2012-01-22_Progesterone 1 - John Barkhausen & Ray Peat

# # # Audio recordings were available 15-Sep-2022 at:-


2012-01-22-Progesterone 1 John Barkhausen +Ray-Peat (transcript)



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JB: - John Barkhausen
RP: - Dr Raymond Peat 19361012 b. yyyymmdd

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JB: Hi Everyone, the following show with Dr Raymond Peat was recorded on January 22nd, 2012. It is about progesterone and the growing number of shows can be found at the radio4all website, that’s, radio numeral 4 all dot net (radio4all.net.) then search for “Politics and Science”.

Welcome to “Politics and Science” I’m your host John Barkhausen and today once again I’m delighted to say that Ray Peat is here to join me. Dr Raymond Peat, Dr Peat has a PhD in Biology and has done extensive research in the fields of Physiology and Endocrinology.

Is that enough Ray?. #00:43

RP: That’s enough.

JB: That’s enough, OK, enough from me. And I was just saying we had never really touched on the subject in the pure form progesterone. And I was looking back through your newsletters, for those who don’t know Ray Peat has a web site, raypeat.com where he has posted a lot of your newsletters. What percent of your news letters are up there at this point Ray?

RP: I have written three hundred and some, and I think there are only about seventy five on that website so about a quarter.

{ninety five, 95, plus as of 20220916 - willim}

JB: So much knowledge in each one and plenty of food for thought even though you don’t agree with what you are putting forward. I find I can read them many times and they always seem new because there is so much information packed into them. So they’re all there for people just to enjoy. #01:36

RP: Search, there is a little search device on the website helps to find for example, if you put in for progesterone you’ll find lots and lots of news letters that talk about it. #01:50

JB: That’s right, and the newsletter, I started off with one but there are actually three almost in a row that you did in two thousand and seven, 2007, dealing with progesterone and the regulation of progesterone which was starting to happen.

RP: Yeah.

JB: I thought may be we could start the show unless you had a better idea just talking about how you first got interested in progesterone #02:16

RP: Yeah. I had been writing about it somewhat in the seventies (1970’s) but this Proposition 65 thing in California calling it a carcinogen. That was the occasion for me writing this new bunch of newsletters a few years ago. I had been studying linguistics with what I was studying before I came to Oregon. And moving from Mexico to Montana and then Oregon. I noticed a great change in the way my health worked. And realised that it was the absence of Sunlight, dark cloudy weather. I saw the same thing happening to all the women I knew during the Winter, especially the students who came from sunny areas then lived in dark student apartments during the Winters. They would get PMS and I just called it Winter Sickness. Whole range of things, but especially, PMS was outstanding #03:35

And at that time I was aware of the old experiments and observations in which birds, for example in Times Square people have noticed that the sparrows mated all year round because of the bright lights. In other species for example, there are animals that can mate during the winter, but they really don’t get pregnant until about March twentieth when the days become longer than nights. And what happens in that situation is that the embryo is formed but it doesn’t implant in the uterus until the progesterone reaches a certain level. And light, a certain day length of light exposure raises the progesterone and allows fertility to proceed. #04:37

And I was interested in that because I had noticed that during bright, sunny, long days my vitamin A requirement increased tremendously and I gradually came to understand that the sex hormones go up in the spring with the long, long hours of light and vitamin A is massively used in producing pregnenolone and progesterone. #05:13

And, so right at the beginning of moving to Oregon, before I actually began attending the University, I was seeing that progesterone and daylight were very powerful. The emotions, and the body functions, the pre-menstrual mood changes were evident. Even in men, typically men coming from a sunny climate, would be depressed all Winter living in cloudy Oregon. #05:57

JB: Hm. How did you link sunlight to progesterone? Was it something that was already discovered or were you working on that?

