Newswise — The public's confusion surrounding the benefits and risks of hormone therapy was again brought to light yesterday on The Oprah Winfrey Show. It is true that, like traditional hormones, patients can obtain bioidentical hormones as FDA-approved preparations formulated with strict oversight and dispensed by retail pharmacies. The concern comes, however, when bioidentical hormones are customized by compounding pharmacies and are not subject to FDA monitoring for dose, purity, safety or efficacy.

In 2006, The Endocrine Society issued a position statement calling for increased regulatory oversight of bioidentical hormones (www.endo-society.org). Bioidentical hormones have the same chemical and molecular structure as hormones that are produced in the human body. The term, however, has been frequently misused to describe formulations containing estrogens, progesterone and androgens that are customized based on the results of saliva tests for hormone levels. Such tests are inaccurate and should not be considered reliable measures of hormones in the body.

WHO: Dr. Margaret E. Wiermen Representative of The Endocrine Society (TES) Professor in Medicine, University of Colorado Denver Division of Endocrinology, Metabolism & Diabetes

WHAT: Dr. Wierman a leading endocrinologist and chair of TES Guidelines of Androgens in Women is available to discuss the benefits and risks of hormone therapy

Founded in 1916, The Endocrine Society is the world's oldest, largest, and most active organization devoted to research on hormones, and the clinical practice of endocrinology. Today, The Endocrine Society's membership consists of over 14,000 scientists, physicians, educators, nurses and students in more than 100 countries. Together, these members represent all basic, applied, and clinical interests in endocrinology. The Endocrine Society is based in Chevy Chase, Maryland. To learn more about the Society, and the field of endocrinology, visit our web site at www.endo-society.org.

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