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00:00 The following show was recorded on the 29th of January 2012 with Dr. Raymond Pete. It’s a part two discussion about progesterone. Some podcasts of this show are available at RadioNumeralForAll.net. That’s RadioForAll.net. And when you get to the website, search for Politics and Science. 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 Pete is returning to the show. This is a follow-up show about progesterone from the one we did last week. And for those who don’t know, Ray Pete has a PhD in biology from the University of Oregon with a speciality in physiology. And he’s done extensive research in the fields of endocrinology. And I should say science history. Yeah, I’ve been reading in both of those areas since I was about 14 or 15 years old. 01:07 Yeah, you mentioned before that when you were a little kid, you were reading the little blue books. Yeah. And when did you first encounter Kropotkin? This is completely unrelated to our topic, but I was curious about that. He was really, besides the little blue books, he was the first really political argument. His book on cooperation and animals and as a basis for his anarchy theory. I think I was 14 when I found out at the library. And that shaped my thinking both in politics and in biology. Yeah, he was a pretty amazing person. And well, back to the subject of progesterone, which we left off last week talking about the Wall Street Journal article about this doctor who had done a lot of research on the effect of progesterone on brain damage. 02:13 And 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. And I asked you last week about any negative side effects you knew about progesterone. And one thing you mentioned was the danger of being over anesthetized by it. 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? I think what I would do first is stop breathing. But up to a certain point it stimulates breathing. So it’s probably somewhat of an antidote to things like morphine because progesterone, as long as it’s within something like several hundred milligrams at a time or per day, 03:20 it’s like an imitation of pregnancy where it stimulates breathing. But up in the pharmacological range of something like three or four thousand milligrams 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. In Mexico some students were experimenting with the idea that maybe progesterone works like morphine because of those sedative effects. And so they combined naloxone, the anti-morphine drug with progesterone, and their experimental rat died. 04:21 And that it was okay on a given amount of either of them, but that pretty much said that progesterone isn’t acting like morphine because the anti-morphine chemical seemed to exaggerate the anesthetic effect of progesterone. 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? What’s the range of the dose we’re talking about for overdosing on progesterone? No one really has done that. My student’s rat was the only death that I know of even experimentally. In the 1940s, Hans Elie had told his technicians to experiment with very big doses of progesterone. 05:30 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. And he published photographs holding them by the skin on their back. They looked sort of like a wet dish rag, just the most relaxed rat you ever saw. But they weren’t dead. They were just deeply sleepy. But his technicians had thought they 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. I see. Well, I think that settles that then. So it’s only potentially fatal in enormous quantities. 06:34 Yeah. And you also said that vasectomies in men tended to lower progesterone in those men. And I was wondering, what’s the mechanism behind that? Well, it wasn’t consistent. But when the men had very distinct symptoms following the vasectomies, 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. And so my interpretation is that it’s a biological analog to what’s reasonable in the female. If the female has an infection in the uterus or tubes, for example, 07:42 it’s biologically reasonable to turn off progesterone production so that pregnancy can’t happen. And so irritation in the uterus or tube in the female causes the sterility by turning off progesterone and increasing estrogen. And I think the event in the men who had bad reaction with vasectomy, I think it was the biological equivalent of a signal traveling up the duct probably to the testicle, maybe to the pituitary, turning off progesterone production. So, and it’s 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 progesteron as, I have been lately thinking of it as the female fertility hormone, 08:48 but there you have it that men are actually producing it in their testicles or pituitary. And then negative effects that they were experiencing from their vasectomies were actually potents. Wasn’t it one of the negative effects? Yeah, and I’ve seen several men. I don’t remember whether they had vasectomies or not, but they were suffering from impotency. And it just immediately was resolved by taking just very small doses 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. But people 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, 09:55 which is unuseful in hormone regulation. And that indicates to me that the body doesn’t see it as something you can get too much of? Yeah, from that kind of engineering, you would think that the body believes that more is always better in the case of progesterone. 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 and 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, 11:02 higher than the preceding week, until they had a normal nine-month delivery. Another, I think it was about 30%!,(MISSING) required the second injection several weeks later after the first one. And they too went back to the full production. I forget the percentages exactly. There was a small group which didn’t recover so completely. 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, does progesterone still play a big role in modern fertility therapies? Yeah, but very few of the clinics that specialize in that really understand, if they would read more animal research, they would understand people better. 