The Natural Way

Wednesday, July 31, 2002

Medical Hormonal Replacement Therapy remains a hot topic in the news.

As you might expect, drug manufacturers are scrambling to assure the public of safety and of the availability of choice as well as the hope of new pharmaceuticals in the pipeline. I've responded by writing two columns, one mostly for women and the other mostly for men. Neither are exclusive for either gender as both men and women share the same hormones, just differing amounts of each. What is true for both of us is hormones play a strong role in aging.

The market responds to what consumers are interested in buying. With the first wave of Boomers hitting that time in life when age and wear and tear are catching up with their bodies, new products are coming onto the Natural Health Scene. Due to the convergence of many market forces, many of these supplements have very good science proving safety, efficiency and effectiveness. Nowhere is this more true than with the "anti-aging" supplements.

The medical/scientific view has changed greatly in a short period of time regarding the benefits of supplementation. While there are naysayers, mostly they are a small group of Chicken Littles. The biggest problem I see is the excessive claims made by many marketing groups. Everyone does better if we are healthfully skeptical, meaning challenge the status quo and gain more education about anything you wish to try. But definitely try it, if your head and gut sense are in enough agreement.

One caution though, with supplemental hormone products, get some advice first. For instance if your DHEA levels are normal, supplementing won't help, it even may be harmful. Your glands are pretty much like most of humanity, if they don't need to work to produce hormones, they won't. By supplementing you just might make them lazy. This is also true for testosterone which could cause some shrinkage -- OOPS! Sometimes increasing testosterone or a hormone like DHEA can be harmful. Get good advice before trying some of these powerful, new products.

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