Evidence supporting use of BHRT
One of the major reviews was published in the prestigious medical journal Postgraduate Medicine.
The bioidentical hormone debate: are bioidentical hormones (estradiol, estriol,and progesterone) safer or more efficacious than commonly used synthetic versions in hormone replacement therapy?
Holtorf Medical Group, Inc., Torrance, CA 90505, USA. email@example.com
The use of bioidentical hormones, including progesterone, estradiol, and estriol, in hormone replacement therapy (HRT) has sparked intense debate. Of special concern is their relative safety compared with traditional synthetic and animal-derived versions, such as conjugated equine estrogens (CEE), medroxyprogesterone acetate (MPA), and other synthetic progestins. Proponents for bioidentical hormones claim that they are safer than comparable synthetic and nonhuman versions of HRT. Yet according to the US Food and Drug Administration and The Endocrine Society, there is little or no evidence to support claims that bioidentical hormones are safer or more effective.
This paper aimed to evaluate the evidence comparing bioidentical hormones, including progesterone, estradiol, and estriol, with the commonly used nonbioidentical versions of HRT for clinical efficacy, physiologic actions on breast tissue, and risks for breast cancer and cardiovascular disease.
Published papers were identified from PubMed/MEDLINE, Google Scholar, and Cochrane databases, which included keywords associated with bioidentical hormones, synthetic hormones, and HRT. Papers that compared the effects of bioidentical and synthetic hormones, including clinical outcomes and in vitro results, were selected.
Patients report greater satisfaction with HRTs that contain progesterone compared with those that contain a synthetic progestin. Bioidentical hormones have some distinctly different, potentially opposite, physiological effects compared with their synthetic counterparts, which have different chemical structures. Both physiological and clinical data have indicated that progesterone is associated with a diminished risk for breast cancer, compared with the increased risk associated with synthetic progestins. Estriol has some unique physiological effects, which differentiate it from estradiol, estrone, and CEE. Estriol would be expected to carry less risk for breast cancer, although no randomized controlled trials have been documented. Synthetic progestins have a variety of negative cardiovascular effects, which may be avoided with progesterone.
Physiological data and clinical outcomes demonstrate that bio-identical hormones are associated with lower risks, including the risk of breast cancer and cardiovascular disease, and are more efficacious than their synthetic and animal-derived counterparts. Until evidence is found to the contrary, bio-identical hormones remain the preferred method of HRT. Further randomized controlled trials are needed to delineate these differences more clearly.
Could transdermal estradiol + progesterone be a safer postmenopausal HRT? A review.
Department of Gynecology and Obstetrics, Université Libre de Bruxelles, Bruxelles, Belgium. firstname.lastname@example.org
Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) in young postmenopausal women is a safe and effective tool to counteract climacteric symptoms and to prevent long-term degenerative diseases, such as osteoporotic fractures, cardiovascular disease, diabetes mellitus and possibly cognitive impairment. The different types of HRT offer to many extent comparable efficacies on symptoms control; however, the expert selection of specific compounds, doses or routes of administration can provide significant clinical advantages. This paper reviews the role of the non-oral route of administration of sex steroids in the clinical management of postmenopausal women. Non-orally administered estrogens, minimizing the hepatic induction of clotting factors and others proteins associated with the first-pass effect, are associated with potential advantages on the cardiovascular system. In particular, the risk of developing deep vein thrombosis or pulmonary thromboembolism is negligible in comparison to that associated with oral estrogens. In addition, recent indications suggest potential advantages for blood pressure control with non-oral estrogens. To the same extent, a growing literature suggests that the progestins used in association with estrogens may not be equivalent. Recent evidence indeed shows that natural progesterone displays a favorable action on the vessels and on the brain, while this might not be true for some synthetic progestins.
Compelling indications also exist that differences might also be present for the risk of developing breast cancer, with recent trials indicating that the association of natural progesterone with estrogens confers less or even no risk of breast cancer as opposed to the use of other synthetic progestins.>
In conclusion, while all types of hormone replacement therapies are safe and effective and confer significant benefits in the long-term when initiated in young postmenopausal women, in specific clinical settings the choice of the transdermal route of administration of estrogens and the use of natural progesterone might offer significant benefits and added safety.
My Comments; This impressive article from the University Of Brussels shows that natural hormones do not increase the risk of Breast cancer.
This is a study of nearly 1/2 million women over 15 years, and the effect of HRT and the risk of breast cancer. It showed a reduction in breast cancer in women taking HRT. This is not surprising to me, because my statistics of all the women I have treated over the last 25 years shows a much lower rate of breast cancer then in the general population. This will be reassuring to all those women taking hormones in menopause, and worried about the risk of breast cancer.
Reduced risk of breast cancer mortality in women using postmenopausal hormone therapy: a Finnish nationwide comparative study.
- 11Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Helsinki and Helsinki University Hospital, Helsinki, Finland 2Folkhälsan Research Center, Biomedicum, Helsinki, Finland 3EPID Research Oy, Espoo, Finland 4Information Services Department, National Institute for Health and Welfare, Helsinki, Finland.
