Introduction: In this podcast episode: bio-identical hormone replacement therapy, how older athletes should train, hamstring injuries, and triathlon training camp details.
Ben: Well folks, I’m finally back from covering the Ironman World Championships down in Kona and thanks to the people who commented on some of the videos and some of the content I was sending back from there. We’re back to our normal high quality audio instead of that dinky little digital recorder I used in last week’s podcast. And in today’s podcast, I have a pretty interesting guest. Her name is T.S. Wiley and I had heard a few different interviews with her before, read some of her material and was simply intrigued by some of the work she’s done in bio-identical hormone replacement therapy and so I decided to get her on the show and we had a fantastic decision that I would encourage you to listen in to. Not just if you’re a post-menopausal female or someone who is concerned about or preparing for menopause but also if you’re a guy with a daughter or a wife or a girlfriend or mother – these are issues you should know about because there are ways you can help the people you love to live longer, have more energy and avoid some of the dangerous mistakes people make when it comes to hormone replacement. So listen in to today’s podcast, to the featured topic on today’s podcast and it’s going to be information that you’re not going to hear a lot of other places. So we do have some special announcements this week. I do have a little bit of Listener Q and A. Not quite so many questions this week as we’ve gotten in previous weeks so we’ll have a little more time to devote to the interview. So we’re going to go over some special announcements and we’re going to move on to the Listener Q and A and then our featured interview with T.S. Wiley.
So this week’s first question comes from Listener Paul.
Paul asks: First off, love your podcasts. Always tons of useful information. (Thanks Paul.) My question is on triathlon training for older athletes. I’m 61 years old and have been running for 32 yrs. All the training regimens I read about seem to be geared for the younger athlete. What kind of adjustments should an older athlete make in relationship to training mileage, intensity, and recovery especially for an Ironman triathlon distance. Any help would be appreciated.
Ben answers: Intelligent question Paul, because you obviously know that your body is going to change quite a bit as you age especially in relation to endurance exercise – the nice part about being an older athlete is you actually do typically have a higher population of slow twitch muscle fibers and slow twitch muscle fibers have a longer time to fatigue. They’re able to use fat a little more efficiently as a fuel and they’re very useful for endurance exercise. However, what happens when you age is a significant decline in power and in strength. And that age-related decrease in power and strength is much faster than the decrease that’s going to occur in your endurance. And that holds true for both men and women. So your endurance performance in men will peak in about your 20s and it will decline by the time you’re 20 and the time you’re 55 by about 4%, and decline at a slower rate than the decline in power and the decline in strength, even going forward into the age of 65, 75, 85 and so on. In women, endurance will peak in your 30s and same thing. It shows a very slow decline moving forward into the 50s and the 60s. So what that means for you as an older athlete, and what I do with the older athletes that I coach… I have a couple of Master’s athletes that I coach right now. One’s trying to train for Kona, another is trying to train for the World Championships in Olympic distance… is I’m working a lot on developing – especially here in the off-season – their strength, their power and their force. So we’re doing a lot of paddle and pull buoy work in the pool. We’re doing a lot of full body weightlifting three times a week to maintain and build that strength and power because once the race season rolls around, I’m not going to be able to give them quite as much as the weightlifting. We’re going to be focusing more on the racing and the biking and the running and the swimming. So weightlifting and force application type of workouts should take precedence in your training with the realization that you need fast twitch muscle. Not only due to the fact that you’re going to lose strength and power as you age but also due to the fact that that will help to keep your hormones active. There’s a hormonal response to strength and power-based training that simply does not occur with the long, slow distance training. So as an aging athlete, one of your goals should be to maintain strength and to do so by using the weight room, by using resistance when you’re swimming by pedaling in a more gear mashing style at least a couple of times a week against a higher force, and by doing things like hill repeats when you’re running. Or if you’re indoors this time of season, using the stair climber at the gym or uphill climbs on the treadmill. So that’s number one. Number two is your nutrition. First of all, you’re going to have difficulty with your collagen formation. You’re going to have difficulty with some of your joint cartilage breakdown – two of the things that are going to help out quite a bit with that glucosamine chondroitin, fantastic for increasing the amount of synovial fluid or the oil for your joints. The one that I recommend is called CapraFlex. It’s made by a company called Mt. Capra and CapraFlex is not only glucosamine and chondroitin but also a blend of a bunch of other herbs. The least expensive place I’ve found it is a website called Doctor’s Choice Naturally.com. And you can also get a 5% discount on CapraFlex if you use discount code BGF. Just like Ben Greenfield Fitness. So vitamin C and glucosamine chondroitin, preferably from something called CapraFlex. And the vitamin C, you can get that from eating high density fruits and vegetables. You can also take a vitamin C supplement. Omega 3 fatty acids have a very strong anti-inflammatory effect so you’re looking at wanting to get nuts, seeds; wanting to eat fish, you can use wheat germ. That’s also very high. Ground flax seed is very high. Chia seeds are high. Flax seeds are high. But going after the healthy Omega 3 fats will help to fight the inflammation, keep your joints stronger. The essential fatty acid that I use is called EnerEFA. There’s many out there. That one in particular is two capsules of a flax seed oil that I take in the morning and anything like that or Carlson’s Fish Oil, again very good. Amino acids, once again for your joint cartilage. You can get amino acids of course from lean proteins that you eat. You can also get them – one supplement that I recommend is called Recoverease. It’s amino acids. It’s also combined with protolytic enzymes which help you to digest, breakdown and utilize proteins a little bit better. And that also has something called glutamine in it which is another fantastic supplement for recovery. So you’re looking at something like Recoverease, something like glucosamine chondroitin. Some vitamin C, Omega 3 fatty acids, high intake of fruits and vegetables due to the bio-flavinoids which are going to have an anti-inflammatory effect and also due to the antioxidant content. If you want to step up your antioxidant content even more, something like selenium can help quite a bit as can vitamin E and that will help protect you against a lot of the damaging free radicals that are going to proliferate in your body a little bit more, especially as you age. And essentially just eating healthy of course but understanding that as you age, your body decreases in its ability to absorb some of the vitamins and the nutrients and the minerals from the foods you’re eating and so supplementation is something that you should take into consideration. So, for you Paul or for any aging athlete that’s listening to this – if that was just a laundry list of stuff – you can feel free to email be [email protected]. Or go to www.bengreenfieldfitness.com and click on the part on the top of it that says nutrition and there’s a bunch of nutrition articles up there that also include some of my previous recommendations on supplements. So check that out. And great question.
