IS HORMONE REPLACEMENT THERAPY “GOOD OR BAD?” YOU DECIDE!
By: Dr. Michael John Badanek, BS, DC, CNS, DACBN, DCBCN, CTTP, MSGR/CHEV
Hormone replacement is a touchy subject, primarily because of the fear of causing cancer – prostate cancer in males and breast cancer in females.
You also might be aware of a study, reported recently in The Journal of the American Medical Association and carried widely by the media that linked hormone replacement in women with increased risk of strokes and heart attacks and found no benefit in reducing the risk of dementia.
The general public does not realize that this was a very flawed study and never should have been accepted for publication by the journal. The way the experiment was set up was terribly flawed, but the main problem with the study was the fact that the type of estrogen they used, Premarin, has been known for a long time to be toxic to brain cells, as is the form of progesterone they used. In fact, though Premarin breaks down in the body into a multitude of brain-toxic compounds, this is the form most often prescribed to post-menopausal women. Studies also indicate that HRT for women causes hypothyroidism.
Dozens of studies have confirmed that natural estrogens, especially the form known as Estriol, are highly protective of the brain, especially against Alzheimer’s disease.
Estriol also has been shown to protect women from breast cancer. Premarin contains estradiol, a very powerful form of estrogen and one most associated with breast cancer.
Brain cells contain numerous estrogen receptors, which is why estrogens are so important to brain protection from a number of assaults. Only natural estrogens can provide this protection. Before supplementing, women should have a complete female hormone study done.
When doing hormone studies, the clinician must perform all sex hormone laboratory studies in the FREE form. Current laboratory studies for women on Estrogen, Progesterone and Testosterone taken with blood (serum) samples are in the total or bound form of the hormone in question. The blood (serum) for all sex hormones are bound to a protein called albumin. This bound form of all hormones encompasses roughly 95-98% of all sex hormones and is the INACTIVE form of sex hormones. The 1-3% of the active form of sex hormones is NOT bound to Albumin and must be clinically witnessed in urine studies. It is the active form (1-3%) of all sex hormones that work to regulate the body function. So when your clinician wants to check your sex hormone levels, make sure they check the FREE forms and are found in the urine as post-metabolites.
Kale, which most people think of as a plate decoration, also contains a natural estrogen compound that is highly protective of the brain in both males and females. It is too weak to cause hormone stimulation in men or women, but it provides the protection of estrogens.
Men generally do not lose their reproductive hormones as rapidly or as dramatically as women.
Yet, after age 55, most men have significantly lower levels of testosterone. Testosterone has been shown to be very protective of the brain, including against Alzheimer’s disease. Testosterone is derived from another hormone, called DHEA.
This hormone also has been shown to be very protective of brain cells. DHEA levels also fall with age. One of the best ways to increase both DHEA levels and testosterone is simply to take DHEA.
I would advise men to have a male hormone lab test before supplementing with DHEA, and those with prostate cancer should not take DHEA or any male hormone.
Some men fear supplementations because of a theoretical risk of prostate cancer, but studies have shown that rather than increasing risk, DHEA may reduce the risk. Also, most men with low DHEA level feel better with supplementation and report increased libido. I would not recommend taking more than 10 to 15 mg a day. It should be taken on an empty stomach.
Dr. Badanek’s office looks at sickness and disease at a totally different perspective. We address the cause of all conditions, test for them, and treat the cause not just the symptoms. It is a totally new paradigm shift of conscientiousness for the new patient. To input knowledge to the patient, which is most lacking today in our health care delivery system, is empowering the patient to be successful with their health care challenges presented.
Please schedule an appointment to consult with your health challenges. We offer a courtesy consultation for your first visit to meet Dr. Badanek. Dr. Badanek has been in private clinical practice for 34 years working in the field of Integrative/Functional Medicine.
Dr. Badanek’s website will give you an idea of what his facility has to offer the sick and health challenged.
To schedule an appointment, please call 352-622-1151.