What are bio identicals? They may be the future of medication, allowing for naturally-occurring hormones in the body to be controlled by outside elements. However, the Food and Drug Administration warns against the excessive claims of what these elements can do for people.
Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy (BHRT) is a marketing component that the FDA does not recognize. However, in Europe, the bio-identicals are being used to create All Natural Birth Control Pills with very promising results.
In spite of the new developments in Europe, the FDA warns against buying into some of the unrealistic claims associated with the bio-identical hormones. The claims include:
- Safer than prescription drugs
- Reduces imbalances in hormone levels
- Promotes weight loss
- Reduces the symptoms of menopause, hot flashes, thinning bones, vaginal dryness
- Prevents diseases such as alzheimers and senility
The claims have not been proven, and bio-identical hormone replacement is not a legitimate medical intervention as far as the FDA is concerned. BHRT is promising but the promises can be misleading, and some assert that the hormone therapy, though “natural” can be harmful in some cases.
All Natural Pills?
The problem with the bio-identical hormone replacement therapy claims is that they lull people into a false sense of security. Bioidenticals are naturally occurring substances that have the same effect on the human body as naturally occurring hormones. Proponents for BHRT suggest that this primary difference makes the bio identical hormones superior to synthetic hormones.
However, it doesn’t matter how the hormones affect the body when there is an overdose or misuse. A person can overdose on a natural substance just as they can a synthetic one. In addition, little information is available about the proper dosage and use for this type of medication. Being natural does not translate into being safe.
When is Hormone Therapy Necessary?
Women are particularly affected by hormone imbalances, and bio-identical hormones are naturally more appealing. Women typically require hormone therapy when they enter menopause, as estrogen levels decrease. This can lead to thinning bones, vaginal dryness and hot flashes. Some women experience hormone problems after having surgical procedures like hysterectomies.
Bio identicals can be found in the following forms:
The FDA does not support the following claims about bio-identical hormones:
- Safer than MHT drugs
- More effective than MHT drugs
- Cures or prevents heart disease
- Cures or prevents Alzheimer’s
- Cures or prevents breast cancer
- There are no side effects
Since the FDA does not regulate the bio-identicals, the pharmacies that produce them do not have to report adverse side effects. Until further information and testing is completed, little information about the safety and effectiveness of bio-identical hormones is available. However, birth control pills using these types of hormones are doing quite well in Europe.