Gord asks: Hi Ben, I really like your podcast and enjoyed your coverage of Kona. I need your opinion on a problem I am having. This past season I had problems with my hamstring, I began having ART (for those of you who don’t know what that is, that stands for Active Release Therapy) at least two times a week beginning in June. This had no results , however today during my visit my ART specialist suspected that I may have a S.I. joint misalignment and could be causing my hamstring issues. I remember you had a show on the S.I. joint , but truth be told I didn’t pay much attention to it….now you got my attention. Could a S.I. joint cause hamstring tightness and pain? Could you please tell me the episode # again so I could re-listen.
Ben answers: So first of all Gord, the two episodes where we had a chiropractic physician on talking about SI joint syndrome were episodes number 13 and number 49. I also wrote an article in the July issue of Triathlete magazine that talked about the SI joint and the SI joint issues. Now I’m going to put a link to your question in the Shownotes, Gord, because rather than surfing through the www.bengreenfieldfitness.com website and searching for those podcasts and just clicking back to older and older posts that you can find those podcasts – there’s actually a page that just lists all the podcasts I’ve ever done and the exact topic of those podcasts and lets you download the podcast right from that page. I’ll put a link to that right after your question. It’s called the Ben Greenfield Fitness Podcast Feed and sometimes it’s a little bit more convenient than trying to dig through the entire website looking for the podcasts. So first of all, podcast number 13 and 49 would be the ones you want to listen to and short answer to your question is yes. A stuck SI joint can cause hamstring pain. The reason for that is that SI stands for sacroilium. And if your sacroiliac joint is not allowed to move posterially, meaning towards the back of your body or inferiorally, meaning down below then that means it’s restricted in what’s called posterior-inferior motion. So what it’s supposed to do… what that sacroiliac joint or more specifically the ilium part of your pelvic bone is supposed to do is it’s supposed to rock backwards when your hips flex forward. So when that ilium rocks backwards, what happens is the iscular tuberosity which are those two bones kind of under your crotch that you can feel if you dig your fingers into your groin, that will move forward. So your pelvic bone rocks back. That moves forward and what that does is it actually lengthens your hamstrings as your hip flexors contract. Or more specifically, it moves the bone that the hamstrings are attached to in a direction backwards specifically that allows the hamstrings to not have to stretch so to speak quite as far or to strain when your hip flexors contract. Now if the ilium – the upper part of your pelvic bone does not rock backwards like it’s supposed to, that means the iscular tuberosities aren’t going to move forward the way that they’re supposed to. And the hamstrings that attach to the iscular tuberosity are not going to be allowed to lengthen as they normally would and thus they’re going to have this almost like shortening or tearing effect placed on them and that can cause cramping, that can cause pain. It can cause you to feel as if your hamstrings are in a constant state of contraction especially when you’re running. The idea is that when one muscle contracts, for example your quadriceps and your hip flexors, the opposing muscles should be relaxing. But if your SI joint is stuck, what happens is your hip flexors and your quads contract and the hamstring shortens at the same time. So you get this hamstring cramping effect as you run because you’re running with the hamstring at a constantly shortened state. And of course the fix would be to get your SI joint adjusted and freed up so that your hamstring is able to mobilize while you’re running. So to understand more about the SI joint definitely listen to those podcasts – podcast number 13 and number 49 that I did with Dr. Brian Mather and then go find a chiro in your area who is intelligent and has some experience in SI joint adjustment and hook up with him. So great question Gord. Now I also had a comment – I had a couple of comments that made me feel really proud this week and I want to read them to you guys.
Jason says: I just wanted to give you some feedback on advice that you gave me recently. you might remember in September I did my first sprint triathlon and had severe stomach cramps on the run leg as I over fueled and over hydrated. well I recently competed in the US open sprint triathlon event which was a little longer than the other one however the run was the same distance. I took the advice you gave me on the podcast and had a small breakfast 2 hours before the race, had a couple Gu’s during the race and only consumed about three quarters of 1 water bottle as it wasn’t hot, in fact it was in the 50′s. after the 800m swim and 40k bike ride we had the 3.1 mile run which my previous time was 28 minutes with the cramps. With your advice I smashed that time by 5 minutes finishing it in 23 minutes and finishing 5th out of 45 in the 30-34 age group and 31st overall.
Ben: So congratulations Jason. And it goes to show people if you don’t listen to the advice you get in this podcast, then lightning bolts will come out from heaven and strike you while you’re out running. Or maybe you just won’t do as well as you want. To.
Rex says: My wife is a nurse who has trained our children on nutrition and eating healthy. Just prior to your announcing your revised Shape 21lean body program a few months ago, I was planning to start on another fitness program. My son tried to talk me out of it because the suggested supplements did not meet his standards of being “good for you.” As a matter of fact, the words “garbage”, “chemicals”, and “poisons” were the words he used. Just before beginning, I received an email containing recommendations for your services. I checked you out, liked what I read about your Shape 21lean body program, waited for its release, bought it when it became available, and began the program. My son also reviewed the program when it arrived and gave it his “thumbs up” for being healthy and effective. I’ve been through the book twice at the beginner’s level. Results have been gradual but measurable (weight, blood pressure, belt size, etc.). My son and I have been very pleased. I’m writing to say “thank you” for taking this holistic approach. I’m glad someone does.