12:05 There’s really a medical bias against endocrine science based on animals. And why is that, do you think? I think the marketing thing has done it. For 40 or 50 years, the estrogen industry said don’t pay any attention to the fact that estrogen causes clotting, heart attacks, cancer, brain damage, and so on. That’s just in animals, but it has just the opposite effects in humans. That’s interesting. Yeah, it does seem that they’ve thrown out a lot of the earlier research that was done back, that you write about quite a bit back in the early 20th century. And when the industry wants to sell something that they can’t demonstrate in humans, then they will base the whole thing on animal experiments, like the osteoporosis thing. 13:11 They found that there was no evidence that they could demonstrate bone improvement with estrogen in people. So they looked around at different animals, tried it on beagle dogs, found that it caused more osteoporosis in dogs. And so they forgot about that and looked around, 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 a prolactum in rats will increase progesterone, where in humans, it generally decreases it. And if you look at the interactions, it’s really all the same principles that apply in people. But for example, rodents are generally nocturnal animals and we aren’t. 14:14 And so you have to take into account what time of day you give the injections, because you’re either intensifying or weakening their normal rhythms. And by using animals with an upside-down rhythm compared to humans, you can sometimes get very nice upside-down results. And you’re saying that the pharmaceutical companies who are paying for these studies are actually engineering them that way on purpose. 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 cause only bad effects. Going back to estrogen and progesterone, which is the subject of our show today, effect on fertility or contraception. 15:15 I was curious if there’s any effect on estrogen or progesterone production when somebody gets a tubal ligation. Right at the same time that the impotency experiment saw that in some other group within just a month or two of that publication saw exactly that effect in the result of the tubal ligation. And that really helped to explain how IUDs work. And animal experiments had been demonstrating that for years, that if you want to have the animal become infertile, you just put a little suture in the uterus. That’s usually all it takes. And the signal travels up from the slightly-intrigued uterus to turn off the ovary progesterone production. 16:16 And so, entering the tubes does the same thing. Not always, but often. So that could lead to a progesterone deficiency in somebody who’s either had an IUD or a tubal ligation. So, let’s, if you don’t mind, we’ll pick up where we left off in your sort of life’s path. You were, I believe, teaching at naturopathic colleges after you’d gotten your PhD. And I think where 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. Yeah, I guess I was teaching endocrinology at the naturopath school, but I was doing mostly nutritional counseling at home. And I found that it was more and more involved hormone interactions with the foods. 17:25 And so I just, when I saw these two or three women with such absolute recoveries from just small amounts of progesterone, I realized that I would be basically injuring people that I talked to if I didn’t give them the true information that I knew about in animals and was starting to see in humans. And so I would just mention what I thought was the case. And over a period of, 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 gynecologists turned 180 degrees in their practice 18:34 just because there were so many dozens of their patients saying they wouldn’t take estrogen and insisted on getting a prescription for progesterone or thyroid. It just took a couple of years and doctors saw that their business was being affected and so they totally reversed their practices. And that went on until those doctors retired. And I think the pressure from the industry and profession probably reverted the situation. So it sounds like those doctors were pretty open-minded. No, very, very closed-minded. Okay. Terrible experiences, 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 19:37 because they had personality defects if they wouldn’t accept their advice. Like I said, very open-minded. Oh, dear. And we’re talking about the late 70s and early 80s at this point. Is that right? Yeah, yeah. Between 76 and 82. Yeah, it’s pretty astounding the attitudes of the pharmaceutical companies and the medical world at that point. I have a quote here if I can find it from the report that you referred to last time, Carla Rothenberg. That’s right, 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’s about advertising hormone replacement therapy, and it relates to what Ray just said about doctors’ attitudes. Barbara Seaman was my contemporary in studying estrogen and progesterone. 20:45 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, despite 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. But she was very influential, too, against estrogen for progesterone. I see. And how do you spell her last name, Ray? S-E-A-M-A-N. M-A-N, okay. And did you work with her at all or just knew about her? 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 that time. 21:54 Here’s the ad campaign from hormone replacement therapy, I think, back in the 50s and 60s. 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 La Rocha’s Menrium, I guess that’s the drug, says, 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, her irritability, and her excessive anxiety, often expressed by endless, quote, bookshuffling, chain-smoking, and reading lamp, insomnia. Oh, I see, reading lamp, insomnia. Merinium 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. 