2012-01-29_Progesterone 2 - John Barkhausen & Ray Peat
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Audio recordings were available 15-Sep-2022 at:-
https://github.com/Ray-Peat/interview/wiki/_pages 2012-02-07-Progesterone 2 John-Barkhausen + Ray-Peat (transcript)
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JB: - John Barkhausen
RP: - Dr Raymond Peat 19361012 b. yyyymmdd
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JB: The following show was recorded on the 29th of January, 2012 with Dr Raymond Peat.
It is a part two discussion about progesterone.
Some podcasts of this show are available at radio numeral 4 all.net. That’s radio4all.net, and when you get to the web site search for “Politics and Science.” #00:24
And now here’s the show.
Welcome to “Politics and Science.” I’m your host John Barkhausen and I’m very happy that Dr Raymond Peat is returning to the show as this is a follow up show about progesterone from the one we did last week. #00:41
And for those that who don’t know Ray Peat has a PhD in Biology from the University of Oregon and with a speciality in Physiology and he has done extensive research in the fields of endocrinology and I should say science history. #00:57
RP: Yeah, I have been reading in both of those areas since I was about fourteen or fifteen years old #01:09
JB: You mentioned before that when you were a little kid you were reading the little blue books that.
JB: When did you first encounter Kropotkin? This is completely unrelated to our topic but I was curious about that. #01:22
RP: He was really the sites? little blue books, he was the first really political argument, his book on co-operation, animals and a basis for his anarchy theory. I think, I was fourteen when found that at the library and that shaped my thinking both in politics and in biology. #01:51
JB: Yeah. He was a pretty amazing person. Well, back to the subject of progesterone which we left off last week talking about the Wall Street Journal article about the doctor who had done a lot of research on the effect of progesterone on brain damage, both through accidents and through strokes and found it a very effective therapy. I think people recovered twice as fast and probably a lot of people recovered that wouldn’t have, and there were no negative side effects. #02:28
And I asked you last week about any negative effects that you knew about progesterone and the one thing you mentioned was the danger of being over anaesthetised by it #02:38
And I was just wondering is that a danger from actually stopping your heart if you potentially took too much or is that just from you might get into an accident if you fell asleep. #02:52
RP: I think what it would do first is stop breathing, but up to a certain point it stimulates breathing so it’s probably somewhat an antidote to the things like morphine because progesterone as long as it is within, something like several hundred milligrammes at a time or per day it is like an imitation of pregnancy where it stimulates breathing. But up in the pharmacological range of something like three or four thousand milligrammes all at once. Then instead of being a stimulant to respiration, it just puts everything to sleep. And I think that would include the respiratory system at some very high level. #03:54
In Mexico some students were experimenting with the idea that maybe progesterone works like morphine. Because of the sedative effects and so they combined naloxone, the anti-morphine drug, with progesterone and their experimental rat died. #4:20
It was OK on a given amount on either of them, but that pretty much said that progesterone isn’t acting like morphine. Because the anti-morphine like chemical seemed to exaggerate the anaesthetic effect of progesterone. #04:50
JB: Is it the equivalent of saying that maybe, water supports life but if you drink too much of it or fall into it, it can potentially kill you? #04:59
What’s the range of the dose that we are talking about for overdosing on progesterone?
