Over-the-counter pain pills (NSAIDs) such as aspirin, naproxen and ibuprofen are considered fairly safe. After all, you don't need a prescription to buy them, yet they cause an estimated 16,500 deaths in the US annually, mostly from gastric bleeding.(5) Compare this to no reported adverse events from bio-identical hormones last year, according to an FDA press conference January 2008.(6)
Do Bio-Identical Hormones Cause Breast Cancer?(7)
The answer is no. According to the French Cohort study, there is no increase in breast cancer in women using bio-identical hormones.(8) However, having said that, avoiding excess environmental estrogens as well as excessive estrogen levels from any source, is the key to preventing breast cancer.(9) My previous article covers our program for breast cancer prevention which includes iodine supplementation, Indole-3-carbinol and fiber. To read about this, see: Breast Cancer Prevention and Iodine Supplementation by Jeffrey Dach MD.(10)
Left Image: Eiffel Tower Paris France Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
Do Bio-Identical Hormones Cause Heart Disease ?
Again, the answer is no. A study of CAT calcium scores by JoAnn E. Manson in the June 2007 JAMA actually showed less heart disease in the women taking unopposed estrogen (they had hysterectomies and were not given the synthetic progestins).(11) These same results had already been published 2 years previously in a calcium score study by Budoff in J Womens Health 2005. (12)
A Closer Look at the Women's Health Initiative WHI Study
Understanding the Women's Health Inititative (WHI) study is not difficult, and is very important to answer the question of hormone safety. The WHI study was the large NIH sponsored medical study which compared synthetic hormones to placebo in two large groups of women. The WHI study consisted of two arms. The first arm used the synthetic hormones Premarin and Provera, and the second arm used Premarin alone.(13)(14)
What is Premarin and Provera?
Premarin and Provera are not bio-identical hormones. Premarin is a hormone obtained from pregnant horses, which contains Equilin, a horse hormone not found in humans.(15) Provera is a synthetic hormone which is not found anywhere in the natural world (see provera diagram below).(16) The Premarin and Provera combination is called PremPro, a synthetic hormone pill commonly prescribed by mainstream medicine. Prempro was the hormone preparation used in the first arm of the WHI study.(13)
The WHI study (first arm published in JAMA 2002) was terminated early because the combination of premarin and provera (Prempro) caused increased breast cancer and heart disease.(13)Immediately after this study was published, there was a massive switch by women to bio-identical hormones which resulted in a 4 billion dollar loss for Wyeth, the maker of Prempro. Wyeth is still trying to recoup that money by manipulating the FDA. They want the FDA to ban their competition, the bio-identical hormones or their components.(36)(37)(38) Use this easy tool to email your Congressman and voice your opposition to Wyeth's attempts to ban estriol and other bio-identical hormones.(17) While you are at it, tell your Congressman that synthetic hormones are chemically altered monsters that should be banned.
WHI Study (Second Arm):
All the women in the second arm of the WHI study had prior hysterectomies (uterus absent), so they did not need the synthetic progestin, provera commonly given to prevent endometrial cancer. Rather, they were only given Premarin (the horse hormone, also called CEE, for Conjugated Equine Estrogen). Unlike the first arm of the study, these women had no increase in breast cancer risk.(18) (see chart below)
Chart: This chart shows data from the second arm of the WHI in JAMA 2004.(14)
The blue bars represents adverse events in the placebo group. The red bars represents adverse events in women (ages 50-59) on premarin only, with no Provera (progestin). Note that the Red bars are all Lower than the Blue bars. The Red bar (Premarin-only) group shows LESS heart disease, LESS breast cancer and LESS Mortality when compared to placebo (blue bar). Chart Courtesy of Susan Ott MD Bone Physiology.(19)
Premarin causes endometrial cancer, so the mainstream medical system always gives Provera (progestins) to prevent endometrial cancer, unless of course, the uterus is absent from prior hysterectomy.(20)
The WHI Culprit was the Synthetic Progestin (an altered form of Progesterone)
Back to the first arm of the WHI which used Prempro, it is clear from the data that the culprit which caused breast cancer and heart disease was Provera, a synthetic monster hormone. This is nothing new. For years, Provera has been known to cause heart disease and breast cancer.(21)(22)(39)
Provera Proven to Cause Breast Cancer
In fact, medical studies prove that Provera causes breast cancer. In these studies, Primates were treated with either Progesterone or Provera showing that the Provera causes breast cancer, while the Progesterone provides protection from breast cancer.(22)
Monster Hormones are Chemically Altered
Chemically altered hormones were used in the WHI study, and are routinely handed out by the medical system. These altered hormones are monsters that should never have been approved for marketing to the American people. They should be banned.
Image: Another Monster: Boris Karloff from Frankenstein 1931.Courtesy of Wikimedia.
The Media Says Hormones Cause Cancer and Heart Disease
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