There are many important hormones that make up our endocrine system. Some come from the pituitary gland in the brain, while others emanate from other organs such as the ovaries, testicles, adrenal glands, and liver. As our body ages, particularly after age 30, our hormone levels begin to decline. Some hormone levels fall steadily year to year (HGH and testosterone), while some can fall dramatically over a short period (estrogen and progesterone). Rates of decline will vary from person to person based on genetics and a variety of environmental factors (smoking, diet, pollution, radiation exposure etc.) The only true way of knowing what hormone deficiencies may be occurring is to directly measure the hormones in the body (blood testing). Once identified, restoring these hormones to optimal and youthful levels can improve health, prevent disease, and significantly improve quality of life.
The term “bio-identical” refers to a hormone that is chemically the exact same molecule that is naturally found in our bodies. These bio-identical hormones can be obtained from natural sources (humans and animals), or synthesized in a laboratory. Though hormones such as estradiol and progesterone are synthetically made from yams or soy, they are still considered bio-identical because they are molecularly indistinguishable from what is released from the ovaries of women.
From both the intuitive and scientific standpoints, using bio-identical hormones is both safer and more efficacious than their non-natural, synthetic, and patentable hormone-like chemicals such as Premarin (pregnant mare’s urine) or Provera (a chemical called progestin proven in multiple studies to be toxic for women). While some pharmaceutical companies continue the fight to keep their patentable and very profitable “hormones” as the standard of care, more physicians and patients are turning to bio-identical hormones, as the argument for their use is undeniably strong at the present time.