caused a diuresis, but no change in GFR, as indicated by urine volume and creatinine clearance values, respectively. Caffeine administration resulted in an increase in the sulfate excretion rate; there was no change in sulfate serum concentrations. The results of this investigation indicate that menopause results in decreased sulfate serum concentrations that may be the consequence of a decreased renal reabsorption of sulfate. Secondly, this investigation demonstrated that caffeine ingestion increases the urinary excretion of sulfate, an effect that may be related to the diuretic effect of caffeine or due to a caffeine-induced alteration in the renal reabsorption of sulfate.

(Too bad they didn't specify exactly what the women were taking who supplemented estrogen. I can't help wondering what difference the various forms of estrogen would make on sulfate clearance.)

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Last updated 4 June 2007