Tag Archives: HT

update: ACQUIRING/JUGGLING THE BEST SEX HORMONE HRT REGIME FOR WOMEN.

Joey Basson writes January 28, 2010

I used Primogyn Depot for about 20 years, but I believe it has been discontinued in South Africa. I am now really struggling to find something that really works for me.

The injection was perfect. Do you have any suggestions?

reply: Hi Joey,
DRUG COMPANIES GANG UP  TO SUPPRESS CHEAP EFFECTIVE AGENTS -AS THEY DID FOR 25 YEARS EACH WITH LITHIUM AND METFORMIN IN USA, STILL BLOCKING HUGELY BENEFICIAL USE OF CANNABIS; AND  at the end of 2008, without notice or warning,  they conspired to abolish  CHEAP APPROPRIATE  NON-ORAL HRT IN RSA- the depot injections MIXOGEN, DEPOTRONE, even PRIMODIAN DEPOT, PRIMOGYN DEPOT.

NOW APPROPRIATE NON-ORAL HRT COSTS ALMOST 5 TIMES AS MUCH TO USE, AS eg CREAMS, PATCHES, SPRAYS, IMPLANTS FOR BOTH MEN AND WOMEN- AND FOR WOMEN WITH FAR MORE BOTHER.

Now the only way we are going to get such injections back in RSA is if there is enough interest to fight through the red tape to import from overseas. But South African administration is now so degenerate   under the corrupt  Zumas that it takes 2 years to get desperately needed doctors and sisters registered here – and who cares about appropriate HRT for the aging? Certainly not the notorious “doctor” or “Rev”  Zumas since they dont give a fig for evidence or human -especially  the poor and womens’-  rights..

if you live too far away, we can do a personal consult by email+- phone +- skype – via the necessary questionnaire by email- for you to discuss and implement with your local GP.

see numerous updates the past year at  https://healthspanlife.wordpress.com/?s=HRT

22 March 2009

An update review by Barry Wren from an Australian Menopause Clinic again debunks the myth that appropriate HRT in postmenopausal women PMW increases the risk of breast cancer, cardiovascular  disease CVD and thrombosis. It  stresses that “benefits of HRT include  less:  symptoms of menopause;  osteoporotic fractures,  ischaemia and cardiovascular-related death, forgetfulness, dementia and colorectal cancer; and  improved well-being, quality of life,  vagina, sexual enjoyment and bladder capacity,  with increased longevity. Oral  OHT doubles the risk of thromboembolism”. But on it’s own  in the young women in the Womens’ Health Initiative, oral equine estrogen (premarin)  reduced all major risks even new breast cancers and death from breast cancer.

As we hear regularly in women who have unwisely followed hysterical advice to stop HT,  stopping appropriate HT leads to fairly rapid loss of many of the above benefits. It has been  obvious for a century if not millennia   that permanent appropriate Human Hormone Replacement HRT of any of the dozens of our hormones that run out   is  (like a complete supplement of all the vitamins, minerals and the biologicals other than HRT)  prudent if not essential.

But we have to understand the reasons, risks and different regimes available. Nobody may prescribe or administer any sex HT Hormone Therapy without the necessary up-to-date training and experience, ensuring that the patient is having the necessary periodic examinations to ensure both safety and that the SHRT is appropriate. So patients must not self-treat with over-the-counter  supplements.

But only doctors and pharmacists who have costly current dispensing licenses may dispense and compound any hormone creams. And oral HT including phyto/plant hormones are  under suspicion of promoting cancer long term, let alone hepatic first pass effects like thrombosis and gallstones, and fluid retention oedema and hypertension (Genazzani ea 2008) .

INJECTION: tiny safe self-injection of combined hormone subcutaneously  (like insulin) is easy every one to three weeks, as most men use for HRT.  Monthly injection of depot preparations that last about three weeks  is not advised for anyone, especially not women with a womb as they are liable to have break-through periods. But unlike men, many women prefer to use hormone creams daily. The Depot hormone injections have climbed in price – what is now available averages about R75 per month. BUT (unless she gets the injection from her doctor regularly & proportionately every 1 to 3 weeks), women have to lay out about R1000 for self-injection (since  pharmacists will not likely  split a multi-vial or a set of three vials).

Provided that they ensure that they are appropriately trained in such therapy, all doctors are licensed to give periodic chronic injections – which should always be exclusively by tiny subcutaneous injection to avoid the notorious ie potentially crippling complications of intramuscular injections. But if nothing else is required, doctors are entitled to charge about R100 fee for the responsibility of an injection visit. Like insulin, patients easily learn to give it themselves- for men about 160mg depot-testosterone every 2wks (as opposed to 1gm testosterone undecanoate Nebido every 3 months- or about 1/10th of the male dose for women deficient in testosterone).

Synthetic ie xenohormones – those not normally produced by humans- eg progestins, ethinylestradiol-  may be invaluable (although by no means essential)  for birth control; but should not be used for PMW, especially not orally.

