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Miracle Cure or Risky Business?
June 1, 2009 12:50 PM   Subscribe

Is Oprah helping you live your best life? A six page article from Newsweek reports on some of the more controversial pieces of advice featured in Oprah's "Live your Best Life" series. Most recently, Oprah has attracted attention for yielding the stage to Suzanne Somers, who advocates for experimental synthetic hormone replacement therapy for women in order to prevent aging, as well as other potentially dangerous medical treatments. Somers responds to the criticism.
posted by theantikitty (522 comments total) 35 users marked this as a favorite

 
Suzanne Somers writes 18 books on health and some dumbasses trust her, even though she doesn't have the credentials.

Can't she just stick to her fucking day job?
posted by kldickson at 12:55 PM on June 1, 2009


Every morning I stuff a whole, unskinned potato completely up my ass. This balances my holistic cleansing centers and strengthens the centers of my holistic balance.

BUY MY BOOK.
posted by chasing at 12:57 PM on June 1, 2009 [77 favorites]


[Somers] believes doctors, scientists and the media are all in the pocket of the pharmaceutical industry.

She's right, and this a serious problem for people who are trying to get halfway decent medical care in the United States. But she's a quack, and so she's probably the worst possible spokesperson for pointing this out.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 12:57 PM on June 1, 2009 [20 favorites]


And once a day, she uses a syringe to inject estrogen directly into her vagina.

Jesus. H. Christ.
posted by KevinSkomsvold at 12:58 PM on June 1, 2009 [4 favorites]


kldickson, I'm sorry but did you even LOOK at the photo on Suzanne's site? The woman is 62! She looks 35! I know what you're thinking... Photoshop, right? Well, Photoshop wasn't around when Suzanne was 35! Try and explain that with all your fancy "credentials"!
posted by You Should See the Other Guy at 1:01 PM on June 1, 2009 [27 favorites]


Every morning I stuff a whole, unskinned potato completely up my ass. This balances my holistic cleansing centers and strengthens the centers of my holistic balance.

BUY MY BOOK.


Are you a (d-list) celebrity?
posted by Pollomacho at 1:03 PM on June 1, 2009


O-Prah [whose name I insist on pronouncing as if it were that of a Mayan God] is also giving Jenny McCarthy a platform from which to air her... ah, unorthodox views of vaccination.
posted by Joe Beese at 1:03 PM on June 1, 2009 [3 favorites]


This is shocking! I'm shocked.
posted by Elmore at 1:06 PM on June 1, 2009 [2 favorites]


And Oprah has also advocated work from home" money-making schemes like the infamous envelope-stuffing scam.
posted by misha at 1:06 PM on June 1, 2009 [2 favorites]


I like how that Doctor Oz dude wears OR scrubs on a studio chatshow, to show that he is a Real Doctor. That's a real trustworthy and respectable dude.
posted by Artw at 1:07 PM on June 1, 2009 [14 favorites]


Just a quirk I suppose, but I prefer to put potatoes that have been cooked, peeled and cut up in my mouth and let nature take care of ultimate placement.
posted by Cranberry at 1:08 PM on June 1, 2009 [12 favorites]


[Somers] believes doctors, scientists and the media are all in the pocket of the pharmaceutical industry.

Next, she'll team up with Jenny McCarthy to expose the link between vaccines and autism that the pharmaceutical industry is paying doctors, scientists, and the media to hide!
posted by mattdidthat at 1:08 PM on June 1, 2009


I won't say I'm a big fan of Oprah, but after the beef industry tried to silence her, I admit that I'm still wary of criticism of her (even if indirectly, through Newsweek) by incredibly powerful interests — in this case, a pharmaceutical industry that makes huge profits by controlling how high-cost medical treatments are administered. I don't have as much of a problem criticizing Somers on the faulty basis of her self-proclaimed medical knowledge.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 1:10 PM on June 1, 2009 [4 favorites]


Suzanne Summers: How Maximize Your Placebo Effect

Doing nothing is really hard, especially when people tell you there's nothing you can do to stop aging. I'm much more in favor of yoga and other therapies, in that the chance of injury is significantly less than injecting OJ after you have had a glass of wine.

What's the chance of infection from an IV drip, even assuming the substance is inert like saline?
posted by geoff. at 1:11 PM on June 1, 2009


Oprah has long been a platform for opportunists.
posted by Burhanistan at 1:11 PM on June 1, 2009 [4 favorites]


If she's exposed to cigarette smoke, she has her blood chemically cleaned with chelation therapy

That is so hilariously awesome.
posted by uncleozzy at 1:12 PM on June 1, 2009 [21 favorites]


Usually when I hear about Oprah I have to wonder if she's just evil through passive stupidity or through active sociopathy.
posted by TheOnlyCoolTim at 1:13 PM on June 1, 2009 [4 favorites]


I blame Oprah.
posted by psmealey at 1:14 PM on June 1, 2009 [3 favorites]


Oprah's coy new-age garbage about her thyroid condition makes me furious. A lot of people listen to this woman. Thyroid disease must be treated with actual medical science. Fresh foods and Hawaiian vacations are optional.
posted by swerve at 1:14 PM on June 1, 2009 [2 favorites]


I am a long time reader of Metafilter, I visit everyday, sometimes multiple times. I registered an account just to respond to this post.

