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How Safe are Biologically Identical Hormones?
After the report in 2002 by the women’s health initiative on the danger of synthetic hormones, two of the most commonly asked questions are “how long have biologically identical [bio–identical] hormones been used”, and “how safe are biologically identical [bio–identical] hormones?”.
Apparently, biologically identical [bio–identical] hormones were first used over 5000 years ago. Chinese Emperors would use them themselves and give them to their wives and concubines. What they used back then were truly biologically identical [bio–identical] hormones which no one now would ever use. They used the urine of adolescent boys and adolescent girls, which are very high in sex hormones.
According to Dr. Joel Yaffa M.D., chairman of the BHRT [Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy] World Summit 2 held in November 2008, biologically identical [bio–identical] hormones have been used worldwide for 40 years. He stated that during this time, biologically identical [bio–identical] hormones, which are molecularly identical to the hormones that a woman’s body makes, have not caused any adverse effects, no risk of strokes, no heart attacks or increased cancer risk associated with using them in fact, it has been found that biologically identical [bio–identical] hormones actually reduce the risk of these health problems.
Dr. Erika Schwartz, M.D., and Dr. Kent Holtorf, M.D. presented a chapter entitled Hormones in Wellness and Disease Prevention: Common Practices, Current State of the Evidence, and Questions for the Future, in the December 2008 issue of Primary Care: Clinics in Office Practice.
Using 267 articles from professional, mainstream, medical journals as references to this chapter, these two medical doctors looked at estrogen, progesterone and testosterone in both men and women as well as looking at thyroid hormone and growth hormone. They looked at how these hormones are viewed by the conventional medical establishment, the way the hormones are evaluated in the labs, how they are used to treat individuals, and the differences between different kinds of hormones.
By introducing the chemical formulas for estrogens and progesterone on paper, Dr. Schwartz and Dr. Holtorf demonstrated conclusively the differences between biologically identical [bio–identical] molecular formulas [human molecular formulas] and synthetic molecular formulas for these two hormones. They also proved how the difference in the molecular formulas affects the way in which the body uses biologically identical [bio–identical] hormones compared to synthetic hormones.
Also, by reviewing the literature since 1960, they were able to demonstrate the safety and effectiveness of biologically identical [bio–identical] hormones as well as confirming the dangers associated with synthetic estrogens and progesterone revealed by the Women’s Health Initiative report in 2002.
That being said, health practitioners need to remember that it is essential to assess / test every woman before prescribing biologically identical [bio–identical] hormones, as well as testing woman who are taking biologically identical [bio–identical] hormones in order to ensure that she has the correct level of hormones, which is only the amount of hormones that her body would normally make.