Written By Donnie Yance, MH, CN
Not so long ago, hormone replacement therapy (HRT) was routinely prescribed for menopausal women to alleviate menopausal symptoms such as hot flashes and insomnia, as well as to protect against osteoporosis, heart disease, dementia, and aging. Even women who were content to age naturally were sometimes pushed into taking hormones. Unfortunately for women, hormone replacement turned out to have unexpected negative consequences, as long-term clinical studies showed that HRT increased the risk of cardiovascular disease, stroke, blood clots, and hormone-related malignancies —even with short-term use (1).
Concerns about HRT spurred the development of “bio-identical” hormone therapy, which alternative doctors and women enthusiastically embraced. Bio-identical hormones are identical in molecular structure to natural hormones. Sounds good in theory, doesn’t it? But these hormones do not occur naturally in nature and must be synthesized from plant chemicals extracted from yams and soy. The truth is that supplementing with hormones, whether synthetic or bio-identical, has harmful effects. When we supplement with hormones, we’re overriding our body’s natural wisdom and interfering with hormonal balance, with unintended and deleterious results.
Although exogenous hormones are frequently used to ameliorate menopause and aging in general, this creates more problems than it solves and does not support long-term health. In my clinical practice, I strongly advise against both HRT and bio-identical hormones. Instead, I recommend a supportive approach to aging, using botanicals and nutrients that nourish the endocrine glands and organs and help to restore an appropriate hormonal balance, while simultaneously boosting the innate production of hormones, and most importantly, addressing the issue of hormone resistance.
This is an excerpt from: “Optimizing Hormones Naturally Versus Hormone Replacement Therapies ” by Donnie Yance, MH, CN, on his blog. It is part one of two posts.
J Natl Cancer Inst 2008; 100: 475-482
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Related research on botanical and nutritional support for balancing hormones: