Wellness Center & Med Spa Anti-Aging Medicine “Picture Yourself Better”

By Dr. Bill Webb, D.O. –

Anti-Aging Medicine What is a hormone? What’s the big difference between natural versus synthetic hormones? Are they both the same?

Natural hormones are no more the same as synthetic hormones than methyl, ethyl, and isopropyl alcohol are the same. Look at the following subtle differences between wood alcohol (which causes blindness if you drink it), ethyl alcohol (which is beer and wine), and isopropyl alcohol (which is rubbing alcohol). The slightest change in carbon or hydrogen atom makes all the difference in the world!

Now look at natural progesterone compared to synthetic progesterone, which is also know as medroxyprogesterone acetate or MPA. MPA does not exist in nature. Companies manufacture it as a “substitute” for our own natural progesterone. MPA has an added functional group that allows companies to obtain a protected patent. Natural hormones cannot be patented.

What do we mean by the term “natural hormones”?
The term “natural” has to do with the biochemistry of hormones. Biochemistry is something most physicians and pharmacists forget after they graduate from college. Many of the hormones that circulate in our bodies have been isolated and studied by scientists. Examples are insulin, progesterone, estrone, estradiol, estriol, and testosterone. Scientists have discovered the exact molecular make up of hormones. This is why you can look at the molecular structure of progesterone and compare it to MPA. Natural hormones are hormones that start out as phytoestrogens, also known as plant estrogens. These plant estrogens come from sources like soybeans, yams, and red clover. These phytoestrogens are extracted from plants and converted in the most natural ways in laboratories with chemical reactions to the exact molecules that our bodies produce.

The term natural hormone is analogous to the terms bio-identical or human identical hormones. So when you hear the term natural hormone, that should mean that the hormone being discussed has the same atoms and the same molecular shape as your own hormones that your body makes. Natural hormones are exactly identical to your own hormones in every aspect of chemistry.

Most of our hormones metabolize or break down into other active hormones. For example, testosterone can break down into estradiol. This is amazing in it’s own right because testosterone and estradiol are about as different as day and night. It is amazing that it only takes one little reaction with an enzyme called aromatase that can convert a male hormone like testosterone into a female hormone called estradiol.

Consider this: Let’s incorrectly assume that MPA (medroxyprogesterone acetate) and natural progesterone work exactly the same on progesterone receptors. Even if this were the case there is no possible way that MPA will metabolize into the same active metabolites as natural progesterone. So, MPA cannot convert into estradiol or testosterone. The human body has a difficult time trying to break MPA down because the human body sees MPA as something foreign.

Hormones work by linking to receptors inside cells that respond to very specific hormone signals. This hormone/receptor concept is similar to an analogy of a lock and key., The receptor is the lock and the hormone is the key. We all understand that if we have the correct key for a lock that wed can open the lock. But what happens if we go and have a duplicate key made but the duplicate key is not an exact copy?Maybe the duplicate key is just barely different from the original key. This duplicate key may get stuck in the lock so that we cannot remove it. This duplicate key is like synthetic hormones. Synthetic hormones do not fit our natural receptors exactly like natural hormones do. We do not have birth control pill receptor sites or any synthetic receptor sites in our bodies. Sometimes the synthetic hormones will unlock a signal to a cell but many times it does other things to the cell. It may stay locked into the receptor for too long, causing damage. This is why synthetic hormones can cause side effects.

Interestingly, many physicians and pharmacists will say that there is no difference in synthetic hormones and natural hormones. Why is this? It is because they were never taught about natural hormones. When physicians and pharmacists attend college they study drugs, not natural hormones. We forget physiology and focus on our pharmacology.

Pellets do not increase the risk of blood clots like conventional or synthetic hormone replacement therapy. In studies, when compared to the conventional hormone replacement therapy, pellets have been show to be superior for relief of menopausal symptoms, maintenance of bone density, energy levels, restoration of sleep patterns, and improvement in sex drive, libido, sexual response and performance.

Some patients begin to “feel better” within 72 to 96 hours of insertion. Diet and lifestyle, along with hormone balance are critical for optimal health. Even today, it is common for a person to either be unfamiliar with the facets of bio-identical hormone pellet therapy or to not have heard of it at all. Pellet therapy has been around since the 1930’s and is the most effective and the most convenient hormone delivery method available today.

Benefits of Bio-Identical Hormone Replacement Therapy in Men:

  • Improves energy levels
  • Increases muscle mass and tone
  • Improves exercise endurance
  • Improves fat loss and muscle tone
  • Improves sex drive and performance
  • Improves memory and coordination
  • Improves sleep
  • Decreases joint pain and muscle aches
  • Improves bone strength
  • Improves cholesterol levels
  • Protects against heart disease


Benefits of Bio-Identical Hormone Replacement Therapy in Women:

  • Eliminates night sweats
  • Eliminates hot flashes
  • Eliminates vaginal dryness and itching
  • Eliminates pain with intercourse
  • Improves energy levels
  • Improves fat loss and muscle tone
  • Improves sex drive
  • Improves mood
  • Improves memory and concentration
  • Protects bones from osteoporosis
  • Reduces risk of heart disease


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