There is a lot of interest in hormones. It started in 1942 when Premarin was marketed by Wyeth Labs. “Forever Feminine” a 1966 best selling book by Dr. Robert Wilson supported a fear that menopause begins a rapid decline in beauty, sexuality, and health. And, all women have to do to maintain their youth is take estrogen replacement therapy (ERT) found in Premarin®. Unfortunately, this horse estrogen product increased endometrial cell growth and caused endometrial cancer and hysterectomies.
A woman’s normal cycle of 28 days can be divided as before and after ovulation which usually occurs at day 14. The first day is when the period starts and is mostly estrogen dominant. After ovulation, progesterone rises. If the egg is fertilized, progesterone stays elevated; and if not, progesterone levels start to drop about day 26 triggering the period.
So the solution to the cancer problem was to add Provera® (a progestin) that is non-human progesterone. This prevented future endometrial cancers.
Hormone replacement has been the most studied drug therapy and yet still has a lot of controversy and confusion surrounding it. Most of the confusion has to do with viewing the patented non-human progestin drug products and progesterone (the hormone the body makes) as being the same. The best example of the difference…progesterone maintains normal pregnancy, and non-human progestins are known to cause abortion of the fetus.
Hormones are chemical messengers and each different hormone has a different message. Chemically, testosterone and estrogen are very close and yet they could be described as being the difference in male and female. So, if we actually have these hormones, why would we use anything else? For years, we used insulin from beef and pork sources. Science was able to make human insulin, which is what we have now.
Suzanne Somers has popularized the concept of “bio-identical” hormone replacement. These are the same hormones that the body makes. They are “human” hormones! So if we are to replace hormones, it just makes sense to use human hormones.
Are they natural? The only place you can find human hormones in nature is in humans! These hormones are produced from soy or yam and “synthesized” or chemically manipulated to the exact chemical structure of the hormones your body synthesizes. So synthesize is not a bad word. Your body synthesized your hormones from the “bad” LDL cholesterol. So it does not matter what the hormone is made from…it matters what it is!