22:55 So to help them both get through menopause, remember menrium. There we go. In case you want to go get some. Probably off the market at this point, but that was, I thought, a pretty astounding example. Yeah, go ahead, Ray, sorry. Well, Barbara Seaman went over advertising and the public relations in very thoroughly. And I guess Carla Rothenberg did more on the actual conspiracy aspect, but on the public misinformation, Barbara Seaman was very good. And at one point she mentioned that Hitler had tested estrogen on people in the prison camps as a way to make them mean-consubmissive. And she thought that that was probably, if you put it in context with an advertisement like the one you read, 24:06 it makes a more obedient, servile wife. He was 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 to help them do that, I mean use progesterone. And what form would they get the progesterone in from their doctors? And at some point you patented a progesterone formulation, right? Yeah, the woman I mentioned who I talked to and who lectured 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. And it happens, Hanselle called it the catatoxic effect of progesterone and pregnantiline, 25:14 that it helps the body destroy toxins and eliminate them. Even injecting vegetable oil and a toxic solvent progesterone’s antitoxic effect is so great that people were just tremendously benefiting from these injections of progesterone. But sometimes if a doctor didn’t like those toxins in the injectable form, there was also a micronized solution in water. But if they would inject that in the hip, for example, where there was supposed to be a good fat pad, sometimes the particle would cause irritation that would cause a destruction of the fat cells, and they would have a dent wherever they got an injection. 26:15 And because of the known toxic effects of the oily version and the irritating effect of the so-called water-wetable solutions, and those weren’t really just progesterone, there was a molecule, a carbohydrate-like molecule, attached to the progesterone particle, 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 about the problems with injection and the medical indoctrination that stomach acid destroys progesterone, even though the manufacturer involves boiling the steroid in acid, so your stomach couldn’t make it dent in the activity of progesterone. 27:18 But anyway, as an alternative, since I had noticed 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. 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. And the first experiments for several months, I would heat it in olive oil and get a good high concentration, and then the olive oil would, in less than an hour, it would bring their blood levels up to a perfectly normal amount. And I was thinking about the old research, for example, in Italy, 28:25 in explaining why vitamin E would protect against the sterility-producing effects and other toxic effects of estrogen, they explained vitamin E’s action as being the progesterone sparer, somehow activating progesterone in the system. And so I was thinking about those old studies to explain vitamin E’s anti-estrogen effects and made me think about what vitamin E is doing in the mitochondrion where progesterone is produced and has its effects. And I realized that for them to both act in and be produced in the mitochondrion, they have to be compatible in solubility. 29:27 And so I dropped some progesterone powder in vitamin E and saw that I could get a 50-50 solution with a very pure form of vitamin E. They were just absolutely intersoluble. Really? And so that was a compact, stable way to get doctors to start using the transdermal 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 5, 10, or 20%!s(MISSING)olution that would be convenient to rub into the skin. But you only absorb maybe 10 or 20%!a(MISSING)t best when you rub it into the skin. 30:28 And so after doctors were willing to prescribe it for their patients using it on the skin, then I pointed out to them that they could take it orally and save about 80%!o(MISSING)f the cost at least. So even when it’s dissolved in vitamin E, which I guess it just does without even heating it, it’s totally compatible with vitamin E? Yeah, you don’t have to get it hot, just warming it so that it’s thin enough to stir, and stirring it at room temperature will do it. And when you buy a progesterone, it’s in a powder form, is that right? Yeah, crystals or micro crystals. 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’s a potential toxin. 31:35 I see. And why is only 20%!a(MISSING)bsorbed through the skin when you put it on with the vitamin E? Well, it binds to the skin, the cells collapse as they mature and prepare to shed, and keratin fibers and protein that makes up the part of the structure of the cell, these are cross-linked and become 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, and so the progesterone will saturate those, 32:40 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 superficial barrier cells, and then those are shed. I see. So it might be good for your skin if you’re having skin problems, but if you’re trying to get it in further? Yeah, it’s more economical just to take it orally, because when it’s 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 intestinal cells into the lymphatic ducts 33:42 that are called lacteals because the absorbed fat particles give it a milky look. And from there it goes right into the bloodstream as little fat globules that circulate. They’re much smaller than red blood cells, and they circulate and reach all the tissues directly as fat particles, but also the liver will eventually metabolize 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 you’re digesting your other fats in the chylomicrons, which get directly into the bloodstream. If you eat powdered progesterone, the cells of your intestine 34:45 have the same enzymes that the liver has for adding sugar to hormone molecules and making them water soluble. And so when the crystalline progesterone hits your intestine, it 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 lose a big part of your progesterone if you take it still in the crystalline form. But when it’s in the fat globule form, it bypasses the liver because it’s taken up as these nutritional fat particles, chylomicrons. That’s a good explanation, thanks. So basically something like 99%!o(MISSING)f it gets into your circulation quickly when you eat it in the oil form. 35:55 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. Everywhere red blood cells go, these chylomicrons will circulate a few times. So how difficult, when did you decide to patent it, and what was your thinking on that? I wrote, 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 estrogen industry basically. They didn’t want anything good about progesterone, and since I couldn’t get anything published about it, I was just having to give talks up and down the West Coast to alternative medical groups and such. 36:56 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 openly distributed. So was it difficult getting the patent from the government? 