Why Aren’t All Menopausal Women Getting Bioidentical Hormonal Treatment? – A Q&A with Dr. Gustav Lo, MD

Q: If bioidentical hormones are now known to be SAFE, plus prevent all these dangerous diseases AND make menopausal women feel so much better, why isn’t EVERYONE getting them? 

[For background, read my previous blog post “The Tragedy of Women’s Hormone Replacement” to find out how hormone treatment got such an undeserved bad name 20 years ago.]

A: I don’t actually know. Some think it’s all about money. You see, our own natural hormones are not patentable. Drug companies won’t spend hundreds of millions of dollars researching and promoting a product they can’t “own” the rights to. There would be nothing to stop company #2 from selling the exact same thing, without any of the expenses company #1 had. So no big-dollar pharmaceutical research has been done, and no big-dollar advertising or promotion to the public either. That means that few doctors will know about it, and few patients will ask about it.

The research was left to small groups, universities, and other grant-funded organizations. The studies are small and less well-publicized, so it’s taken a really long time (a solid 15 years) before there was enough data to show that bioidentical hormones not only avoid the risks of the previous generation of synthetic, brand-name hormones, but also increase the health benefits. Medical providers have therefore been very slow to change. To this day, most doctors remain unaware how clear the evidence of HRT health benefits has become.

How many more studies will need to be done before all doctors know bioidentical hormones cut the risk of Alzheimer’s in women by 50%? Or can make osteoporosis almost completely a thing of the past? How about make 90 the new 70? I don’t know how long it’s going to take, but I’ve never been good at waiting for the rest of medicine to catch up, and I’m not starting now.

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