RP: Yeah It was one night I went to sleep reading a book with a bright light shining in my face and I woke up starting to get pimples. #06:18

And I realised that just the light shining on my eyes activating my brain had done something to affect my metabolism. And in trying to understand how the light affected my skin even though it was just a mild incandescent light, that was what started me reading. And I ran across the “Winter Fertility Of Sparrows From Bright Light” and the “Springtime Implantation Of Animals” so I realised that everyone from birds to men experienced the driving of their hormones by day length. And the first steroid made is either pregnenolone or progesterone #07:16

JB: Do you think, you said that the people coming from Southern climates experience depression coming North? I have noticed that among friends of mine who have done that. Do you think there is an adjustment that is made whereby even with less light you can produce progesterone, or all of us in the North are depressed for that reason? #07:37

RP: Yeah we just get used to being depressed.


RP: If you look at Scandinavians you see that depression seems to be the rule. #07:49

JB: Yeah. The bird men approach to life. So when did you become aware that progesterone was useful therapeutically for cancer and other things? #08:06

RP: I started, I was intending to study nerve biology and the very first few weeks at the University I realised what dogmatists the brain and nerve biology people were and so I just went looking around, poking into all the labs at the University. And saw that the reproductive physiology people were open minded and actually studying things, rather than trying to confirm their dogma. And so I immediately switched over from nerve biology to reproductive biology #08:58

JB: Ray, can I interrupt? What was the give away? What gave it away that they were open minded? Non-dogmatic. #09:05

RP: Well talking to the nerve biology people, it was just their different personalities were absolutely militaristic, rigid, closed minded and single minded and the money went along with that, big research grants. And the reproductive physiology had grants, but very low prestige in the department, people were very relaxed and open and had basically, a willingness to learn and consider things, just personality was very obviously different. #09:58

JB: As you were saying

RP: One group working on male reproduction and the other one female. And Arnold Soderwall was the person in charge of the female reproductive and there were only, I guess, when I was there, there was three graduate students working in the lab. #10:26

JB: Well that sounds very intimate. #10:30

RP: Well yes

JB: A good atmosphere #10:34

RP: And Soderwall was the link with previous students and what they had been doing. His work made us feel that our stuff was continuing the tradition of what he had started in the thirties and forties, 1930’s and 1940,s, when Soderwall was a graduate student. #10:58

And so the three of us were working on different parts of the system. Ben? Stockton was working on implantation, which involved an age related delay in the production of progesterone.

And Jerry? Parkining? was working on, I think, some enzymes at that time but he later shifted over to see that the failure of progesterone was an essential, excess oestrogen and falling progesterone was an essential agent in change of ageing infertility #11:44

And I was working on the oxidative changes in the ageing reproductive system. #11:49

JB: Hm

RP: And as I worked with the chemicals I noticed that handling progesterone, I had always had a tendency to hangnails. And just being careless in the lab and getting some of the progesterone on my hands, I noticed my hangnails disappeared and have never come back. #12:15

JB: So if, even though it is considered to be somewhat of a female hormone, I think, by you, it has an important role in males as well? #12:28

RP: Yeah. As I had got acquainted with how it had felt on my hands for example I noticed that if I stuck my hand in the powder I could very quickly taste it on my tongue or sense it, an awareness of it had got into my bloodstream. #12:53

I looked at the changes that weren’t known to occur in males and I saw that someone had two different groups, just almost that the same time, had observed that an intrauterine device for contraception often caused systemic health problems. And they found that the problems were related to a falling progesterone. And animal studies showed that if you put a slight wound into the uterus, signals travel up to the ovary and block the production of progesterone because the animal system recognises that it isn’t wise to get pregnant when you have a wounded uterus. So that was recognised as the effect of the IUD or one of the effects. #13:58

But at the same time another group found that men who had a vasectomy often suffered very serious effects, impotency and such. They found that the men who suffered the health effects from a vasectomy had very low progesterone. And the complete replacing their progesterone levels up to normal cured their symptoms. And very often just one dose was all that was needed to start the ovaries in women or the gonads in the men to begin producing the normal amount. #14:33

JB: And of course you have mentioned before that progesterone is the hormone of fertility, that it promotes life. #14:42

