Bio-identical Hormones–The issue with our hormones is not as simple as bio-identical or not!
First of all, there are hundreds of human hormones. There are endocrine, exocrine, anti-stress, stress creating, blood sugar controlling, energy giving, energy depleting, muscle or vaso-constricting [Vaso=blood vessel], muscle or vaso-relaxing, growth hormone, masculinizing, feminizing, weight loss, weight gain hormones, bone de-mineralizing/losing, and bone re-mineralizing/building. Most hormones are not correctly classified as a sex hormone, and those that are have more significant attributes than feminizing or masculinizing—as in what they do they do in both sexes to allow a certain function to occur.
Both sexes have almost all the same hormones; they just have them in relatively different amounts. The balance between hormones is critical to health but is pretty darn complicated to understand. And mathematical concepts/measurements are required! Medical doctors are taught a very limited and very skewed amount about the hormones we would consider the male and female hormones, in favor of selling pharmaceutical drugs in the forms of estrogens, progestins, and testosterone.
I cannot recommend any form of prescriptive hormone because no prescription will obtain a bio-identical i.e.-truly human form of the hormone. By definition, needing a prescription to access the hormone, means that it is not bio-identical! Bio-identical substances can’t be patented, and so cannot be sold by prescription. Without the prescription, the pricing cannot be marked up to create the profits the pharmaceutical companies require! So there is no profit to the pharm company to sell them.
Most of my work as Dr. Cook is about the required balances in the body between the hormones specific to the thyroid, adrenal glands, puberty/breast tissue, ovaries, uterus, testes, prostate, and pineal glands. Our pregnancy hormonal needs i.e. pregnancy supporting interventions–are covered greatly by just adding progesterone! Adding the necessary progesterone required along with the 3 colors of Juice Plus+ capsules goes a very, very long way in supporting a full term healthy baby/mom through those stressful months!
Pregnancy is stressful! Only the anti-stress hormone progesterone though is depleted by stress. So pregnancy requires higher levels of progesterone to be added! Stress does not reduce estrogen stores! But it directly reduces Progesterone stores and both mom and baby need vast amounts of the bio-identical progesterone up to the delivery! Then mom needs it right after delivery to ward off post partum depression! We lack the ability to make enough progesterone because of its very substantial/quantity needed in our overly stressful world, and its many, many functions/uses. In this page, were will discuss various forms of estrogens, one form of testosterone, and the one true form of progesterone.
Hormones work to cause a specific cell action to happen. And they work in minuscule or even microscopic amounts. Every human hormone has a purpose and we should not be frivolous in the terminology we use to distinguish one from another. Estrogenic compounds are not like progesterone in the least little bit. Cortisol is synthesized directly from progesterone. Progesterone is the source material from which Cortisol is synthesized! Without enough progesterone, we cannot create enough cortisol. Without sufficient Cortisol we will suffer and die!
Progesterone is not a female hormone! It is a human anti-stress hormone!
Hormones are synthesized in the body in/along certain pathways (see graphic at bottom of this page). Hormones should not be randomly grouped together in such a term as Hormone Replacement Therapy, because we give hormones in specific forms to specific people for specific purposes.
Terminology matters a great deal in any discussion we have about the benefits or the side effects of one hormone vs. another one. This need to nitpick the terminology is critical to educating yourself about them and what is recommended and what is not recommended for use/supplementation. The best clue you have that the speaker you are listening to knows very little about the subject is the overly broad generalization they use in combining terms that are different from each other as though they should be grouped together. Speakers should not carelessly group Xeno-estrogens (foreign estrogens) with Phytoestrogens (Plant or food estrogens); or erroneously group Progesterone (natural) with progestins (man-made); or mistakenly group prescriptive (patented chemical) forms of estrogen with our natural bio-identical (Human-made) forms of estrogens in their teachings/writings.
Using exact terminology–or not– is your first clue to whether your speaker has developed [or not] enough expertise for you to be able to learn from them, In other words, don’t go to listen to a speaker who knows less than you do about this subject! And surprisingly, many of our physicians fall into that category!
Phytoestrogens prevent illness; Xeno-estrogens cause illness. Progesterone is life saving and critical for both women and men to supplement; while progestins (i.e. man-made progesterone) cause heart attacks, strokes, anxiety, bleeding, and allow tumors to grow. Progesterone has many protective/calming functions and uses, and is rapidly depleted by stress– more so than any other hormone in the human body,
Here is the crux of the information my readers may want-but don’t skip the data above!