USING CREAMS: it is indeed best for women to (initially) juggle the balance of the three hormones  (all of which are made to the highest standard in South Africa)  until you have determined what ratio and quantity suits you best.

For the slim small older woman who needs both hot flash control and energizing, memory, ache relief:  the first priority is to control hot flashes, skin & hair without arousing breast and womb discomfort:

so try the 0.25% Bies(trogen) (E2 + E3- usually 1:4 ratio)  initially 1/2 ml scoop 1 – 2 x/day with the progesterone 3% cream initially just ¼ to 1/3 ml scoop a day ie 4 to 1 or 3:1 . This is ideally rubbed into the face as makeup- or if you like, dilute them in simple aqueous cream. Increase the combined dose to double if necessary to get control of the flashes – but the higher the Biest dose, the higher the risk of waking the breasts and womb, or getting thrombosis and ankle swelling.

And (unless your androgen level is still high) use just enough Testosterone cream 0.5% eg 1/2 to 1 scoop once (or twice) a day – below the waist ie vaginally or between the thighs or on the soft sole of the foot – to energize, improve alertness, libido, muscle and bone strength. Supplementing estrogen and progesterone alone may suppress necessary androgen.

In the bigger plump younger woman, who desires memory, energy, fat loss and libido rather than hot flash and skin improvement, using testosterone below the waist and progesterone on the face in the above gradually increasing doses often suffices, without the fattening and breast-womb arousing risks of extra estrogen. Such women often make enough estrogen from testosterone and in their excess fat stores.

But once the average women is well past 60yrs, low-dose estrogen often becomes advisable anyway for balance.

Old women benefit from and tolerate perhaps 1/6th to 1/10th the doses of appropriate balanced  human sex hormones of younger women.

THE THREE PRIME HUMAN SEX HORMONES: there are no risks from any appropriate HRT, only risks from avoiding it. Progesterone alone lacks some of the benefits of testosterone and estrogen eg on muscle- bone and hearing. Of the three hormone types, only androgen protects and improves muscle mass and strength. Testosterone excess (hairy face, acne, anger, clitoris growth, husky voice) is easily avoided with sensible balanced dose adjustment. Progesterone and testosterone have major benefits that estrogen may lack eg on hyperimmunity and inner hostility- issues that may not concern the gyne surgeon.

(Bi)Estrogen excess-  especially if used  alone-  does the reverse (of testosterone): promotes endometriosis and breast activation; excess actually weakens muscle eg bladder leak by melting collagen; it fattens; has little benefit directly on depression (although it does reduce dryness and pain); may promote thrombosis since unlike testosterone it does not diminish clotting; and may promote anxiety, hostility- this is why progesterone cream is often the best for monthly PMS and for perimenopausal anxiety (against the raging hostility from estrogen swings).

Above all else, remember that estrogen stimulates both breasts and womb- so estrogen must always be balanced by enough progesterone and(/or) testosterone. And if the hormones are allowed to run out by widening the gap between injections beyond two weeks, or between cream doses by more than two days, vaginal bleeding likely will occur.

The initial outlay cost of the three different hormone creams is up to R500 retail- you find out for yourself how long each tub lasts; as opposed to having an experienced pharmacy eg the manufacturing AntiAging pharmacy in Gauteng  compound ie mix what you want in one or two tubs that will last a few months. Try your local pharmacy – but finding one with experience is difficult.

PREVENTION? OR WAITING FOR DISEASE FROM NEGLECT TO CRIPPLE YOU? Many  gynecologists (like urologists) are primarily surgeons concerned with reproduction, menstrual, pelvic and cancer problems, and treat the menopause years often with fattening hormone pills (HT- which have more risks) and surgery..  They do not have to deal with the much wider irreversible medical problems of old age (obesity-diabetic, insulin resistance, lipidemia, vascular, immune, fracturing, arthritic, visual and hearing loss,  depression, and dementias – and no least, common sudden premature death)# – which are largely AVOIDABLE with appropriate natural supplements from the beginning, including balanced non-oral human sex hormones. As a BBC news report this month  says, memory (ie cellular) deterioration  begins on average  before age thirty.

It is not the gynecologist, but patients  and Family/ general practitioners GPs and specialist physicians including endocrinologists and geriatricians who have to deal long term and medically (not surgically)  with these easily preventable crippling killer diseases..  Surgery cannot address the basic pathogenic cause of chronic degenerative disease.

The discomfort and fattening of the 5-10 MENOPAUSE years is a concern for all doctors – and the earlier the menopause (whether natural or surgical), the more important it is to start appropriate simple balanced non-oral HRT and other effective medical prevention of fattening and diabetes eg other insulin sensitizers like metformin. Avoiding the late postmenopausal  silent killer degenerative diseases of aging (# above) is crucial  essential duty of doctors – but mostly of patients themselves,  since- obstetrics and trauma  aside-  most doctors earn more by disease than by prevention..

ndb

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TOWARDS MANAGED AGING part 3

The first two chapters have covered musculskeletal, cancer and cardiovascular diseases and HRT.

