• Estrogen Stocking Stuffers — Part 3 of 4
Posted by Joseph F. McWherter, MD on January 15, 2013
In my earlier blogs I discussed why I recommend bio-identical hormones over animal-based or synthetic hormones for hormone replacement therapy. Here’s an explanation of bio-identical hormones and my reasons for prescribing them to my patients.
My choice for estrogen replacement therapy is to use a combination of bio-identical estrogens, most often in topical form. The term “bio-identical” means the same molecular structure as hormones produced in the human body. I prefer not to use the word “natural” because horse urine is a natural substance, and therefore hormones derived from animals could be misinterpreted as “natural human hormones.” The pharmaceutical name for a “natural”, animal derived, non-human source of estrogen is Premarin.
Why do I prescribe bio-identicals?
- Our bodies produce the genetic blueprint which contains the instructions on how to use bio-identicals. I am amazed when I listen to media talking heads or read big pharmaceutical-funded articles questioning the safety of bio-identical hormones as opposed to synthetic hormones.
- Bio-identical hormones have been part of the longest ongoing randomized trial in human history – evolution. Unlike a synthetic hormone, which at worst can produce a bad 4th quarter big pharma company earning report, a biological inferior hormone trying to compete in the Darwinian survival of the fittest, eventually would result in the extinction of a species.
- I am able to measure bio-identical hormone levels in blood, saliva, or urine which cannot be accomplished with synthetics.
- I have developed specialized nutraceutical products which contain specific orthomolecular formulations designed to control the effect of bio-identical hormones and their metabolites on breast tissue. Studies of these products performed by FDA-certified labs have confirmed their efficacy. Synthetics (as pointed out Part 1 of this series) are more difficult to regulate nutraceutically since they are not recognized by the body’s genetically-controlled hormone modulation enzymes. Lacking control, synthetic hormones tend to overstimulate tissue and activate abnormal biologic pathways with greater frequency.
Pundits of bio-identical hormone replacement cry foul when discussing the potential harm from elevated blood levels. I have a perfect example which counters their concerns – pregnancy. A pregnant woman has much higher circulating levels of estrogen than can be achieved with bio-identical replacement. Yet pregnancy, the last time I checked and especially after delivering babies for over 30 years, represents the zenith of female health (especially for the breasts).
My last comments on this subject will be in my Part 4 of this series.