RP: Yeah, It’s the basic implantation stabiliser. Oestrogen creates the release of histamine throughout the body, but it is special where it is concentrated in the uterus. And the histamine creates a site of inflammation that is actively growing but that the inflammation focus under the influence of oestrogen prevents survival of the implanted embryo. And progesterone turns off the histamine and oestrogen and makes it possible to deliver oxygen and sugar to the implanted embryo which would be killed if the oestrogen influence continued. So it is the shift towards oxygen and sugar delivery that makes progesterone the preserver of pregnancy. #15:48

And interestingly, people have removed animals’ ovaries at the time of fertilisation and then given them different hormones. They found that testosterone worked to preserve pregnancy by delivering oxygen and sugar to the implanted embryo. So you could say that testosterone is a progestin in the sense of supporting pregnancy. #16:22

And the things that are called progestins or progestagens, the term implies that these are acting to preserve pregnancy the way progesterone is, but in fact the synthetic so called progestins are used in birth control pills because exactly what they don’t do is support pregnancy. #16:46

So they have got the naming system very confused and testosterone functions potentially as a progestin and the so called progestins are really anti-progestational chemicals. #17:05

Doctors have been very confused by that terminology #17:09

JB: Yeah, Well it’s very confusing for all of us, it sounds like our filing system is a little bit screwed up. #17:20

RP: The oestrogen industry really contributed to that by creating a theory of how oestrogen is a potential contraceptive because it was known, from the time of Soderwall that he began his studies in the late nineteen thirties, 1930’s, through the forties, 1940’s, it was known that oestrogen is an abortifacient, it kills the embryo. Either at the time of implantation or anytime later when it becomes the dominant influence. #17:59

And the oestrogen industry didn’t want their product known to be killing the embryos and so they claimed that it stopped ovulation. That was invented just in time for them to come on the market with birth control pills #18:25

It was just a complete fabrication that they made up so they, it wouldn’t be seen as causing abortions. #18:35

JB: It does seem bizarre that oestrogen, I think, is almost universally, among the public anyway, considered to be the female hormone. When that is the hormone of infertility and abortions. #18:47

RP: Yeah, and the reason for that was that progesterone turned out to be such a basic simple substance that works to preserve both male and female fertility, and to stabilise nerve cells, and blood sugar level, and oxygen delivery, and all of those things. Only that one molecule as the first steroid made out of cholesterol, only that single molecule has those functions. #19:27

And oestrogen they, very early, in the nineteen thirties, 1930’s, discovered that soot could be extracted to form almost an infinite number of oestrogenic substances. #19:45

And as it was so possible for the industry to patent various synthetics diethylstilboestrol, DES, became a popular product for the industry. And they wanted the idea that it was a female hormone for sales purposes even though it was known that, it actually is essential for male traits to develop. So oestrogen could be also called the male hormone better than it could be called the female hormone. #20:31

JB: Because it causes hair growth and what else? #20:35

RP: Yeah, Well the early development of male characteristics is induced by the local production of oestrogen. Testosterone has to turn into oestrogen before it andronigises the brain to bring out the male features #20:51

JB: How long did you continue to work under Arnold Soderwall?

RP: Until 1972, I moved over to his area, I guess, early in nineteen sixty nine, 1969, and then with Nixon. Nixon cancelled a lot of science grants and that closed the lab that Soderwall had been running for many years. #21:24

JB: That’s a shame. Is that where you got your PhD Ray?

RP: Yeah. I had to write my dissertation quickly, the Summer of seventy two, 1972, because Nixon had shut off the grants. The government approved the grants, but Nixon simply cut the funds off for the approved grants. #21:46

JB: Looking back at the science history of it when was progesterone discovered and how has it been used? #21:57

RP: In the early thirties, 1930’s, the molecule was identified, and very quickly, I think, Armor, was the company that made the corpus luteum out of pork ovaries were separated from pregnant pigs. And the corpus luteum was very richly supplied with progesterone. And so the corpus luteum powder was sold as early as, I think, nineteen thirty five, 1935. #22:34

And I think I was probably one of the early progesterone babies, my mother having been infertile and getting, I think, it was the Armor corpus luteum product.

