Natural vs Synthetic Hormones
Conventional hormone replacement treatment relies on unnatural or synthetic versions of the hormones progesterone and estrogen that are now proven to be dangerous and foreign to a woman's body.
Premarin for example is conjugated from pregnant horses urine and biochemically mismatches match human hormones and causes unwanted side effects. For many women once they discover its source, are somewhat horrified at this news and emotionally devastated to learn of its side effects.
Synthetic hormone replacement therapy has long been held out to be a women's only choice by drug companies with big marketing budgets. In spite of this for years patients who have been prescribed these synthetic or non-bio-identical hormones have intuitively rejected these due to the adverse side effects they experience.
What is Natural Hormone Therapy?
Many people, including doctors confuse Natural Hormone Replacement with dong quai or black cohosh products - which is wrong.
Natural HRT is also called bio-identical HRT because it biochemically matches the human hormonal molecule and therefore considered safe by many doctors as it matches human hormone exactly. NHRT is as powerful and effective as synthetic HRT provides many the same benefits of the synthetic treatment, but according to experienced doctors, reduces risks of unwanted side effects.
Using Natural HRT you can still effectively end symptoms of hot flushes and other discomforts of menopause; cut the risk of osteoporosis, extend your youthful years; invigorate your sex life; decrease the risk of Alzheimer's disease and senility and much more…
USA based expert - Dr Jonathan Wright, M.D., categorically states “natural estrogen and natural progesterone (NP) provide all the benefits of the synthetic forms – and more – with many fewer side effects, while there is little risk of endometrial or breast cancer!” He also says “when describing replacement hormones, the word ‘natural’ is used to refer to the structure of the hormone molecule, not its source.” With this in mind, then, synthetic estrogen is really horse estrogen, not human; and medroxyprogesterone acetate (MPA) is a progestin and certainly not human progesterone. The source for true, natural sex hormones is either the wild yam (Dioscorea composita) or soy. These are then biochemically converted to molecules identical to human hormones and are proving to be much safer.
Dr Wright (1996, p.23) also reinforces the belief that Natural Progesterone protects against cancer and osteoporosis. Women who replace estrogen also need to replace progesterone. This theory may seem obvious to anyone who has studied human reproductive physiology, because estrogen and progesterone are closely linked in the normal menstrual cycle. Each month, as estrogen levels rise, progesterone levels fall, and vice versa. However, this wasn’t so obvious to physicians and pharmaceutical companies initially. As a result tens of thousands of women developed endometrial cancer as a result of taking Premarin in the absence of progesterone.
Synthetic progestins are not the same as progesterone. Thanks to the pharmaceutical industry’s promotional abilities, few people ever make that distinction. Natural progesterone, which comes from the same source as the natural estrogens, is structurally and functionally identical to the progesterone the body produces, replacing missing progesterone with natural progesterone and puts back the same hormone the body is accustomed to. As Wright identifies in his study and what is widely recognised, Natural Progesterone ‘protects against cancer, and osteoporosis’ [Wright JR, NATURAL HORMONE REPLACEMENT 1996; p.23].
While this Natural HRT field is relatively new in Australia it has been recognised in the USA for many years now as a legitimate safe and complimentary approach to patient care and thousands of doctors around the world have switched to following and practicing this discipline, religiously due to the outstanding patient results they are achieving.
The Goals of BHRT
The goals of BHRT are to alleviate the symptoms caused by the natural decrease in production of hormones by the body and to bring the body back to hormonal balance. Another goal of BHRT is to imitate the body's natural processes as much as possible, thereby eliminating most of the unwanted effects and long-term risks of the traditional synthetic hormone replacement therapies.
When describing replacement hormones, the word "natural" is used to refer to the structure of the hormone molecule, not its source. When analysed biochemically, the molecules of estrogens, progesterone, and other hormones produced from wild yam precursor molecules are found to be absolutely indistinguishable from those the human body produces itself. Thus the crucial variable defining "natural" is not the origin of the hormone, but its chemical structure.
ACPHARM canprepare hormones in various dosage forms such as capsules (oral), troches (sublingual), and transdermal creams (topical), and we can tailored formulations to each patient's individual hormone requirements.
NHRT is customized for each patient who receives the treatment, therefore it is imperative that Practitioners and patients learn as much about the process as possible. We have attempted to include a wealth of information both on natural hormones that may aid in total health, wellness and anti-ageing. We hope that the information enclosed will be a valuable resource for you and your patients.
Dr. Christiane Northrup, M.D., Assistant Clinical Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Vermont College of Medicine, states: "Synthetic progestins, such as Provera®, Amen®, and Ñorlutate®, are made by taking natural progesterone from soybeans or yams and changing it chemically to compounds with progesterone-like activity that are not found naturally in your body... Another reason why natural hormones are chemically altered to synthetics is so that they can be patented by the drug companies who manufacture them. If a drug company cannot patent a drug, the drug company cannot make a substantial enough profit on it... But hormones that occur naturally in the body cannot be patented. They are considered generic and have been prescribed by physician for 50 years. Natural hormones have been used in Europe for decades. Women in the U.S. deserve the same" (as do AUSTRALIANS)
Jonathan Wright, MD, categorically states "natural estrogen and natural progesterone (NP) provide all the benefits of the synthetic forms - and more - with many fewer side effects, while increasing your risk of endometrial or breast cancer very little, if at all!" He also says "when describing replacement hormones, the word ‘natural’ is used to refer to the structure of the hormone molecule, not its source." With this in mind, then, conjugated estrogen is really horse estrogen, not human; and medroxyprogesterone acetate (MPA) is a progestin and certainly not progesterone. The source for true, natural sex hormones is either the wild yam (Dioscorea composita) or soy. These are then biochemically converted to molecules identical to human hormones [Wright JR, NATURAL HORMONE REPLACEMENT 1996; p. 23.
A steroid is chemical substance with four carbon ring structures attached to each other in a very specific way. Cortisol, DHEA, testosterone, pregnenolone, progesterone, and estrogen are all steroid hormones that chemically look very similar to each other in terms of their backbone. However, they differ from each other in only small ways, and even tiny changes in the chemical make up of a substance can make enormous differences in how it functions and what role it plays in the chemical factories of our bodies. For instance, testosterone, the male hormone, is only slightly different chemically from estrogen, the female hormone. Yet that slight difference causes men to grow facial hair and women to develop breasts.
There is another hormone that can be of use for women during menopause. This is called Pregnenolone and is a mother hormone that can be converted into other hormones in the adrenal glands and ovaries. Pregnenolone was originally used as a treatment for inflammatory arthritis, but when powerful synthetic steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs became available, its use was discontinued.