The terms “natural” and “bio-identical” as applied to Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) can be confusing. Natural means, “existing in or derived from nature; not made, caused by, or processed by humankind”, whereas bio-identical means, “exactly the same as that which exists in the human body.”
In 1943, Russell Earl Marker isolated diosgenin from Mexican yams and developed the process known as “Marker Degradation”; a three step process by which mammalian sex hormones can be synthesized from a natural source. Prior to developing this process, progesterone was available at a cost of $8.00/gram (before the marker process, a single capsule of progesterone 200 mg would cost $23.42).
Patients are often concerned about the source of their hormones if they have sensitivity to soy or other plant products from which the diosgenin is isolated. Because hormones are synthesized, or made by a chemical process to especially imitate a bio-identical product, we can say they’re bio-identical.
This process removes all the parts of the product that do not exactly resemble that which the body would identify as its own. None of the products compounded contain diosgenin, soy or yam. The product used in compounds contains only the bio-identical hormone desired by the patient or prescriber.
Joleen M. Lake, APRN is an “Advanced Bio-identical Hormone Therapy” practitioner who is highly trained in providing superior diagnoses and treatment for patients looking to maintain hormone optimization. Her extensive experience and passion for wellness continues to make her a well sought after medical provider specializing in hormone therapy.