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How Do Bioidentical Hormones Mimic Natural Hormones

by Medical Review Board

Bioidentical hormones mimic natural hormones because they have the same molecular structure as the hormones produced by the human body. This structural similarity allows bioidentical hormones to bind to the same receptors in cells and tissues that natural hormones do, and as a result, they can exert similar physiological effects. Here’s a more detailed explanation of how bioidentical hormones achieve this mimicry:

Molecular Structure: Bioidentical hormones, such as bioidentical estrogen and progesterone, are synthesized or derived from plant sources (e.g., soy or yams) to have a molecular structure nearly identical to the hormones produced by the human body. For example, bioidentical estrogen is often in the form of estradiol, one of the main natural estrogens produced by the ovaries.

Receptor Binding: When bioidentical hormones are introduced into the body, they circulate in the bloodstream and can bind to the specific hormone receptors found on the surface of target cells. These hormone receptors are designed to recognize and interact with molecules that have a particular three-dimensional structure.

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Cellular Response: Once the bioidentical hormones bind to their respective receptors, they initiate cellular responses that are similar to those triggered by natural hormones. This can include changes in gene expression, metabolic processes, and other physiological functions.

Symptom Relief: When used in hormone replacement therapy, bioidentical hormones are administered to alleviate the symptoms associated with hormone imbalances, such as those experienced during menopause or when natural hormone production decreases. The bioidentical hormones can help restore hormonal balance and relieve symptoms like hot flashes, mood swings, and vaginal dryness.

The critical advantage of bioidentical hormones is their ability to closely replicate the actions of natural hormones, which can lead to effective symptom relief.  Additionally, the formulation and administration of bioidentical hormones should follow established medical guidelines.