The issue with our hormones is not as simple as bio-identical or not. When we are discussing Progesterone, yes, the issue is 100% about Bio-identical or not, as there is/are no pharmaceutical forms of Natural Progesterone that work safely at all! So you might want to jump to my page about THE CRITICAL DEFICIENCY IN HUMAN BEINGS IS PROGESTERONE! here.
HOWEVER, the issues with bio-identical Estrogen forms are definitely more complex. With estrogen-like hormones/chemicals, the problem is both form and amount. We have universally, a massive over-supply of estrogens/estrogenic chemicals within our bodies! Our environment is the source–our air, water, foods, household products, petroleum-based products, and more! They are literally smothering us daily! The issues pertaining to estrogens/estrogenic compounds, is both form (i.e. bio-identical or synthetic/Xeno) and imbalance (i.e. deficient amounts of Progesterone)! Of course Bio-identical estrogens work better!! However, almost no-one is deficient in estrogens so virtually no-one needs to be taking them! The best-known forms of human estrogen are: Estrone (E1), Estradiol (E2), and Estriol (E3). Prescriptive forms of Estrogen are not bio-identical to E1, E2, or E3! If any form of estrogen were ever needed though, it would be best for it to be a bio-identical form, if they can be purchased!
NOTE: Horse Mare Urine Forms of estrogens (Estrogens taken from pregnant mares), called Premarin®, or conjugated equine estrogen was patented in the early 1930’s, and is/are still being sold by Wyeth Laboratories. The patenting office has allowed Wyeth to extend the patent into perpetuity! This/These form(s) of estrogen(s) are in no way, bio-identical, and have been categorically proven to be unsafe for women. Refer to the WHI studies here, and the HERS study here. These studies were stopped, halted, terminated midstream (in 2002) due to their terrible results. The studies, though still cited as though they gave us some helpful information; were in fact a disaster for the women involved and the pharmaceutical companies trying to prove a positive benefit! These pharmaceutical (i.e Prescriptive hormones) caused more deaths, more cancers, more heart disease, more strokes, no bone density benefits, and no improved immune function! There were no bio-identical hormones used in the studies, therefore no good or bad evidence about bio-identical hormone usage can be gleaned from them.
Human, equine, and environmental estrogens are growth factors! They also cause water retention and anxiety. Estrogen-like environmental chemicals, known as Xeno-estrogens are actually, even more toxic to the body because they are: 1) not natural and; 2) bind with an excessive force and duration to estrogen receptor cells. That means they hang on to the receptor, causing added damage while the natural/bio-identical form of estrogen (E1, E2, or E3) bind and very quickly release from the receptor cell, to prevent the damage from extended binding and thus potential added damage.
Women are almost never actually clinically deficient in Estrogens, whether E1, E2, or E3. Estriol or E3. E3 is actually a fairly safe form but is never included in the medical doctors Estrogen Replacement Therapy (ERT). The pharmaceutical industry has created the whole estrogen deficiency lie since they discovered that they could sell synthetic or animal forms (Equine) of estrogens to women like in the early 1930’s! How that has been and still is perpetrated is complex and will tie back to what the standard lab—either blood, saliva, or urine tests actually tell us, versus what we are told they tell us. But for now, let’s stick with the issues of over-supply of estrogenic compounds in the world we live in, as that is where the diseased causing problem lies. The only offset to excessive estrogens is more progesterone! Nutritional support makes a huge difference too, in preventing the estrogen like substances from actually causing the diseases/symptoms excessive estrogens cause. The nutritional part of the picture is as significant as balancing the hormones! Don’t discount the need to reduce Xeno-estrogens but also don’t discount the need to eat enough organic produce to protect your body from their harm. You will find the nutritional support needed on these web pages: Foods and Nutrients we require daily and Nutrimones™. It is strongly recommended that the reader take seriously the environmental sources of estrogens and avoid as many of them as you can! It is also critical to eat organic produce and organically grown animal foods only! Drink spring or filtered water only. Don’t take estrogen! Estrogens are simply not deficient! Your symptoms are instead telling you that your progesterone stores are insufficient! Estrogens are simply not deficient! Your symptoms are instead telling you that your progesterone stores are insufficient! Those are not estrogen deficiency symptoms you are experiencing! They are estrogen excess symptoms!