1st of all, the "syringe" she uses does not have a needle, it's a plunger syringe, filled with a topical cream. Most of the women who are on the hormone protocol she uses simply rub it into their leg.

Just because Suzanna Somers likes something and promotes it, doesn't mean the people responsible for it are crazy or doing something wrong. Also, I hope someone would please change the title of this MeFi post. Suzanne is a proponent very specifically of something called "bio-identical" or "bio-memetic" hormone replacement therapy. IT IS NOT synthetic. Synthetics are the bio-identical proponents think will kill you (birth-control is synthetic).

Bio-identical protocols rely the actual, unaltered molecules of progesterone, testosterone, estrogen etc. for replacement.
posted by jakeelala at 1:15 PM on June 1, 2009 [3 favorites]


Societies have always had a convenient defense mechanism that triggered whenever a single person achieved more power than is healthy for the populace, that defense mechanism has been effectively bypassed thanks to the advent of the pr firm. So now corporate shills like Oprah and Bill O'Reilly are allowed to continue as demagogues controlling the minds of the masses with whatever disinformation is fed to them by those that pay for their services. Kill your idols.
posted by any major dude at 1:16 PM on June 1, 2009 [3 favorites]


Bio-identical protocols rely the actual, unaltered molecules of progesterone, testosterone, estrogen etc. for replacement.

Ten bucks* if you can get a biochemist in here to explain why this matters at all.

*not really.
posted by Inspector.Gadget at 1:18 PM on June 1, 2009 [4 favorites]


Blazecock Pileon: "I don't have as much of a problem criticizing Somers on the faulty basis of her self-proclaimed medical knowledge."

Oh, you're only biased against her because she entered your consciousness ass first.

From the "responds to criticism" link...

My information all comes from the doctors I interview. I am, in essence, a filter for those cutting-edge western doctors who cannot be heard. ... As a result of my natural hormone replacement, I do not need or require even one pharmaceutical drug. I am not the customer they want. I don’t make money for them. They are hoping that by constantly attacking me and sending their pharmaceutically paid doctors to discredit me, the readers of my books and those who watch me on TV will be frightened to follow my lead. But I am simply a filter…

Unfortunately, she does not discuss the details of injecting estrogen into her vagina with a syringe.
posted by Joe Beese at 1:18 PM on June 1, 2009


That was the comment you paid $5 for, jakeelala? Welcome to metafilter.
posted by cjorgensen at 1:19 PM on June 1, 2009


Has anybody actually read Somers' response? It's not like she's speaking (at least in that article) like some wackjob. She basically says, replace your declining hormones with bioidentical hormones instead of throwing anti-depressants and paintkillers at it. Which, by the way, is a pretty solid response that I happen to agree* with, as do any good GYN worth their weight in salt.

*I do not follow Oprah or Somers, I do not watch TV and I do not believe in injecting yourself with crap or colon cleansing or any of that BS. Just stating what I've read here.
posted by Malice at 1:21 PM on June 1, 2009 [4 favorites]


metafilter: unfortunately does not discuss the details of injecting estrogen into a vagina with a syringe.

Or maybe it does.
posted by cjorgensen at 1:23 PM on June 1, 2009 [1 favorite]


biochemists aren't MD's. I wouldn't expect them to know the difference. They tend to specialize in very specific things, not what happens when you go from a rat or a cell line into a human being day to day.

Lots of safe substances in the world can be methylated or hydrogenated artificially to become something very very deadly. I take it you're a biochemist, inspector?

I paid to make sure someone who actually has some real life insight into the situation got a voice in.

And the people at Newsweek responsible for this drivel actually wrote their own menopause book and shill their own products. They try at every turn to debase bio-identical / anti-aging approaches that differ from their own. It's like letting Chevron write a piece under the guise of Newsweek debunking global warming.

You're not all as well informed as the people informing you would have you believe. That's all I'm saying.
posted by jakeelala at 1:23 PM on June 1, 2009 [1 favorite]


Oprah's coy new-age garbage about her thyroid condition makes me furious. A lot of people listen to this woman. Thyroid disease must be treated with actual medical science.

