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00:00 Hi everyone, the following show with Dr. Raymond Pete was recorded on January 22nd, 2012. It’s about progesterone. And a growing number of shows can be found at the Radio4ALL website, that’s radionumeral4ALL.net, and 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 Pete is here to join me, Dr. Raymond Pete. Dr. Pete has a PhD in biology and has done extensive research in the fields of physiology and endocrinology. Is that enough, Ray? Oh, that’s enough. That’s enough, okay. That’s enough for me. And I was just saying that we’ve never really touched on the subject in a pure form of progesterone. And I was looking back through your newsletters. For those who don’t know, Ray Pete has a website, raypeat.com, where he’s posted a lot of your 01:05 newsletters. What percent of your letters are up there at this point, Ray? I’ve written 300 and some, and I think there are only about 75, which is about a quarter. There’s so much knowledge in each one, and plenty of food for thought, even if you don’t agree with what you’re putting forward. I find I can read them many times, and they always seem new because there’s so much information packed into them. So they’re all there for people just to enjoy when you want to do it. Yeah, the search, the little search device on the website helps to find, for example, if you put in progesterone, you’ll find lots and lots of newsletters that talk about it. That’s right. In the newsletters, I started off with one, but there were actually three almost in a row that you did in 2007 dealing with progesterone and the regulation of progesterone, which 02:05 is starting to happen then. And I thought maybe we could start the show, unless you had a better idea, just talking about how you first got interested in progesterone. Yeah, I had been writing about it somewhat in the 70s, but this Proposition 65 thing in California calling it a carcinogen was the occasion for me writing this new bunch of newsletters a few years ago. But I had been studying, linguistics was what I was studying right 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 realized that it was the absence of sunlight, dark cloudy weather. 03:07 I saw the same thing happening to all the women I knew during the winter, especially students who came from sunny areas and then lived in dark student departments during the winter. They would get PMS and I called it winter sickness, a whole range of things, but especially the PMS was outstanding and at that time I was aware of the old experiments and observations in which birds, for example in Times Square, people had noticed that the sparrows made an all year round because of the bright light and what in other species, for example, of their animals that can mate during the winter, but they don’t really get pregnant until about March 20th when days become longer than nights. 04:11 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 is the certain day length of light exposure, raises the progesterone and allows fertility to proceed. And I was interested in that because I 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 long hours of light and vitamin A is massively used in producing progenital and progesterone. 05:14 And so right at the beginning of moving to Oregon, before I actually began attending the university, I was seeing the progesterone and daylight were very powerful on the emotions and body functions. The premenstrual mood changes were evident even in men. Typically, men coming from a sunny climate would be depressed all winter living in cloudy Oregon. How did you link sunlight to progesterone? Was it something that was already discovered or were you working on that? Yes, it was one night I went to sleep reading a book with a bright light shining in my face. 06:16 And I woke up starting to get pimples and I realized that just the light shining on my eyes activating my brain had done something to affect my metabolism and trying to understand how the light affected my skin even though it was just mild incandescent light. That was what I started reading and I ran across the winter fertility of sparrows from bright light and the springtime implantation of animals. So I realized that everyone from birds to men experience the driving of their hormones by day length and the first steroid made is either pregnenone or progesterone. 07:18 And do you think you said the people coming from southern climes experienced depression coming north and I’ve noticed that among friends of mine who have done that. Do you think there’s an adjustment that’s made whereby even with less light you can produce progesterone or all of us in the north depressed for that reason? Yes, we just get used to being depressed. If you look at Scandinavian movies you see that depression seems to be the rule. Yeah, the Bergman approach to life. So and when did you become aware that progesterone was useful therapeutically for cancer and other things? Oh, I started, I was intending to study nerve biology and the very first few weeks at the university I realized what dogmatists, the brain and nerve biology people were and so 08:28 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. Rick, can I interrupt? What was the giveaway that, what gave it away that they were open minded, non-dogmatic? Well, the talking to the nerve biology people, their personalities were absolutely militaristic, rigid, closed minded, single minded and the money went along with that big research grants 09:34 and the reproductive physiology had grants but very low prestige in the department and people were very relaxed and open and had basically a willingness to learn and consider things. Just the personality was very obviously different. And so you were saying there was one group working on male reproduction and the other one female and Arnold Soderwald was the person in charge of the female reproductive end. And there were only, I guess when I was there there were three graduate students working in the lab. Well, that sounds very intimate. It sounds like a good atmosphere. 