Dr. Zava, co-author of What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Breast Cancer: How Hormone Balance Can Help Save Your Life and the director of ZRT Laboratory says natural progesterone has many benefits in the battle against breast cancer. Dr. Zava joins Ageology’s Dr. Paul Savage in Chicago on October 20th for an age management physician workshop discussing the benefits of hormone testing.
Research shows that Natural Hormone Therapy
Helps Prevent Diseases Such As Breast Cancer.
In light of breast cancer awareness month, Chicago’s Ageology physician network, 22 doctors specializing in integrative age management, send a message to women to do their homework when it comes to getting the facts about hormone therapy and breast cancer. Women receive mixed messages when it comes to hormone therapy and the risks and benefits as it relates to breast cancer prevention.
“Women need to educate themselves on the difference between synthetic hormone therapy and natural hormone therapy. Physicians who fail to understand the major flaws and a multitude of nuances of serum testing of hormones, should not be treating (or advising) patients with hormones,” warns Ageology’s CEO Dr. Paul Savage, a bioidentical hormone therapy expert who highlights a recent blog post written by Dr. David Zava.
Is it synthetic progesterones, and not estrogens, that contribute to the increased rates of breast cancer? It’s been recently debated—as well as the distinction between natural progesterone and synthetic progesterones (progestins).
Dr. Zava, co-author of What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Breast Cancer: How Hormone Balance Can Help Save Your Life and the director of ZRT Laboratory in Beaverton, Ore., says synthetic progesterones (progestins) increase breast cancer, but there is no evidence that natural progesterone does the same.In fact, natural progesterone has many benefits in the battle against breast cancer.
In the ZRT blog, Zava points to a 2008 clinical study from Fournier(Breast Cancer Res Treat 107: 103-111, 2008) that looks at the relationship of both synthetic vs. natural progesterone, in combination with estradiol, on the risk of developing breast cancer. The takeaway: natural progesterone had the lowest risk—and that risk was actually lower than no hormone treatment at all.
A second Fournier study (80,391 postmenopausal women), found that the combination of estradiol and synthetic progestins for more than five years is associated with increased risk of breast cancer. But the risk with estrogen plus natural progesterone is actually less than the risk of estrogen alone. And, most importantly, natural progesterone once again shows the lowest risk.
“It is also important to keep in mind that the Fournier studies did not compare the effects of oral versus topical natural progesterone,” Zava says. “Based on what we have seen in hundreds of thousands of salivary and capillary blood progesterone levels following different routes of natural progesterone administration, the topical route of administration delivers much more progesterone to tissues than does the oral route.”
Zava explains that oral natural progesterone is mostly destroyed in the gastrointestinal tract before it enters the blood circulation and delivered to tissues. Based on saliva and capillary blood progesterone levels, topically delivered progesterone is anywhere from 20 to 100 times more efficiently delivered to tissues than oral natural progesterone.
“My concern is that women using oral natural progesterone as hormone replacement may not be getting enough progesterone to tissues to counter the growth-promoting effects of the estrogens. And the actual estrogen levels relative to progesterone are not evaluated in these studies,” Zava says.
“The study by Fournier mentioned above looks at oral, not topical, natural progesterone. Based on saliva, capillary blood, and tissue progesterone levels from the studies mentioned above, topical natural progesterone is far more effective in delivering a physiological amount of progesterone to the breast and controlling estrogen-stimulated cell proliferation.”
In spite of all the science and clinical studies behind it, only one small study Zava is aware of looked at the risk of breast cancer with topical natural progesterone in a manner similar to what Dr. John Lee, an international authority and pioneer in the use of natural progesterone cream and natural hormone balance, recommended for progesterone use. In that study they showed the risk to be reduced by half in women using topical progesterone for three years or more. Zava says this is consistent with the biology behind progesterone delivered topically.
“When I talk to very high level people about why they should at least study the relationship of topically delivered natural progesterone to breast cancer risk I am told they don’t think it could possibly be effective because it doesn’t increase serum levels. This is true, as it is for all topically delivered hormones, but it does increase saliva, capillary blood, and tissue levels of progesterone. With this data in hand, it doesn’t take a genius to figure out something is wrong with serum testing when hormones are delivered topically,” Zava says.
“Hopefully one day the medical establishment will finally wake up and listen to what women have been telling them for years—topical natural progesterone works. Then they might discover what has been right under their noses (the scientific articles supporting the utility and effectiveness of topical natural progesterone) for too many years.”
The name “ZRT” captures the company’s emphasis on research, technological innovation, and the commitment of its founder, biochemist and breast cancer researcher David T. Zava, PhD, to wellness through preventive health care and the achievement of balance.
ZRT is a CLIA certified diagnostic laboratory that supports healthcare professionals in health management through accurate, convenient and innovative lab testing. Operating for over a decade, ZRT stays ahead of developments in medical research and utilizes the most advanced technologies to help healthcare providers and patients detect hormonal imbalances, CardioMetabolic risk, Vitamin D deficiency and Iodine deficiency.