THE COMMON PATHOPHYSIOLOGIES:  So apart from genetic programming, there are at least six possible pathophysiologies common to the preventable aging co-morbidities of apoptosis (our predestined cell death- only cancer cells are immortal) , fattening-diabetes-cancer; osteoporosis-fractures, and CVD-stroke.

What ranking to give them depends on the individual and tribe.

*catabolism by (relative) gonadopause ie sexhormone deficiency without a balancing fall in catabolic cortisol levels- especially when gonadopause is brought on early by sterilization, hysterectomy, infection, cancer therapy, other chronic disease, or high stress and pollution;

*nitric oxide depletion;

*lifelong and progressive deficiency of the score other human biologicals- especially the marine essential fatty acids (EPA eicosapentanoic acid and DHA docosahexanoic acid- so essential from conception to death for both cell maintenance and immunity;

*increased reactive oxygen species ROS due to falling endogenous and dietary antioxidants;

*common aging-related deficiency of  minerals eg magnesium, calcium, zinc, chromium, lithium, selenium, manganese, boron,  (iron); vitamins; and human biologicals eg chondroglucosamine, CoQ10, carnitine, ribose, arginine, carnosine, Nacetylcysteine (and the sex hormones);

*insulin resistance – prediabetes, metabolic syndrome, PCOS, diabetes; and

*accumulating overload of: multiple metals eg cadmium, iron, aluminium, mercury, lead, arsenic, asbestos, copper (even zinc and iron); radiation; and estrogenics eg pesticides, plastics and sexhormone tablets, and from smoking, food and environmental pollution, that can simultaneously promote cancer, neuro-/vascular and osteoporosis problems.

There is a huge basket of natural supplements- fish oil, cal-mag zinc, boron, lithium, the vitamins A (bcarotene) to K, and the human biologicals (eg proline, CoQ10, arginine, ribose, carnitine and appropriate hormone balance with eg testosterone-estradiol -progesterone, growth hormone), and galega and other herb extract. These are trophic in improving anabolism ie immune protection, tissue regrowth, antioxidation, optimal NO levels, and preventing sugar tissue damage- advanced glycation end products AGES, atheroma and arteriosclerosis as well as collagen and mineral loss from diverse muscle and bone – ie preventing many of the risk factors for both fractures (frailty, weak bones and muscles – skeletal and smooth ie gastrointestinal and heart ) and vascular and immune and malignant disease .

Given the common pathogenic factors of all the common major aging diseases, one should simply add the natural supplements- arginine glutamine and proline, vitamins, minerals, glucosamine-chondroitin, and the other natural insulin sensitizers eg N acetyl cysteine, ribose, carnitine, CoQ10 and galega officinalis, to combat all aging diseases; and when hypogonadism becomes likely- with chronic illness, or from middle age- add appropriate parenteral balanced physiological-dose testosterone-estradiol- progesterone to restore the average levels of healthy slim youthful adults.

Detox: While some of these above supplements may be chelators – removers of heavy metals- in their own right, the high prevalence of metal overload may justify routine addition to supplements (within recognized tolerance and safe limits) of extra harmless non-prescription chelators like, vitamin C, thiamine, magnesium, selenium, zinc, garlic, lipoic acid, malic acid, and bromelain, and the aminoacids eg calcium EDTA, carnitine, cysteine.

CONCLUSION:

with plenty of research to prove it, it is never too early, and never too late, to  do easily what’s necessary to avoid most of the risks for the linked aging diseases that disable and kill prematurely – frailty, obesity-diabetes, circulatory (heart, stroke), arthritic, fracturing, blinding, deafening, dementing and early death.

What’s necessary is simply

*sensible diet and lifestyle including exercise and recreation;

*lifelong appropriate vigorous nutritional supplements including appropriate hormone replacement; and

*avoidance of smoking and overweight, sugar and cooked fats, and if possible avoidance of any modern man-invented drugs (or foodstuffs eg aspartamate, cornstarch) for chronic use including hormone therapy- especially man-designed hormones, and drugs invented to replace natural drugs eg to reduce cholesterol, obesity, fractures, pain, anxiety, depression, hypertension, memory loss etc.

Usually both natural supplements and other complementary therapies, and old proven “drugs” (like metformin for overweight/ infertility/ diabetes, or lowdose reserpine + lowdose co-amilothiazide as baseline therapy for all hypertension) are both safer and better- if not as fast- as modern marketed therapies.

(for detailed scientific links and refs, see the technical version of 13 Sept 2008)

HRT: scientific evidence contradicts common perceptions & myths:

This international expert  executive summary confirms  that much  lower dose HRT  (estrogen plus appropriate androgen) (as by the  parenteral route) is as beneficial as the conventional oral dose, with far less risks for adverse (fluid retention & liver, breast &  thrombosis)  effects, and if started early,  giving longterm protection against  memory loss, fractures and death from vascular disease and breast cancer. The evidence contradicts  common misperceptions and myths:

 

March 29–30, 2008  Summary of the First INTERNATIONAL MENOPAUSE SOCIETY

 IMS Global Summit on menopause-related issues: HRT in the early menopause:

A Pines, D. Sturdee, M. Birkhäuser, F. Naftolin, R. Farmer, et al. on behalf of the IMS  see link

INTRODUCTION

Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) remains the first-line and most effective treatment for menopausal symptoms.

