The hormones estrogen and progesterone are important to the overall health of women.
Hormones are chemicals that are released by your body’s cells, which enable messages to be delivered to different parts of the body.
Bioidentical refers to the chemical structure of hormones.
Hormones that your body produces and bioidentical hormones have the exact same chemical and molecular structure.
Natural implies the source of the hormones. Natural hormones are not necessarily bioidentical.
For example, plant derived hormones or phytoestrogens are natural estrogens found in soy products like soy milk, tofu and tempeh.
The plant derived estrogens are not exactly the same as the hormones that your body produces. Hormones which are used in BHT have a similar structure to hormones that your body produces and come from soy and yams. They need to be processed in order to become bio identical.
Consequently bioidentical hormones are not completely natural and natural hormones are not necessarily bio identical.
FDA approval requires thorough testing and standardization.
The FDA has not been able to approve custom compounded hormones, because it is not possible to test each product compounded for an individual customer.
Most women who choose to use compounded hormones think they are safe.
When a drug undergoes FDA approval, the manufacturer must provide safety and efficacy data. The product must then be standardized for purity and potency with the least amount of variation from batch to batch. The FDA then follows up after marketing and analyzes adverse events related to the product.
The FDA approved bioidentical hormones have met these requirements.
You can find an excellent summary of different types of FDA approved hormone therapies at the North American menopause Society website. http://www.menopause.org/
Go to this link and read the full article:
Counselling Postmenopausal Women About Bioidentical Hormones- Medscape News