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Bio-Identical vs. Synthetic

by Mila McManus MD
Since the Women’s Health Initiative Study several years ago, the masses have been scared to death of taking hormones. Let’s think about this for a minute from a biological and evolutionary perspective. Our bodies make and use many different hormones which perform vital functions. Could it be that we are evolving to have our hormones turn against us? I doubt it. That wouldn’t make much sense. Could it be that the exponential increase in the incidence of disease over the last 20 years is due to accumulating environmental toxins, poor nutrition, inactivity, and increased stress? You bet!
CLICK HERE to see the structure of bio-identical progesterone, as well as synthetic medroxyprogesterone acetate (Provera®). The differences in these molecules are highlighted. Bio-identical progesterone is manufactured by the body, and therefore, the body knows how to use, where and when to use it, and has the enzymes to metabolize it and dispose of it when it’s done using it. Your body already has the perfect progesterone receptors to bind perfectly with progesterone that circulates in the blood. Medroxyprogesterone acetate, however, isn’t quite the perfect match. Its structure is similar enough to bind to progesterone receptors, but the molecular changes made in the laboratory in order to patent this product and sell it for profit likely are having an array of negative effects. Synthetic hormones interfere with natural progesterone and can create and exacerbate hormone related health problems, and be a primary contributor to the condition referred to as Estrogen Dominance. Studies have been published that reveal evidence that taking synthetic hormones actually inhibits production of one’s natural progesterone. It’s no wonder that synthetic hormones are known to have side effects such as blood clots and migraines, where as bio-identical progesterone actually thins the blood to protect from blood clots, and is also used to treat/cure migraines.
It’s very unfortunate that most traditional doctors equate bioidentical hormones with synthetic ones. They are vastly different and should never be confused. I use bio-identical hormones in my practice to undo what synthetic hormones have done to my patients. Is it a coincidence that 99+% of my female patients (selfincluded) have all, at some point, taken birth control pills? Maybe, but I doubt it. Also, keep in mind that the hormones used in the Women’s Health Initiative study were ALL synthetic. Go figure.
I think it’s important that everyone understands the importance of nutrition in maintaining good health. Many people are so quick to blame ‘bad genes’ for their health problems. Did you know that 75- 80% of breast cancers are NOT genetic? When women tell me how afraid they are of developing breast cancer from taking hormones, I first explain the differences between synthetic and bio-identical hormones. I then usually say “you shouldn’t be afraid of replacing what’s been lost in the body over the years. Poor dietary habits, stress (which leads to adrenal fatigue and immune system dysfunction), environmental toxins, and lack of adequate nutrition (i.e. vitamins and supplements) are far more likely to cause cancer and other diseases”. That’s why, in my practice, we place such enormous emphasis on nutrition and immune system optimization.

By |2012-10-03T09:54:07-06:00October 3rd, 2012|Articles|