Do compounded bio-identical hormones for menopause carry the same risks as conventional hormone replacement drugs such as Premarin?
As Martha Rosenburg noted, the author of an excellent book Born with a Junk Food Deficiency, just as this lithograph tells you everything you need to know about slavery, the fact that the electroconvulsive therapy used to be prescribed for menopause in the United States tells you everything you need to know about Western medicine's view about aging women.
Here, in this 1946 medical journal ad, amphetamines—speed—are recommended in conjunction with such fundamental measures, as electric shock and estrogenic therapy. You can also throw in a little thorazine too, while you're at it.
Hormone replacement therapy grew to prominence in the 1990s when millions of women were sold hormones from pregnant mare urine on the promise it would prevent age-related diseases, increased risk of heart disease, stroke, pulmonary embolism, and invasive breast cancer. They said it would help preserve women's memory but may in fact cause dementia as it shrinks women's brains.
When the truth got out in 2002 and the number of prescriptions dropped, so did the rates of breast cancer, and horses got to walk around again.
Thanks to some high-profile celebrity endorsements, interest then switched to so-called compounded bio-identical hormones, from plant rather than equine sources and advertised as not carrying the same risks. But what does the science say?
A bunch of new reviews out on the subject from the American College of OB/GYNS, Mayo Clinic to the editors in chief of the Journal of the International Menopause Society. They all concluded that bio-identical hormones, being bio-identical, carried the same risks, benefits, and side effects, which is not a good thing, and even worse when the FDA actually analyzed them to if the contents matched the label, and nearly a third failed the analysis. And even in the same bottle, doses could be all over the place.
How do we know everyone isn't just in the pockets of the pharmaceutical industry who don't want the competition? Whenever I’m skeptical I turn to The Medical Letter on Drugs and Therapeutics, considered one of the least biased sources in medicine. They’re kind of like the consumer reports of the drug world and in fact was actually co-founded by the co-founder of the publisher of consumer reports more than 50 years ago.
As they like to brag on their website the Medical Letter does not accept grants, from any source, donations, from any one, funding—from any entity, they won’t let their work be used for promotional purposes and they don’t accept any advertising.
They recently reviewed bio-identical hormones and came to the same conclusion: “There is no acceptable evidence that bio-identical hormones are safe or effective. Patients should be discouraged from taking them.”
To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring watch the above video. This is just an approximation of the audio contributed by Kerry Skinner.
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Another way to rid oneself of excess estrogen is in the way nature intended: Relieving Yourself of Excess Estrogen. We can also stop consuming steroid hormones, see Anabolic Steroids in Meat and Acne & Cancer Connection. For other ways to decrease breast cancer risk see The Answer to the Pritikin Puzzle, Breast Cancer Survival and Soy, and Broccoli Versus Breast Cancer Stem Cells.
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