From ABC NEWS
“Actress-turned-entrepreneur Suzanne Somers was voted off ABC’s “Dancing With the Stars” tonight during a show dedicated to classic Disney films.
Even though Somers and “The Bachelor” star Chris Soules were both in jeopardy of going home tonight based on their performances from last week’s show, Somers, 68, ended up being voted off because she had the lowest combined total of viewer votes and judges’ scores for foxtrot.
The foxtrot was a tribute to “Three’s Company,” the hit 70s sitcom that shot Somers to stardom.
Somers said she believed she had done what she set out to do – which was to show that a woman in her late 60s could compete on the show – and she praised her pro partner, Tony Dovolani.” (ABC NEWS)
Dr. Magaziner is a recommended physician in Suzanne Somers’ bestsellers, Ageless and Breakthrough: Eight Steps to Wellness and he continues to receive patient referrals directly from Suzanne for his clinical acumen in prescribing bio-identical hormone replacement therapy.
From WPVI-TV featuring Dr. Allan Magaziner, Bio-Identical Hormones, and Suzanne Somers.
It’s a controversy that’s been around for years, but it’s turned into a raging debate because of the outspoken stance of actress-turned-author Suzanne Somers. It’s the question of taking hormones for menopause.
Menopause hit Joan Jenkins of Voorhees, New Jersey hard.
“I was flashing constantly. I was irritable, because I wasn’t sleeping. I had night sweats,” she said.
Joan tried to get through it without any treatments, but her trouble stretched for years.
“I was at war with my body, and I had no way of controlling it,” said Jenkins.
Desperate, she turned to standard hormone replacement medications and she got relief.
But in 2002, when the Women’s Health Initiative study linked long-term use of the drugs to higher rates of heart disease, stroke, and breast cancer, Joan was scared, and wanted off them.
Then she saw actress Suzanne Somers on a talk show.
Somers credits an alternative treatment called Bioidentical Hormones for controlling her menopausal symptoms and keeping her youthful.
Somers has authored two books on the topic: “The Sexy Years: Exploring the Hormone Connection” and “Ageless: The Naked Truth About Bioidentical Hormones.” (And now “I am too young for this”
Bioidentical hormones aren’t new.
Dr. Allan Magaziner of Cherry Hill, New Jersey has prescribed them for more than 20 years, though he has seen a sharp rise in interest as Baby Boomer women come of age.
Because of Dr. Magaziner’s experience with the bioidenticals, he is cited as a resource in Somers’ books.
He says they are “bioidentical,” meaning identical to the hormones made by a woman’s ovaries; therefore, he believes they are more “natural” than hormone replacements made by the major drug companies.
The capsules and creams are custom-mixed for each patient in a compounding pharmacy.
“We can give specific amounts of estrogen, progesterone, perhaps testosterone, depending on their needs,” he said.
Because the hormones come from plant sources such as yams or soybeans, Dr. Magaziner says they won’t raise the risk of heart disease or breast cancer like manufactured hormones.
“You can absolutely take them for prolonged periods of time. I have women who have been taking them close to 20 years,” he said.
Libby Lucas swears by the capsules and creams she uses.
“I just feel terrific,” said Lucas. “I have more energy. I sleep like I should.”
But other doctors say hold on. Whether from a factory assembly line or a compounding pharmacy, when it comes to estrogen, there’s little difference.
Dr. Beverly Vaughn, director of the Menopause Program at Lankenau Hospital, said, “The molecule’s the molecule.”
Dr. Vaughn points out that many products made by drug companies already are bioidentical to human hormones.
Although some are made from animal sources, others are made from plant estrogens just like the bioidenticals.
Dr. Vaughn feels the products promoted as “natural” carry too much uncertainty.
One issue is the lack of scientific testing.
“We don’t know if there is any risk of heart disease or breast cancer. We don’t know if they afford the same protection for bone loss as in the standard pharmaceuticals,” said Vaughn.
Another issue is quality control.
Drugs made in compounding pharmacies are not regulated or tested by the Food and Drug Administration as factory-made medications are.
“They can be different from batch to batch,” he said.
In fact, a third of those randomly checked by the FDA failed quality control tests.
Joan Jenkins, who soon turns 63, is undeterred.
She believes the bioidentical hormones have turned back the clock for her.
“I feel like my old self again, back when I was in my early 30s. I have more energy, more stamina, more patience,” said Jenkins.
There’s legislation in congress to put new controls on the compounding pharmacies which make bioidenticals.
One major drug company called them “unproven drugs,” and wants the FDA to act.
Some in the medical field say Suzanne Somers is irresponsible for advocating these products.
Indeed some of the doctors quoted in Somers’ book “Ageless” call claims made in the book “scientifically unproven and dangerous.
But doctors we talked to on BOTH sides of the issue say she has prompted more women to explore their options, and that’s good.
MORE INFO: Dr. Allan Magaziner – Magaziner Center for Wellness -856-424-8222