Ben: Well thank you Rex. And you know the Shape 21 lean body manual is something that I initially designed for some of the people I was training, like the brides who would come to me and be like panicked “I have a wedding in 42 days. I really need to get toned fast.” So I put together this program for them and Shape 21, you’d go through twice. So two 21 day protocols. But eventually I realized that people could use this program that I designed and literally start at the beginner level, go through that a couple of times for 21 days, move on to the intermediate level, go through that a couple of times and use this program throughout the entire year to achieve fantastic results. It wasn’t designed as a triathlon training program like I talked about earlier. It was designed for rapidly shedding fat, building lean muscle and doing so in a healthy way. If you think about something like P90x or something like CrossFit, very similar concept as those. But the difference between Shape 21 and those is that Shape 21 takes the specific exercises and workouts that you’re doing on each day and it matches up a food program for each day that corresponds directly to those workouts. So some days you’re eating more proteins, some days you’re eating more carbs, some days you’re eating fewer calories, some days you’re eating more calories. But essentially it takes your actual workouts, pairs the nutrition plan for that day with them with the recipes and the meals and the grocery shopping list and everything and allows you to literally just have zero guesswork. So it’s not like you walk out of the gym, you wonder, ok I did workout x. What do I eat after workout x? It tells you not only exactly what to eat after workout x, your breakfast, your lunch and dinner is supposed to be that day. Everything. The neat part about the re-design is that I also removed any potentially inflammatory foods out of it, so it is a completely holistic and healthy diet. The results that people see with it are pretty amazing. You can see some of them over at www.shape21.com and I’ll put a link to that in the Shownotes. That program though, let’s say you can’t afford to hire me as your personal trainer and I know that that’s the case for a lot of people – I mean that’s why I wrote the freaking book. So you don’t have to. So you can just take what’s up in my head that I put on paper and use that to achieve your goals. Right now going into the holidays, if you were to have that book and you were to use it through the holidays you could arrive at January… if you just start it right now, using that book… easily, easily… 20 to 30 lbs between now and January 1st. And healthy pounds. Anyways, that is all for this week’s Listener Q and A, and remember if you have a question, just email me [email protected] or you can call toll free. I like to get those audio messages. 8772099439. Or you can just Skype me at pacificfit. And we’re going to go ahead and move on to this week’s featured topic on bio-identical hormone replacement therapy with T.S. Wiley.
Ben: Hey podcast listeners, this is Ben Greenfield back from www.bengreenfieldfitness.com with a medical writer and researcher who happens to be at the forefront of natural hormone replacement. I have T.S. Wiley on the other line and she has a protocol called the Wiley Protocol that happens to be one of the most cutting edge protocols when it comes to natural hormone replacement therapy. You’re going to find out about that as well as everything that you need to know about hormone replacement in today’s show. So, Mrs. Wiley, T.S… what would you like to be called?
T.S. Wiley: You can actually call me T.S. Wiley.
Ben: How about T.S.? Thank you for coming on the show and you have a pretty comprehensive biography when it comes to hormone therapy, but before we even get started into this because I know they’re all about to hang up and press stop on their audio players… is there a reason that any man in the audience need to stay tuned to this interview?
T.S. Wiley: Well, there’s a Wiley Protocol for men. Testosterone and DHEA in a rhythmic dosing schedule that’s based on sun cycles and I’ve done extensive prostate cancer research. I’m at the moment working on a book for men called Phallacies. With a PH.
Ben: Ok. Nice. I like that title. So the reason that men in the audience might want to stay tuned to this… you know the way I think about it is they actually should not only understand what’s going on with their wives or their mothers or their daughters, but also for men… andropause or loss of testosterone, especially going forward into the later years of life is a crucial issue for both athletes and the general population, right?
T.S. Wiley: Well everything that happens to women, whether it’s night sweats as opposed to hot flashes or memory loss – loss of drive is the obvious one for men but aches and pains, high blood pressure, thyroid disruption, all of it happens when you lose your testosterone.
Ben: Ok. So guys, stay tuned. There’s actually a lot of information here that’s going to help you quite a bit. T.S., can you tell me about your background in the health field and hormone therapy and how you actually came to design what is now called the Wiley Protocol for natural hormone replacement therapy?
T.S. Wiley: Well I (unintelligible) women in sports science for a very long time and then I worked with molecular biologists and it all started for me when I worked on a book called Lights Out, Sleep, Sugar and Survival. And it was a book about what happens when you don’t go to bed when the sun does. What happens to your hormones and how that contributes to Type 2 diabetes and mental… infertility and a few other things. So (Brenda) and I were working on that book and I think I had a hot flash. I was about 42, 43 and I didn’t like it and I had significant heel pain. I was living in New York for the summer and of course I went to visit all the podiatrists, all the foot doctors in New York and they hand you all these orthotics and that’s supposed to fix it and it doesn’t. And one symptom at a time, eventually I went in for a mammogram back in the day – this is 15, 20 years ago and I had a lump attached to my chest wall that they wanted to “watch.” I had a tumor in the uterus the size of a grapefruit. I had an ovarian cyst and of course they wanted to take a blood test CA125, which is an ovarian cancer test and my youngest doctor was about 3 or 4. I have 5 children. She left for college this year. This was 15 years ago. And at one point, I got tired, shortly. I got tired of being scared. I got tired of feeling like all the women feel which is you wake up in this dark closet because the fear mongering, the potential of cancer is on every television station in every magazine, in every conversation among women of a certain age and that age by the way is getting younger and younger. So, I guess I decided I could probably figure it out. And I think the first thought I had was that I wanted some hormones and then I thought to myself, well if I’m scared of cancer now as I’m deteriorating at mid-life and hormones cause cancer – how am I going to solve this problem? How am I going to get the hormones I need to have quality of life if in fact they are so wildly dangerous.
Ben: So this was at the time the research had already emerged on the cancer problems with synthetic hormone replacement.
T.S. Wiley: Well the women’s health initiative was being conducted at that time. It certainly hadn’t come up with any conclusions. But it was very clear in the literature that Premarin alone cause endometrial cancer. That estrogen was proliferative per cell group. So it would probably make breast cancer grow. That was just the current thought in the media and in culture. So, and I was working with an endocrinologist who I’m not sure she believed that but she certainly was a mainstream endocrinologist. I now work with a mainstream oncologist. But I thought to myself – I remember the first time I had – estrogen causes cancer. All young women should be dead. They’re full of it. And then I thought, well if estrogen causes cancer, all pregnant women should be deader because they have more than the young women. And I thought so it can’t be the estrogen. It has to be how much estrogen. It has to be when you have it. Because young women don’t have heart disease, diabetes, cancer, Alzheimer’s, osteoporosis, etc., depression, knees that hurt – we could go on for days. They don’t have menopausal symptoms or menopausal diseases that lead to death. They have more estrogen than I do. So clearly I need more estrogen. The question is how would I take that estrogen? And after a little research it became very clear that swallowing hormones is pretty dangerous because when they go through the first pass in your liver, they usually turn into something else.