Coy is right. As far as I could decipher, she claimed on the show that she actually had TWO different thyroid conditions, and they were "out of whack" so they had to get them balanced (which means what?) and now she's off all her meds! Yay!
posted by peep at 1:26 PM on June 1, 2009


Suzanne is a proponent very specifically of something called "bio-identical" or "bio-memetic" hormone replacement therapy. IT IS NOT synthetic. Synthetics are the bio-identical proponents think will kill you (birth-control is synthetic).

Directly from the article:
And despite Somers's claim that her specially made, non-FDA-approved bioidenticals are "natural" and safer, they are actually synthetic, just like conventional hormones and FDA-approved bioidenticals from pharmacies—and there are no conclusive clinical studies showing they are less risky.
posted by graventy at 1:26 PM on June 1, 2009 [5 favorites]


Unfortunately, she does not discuss the details of injecting estrogen into her vagina with a syringe.

You mistyped and meant to say "fortunately", right? Because it really doesn't require a leap of imagination to visualize that thing, and if you were hoping for subjective reactions/sensations then shame on you! Penance will be one thousand non-stop reruns of "Three's Company" followed by a thousand more of "She's the Sheriff".
posted by Burhanistan at 1:27 PM on June 1, 2009


Synthetics are the bio-identical proponents think will kill you (birth-control is synthetic).

Every chemical compound is synthetic, whether synthesized in a factory, or synthesized in a chain of chemical reactions inside an animal, bacterial or plant cell.

A molecule of estrogen would only be "natural" for Somers, if her ovaries still made that molecule.

A chirally-correct molecule of estrogen derived through chemical industrial processes is no different than a molecule of estrogen derived through a biological process.

In fact, it's likely that an industrial process would synthesize a purer quantity of estrogen, than a sample derived from a plant extract, which can contain all number of other compounds of unknown biological effect.

With the unregulated nature of the treatments that Somers promotes, hormone purity and dosage are significant and likely dangerous unknowns.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 1:27 PM on June 1, 2009 [44 favorites]


On the whole, HRT is dicey stuff. Here's a good one from Google, just from yesterday, showing a 60% increase in risk of death from lung cancer associated with HRT. Seems like the last year or two has been chock full of good reasons not to do it.

I'm no kind of expert, and I'm sure there are women for whom it still makes some kind of sense. Just not for most people.
posted by gurple at 1:28 PM on June 1, 2009


Outside Oprah's world, there isn't a raging debate about replacing hormones. Somers "is simply repackaging the old, discredited idea that menopause is some kind of hormone-deficiency disease, and that restoring them will bring back youth," says Dr. Nanette Santoro, director of reproductive endocrinology at Albert Einstein College of Medicine. Older women aren't missing hormones. They just don't need as much once they get past their childbearing years. Unless a woman has significant discomfort from hot flashes—and most women don't—there is little reason to prescribe them. Most women never use them. Hormone therapy can increase a woman's risk of heart attacks, strokes, blood clots and cancer. And despite Somers's claim that her specially made, non-FDA-approved bioidenticals are "natural" and safer, they are actually synthetic, just like conventional hormones and FDA-approved bioidenticals from pharmacies—and there are no conclusive clinical studies showing they are less risky. That's why endocrinologists advise that women take the smallest dose that alleviates symptoms, and use them only as long as they're needed.
posted by Sys Rq at 1:28 PM on June 1, 2009 [7 favorites]


jakeelala: "the "syringe" she uses does not have a needle, it's a plunger syringe, filled with a topical cream. Most of the women who are on the hormone protocol she uses simply rub it into their leg."

This begs the question of why the former star of She's The Sheriff goes the extra mile, as it were.

Because even a 1% greater degree of estrogen absorption is precious ammunition in her grim fight to remain youthful forever?
posted by Joe Beese at 1:29 PM on June 1, 2009 [1 favorite]


Lots of safe substances in the world can be methylated or hydrogenated artificially to become something very very deadly.

And...hmm....who would know about this? Might it be...SCIENTISTS?

I paid to make sure someone who actually has some real life insight into the situation got a voice in.

No, you paid to make sure typical Hollywood airheads could fund the expansion of their cults of personality with money and adulation from people who will be harmed by not seeking real medical treatment.

You're not all as well informed as the people informing you would have you believe. That's all I'm saying.

http://www.justfuckinggoogleit.com/search.pl?query=burden+of+proof
posted by Inspector.Gadget at 1:29 PM on June 1, 2009 [12 favorites]


The Secret is the very worst form of spiritual materialism. I wasn't shocked that this absolute crap was bandied about for a year or two as "spirituality." It really fits the U.S. mentality so perfectly. I certainly have little authority to stand on, but rolling around in bed trying to have a fulfilling life through wishing the things you want into your life and claiming it to be spiritual is just disgusting to me. I know otherwise intelligent people lured into this, as if access to some more money will make us happy and receiving these things are somehow proof of our spirituality. /rant
posted by milarepa at 1:29 PM on June 1, 2009 [34 favorites]


Ah...The Wealthier-Than-God and their inability to accept getting older. The freak show never ceases to entertain.
posted by Thorzdad at 1:29 PM on June 1, 2009 [4 favorites]


You're not all as well informed as the people informing you would have you believe. That's all I'm saying.