. Level A evidence refers to data from randomized controlled trials, whereas Level B evidence comes from case–control/observational studies. As pointed out in the Summit’s title, the focus of discussions was the effects of HRT first administered during the early postmenopausal period.

 

1. QUALITY OF LIFE AND MENOPAUSE

                        · In symptomatic postmenopausal women, quality of life and sexuality are improved by HRT and, in the presence of

                                            symptoms of androgen deficiency, by additional androgen administration.

                        · In some cultures/ for some women, vaginal bleedings are unacceptable; if bleeding cannot be eliminated, alternatives may be used.

                        · There is no evidence that so-called ‘natural’ products and unregulated hormone products (compounded bio-identical) significantly improve quality of life.

2. LONGTERM BENEFITS OF HRT POST MENOPAUSE

HRT, coronary heart disease, stroke and thromboembolism

                        · HRT in women 50–59 years does not increase CHD risk in health and may even decrease risk in this age group[A]

                        · Estrogen-alone therapy in the age group 50–59 was associated with significantly less coronary calcification (equivalent to a smaller plaque burden), which is consistent with findings of a lower coronary intervention score in women of this age in the WHI study10. [A]

                        · Early harm (more coronary events during the first 2 years of HRT) was not observed in the early postmenopausal period. The number of CHD events decreased with duration of HRT in both WHI clinical trials[A]

                        · Data derived from randomized controlled trials in the age group 50–59 are similar to the older observational data suggesting a protective effect of HRT on coronary disease9. [A, B]

                        · It is unclear at present whether there is a statistical increase in ischemic stoke with standard HRT in healthy women aged 50–59. The WHI data showed no statistically significant increase in risk; nevertheless, even if statistically increased, as found in the Nurses’ Health Study, the low prevalence of this occurrence in this age group makes the attributable risk extremely small. [A,B]

                        · The risk of venous thrombosis is approximately two-fold higher with standard doses of oral HRT, but is a rare event in that the background prevalence is extremely low in a healthy woman under 60 years of age. [A]

                        · The risk of venous thrombosis is possibly less with transdermal, compared with oral estrogen therapy [B]                 


 

Breast

                        · There is a wide variation across the world in the incidence of breast cancer and its risk factors.

                        · There are multiple risk factors for breast cancer, including life-style factors especially alcohol intake, obesity and lack of exercise. These need to be included during counseling to put the magnitude of risk of HRT into perspective [B]

                        · After 5 years’ use of combined estrogen and progestogen, there is a small increase in risk of breast cancer in North American women of about eight extra cases per 10,000 women per year. However, no significant increase was seen in women without prior use of HRT in the WHI study. [A]

                        · Estrogen-only use does not cause an increase in breast cancer for up to 7 years21. [A] In observational studies, a small increase in the risk with estrogen-alone therapy appears with long-term use22. [B]

                        · Women using combined HRT before a diagnosis of breast cancer have a reduced mortality23. [B]

                        · A decline in the incidence of breast cancer in the USA started before the WHI publication and can be partially related to fluctuation in screening. There has been no decline in breast cancer registration in the UK following the Million Women Study report, nor in Norway, Canada, the Netherlands and countries with stable screening programmes25. [B]

                        · Combined estrogen and progestogen therapy may cause increased breast density in up to 50% of postmenopausal women, dependent on the regimen (dosage, type of progestogen). The effect of estrogen alone is smaller26. [A]

                        · The effect on breast density is dose-related. Ultra-low-dose regimes do not cause perceptible change in density[A]

                        · The average increase in breast density under standard-dose HRT is only about 5–10%28. [A]

                        · Increased baseline breast density is a risk factor for breast cancer29. There are no data to support a direct association between HRT-induced breast density changes and the risk of developing breast cancer.

                        · Many women who develop breast cancer have no known risk factors other than growing older. most women with known risk factors do not develop breast cancer.

                        · Individual risk analysis for breast cancer is strongly recommended in clinical practice30.

 

Bone

 *Overall HRT is effective in preventing all osteoporosis-related fractures even in patients at low risk of fracture[A]

*Although no head-to-head studies have compared HRT to bisphosphonates in terms of fracture reduction, there is

                           no evidence to suggest that bisphosphonates or any other antiresorptive therapy are superior to HRT.

 * It is therefore suggested that, in 50–59-year-old postmenopausal women, HRT is a cost-effective first-line

                                  treatment in the prevention of osteoporotic fractures.

* Even below standard-dose preparations maintain positive influence on bone indices such as BMD[A]

                        · HRT has a positive effect on osteoarthritis and the integrity of intervertebral disks.