Ben: Now when you say “swallowing hormones” do you mean any hormones – synthetic or natural?
T.S. Wiley: Yeah. Any hormone swallowed. Synthetic or natural. That is a sex steroid meaning estrogen, progesterone, testosterone will all go through the liver and we know in weight lifters with anabolic steroids you get significant liver damage. We know that women… oral estrogen even if it’s bio-identical, from a big pharmaceutical company, gets significant liver damage. And progesterone, if you swallow that it puts you to sleep. To metabolize progesterone… it hits gamma in your brain and knocks you out, so you get sleepy like pregnant women do in the beginning of pregnancy. So, I thought well so I won’t be eating it. And then I looked into transdermal hormones and about that time I met John Lee, and John was promoting transdermal or topical or whatever you want to call it through the skin and it was over the counter… something called pro(unintelligible). And I looked at that and then I tried to find out if I could get some transdermal estrogen. And the only transdermal estrogen out there was a big pharmaceutical product called Vivelle patches or Climara patches. And they’re in a gel matrix and they’ve got glue on them that make you itch. And there isn’t much estrogen in there. You’re actually getting more estrogen over the phone from the fumes than are in those patches. You know what I mean? So that didn’t seem to be the way to go. So I contacted a lot of compounders and no one would make me estrogen because it was far too dangerous.
Ben: And for the people who are listening in to the show, when you say you contacted a bunch of compounders, you’re referring to compounding pharmacists? Correct?
T.S. Wiley: Yes, I’m talking about pharmacies, the little mom and pops that have a mortar and pestle at the back and they will mix up medicine on the spot, as opposed to just counting it out from a giant bottle they bought from a distributor and then putting it in the little bottles for you. So compounding is what pharmacy used to be, before the 60s and the big pharmaceutical companies started making pills for everything. Than pharmacy became pill counting. But in the last, I don’t know 10 years maybe, that one semester of compounding which used to be four years in pharmacy school has been taken over in a commercial way by a different company that teaches little moms and pops to compound and buy machinery and learn how to do it. So I contacted pharmacies I knew that would do that kind of thing, that would make progesterone cream for example and none of them would make estrogen. It was far too dangerous. They talked about it like it was nitroglycerine and it would explode and it was horrible. Knowing I didn’t have a choice at the moment I got my hands on a lot of Vivelle patches and pasted them all over me, deciding that if I was going to take hormones I would take them the way I had them when I was young. The way I produced them. Because logically, that (unintelligible) method was safe. Because in any study, you would think about – the cohort would be all young women. In other words, all young women are safe and they produce hormones like this in their body. So I thought instead of taking the same amount every day, I would try to take the amount I would have produced when I was in my 20s.
Ben: By varying the number of patches you used?
T.S. Wiley: Well, at that point yes. It was how many patches. And then I knew that there was a peak on day 12 and a peak on day 21 of hormonal activity. And I thought if I do blood tests on those days, I could see if I could get within the reference range of the blood work for somebody, 20. So this was a self-experiment as we say in physics. This was an idea based on a logical premise.
Ben: Now, a very quick question here. When you’re talking about using these estrogen patches, I know that a lot of people are under the impression that estrogen is one hormone when in fact, it’s three separate hormones that women have in their bodies – and men. But how are you differentiating between those three with these patches? Or is that something you were doing yet?
T.S. Wiley: Well, estrogen isn’t really three hormones. Estrogen is estrogen but the predominant form – there are three metabolites. The predominant form is something called E2. E2 is estradiol and it’s the most potent. E2 is made from E1 which is called an estrone which people predominantly make in their fat phase and E1 becomes E2 becomes E3, which is estriol. And it is a spent metabolite. It’s the third form. It’s very weak. So, it’s not three different estrogens so much as it’s three shades of gray. So E2 can reverse itself and go back to being E1 which will make it go back to being E2 so there’s a little spin there. If things are wrong, if things are right E2 will go to (inaudible) in the body. So, about the time I was trying all this – actually a little later, a man named Jonathan Wright decided that since E2, estradiol, which by the way is what’s in the Vivelle patch. Only estradiol. And Climara for that matter… Jonathan decided he would try to get some estrogen back to women and I have to applaud him for that. Because having no estrogen was debilitating.
Ben: And for those of our listeners out there, Jonathan Wright is one of the – well he’s a naturopath, is that correct? Naturopathic physician?
T.S. Wiley: Yeah, Jonathan is based out of Washington and he’s a naturopath and Jonathan decided he believed based on some research by a woman named Helen Lianety and a guy named Jeffrey Levin that a combination of the three factions of estrogen would be ideal. So he made something called Triest first, which was all three in ratios. And the biggest ratio of course was the weakest one, hedging his bet – so the E2 – estriol and that lasted, I don’t know, five years maybe, when it became very clear… (inaudible) a guy named David Java who used to work with John Lee used frozen breast cancer slides – that E1 or estrone, the kind you make in your fat base was the most ubiquitous estrogen found in frozen breast cancer slides. So it’s almost like you go to the scene of the crime and this is what we found. This was the evidence. So, Triest became Biest.
Ben: So you completely eliminated the estrogen form that was most likely to be associated with cancer.
T.S. Wiley: That’s what Jonathan did. Jonathan and the compounders. So I was not a part of this. Jonathan and the compounders went to Biest. Biest is (inaudible) estradiol and 80% estriol. And people dose that in a cream or a pill, some people swallow it, and they give the same dose everyday. And often, some doctors now will give you that pill or cream every day and add in either progesterone cream or a pill called proletrium which is oral micronized natural progesterone in peanut oil. It’s by a company called Sulvae. They will add in that pill or progesterone cream for 14 days at the end of the month. And sometimes women will have a period when they do it that way. So this is static dosing of an estrogen formulation.
Ben: Static meaning that we’re actually not changing that based off of a woman’s natural cycle.