10:34 Yeah, and Soderwald was the link with previous students and what they had been doing so his work made us feel that our stuff was continuing a tradition that had started in the 30s and 40s where Soderwald was a graduate student. And so the three of us were working on different parts of the system. Bev Stockton was working on implantation which involved an age related delay in the production of progesterone and Terry Parkening 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 estrogen 11:38 and falling progesterone was an essential change of aging infertility. And I was working on the oxidative changes in the aging reproductive system. And as I worked with the chemicals I noticed that handling progesterone I had always had tendency to hang nails and just being careless in the lab and getting some of the progesterone on my hands. I noticed that my hang nails disappeared and have never come back. So even though it’s considered to be somewhat of a female hormone I think by you it’s also an important role in males as well. Yeah, as I got acquainted with how it felt on my hands for example and I noticed that 12:40 if I stuck my hand in the powder I could very quickly taste it on my tongue or sense of an awareness that had got into my bloodstream. I looked at the changes that were known to occur in males and I saw that someone had two different groups just almost at 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 recognizes that it isn’t 13:43 wise to get pregnant when you have a wounded uterus. So that was recognized as the effect of the IUD or one of the effects but at the same time another group found that men who had had the vasectomy often suffered very serious effects, impotency and such and they found that the men who suffered the health effects from a vasectomy had very low progesterone and replacing their progesterone levels up to normal cured their symptoms and very often just one dose was needed to start the ovaries in women or the gonads in the men to begin producing the normal amount. And of course you’ve mentioned before that progesterone is the hormone of fertility that promotes life. Yeah it’s the basic implantation stabilizer. 14:51 Estrogen creates a release of histamine throughout the body but especially where it’s concentrated in the uterus and the histamine creates a site of inflammation that is actively growing but the inflammation focus under the influence of estrogen prevents survival of the implanted embryo and progesterone turns off the histamine and estrogen and makes it possible to deliver oxygen and sugar to the implanted embryo which would be killed if the estrogen influence continued. So it’s the shift towards oxygen and sugar delivery that makes progesterone the preserver of pregnancy and interestingly people have removed animals ovaries at the time of fertilization 15:59 and then given them different hormones and 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. And the things that are called progestins or progestogens 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. So they’ve got the naming system very confused in which testosterone functions potentially 17:01 as a progestin and the so-called progestins are really anti-progestational chemicals. But doctors have been very confused by that terminology. Yeah well it’s very confusing for all of us it sounds like our filing system is a little bit screwed up. Yeah the estrogen industry really contributed to that by creating a theory of how estrogen is a potential contraceptive because it was known from the time Soderwal began his studies from the late 1930s through the 40s it was known that estrogen is an abortifatient. It kills the embryo either at the time of implantation or anytime later when it becomes the dominant influence. And the estrogen industry didn’t want their product known to be killing the embryos and so they claimed 18:15 that it stopped ovulation that was invented just in time for them to come on the market with birth control pills but it was just a complete fabrication that they made up so that it wouldn’t be seen as causing abortions. It does seem bizarre that estrogen is I think almost universally among the public anyway considered to be the female hormone when that’s actually the hormone of infertility and abortions. 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 stabilize 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 that only that single molecule 19:29 has those functions and estrogen they very early in the 1930s discovered that soot could be extracted and form almost an infinite number of estrogenic substances and so it was possible for the industry to patent various synthetics. Diethylstilbestrol, 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 estrogen could be also called the male hormone better than it could be called the female hormone. 20:32 Because it causes hair growth and what else? Well the early development of male characteristics is induced by the local production of estrogen. Testosterone has to turn into estrogen before it androgenizes the brain before it brings out the male features. How long did you continue to work under Arnold Satterwall? Until 1972 I started, I moved over to his area I guess early in 1969 and then with Nixon Nixon canceled a lot of science grants and that closed the lab that Satterwall had been running for many years. That’s a shame. Is that where you got your PhD Ray? Yeah, to write my dissertation quickly the summer of 1972 because Nixon had shut off the grants. 21:39 The government approved the grants but Nixon simply cut the funds off for even the approved grants. Looking back at science history a bit, when was progesterone discovered and how has it been used? In the early 30s the molecule was identified and very quickly I think Armour was the company that made the corpus luteum and 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 1935 and I think I was probably one of the early progesterone babies and my mother having been infertile 22:47 and getting I think it was the Armour corpus luteum product. 