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 and said, you can’t say anything about patent if you want to get the patent, about cancer if you want to get the patent issue. And I said that that’s a standard rule, but the only thing they really are concerned about the accuracy of is a cancer claim. And so I just deleted the things that I had said about the things I had seen it do to cancer. 38:04 And so it went right through. What is that prejudice against cancer claims? It would be used as a marketing tool by the cancer industry. You can claim perpetual motion, free energy, all kinds of things in a patent. There are thousands of those crazy patents and the examiners just, if you can draw a picture of it, they’ll patent it. But they have some standards. I see. So and then once you patented it, did you figure out some way to make it available to people who wanted to buy it? I was mixing up some myself and selling it. John Lee, for example, was one of the first people who started buying my mixture. And I tried to get various people to manufacture it over the years as long as I had the patent. 39:14 And 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. So I talked to all the big drug companies and they said, no thanks. And those drug companies then about a year or two later came on the market with crystalline progesterone mixed with oil. They saw that there was increasing interest in progesterone so they had to get on the market. But probably my having the patent on vitamin E as the solvent prevented them from messing with that even though it was the economical effective way to have progesterone. 40:24 They would mix it with things like peanut oil. Oh yeah. That’s what I was going to ask. What oils did they use? So that sounds rather toxic. Yeah and it’s not a very good solvent. It does dissolve some of it so it’s effective but not extremely effective. And then did you manage to set up your own plant or I guess it wouldn’t be a whole plant? There’s a home scale production line? And first I tried to get someone I had worked for in nutrition counseling. He got interested in it and dealt with the FDA. 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. Oh yeah. 41:25 And that eventually became its own product but I wasn’t connected with it after I guess 1979 was when I stopped being involved with any real company. Then I got friends to gradually develop their own business and seeing what this other person had done with the FDA and how it’s basically sort of a crony system and I suggested that they just sell it to the doctors who were already interested in it. And then those doctors would over the years tell their friends and so there was never anything said about progesterone by the people who took it over at Kinochen for example. 42:32 Because it was never marketed to the public just to doctors? Yeah. And only by direct personal contact, doctor to patient to other doctors and so on. So it wasn’t necessary to ever say anything about its medical effects. Oh I see. So basically you didn’t make any claims about how? No when I was dealing with the FDA at various times they said that they looked at my books and said those are federal crimes because you have a patent. And so they didn’t prosecute me for writing the books about it but they said that I couldn’t say anything good about progesterone. Oh even in your books you couldn’t say anything about it even though it’s not attached to the actual vial of progesterone. 43:37 Yeah I asked them if they would put that in writing just because it seemed so ridiculous and they said no. Yeah well I guess somebody is sort of flexing their muscles there but they didn’t really want to throw the punch. Yeah that’s standard policy. They can be very nice people on the telephone and then they talk to the lawyers and act like thugs when they put anything in writing. So I know when I first started 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 and they were carrying Dr. Ray Pete’s progest E. So at what point did you start managing to get it into some stores? Oh I don’t remember when that started but 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 attached to my name to it which they weren’t supposed to do. 44:57 John Lee described it as Ray Pete’s progesterone and so that’s what the customers wanted and so these places like vitamin express attached my name to it even though I hadn’t been involved with it for I guess 15 years at that time. I don’t believe there’s any claims made on the packaging or even in the literature at say vitamin express for what it’s used for. How is it sold under FDA supervision? Well I talked to 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 that in 1941 when they were getting around to enforcing the 1937 Food and Drug Act they had had a meeting in which they decided they would not take authority over natural hormones. 46:19 And he said that I had it right here on my desk. I’ll send you a copy when I can find it. But then months later I got a letter apparently written by his lawyers which didn’t mention that article at all and under Freedom of Information Act I tried to get a copy of that meeting. And after a very long time I got some edited pages that cut off right at the point where we’re going to say that. So I gave up. 