 

Cognition

*At present, there is no evidence of substantial cognitive decline across the menopausal transition[A] However, many women experience cognitive difficulties in association with vasomotor symptoms, sleep disturbances & mood changes.

*Verbal memory performance relates with the objective number of hot flushes women experience but not to the number of hot flushes they report.

*Clinical trials find no cognitive benefit among women initiating HRT late postmenopause (i.e. after age 65).

*Observational studies show a decreased risk of Alzheimer’s disease in hormone users and typically involve women who initiated estrogen therapy early in the menopausal transition. [B]

*Limited data exist on the effect of progestogen added to estrogen in the early postmenopause period. Clinical trial data suggest no cognitive benefit with MPA early in the menopause. [A]

SEX HORMONE THERAPY: SOURCE, MEASUREMENT, DOSE, BALANCE, and ROUTE OF ADMINISTRATION

DOES THE SOURCE,  MEASUREMENT, DOSE, BALANCE, and  ROUTE OF ADMINISTRATION OF SEX HORMONE THERAPY HRT MATTER?

Chapter 

 

1.      THE IMPORTANCE OF THE MEASUREMENT OF BLOOD LEVELS OF SEX HORMONES

 

          While urologists,  andrologists and internists  demand blood hormone  levels to diagnose male hypogonadism ,  adrenal, thyroid  or other endocrine dysfunction ,  many gynecologists still apparently  give postmenopausal HRT without ever measuring levels.

           Do baseline and achieved sex hormone levels matter ?

           Older authorities(mostly male or trained by men) did not believe so; hence we still see women presenting  on  eg implants or Premarin up to 2,5mg/day for years, with Estrogen  levels of well above 3nmol/L ->10 times what is necessary and safe),  or SHBG levels well over 200nmol/L; some of them grossly bloated and dysfunctional if not with mushrooming breast cancers or  the obesity metabolic syndrome.

 

      The textbook HORMONE REPLACEMENT THERAPY HRT (A Wayne  Meikle ed: Humana Press, USA  1999: p266) says  in Men’s Sex Hormone Replacement SHR: “the  general principle of SHR  is to normalize the (TT) level”.  “The safe course is to duplicate normal physiology as much as possible:  HRT  should allow self-administration, be convenient, affordable, minimal discomfort, with predictable responses. TT-cypionate  or TT-enanthate  100mg/week maintains physiological levels between 16-32 ie mean 24nmol/L.   Mixtures of short-and-long-acting TT  (eg Sustanon) are  thus  not recommended”.

 

At p412 Davis & Burger, for TT Replacement  in women, say:  “replace TT levels to at least the UPPER level of  normal physiological range for young ovulating women”.

     Meikle’s  authoritative  Textbook thus stresses the importance of  duplicating  normal human  physiology .  This  requires  using human systemic (ie not oral) hormones which can  and  must  be measured before and periodically on SHR –

 ie  using only systemic TT in men, systemic TT + E2 + Progesterone in women.

 

The 2000 Management of the Menopause Millenium Review (Studd JW ea, London) strongly promotes measuring hormone levels and balance in both sexes: ”calcium loss decreases with serum E2> 72pmol/L; vasomotor symptoms at >126-252pmol/L; and lipids changes at  250pmol/L- whereas breast cancer BRCA cells responds  to  E2>36pmol/L”  but does not say how these interact with TT levels;  so it is  important to monitor the serum E2, to keep it in the therapeutic window above about 100 but below 250pmol/L ie mean about 200pmol/l;  many women do not feel better on solo ERT – so few persist  on it; Studd ea  thus recommend “E2 patch rather than orally, for less hypertension, gallstones, DVT & hepatic protein formation.”      “it  is mandatory to measure BMI and % body fat;   the single best screen for Insulin resistance is a  fasting glucose/insulin(G:I) ratio below 4,5.

       “Depression is the commonest functional disorder of aging men, in whom aging sexhormone changes – PEDAM(Partial Endocrine  Deficiency of Aging  Men)-  include falling androgens, rise in SHBG, arteriosclerosis  & CVD,  and decrease in brain hormones & wellbeing – with especially decrease in melotonin & sleep, muscle strength, RBC, cognition, bone,  immunocompetence,  &  erection.”

 

       The Johannesburg gynecologist editor of Wyeth’s Menopause Update August 2001 certainly advocates frequent E2 measurements to titrate the frequency and dose of E2 implants, “aiming for a blood level of 0.35-0.45nmol/L: side effects occur when the dose exceeds the patient’s needs”.  Kopenhager in the same issue promotes “lowdose ERT – 1mg/day oral E2 causing less side-effects like headache, swelling or mastalgia, without increase in body mass”; but he overlooks the fact that 0.05ug of E2/day systemically will often suffice, that body weight says nothing about the steady gain in fatmass and loss in muscle  mass with aging and unopposed estrogen.   Prof  Frank Guidozzi from Johannesburg in the same issue makes the  point about TT replacement even for men – 250mg ester/ fortnight intramuscularly ie  a mean 12mg TT/day, or 5mg/day by patch, or 120mg undecanoate/day orally..