JB: So you do have a personal stake in this? What for myself, and everybody else, is the corpus luteum? Is that a place where progesterone is concentrated?#23:07

RP: Yeah, when the follicle ovulates, releases the egg, to be fertilised along with a burst of oestrogen, then this area turns into steroid producing cells and reduces the production of oestrogen relative to the total steroids. And progesterone is the main steroid produced from that time on. #23:40

In humans that is the basic source of progesterone for the first nine weeks, nine or ten weeks, of pregnancy. Then the placenta takes over the production and the corpus luteum fades out. But with each pregnancy, some of these cells remain in the ovary, so a woman, who has been pregnant eight times in her lifetime will have higher residual progesterone levels. And will live much longer than, on average, a woman who hasn’t had so many pregnancies. #24:22

We saw the same thing in animals, the more litters the animals had, the younger their tissues were at a given age. #24:33

JB: Is that perhaps why some women who get fibroids, they have noticed that the fibroids go away if they get pregnant and likely don’t return?

RP: Oh I don’t think I have heard of that. Progesterone was recommended for many years, for treating, making fibroids regress but partly that involves increased thyroid function. Progesterone is needed to be in balance for the thyroid to work, and then the thyroid working, causes the liver to lower the oestrogen levels systemically #25:16

So sometimes just one dose of progesterone is all it takes to free the thyroid to function. To stimulate new progesterone synthesis and lower oestrogen systemically. #25:32

JB: And you have often talked before about oestrogen and progesterone basically opposing each other. Where you might get a surge of oestrogen for a certain purpose but if the progesterone doesn’t come up to nullify that effect you’ll end up with bad health effects. #25:52

RP: Yes, oestrogen stimulates the uptake of water by, I think, it’s first action is to block the use of oxygen. That causes the cell to take up water in the first few hours or minutes of exposure. And the overloading cells with water causes them to go into growth, inflammation state for they forget what they had been doing and simply start multiplying. And so for the first twelve hours that there is a burst of new cells in the uterus ready to receive an implantation. In the breasts it creates a mass of new cells to enlarge the milk production capacity. In the pituitary it enlarges the cells that will take over the production of prolactin at the time of lactation. But if you continue that exposure more than a day, that growth continues, and then you increase the risk of breast tumours and pituitary tumours. #27:14

When birth control pills were first on the market in the nineteen sixties, 1960’s, they had big doses of oestrogen and there was a terrific epidemic of pituitary tumours producing prolactin. That there has been very little written about it, but it was like the yearly production in one hospital of pituitary tumours went from, I think, just a few, like from five per year up to three hundred per year in one publication. #27:53

JB: Wow, that’s significant. #27:56

And you were talking about your mother having taken Armor Corpus Luteum. And was that used for other things, was that for getting pregnant, was that why she was taking it? #28:09

RP: It was recognised that oestrogen wasn’t the fertility factor as early as that and that progesterone was. But the oestrogen industry not being able to patent progesterone because there was only one substance. And it was very expensive to make. They found, you know, soot is as cheap as anything and so for no production cost you can make any kind of oestrogenic substance you choose to. #28:46

And so they created the whole mythology of what the female hormone is. And at that time progesterone had to be very laboriously converted from cholesterol the way the ovary does it and it was later in the forties that when Russell Marker had devised a way to make it from the yam steroid. And it became very cheap in the early nineteen fifties, 1950’s.

But the first synthetic forms of progesterone that could be patented, that were later developed as contraceptives. These were modified molecules that they marketed as synthetic progesterone, with the argument that real progesterone is destroyed in the stomach and so you have to take our product because we have modified it and made it biologically active when you take a pill, otherwise you would have to inject it. #30:00

There were doctors injecting progesterone and curing all kinds of things through the nineteen forties, 1940’s. From premenstrual syndrome, premature births, cancer and so on but then the …

JB: Using natural progesterone? #30:23

RP: Natural progesterone, but the drug companies did their campaign to say that’s too expensive and very few women would want to be injected every month and so here’s this synthetic pill which you can take orally. #30:44

And just out of thin air they said natural progesterone can’t be taken orally even though a few companies were selling ten milligrammes progesterone tablets that worked fine. Even though the dose was low and fairly expensive #31:03

But they convinced doctors, just with a few unsourced claims in the medical journals that natural progesterone didn’t work so they had to use the synthetics. But it turned out the synthetics had oestrogen like anti-conception property effects. #31:25

