Natural (Bioidentical) vs. Synthetic Hormone Replacement Therapy – Drs Jacob Teitelbaum & Kent Holtorf

The Safety of Bioidentical Hormones — the Data vs. the Hype
Jacob Teitelbaum, MD   

From the Townsend Letter June 2007

As a friend of mine used to say, “If things don’t make sense, follow the money trail.” Because the sale of non-bioidentical estrogen and progesterone makes so much money for drug companies, I suspect that those companies find their profits very threatened by the use of safer or bioidentical hormones. As has frequently been the case when natural products threaten pharmaceutical sales, there appears to be a major public relations misinformation campaign. Although I am not privy to what goes on in the pharmaceutical “back rooms,” my impression is that they feel that if consumers can be confused and frightened enough by misinformation, profits can be protected. My impression (as a physician without a financial stake in either side) is that bioidentical hormones are far safer and effective than synthetic progesterone and pregnant horse urine (Premarin). Historically, unfortunately, when there is big money to be made, there has been no problem getting big-name doctors to tout the health benefits of infant formula over breast milk and even of smoking! It’s sad when information put out by actresses, like Suzanne Somers in her recent book Ageless (on bioidentical hormones), is more accurate than information put out by prominent physicians! But this is what happens when money talks.

To help supply more accurate information on the subject, I’d like to offer readers an excellent review article by Dr. Kent Holtorf. Kent is a superb physician and a friend of mine whom I greatly respect. I think that after reading this article, it will be clear to you that bioidentical hormones are the way to go.

Natural (Bioidentical) vs. Synthetic Hormone Replacement Therapy
by Kent Holtorf, MD

Below is a review of the medical literature demonstrating how natural hormones are superior to their synthetic counterparts. [Evidence? HCS]The conclusion is clear that bioidentical hormones are a safe alternative to Premarin and medroxyprogesterone acetate (MPA), marketed as Provera. The natural bioidentical hormones are very different from their synthetic versions, often having completely opposite physical and cellular effects. Thus, it is critical that women be given the information that these natural hormones do not have the negative side effects of the synthetic hormones and in no way pertain to the conclusions reached by the Women’s Health Initiative (WHI) study. Natural hormones are a safe and more conservative approach to hormone replacement therapy that does not carry the risks associated with Premarin and Provera.

Read in full at:

Point/Counterpoint: The Case for Bioidentical Hormones – Steven F. Hotze, M.D. & Donald P. Ellsworth, M.D.

Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons Volume 13 Number 2 Summer 2008

This very academic article (with 66 academic references) makes interesting reading for anyone looking for “evidence” regarding the benefits of compounded bioidentical hormone replacement therapy.

Some snippets:      

        Compounding Pharmacies

The key issue is the use of human hormones at the appropriate dose—not the type of pharmacy. Most physicians using bioidentical hormones have a significant percentage of prescriptions filled at compounding pharmacies rather than non-compounding retail pharmacies. This is because compounding affords advantages such as customized dosing, so that the lowest effective dose can be used, and allows the prescribing of hormones such as estriol that are not available at non-compounding retail pharmacies.

.  .  .

Wyeth, the maker of Prempro, has been a leader in opposing the use of compounding pharmacies and has effectively petitioned the FDA to assist in eliminating competition. Could this be related to the fact that Wyeth made more than $1 billion annually from the sale of Premarin and Prempro before theWHI study? These drugs are still on the market although they are known to increase cancer risk.

The Importance of the Identical Structure

Molecular structure determines activity. The smallest of changes can completely change the physiologic effect. Consider testosterone and estrone, whose structures are shown side by side in Figure 1. The mere existence of an effect similar to that produced by a hormone does not make a compound a hormone. If it did, plastic would be a hormone. For example, bisphenol A (BPA) is an estrogen receptor agonist. When BPA binds with the estrogen receptor, the complex so formed interacts with DNAand can lower sperm counts and increase the risk of developmental problems, cancer, schizophrenia, neurologic disorders, and weight gain. The interaction with the hormone receptor does not make BPA a hormone—but rather the hormone mimicry interferes with normal physiologic processes, causing a wide variety of adverse effects.


The use of exogenous chemicals as hormone substitutes has been shown to be unsafe and should be stopped. Hormone supplementation should be done with compounds identical to the natural molecules. Although more research is needed, there is already evidence of the benefits of hormone supplementation in the proper doses and in proper balance. The future of medicine is in physiology rather than pharmacology.

Read the whole article at


Estriol & hot flashes: How the right forms of estrogen may help fight cancer, MS and more – Dr Jonathan Wright

Reprinted From “Nutrition and Healing”

An interesting article about estriol – “the forgotten estrogen”.

Food for thought?

