Bioidentical Hormones & Synthetic Hormones – Just Semantics?
Bioidentical hormones or synthetic? Is the argument simply a matter of tomato, tom-ahto? What’s the difference? Is there a difference? A hormone is a hormone, right? Wrong – at least not in the last half century.
To truly understand how bioidentical hormones differentiate from synthetic hormones we must begin with a basic question and one that probably needs a little dusting off for most as it’s been a few years since high school biology. So…what is a hormone?
Hormones are molecules that are created and secreted by several glands, collectively known as the endocrine system. Each gland within the endocrine system produces its own unique hormones. Hormones act as chemical messengers, transferring important instructions to your organs.
In short, hormones give your cells marching orders.
Similar to a key fitting perfectly into a lock, each hormone has specific receptor sites that are genetically programmed to respond to a particular hormone in a certain way.
Now that we’ve got a good grip on the definition and function of a hormone, what’s the big fuss about bioidentical hormones versus synthetic?
Let’s begin by looking at bioidentical hormones.
Why do we call them ‘bioidentical’? The structure of a bioidentical hormone is an exact molecular match to the hormone produced by your body. Your body can’t tell the difference and treats it just like the real hormone that it is.
Synthetic hormones are not true hormones, but are rather chemicals foreign to your body. Hormones – and I mean real hormones such as bioidentical hormones – are not patentable. In order to make a profit, pharmaceutical companies manipulated the structure of real hormones so that they could patent drugs such as Premarin and Prempro and market them to millions of women across the nation.
, Can you tell the difference?