JB: I see so they weren’t actually doing the full physiological effects of progesterone and they had side effects? #31:32

RP: Yeah, they were not pro-gestational support agents, they had some slight overlaps that allowed then to make the claim. You put some cells in-vitro and you get certain changes that are similar to what happens in the pregnant uterus. But you can’t get the same beneficial looking effects in the whole animal than you had in the culture dish #32:06

JB: Can you describe basically, how it was used therapeutically? I think you have mentioned a few examples but I know, I think, her name was Katharina Dalton was a doctor in England. She wrote a book whose the name escapes me. Maybe you know the name of the book? #32:23

But her primary method of giving it was injections. #32:28

{willim aside - The PMS Bible - Dr Katahrina Dalton with Wendy Holton -1999- ISBN 0 09 185608 6 -
Page 86 In the UK by 1960s Cyclogest suppositories, used vaginally or rectally, were available.
Page 87 In 1980 the first PMS Clinic in America opened in Boston used Cyclogest until it was pointed out Cyclogest was not licensed in United States, . . .
Page 89 Radio-Immuno-Assays . . . the best absorption by intramuscular, injection, good absorption vaginally and rectally, and poor absorption through skin and orally.
Page 221 . . . the Boston PMS Clinic was successfully using British progesterone suppositories [Cyclogest] when the FDA reminded them that the drug had not been licenced in the United States, so must not be imported.
Suppository - 400mg progesterone in inert wax, which melts at body temperature.}

RP: Yeah, And one of the problems was that it is extremely insoluble in everything. Hot olive oil will dissolve, a lot of it. It will work on your skin or orally in solution for the first three or four hours, but it crystallises out of solution. So the only way you can market an injectable, effective product in oil is use use something like benzyl-benzoate or benzyl-alcohol. #33:10

And in our lab we had some old containers of benzyl-benzoate, just touching the outside of a bottle, that hadn’t been opened for ten or fifteen years my fingers began to crack from an allergic reaction to it. And that stuff was injected massively as a solvent with a lot of the early progesterone treatments but still the patients got better, because of the powerfully anti-inflammatory effects of progesterone. #33:48

And the less allergenic benzyl-alcohol was the one that persisted in use the longest. And it is a nerve toxin, that will kill the nerves in the region where it is injected but again progesterone’s powerfully detoxifying effects over rode those poisonous effects of the benzyl-alcohol. And so Katharina Dalton’s results were just amazing. #34:29

JB: What she was using it for, I was going to ask? Go ahead.

RP: Premenstrual syndrome, which was related to the tendency to miscarry. And the women who did have pregnancies usually delivered very prematurely and their babies were usually underweight and tended having, I think, to have the average IQ was ninety, 90. #34:59

And so she was giving them the injections to cure their premenstrual syndrome and they would become pregnant and she would continue giving the injections during the pregnancy. Sometimes several hundred milligrammes, sometimes up to three thousand milligrammes per pregnancy depending on what they seemed to need. #35:28

Although other researchers found that in a lot of women who had the tendency to bleed every month and then to miscarry. That very often just one dose of progesterone was all it took to stop that monthly bleeding and make them able to carry to term. #35:48

But anyway, Katharina Dalton treated this large number of patients over the years, and some one mentioned that it was interesting that her patients babies all turned out to be so bright. They were mostly working class women, and she said, “Yes that’s hard to believe because these women the previous babies all had a ninety,90, IQ.” And so she did a study and found that in fact her babies tended to average one hundred and thirty, 130, IQ. #36:31

Just as a result of the regular progesterone dosing a forty, 40, point average increase. And she saw that the intelligence of the babies corresponded to the amount of progesterone she gave the mothers during pregnancy. #36:53

The ones who got more than fifteen hundred milligrammes per pregnancy turned out the brightest. And in England where working class kids had very low probability of going to the University and her patients, the ones born after the progesterone treatment had a very high academic success. Outstanding at all levels of school and got scholarships to University. #37:29

And their personalities were very good, she said the only problem was that they didn’t do well in gym class because they like to march in ranks, didn’t like to follow orders. Weren’t placid enough to do the kind of arts and crafts things that were expected of them, but in all the academic subjects they were outstanding. #38:05

JB: That’s remarkable. And maybe your mother’s corpus luteum ingestion might have helped you in similar ways.