 

          As Fritz Schumaker said, there is a need for the right amount of  all things, from water to air.  A bit too little or a bit too much food, insulin or cortisone will be seen and felt fairly soon; whereas with thyroid, vitamin D and the sex steroids it may take months to years before it becomes apparent – when it may be too late, with broken marriage, spirits, heart or bones, or cancer.  Optimal doses, blood levels and balance  are apparent throughout nature and  for all hormones – with balance between the hormones – between the strengthening androgens and the fattening estrogenics – being the most important to balance the bloodpressure and lipids, thrombosis and bruising, fat-mass and lean-mass,  concrete and intuitive skills,  hypo-and hyper-immunity,  apathy and drive.  

 

            Well-published clinical studies for 80 years since hormone measurements began (McLeod  & Banting; Albright; Dubois, Masters, Bulbring, Hayward, Stoll, Mackay,  Wang, Henderson, Greenblatt, Speroff, Vermeulen, Roitt & Delves, Nieschlag & Behre, Motohashi,  Studd, Whitehead, Maartens et al)  have  shown the importance of  titrating doses and measuring  bloodlevels of the superhormone family – estrogens and androgens, cortisone, insulin and thyroid –  in men and women,  on every system, the mind and body.

 

OPTIMAL SEXHORMONE LEVELS

Sue Davis et al from Monash University  have been eloquent advocates of normalizing female TT levels above the 1.5nmol/L level;  this has been done by eg  Schleyer-Saunders in London, Gelfand and Gambrell in Augusta,  Morrie Gelfand et al at McGill Quebec, and Davey’s group  in Cape Town for over 30 years. There seems to be wide consensus that E2 level should be between 0.1-0.25nmol/L – but bearing in mind that breast cancer increases in proportion to the estrogen dose, and that plasma E2 reflects the (free)  plasma estrogens and androgens only in the presence of normal SHBG and in the absence  of any other estrogenics.

 

The Healthy TT level in Young Men

      Most seem to take it for granted that, at any adult age, a plasma TT anywhere above the bottom of the population range (eg 10nmol/L) is normal and adequate. Pfizer claims  in it’s Viagra trials that only impotent men with TT below about 8nmol/L were excluded,  since  those with TT level less  than about 2sd or 20% below the lower range of “normal” were not classified as hypogonadal.

    

Yet this level is 1/4 of the vigorous youthful 35-40nmol/L which we sometimes find in dynamic men even  in their mid-fifties.  Aversa A ea in  Italy (in Clin Endoc 2000:53:517-22) show how Androgens and Erection correlate, that  older  impotent men have  TT  around 13-19, mean 16nmol/L  ie half the level of young men;  those with vascular impotence having 25% higher E2 & SHBG, and  40% lower free TT (only about 45pmol/L,  versus 75pmol/L) than in  the psychogenic group; thus fTT correlates with penile elasticity;  (cf  male TT “normal range” at all age  9-35 ie mean 22nmol/L- whereas eg Greek  recruits at  army intake: mean TT level about 32nmol/L-Mantzoros et al).

        Salmimies’ paper  (1982) already 20 years ago illustrated that there is no sharp cutoff point for impotence, for response to TT:  “15 diverse hypogonadic men received im TTEnanthate (25 to 250 mg TT) or placebo injections 2 weekly, each dose for 4 weeks. All patients with pre treatment plasma TT values below 2 ng/ml(ie <7nmol/L) reported impaired sexual function. In four patients with TT between 2 and 4.5 ng/ml who reported impairment, TTE 50 to 250mg successfully improved rated sexual behaviour. Four matched men with TT level in the same 2 – 4.5ng/ml range reported high erectile function that did not change with TT E inj. These data indicate that male sexual behaviour is impaired at an individual plasma TT below between 2.0 and 4.5 ng/ml        ie : the range of erectile loss or response is at least between 7 and 16nmol/L on their assay.

But did they, does anyone,  give enough TT, achieve adequate blood levels for long enough in non-responders?

     Andy  Guay’s 2001 abstract  illustrates the same point, there is a (?semilog) linear response ; (as  is  seen eg in Gilbert Forbes’  1980’s elegant demonstration of the semilog linear response between total TT dose and lean body mass over years). In Guay’s 44 patients (apparently 50-70yrs old) studied in detail, altho 14.9pg/ml is in the lowest quintile of the “normal” fTT range, there was 100% response to Viagra. Drop the fTT 30% and the response fell 25%; drop the fTT 45% from 14.9 to 8.1 and the response drops 84%; drop the fTT 50% to 7.4 and the response drops by 91%.