I agree with the brand new user to an extent. It's true that the mass media has a vested interest in selling a particular medical philosophy with the associated drugs and treatments. The problem is that the "alternative" crowd is largely reactionary, misinformed, and pursuing its own agenda. Somewhere in the middle is where sanity lives, and its really up to individuals to be as skeptical as possible with anything and everything that is purported to fix them.
posted by Burhanistan at 1:30 PM on June 1, 2009 [4 favorites]


synthetic: not a real hormone that exists in your body naturally, a chemical.
bio-identical: actual hormones that exist in your body naturally.

Susan uses bio-identical. I'm sorry if the authors of the Newsweek article are misconstruing the definitions. Yes, some pharmaceutical companies have bio-identical products on the market. Bioidenticals literally grow on trees, they most often synthesized from from Yams or Soybeans. They are controlled substances, and must be prescribed.

They however are not made up molecules that can be patented by Pharma companies as drugs. Hence the title "bio-identical".
posted by jakeelala at 1:30 PM on June 1, 2009


Supposedly, the new testosterone creams (by prescription) are best rubbed into your sleepy, lackadaisical testicles. So I guess the syringe method isn't, on the face of it, a terrible idea. Not having a vagina though, I'd just be very nervous about putting random things in it.
posted by adipocere at 1:30 PM on June 1, 2009


Just because Suzanna [sic] Somers likes something and promotes it, doesn't mean the people responsible for it are crazy or doing something wrong.

Correct. The fact that they're toying recklessly with human biology, driven by a pathological cultural obsession with an unrealistic physical ideal, means they're crazy and wrong.
posted by ixohoxi at 1:30 PM on June 1, 2009 [13 favorites]


I saw Suzanne Sommers on Letterman a few years ago, as she was pimping one of her diet books, and she made some claim about the fact that humans have molars means that we are meant to be vegetarian. Uh....what? We also have canines -- surely that means humans developed as omnivores.

So I don't pay much attention to her scientific/medical/fitness theories.
posted by potsmokinghippieoverlord at 1:31 PM on June 1, 2009 [2 favorites]


Also, I hope someone would please change the title of this MeFi post.

Only users with 3000 comments or more are allowed to change post titles after the fact. You're just going to have to wait this one out.
posted by odinsdream at 1:31 PM on June 1, 2009 [1 favorite]


They however are not made up molecules that can be patented by Pharma companies as drugs.

You do not understand the US patent system or molecular chemistry. You are up to your eyes in poop. Please stop digging.
posted by Inspector.Gadget at 1:33 PM on June 1, 2009 [14 favorites]


I wish that I was in Big Pharma's pocket. Do you know how crappy {grad student, post doc, jr. faculty} pay is?
posted by a robot made out of meat at 1:35 PM on June 1, 2009 [4 favorites]


Is "Risky Business" a sly reference to Tom Cruise on Oprah, and his propensity to promote Scientology's junk science? If so, megakudos!
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 1:35 PM on June 1, 2009 [1 favorite]


No, you paid to make sure typical Hollywood airheads could fund the expansion of their cults of personality with money and adulation from people who will be harmed by not seeking real medical treatment.

I have no association with Susan Somers. I do have a vested interest in the accurate reporting and discussion of bio identical hormones, treatment, and facts. And your previous comment suggested a biochemist was the same thing as a clinician or author of a large study.

Biochemists come up with lots of drug candidates that don't see the light of day, and some that do, that still hurt people. Vioxx, Raptiva, Phentrimine.

That's why people do clinical studies. It's also why they design them sometimes to skew results a certain way.

Also, why are you do angry? My comment about not being informed was directed at the fact that the article authors have a conflict of interest. Not anyones general level of knowledge or sophistication who posts on this website.
posted by jakeelala at 1:36 PM on June 1, 2009 [1 favorite]


jakeelala: "Susan uses bio-identical."

I sense a branding opportunity!
posted by Joe Beese at 1:36 PM on June 1, 2009


Is "Risky Business" a sly reference to Tom Cruise on Oprah

Nevar 4git!
posted by Burhanistan at 1:37 PM on June 1, 2009


They however are not made up molecules that can be patented by Pharma companies as drugs.

You do not understand the US patent system or molecular chemistry. You are up to your eyes in poop. Please stop digging.


