From Dr. Cutler; April 2012
Sadly, I continue to find that articles and media attention misinterpret the meaning of what they are reporting. As T.S. Eliot wrote: "They had the experience but missed the meaning."
A recent US News and World Report health article trumpets the alarming headline, "Long-Term Estrogen Therapy Does Up Breast Cancer Risk" covering further data evaluation of the Nurses Health Study. That evaluation was merely presented at a meeting but not yet accepted for publication by peer review.
My point is: Women should be very careful to distinguish important differences between hormone therapy regimens -- since the media usually does not. All HRT regimens are NOT alike.
In response to this recent article, again I urge intelligent women and their doctors to be wary of sweeping statements that 'all hormones are bad'. The truth is: some are bad, some are VERY good. Sequential human bio-identical regimens that mimic the pattern of hormonal secretions of the ovaries during premenopausal years, yield benefits for women over 40 that can mimic the overall health of premenopausal women. Health benefits of the RIGHT sequential bio-identical regimen include:
- Better Bone Strength -- Density and Mass
- Better Sexual Life
- Better Cognitive Function
- Better Cardiovascular Health
- Better Breast Health
Smart women should consider the variables of a study before accepting one 'conclusion' applies to them personally. What type of hormone was taken, by whom, when, and how? There is a substantial outcome difference shown in studies that test synthetic progestins vs. human bioidentical progesterone. Most media reports fail to distinguish this key difference.
Likewise, studies find certain risks when estrogen is taken by mouth/orally (which dumps undiluted excessive hormone levels into the liver)but often no risk by other "delivery" routes like a patch delivery of estrogen (through which the hormone arrives at target organs diluted to more normal levels).
Also the type of estrogen makes a big difference. Are there horse urine by-products in the mixture as is the case for conjugated equine estrogens? Are the progestin components composed of synthetic hormones with molecular alterations that are not found in the human? Such progestins are often dangerous, while sequential (half the month, not 'continuous combined')... progesterone with the same molecular configuration found in humans is almost always found to reduce disease outcomes when added sequentially to daily doses of human bio-identical estrogen.
In my book, Hormones and Your Health, I write " It seems rational to me that the best sequential regimens mimic nature's design: take about ten to fourteen days of progesterone per month if you use estrogen every day."
And also "The sequential rising and falling of each month of progesterone, balanced against estrogen, generates the command signals to remodel our bones and keep your breasts healthy, your mind sharp, and your sleep sound." Even for women who no longer have a uterus, the benefits of progesterone will serve their brains, bones, cardiovascular and general well being.
-- Winnifred Cutler, Ph.D.
Read more essential information about HRT and overall health;
Hormones and Your Health (click here for book details)
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