Data are controversial on the impact of postmenopausal hormone therapy (HT) on breast cancer mortality. We analyzed nationwide Finnish data on breast cancer mortality risk in women using HT consisting of estradiol-only therapy (ET) or estrogen-progestogen therapy (EPT).
In total, 489,105 women using HT in 1994 to 2009, traced from the nationwide reimbursement register, were followed from the HT initiation (3.3 million cumulative exposure years) to breast cancer death (n = 1,578 women). The observed deaths were compared with those in the age-standardized background population.
The breast cancer mortality risk was reduced in all HT users with exposure for at most 5 years (standardized mortality ratio 0.56; CI 0.52-0.60), more than 5 to 10 years (0.46; 0.41-0.51), or more than 10 years (0.62; 0.56-0.68). A significantly larger risk reduction was detected in the 50 to 59 years age group (0.33; 0.29-0.37) compared with 60 to 69 (0.64; 0.59-0.70) or 70 to 79 (0.78; 0.69-0.87) years age groups. The death risk reductions in ET users tended to be larger in all age groups compared with EPT users, with a significant difference only in the 70 to 79 years age group (0.66; 0.57-0.76 vs 0.88; 0.77-1.00). The age at HT initiation, regardless whether ET or EPT, showed no association with breast cancer mortality.
In the Finnish unselected population, breast cancer is fatal in 1 of 10 patients. Our data imply that this risk is prevalent in 1 of 20 patients with history of HT use. This is an important message for women considering or already using HT.
Back to the future: Hormone replacement therapy as part of a prevention strategy for women at the onset of menopause
Last year was a momentous year, from a hormone perspective. The further safety and many benefits was further confirmed from the many studies performed all over the world. This study further confirms this view. It basically says all women in menopause should be on HRT.
Back to the future: Hormone replacement therapy as part of a prevention strategy for women at the onset of menopause.
- 1Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Columbia University, New York, NY 10032, USA. Electronic address: email@example.com.
- 2Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Columbia University, New York, NY 10032, USA.
- 3National Heart and Lung Institute, Imperial College London, Royal Brompton Hospital, Sydney Street, London, SW3 6NP, UK.
- 4Atherosclerosis Research Unit, Departments of Medicine and Preventive Medicine, Keck School of Medicine, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA 90022, USA.
In the late 1980s, several observational studies and meta-analyses suggested that hormone replacement therapy (HRT) was beneficial for prevention of osteoporosis, coronary heart disease, dementia and decreased all-cause mortality. In 1992, the American College of Physicians recommended HRT for prevention of coronary disease. In the late 1990s and early 2000s, several randomized trials in older women suggested coronary harm and that the risks, including breast cancer, outweighed any benefit. HRT stopped being prescribed at that time, even for women who had severe symptoms of menopause. Subsequently, reanalyzes of the randomized trial data, using age stratification, as well as newer studies, and meta-analyses have been consistent in showing that younger women, 50-59 years or within 10 years of menopause, have decreased coronary disease and all-cause mortality; and did not have the perceived risks including breast cancer. These newer findings are consistent with the older observational data. It has also been reported that many women who abruptly stopped HRT had more risks, including more osteoporotic fractures. The current data confirm a “timing” hypothesis for benefits and risks of HRT, showing that younger have many benefits and few risks, particularly if therapy is predominantly focused on the estrogen component. We discuss these findings and put into perspective the potential risks of treatment, and suggest that we may have come full circle regarding the use of HRT. In so doing we propose that HRT should be considered as part of a general prevention strategy for women at the onset of menopause.
Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved
A comprehensive review of the safety and efficacy of bioidentical hormones for the management of menopause and related health risks.
Numerous forms of estrogens and progestins are utilized for the treatment of menopausal complaints and associated conditions that occur temporally. Although known to be different with respect to molecular structure, receptor affinity, metabolism, and other physiological traits, most have been treated as if they were clinically identical. The majority of these hormone preparations, commonly referred to as hormone replacement therapy (HRT), should perhaps be more aptly referred to as hormone substitution therapy, as most of the therapies utilized do not exactly match those produced in the body. Research indicates these synthetic hormones vary clinically in safety and efficacy. As such, women and their physicians have, in increasing numbers, been opting for the use of bioidentical hormones; i.e., those that match the structure and function of hormones produced in the body. With greater utilization and research surrounding bioidentical hormones, the differences can now begin to be fully assessed and appreciated. This article reviews the disparities between synthetic and bioidentical estrogens and progestins/progesterone with respect to safety and efficacy; special attention is devoted to clinical outcomes in the breast, endometrium, bone, cardiovascular system, and brain. The studies reviewed suggest bioidentical progesterone does not have a negative effect on blood lipids or vasculature as do many synthetic progestins, and may carry less risk with respect to breast cancer incidence. Studies of both bioidentical estrogens and progesterone suggest a reduced risk of blood clots compared to non-bioidentical preparations. Bioidentical hormonepreparations have demonstrated effectiveness in addressing menopausal symptoms. The author advocates for continued research on bioidenticalhormones and concludes there is currently sufficient evidence to support their preferred use over that of their synthetic cousins