RP: No one has really done that, my students’ rat was the only death that I know of even experimentally. In the nineteen forties, 1940’s, Hans Selye he had told his technicians to experiment with very big doses of progesterone. And after doing some experiments they said those high doses had killed the rats and he didn’t believe it. He said, “What did you do with them?” and they went to the garbage and fished them out. He published photographs holding them by the skin on their back they look like sort of a wet dish rag. Just the most relaxed rat you ever saw. #06:01
But they weren’t dead just deeply sleepy, but his technicians had thought they had died. So I’m not even sure that my students were not mistaken about the naloxone and progesterone combination, but they thought the rat had died. #06:24
JB: I see. I think that settles that. So it’s only potentially fatal in enormous quantities. #06:34
JB: And you also said vasectomies in men tended to lower progesterone in those men. And I was wondering what‘s the mechanism behind that? #06:49
RP: It wasn’t consistent but when a man had very distinct symptoms following the vasectomy they studied what was going on. And found that the ones who had the symptoms had very low to almost zero progesterone. And they recovered when they gave them progesterone, but most of the men having vasectomies didn’t have any symptoms. #07:19
And so my interpretation is that it is a biological analogue to what’s reasonable in the female. If the female has an infection in the uterus or tubes for example it is biologically reasonable to turn off progesterone production so that pregnancy can’t happen. And so irritation in the uterus or insert a tube in the female, causes the sterility by turning off progesterone and increasing oestrogen. #08:03
I think the event, in the men who had a bad reaction to vasectomy I think it was the biological equivalent of a signal travelling up the ducts, probably to the testicle, maybe to the pituitary turning off steroid production. #08:28
JB: So it is interesting these hormones they seem very complicated so that when we, as you pointed out before, try to name them by one purpose that they might have it gets very confusing. So we think of progesterone, as I have been lately thinking of it as the female fertility hormone. But there you have it that men are actually producing it in their testicles or pituitary. The negative effects that they were experiencing from their vasectomies were actually potent and one of the negative effects. #09:01
RP: Yeah. I have seen several men. I don’t remember if they had vasectomies or not but they were suffering from impotency it was just immediately was resolved by taking very small doses just a couple of times of progesterone. It’s sort of like priming the pump. Progesterone has a positive feedback apparently in men as well as in women. People who have experimented with slices of either ovary tissue or adrenal tissue which makes some progesterone. And they found in both cases that if you add a little bit of progesterone it increases the organ’s production of progesterone, positive feedback which is unusual in hormone regulation. #10:01
JB: And that indicates to me that the body doesn’t see it as something you can get too much of. #10:05
RP: Yeah. From that kind of engineering you would think that the body believes that more is always better in the case of progesterone. #10:15
It seems to be what happens in pregnancy, if a person is having some biological problem where their progesterone drops off and they start bleeding during the pregnancy. There have been studies where women who habitually either miscarried or had monthly bleeding every month of the pregnancy then delivered at five or six months, maybe seven months. They would give early in the pregnancy one shot of progesterone, and I think it was two thirds of the women maintained full, increasing production every week higher than the preceding week until they had a normal nine month delivery. #11:07
Another, I think it was, about thirty percent required a second injection, several weeks later after the first one and they to went back to the full production. I forget the percentages exactly there was a small group which didn’t recover so completely. #11:32
JB: And I know a lot of people are going in for fertility therapy in this day and age. I don’t know if it’s more than in the past. But do you know if progesterone does plays a big role in modern fertility therapies? #11:48
RP: Yeah, but very few of the clinics that specialise in that really understand. If they would read more animal research, they would understand people better.
