John Lee M.D interviewed by Fay Wertheimer
Dr. John Lee Interviewed by Fay WertheimerInterview with John Lee M.D. - International Best Selling Author of the "What Your Doctor May Not Tell You" series, by Fay Wertheimer.Since 1978, US hormone expert Dr. John Lee has advocated Natural Progesterone as a treatment instead of HRT for menopausal and post-menopausal women. Natural Progesterone, unlike Oestrogen-based therapies, has no side effects.Fay: What are you beliefs regarding HRT?Dr. Lee: I consider Oestrogen-based HRT in its present form to be dangerous. The dosage of HRT's components is 8 to 10 times higher than necessary for many women and HRT cannot easily be adapted to suit individuals' requirements. Women on Oestrogen are 300% more likely to suffer strokes than others and excessive Oestrogen, known to be the sole cause of uterine cancer, has direct links with breast and ovarian cancers. In fact, taking unopposed Oestrogen's accounts for over 50% of ovarian cancers.Fay: That's pretty strong. Aren't you being an alarmist?Dr. Lee: No, I'm telling the truth. Women can do themselves no better a favour than to ask doctors to prescribe them Natural Progesterone and to lower their intake of Oestrogen-based therapies.Fay: Doesn't HRT contain Progesterone as well as Oestrogen?Dr. Lee: HRT contains a synthetic product, an imitation of Natural Progesterone but NOT Natural Progesterone.Fay: What do you mean by Natural Progesterone?Dr. Lee: It's a hormone natural to humans, which scientists can make from plant fats and oils. It's most effective when applied as a cream but it can be dissolved in drops or capsules. When the technique for making Natural Progesterone was discovered in 1937 by Professor Marker at Pennsylvania University, the price of Progesterone dropped from $35,000 a pound to $7 pound.Fay: Why should doctors prescribe Progesterone in the first place?Dr. Lee: Because Progesterone, NOT Oestrogen is the hormone lacking in menopausal and post-menopausal women. Ovaries don't die or disappear; they just reduce their Oestrogen production. Women into their 80s still make their own Oestrogen as a recent survey confirmed. It is Progesterone which should be replaced.Fay: Surely medics have noticed this by now?Dr. Lee: Sadly, they rarely measure Progesterone levels but focus upon Oestrogens. I think any Progesterone-deficient woman should be able to restore her hormonal balance in the same way as someone with an insulin or thyroid-deficiency.Fay: Are doctors being negligent?Dr. Lee: No. They are being bombarded by the pharmaceutical industry's misleading if not false advertising. Oestrogen-based drug sales bring in more revenue than any other, so manufacturers want all women put on HRT, ERT and the contraceptive pill. The supposed benefits of Oestrogen are so convincingly portrayed that practitioners are unaware these 'benefits' are far outweighed by the dangers of giving unopposed Oestrogen.Fay: How did you become involved in women's hormonal treatment?Dr. Lee: In the mid-70s, experts realised women taking Oestrogen replacement therapy (ERT) for menopausal symptoms and the prevention of osteoporosis were 6 times more likely to develop endometrial cancers than other women. I'd been in family practice in Mill Valley California since 1958. ERT had been in use since 1951. I started thinking more deeply about what I thought hormone replacement should be. I was very concerned. What was I to give osteoporosis patients if they already had a history of breast or endometrial cancer? I began exploring both mainstream and alternative medicine for solutions.Fay: When did Progesterone come into the equation?Dr. Lee: It was noted that women with good Progesterone levels never developed uterine cancers so pharmaceutical companies started manufacturing synthetic Progestins to imitate Natural Progesterone. They combined their product with estrogen hence HRT.Fay: What's wrong with that?Dr. Lee: Many patients suffered side effects as none of the imitation products could convey all the benefits of the unique, Natural Progesterone.Fay: Please define further what you mean by Natural Progesterone?Dr. Lee: I refer to a substance natural to humans and identical to the Progesterone molecules made by women's ovaries and men's testes. There are receptors for Progesterone in all tissues of the body such as the brain, the white cells not just the uterus. The body needs Progesterone.Fay: Can men take Natural Progesterone?Dr. Lee: Of course. I take it to ward off heart disease, prostate cancer and stroke. The premature deaths of my father, uncle and cousin they all died before they were 50 stimulated my interest in preventatives.Fay: As a Harvard-trained medic, you could have specialised but you opted instead for family practice - why is that?Dr. Lee: Specialists limit themselves to just specific body parts but family practice is a specialism looking at the whole person. As a family practitioner for 31 years, I was able to treat patients holistically. As Hippocrates said:'Tell me where this man is from and what he does and I will learn more about his illness. I understood patients fully.'Fay: When did you first prescribe Natural Progesterone?Dr. Lee: In 1978, a biochemist's lecture convinced me of the healing potential of Natural Progesterone however I would not offer it to my patients before thoroughly researching the hormone. The abundance of detailed documentation and positive feedback amazed me. Everything had already been scientifically validated yet medical schools made no mention of Natural Progesterone. I then gradually put women with breast cancer, blood disorders, heart conditions and stroke onto Natural Progesterone. For those with brittle bones I combined the Progesterone with low-dose Oestrogens.Fay: How did you become a crusader?Dr. Lee: Every patient reported health benefits over and above my expectations headaches vanished, joints improved, bone densities thickened, libido returned, fibro-cystic breasts returned to normal, energy increased and sleep improved. Each anecdotal report could be supported with scientific evidence.Fay: How did colleagues react?Dr. Lee: They were cautious but curious, never administering it to patients but always keen for me to sort out their own families' hormonal problems.Fay: And now?Dr. Lee: Conventional medicine acknowledges the dangers of Oestrogen-dominance and Progesterone-deficiency yet still will not disseminate the facts about Natural Progesterone. This may be due to pressure from the pharmaceutical companies who cannot patent Natural Progesterone and want doctors to prescribe their products.Fay: In 1993, your first book 'What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About The Menopause' was published. How accurate are your findings?Dr. Lee: No doctor has found any error in my research. On the contrary, doctors prescribing Progesterone have invariably called to confirm their patients' improvement in health.Fay: What are the side effects of Natural Progesterone?Dr. Lee: None. The name 'Progesterone' may imply a purely pro-gestation hormone - one to aid reproduction - but Natural Progesterone can be taken indefinitely.Fay: What is your financial involvement in the Natural Progesterone?Dr. Lee: I have no monetary interest in this at all. Rumours were spread I was the Chinese owner of all the Progesterone companies but I'm a family doctor of Norwegian -Swedish stock - with a mission.Fay: Which is?Dr. Lee: Showing people how to become healthy through good diet, exercise, nutrition, better responses to stress and the use of Progesterone supplements. Getting patients to ask their doctors for Natural Progesterone. Educating Doctors about prescribing Natural Progesterone creams instead of the synthetic versions. You see, true medicine is not merely treating the symptoms of illness but finding the underlying metabolic causes of that illness and then fixing them.Fay: How can women access Natural Progesterone in Europe?Dr. Lee: If they contact the Well Woman's Information Service they will send them out a comprehensive pack that contains everything they need to know.Fay Wertheimer 2001Fay interviewed Dr. John Lee on the 21 st May 2001 and verify that this is a true transcript of the tape.