Yes I do. You can't patent a naturally occurring substance as a drug. You can only at that point patent it's delivery/dosing/formulation etc. It's why anyone can make a product with real estrogen, progesterone, or testosterone in it without licensing it from a pharmaceutical company, and thus why there are several different testosterone gels, estrogen patches, nasal sprays, etc. available on the market today.

I actually know far more about this subject than I think you can imagine.
posted by jakeelala at 1:39 PM on June 1, 2009 [16 favorites]


There is an excellent series from US News and World Reports that talks about hormonal therapy and "bio identical" hormonal treatments. Estrogen cream can be used topically or intra-vaginally, and yes we are talking a plunger applicator and not some kind of needle syringe. On section of the series does, I think, a thorough job contrasting Somers' beliefs with that of current experts in the health fields.

Incidentally, there's a huge difference between, "I think bio-identical estrogen is an alternative for some women suffering from post-menopausal symptoms," and Somers' brand of crazy radical "bio-identical hormones can cure cancer and reverse aging," claims.
posted by misha at 1:39 PM on June 1, 2009 [3 favorites]


Oooh! We have a winner!

Metafilter: I actually know far more about this subject than I think you can imagine.
posted by Burhanistan at 1:39 PM on June 1, 2009 [123 favorites]


Wouldn't hormones from horse piss be more "bio-identical" than hormones from a sweet potato pie?
posted by Sys Rq at 1:40 PM on June 1, 2009 [3 favorites]


And your previous comment suggested a biochemist was the same thing as a clinician or author of a large study.

No it didn't. I suggest you consult an optometrist rather than injecting estrogen directly into your aqueous humor.

That's why people do clinical studies. It's also why they design them sometimes to skew results a certain way.

[citation needed]

My comment about not being informed was directed at the fact that the article authors have a conflict of interest.

[citation needed]
posted by Inspector.Gadget at 1:40 PM on June 1, 2009



jakeelala: "Susan uses bio-identical."

I sense a branding opportunity!


You've missed the boat my friend. Bio-identical is not a new term. It means using the unaltered molecular forms of hormones for treatment instead of a metabolite, a precursor, or a version some biochemist just made up that does similar things in a lab.
posted by jakeelala at 1:40 PM on June 1, 2009


synthetic: not a real hormone that exists in your body naturally, a chemical.
bio-identical: actual hormones that exist in your body naturally.


How can you tell the difference unless Sommers is using hormone actually produced in other human bodies?
posted by OmieWise at 1:41 PM on June 1, 2009 [1 favorite]


I actually know far more about this subject than I think you can imagine.

Please describe your training and/or certification. Everybody on the internet claims to be a 6'8" powerlifter, retired astronaut, and Nobel laureate with a 2-foot penis.
posted by Inspector.Gadget at 1:41 PM on June 1, 2009 [30 favorites]


I actually know far more about this subject than I think you can imagine.

It is, at best, risky to underestimate what somebody can imagine about you.
posted by Astro Zombie at 1:42 PM on June 1, 2009 [40 favorites]


That's why people do clinical studies. It's also why they design them sometimes to skew results a certain way.

This is true, and that the FDA works with pharmaceutical companies to skew study results is bad. It's junk science to turn a profit.

It is as bad, ethically, as Somers promoting her treatments, using her own form of junk science to make a profit.

As a matter of personal opinion, I think it's possible to criticize the ethics of both parties.

As a matter of logic, it doesn't follow that the FDA being somewhat corrupt suggests that it's somehow okay for Somers to peddle quack medicine.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 1:42 PM on June 1, 2009 [9 favorites]


In fact, it's likely that an industrial process would synthesize a purer quantity of estrogen, than a sample derived from a plant extract, which can contain all number of other compounds of unknown biological effect.

Well, not to give any creedence to Ms. Somers, but weird stuff happens when you're manufacturing chemicals. For instance, Thalidomide mostly worked really well, but for every X molecules of the drug, the production process also produced some small number of enantiomers, essentially a mirror image of the molecule (sometimes referred to as "handedness" with completely different chemical properties and the cause of the horrible birth defects.
posted by electroboy at 1:43 PM on June 1, 2009


I actually know far more about this subject than I think you can imagine.

Ooh oh ... now say: "I've seen things you can only imagine."
posted by odinsdream at 1:44 PM on June 1, 2009 [9 favorites]


Wouldn't hormones from horse piss be more "bio-identical" than hormones from a sweet potato pie?

Nope. Once they go through the horse they're changed by a lot of chemical processes, without getting to techincal, the stuff from yams is real, actual 17-beta estradiol. That's not what is in Premarin.
posted by jakeelala at 1:44 PM on June 1, 2009


jakeela: with respect, I think that if you're going to jump in at full speed here and prosecute your positions like this, then perhaps it would only be fair for you to state your credentials and interest in this subject, if only in a broad and anonymous way. The problem is that this kind of immediate back-and-forth banter in contentious subjects like this really doesn't help explain why we are discussing it, and tends to make both sides ratchet up their defenses.