“At a convention last fall, I listened to a European professor report her estrogen research findings. When I asked her about her thoughts on conventional hormone replacement therapy (the kind that caused so much trouble last year, which uses horse estrogen called Premarin), she laughed, and said that no one in Europe would even think of prescribing it. She noted the safety of estriol, and pointed out that although “estrogen” prescriptions are used much less frequently in Europe than North America, when estrogen is prescribed, it’s almost always estriol. “We’re not horses!” she said.”

Read the whole article at

Bioidentical Testosterone: The best male anti-aging tool the experts don’t want you to have – Dr Jonathan Wright

A useful and interesting article by this Harvard graduate, one of the fathers of bioidentical hormone therapy, in which the author claims:

For over 30 years, I’ve worked with men ages 45 and up whose symptoms and tests indicated a need for bio-identical testosterone. The results have been gratifying for everyone involved. Most notably, bio-identical testosterone therapy helps improve mood, attitude, cognitive ability, and general outlook on life. Many wives and families have observed that “Grandpa is a lot less grumpy,” remembers things better, and laughs and smiles a lot more often.

Plus, bio-identical testosterone improves muscle mass and strength, rebuilds bone, strengthens the heart and blood vessels, lowers total cholesterol and blood sugar, raises HDL (“good”) cholesterol, lowers blood pressure, lessens the chances of blood clots, improves tissue oxygenation, improves the health of a non-cancerous prostate gland-and that’s all before we get to testosterone’s positive effects on libido and your sex life.

Why natural thyroid is better than synthetic

A very informative three part series by Jeffrey Dach MD

We use exclusively natural thyroid in our office, and a few times every day, I find myself explaining why natural thyroid is superior to Synthroid.  In this article, we will explain why natural thyroid tablets are better than synthetic T4 only.

Part 1:

Part 2:

Part 3:



Desiccated thyroid extract a safe alternative to levothyroxine in hypothyroidism

More about the study presented at The Endocrine Society Annual Meeting and Expo 2013

From Endocrine Today 17 June 2013 by Samantha Costa  (bolding by HCS)

SAN FRANCISCO — Desiccated thyroid extract could be a potential alternative treatment to standard therapy with levothyroxine in patients with hypothyroidism, Thanh D. Hoang, DO, staff endocrinologist of the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Md., told Endocrine Today here at ENDO 2013.

During a poster session, Hoang said that desiccated thyroid extract could be a viable treatment option for patients with symptoms of hypothyroidism, despite normal TSH measurements while taking levothyroxine alone. Further, the desiccated thyroid extract yielded superior weight loss compared with levothyroxine, he said.

“The current gold standard right now is synthetic levothyroxine, so we wanted to do this randomized, double blind, crossover study to look at the efficacy of both drugs,” Hoang told Endocrine Today.

He and colleagues included 70 patients aged 18 to 65 years with primary hypothyroidism who were prescribed levothyroxine for 6 months. Patients were randomly assigned to either desiccated thyroid extract (DTE) or levothyroxine for 16 weeks.

According to data, patients assigned to DTE lost 3 lb, compared with those assigned levothyroxine (172.9 lb vs. 175.7 lb, P<.001).

“We didn’t find any differences in the neurocognitive measurements between the two therapies, but at the end of the study we did ask our patients which regimen they preferred,” Hoang said.

At the end of the 16-week study, 34 patients (48.6%) preferred DTE therapy, whereas 13 (18.6%) preferred levothyroxine; 23 (32.9%) did not specify a preference, he said. Further analysis confirmed those who preferred DTE lost even more weight over a 4-month period.

We now know that once-daily desiccated thyroid extract is a safe alternative treatment for patients with hypothyroidism who are not satisfied with levothyroxine treatment. It’s an option for them to try, and also desiccated can cause modest weight loss in these patients as well,” Hoang said. – by Samantha Costa

For more information:

Hoang T. #MON-440. Presented at: The Endocrine Society Annual Meeting and Expo; June 15-18, 2013; San Francisco.

Disclosure: The researchers report no relevant financial disclosures.

Meet the doctor big pharma can’t shut up

Dr David Healy does not consider himself a radical. He prescribes antidepressants and other prescription drugs to his patients. He runs a national university school of psychological medicine. “I’m fairly conservative. I’m a very mainstream doctor, really,” he said. But as New York Times reporter Benedict Carey pointed out in a 2005 story, the Irishman living on an island off the coast of Wales “has achieved a rare kind of scientific celebrity: he is internationally known as a scholar and pariah.”

Do you remember the reports that the pilot who crashed the German Wings plane into the Alps, killing all 150 people on board, was on anti depressant drugs?

[David] Healy’s status as an outcast arises from his grave concern that blockbuster drugs like Prozac and other antidepressants can lead to suicide, murder and unforeseen mental health problems. In the 1990s, he began to publish academic journal papers providing evidence that antidepressants could increase the risk of suicide. Although many colleagues denied the link, by 2004 American and British drug regulators issued strong warnings supporting Healy’s and other’s claims.