There has been a lot of talk about bio-identical hormones
lately. They are being promoted as a "natural" alternative
to pharmaceutical hormones. Bio-identical hormones are not natural though.
They are synthesized in a lab, from plant sterols, just like many pharmaceutical
The term bio-identical is rather misleading. This
implies that they are identical in every way to natural hormones. Though,
this may not be the case. More than one substance can share the same
atoms, and the same number of atoms yet still not be the same. Location
of the atoms, and bond angles can make a substance different. For example
glucose, galactose, and fructose are all C6H12O6, yet they are all different
sugars. Hormones are no different. When synthesizing a compound I don't
see any way to prove that all atoms are in the same exact position,
nor that all bond angles are exactly the same. This is like the claims
that natural and synthetic vitamin Es are identical. If this were the
case though, then why are natural vitamin Es considerably stronger than
their synthetic counterparts? There is obviously some differences. Since
they have identical types and number of atoms, the only difference that
could explain the difference in activity would be different bond angles
between these two substances that are supposed to be identical.
There is a false belief that bio-identical hormones
are safe. Ever hear of problems like progesterone dominance? I find
it interesting that people promoting progesterone creams never bring
up this problem. Could it be because it would hurt their sales or investments?
Especially considering that the side effects of progesterone dominance
are almost identical to the side effects of estrogen dominance. This
has always made me wonder how many women are increasing their use of
progesterone creams trying to treat what they feel is estrogen dominance,
when in fact they are actually suffering from progesterone dominance.
Another fact that the sales people and sites fail
to mention is that these hormones store in the body. They are not flushed
within a short period of time as they claim. The majority of the hormones
absorbed through the skin do not go directly in to the bloodstream.
Instead the hormones store in the fat cells of the body and gradually
increase in levels as the hormones accumulate. Many women that have
been on progesterone creams for a while often have years worth of progesterone
stored up in their fat cells. Keep in mind that this can also lead to
atrophy of the glands that produce the hormones causing a dependence
on the external source of hormones.