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. Wow. Well that sounds like classic bureaucratic obfuscation. Yeah they will give you information freely if it’s not anything that is important. 47:28 Yeah or anything that disagrees with what they want to do now. So it sounds like they want to take over the authority to regulate hormones. Is that what’s going on? Well in 2005 the Women’s Health Initiative and another study done in one of the research agencies of the government announced that estrogen causes dementia, heart attacks, strokes, deep vein clots, lung embolisms. And that the primer and primpro industry I think their sales went from over 2 billion down to a little over 1 billion over a period of about 3 years I think 2005 was the bottom. 48:30 And that really got their attention and besides thinking up new ways to market the estrogen products they realized they saw that progesterone sales had gone from a few, I forget, a ton or something a year up to many tons over just a period of a few years as estrogen sales were falling. And in 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. 49:46 And also in 2005 the lawsuits against progesterone started. A women’s law group had a $300,000 donation, the source of which they wouldn’t reveal, to claim that progesterone was causing breast cancer and they sued something like 60 companies that were selling topical progesterone. And I think most of them just stopped selling progesterone. Now you’re saying this is in response to the World Health Initiative study where they found estrogen was causing cancers. And another study, the National Lung Heart and Blood Institute did another similar study right almost at the same time. I see. And then in 2003 there was a Lancet study I guess in the UK which had similar results. 50:56 So they’re going after progesterone in response to these studies blaming estrogen for these various serious health problems. What’s the logic there Ray? I don’t quite understand. Well they saw the tremendous increase in progesterone sales exactly at the same time their estrogen sales were falling. And so it was obvious that women were shifting at least their menopause treatment from estrogen to progesterone. And the timing of that petition and the lawsuits and grants to medical schools. 09 lawsuit revealed that I think they said tens of millions of dollars were being spent by Wyeth to basically bribe women. 52:01 Doctors, medical journals and researchers to say that estrogen is really the thing they should be using. 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 a website and I looked up estrogen found, I think it was 150 items indicating how good estrogen was. And looking at progesterone I couldn’t find a single article saying anything good about it. And I think it was 30 or 40 publications that were investigating the carcinogenic and other toxic effects of progesterone. 53:04 And there were several other universities and research groups that were getting big financing against progesterone as well as reconsidering the World Health Initiative. It was a combination with a synthetic progestin and so that links into the need to attack progesterone. I see and they found it’s basically a scapegoat by blaming progesterone for the problems of estrogen and the synthetic progestins. And that shows up in the whole history of how progesterone is labeled by pressure on the FDA. They found that the synthetic progestins were toxic, caused heart defects in babies and so on. 54:13 And so the natural progesterone has to bear the label that it might cause birth defects even though it’s a completely different substance having completely opposite effects. It carries the label of these so-called progestins. Yeah, labeling is a very powerful tool if you want to pin something on somebody. And for people who think it’s a silly idea that they would go to these lengths, you should know that just sales of premarin products alone generated $2.04 billion in sales in 2001. These people, the drug companies, were wildly successful with these products and the WHI study seriously dented that success. Yeah, lost them billions and billions of dollars. Ray, we’ve come to the end of the hour. It’s hard to believe. 55:16 And we still haven’t gotten to the meat of what’s been happening or what did happen with progesterone under California law. And I do want to cover that. So would you be willing to do a part three show to follow up? Yeah, the article on my website really covers it, but I don’t know very much about what has happened since I wrote that article five years ago. Well, the thing that concerns me and I think that people should know is that our public policy is determined by these regulatory boards and what drugs we have available to ourselves is determined by them. And I think your case in point about progesterone and the fact that you know the details of what happened in California is very illustrative of how our entire basically public health policy is going and would be educational for everybody to hear your point of view. So if we could talk about what you do know, I think that would be more than adequate. 56:21 Okay. So thanks so much for being on Politics and Science today. We’ve been talking to Dr. Raymond Pete, who’s a PhD in biology, which he received from the University of Oregon. And he’s specialized in physiology and endocrinology and is also a science historian. And you can find out a lot more about Dr. Raymond Pete at raypeat.com, where he has many articles to read about this subject and many more. All right. Thank you very much, Ray, and have a good week. Thanks. You’ve been listening to a conversation with Dr. Raymond Pete 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. If you’re interested in hearing the show again or checking out other shows of Politics and Science, a growing number, slowly growing number, is available at the podcast website, which is at the radioforall.net website. 57:32 You put in radio forall.net and then once you’re there, search for Politics and Science. I hope you’ve enjoyed today’s broadcast. And I hope you will tune in again next week for another edition of Politics and Science.

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