Former “Three’s Company” sitcom star Suzanne Somers is convinced a certain type of hormone replacement therapy can help women achieve weight loss. But others question Somers’ claims.
Biodentical HRT “gives you back your lean body, shining hair and thick skin, provided you are eating correctly and exercising in moderation,” Somers said in a 2009 appearance on the Oprah Winfrey Show, according to Harvard Health Publications
WebMD said no proof exists that taking hormones
can correct the weight gain that often accompanies menopause.
Women on average at the age of 51 enter menopause, which brings the end of their ability to have children, according to More
. Menopause is characterized by hormone deficiencies, which Somers described on Newsmax
as being responsible for the “seven dwarves” of that condition: “Itchy, bitchy, sleepy, sweaty, bloated, forgetful and all dried up.”
Menopause is often accompanied by weight gain, according to WebMD
. Some evidence suggests that estrogen hormone therapy increases a woman's resting metabolic rate, which might help slow weight gain, that website said.
Estrogen hormone therapy is among types of HRT, which treats menopause symptoms by regularly providing female hormones the body has stopped producing — such as testosterone, progesterone and estrogen — to stabilize and raise hormone levels, according to WebMD
. Various options are available, including patches, pills, creams and vaginal rings, that website said.
Women coping with menopause are increasingly turning to biodentical HRT, which involves supplements that use “the same chemical structure as the hormones which are present in the human body,” according to NowLoss.com
Biodenticals are promoted as being more effective and safer than federally-approved hormones, according to Harvard Health Publications. It said interest in biodenticals has risen in part because of claims Somers made in a 2006 book and during her 2009 appearance on the Oprah Winfrey Show. Somers said biodenticals work by tricking the body into thinking it is still reproductive, said Harvard Health Publications. She indicated in her book that biodenticals — “which were supposedly natural, unlike the synthetic, evil pharma-company versions” — have substantially reduced the aging process in her body, according to the New Republic
The New Republic added: “Soon millions of women had switched to the biodenticals, for which Somers evangelizes constantly, with seven books on the topic and counting. But there’s one problem: It’s bull.”
The New Republic said Somers’ contentions have been “thoroughly debunked” in reputable medical publications that include the Harvard Women’s Health Watch, Cleveland Clinic Journal of Medicine and the Medical Letter, a newsletter for physicians. It added: “And of course, there is the undeniable contrast between her highly retouched author photo and her actual appearance. Is this someone you would trust for advice about aging?”
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