T.S. Wiley: Right, same dose everyday. And that is called (special) dosing because they put the progesterone in. In the old days they didn’t even put the progesterone in. Or some people only took progesterone because John Lee of course, my old friend, the late John Lee told everyone that because he had seen a chart where it shows cholesterol, progesterone, pregnolone… pregnolone becomes progesterone becomes blah blah blah. Some people have seen this chart. It’s a molecular chart of conversion. It’s called shunt physiology. It’s the way one hormone turns into the next to the next to the next. It’s called shunting. John believed because he had seen that chart that progesterone being at the top would make everything else happen. And of course, that’s not real science. The reason we have the potential to shunt a hormone one way or the other in our body is for adaptability. So how your hormones shunt on any given day depends on how you woke that morning, how you slept the night before, what you just ate, what kind of stress you’re under. The V combinations or the combinatorial mathematics of how your hormones can (inaudible) outcome of such variability and flexibility is in fact all the stars in the sky. That’s how we adapt and keep living from one room to the next and one environment to the next. So that snapshot of a perfect conversion in some way was not exactly how it works. So the idea that people could take progesterone and they’d end up with estrogen and testosterone – it’s not necessarily true, particularly because progesterone from the ovaries is not the same as progesterone from the adrenal and O-hydroxy progesterone from your adrenals does the same kind of converting. So just taking progesterone alone didn’t seem to work so Jonathan Wright offered women estrogen in that way. The problem I saw with what Jonathan offered was not only a static dose even with progesterone added in, but the fact that the ratio of 20% estradiol to 80% estriol is not a normal ratio in a human woman. Now Jonathan got this number, this idea because in the trimester of pregnancy, that is a ratio that can be found. And his premise that pregnancy protects breasts. Everyone of course is terrified of breast cancer, so he would go with this. But in reality, in the third trimester of pregnancy, that ratio is made as the babies… the baby is pumping out a lot of estriol. So it’s not really a state in which any woman walks around in for any length of time without the help of another human being inside her. So I decided that since estradiol could convert to E1 or E3 that I would take the most potent estrogen, certainly the ones the pharmaceutical companies take in Vivelle and Climara patches and other places, and I would somehow get someone to make me some creams. Because obviously if it worked transdermally, the big pharmaceutical companies wouldn’t do it that way. So I picked cream instead of gel because the matrix patches that were out on the market – gel… I don’t know how old you are but if you’re old enough to remember back in the day in all those hospital dramas, when someone was melting down from a fever, they would give him an alcohol bath and this of course would drop their fever and save their lives. That’s because (unintelligible) to the skin so you could radiate out the heat. But for hormone delivery, it takes the hormones in too fast. So there’s not a normal… it’s a blast of hormone instead of a normal drip drip drip or pulsatile kind of thing. Your hormones have a beat. They have a rhythm and it’s just like a drum beat. It’s bom-ba-da-bom-bom-bom. And depending on whether you’re scared or happy or whatever, that drum beat gets louder or faster. That’s how hormones work and I was attempting not only to replace those normal curves by escalating and descending doses, I thought I could do better on the delivery system being more normal, more pulsatile. So by finding somebody to make me a cream, that cream would rest in my fat base. I would rub it in and it would stick and then every time my heart beat, the blood would run through and I would get a little bit. So now I’m running the beat (inaudible) which is not exactly the same but it’s still better than having it go in and out and then in. So I had figured out how to get my blood ranges, references ranges the same as somebody 20 years old on day 12 or 21 with the patches.
Ben: So you’re essentially trying to mimic the hormone levels of a younger woman.
T.S. Wiley: Right, but I was allergic to the glue and it was going in too fast. It wasn’t right. And then I found a compounding pharmacist who would make me these hormones in a cream. And better yet, I asked him to put them into 3c plastic syringes with a cap on it because I wanted to be able to measure out tiny doses to escalate and descend so I actually knew what I was taking. The tub in a spoon, which was the standard delivery method at that point for hormones and creams was not scientific. It was not something I could calibrate and titrate and make sense of or ever study some day. So once I got estrogen into a syringe into a form that could be quantified, I had what is basically now the Wiley Protocol and eventually I color coded the packaging to green because even I would grab the wrong syringe at night when they were all the same colors. Now they have green plungers for the estrogen and purple for the progesterone. So you can’t grab the wrong one at the wrong time of the month. And my idea, you know, a few women here and there wanted to try it. I wrote a book… eventually I worked at a compounding pharmacy for two years… I put their name at the back of the book to see how it was going and that pharmacist refused to standardize it. During the process of listening to women call in, it became obvious that they weren’t all getting the same results. Then it occurred to me that it must be in how they made the hormones. Because they were getting the same amount of hormones. They were doing it right. But for some reason, it was all over the place. So I had to decide, was that my idea or was that the pharmacy? I asked the compounding pharmacy to standardize the methods and the materials that we were making it out of the raw hormones and the cream and how they did it. And of course we’d already argued about pricing and packaging because compounders tend to charge anything they want, say anything they want and make anything they want. Which for the consumer is a nightmare and for big pharma and the government, a field day because then no one ever has to study bio-identicals because there’s no way to study it. It’s too all over the place. So, I moved to another pharmacy and another pharmacy until I got someone to help me standardize. So right now the Wiley Protocol is made at over 50 pharmacies and it is made exactly the same way in each one and in exactly the same packaging from exactly the same raw materials right down to calling the supplier of the raw materials and arguing about whether or not it all comes from the same lot number.
Ben: Did this seem to improve the results that were occurring?
T.S. Wiley: Oh yeah. It became very predictable. Once the results became predictable then I sat with 50 to 80 women a month for three and a half years to figure out how to modify… it’s called dose modification… how to wiggle these curves because I’m not the woman next to me. She’s not the woman next to her. But we’re all women. So, the Wiley Protocol is not one size fits all but it’s one size starts all. So everybody starts the protocol and then within the first 3 to 6 months, the curve can be raised. You can have a higher peak, you can spread out the dose in a day. You can… there are… I found five fixes for 20 symptoms. So a woman sits in this room and she says to me I had a headache this month. And I say when? And then they didn’t know when. She couldn’t tell me when which made it hard because hormones are time… reporting time. They report the environment, light, food, stress, whatever. So when she had the headache would change how you would fix that headache. So then I invented calendars for the women, that women could keep. So they could come to the meetings and say I had a headache on day 7. Well a headache on day 7 means the receptors are fluctuating and you need to spread out the dose. Or if she came and said I had a headache on day 5, that would mean she wasn’t taking enough. So two more lines, morning and night would raise that whole curve and the headache would go away. If she said I had a headache on day 21, that would mean too much progesterone was blocking too much estrogen. So the diagnostic calendars are very important in offering the cycle uniquely to that human being, that woman and her life. And those calendars actually over time will change because your life changes, and this is as close as I could get to re-creating not hormone replacement but hormone restoration, how you have these hormones. This is biomimetic. It’s biologically accurate. It’s not just bio-identical which means the molecule we made out of the raw material looks like the one you’ve got. That’s a very different thing. We’ve taken bio-identical hormones and made them biomimetic.