      This predictable dose response curve correlates with the finding in wasting AIDS, (Rabkins’ and Wagner’s,  Bhasin’s, and Grinspoon’s groups), that some sick men with AIDS wasting do not become anabolic at 100mg TTenanthate/ week but, improve only when the dose is increased to 150 or even 200mg/week imi- ie to a mean TT level of 30 – 40nmol/L. Bhasin’s group in LA was the first to report, in 1995, that in HEALTHY men, modestly superphysiological doses of TT cypionate or enanthate  (eg 200mg/week) (which no more than double normal  TT blood levels to around 60nmol/L,  still below the danger level of 80nmol)  improve muscle mass and strength by 10-20%; and correspondingly in frail elderly – without adverse effect.

      Thus it is  obvious that there is no arbitrary TT bloodlevel cutoff point above which Viagra is justified de novo before trial of TT replacement. Since there are no absolute contraindications to physiological systemic human TT replacement [except untreated (prostate or breast) cancer]; and since there are no risks of such measured replacement except with untreated frank heart-failure, jaundice or untreated cancer, the phosphodiesterase inhibitors  PDI (with risk of sudden death) are never justified (at a local cost of about >US$130/month) until weekly subcutaneous gluteal selfinjection of depot TT has been tried for a few months at a cost of about US$3 to $5/month.

 

Our own search  a few years ago (Burman, Bornman ea)  traced over 73  published reports of studies which give TT levels in groups of  “normal” men  the past 40 years; of which about 64 reports measured TT levels in men below 39 years of age. Four  were longitudinal studies in such young men, amongst about 38 longitudinal and cross-sectional studies.  Bearing in mind Klee and Vermeulen’s recent conclusions (2000-2001) that laboratory method (RIA) has changed little the past 40 years and that all reliable measures (TT, fTT, bioavailable TT etc) correlate fairly well,  our plots confirm that  mean male TT level falls about 0.7% per year (range 0.2% to 2%pa) between youth and old age ie about 40% over 50years;  but that in healthy lean  young men under 39years, the mean TT level has remained about 24nmol/L(+-16%) for 40 years; in the 22 studies between 1958 & 1985, the range was 16-35nmol/L-mean 25; in the 42 studies since 1987, the range was 14-40nmol/L-mean 27nm; – Bornman’s Pretoria series(in young men admitted for voluntary sterilization) understandably  yielding the lowest testosterone means…

          But these figures belie that  while TT falls modestly, the TT/(E2XSHBG) product  falls drastically since both E2 and SHBG rise with aging, especially with disease: eg values may change  from  youthful (TT) 25X(SHBG norm) 20/(E2: 0.1X measured SHBG:20) = 250;  to  an aging man’s     15X20/(0.15X30)   = 66; ie the TT/E2 product has fallen by 75%.

 

Chapter 2 follows soon.

NEGLECTING PREVENTION IS CRIMINAL: THE CASE OF DEMENTIA & OSTEOPOROTIC FRACTURES.

In the “simple” love story Away From Her (2006), Julie Christie, as an avid cross-country snow skier, portrays well the relentless progression from mild to moderate Alzheimer’s Disease, and perhaps more subtly, the perils of lost recent memory but retained old tapes – the spectre of paranoia against the caring loved ones, fertile ground for novelists, and unscrupulous financial and legal advisors.

It is a pity the film made no reference to the uselessness of modern ie commercial anti-dementia drugs, and the major preventative benefit – 50% to >80% reduction in new cases – of numerous natural supplements.

Like vascular disease and osteoporotic fractures, dementia including from injury, stroke, toxins and Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is major public health concern in all countries- dementia about 1% a year after age 75yrs in Framingham (80% were from AD)- but 100% disabling for the remained of life. Wikipedia gives the stats of these “diseases strongly associated with age as : dementia 1% of those aged 60-65, 6% of those aged 75-79, and 45% of those aged 95 or older suffer from the syndrome. Osteoporosis increases the risk of hip fracture fivefold to about 50% in the elderly (>64yrs), and mortality following a hip fracture is between 20% and 35% within one year in patients aged ~82 years, of which 80% were women-“ – with up to 80% of survivors remaining disabled to some degree. Like dementia and osteoporosis, “By the time that heart problems are detected, the underlying atherosclerosis is usually quite advanced, having progressed for decades” Each year, heart disease kills more Americans than cancer.[1] Vascular diseases alone cause half of all “natural” premature deaths; up to the year 2005, it was the number one cause of death and disability in the United States and most European countries” . ..

Not unexpectedly in people who realize they are losing their minds, depression and anxiety are major components – as the film so poignantly shows, in both the patients and their loved ones.
Unlike hip fracture, stroke or heart attack which without prevention is fatal in 1/5 to 1/3 – and crippling in up to 80% – waiting till dementia starts is uniformly disabling and fatal in about 7 years- whereas healthy people have a mean life expectation of close to 90years. No prescription drugs slow AD by more than a few weeks even in mild cases. But in very mild AD fish oil slows the disease over 6 months.

Overweight and thus diabetes, vascular disease and cancer, is becoming the norm. The pandemic of saccharine diseases- (including overweight- hypertension – insulin resistance- diabetes – vascular disease) and Alzheimers are strongly linked.