RP: Possibly#38:19

JB: Possibly? So what did you do after you left the lab Ray? You got your PhD and did you keep working with progesterone after that? #38:27

RP: Not much. It was several years, until I was doing nutrition consulting and, I think, the first time I decided, I was giving talks to medical groups and trying to convince them to use progesterone, but I was just working out diet changes that could optimise the hormones increase thyroid and lower oestrogen. #39:03

And I was hoping that doctors would come to understand why they shouldn’t give the oestrogen, because there really is no such thing as an oestrogen deficiency, in tissue that’s injured will become a source of oestrogen production. #39:26

And the absence of oestrogen in the bloodstream, it often means that there is an excess of oestrogen inside the cells because when progesterone is adequate it will destroy the proteins that bind oestrogen inside the cells causing the harmful oestrogen effect. #39:55

Progesterone causes the oestrogen to be released from inside the cells into the bloodstream where it can be controlled and eliminated. So you can’t go and have a blood test that seems to show an oestrogen deficiency. And the more the tissue is injured or aged the more likely it is to have aromatase inside making oestrogen. So an injured breast can develop a tumour, becomes a source of oestrogen itself and an injured uterus becomes a source of new oestrogen.

A fat person that isn’t metabolising their energy system very well, so they lay down fat, and fat becomes a source of oestrogen. #40:45

JB: Well you were saying that ageing can be equivalent to an injury. So does that mean as we get older we are all producing more oestrogen?

RP: Yeah, more of our tissues, the person tends to loose muscle and bone and replace that with fat and connective tissue. And those tissues become sources of inflammatory materials and oestrogen. #41:20

JB: And progesterone in it’s role is opposing that inflammatory process. That would shut down that oestrogen cycle? #41:30

RP: Yeah, It is one of the things that turns off aromatase but also turns off the enzymes that inflammation causes oestrogen to concentrate in the tissue besides being produced in the tissue. So any oestrogen that your liver is trying to get rid of through the kidneys, if it happens to pass by an inflamed cell the enzymes will catch the oestrogen buy releasing glutaronic acid or sulphate from the oestrogen molecule. #42:10

Progesterone inactivates both of those enzymes that cause tissues to catch oestrogen and it activates the opposite enzymes right in that tissue allowing the tissue to send oestrogen back out by attaching sulphate or glutaronic acid to it. And it shifts the balance of reduction oxidation enzymes so that it shifts away from the powerful oestradiol to the weak oestrone. #42:46

I think there are nine different things that happen in a single inflamed cell under the influence of progesterone to release oestrogen from the cell and stop it’s production. #43:03

And what got me started recommending it directly to people, was a woman. A fifty two year old woman who had been epileptic from the age of thirty five, she was a school teacher. And had had migraines and a neurologist had told her migraines were like epilepsy and gave her an anti-seizure drug. And she said it didn’t stop her migraines but made her so stupid she couldn’t go back to teaching school. She stopped taking the drug and had an actual seizure. Her first seizure was when she stopped taking the seizure medicine she hadn’t really needed. #43:56

JB: Wow #43:56

RP: And so she went to the doctor and he said “See. I told you the migraines were like epilepsy.”

JB: It was like she had been vaccinated with the flu vaccine and then got the flu. #44:08

RP: Yeah, and so right from the age of thirty five she was having so many seizures that she couldn’t teach school any more. And after seventeen years she said every year the neurologist would give her a mental test. And told her her mind had deteriorated further, and she was so demented she couldn’t find her way home, if she went outside the house. #44:36

So the first time she had been outside her son brought her so he could take her home. She said she was spending all but a couple of hours every day in bed having seizures and taking her anti-seizure drugs. #44:54

And she had some arthritic fingers, all puffed up and red. And I told her that since I had been talking to some of the doctors telling them that since they were convinced that progesterone can’t be taken orally, I dissolved it in oil. And convinced them they could use it trans-dermally, as a way to get round their prejudice. The mistaken belief that it isn’t active orally. #45:29