Ben: Now something that I did want to ask you about in a little bit here was what someone actually receives to keep track of their calendar if they were working with a physician using the Wiley Protocol. But before I ask you that, I’m kind of fascinated with how you described where a woman’s cycle or circadian rhythm actually comes from. How the fluctuations of those hormones actually occurs because you had referenced early in our interview about your book, about how the body’s hormones tend to get off-balance when we’re not going to bed when the sun is going to bed. But can you go into that in just a little more detail? The whole philosophy between the fluctuation of hormones?
T.S. Wiley: Well human beings evolved with planets. In fact, I teach 50 doctors five times a year at a planetarium in Glendale, California and I chose to teach a two day seminar on environment endocrinology in a planetarium because I had to a sort of “you are here.” We are on a planet that’s spinning 1000 miles an hour under our feet. You look out the door and it looks like everything is holding still. It’s like when you were a kid and somebody says the earth is turning and you just can’t believe it. Well your body… the body feels that 1000 miles an hour spin and then that planet that’s spinning 1000 miles an hour under your feet is falling tied to the sun, another 67,000 miles an hour. And that makes a year. So, evolving in an environment that’s in and out of light and has a wobble for seasons means that every cell in us responds to that and being human beings in the modern era we’re not in that environment anymore. We’re more like lab rats. We’re in artificial light. We wait for the kibble to come down the tube – the food in the microwave. We are under stress and packed into cars on highways which is a lot like a rat in a maze. All of that affects consciousness interface that controls the hormones. And aging, predominantly aging. I mean sleeping controls eating. How many hours of light you are exposed to if the GPS system tells you what season is coming which controls your appetite for either gaining weight or losing weight, because if you’re exposed to long hours of light and high carbohydrates, that’s summer in your head. And that means winter is coming so you should store lots of fat.
Ben: Is that because during the summer, the excessive amount of light actually creates a need for your body to consume or an urge for your body to consume more carbohydrates?
T.S. Wiley: It controls a hormone called leptin. It controls a neurotransmitter called MPY. Pro-actin which is named where it was found, in breast milk, is not about that. It’s just about survival. Breast milk is about survival and static fluid, pro-lactin is about the sperm living three days… take a little lunchbox, get out, do the job, get back… pro-lactin in human beings on a daily basis times your appetite for carbohydrates to keep you alive. And that pro-lactin occurs after midnight. So the hours of pro-lactin used to create while you sleep are controlled by the hours of darkness you were exposed to before midnight. So how much melatonin you have controls how much pro-lactin you have. And when you don’t have enough melatonin, less than 3 and a half hours, you only have an hour and a half of pro-lactin instead of 6. It comes back the next morning and rebounds. When you’re soaked in pro-lactin all day long, you crave carbohydrates. Your immune system is on full tilt, that’s part of the arthritis and the asthma and the wheezing and the allergies and stuff. That is a summertime scenario that is perfectly normal because it’s mating season. And in mating season you would need your (inaudible) because there’s lots of cuts and scratches and bites and in mating season you would need to eat all the carbohydrates that are there which have concentrated energy from the sunlight to store in your fat base because they’re going to go away in the winter. So, this normal three to four month scenario would be fine. We handle summer. The heat is on inside, the lights are on, the sugar never stops. Instead of one trip under the sun…
Ben: And people aren’t going to bed either when it’s getting dark outside.
T.S. Wiley: Of course not. So instead of one trip around the son being measured, we take four. And what that means is we age four times as fast inside. So sleeping controls eating and sleeping and eating control aging or menopause and andropause. So that’s just how the world works. Everything else we do besides sleeping and eating and mating, we’re filling up time. We’re killing time.
Ben: So an industrialized lifestyle could be partially to blame for things like women going through their menopause at an earlier age?
T.S. Wiley: Well you have to understand that the age of Menarch or the first period of a women at the turn of the century was (inaudible). Now women died routinely at the turn of the century at 47. That gave you a 30 year reproductive run. Right now, the age of Menarch is between 8 and 10. And that’s because the environment has aged children so that when they’re 8 years old, they’re 17 years inside.
Ben: And when you say the environment… I would imagine you’re not just referring to our endless summer lifestyle as you just described but also, I would imagine this has something to do with hormones that we’re consuming in water with a high number of birth control pills that are being consumed and ending up in our water supply and those types of things?
T.S. Wiley: There’s certainly big pharma pollution in the water supply because everyone is urinating vitamins and supplements and birth control pills and Prozac. Prozac by the way is the most ubiquitous drug in the water supply. But you have to understand that all of those hormones as endocrine disruptors that will cause that frog to grow a third leg should not hurt women at mid-life if they put back normal bio-identical hormones because the (ligen) a name for the tiny hormone molecule and the receptor – the receptor that is made in the body for estrogen, for example, has more acidity for the original ligen. So if you have some genuine bio-identical estrogen floating around in there, being presented at the receptors in a normal way, it will (inaudible) the receptor so the zeno estrogen and endocrine mimicking drugs can’t get in.
Ben: Interesting. So I’m going to give you a scenario here and let’s say I am a woman who is actually experiencing the symptoms associated with peri-menopause or menopause or post-menopause and I’ve listened to this interview and heard you describe not only the dangers of a synthetic hormone replacement therapy but also the essential nature of the timing in the natural hormone replacement therapy. Where do I go? I obviously couldn’t just walk into a compounding pharmacy and say, well I heard this radio interview. Can you make me something like that? Is there a place that someone can go to actually do something like you’ve been for the women that you’re helping?