PREVENTION:
Hypogonadism hormones: in the Cache County Study (Zandi ea), only those who started young ie continued menopause hormone therapy HT for decades had 95% less AD than non-users or recent users. This was mirrored in the Women’s Health Initiative and the Oulu trial, in which HT started soon after menopause for a mean of 5-10 years reduced all major disease including memory problems (and deaths) by about 1/3 or more.

Smoking , alcoholism, infections, toxins and violence aside, it is self-evident that micronutrient deficiencies including hypogonadism plays a dominant role in the intimately intertwined vascular disease, dementia (and fractures) , since compared to men, women suffer these far more and younger- they have disturbance of natural sex hormone balance increasingly younger (from juvenile obesity, synthetic hormone contraception, lower parity, sterilization, hysterectomy, cancer therapy, and then menopause and with fattening grossly un-physiological postmenopausal commercial oral sexhormone xenotherapy).
Such unnatural oral mega/xenohormone) therapy is not advocated in androgen-deficient men- who are restored systemically to physiological sexhormone blood levels – or in any other branch of endocrinology. Why women are thus maltreated is a symptom of sick society, of their inferior and subjugate status throughout history, but especially their passive exploitation by the neocapitalist $trillion Drug and Disease Industry cartel that controls the FDA, lobbyist- legislators- and and the public the past 50 years (Elaine Feuer: Innocent Casualties : The FDA’s War Against Humanity: USA 1997).
At least the gender playing field is now level, with balanced physiological HRT (testosterone and estradiol) also freely available to women as lowcost fortnightly subcutaneous self-injection of testosterone-estradiol esters;
or designer monthly subcutaneous testosterone undecanoate plus estradiol valerate, or 6monthly combined implants, or daily combined creams.
If the FDA tries to deny this to women, it is for the people to exercise their constitutional rights to equal, long (evolution) -proven and natural replacement, beyond the control of the patent drug industry.

So dementia, vascular and fracturing disease – and risky, mostly futile chronic patent prescription drugs- are not inevitable, even with the risky genes:
Regular omega3 fish oil reduces the adverse abeta and tau deposits; a fatty fish meal about 3 times a week – a mean fish omega3 intake about 200mg/day- halves dementia and sudden death. Regular plant oil (omega6) blocks benefit; but without fish oil, omega6 doubles the dementia risk. Daily fruit and veg reduced it by 30%. Enough fish oil is by far the most important human micronutrient – it roughly halves all chronic major aging diseases and premature deaths.

Metformin (C4H11N5 derived in 1922 from the [galega officinalis) plant guanide base formula C6H10N3]), is the only enduring chronic preventative patent drug ever designed: in the only long-term randomized controlled trial RCT ever, the 20 year UKPDS prospective diabetes study (1998), insulin and the designer sulphonylureas had no overall benefit on survival, but metformin reduced all-cause major disease and mortality (ie vascular, cancer, infectious) by a third; and in the Canadian Healthcare study, mortality was halved in type 2 ie older diabetics who used metformin. In the 3.5year diabetes prevention trials, in USA and China, it roughly halved the incidence of new diabetes. Both overweight, insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes are strongly related to risk of memory impairment.

Ginkgo biloba has no effect on insulin resistance/sensitivity; but
ginkgo has important benefits on rheology, lipids, circulation and memory – which are critical in (pre)diabetics;;
ginkgo prolongs the half-life of metformin in vivo ie enhances the ant-idiabetic effect p<0.05, thus reduces the needed effective dose of metformin or enhances metformin’s benefit in resistant cases.

The issue is indeed that most non-starving adults are prone to both overweight diseases, diabetes, glycation and vascular memory deficits- ie metformin/galega and ginkgo are equally important natural drugs, with some relevant synergy.

Many other natural drugs – food supplements- give significant protection against insulin resistance and thus fattening, diabetes, hypertension, lipidemia, blindness, vascular disease, and memory loss, from all the vitamins , magnesium zinc and chromium, to our endogenous biologicals carnitine, carnosine, DMAE, lipoic acid, cysteine, 5HTP, GABA, MSM, proline, phosphatidylserine/choline, arginine, ribose and CoQ10; to >1000 plants like cinnamon, curcumin, huperzine A, Melissa, fenugreek, garlic, ginseng, gymnema, Salvia, stevia, lo han guo, rosemary, Yi-Gan San and BDW (Ba Wei Di Huang Wan).

In a 2005 report (Bragin ea) , such combination in mild dementia-depression cases actually improved cognition by up to 50%.

Combining fish oil, appropriate HRT, and a mix of 50 other freely available supplements offers at least 50% reduction in all major common chronic degenerative diseases and premature deaths- no modern chronic patent drug does so. Health care providers who fail to recommend such evidence-based comprehensive natural prevention should be prosecuted.

References available on request from doctor@healthspanlife.com; from whom personal consultation and supplements may also be obtained..