Common signs of Estrogen Dominance or Progesterone Deficiency (click to open)
E1 and E2 are both anxiety promoting and anxiety stimulating growth stimulating chemicals. Estriol (E3) is generally not, and if we did need any more supply of estrogen, that would be the best form for us to receive. But again, man-made estrogens are not bioidentical so there is really no way to supplement E3.
The Birth Control Pill (BCP) adds a significant amount of both synthetic estrogens and synthetic progestin to a woman’s body! The BCP is never made from Bio-identical hormones. Therefore, it is a difficult problem for women’s health! Regulating the period can better be done with bio-identical hormones, but they don’t prevent pregnancy!!! The use of the BCP will cause years of problems for most women who take it, but most women would prefer to avoid the unwanted pregnancy rather than not take the BCP. For all women using the BCP though, a significant and regularly provided supply of added BIO-Identical natural progesterone is highly recommended to help offset the damage the estrogens & progestins found in the BCP.
The deficient hormone is progesterone! Progesterone is synthesized on the anti-stress, calming, protective side of the hormonal pathway and is needed in an amount that is measured in a 1000X multiple of the measurement for Estrogens or testosterone. Please try to grab that fact in your mind as it is so very significant! Estrogen/testosterone are needed in almost microscopic amounts. Compare that to progesterone and cortisol which are required at 1000X the amount! Think of 1 liter of water for estrogens vs. 1000 liters of water for progesterone and cortisol. 1000X!!! That shear magnitude of difference largely explains other fine points to this discussion, so try ver hard to understand the difference 1000X more means when that is the measurement one hormone needs relative to the other smaller amount needed.
Below is a picture of 1 ml of water relative to 1 liter of water! This is a demonstration of relative size/volume. But with Estrogen-like chemicals-i.e. on the left side of the pathway, compared to Progesterone and Cortisol (on the right side of the pathway), the magnitude of difference is 1000X, but the need for the estrogen is a picogram (pg), which is almost a microscopic amount! The measurement for progesterone is 1 nanogram (ng), visible to the naked eye. 1 pg= 1/1000th ng. 1 pg is 1/1 trillionth of a gram!
Look at the magnitude of difference in the graphics below. To the left is 1 ml water compared to picture on the right of 1 liter of water!
That is the magnitude of difference between how much Estrogen the body needs relative to progesterone! 1000X more at any given moment. If the body uses the progesterone to make your stress hormones like Cortisol, but is not drawing from the estrogen stores to make another protective hormone, which one will be depleted more quickly?
To the left is 1 ml water compared to picture on the right
of 1 liter of water!
To the left is 1 ml water compared to picture on the right of 1 liter of water! The left side shows relatively the amount of either estrogen or testosterone a human needs relative to the right side, which demonstrates the magnitude of progesterone the same body needs at the same time. 1 molecule of estrogen or testosterone simultaneously with 1000 molecules of progesterone! Think about it. Which is likely to be the deficient one???
This is the hormonal pathway the body uses to make-i.e. synthesize the hormones we are focused most on this page. The progesterone side does not lead to the creation of any hormone on the left or active/aggressive side of the pathway. The hormones on the left are synthesized in a measurement of 1/1000th of the amount the Progesterone and Cortisol are synthesized in.
In summary: If you add any form of hormone to your body, it must be a bio-identical form. But virtually no human being needs to add any of the hormones on the left side of the hormonal chart above: i.e. DHEA, Androstenedione, Testosterone, E1, E2, or E3, unless and until they have added 100-150 mg. of bio-identical Progesterone and can confirm that there remains a deficiency of these same hormones (DHEA, Androstenedione, Testosterone, E1, E2, or E3).
NOTE About the birth control pill (BCP). At present, we don’t have suitable contaceptive (i.e. conception preventing) methods as effective as the Birth Control Pill! IUD’s are just as problematic because they also contain significant levels of progestins. Therefore for women needing/using the Birth Control Pill (BCP) or an IUD, the hormones included are a necessary evil for women who do not wish to conceive. And if you do use the BCP, PLEASE, use a full 100-150 mg. daily of natural progesterone, with the phytoestrogens, from day 12 through day 26 of your cycle!! This, along with the Juice Plus+ can/will help prevent the life-long damage of taking these synthetic hormones for pregnancy prevention!