Bioidentical Hormone Therapy is Gaining Ground in Helping to Prevent DiseaseNov 27, 2020 ● By Carla Brook
Photo credit xixinxing for Adobe Stock
Treatment with bioidentical hormone therapy (BHT) is on the rise as patients become more aware of their health benefits and the detrimental effects of synthetic hormones. Conventional medicine has always held the belief that the process of aging is inevitable, and we must accept the natural deterioration of aging. The opposite has actually been found to be true.
A revolution in science and medicine has found that bioidentical hormones are not only anti-aging protective, but have also been shown to be osteoporosis (bone)-, Alzheimer's (brain)-, cardio (heart)- and cancer-protective. The most effective treatment of a disease is prevention, and replacing natural hormones effectively with bioidentical replacements has been effective.
Maintaining our hormones in a youthful state can prevent debilitating illnesses that come with aging. The most important thing is preserving quality of life. The aging process is controlled by our endocrine and immune systems, which are responsible for adaptation and change. They also communicate with the nervous system to adapt and survive.
Hormones affect every cell in the body. They are either proteins or derivatives of cholesterol. These molecules are manufactured in the endocrine glands, which include the adrenal, testes, ovaries, pancreas, thyroid, pituitary and pineal glands. When these organs degenerate, the level of hormones starts to diminish, so replacing these levels is the solution to maintaining good health as we age.
Most bioidenticals are derived from soy or yams. In contrast, synthetic hormones are chemically different from natural hormones and can cause a host of side effects or even cancer. For example, the brand Prempro consists of a synthetic estrogen from the urine of pregnant horses, and the brand Provera contains synthetic progestins. Using chemically derived hormones does not make sense when we have 50 years of medical research from some of the most distinguished medical and scientific research centers in the country proving that BHT is effective.
The culmination of three recent European studies demonstrates the difference between synthetic and natural hormones and methods of administration. The same results were confirmed in all three studies—synthetic hormones were responsible for an increased risk of breast cancer. The natural estradiol and natural progesterone were protective and demonstrated no increased risk of cancer. This was the longest and most powerful study to date of more than 100,000 women covering 10 years.
The Women’s Heath Initiative (WHI) Study demonstrated that synthetic hormone replacement resulted in an increased risk of breast cancer and heart disease. However the incidence was very low at less than 1 percent of 1,000 women. Experts in all fields now call for the discontinuation of synthetic hormones based on reported increases in heart disease, breast cancer and blood clots in this WHI trial. (This study did not apply to bioidentical hormones.)
It is best to find a knowledgeable functional medicine provider that can help you to understand and properly prescribe bioidentical hormones and address related health and lifestyle issues. Proper lab testing and continual follow-up is also of utmost importance. There are many books containing research on bioidentical hormones, such as How to Achieve Healthy Aging, by Neal Rouzier, M.D., and How You and Your Doctor Can Fight Breast Cancer, Prostate Cancer and Alzheimer’s, by Edward Friedman.