But there is really a medical bias against endocrine science based on animals #12:14
JB: And why is that do you think? #12:17
RP: I think the marketing things has done it. For forty or fifty years the oestrogen industry said don’t pay any attention to the fact that oestrogen causes clotting, heart attacks, cancer, brain damage and so on. That’s just in animals, but has just the opposite effects in humans. #12:43
JB: So that’s interesting it seems they have thrown out a lot of the earlier research that was done back, you write quite a lot about that was done in the early twentieth century. #12:56
RP: And when the industry wants to sell something they can’t demonstrate in humans then they will base the whole thing on animal experiments, like the osteoporosis thing. They found that there is no evidence that they could demonstrate bone improvement with oestrogen in people so they looked around at different animals. Tried it on beagle dogs and caused more osteoporosis in dogs and so they forgot about that. Looked around and found that in rodents it could, seem to be causing, increased bone strength but it happens that in rodents even cortisol can increase bone strength. There are some situations like prolactin in rats will increase progesterone where in humans it generally decreases. #13:59
If you look at the interactions, it is really all the same principles that apply in people. For example rodents are generally nocturnal animals and we aren’t. And so you have to take into account what time of day you give the injections because you are either intensifying or weakening their normal rhythms. And by using animals with an upside down rhythm compared to humans you can get sometimes very nice upside down results. #14:41
JB: I see and you are saying that the pharmaceutical companies who are paying for these studies they are actually engineering them that way on purpose. #14:48
RP: Yeah, they like rat experiments when they can be arranged to sell a product. But they want to forget completely about the dog experiments which caused only bad effects. #15:03
JB: Going back to oestrogen and progesterone which is the subject of our show today. The effect on fertility and contraception, I was curious any effect on oestrogen or progesterone production when somebody gets a tubal ligation? #15:22
RP: Oh right at the same time that the impotency experiment had seen that in men. Some other group then a month or two later than that publication saw impacts like that side effects in the result of the tubal ligation and that really helped to explain how IED’s work. #15:52
Animal experiments had been demonstrating that for years, if you want to have the animal become infertile you just put a little suture in the uterus. That’s usually all that it takes and the signals travel up from the slightly injured uterus to turn off the ovary progesterone production. And so injuring the tubes does the same thing, not always but often. #16:25
JB: So that could lead to a progesterone deficiency in somebody who has either had an IUD or tubal ligation?
JB: So let’s if you don’t mind, we’ll pick up where we left off on your life’s path. You were I believe teaching at a Nature Pathic college after you had gotten you PhD. And were when, I think we left off in the last show, you had decided to start recommending progesterone use to some of your nutritional patients. You worked as a nutritional consultant I think also #17:00
RP: Yeah, I guess I was teaching endocrinology at the Nature Path school but I was doing mostly nutritional counselling at home. And I found that I was more and more involved hormone interactions with the foods. So when I saw these two or three women with such absolute recoveries from just small amounts of progesterone. I realised that I would be basically injuring people that I talked to if I didn’t give then the true information that I knew about in animals and was starting to see in humans #18:01
And so I just mention what I saw was the case and over a period, I guess two or three years in Eugene I had spoken to enough women about the effects of thyroid and progesterone and their symptoms that the local gynaecologists had turned a hundred and eighty degrees in their practice. Because they were so many dozens of their patients saying that they wouldn’t take oestrogen. And insisted on getting a prescription for progesterone or thyroid. It just took a couple of years and doctors saw that their businesses was being affected and so they totally reversed their practices. And that went on until the doctors retired and then I think the pressure from the industry and profession probably reverted the situation #19:12
JB: So it sounds like those doctors were pretty open minded?
RP: No very, very close minded. I had terrible experiences with the first dozen or so women who went to them. Just awful personal attacks for the doctors at first would tell the patients not to come back because they had personality defects because they wouldn’t accept their advice. #19:44
JB: Like I said very open minded. Oh dear! What went on. We are talking about the late seventies and early eighties at this point, is that right? #19:53
RP: Yeah, between seventy six and eighty two, 1976 and 1982.
JB: It is pretty astounding the attitudes of the pharmaceutical companies and the medical world at that point. #20:07
I have a quote here, if I could find it, from the report that you referred to last time Carla Rothenberg which is very available on the web if anybody wants to look it up you go to Carla Rothenberg. Google that name and she wrote a report when she was at Harvard about the history of hormone replacement in this country it is about advertising hormone replacement therapy. And it relates to what Ray just said about doctors’ attitudes. #20:37
RP: Barbara Seaman (b.1935 d. 2008) was my contemporary in studying oestrogen, and progesterone, and she wrote a lot of good stuff. “Women and the Crisis in Sex Hormones”, I think was one of the titles. And she was very good at just by knowing a thousand times more, when she got the opportunity to debate someone from Yale medical school for example they ended up looking like complete ignoramuses which they were. She was very influential against oestrogen, for progesterone. #21:27
JB: And how do you spell her last name Ray?