T.S. Wiley: Well Suzanne Sommers tried to tell everybody in every book since we found each other how to go to the website. www.thewileyprotocol.com. Be sure you put “the” in it. There is a place on there where about 300 doctors are listed who will prescribe and 50 pharmacies that are in contract with me. I made them sign a contract saying that they will make these hormones in a specific way that can be studied, that they will donate a percentage of their volume to a national study that’s coming. To use my name in order to call up the Wiley Protocol. In order to put it in purple and green packages. In order to have a sign in the window that says we are a Wiley Protocol provider – they have to sign this contract. So if you really want what I’ve studied and what’s being studied right now at the University of Texas and being studied on 100 cancer patients here in Santa Barbara, you would go to the website and if you can’t find a doctor near you or a pharmacy and they all mail, so you could get the pharmacy to mail you this stuff, you would call a contact number. You can get a woman at Contact Us, named Caren with a C and she will hook you up. We’ll find you a doctor and we’ll find you a pharmacy. Because it’s very important to me that women do not take something they think is the Wiley Protocol, because it’s my name that isn’t. Because I don’t know what that other stuff does and I can’t even get anyone to study it because it is randomly made. You might be able to walk into a pharmacy and say I’m need the Wiley Protocol and they could look at you and say, ok we can make you that. And then you’ll get something in generic syringes in a generic bag and I don’t know how they made it. I don’t really know what’s in it. (Audio break) and that you find a doctor in one of the 300 or we find you one that’s going to prescribe to a pharmacy at least for you. So you can be part of what we’re studying. Because women deserve to know what’s safe and effective, and nobody cares. In bio-identicals it’s like the old west. There’s no law out there. Big pharma polices your Prozac and polices your valium and your Celebrex and your Lipitor and all that will kill you. All those things will kill you. If somebody is going to be held responsible… you can go back to that drug company or have that doctor explain why he chose that or have the FDA, for example, come under scrutiny in the Congress. We have a system in this country that’s supposed to protect people. But when it comes to bio-identical hormones, they fall into some gap netherworld between health food and supplements and no one’s watching. But I’m watching. I decided I would watch and I would publish results and that might just force the rest of the people out there making up stuff have to watch what they’re doing.
Ben: So when women actually hook up with somebody to administer this Wiley Protocol, it’s not like they’re just given some cream and told put this on every day, it actually is a specific dosing protocol without guess work where they get a calendar and they actually receive specific dosage requirements based off of their fluctuating hormones?
T.S. Wiley: Yes. That’s another clue that you’re not at a registered pharmacy. If you have your doctor call in the Wiley Protocol, you will receive purple and green packages and you will receive a package insert telling you how to put it on, what drugs are contra-indicated, what supplements are contra-indicated, warnings and then a calendar. A personal or lunar calendar. If you know the first day of your last menstrual cycle, you can (inaudible) if you haven’t had a period for years or worse, someone’s robbed you of your uterus because they didn’t know how to fix it, you will go on a lunar calendar because all women for all time cycled with the light of the moon. So the women who have nowhere to anchor their cycle with the light of the moon. So there’s a lunar calendar telling you it’s lunar day 1 and here’s your dose or there’s a personal calendar where you keep track of your own… and I’ve done the same with men. And we’re going to start to study it pretty soon.
Ben: Can you briefly go into for men exactly what it is they would be doing or why they would need to be doing something like natural hormone replacement therapy?
T.S. Wiley: Well men and women at mid-life exchange places. That’s how you stay alive. In nature, you cannot be non-reproductive. There’s no point to your existence, honestly. So, in nature when you cease to be reproductive, women’s testosterone goes up, their estrogen falls. And men’s testosterone drops and their estrogen goes up. So you literally trade places. Women get square, hair thins and they grow chin whiskers and they’re a little pushy, not quite so soft and feminine. Men on the other hand can grow breasts, kind of get weepy, lose ambition and their muscle mass and drink a lot of beer because beer is one of the most estrogenic things on the planet and that gives them a little boost for… women drink wine at night because wine becomes deep pregnalone which gives the progesterone effect. But because they can’t sleep and then they go to bed… but it wears off at the middle of the night so they wake up. So it’s not really a solution. But at any rate, we exchange places at midlife. And when you are no longer reproductive, you are targeted by nature for elimination. Because you’re now competing with the food supply for the offspring of people who are reproductive. So you start to fall apart and entropy. You can’t use the raw materials, light and food and temperature in the same way you used to be able to. Old men are always cold and wearing sweaters. And old ladies have hot flashes and everything falls apart. So, it was my notion, the same way we would put women back to a template of normalcy. And you know people say you invented this dosing schedule but really I didn’t. I have it on a higher authority. It is what existed in nature. I just figured out how we would administer it. It’s not my dosing schedule. So, the reality is for men, the dosing schedule runs on a sun cycle the same way women run on a lunar cycle. So men right now have shots. Men right now take anabolic steroids. Men right now, some of them are being given HGC which is a hormone out of a placenta which you never have to force your testicles to make more testosterone. There are all kinds of crazy sort of Frankenmad science going on for men out there. And I thought men have a normal dosing schedule of transdermal testosterone but I had to figure out what your schedule is and it turns out men run on sun cycles and magnetism the same way women run on lunar cycles. But, you are driven by female pheromones. So your style is adjustable to the women you’re with or the man you’re with in which ever case. So I had to invent a dosing schedule that changes every four days. Goes up, up, up. And the high point is day 16 which would overlay a woman’s ovulatory period for pregnancy and you would pick the same time frame as the person you’re with. If you’re with another man, you would both probably use a lunar cycle to get your 28 days and take it together the same way. You would – if you were with a very young women go on her first day of her last menstrual cycle, start yours. And what we’re seeing so far at the Wiley Protocol is a heavy dose of testosterone at night, a little more in the morning and a little DHEA in the morning and of course the dose changes every four days and stuff goes up and then back down. What we’re seeing so far in the men we’re watching in structure data – that means blood work – is that instead of all this testosterone conversion converting to estrogen which it can and does when you take shots or you take pills… so now they’ve invented something called Christon and there’s Rimidex the (unintelligible) inhibitors. That’s the enzyme that stops testosterone from converting into estrogen. They routinely prescribe that along with hormone replacement for men because of this problem. What we’re seeing in the Wiley Protocol, we have no (inaudible) version. It’s not abnormal. (Inaudible) testosterone converts to DHT. The hydrotestosterone which is the more potent form and what we’re looking for. Because studies have shown routinely that high DHT means no prostate cancer. That men with prostate cancer have low DHT because (inaudible) metabolite than you had precursor, they have low testosterone too. But, this high DHT is also like progesterone in women. It’s going to build bone. It’s osteoblastic. It’s an immune-suppressor. You don’t have arthritis. It is the way it’s supposed to be for men. So I think I got pretty close. I (inaudible) the men’s protocol right now.
