What are Bioidentical Hormones?

by Laura Ramirez on August 1, 2011

What are bioidentical hormones? Bioidenticals are plant-derived hormones that are used to balance hormones (estrogen, progesterone and testosterone) in women and men who are going through the change of life and experiencing symptoms because their hormonal levels have fallen. Since hormones protect our hearts, brains, bones and more, when they are lower than they are in our youth, they are also responsible for age-related decline.

Since bioidentical hormones are chemically the same as the hormones made by our own bodies, they are believed to be much safer than synthetic hormone therapy (derived from animals, specifically the urine of female horses) which has been in the news for its link to breast cancer and cancer of the female reproductive organs. Suzanne Somers is a big supporter of bioidentical hormone therapy and has written a number of books about the subject. When using this therapy, hormone levels are tested, then progesterone, estrogen and testosterone are supplemented in small doses to bring the levels up. Bioidentical hormones can come in a cream, a gel, pellets (that are implanted under the skin and slowly released over time) or patches. Hormone creams are typically made by compounding pharmacies that make a preparation tailored to your needs.

Bioidentical hormone therapy or bioidentical hormone replacement is a term which defines the use of hormones similar to natural hormones for hormone replacement treatment. Typically, this therapy is used to replace common hormones like estrogen and testosterone and is considered a type of alternative medicine. Such therapy has been used to reduce the chances of diseases such as osteoporosis or to relieve the patients suffering from symptoms of menopause


There are many benefits of using bioidenticals over synthetic hormones, the least of which is a decline in menopause symptoms like weight gain, hot flashes, night sweats, moodiness, etc. Bioidenticals have not been associated with the same risks as synthetic hormones, but it’s important to remember that when you’re supplementing with hormones, just like using insulin for diabetes, your levels much be monitored from time to time.

So now that you know ᅠthe answer to the question: what are bioidentical hormones, the next question is whether to use them in your life. Women who are going through menopause are using them to reduce menopause symptoms, transition through the change of life more gracefully and even as a tool for anti-aging. Men are using them too for the male change of life known as andropause.

What is your opinion about using bioidenticals? Leave your thoughts below.

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