JB: And did you work with her at all? Just knew about her?
RP: No. I talked to her. She called up a few years ago and mentioned that we had met after some of my talks. But I wasn’t aware who she was when we talked at hat time. #21:50
JB: Here's the ad campaign from hormone replacement therapy, I think back in the fifties and sixties, 1950s and 1960s.
The treated menopausal woman in other ads is a happy trouble free wife standing proudly next to her husband because otherwise she would have emotional and physical problems and be a burden to those around her.
An ad for Hoffman-LaRoche’s Menrium, I guess that’s the drug, said quote :-
His wife has a lot of different menopausal symptoms but only a few really irritate him. Her hot flashes, her vertigo, her palpitations that’s her problem. What really bothers him is her nervousness or irritability and her excessive anxiety often expressed by endless “book shuffling, chain smoking, reading lamp insomnia.” Menrium takes care of the vasomotor symptoms as well as the emotional symptoms. This means the symptoms that bother his wife the most, and the symptoms that irritate him the most. So to help them both get through menopause remember Menrium.
. . . there we go. In case you want to go and get some. It is probably off the market at this point. But I thought that was pretty outstanding example. Yeah go ahead.
RP: Well Barbara Seaman went over advertising and the public relations very thoroughly and I guess Carla Rothenberg did more on the actual conspiracy aspects but on public misinformation Barbara Seaman was very good. #23:39
And at one point she mentioned that Hitler had tested oestrogen on people in prison camps as a way to make them meek and submissive. She thought that that was probably if you put it in context with the advertisement like the one you have just read it makes a more obedient, serval wife. #24:12
JB: Less irritating to the lord and master.
So you were basically helping people find out about progesterone and then they were working on getting their doctors do that, I mean use progesterone And what form would they they get the progesterone in from their doctors? And at some point you patented a progesterone formulation, right? #24:36
RP: Yeah the woman who I mentioned who I talked to and lectured in my class, who had had MS and optic neuritis she was using exclusively injectable progesterone and so she was getting really big amounts of benzyl-alcohol which is nerve toxic. #25:02
And it happens Hans Selye called it the cata-toxic effect of progesterone and Pregnenolone that it helps the body destroy toxins and eliminate them. And even injecting vegetable oil and a toxic solvent progesterones anti-toxic effect is so great that people were tremendously benefiting from these injections of progesterone, but if a doctor didn’t like those toxins in the injectable form there was also a micronised solution in water, but if they would inject that, for example in the hip. Where there was supposed to be a good fat pad sometimes the particle would cause irritation, that would cause destruction of the fat cells and they would have a dent wherever they got an injection. #26:18
And because of the known toxic effects of the oily solution and the irritating effect of the, so called water wet-able solutions and those weren’t really just progesterone, there was a molecule, a carbohydrate like molecule attached to the progesterone particles making it wet-able and those particles are toxic. So that was probably what was making the particle destroy the fat cells. But anyway knowing that problems with injections and the medical indoctrination that stomach acid destroys progesterone, even though the manufacture involves boiling the steroid in acid so your stomach couldn’t make a dent in the activity of progesterone. #27:20
But anyway as an alternative, I decided since I had decided that I could taste progesterone just sticking my hand in the powder I decided that if I could get doctors to use it on the skin, that would let them have the opportunity to see what it really does. #27:41
Easy to give to the patient, and the patient wouldn’t have to go in and pay for an injection every week and so on. Then the first experiments for several months it was heated in olive oil and get a good high concentration and then the olive oil would less than an hour would bring their blood levels up, back to perfectly normal amount. #28:13
And I was thinking about the old research, for example in Italy, in explaining why vitamin E would protect against the sterility producing effects and other toxic events oestrogen, they explained vitamin E’s action as being the progesterone sparer? some how activating progesterone in the system. #28:51