Ben: So in layman’s terms – no man boobs.
T.S. Wiley: No man boobs. No, no, no. No man boobs. And no beer drinking to excess and no weeping and hopefully good morning – we call it morning wood. Get up and salute the sun, which is the first thing… well the first thing men lose is the ability to see the object of desire and have an erection. The next thing men lose is the morning erection and the last thing they lose is being touched will not even provoke an erection. So it’s a stepwise falling apart sexily.
Ben: Interesting. Now a couple of other populations I wanted to quickly ask you about who may benefit from this, but I wanted to check with you. For athletes who perhaps may have tested in having low testosterone or who want to enhance performance, is this something that an athlete or someone would do for sports performance? Or is this simply for something like andropause?
T.S. Wiley: Well, it’s very interesting. One of the local physicians here who was working with a famous not to be mentioned cyclist came to me and said tell me how we can replace doping. In other words using (arithmetin) which is a red blood cell enhancer that was invented for the anemia that follows chemotherapy. Tell me how we can do that with hormones. And I said no. We’re not going to do that episodically for some race, but the reality is that (polysifemia) which just means a lot of little red blood cells, like red blooded men… there’s always something anecdotal in the language that tells you what’s happening in terms of endocrinology – red blooded men have very high testosterone. So in terms of athletic performance and oxygenation and carrying oxygen in the blood, having testosterone in a normal way and in a high way will make you as good as a younger man. However, it won’t artificially give you any prowess.
T.S. Wiley: And it’s healthier.
Ben: You wouldn’t necessarily though be illegally enhancing performance if you tested low on testosterone and you used something like a natural testosterone… to bring your levels back up.
T.S. Wiley: Absolutely not.
Ben: It wouldn’t result in like the huge levels of free testosterone that doping cyclists are ending up with?
T.S. Wiley: Well you would end up with high levels of testosterone but they won’t be free. They will be bound and converting in a normal way and therefore your edge would be undetectable.
T.S. Wiley: Of course you didn’t hear me say that.
Ben: It was just something I wanted to ask you about because I know that a lot of people – we do have a lot of athletes listening in to the show who ask me questions like that and I thought I’d see what you thought. And then the other thing I was going to ask you about – would this be something for a couple who’s trying to conceive because I know that hormones tend to be one of the primary culprits in fertility. Would this be something that a couple trying to conceive should look into or would it be advisable?
T.S. Wiley: Well I would say hormones are the only culprit in fertility. There is the immunological issue. You have something called a major-histocompatibility factor. And in sex lives and menopause I use something called the dirty t-shirt test that they ran…I believe it was the University of Chicago, I can’t remember, where they had healthy young men go out and work in the hot sun and they took their dirty t-shirts and they ziplocked them so they would ferment. So now there’s pheromones and sweat. And they gave them to two groups of women. One on birth control pills, one not on birth control pills. The ones on birth control pills found them appalling and ran. (Inaudible) the one that was less offensive than the other, but on the whole found it an unpleasant experience. The women not on birth control pills didn’t have quite that problem. Picked the one they felt was most interesting and then they did pheromonal studies. And in order to be infertile, you must for the most part… matching immune system. Should you pick someone with the same HLA haplotypes and major histocompatibility factors that you have, you will likely not conceive. Because the yin and yang of life means that (inaudible) to broaden your horizon. To make your DNA have more to work with. So the women who were not on birth control pills picked a t-shirt with the opposite immune system every time. The women on birth control pills almost uniquely picked the same one. So a lot of the infertility in that screwing with your hormones in general. Now you can do that by taking birth control pills which makes you able to pick. That’s why everybody woke up in the 70s and said what am I doing with you when they stopped the pill from the 60s, and having your hormones deranged by environmental cues, therefore (inaudible) give you an inability to pick. So should couples aiming for fertility check their immune systems and find that they’re okay, that they have opposite immune systems, then adding hormones to straighten out just personal environmental derangement whether it’s men or the woman or the both, can succeed in pregnancy. So, fertility doctors in fact use a rhythm much like the one I devised to season a womb when they’re doing in vitro transplantation because it works better. And testosterone is routinely given to infertile men to up their sperm count. However, you got to be careful because in hormones, too much is like none. So too much testosterone will turn it off in the same way having none will turn it off. So it’s a balance of the right amounts and when I’m looking for the right amounts I just look to nature and what would have been the right amount in nature because I would rather take that for all intensive purposes depending on your belief system, maybe God-invented, than what Jonathan Wright invented.
T.S. Wiley: That’s just my opinion, ok.
Ben: Well you have a wealth of information on your website and I know we only scratched the surface today and I have actually since discovering your protocol found a physician in my local area to send some of the – primarily the post-menopausal women that I’ve been working with who are struggling with weight issues and energy level issues to discuss with him looking into the Wiley Protocol. And I would encourage listeners to go to the website, very simple. I did it in about two minutes. I found a physician in my area who was utilizing the Wiley Protocol. It just happened that he was someone that I knew of who is such a good physician that he is a wait list going all the way out into January, but it’s very easy to find access to this protocol and this would be one of your best and most customized alternatives to something like synthetic hormone replacement therapy or even a natural hormone replacement therapy that as Dr. Riley described is static or doesn’t fluctuate in accordance with your personal rhythm. So a lot of information. I’m going to put a link in the Shownotes to the www.thewileyprotocol.com and I want to thank you Dr. Riley, or T.S. for coming on the show today and discussing these issues with us and sharing in more detail exactly how you came to design this Wiley Protocol and what it’s all about.
T.S. Wiley: You’re welcome. I just want to say in closing that women who do decide if they would like to try the protocol, keep in (inaudible) and if there’s a significant other in your life of a certain age, try to get them to do it with you because the simpatico is remarkable for personal relations. People are a lot smoother with each other when they’re on the same time frame.
Ben: Yeah, it seemed to make sense when you were going over that. So, thank you for coming on the show and have a wonderful week.
T.S. Wiley: You’re welcome.
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