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? Yeah, when the follicle ovulates releases the egg to be fertilized along with the burst of estrogen then this area turns into steroid producing cells and reduces the production of estrogen relative to the total steroids and progesterone is the main steroid produced from that time on. In humans that is the basic source of progesterone for the first nine weeks, nine or ten weeks of pregnancy 23:51 and then the placenta takes over production and the corpus luteum fades out but with each pregnancy some of those cells remain in the ovaries. So a woman who has been pregnant eight times in her lifetime will have a higher residual progesterone levels and will live much longer than on average a woman who hasn’t had so many pregnancies. They saw the same thing in animals that the more litters the animals had the younger their tissues were at a given age. Is that perhaps why some women who get fibroids they’ve noticed that the fibroids go away if they get pregnant and likely don’t return? Oh, I don’t think I had heard of that but, yeah, progesterone was recommended for many years for treating, making fibroids or drasts 24:56 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 estrogen level systemically. So sometimes just one dose of progesterone is all it takes to free the thyroid to function to stimulate new progesterone synthesis and to lower estrogen systemically. And you’ve often talked before about estrogen and progesterone basically opposing each other where you might get a surge of estrogen for a certain purpose but if the progesterone doesn’t come up to nullify that effect you’ll end up with bad health effects. Yeah, estrogen stimulates the uptake of water by, I think its 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. 26:11 And the overloading cells with water causes them to go into a growth inflammation state where they forget what they had been doing and simply start multiplying. And so for the first 12 hours that gives a burst of new cells in the uterus ready to receive an implantation. In the breasts it creates a massive new cells to enlarge the milk production capacity and in the pituitary it enlarges the cells that will take over 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 tumors and pituitary tumors. 27:15 When birth control pills were first on the market in 1960s they had big doses of estrogen and there was a terrific epidemic of pituitary tumors producing prolactin. There’s been very little written about it but it was like the yearly production in one hospital of the pituitary tumors went from I think just a few like five per year up to 300 per year in one publication. And you were talking about your mother having taken armor corpus luteum and was it used for other things? Was that for getting pregnant? Is that why she was taking it? 28:24 There was a patent progesterone because there was only one substance and it was very expensive to make. They found that soot is as cheap as anything and so for no production cost you can make any kind of estrogenic substance you choose to. And so they created the whole mythology of what 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 40s when Russell Marker devised a way to make it from the amsteroid and it became very cheap in the early 1950s. 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. 29:50 And so you have to take our product because we’ve modified it and made it biologically active when you take a pill otherwise you would have to inject it. And there were doctors injecting progesterone and curing all kinds of things through the 1940s from premenstrual syndrome, premature births, cancer and so on. Using natural progesterone. And in the early 1970s they said natural progesterone can’t be taken orally even though a few companies were selling 10 milligram progesterone tablets that worked fine even though the dose was low and fairly expensive. 31:04 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 and it turned out that the synthetics had estrogen like anti-conception effects. I see, so they weren’t actually doing the full physiological effects of progesterone and they had side effects? Yeah, they were not progestational support agents. They had some slight overlap that allowed them 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 only in the culture dish. 32:08 Can you describe basically how it was used therapeutically? I think you’ve mentioned a few examples but I know, I think her name was Katarina Dalton who was a doctor in England and she wrote a book whose name escapes me. Maybe you know the name of the book but her primary method of giving it was injections. One of the problems was that it’s extremely insoluble in everything. Hot olive oil will dissolve a lot of it so it will work on your skin or orally in solution for the first three or four hours but it crystallizes out of solution. So the only way you can market an injectable effective product in oil is to 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 had been opened for 10 or 15 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. And the less allergenic benzyl alcohol was one that persisted in use the longest and it is a nerve toxin that will kill the nerves in region where it’s injected except that again progesterone’s powerfully detoxifying effects 34:13 overrode those poisonous effects of the benzyl alcohol and and so catherine adultin’s results were just amazing. What was she using before I was going to ask? The 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 to have an, I think the average IQ was 90. 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. 35:15 Sometimes several hundred milligrams sometimes up to I think 3,000 milligrams per pregnancy depending on what they seem to need. Although other researchers found that in a lot of women who had the tendency to bleed every month and then the miscarry but very often just one dose of progesterone was all it took to stop that monthly bleeding and make them able to carry each term. But anyway catherine adultin treated this large number of patients over the years and someone 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, yeah, that’s hard to believe because these women, the previous babies all had a 90 IQ and so she did a study and found that in fact her babies tended to average 130 IQ just as a result of the regular progesterone. 