And so I was thinking about those old studies to explain vitamin E’s anti-oestrogen effects. And that made me think about what vitamin E is doing in the mitochondrion where progesterone is produced and has it’s effects. And I realised that for them to both act in and be produced in the mitochondrion they have to be compatible in solubility. And so I dropped some progesterone powder in vitamin E and saw that I could get a fifty-fifty solution with a very pure form of vitamin E. They were just absolutely inter-soluble. #29:43
And so that was a compact, stable way to get doctors to start using the trans-dermal progesterone. I had told them about the effect in olive oil but no one wanted to have to heat the solution up every time they applied it. But you could get a stable five, ten or twenty percent solution that would be convenient to rub into the skin #30:19
But you only absorb, maybe, ten or twenty percent and at best when you rub it into the skin and then so after doctors were willing to prescribe it for their patients using it on skin then I pointed out to them that they could take it orally and save about eighty percent of the cost at least. #30:47
JB: Hm, so even when it is dissolved in vitamin E, which I guess it just does without even heating it, it is totally compatible with vitamin E? #30:58
RP: Yeah you don’t have to get it hot just warming it so that it is thin enough to stir and just storing at room temperature will do it. #31:10
JB: And when you buy progesterone it is in a powder form, is that right?
RP: Yeah crystals or micro-crystals but a lot of it is still sold with the carbohydrate wetting agent attached and they don’t even list that as an ingredient, but it is a potential toxin #31:35
JB: OK I see. And why is only twenty percent absorbed through the skin when you put it on with the vitamin E #31:44
RP: Well it binds to the skin, it has the cells collapse as they mature and prepare to shed and keratin fibres which is a protein which makes up part of the structure of the cell these are cross linked. And they become a sort of a semi tanned, hardened, barrier to water. But they bind oil, so that the oils in your skin link to these cross linked keratin proteins and make like a raincoat effect, closing off the surface to the water, but those also bind progesterone very strongly. #32:36
And so the progesterone will saturate those and some of it passes on and gets into your deeper tissues from which it can be gradually absorbed into the bloodstream, but a good part of it sticks on these inside superficial barrier cells and then those are shed #33:02.
JB: I see, so it might be good for your skin if you are having skin problems but if you are trying to get it in further #33:10
RP: Yeah it is more economical just to take it orally because when it is dissolved in oil. When you eat a lot of fat in your diet, your bile emulsifies it, so it breaks down into very small particles about the size of a bacterium. The chylomicrons that will pass through the intestinal cells, into the lymphatic ducts that are called lacteals because they absorb fat particles, give it a milky look and from there it goes right into the blood stream as little fat globules that circulate. They are much smaller than red blood cells, and then they circulate and reach all the tissues directly as fat particles but also the liver will eventually metabolise them and help to distribute whatever was in the fat. And since the progesterone and vitamin E are fat soluble, they get divided up as and your other fats in the chylomicrons which get directly into the blood stream# 34:38
If you eat powdered progesterone, the cells of your intestine have the same enzymes that the liver has for adding sugar to hormone molecules and making them water soluble. #34:57
And so when the crystalline progesterone hits your intestine cells directly, a lot of it is processed just as it would be in the liver and the rest of it is sent from the intestine as a particle into the liver for further processing so you loose a big part of your progesterone if you take it still in the crystalline form. But when it is in a fat globule form it bypasses the liver because it is taken up as these nutritional fat particles, chylomicrons #35:40
JB: Well, that’s a good explanation, thanks #35:44
RP: So basically something like ninety nine percent of it gets into your circulation, quickly, when you eat it in the oil form. #35:54
JB: And it would be distributed probably in the same proportion that your circulation works so that if your brain is getting a lot of circulation then it will get a lot of progesterone.