So, if you please, why are you here defending this treatment or clarifying what you see as errors?
posted by Burhanistan at 1:44 PM on June 1, 2009 [6 favorites]


I actually know far more about this subject than I think you can imagine.

I don't know, I can imagine quite a bit.
posted by Bromius at 1:44 PM on June 1, 2009 [15 favorites]


Ever notice that Oprah always puts herself on the cover of her own magazine? Seriously. Every time I'm in the checkout line, BAM, there's her magazine, and BAM, there she is on the cover.

Anybody else think that's weird?
posted by Afroblanco at 1:45 PM on June 1, 2009 [7 favorites]


Everybody on the internet claims to be a 6'8" powerlifter, retired astronaut, and Nobel laureate with a 2-foot penis.

Sigh. Except in my case, it's actually true. Everyone thinks I'm just trying to impress people.
posted by ixohoxi at 1:45 PM on June 1, 2009 [13 favorites]


And then say "If you strike me down, I shall become more powerful than you can possibly imagine."
posted by electroboy at 1:45 PM on June 1, 2009 [13 favorites]


What would be weird at this point, Afroblanco, is if she wasn't on the cover.
posted by ODiV at 1:46 PM on June 1, 2009 [1 favorite]



Everybody on the internet claims to be a 6'8" powerlifter, retired astronaut, and Nobel laureate with a 2-foot penis.


What do you do with two footpenises, let alone one?
posted by electroboy at 1:46 PM on June 1, 2009 [9 favorites]


What do you do with two footpenises, let alone one?

I made a water skiing-themed porno.
posted by Inspector.Gadget at 1:47 PM on June 1, 2009 [33 favorites]


For instance, Thalidomide...

"A chirally-correct molecule of estrogen derived through chemical industrial processes is no different than a molecule of estrogen derived through a biological process."
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 1:47 PM on June 1, 2009


My mother trains doctors on the molecular biology and endocrinology associated with cyclically dosed bio-identical hormones.

She's also a published researcher in the field of oncology, specifically reproductive cancers. She's also currently overseeing 2 very early stage studies of long term (1-7 years) BHRT replacement therapy with an oncologyst and an OBGYN who are proponents of such treatments. Clinical trials to follow.

Who might I ask, are you?
posted by jakeelala at 1:48 PM on June 1, 2009


Ah, the "natural" debate. Surely there is nothing occuring naturally that is harmful to the body. Why just last week I went on the Blue-ringed Octopus Master Cleanse.
posted by yeti at 1:48 PM on June 1, 2009 [6 favorites]


posted by Blazecock Pileon the FDA works with pharmaceutical companies to skew study results . . . It's junk science to turn a profit.

Do you have some cites for this, or is this just more of your incessant "I know this [person/institution] is guilty of something but I can't provide proof or details!" blathering?
posted by mattdidthat at 1:49 PM on June 1, 2009


Who might I ask, are you?

Not the one making spurious claims based on research I don't participate in. Game, set, match.
posted by Inspector.Gadget at 1:49 PM on June 1, 2009 [50 favorites]


I am a long time reader of Metafilter, I visit everyday, sometimes multiple times. I registered an account just to respond to this post.

Why do people continue to post things like this, and why do they continue to think that it lends their comment some sort of gravitas?

LISTEN, YOU ARE POSTING A COMMENT ON A WEBSITE JUST LIKE EVERYBODY ELSE HERE. YOU ARE NOT SPECIAL. IF ANYTHING, YOUR LACK OF POSTING HISTORY MAKES YOU EVEN LESS SPECIAL.
posted by Afroblanco at 1:49 PM on June 1, 2009 [18 favorites]


My mom's a hell of a cook, but you wouldn't want to try my cheesecake.
posted by JaredSeth at 1:49 PM on June 1, 2009 [67 favorites]


Nope. Once they go through the horse they're changed by a lot of chemical processes, without getting to techincal, the stuff from yams is real, actual 17-beta estradiol.

By all means, please get more technical.
posted by Comrade_robot at 1:50 PM on June 1, 2009 [2 favorites]


"I actually know far more about this subject than I think you can imagine." I am totally going to start my PhD defense with this statement.*


*Not really. It would be awesome, but actually getting the PhD would be better.
posted by oddman at 1:50 PM on June 1, 2009 [38 favorites]


Her papers were in peer-reviewed Oncology journals. I left that out, but some may find it pertinent.