36:37 Dosing a 40 point average increase and she saw that the intelligence of the babies corresponded to the amount of progesterone she gave to mothers during pregnancy. The ones who got more than 1,500 milligrams per pregnancy turned out the brightest and there in England working class kids have 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 and their personalities were very good. She said the only problem was that they didn’t do well in gym class because they didn’t like to march in ranks, didn’t like to follow orders and weren’t placid enough to do the kind of arts and crafts things that were expected of them. 38:04 They were outstanding. That’s remarkable. And maybe your mother’s corpus luteum ingestion might have helped you in similar ways. Possibly. 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? 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 optimize the hormones, increase thyroid and lower estrogen. And I was hoping that doctors would come to understand why they shouldn’t give estrogen because there’s really no such thing as an estrogen deficiency. 39:21 Any tissue that’s injured will become a source of estrogen production. And the absence of estrogen in the bloodstream, it often means that there’s an excess of estrogen inside cells because when progesterone is adequate, it will destroy the proteins that bind estrogen inside cells causing the harmful estrogen effect. Progesterone causes the estrogen to be released from inside cells into the bloodstream where it can be controlled and eliminated. So you can’t go by a blood test that seems to show an estrogen deficiency. And the more a tissue is injured or aged, the more likely it is to have aromatase inside making estrogen. 40:25 So an injured breast tending to develop a tumor becomes a source of estrogen itself and injured uterus becomes a source of new estrogen. A person isn’t metabolizing their energy system very well, so they lay down fat and fat becomes a source of estrogen. Well, you were saying that aging can be equivalent to an injury, and so does that mean as we get older, we’re all producing more estrogen? Yeah, more of our tissues. The person tends to lose muscle and bone and replace it with fat and connective tissue, and those tissues become sources of inflammatory materials and estrogen. And progesterone in its role is opposing that inflammatory process that would shut down that estrogen cycle? 41:31 Yeah, it’s one of the things that turns off aromatase, but it also turns off the enzymes that inflammation causes estrogen to concentrate in the tissue besides being produced in the tissue. So any estrogen 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 estrogen by releasing glucuronic acid or sulfate from the estrogen molecule. Progesterone inactivates both of those enzymes that cause tissues to catch estrogen, and it activates the opposite enzymes right in that tissue, allowing the tissue to send estrogen back out by attaching sulfate or glucuronic acid to it. 42:32 And it shifts the balance of reduction oxidation enzymes so that it shifts away from the powerful estradiol to the weak estrone. I think there are nine different things that happen in a single inflamed cell under the influence of progesterone to release estrogen from the cell and stop its production. And what got me started recommending it directly to people was a woman, a 52-year-old woman who had been epileptic from the age of 35. She was a schoolteacher and had had migraines, and a neurologist told her that migraines were like epilepsy and gave her an anti-seizure drug. 43:37 And she said it did stop her migraines, but it made her so stupid she couldn’t go back to teaching school, and so she stopped taking the drug and had an actual seizure. Her first seizure was when she stopped taking the seizure medicine that she hadn’t really needed. Wow. And so she went to the doctor and he said, see, I told you, migraines were like epilepsy. It’s like she’d been vaccinated with the flu vaccine and then got the flu. Yeah. And so right from the age of 35, she was having so many seizures that she couldn’t teach school anymore. And after 17 years, she said every year the neurologist would give her a mental test and declare that her mind had deteriorated farther. She was so demanded that she couldn’t find her way home if she went outside the house. 44:38 So the first time she visited her son, Robert, 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. Jesus. She had some arthritic fingers all puffed up in 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 that they could use it transdermally as a way to get around their prejudice and mistaken belief that it isn’t active orally. So I had some of the progesterone in oil and I told her about it, how it was anti-inflammatory and anti-seizure. 45:41 And I suggested she cry it 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. 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, well, that’s easy every day. 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 of the paper and her fingers were not arthritic anymore. 46:51 And she said she felt fine and was working all day around the house and could find her way home. 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 demanded. And what about her seizures, Ray? No more. Wow. Just that one week of doses got everything back to normal. And that was just transdermal, topical applications. Yeah. And her blood test showed that she had quite a bit more estrogen in her blood than progesterone. And you should have about a hundred times more progesterone than estrogen. 