RP: Yeah, every where red blood cells go these chylomicrons will circulate a few times. #36:14
JB: So how difficult, so when did you decide to patent it and how difficult was it? What was your thinking on that? #36:18
RP: I wrote a, I was constantly submitting articles to medical and science journals and medical journals didn’t want to have anything to do with it. Because they were doing business with the oestrogen industry, basically, didn’t want anything good about progesterone. #36:44
And since I couldn’t get anything published about it I was just tending to give talks up and down the West coast to alternative medical groups and such. And so I wanted to get the information out and figured that publishing it as a patent would be the only way I could get it on the record and ultimately distributed #37:08
JB: So was it difficult getting the patent from the government? #37:10
RP: No, I wrote up the whole story and sent it in and, I think, it was the patent examiner talking to me through a lawyer who said you can’t say anything about patent, about cancer I should say, if you want to get the patent issued. #37:40
And said that‘s a standard rule, the only thing they really are concerned about is the accuracy of the cancer claim and so I just deleted the things that I had said about, the things I had seen it do to cancer. And so it went right through #38:03
JB: And what is that prejudice against cancer claims? #38:10
RP: It, is just as it would be used as a marketing tool by the cancer industries. You can claim perpetual motion, free energy all kinds of things in a patent. There are thousands of crazy patents, if you can draw a picture they’ll patent it.
But they have some standards #38:41
JB: I see, so then once you have patented it did you figure out some way to make it available to the people who wanted to buy it? #38:50
RP: I was mixing up some myself and selling it. John Lee for example was one of the first people who started buying my mixture. #39:03
And I tried to get various people to manufacture it but over the years as long as I had the patent I thought that I could make an arrangement for a drug company to use the patent themselves as a basis for marketing it. And that I could keep some control by whatever arrangement I made in licensing it so that they couldn’t take it off the market by buying the patent, and so I talked to all the big drug companies, they said no thanks. #39:46
And those drug companies then in about a year or two later came on the market with crystalline progesterone mixed with oil as they saw there was increasing interest in progesterone so they had to get on the market. But probably my having the patent on having vitamin E as the solvent prevented them from them messing with that, even though it was the economically effective way to have progesterone. They would mix with things like peanut oil #40:27
JB: That’s what I was going to ask what oils did they use so that sounds rather toxic #40:34
RP: Yeah, and it is not a very good solvent, it does dissolve some of it. It is effective, but not extremely effective #40:44
JB: And then did you manage to set up your own plant? Home scale production line. #40:49
RP: First I tried to get someone who I had worked for in nutrition counselling, he got interested in it and dealt with the FDA. #41:08
And we got a cream form of it available but then he kept making it cheaper by buying things that weren’t quite progesterone or that weren’t quite vitamin E. #41:24
JB: Oh yes #41:24
RP: And that eventually became it’s own product but I wasn’t connected it with after that, I guess nineteen seventy nine, 1979, was when I stopped being involved with any real company. Then, then I got friends to gradually develop their own business. And seeing what this other person had done with the FDA. And how it is basically, sort of a crony system, I suggested that they, just sell it to the doctors who were already interested in it. #42:14
Then those doctors would over the years tell their friends, so there was never anything said about progesterone by the people who took it over as Kenogen?
JB: It was never marketed to the public, just to doctors. #42:35
RP: Yeah, and only by direct personal contact, doctor to patient. Patients to other doctors and so on. It wasn’t necessary to ever say anything about it’s medical effects. #42:53
JB: Oh I see. So basically you haven’t or didn’t make any claims about. #42:59
RP: No I didn’t, when I was dealing with the FDA at various times they said that, they had looked at my books, said those are federal crimes because you have a patent. So they didn’t prosecute me for writing the books about it, but they said that I couldn’t say anything good about progesterone. #43:28
JB: Oh, even in your books you couldn’t say anything about it? Even though it is not attached to the actual vial of progesterone #43:36
RP: I asked them if they would put that in writing. Just because it seemed so ridiculous and they said, “No.” #43:43
JB: Well, Huh. I guess somebody is flexing their muscles there but the didn’t really want to throw the punch.
