What are Bioidentical Hormones?
"Bioidentical" hormones have the same molecular structure as our own hormones. They are the same as our hormones.
Who would want to put any other kind of "hormone" in your body? Bioidentical steroid hormones are synthesized in laboratories
using a plant molecule, diosgenin, as the raw material--but so are all the patented designer steroids. It doesn't matter what the
raw material is, whether the molecule was made in a lab or an animal's body, whether the molecule is "synthetic" or "natural", or
whether it's pharmacy-compounded or FDA-approved; what matters is that the molecular structure is human and the
route of delivery is appropriate (e.g. transdermal for estradiol). Hormone-like molecules that are not natural to the
human body are not hormones, they are drugs.
The term "bioidentical" had to be invented because drug companies try to sell their patented non-natural molecules by calling
them "hormones". Thus they have always tried to blur the vital distinction between bioidentical and alien molecules. Because of
drug companies, "Hormone Replacement" has come to mean the treatment of menopause with pills containing horse urine
estrogens and invented progestins, neither of which are human hormones nor have their same benefits, and both of which can
cause serious medical problems. Bioidentical hormones given in the correct dose, by the correct route, and correctly
balanced with each other have not been shown to cause any problems. Transdermal estradiol and progesterone have
not been shown to increase the risk of blood clots, strokes, heart attacks, or breast cancer. Of course, even bioidentical
hormones can cause harm if not restored properly. For example, women should never replace their estrogen (estradiol) without
also replacing progesterone as progesterone counteracts estradiol in the uterus and breast and thereby helps prevent uterine
and breast cancers (EPIC-E3N 2005). On the other hand, Provera®, the most widely prescribed progesterone mimic
(progestin), increases the risk of breast cancer. (WHI 2002)
Why are Bioidentical Hormones so Controversial?
Since your hormones cannot be patented, they are available at low cost from compounding pharmacies (as little as $10 to $30
per month per hormone). Seeking to maximize profits on their own bioidentical and non-bioidentical hormone products,
pharmaceutical corporations are trying to get the congress and FDA to make the compounding of bioidentical hormones
essentially illegal. (See Wyeth corporation's appeal to the FDA and Sen. Kennedy's proposed anti-compounding legislation.)
They are trying to eliminate the competition. Until they control the market, pharmaceutical corporations want
"bioidentical" and "compounding" to be dirty words.
In addition, drug companies are facing thousands of lawsuits due to the serious problems caused by their hormone substitutes
(Prempro® WHI study 2002); so they, and the FDA that approved these dangerous drugs, want to equate hormone substitutes
with our natural hormones--claiming that hormones, not the patented substitutes, are the problem. Drug companies are
spending vast amounts of money to spread disinformation about bioidentical hormones, compounding pharmacies, and the
doctors who use them. They use their funding leverage to get physician organizations like the American College of
Obstetrics and Gynecology and the Endocrine Society to refuse to differentiate between hormones and drugs, and to
make official anti-bioidentical, anti-compounding statements. Most doctors believe these lies, not realizing that they are being
fed drug-company propaganda. So when your doctor says things like, "They haven't been tested.", "There's no proof they are
safer than regular HRT.", "Hormones are hormones.", "You never know what's in compounded hormones", etc.; he/she is just
repeating pharmaceutical propaganda that has no basis in medical science. If doctors understood the importance of
vitanutrients and bioidentical hormones in the many disorders and diseases they see every day, they would have to drastically
change the way they practice medicine. (See this powerpoint presentation)
For Health and Quality of Life