Read an Excerpt
Women Taking Control:
Dismissing Marketing Hype, Demanding Medical Science
My guess is that you picked up this book because, over the last several years, you have experienced changes in your body, mind, and moods that disturb you. You have struggled with weight gain, depression, foggy thinking, or low sex drive and possibly suffered through hot flashes, night sweats, irregular bleeding, vaginal dryness, or changes in breast tissue. You believe that somehow your age and hormones (or lack thereof) are in collusion, and if you don't do something, you are doomed to be increasingly fat, snippy, sexless, and senile. You would consider hormone replacement therapy (HRT), but over the last several years you've read in the newspaper or heard on television that those once-popular drugs have been linked to an increased risk of breast and uterine cancers, heart attack, stroke, and Alzheimer's disease. Your question is: do I have another option?
The answer is a resounding 'Yes!' Bio-identical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT) has been clinically proven to be a safe and effective alternative for treating symptoms of hormone imbalance. Even better, BHRT goes beyond the symptoms to replace hormone deficiencies and biochemically resolve the problem at a cellular level.
In chapter 1, you will read the history behind the launch and promotion of pharmaceutically manufactured synthetic hormones, promoted despite the early evidence of their health dangers. You will learn how corrupt pharmaceutical industry practices have kept synthetic hormones on the market, despite mounting medical evidence linking these drugs to lethal health concerns. Then, in chapter 2, you'll learn about bio-identical hormones: what they are, how they are made, why they can't be patented and—most eye-opening—why you (and your doctor) may not have heard of them before now.
Decades of Desperate Women Dangerously Duped
For decades, pharmaceutically manufactured synthetic hormone replacement therapies have been touted as the female fountain of youth. 'Take this pill and you can maintain your youthful good looks, increase your sexual energy, and keep a positive outlook for life,' doctors and advertisements told women. To boot, doctors were convinced that synthetic hormones could help aging women keep their hearts, bones, and brains healthy. But in recent years an unrelenting stream of medical evidence has indicted synthetic hormone replacement therapy as an evil of its own, raising a woman's risk of heart disease, breast and uterine cancers, blood clotting and strokes, and Alzheimer's disease.
When the health risks associated with synthetic hormones first became public knowledge, millions of women on these drugs (such as the commonly prescribed Premarin or Prempro) were horrified. Their doctors were surprised and confused. Not so the medical experts employed by the pharmaceutical giants manufacturing these dangerous drugs. They had been aware of medical research evidencing the carcinogenic properties of synthetic estrogen since the early 1940s.
The Auschwitz Connection
Some of the first scientific experiments with synthetic hormones were conducted at Auschwitz.1 The lead researcher was Adolph Friedrich Johann Butenandt, a biochemist (sponsored by the Schering pharmaceutical company) who won a Nobel Prize in 1939 for isolating sex hormones. According to previously sealed files of Nazi-era science, Butenandt's work included the introduction of three synthetic hormone products: Progynon, a synthetic estrogen; Proluton, a synthetic progesterone, or progestin; and Testoviron, the synthetic male hormone. In sponsoring Butenandt's research, Schering's marketing goal was to identify a way of using synthetic hormones as a form of birth control.
Excerpts from primary source documents obtained from archives in England and Germany describe the sterilization experiments. Women in Auschwitz were unknowingly fed daily doses of synthetic estrogen in their rutabaga soup. The goal of these experiments was to sterilize non-Aryans. Though unable to reproduce, the Jews would still be able to work as slave laborers for the 'superior' Aryan race.
In 1972, Dr. Jean Jofen presented to the Fifth World Congress of Jewish Studies a paper titled 'Long-Range Effects of Medical Experiments in Concentration Camps: The Effect of Administration of Estrogen to the Mother on the Intelligence of the Offspring.' Jofen reported that, after testing hundreds of children of Holocaust survivors, the Auschwitz contingent had the lowest IQ range. Dr. Jofen postulated that the synthetic hormone experiments were responsible.3
The DES Story
Diethylstilbestrol (DES) was a synthetic hormone drug first synthesized in 1938 by Sir Charles Dodd. It was the first synthetic hormone product that was cheap to manufacture and effective to take by mouth. Originally marketed as a 'synthetic compound capable of producing the feminization effect similar to that of naturally occurring estrogen,' DES was commonly prescribed during pregnancy to prevent miscarriages or premature deliveries.
In the United States, an estimated 5 to 10 million people were exposed to DES from 1938 to 1971, including pregnant women prescribed DES and their children. Nine out of every ten daughters of women who took DES had deformed reproductive systems or other abnormalities. Half would never be able to conceive or bear children. One in seven DES daughters contracted a rare and often lethal form of cancer called adenocarcinoma. This malignancy affects glandular tissue that forms only in those women whose mothers took DES during their first months of pregnancy. DES was also linked to a relatively rare form of testicular cancer in sons.4
In 1971, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) advised physicians to stop prescribing DES. While DES was the first synthetic hormone product to be named a human carcinogen, unfortunately, it wouldn't be the last.
A Huge Cover-Up
The HRT cover-up is much bigger than most people think. For over forty years, women and their physicians have been getting bad information from the pharmaceutical industry, while the federal government has done little to intervene.
Synthetic hormones are chemically altered hormones synthesized in a laboratory to have a different molecular structure than the hormones produced by the ovaries or testes. Why wouldn't the pharmaceutical companies synthesize a hormone with exactly the same molecular structure as the ones produced by the body? Because you can't patent a molecular structure that occurs in nature. By altering the molecular structure of the hormones, the pharmaceutical manufacturer can have exclusive ownership of both the chemical formula and the revenue generated by its synthetic hormone product until its patent expires.
©2009. C.W. Randolph, Jr., M.D., and Genie James, M.M.Sc. All rights reserved. Reprinted from From Hormone Hell to Hormone Well. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means, without the written permission of the publisher. Publisher: Health Communications, Inc., 3201 SW 15th Street, Deerfield Beach, FL 33442