RP: Yeah, that’s standard policy they can be very nice people on the telephone, then they talk to the lawyers and act like thugs when they put anything in writing. #44:05
JB: So I know when I first started first looking for progesterone I was able to find it in places like Vitamin Express, which is a large nutritional supplement and vitamin online store and I think they have real stores as well. #44:22
And they were carrying Dr Ray Peat’s Progest-E. So at what point did you manage to get it into some stores? #44:32
RP: Oh, I don’t remember when that started but, when they got that out of John Lee’s books and so I don’t remember when his books made it famous. But that’s where they got it and attached my name to it which they weren’t supposed to do. John Lee described it as Ray Peat’s progesterone and so that’s what the customers wanted and so these places like Vitamin Express attached my name to it. #45:07
Even though I hadn’t been involved with it for, I guess, fifteen years at that time. #45:14
JB: I don’t believe there is any claims made on the packaging or even in the literature at say, Vitamin Express for what it is used for #45:23
RP: Yeah, I’m . . .
JB: It was sold under FDA supervision? #45:27
RP: Well, I talked to, nineteen ninety one, 1991, I talked to a man in FDA headquarters in Bethesda, who described himself as the head of the drug division of the whole thing. As opposed to the food and cosmetic sections and he said that he had just read an internal magazine historical article in nineteen forty one, 1941, when they were getting around to enforcing the, I think it was the nineteen thirty seven, 1937, Food and Drug Act. They had had a meeting in which they decided they would not take authority over natural hormones. And he said, “I have it right here on my desk, I’ll send you a copy when I can find it.” #46:25
But then months later, I got the letter apparently written by the lawyers didn’t mention that article at all. And under the Freedom of Information Act, I tried to get a copy of that meeting and after a very long time got some edited pages that cut off right at the point where he said that, so I gave up #46:55
At one point I explained that the pages weren’t complete and whoever I talked to at that point said. “Well, the meeting was a long time ago, and we didn’t save the records.” #47:10
JB: Well that sounds like classic bureaucratic obfuscation. #47:16
RP: Yeah they will give you information freely if it is not anything that is not important. #47:27
JB: Or anything that disagrees with what they want to do. Now it sounds like they want to take over the authority to regulate hormones. Is that what is going on? #47:37
RP: well in oh-five, 2005, in two thousand and two, 2002, the Womens’ Health Initiative and another study done in one of the research agencies. The government announced that oestrogen causes dementia, heart attacks, strokes, deep vein clots, lung embolisms and such. #48:08
And then the Premarin, Prempro industry, I think, their sales went from over two billion down to a little over one billion over a period of about three years, oh-five, 2005, was the bottom. #48:25
And that really got their attention, and besides thinking up new ways to market the oestrogen products they realised, they saw that progesterone sales had gone from, I forget, a ton or something a year up to many tons over a period of just a few years as oestrogen sales were falling. #49:01
And in two thousand and five, 2005, Wyeth petitioned the FDA to prosecute pharmacists who were preparing natural progesterone. And the response of the FDA was that they aren’t designed to initiate enforcement actions in response to a public petition. But a little later, they did send out letters telling pharmacists to stop making any claim for progesterone. #49:35
And also in oh-five, 2005, the law suits against progesterone started, a women’s blog? group had a three hundred thousand dollar donation, the source of which they wouldn’t reveal, to claim that progesterone was causing breast cancer. They sued something like sixty companies who were selling topical progesterone. And, I think, most of them just stopped selling progesterone. #50:26
JB: Now if you are saying this is in response to World Health Initiative Study where they found oestrogen was causing cancers. #50:36
RP: Yeah, and another study the National Lung, Heart and Blood Institute did another similar study right, almost at the same time #50:45
JB: I see then two thousand and three, 2003, there was a Lancet study, I guess in the UK, which had similar results. So they are going after progesterone in response to these studies blaming oestrogen for these various serious health problems. What’s the logic then, I don’t quite understand it? #51:08
RP: Well, they saw this tremendous increase in progesterone sales exactly at the same time their oestrogen sales were falling. And so it was obvious that women were shifting, at least their menopause treatment, from oestrogen to progesterone. And the timing of that petition and the law suits and grants to medical schools. Oh-nine, 2009, law suit revealed that, I think, they said, tens of millions of dollars were being spent by Wyeth, to basically bribe doctors and medical journals and researchers to say that oestrogen is really the thing they should be using. #52:11
And looking at one of the schools that has published most of the anti-progesterone stuff since, basically, since that WHI study, University of Southern California had web site and I looked up oestrogen found, I think it was one hundred and fifty items indicating how good oestrogen was. #52:45
And looking up progesterone I couldn’t find a single article saying anything good about it. And, I think, it was thirty or forty publications that were investigating the carcinogenic and other toxic effects of progesterone. #53:03
There were several other Universities and research groups that were getting big financing against progesterone as well as reconsidering the World Health Initiative facts against oestrogen.
