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Synthetic Sex Steroids - “Frankenstein version of natural hormones”

Synthetic Sex Steroids - “Frankenstein version of natural hormones”

frankstein

Follow the money!

The drug industry changes a natural hormone molecule to make it patentable.   Bioidentical hormones are not a patentable product, so the drug industry chemically alters the natural hormones to make synthetic, but patentable and multi-billion dollar profitable substances   E.g. Provera , used in birth control, HRT, and endometriosis,  Cenestin® or Enjuvia® in U.S., Congest® in Canada (synthetic conjugated equine estrogens), and ethinylestradiol (a synthetic estrogen) all used in birth control . Alternatively, conjugated equine estrogens (CEEs) derived from the urine of pregnant mares are used in Pfizer's Premarin® and Duavee®(bazedoxifene and Premarin, for women who have NOT had a hysterectomy), primarily for HRT, but also for vaginal atrophy and as a preventative for postmenopausal osteoporosis.   

 

Patented hormones have different effects than bioidentical hormones

Premarin (conjugated equine estrogens (CEEs) )    Derived wholly or in part from URINE of pregnant mares or synthetically from ESTRONE and EQUILIN. It contains a combination of sodium estrone sulfate (52-62%) and sodium equilin sulfate (22-30%) totalling 80-88% between them. Sodium estrone sulfate serves as a prodrug source of ESTRONE, which is in turn a prodrug of ESTRADIOL, both having normal estrogenic activity. However, sodium equilin sulfate is a prodrug of the estrogen equilin and then 17β-dihydroequilin,  which in CEEs has greater potency in the liver compared to bioidentical ESTRADIOL, similar to (although to a lesser extent than) the synthetic estrogens such as ethinylestradiol, which disproportionately affects liver protein production compared o bioidentical ESTRADIOL. (Kuhl, 2005)

There are many other hormonal components in Premarin, but the major active estrogens in CEEs are estradiol and 17β-dihydroequilin, having potent estrogenic activity accounting for most of the effects of CEEs.

 

Provera (medroxyprogesterone acetate).   A progestin  (synthetic PROGESTERONE)

provera - synthetic progesterone

A variety of synthetic steroids and sterols have been contrived.   Most synthetic hormones are steroids, but some non-steroidal molecules can interact with the steroid receptors because of their similarity in shape. Some examples of synthetic steroid hormones, include:

•  Glucocorticoids: prednisone, dexamethasone, triamcinolone

•  Mineralocorticoid: fludrocortisone

•  Vitamin D: dihydrotachysterol

•  Androgens: Oxandrolone, nandrolone (also known as anabolic steroids)

•  Estrogens: ethinylestradiol (used today in almost all oral combination contraceptives); diethylstilbestrol (DES/prevent miscarriage/banned in 1971);

•  Progestins: norethindrone (Aygestin/oral contraceptive), medroxyPROGESTERONE acetate (Provera/HRT)

Don't expect your doctor to offer bio-identical hormones unless its delivery method can be patented.  Companies may then offer bioidentical hormones in such as transdermal skin patches. E.g. Vivelle, Estraderm, and Climara.

What's the problem with synthetic hormones?

Compared to the effect of natural steroids, some synthetic steroids can have either a weaker or stronger effect on receptors they activate.

Synthetic hormones can cause many serious health problems.    The 2002 Women's Health Initiative report showed very clearly that synthetic hormones made by pharmaceutical companies caused many serious health problems in women.  (Rossouw et al, 2002; de Lignières et al, 2002; Fournier et al, 2005 )

Some of the known side effects are:

•  Increased risk of abortion and congenital abnormalities if taken by pregnant women

•  Fluid retention

•  Epilepsy

•  Migraine

•  Asthma

•  Cardiac and renal dysfunction

•  Depression

•  Breast tenderness

•  Nausea

•  Insomnia

•  Cancer

•  Drop in PROGESTERONE levels

The Woman's Health Initiative (WHI) study demonstrated that a combination of Premarin (conjugated equine estrogens(CEEs) ) and Provera (synthetic PROGESTERONE) produces a:

•  26% increase in invasive breast cancer;

•  29% increase in heart attack risk or CHD death;

•  41% increase in stroke risk

•  200% increase in risk of blood clots.

These and other synthetic hormones should be banned, but the Pfizer (formally Wyeth) company, for example, has been accustomed to making annual sales topping 1 billion dollars on the sale of Premarin and Prempro, and so it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure why they're still on the market!

Interesting research article expounds on this topic

Use bio-identical sex hormones

The most often supplemented  sex hormones are available in bio-identical form by prescription

Many bioidentical hormones are also available OTC in the U.S. : 

(i) Estrogens: 17 beta-estradiol (an isomer of ESTRADIOL, essentially the same molecule), ESTRONE (E1) and ESTRIOL(E3);

(ii) PROGESTERONE (as 2% cream)

(iii) TESTOSTERONE

(iv) DHEA (in low doses). An adrenal precursor to TESTOSTERONE)

You can legally purchase a prescription drug from abroad for your own personal use without a prescription.    Most people are unaware that U.S. Code 21, Section 331 allows you to legally import around a 2-3 month/50 dose supply of any prescription drug for your own personal use, without a prescription. On request, your local U.S. Customs office will send you a free copy of document CF4790 “Know Before You Go” (page 28 and 29)”.

References

Kuhl H (2005). "Pharmacology of estrogens and progestogens: influence of different routes of administration" (PDF). Climacteric. 8 Suppl 1: 3-63. . Pubmed.

de Lignières B, de Vathaire F, Fournier S, Urbinelli R, Allaert F, Le MG, Kuttenn F. (2002 Dec) Combined hormone replacement therapy and risk of breast cancer in a French cohort study of 3175 women. Climacteric. 5(4):332-40. PubMed

Fournier A, Berrino F, Riboli E, Avenel V, Clavel-Chapelon F. (2005 Apr 10) Breast cancer risk in relation to different types of hormone replacement therapy in the E3N-EPIC cohort. Int J Cancer. 114(3):448-54. PubMed

 

Rossouw JE, Anderson GL, Prentice RL, LaCroix AZ, Kooperberg C, Stefanick ML, Jackson RD, Beresford SA, Howard BV, Johnson KC, Kotchen JM, Ockene J (2002  Jul 17) Writing Group for the Women's Health Initiative Investigators.   Risks and benefits of estrogen plus progestin in healthy postmenopausal women: principal results From the Women's Health Initiative randomized controlled trial. JAMA.  288(3):321-33 PubMed

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