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Definitions of common hormone health terms: Part II

Definitions of common hormone health terms: Part II

Looking closely at terms can always help you make a more educated decision about what kind of supplements you should get and what to look for when you need hormone replacement therapy, which is a solution that works not only temporarily, but has long-term positive effects to your overall health. *For those who need a refresher, “hormone replacement therapy” is a treatment option that supplies hormones to the body to help with the coping of menopausal symptoms, andropausal symptoms, or osteoporosis. You may already know this, but this definition comes in handy when learning about “bio identical hormone replacement therapy.” As you know previously, “biological” relates to biology or living organisms while “identical” means exactly alike or the same. Put all three together and you get “bio identical hormone replacement therapy,” or relating to biology or living organisms exactly alike or the same as it connects to treatment that uses specific hormones to alleviate menopausal or andropausal symptoms or osteoporosis. That is the simple way to put it.*

“Bio identical” is a term used to clear up the meaning of hormone replacement products that are chemically identical to human hormones. You may not have heard of it before, which is okay as the term has only been used in recent years. “Bio identical” has already been assigned to 17 different hormones, including estradiol, estrone, estriol, testosterone, dehydroepiandrosterone, melatonin, pregnenolone, and progesterone. All 17 can be found in human tissues. It should be noted that hormones that are part of hormone replacement therapy and are identified as “bio identical” are chemically synthesized from already existing compounds found in nature. These compounds are similar, but not completely identical to human hormones.

Since hormones need to be readily available to those in need of them, it’s easier to synthesize them from already existing compounds found in nature. Progesterone is synthesized from diosgenin, a molecule that can be found in the Mexican yam. While it is not a human hormone molecule, it is similar in structure to many human hormone molecules. Diosgenin can still be found in other sources as well besides the yam. There are plant sources like agave, grape, ginger, soy, and others. Most steroid hormones are made through this process. Companies make sure to send analyses that show hormone ingredients are not altered in any way or misbranded and that the hormone meets a set of standards to be used properly.


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