So I had some of the progesterone in oil and told her about it, how it was anti-inflammatory and anti-seizure and I suggested she try it. #45:44

And she held up her fat fingers and said, “Well, these are inflamed, so I’ll start.” And she dipped her fingers in the beaker full of progesterone oil and her son took her home. #45:59

I gave her a sheet of paper and told her to mark each day how she felt starting at the left and moving day by day across the sheet. And she said, “Oh that’s easy, everyday I feel the worst possible.” And so she drew some circles in the lower left hand corner.

And I think it was four or five days later, I saw her coming down the walk without her son, waving the paper in one hand and wiggling her fingers on the other hand. And she had drawn a curved line, with the fourth or fifth circle, up in the upper right hand corner on the paper. And her fingers were not arthritic any more. And she said she felt fine and was working all day around the house and could find her way home. #47:03

That was in the Summer and she enrolled back in the University for a master’s degree in gerontology and got straight A’s, and got her degree nine months later. And she had been told for years that she was hopelessly demented. #47:25

JB: What about her seizures Ray? #47:27

RP: No more.

JB: Wow.

RP: Just that one week of doses got everything back to normal. #47:35

JB: And that was just trans-dermal, topical?

RP: Yeah and her blood test showed that she had quite a bit more oestrogen in her blood than progesterone. And you should have about a hundred times more progesterone than oestrogen. #47:54

JB: Hm. Wow. So that’s remarkable. So at that point you started to recommend it regularly to people? #47:55

RP: Yeah, at that time I was teaching Endocrinology at a Nature Pathic college and somehow, I guess someone that the epileptic person knew, heard I was interested in progesterone and she had read Katharina Dalton’s book that had talked a doctor into giving her progesterone shots and she had multiple sclerosis, and optic neuritis, and had been paralysed, bed ridden. And, I think, she was mostly blind for weeks at a time. Because the optic neuritis and she was getting these periodic semi-toxic injections. The progesterone she could talk a doctor into it. #49:01

JB: Toxic because of the vehicle? It was the benzo-alcohol or something?

RP: Yeah, and she volunteered to lecture to my endocrine class in Portland which was in an old building upstairs. And she drove herself there, walked up to whatever it was, up to the second or third floor and lectured through the two hour class about what she had learned about progesterone from her own experience and Katharina Dalton’s work. And so my Nature Pathist students were pretty well convinced by her lecture. #49:46

JB: What year was this Ray? #49:47

RP: Seventy eight, 1978.

JB: And at that early time

RP: Seventy seven, 1977, or seventy eight, 1978 #49:53

JB: OK, at that point I mean obviously that sounds like progesterone one of the obvious ways of doing it’s work as an anti-inflammatory ‘cause all the problems sound like inflammation problems don’t they? #50:07

RP: Yeah, after that first experience with the fat fingers I started telling people about the topical use. And I think it was about thirty people who had essentially immediate or overnight recovery from various types of arthritis. Not just rheumatoid but so called osteoarthritis #50:34

A woman from Sweden who had some metal joints installed and was planing several more installations, and was basically crippled. She was visiting in Eugene and a phycologist friend who started using progesterone herself gave her some, and she spread it all over her body. And she spent her time in Eugene walking around town, enjoying the sights and having no arthritis. #51:11

JB: Because the inflammation had gone down, so there’s no pain?

RP: Yeah,

JB: You have cautioned men against using too much progesterone because it opposes testosterone too or what? #51:24

RP: Yeah, if you take a very big dose, it has a cold shower effect. It simply displaces testosterone temporarily. And so if a man isn’t understanding the physiology of it he might be frightened by the sudden effect, but it passes in two or three days. #51:46

JB: OK, and so as I know from what you are saying sounds so amazing and a lot of people with arthritis so if they are listening to this, they might obviously want to try some. And if men are doing it, are there any other cautionary tales about using progesterone? #52:10

