Bioidentical Hormone Therapy (BHT) is the replacement of deficient hormones with hormones that are chemically identical to those that the body naturally produces, which have declined due to aging or illness. BHT has improved the quality of life for millions of women who suffer from hormonal imbalance. The ideal process for achieving hormonal balance includes an assessment of hormone levels and complete evaluation of signs and symptoms, followed by replacement of the deficient hormones in the most appropriate dose via the most effective route for each woman, and monitoring to fine tune the therapy. While women have benefited from therapy with bioidentical estrogens, progesterone, and androgens, researchers and health care professionals realize that this is just the “tip of the iceberg” when it comes to achieving hormonal balance. Thyroid and adrenal function, as well as nutritional status, should also be evaluated and treated when indicated.
A 10-year study of 38,022 women conducted at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School showed that the
intake of omega-3 fatty acids and fish significantly reduced the risk of age-related macular degeneration (AMD) in women.
Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) are components of omega-3 fatty acids, which are high in fatty
fish such as salmon and tuna. Women with the highest DHA/EPA levels consumed one or more servings of fish per week, and
compared with those who consumed less than one serving per month, had a 42% lower risk of AMD. One of the concerns of
eating large amounts of fish is the possibility of consuming harmful PCBs and methyl mercury. Our pharmacist can recommend
a quality omega-3 supplement.
Zinc Lozenges in Adequate Doses May Shorten Duration of the Common Cold
Zinc stimulates the immune system and zinc deficiency increases the risk of infections. An analysis of 13 placebo-controlled
studies showed strong evidence that adequate doses of zinc may reduce the duration and intensity of the common cold.
Contradictory results in various studies can largely be explained by the formulation of the lozenges or the variation in the
total daily dose of zinc that the person obtained from the lozenges. Many trials with daily zinc doses of over 75 mg have found
significant reductions in the duration of colds. Zinc lozenges have caused side effects such as bad taste and constipation that
stopped when lozenge use was discontinued, but there is no evidence that short term occasional use would cause long term
harm. Ask our compounding pharmacist about the most appropriate preparations for your family.
Coenzyme Q10 plays an important role in the production of energy within certain cells in the human body, particularly heart cells. Coenzyme Q10 is also an antioxidant. Many athletes use low levels of coenzyme Q10 to alleviate the the build up of metabolic byproducts brought on by rigorous physical activities.
Coenzyme Q10 provides many benefits to the cardiovascular system. In addition to strengthening heart cells it also helps to maintain healthy blood vessels. There is also evidence that coenzyme Q10 may be therapeutic in treating angina, arrhythmia, atherosclerosis, cancer, cardiomyopathy, congestive heart failure, and can promote healthy skin.
Always consult your physician before beginning supplementation with coenzyme Q10, especially if you are already taking medication intended to treat a cardiovascular condition.
Please take a look at our selection of products containing coenzyme Q10.
Often medications are started at a lower dose which is gradually increased. Similarly, many drugs are stopped slowly by gradually tapering down the dose over days, weeks, or even months. In some cases such as with blood pressure medications, initially lower doses allow your body to adapt to the drug and assess how well it is working or if side effects are occurring. Other medications, such as many prescription pain relievers, require higher doses over time due to tolerance to the desired pain relieving effect. When stopping a drug, doses are gradually reduced for some antidepressants, steroids, and pain relievers to prevent problems ranging from unpleasant withdrawal to potentially life-threatening consequences. Our compounding pharmacy can help by customizing medications in easy-to-measure forms for changing doses, or we can compound a series of different doses that avoids the problems associated with breaking or crushing tablets.
Bisphosphonates are a class of drugs commonly used to treat osteoporosis, and include alendronate, etidronate, risedronate, and zoledronic acid. Bisphosphonates are designed to slow or stop the bone loss that occurs during the body’s natural process that involves removal and replacement of bone tissue. In March 2010, at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, reports suggested that if bisphosphonates are used for four or more years, they may actually impair bone quality and increase the risk of certain bone fractures. Two separate studies by researchers from the Hospital for Special Surgery (HSS) and Columbia University Medical Center revealed data suggesting that long-term suppression of bone remodeling with bisphosphonates may alter the material properties of bone, potentially resulting in brittle bone and contributing to the risk of atypical fractures. Ask our pharmacist about other ways to improve bone density and treat osteoporosis.
Historically vitamin D has been recommended primarily to promote calcium absorption. While this is still a very important role that vitamin D plays, research suggests that vitamin D provides many additional health benefits.
Vitamin D deficiency can lead to, not only poor bone health, but also to muscle weakness, non-specific musculoskeletal pain, aggravation of autoimmune diseases, decreased cognitive function, and increased risk of heart disease. Additionally, evidence suggests that healthy vitamin D levels decrease the risk of certain types of cancer and can improve survivor rate after most types of cancer.
Vitamin D is primarily obtained through exposure to sunlight, but increased exposure to sunlight may not be the best course of action to fight vitamin D deficiency. Increased exposure to sunlight may increase the likelihood of developing skin cancer. There are very few foods in which vitamin D occurs naturally so it may be difficult to maintian healthy levels of vitamin D by diet alone. The Institute of Medicine recommends that children and adults up to age 50 receive 200 IU vitamin D per day, adults 51-70 years should receive 400 IU vitamin D per day, and adults over 71 years should receive 600 IU vitamin D per day.
If you have questions or concerns about your vitamin D intake consult your doctor and pharmacist.
You can find a selection of vitamin D products in our Vitamins section.