Bioidentical - who cares, right? Actually, the difference between
bioidentical testosterone and non bioidentical is all the difference in the
world. Bioidentical simply means that a molecule matches exactly in shape,
structure and atomic quantities the molecule utilized in the body.
Testosterone is not a horrendously complex molecule: it's got 19 carbons,
28 hydrogens and a couple of oxygen molecules arranged in four "chicken wire"
ringlets. And, oh, what a powerhouse bioidentical testosterone is for the
male: as I have documented in my
Symptoms page, it controls brain, muscle,
sexual, libido, bone and blood function for us guys. It is the elixir of life
for men and I ask the question, "Why would you use anything other than the
original bioidentical testosterone that works so perfectly and powerfully??"
But the problem is money: drug companies can't patent
testosterone. So they add an ester here or a methyl group there to make it
similar but not identical and then slap a patent on it. Bye bye
bioidentical. As a side not, probably the ultimate story of greed and
corruption occurs in the female hemisphere: women actually do have access
(from Big Pharma) to bioidentical estrogens. Trust me - this bioidentical
issue has caused many of the females in your life a host of issues that you
should be aware of, including loss of sexual desire. You can read more in
my link on
Female Libido and a great summary article
by Life Extension Foundation entitled The Unscientific Bioidentical Hormone Debate.
This same issue has surfaced for males who use steroids, which are essentially
mock testosterones that are not bioidentical. The pharmaceutical
manufacturers of many of the common steroids have made their steriods sound like bioidentical
testosterones, when, in fact, they are nothing of the sort. The bottom
line is that all of these are testosterone with something
modified just so the drug company could get
a patent. Well, artibrarily screwing with Mother Nature is not a good idea and the side
effects of steroids are numerous:
1) Liver damage, particularly from the oral steroids, is quite common.
2) Liver tumors, usually benign, are not uncommon.
3) Atrophy of the testes are not uncommon with certain steroids, especially
with those who "stack", i.e. use more than one steroid at a time.
4) Negative lipid changes are common with some steroids: cholesterol
is increased and HDL decreased.
5) Hypertension, i.e raised blood pressure.
6) Enlargement, or hypertrophy, of the left ventricle (heart chamber) which results in less
blood to the heart.
This list could go on and on, but brings up a very important point: these side effects
are notably absent when using bioidentical testosterone. The tragedy
is that attacking your lipids, your liver, your heart are all going to
eventually adversely effect one's sexual function and performance.
Contrast that with bioidentical testosterone, which will, except in rare
circumstances, helps the heart and sexual function. Good, clean
bioidentical testosterone (at a reasonable dosage of course) can build muscle,
including those at the base of your penis, and improve libido and brain function
without destroying your heart or liver! So why bother with anything else??
Another big problem is many guys use steroids without proper
supervision, which is not the case for a guy who receives bioidentical
testosterone from his doctor, who almost always monitors PSA, liver function and
lipids. Elite athletes have the same luxury with their steroids, but that
is not the case with the typical gym rat cycling steroids on the side and on his
That's why many on-the-street guys are slowly damaging their
health. I have seen bodybuilding sites recommending to guys to back off a
steroid when their "nipples start tingling". This is madness and is too
late, because their estrogen levels are obviously grossly elevated.
Testosterones that are not bioidentical can lead, in an overly high dose, to an overproduction of estrogen and DHT, leading to bizarre
feminization and hair loss/acne effects, respectively. Remember that both
estrogen and DHT are converted from testosterone, so if you pump too much
testosterone, whether it is bioidentical or not, into your system, you end up with an
excess of these downstream hormones.
My wife knew of a guy who grew such large man boobs from steroid abuse that he
could grab his chest and squirt milk. Yes, he had to have the breast
tissue surgically removed. Again, stick with bioidentical testosterone at a
Contrast all of these problems with doctor-prescribed, bioidentical testosterones
such as Androgel and Testim: they have been extensively studied and
multiple studies have found no significant mortalities or conditions associated
with their use. (Yes, anyone can have side effects: read my link on
HRT (Hormone Replacement Therapy) for details.)
So, if your testosterone is low, most doctors are willing to provide with
bioidentical testosterones, such as Androgel and Testim. You can also your
doc if you can get it more cheaply from a compounding pharmacy:
testosterone is not actually that expensive. Androgel and Testim cost
more, because the drug companies were able to get a patent on the delivery
system of these bioidentical testosterones.
What about the esterized testosterones? These are generally safe because
an ester has been attached to a bioidentical testosterone and is quickly broken
off by the body. The metabolites seem very safe and cause few problems.
Again, I cannot think of any good reason not to use the same stuff your body
uses: bioidentical testosterone.