Natural vs. Synthetic vs. Bio-identical Hormones: let's cut through the confusion!

Understanding hormone terminology can be so confusing!

Because of this, here is some bite-sized bits of information for you to easily break through all of that confusion.

Let's talk about: natural vs. synthetic vs. bio-identical hormones



  • Natural hormones are most commonly derived from yam (dioscorea) or soy

  • Human bio-identical hormones are not found in nature outside of the human body

  • Hormones that affect the human body can be derived from soy or yam as a starting material in a laboratory, but if they ARE yam or soy, they will have no hormonal affect

  • If you place soy or yam cream on your skin, you will likely have a nice moisturizer, but nothing further

  • This is a good lesson - just because something is labeled "natural" does not mean that is it better


  • Synthetic hormones are man-made

  • These hormones may or may not be derived from a “natural” source

  • Typically a jargon word that refers to conventional hormone replacement therapy (what you would get from a standard pharmacy)

  • Technically ALL hormones used in supplementation are synthetic because they are man-made

  • Synthetic seems like something you don't want, but remember, it simply means that it was man-made


  • Always synthetic – must be produced in a laboratory

  • Shares the same molecular structure as the body’s own hormones

  • This is the most important term to understand, because it means your body reacts in a favorable way, without the dangerous side effects of non-bio-identical hormones (i.e. Premarin, which is molecularly identical to female horses)


And there you have it. I hope this gave you some "ah ha"s and a deeper knowledge of commonly confused hormone terms. The definition of "natural" is what is most often misunderstood.

Don't let the controversy about hormones leave you feeling fearful, confused and frustrated. I”m by your side, delivering easy-to-understand info.

I strongly believe that you should have access and understanding of all of these terms so that you can make informed decisions about your health!

If you would also like to be a part of a group of like-mind, positive and inspiring women, join my holistic hormone community here:

Count me in!

In hormone health,

Dr. Laura Neville

Laura Neville