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December 16, 2011

Natural Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy vs. Traditional HRT

Natural Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy and prescription
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Natural Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Eclipses Traditional HRT

Thanks to celebrity endorsements, natural bioidentical hormone replacement has become the next big thing after traditional hormone replacement therapy has been muddied by major research that linked it to heightened health risks. However, is bioidentical hormone replacement any different from conventional HRT? Well, the two types of HRT actually differ in four ways. Read on to find out…

3 Main Differences Between Natural Bioidentical Hormone Replacement and Traditional HRT

1. Compounding pharmacies produce natural bioidentical hormones, while large pharmaceutical companies manufacture traditional HRT and take out a patent for them. The two processes begin with natural compounds, as they can be found in nature, but these compounds are not actually natural to the human body. In the laboratory these raw materials are then converted into hormones.  Bio-identical hormones have the exact same molecular structure as the hormones the body naturally makes. Some hormone preparations from pharmaceutical companies are also bio-identical.

By manipulating the molecule even slightly pharmaceuticals companies can obtain a patent for a hormone product, but these manipulations can change or alter the function of the hormone as well – so it may not have the exact same effect on the body as a bio-identical hormone.

Since they are compounded by compounding pharmacies based on the specific needs of the patient, natural bioidentical hormone replacement preparations are not regulated by the US Food and Drug Authority, unlike conventional HRT. FDA regulation ensures standardization of the product. This means that you can rely that you can get the exact same potency and purity from one dose of traditional HRT to another.

Compounding pharmacies have their own codes and regulations, as well, so it does mean to say that just because their products are not regulated by the FDA, these are substandard. It just means that the potency and purity of the preparation of one compounding pharmacy may differ from that of another. Most often, your physician will refer you to a reliable compounding pharmacy.

2. Natural bioidentical hormone replacement products are prescribed based on the current hormone levels of the patient and on the maximum levels to ensure potency, while standard HRT is conservatively given using the lowest possible dose to ensure safety.

3. Natural bioidentical hormone replacement preparations may include DHEA or dehydroepiandrosterone or even HGH or human growth hormone to help the body recover its peak hormone levels when it was younger. This is because bioidentical hormone replacement is intended not just to relieve the symptoms of menopause, but as well as to enhance the body and mind.

Both natural bioidentical hormone replacement and conventional HRT are plant and animal derivatives, making them in one way or another natural. However, there is nothing more natural than eating the right foods, exercising, and letting nature take its course in balancing its own hormones. Albeit these approaches call for more dedication and provide significantly less results.

See related articles.

“Low Estrogen Symptoms: Who Wants Them?”

“Causes of Elevated Estrogen Levels”

“Menopause Hormone Replacement Therapy”

“The 5 B’s and More: Excess Estrogen Symptoms”

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Dr. Joe Jacko


Dr. Joe is board certified in internal medicine and sports medicine with additional training in hormone replacement therapy and regenerative medicine. He has trained or practiced at leading institutions including the Hughston Clinic, Cooper Clinic, Steadman-Hawkins Clinic of the Carolinas, and Cenegenics. He currently practices in Columbus, Ohio. Read more about Dr. Joe Jacko

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