Literature

Although bio-identical hormones represent an advancement in hormone replacement therapy, they are not without controversy and misuse. These hormones do not represent a panacea for all ailments that a patient may suffer. Instead, bio-identical hormones represent the changing nature of pharmaceutical science -  an individualized approach to pharmaceutical solutions. Each person has a unique genetic and environmental profile and as a result, conventional hormone replacement fails in its most basic assumption that broad-based hormone replacement therapies help all patients equally.

Bio-identical hormones are increasingly understood as a better means of hormone replacement therapy, especially in the treatment of menopause related symptoms. Much of their utility lies in the ability to titrate a dose to the patient that helps minimize side effects and maximize benefits. The following articles discuss the existing data surrounding bio-identical hormones and their therapeutic uses.

1 Moskowitz, D. "A Comprehensive Review of the Safety and Efficacy of Bioidentical Hormones for the Management of Menopause and Related Health Risks.Altern Med Review. 2006 Sep; 11(3):208-23. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17217322

In this article, the author compares studies of both bioidentical estrogens and progesterone and affirms the following: (a) bio-identical progesterone does not have a negate effect on blood lipids or vasculature as do many synthetic prostegins; (b) bio-identical progesterone may carry a lower risk of breast cancer incidence; and (3) bio-identical hormones demonstrate a reduced risk of blood clots compared to non-bioidentical preparations.

2 Holtorf, K. "The Bioidentical Hormone Debate: Are Bioidentical Hormones (Estradiol, Estriol, and Progesterone) Safer or More Efficacious Than Commonly Used Sythetic Versions in Hormone Replacement Therapy?Postgrad Med. 2009 Jan; 121(1) 73-85. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19179815

The author in this article reviews the common misconceptions and current state of hormone replacement therapy, especially bio-identical options. The author concludes that physiological data and clinical outcomes demonstrate that bioidentical hormones are associated with lower risks, especially the risk of breast cancer and cardiovascular disease, and may be more efficacious than the synthetic and animal-derived counterparts.

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