47:54 Wow. So that’s remarkable. And so at that point you started to recommend it regularly to people? Yeah. And at that time I was teaching endocrinology at the 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 and had talked a doctor into giving her progesterone shots. And she had had multiple sclerosis or optic neuritis had been paralyzed, bedridden. And I think she was mostly blind for weeks at a time because of the optic neuritis. And she was getting these periodic semi-toxic injections of progesterone. 48:58 Every time she could talk a doctor into it. Toxic? Toxic because of the vehicle. It was the benzo alcohol or something? Yeah. 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 the, whatever it was, second or third floor and lectured through the two hour class about what she had learned about progesterone from her own experience in Katharina Dalton’s work. Wow. And so my Nature Path students were pretty well convinced by her lecture. What year was this, Ray? 78. 78. And at that point. 77 or 78. Okay. And at that point, I mean, obviously it sounds like progesterone is one of the obvious ways it’s doing its work is as an anti-inflammatory because all those problems sound like inflammation problems, don’t they? 50:08 Yeah. After that first experience with the fat fingers, I started telling people about the topical use. And I think it was about 30 people who had essentially immediate or overnight recovery from various types of arthritis, not just rheumatoid, but so-called osteoarthritis. A woman from Sweden who had some metal joints installed and was planning several more installations and was basically crippled. She was visiting in Eugene and a psychologist friend who started using progesterone herself, gave her some, and she spread it all over her body and spent her time in Eugene walking around town enjoying the fights and having no arthritis. 51:11 Hmm. Because the inflammation had gone down so there’s no pain. Yeah. Yeah. You’ve cautioned man against using too much progesterone because it opposes testosterone too? 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. Sure. But it passes in two or three days. Okay. So, because I know from what you’re saying, it sounds so amazing and I know a lot of people with arthritis, so if they’re 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? 52:13 Well, yeah. Once a friend accidentally put a spoonful of it in a margarita thinking it was pregnant alone, I guess I had about 500 or 1000 milligrams and I couldn’t feel where my hands and feet were for about half an hour. Because it’s an anesthetic. And it will anesthetize 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 realized that a person getting too enthusiastic might kill themselves by anesthetizing themselves. There’s nothing in the literature about using it as an anesthetic in humans, but I’ve had the experience, so I don’t think it should be more than a 10%!s(MISSING)olution. 53:18 Now, I know we’re actually almost out of time here. So, I think I wanted to talk about the broad science implications of progesterone and how it’s been approached by science in the medical world in general, but I don’t even think we’re going to get to that. So, if you wouldn’t mind making maybe 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? I thought it was surprisingly the effect, even when your knees have been examined and the cartilage is crumbling to pieces or your knee looks like a football. The second person I gave progesterone to, we just bought a flask of the injectable stuff in the toxic alcohol. 54:22 My friend had a knee that he said it was agonizingly painful and was swelling up every day for weeks and weeks. Had it been injured? No, just from working at his bench every day. And 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 1978 or 2009. And for all the years up until two or three years ago, he had never had arthritis again, 30 years roughly. Wow. I know what I wanted to say. We were talking about the possible negative sides of progesterone and you were saying the worst thing that could happen is maybe overdosing and going to sleep. 55:29 And that reminded me of the Wall Street Journal article about brain-damaged people, people who have been in accidents or had strokes. Yeah, it was known in the 50s as a brain-preserving hormone, both prenatally and animal studies. It’s a growth factor for nerves and an anti-stress, anti-inflammatory agent. So it’s anti-edema. Edema is one of the factors that kills the rest of the brain cells after some of them have been injured. So it’s an obvious way to stop the progression of the damage after brain trauma. But it’s also a growth factor that optimizes the repair, that promotes the remyelinization of the fibers. 56:33 For example, in multiple sclerosis, that seems to be, or in optic neuritis, that seems to be, why it’s therapeutic. 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’s not many treatments that you can say that about. Yeah, in the 70s, 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. 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 an hour or so later there was no pain or redness or blister. 57:40 Wow. Well, Ray, we are out of time and sped by as usual and we’ve been talking to Dr. Raymond Pete, endocrinologist, physiologist with a PhD in biology from Eugene, Oregon. And you can find out more about Ray at his website, raypeat.com. Ray, thanks so much for being on and I hope to continue this in a part two discussion in the days to come. Okay, very good. All right. Thanks a lot, Ray. Bye. Yeah, bye-bye. And you’ve been listening to Politics and Science, an interview with Dr. Raymond Pete recorded on the 22nd of January 2012. Hopefully a part two discussion will follow shortly. And you can find a number of Politics and Science shows at the Radio For All website. I’m getting them up there slowly, but hopefully surely. Go to RadioNumeralForAll.net, RadioForAll.net, and then search for Politics and Science. 58:48 And you will find the webpage where there are now maybe, I think, 15 shows up there and there’ll be more to come. So thanks for listening and stay tuned again next week for another edition of Politics and Science.

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