The controversy between Natural hormones and Synthetic hormones is everywhere these days in the media, magazines, even in your doctors office.
But what is all the fuss about?
What is the real difference between natural and synthetic?
The first thing to realize is that when we say natural hormone, we mean that the hormone is chemically identical to the hormone we produce in our body. It is the chemical structure of the hormone, and not its actual source, that determines it to be natural or synthetic.
For instance, natural progesterone made in a lab is identical to the progesterone made in your body therefore it can be considered natural.
The natural estrogens extracted from wild yams and soybeans are also identical to those made by your body. Although plants do not actually make human hormones, there are some plants that make compounds that have very similar hormonal effect. These are generally known as phyto-hormones (or plant-based hormones) and are easily purchased over the counter.
On the other hand, a synthetic hormone is one with a slightly different chemical makeup from the ones found in the body, not necessarily meaning created in a lab.
Basically, it comes down to this if a hormone is found in nature or created in a lab and it is chemically identical to the hormone in your body, it is legally and technically considered natural. If it started out natural but then the structure changed (such as a lab using natural progesterone as a basis to create Provera), then that makes it a synthetic hormone.
And heres a news flash the closest to natural hormone on the market is Premarin, which is made from PREGNANT MARE URINE!!!!!
But heres the shocker by the time the horses urine is altered in the lab, it isnt even natural to the horse!
Why even create something this revolting? Well, thats actually pretty easy to answer drug companies have to make their synthetic hormones if they want to patent it and make massive amounts of money! A natural substance cant be patented.
No patent no cash cow.
Some women ask, why all the fuss about synthetic?
I dont care if its horse urine as long as it stops these hot flashes!!! Well, if horse urine doesnt bother you, the side effects should!
There have been increasingly frequent complaints of breast tenderness, weight gain, breakthrough bleeding, insomnia, fluid retention, depression, and even more recently, increase in risk of cancer, heart disease, stroke and pulmonary embolism.
Still not convinced?
Well, last year the NIH (National Institute of Health) abruptly stopped their major study of synthetic hormone replacement therapy after results showed an increase in the risks listed above.
Even the FDA sent out a notice (featured in the New York Times on January 9, 2003) ordering warning labels on ALL synthetic estrogens. The warning states that the drugs may slightly increase the risk of breast cancer, strokes, blood clots, and heart attacks. It also stated that they believed the risks did not outweigh the minor benefits of the hormones.
Most of the side effects result from the fact that synthetic hormones are not chemically identical to the natural hormones in your body. Trust me, your body can tell the difference!
The facts are in, trust your body. Trust yourself because its your health so take charge and be educated!!
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