HORMONE MYTH BUSTERS
MYTH #1: BioIdentical is a Marketing Term–BioIdentical Hormones Are No Different Than Other Hormones
TRUTH: BioIdentical Hormones have greater benefit and lower risk than non-bioidentical hormones.
A number of peer reviewed scientific articles have shown this. Bioidentical progesterone causes fewer side effects and improved quality of life compared to synthetic progesterone (Provera).
Horse derived estrogen (Premarin) causes increased cardiovascular risk and possibly increased cancer risk due to its formulation (oral medication, multiple horse estrogens).
MYTH #2: Hormones Cause Cancer
TRUTH: While nothing is 100% risk free, bioidentical estrogen and progesterone have a decreased risk of breast cancer over non-bioidentical hormones.
Provera increases breast cell growth. Bioidentical progesterone inhibits breast cell growth. Two large studies of 130,000 women confirm that bioidentical progesterone protects women on estrogen from breast cancer while synthetic progesterone increases risk significantly.
In men, 16 studies over 15 years show no increased risk of prostate cancer with testosterone therapy.
MYTH #3: Hormones Cause Heart Disease and Strokes
TRUTH: Bioidentical estrogen and progesterone decrease risk of stroke and heart disease due to their beneficial effects on the blood vessels and cholesterol.
Prempro causes increased coronary artery spasm and heart attacks due to increased blood clotting and decreased cholesterol benefits. In men, testosterone improves blood flow to the coronary arteries and lowers blood pressure.
MYTH #4: Hormones Cause Alzheimer’s Disease
TRUTH: BioIdentical estrogen and progesterone decrease risk of Alzheimer’s by 80%.
Prempro increases dementia due to mini-strokes. Testosterone improves cognitive (mental) function.
MYTH #5: Bioidentical Hormones Are Not Regulated By the FDA
TRUTH: The FDA controls all products in the United States.
According to the FDA Modernization Act of 1997, it is legal to compound estriol. The FDA has not approved any pharmaceutical product containing estriol even though its value and safety profile have been demonstrated in Europe.
It has been used to help women with multiple sclerosis, but the FDA has not approved it due to pressure from the pharmaceutical industry. The other bioidentical hormones such as progesterone, testosterone, and thyroid are all approved for use in humans in the United States, although testosterone is only approved for use in men. Its use in women is considered to be “off label.”
MYTH #6: FDA Decisions Are Based on Solid Scientific Evidence about What is Best For Women
TRUTH: The FDA is under great pressure from the pharmaceutical companies, especially Wyeth, manufacturer of Premarin.
Wyeth Pharmaceutical Company petitioned the FDA in 2008 to take action against compounding pharmacies who use the term “bioidentical” in their advertising.
Wyeth is losing market share to the compounding pharmacies as women are demanding safer, customized hormones.
MYTH #7: Doctors Are Up to Date on the Latest Scientific Advances
TRUTH: 99% of doctors are not aware of the medical literature on bioidentical hormones.
They are mainly aware of the highly publicized studies which are usually funded by the pharmaceutical companies. Studies have shown there is a 17 year lag between discovery and implementation on average by doctors.
Doctors look to the specialty medical societies for treatment guidelines. Unfortunately, these societies are heavily funded by the pharmaceutical industry.
Sklar Center for Restorative Medicine
5000 East Spring Street, Suite 402
Long Beach, California