It's nice to know there's so much interest surrounding the issue.
posted by jakeelala at 1:50 PM on June 1, 2009


Ever notice that Oprah always puts herself on the cover of her own magazine? Seriously. Every time I'm in the checkout line, BAM, there's her magazine, and BAM, there she is on the cover.

Anybody else think that's weird?
posted by Afroblanco


Right, like you don't do the same thing with every issue of "Afroblanco!" magazine.
posted by Floydd at 1:51 PM on June 1, 2009 [8 favorites]


A chirally-correct molecule

Oops, that's what I get for scanning.
posted by electroboy at 1:51 PM on June 1, 2009


grim fight to remain youthful forever

Excellent turn of phrase, Joe Beese, and that's what gets me about this "living your best life" stuff. Is frantically and pathetically grabbing at the frayed threads of your long-gone girlhood really living your best life? Expending all that energy on something so pointless is just wasting minutes you'll never get back, which should be extra precious to those of us who've passed the halfway point in our lifespans.

I know women are told by the culture that they have no value whatsoever unless they look like eternal bouncy supple-skinned cheerleaders, but I wish I could give those of my fellow middle-aged broads who buy into that nonsense a taste of what it feels like to stop giving a shit what the fucked-up culture thinks and how freeing it is to become basically invisible to the mainstream, in the way over-40 women do if they don't color their graying hair or starve themselves or put extraneous glop on their faces or wear painful shoes, etc. When you stop being a commodity, nobody much bugs you anymore about anything you do, and you largely fly under the radar of narrow judgment.

Every day in every way, I am living a better life than the day before.
posted by FelliniBlank at 1:52 PM on June 1, 2009 [51 favorites]


My mommy makes really awesome and stylish clothes. Thus I am totally going to win the next Project Runway competition.
posted by oddman at 1:53 PM on June 1, 2009 [2 favorites]


>>I am a long time reader of Metafilter, I visit everyday, sometimes multiple times. I registered an account just to respond to this post.

Why do people continue to post things like this, and why do they continue to think that it lends their comment some sort of gravitas?

I rather like those declarations. I think it just suggests a certain passion - it doesn't necessarily imply putting on airs..?
posted by Jody Tresidder at 1:54 PM on June 1, 2009 [6 favorites]


Not the one making spurious claims based on research I don't participate in. Game, set, match.

So you're playing and officiating? That doesn't seem fair...Who ever said I wasn't involved in the research or what I'm talking about? I have a separate day job but I am involved professionaly with what she does.

I'm also on my way to medical school after a few more pre-reqs thanks to an early life career change decision.

For the person wanting more details on Premarin, they are metabolized forms of 17 beta estradiol.
posted by jakeelala at 1:54 PM on June 1, 2009


I work in a dental school. You can't imagine what I know about floss.
posted by Astro Zombie at 1:56 PM on June 1, 2009 [6 favorites]


Also, I have to say that "Premarin" is, like, the most awesomely descriptive product name ever. Premarin = PREgnant MARes' urINe
posted by Afroblanco at 1:56 PM on June 1, 2009 [9 favorites]


Y'know, the technical details aside - this is all balanced on a stupid premise of looks, body image, etc. Organisms age. What the hell is wrong with not having died yet?
This is youth obsessed bullshit.
Nothing wrong with diet and exercise, vitamins, etc, but if you're doing all that to get rid of wrinkles or smooth your thighs instead of just being healthy go ahead and get the damn fake tits man and some plastic surgery so you look like Mickey Roarke if he had Joliee's lips because you're doing it wrong in the first place.
Sommers seems to still trying to get over wetting the bed or something.
Please yourself, you're the one you have to live with.

Hell, I look forward to getting old. Grey hair. Crotchety temperament. Play the old master. Sit on my mat in the corner drinking green tea making obscure pronouncements that though surreal seem vaguely wise so they don't know if I'm just so balls out Tao that I rattle off wisdom at random or I've got dementia. Like, what, I'm going to be on television some day? I've got to justify myself to some 16 year olds? F'em. Your body's not a house you keep pristine for visitors. You live in it.
posted by Smedleyman at 1:57 PM on June 1, 2009 [18 favorites]


chasing:Every morning I stuff a whole, unskinned potato completely up my ass

Sorry, the Pringles thread is a little further down the page.
posted by dr_dank at 1:57 PM on June 1, 2009 [6 favorites]


I did not mean to suggest that there's something wrong with a 70-year-old dame having a platinum blonde mohawk and wearing platform boots if that's her thing. I just wish more women were doing their own things instead of some Oprah-Approved Forever Young Program.
posted by FelliniBlank at 1:58 PM on June 1, 2009 [5 favorites]


you know, back when Tom Cruise was the celebrity spouting crazy anti-medical-science mumbo jumbo on Oprah, I assumed that Oprah had been taken advantage of by Cruise, and that she was as shocked by his nonsense as the rest of us were.

nowadays I'm starting to wonder if she honestly brought him on the show to talk about how medicine doesn't work. it seems like she's really starting to get into this whole "celebrities know more about medicine than doctors do" thing.
posted by shmegegge at 2:00 PM on June 1, 2009


bio-identical: actual hormones that exist in your body naturally.

