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Learn the Difference Between “Bioidentical” and “Synthetic” Hormones

There’s a great deal of confusion regarding hormone replacement therapy, much of it centered around “synthetic” vs. “bioidentical” hormones. What’s the difference? Does the distinction matter? We’re breaking it down for you.


“Bioidentical” means that at a molecular level, the hormone is identical to what the human body makes for itself. The body’s individual cells and the components within the cells cannot tell the difference between what the bioidentical hormones in a cream or pellet and what the body’s own organs provide, albeit in an inadequate supply as we age.


“Synthetic” hormones are similar to what the body makes for itself, but there are differences. Hormone molecules are large molecules. Adding a chemical tail or arm to one part of the molecule or another may make it easier to manufacture, store or dispense the molecule, but it also changes it. The body’s cells and the components within the cell can still use the molecule, but the body has to perform some degree of processing.


In some instances, this is not important. However, it is in the case of hormones like estrogen and progesterone. Synthetic estrogen and progesterone appear to place women at increased risk for cancer and blood clots. Because of this, GenAge only uses bioidentical forms of these hormones.


Synthetic testosterone in injectable form, such as DEPO-testosterone cypionate, is approved for use in men and appears to be safe from a cardiac standpoint. Contrary to what some doctors believe, testosterone cypionate is not bioidentical. The body must first process the injected drug into bioidentical form before it can be used as a substitute for endogenous testosterone. Yet it has its place if treatment cost is the overriding concern because it is comparatively inexpensive.


Bioidentical hormones don’t cause cancer, increased fat, or higher cholesterol. In fact, all evidence points to the fact that bioidentical hormones REDUCE the risks of illness and disease, which is one way they prolong youthful health and vigor. This safety aspect should reassure you about the choice of GenAge to use bioidentical hormones.

 


Arguments against bioidentical hormones often include the fact that they are not FDA-approved. Indeed, they aren’t. However, for decades, they’ve been made by specialty pharmacies and pharmacists. For a large pharmaceutical company to produce a bioidentical hormone, it would have to spend between 2 and 3 billion dollars based on today’s average cost. Given that the bioidentical hormones from specialty pharmacies have been safely used for many, many years, it is unlikely that patients would opt to pay the higher prices required to offset this investment by large pharmaceutical companies. Instead, they can continue to pay trusted compounding pharmacies to provide these hormones.  


BHRT (bioidentical hormone replacement therapy) holds the promise of a healthier, more vibrant life for you. At GenAge, we are happy to discuss what BHRT has to offer.

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