Really it wasn’t oestrogen that was causing those cancers it was the combination with the synthetic progestin and so that links into the need to attack progesterone. #53:41
JB: I see and they found basically a scape goat by blaming progesterone for the problems of oestrogen and it’s synthetic progestins. #53:52
RP: Yeah, and that shows up in the whole history of how progesterone is labelled by pressure on the FDA, they found that the synthetic progestins were toxic, caused heart defects in babies and so on. And so the natural progesterone has to bear the label that it might cause birth defects. Even though it a completely different substance, having completely opposite effects, it carries the label of these so called progestins #54:31
JB: Yeah, labelling is a very powerful tool if you want to pin something on somebody. And for people who would think it is silly. A silly idea that they would go to these lengths should know that, just the sales of Premarin products alone generated two point four million, sorry billion dollars, excuse me, two point four billion dollars in two thousand and one, 2001. So these people the drug companies were wildly successful with these products and WHI study seriously dented that success. #55:06
RP: Yeah, lost them billions and billions of dollars.
JB: Ray we have come to the end of the hour it is hard to believe. And we still haven’t got to the meat of what’s been happening. Or what did happen with progesterone under California Law. I do want to cover that so would you be willing to do a part three show to follow up? #55:32
RP: Yeah, the article on my web site really covers it, but I don’t know much about what has happened since I wrote that article, about five years ago. #55:44
JB: Well, the thing that concerns me, that people should know that public policy is determined by these regulatory boards and what drugs we have available to ourselves is determined by them. #55:57
And I think your case in point, about progesterone and the fact that you know the details what happened in California is very illustrative of how our entire, basically public health policy is going, and would be educational for every body to hear your point of view. #56:13
If we could talk about what you do know I think that would be more than adequate. #56:21
JB: Thanks for so much for being on “Politics and Science” today we have been talking to Dr Raymond Peat who is a PhD in Biology which he received from the University of Oregon and he specialises in Physiology and Endocrinology. Is also a science historian. #56:36
And you can find out a lot more about Dr Raymond Peat at raypeat.com where he has many articles to read about this subject and many more. #56:46
Alright thank you very much Ray, and have a good week.
RP: OK Thanks you to. #56:51
JB: You have been listening to a conversation with Dr Raymond Peat made on the 29th of January, 2012. It’s a part two discussion about progesterone and hopefully in the coming days part three will be recorded and available to listen to. #57:15
If you are interested in hearing the show again or checking out other shows of “Politics and Science” a growing number, a slowly growing number are available at the podcast web site which is at the radio4all.net website. You put in radio numeral 4 all.net, radio4all.net and then once you are there search for “Politics and Science”
I hope you have enjoyed today’s broadcast and I hope you will tune in again next week for another edition of “Politics and Science.” #57:49
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