RP: Not, well once a friend accidentally put spoonful of it in a margarita thinking it was pregnenolone and, I guess, I had about five hundred or a thousand milligrammes and I couldn’t feel where my hands and feet were for half an hour. #52:35

JB: Because of the anaesthetic? #52:39

RP: Yeah, and it will anaesthetise you totally if you take very large doses. So at first when I found that vitamin E was a good solvent I made very concentrated solutions but I realised, that a person getting too enthusiastic might kill themselves by anaesthetising themselves as there is nothing in the literature about using it as an anaesthetic in humans, but I have had the experience so I don’t think it should be more than a ten percent solution. #53:17

JB: Now I know, we are actually almost out of time here, so I think I wanted to talk about sort of about the broad science applications of progesterone and how it has been approached by science and the medical world in general but I don’t think we are going to get to that #53:34

So if you wouldn’t mind Ray maybe making this two shows, we can take on the other issues next time, but I wanted to ask you something, which just flew out of my mind like a bird. What were we just talking about before I interrupted you again? #53:36

RP: Arthritis? Yes it is surprisingly effective even when your knees have been examined and the cartilage is crumbling to pieces or you knee looks like a football. The second person I gave progesterone to, we just had bought a flask of the injectable stuff in the toxic alcohol. My friend had a knee that, he said it was agonisingly painful. It was swelling up every day for weeks and weeks. #54:35

JB: Had it been injured?

RP: No just from working at his bench everyday. We spread this whole flask, from his thigh around his knee down to the upper part of his calf. And within two or three hours this football sized knee had deflated that was in nineteen seventy eight, 1978, or nine, 1979. And for all the years, up until, two or three years ago he never had arthritis again, thirty years roughly. #55:13

JB: Wow. I know what I wanted to say. We were talking about the possible negative side effects of progesterone and you were saying the worst thing that could happen was maybe overdosing and going to sleep. And that reminded me of the Wall Street Journal article about brain damaged people. People who have been in accidents or who had had strokes #55:36

RP: It was known in the fifties, 1950’s, as a brain preserving hormone both prenatally and animal studies. It’s a growth factor for nerves and anti-stress, anti-inflammatory agent. So it is anti-oedema, oedema is one of the factors that kills the rest of the brain cells after some of them have been injured. So it is an obvious way to stop the progression of the damage after brain trauma. For it is also a growth factor that optimises the repair, promotes the re-myelinisation of the fibres, for example in multiple sclerosis. #56:33

That seems to be optic neuritis, it seems to be why it is therapeutic. #56:39

JB: One of the most impressive things about that long article in the Wall Street Journal was that he did a very extensive study on all these brain injured people and stroke victims and many of them made miraculous recoveries and there were no side effects from the use of the progesterone so there is not many treatments you can say that about. #57:02

RP: Yeah. It’s in the seventies, 1970’s, I advocated that everyone should carry a bottle with them in case they were in an accident as first aid for whatever happened to you. #57:19

Because for example a friend spilled a pan of boiling water on her thigh and we happened to have a beaker of progesterone there and we poured that on. And in an hour or so later there was no pain, or redness, or blister. #57:40

JB: Wow. Well Ray we are out of time. It has sped by as usual.

I have been talking to Raymond Peat, Endocrinologist, Physiologist with a PhD in Biology from Eugene, Oregon. And you can find out more about Ray at his web site, raypeat.com, r-a-y-p-e-a-t.com. #58:00

Ray thanks so much for being on and I hope to continue this in the part two discussion in the days to come. #58:09

RP: OK very good. #58:10

JB: Thanks a lot Ray.

RP: Bye

JB: Bye, bye #58:14

And you have been listening to “Politics and Science” an interview with Dr Raymond Peat recorded on the 22nd January, 2012. Hopefully a part two discussion will follow shortly. #58:28

And you can find a number of “Politics and Science” shows at the radio4all website, I’m getting them up there slowly but, hopefully surely. #58:39

Go to radio numeral 4 all.net, radio4all.net and then search for “Politics and Science” and you will find the web page where there are now maybe, I think, fifteen shows up there. There will be more to come. #58:55

So thanks for listening and stay tuned again next week for another edition of “Politics and Science” #59:01

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