Susan uses bio-identical.


So she.... uses the actual hormones that exist in one's body? Could one say she... feasts on the blood of virgins to remain young? Cause this sounds remarkably like the 21st century version of the same idea.

Taking 60 pills a day and taking estrogen by cooter (as well as by patch and god knows how else) and having chelation for cigarette smoke-- what's the point? Age comes to us all, and I'd rather spend my time in other ways that pathological and narcissistic attempts to "stay young". Life's too short for that sort of thing. Really. We all end up dead; if Sommers ends up dead at 110, tottering towards the grave, covered in estrogen cream, having wasted hundreds of hours of her life tinkering with drugs and pills, what has she won?
posted by jokeefe at 2:00 PM on June 1, 2009 [19 favorites]


Actually, come to think of it, my father is a professor of pharmacology and my mother has been a pharmacist for five decades. But I would hesitate to use that as a reference if I decided to prescribe drugs.
posted by Astro Zombie at 2:00 PM on June 1, 2009


My dad's a website commenter, AZ, and he says ur doin it wrong.
posted by graventy at 2:04 PM on June 1, 2009 [14 favorites]


It's her body, let her do what she wants with it. If she wants to maintain some facet of it via cooter-estrogen, go for it. Wasn't one of the points of feminism to stop telling women what to do with their bodies?

It's the lousy science claims being made (and pushed for product) which bother me, not what she does with her time and her body.
posted by adipocere at 2:04 PM on June 1, 2009 [2 favorites]


So jakeelala, just to be clear here, are you saying that the regimen that Somers promotes is safe? In your opinion, are all the doctors cautioning against what she promotes wrong or are they all just in the pocket of "big pharma?"
posted by LeeJay at 2:04 PM on June 1, 2009


>

What I wouldn't give to have my Bextra back. Like Vioxx (I believe) it was a COX-2 inhibitor and completely solved a chronic pain issue I suffer from.

It's made my likelihood of a heart attack four times greater, but for a 34 year old (at the time) male, my risk wasn't that great, and it was a no brainer for me. Daily pain, or an elevated increase in heart risk.

Informed consent people. Tell me the risks, let me decide. Nanny states suck.

Of course, many other countries still serve up this drug.
posted by cjorgensen at 2:04 PM on June 1, 2009 [6 favorites]


Who among us wouldn't let Astro Zombie prescribe drugs?
posted by uncleozzy at 2:05 PM on June 1, 2009 [16 favorites]


Taking 60 pills a day and taking estrogen by cooter (as well as by patch and god knows how else) and having chelation for cigarette smoke--

Don't forget to make time to electrify your face.
posted by Sys Rq at 2:05 PM on June 1, 2009


I do have a vested interest in the accurate reporting and discussion of bio identical hormones, treatment, and facts.

Translation: your income derives from promoting them. You may have gotten into the business based on what you believe based on your own extensive research, but you are in the business, just as any doctor 'recruited' by Big Pharma does. Thank you for playing.

As for Oprah, her support of the totally magical wishful thinking of "The Secret" has discredited her totally with me and makes everything promoted on her show more than suspect. Sadly, with all its evils, Big Pharma has more credibility than Oprah.

It is certainly possible that a wealthy celebrity may have used his/her wealth to develop a Super Anti-Aging series of treatments that you don't have to be a wealthy celebrity to afford, and Suzanne Somers has the well-earned reputation for being a "Smart Blonde" in real life, BUT she has previously used those smarts primarily for Marketing and Promotion, not R&D, which is likely why she's working with Oprah. Her approach's greatest value still appears to be for celebrities over 30 in the era of HDTV, if you know what I mean.
posted by wendell at 2:05 PM on June 1, 2009 [2 favorites]


She's also a published researcher in the field of oncology, specifically reproductive cancers. She's also currently overseeing 2 very early stage studies of long term (1-7 years) BHRT replacement therapy with an oncologyst and an OBGYN who are proponents of such treatments. Clinical trials to follow.

I really doubt the problems with hormone replacement therapy were related to the small molecular differences between traditionally manufactured hormones and the new way of synthesizing the so-called bio-identical hormones. That would lead us to the following conclusion: the mechanism of action that increased the chances of a myriad of illnesses all came from a slight difference in a couple of carbon bonds on this hormone. Considering:

CONCLUSION: Evidence suggests that, although individualized hormonal products may decrease some symptoms of menopause, it seems they have no proven advantage over conventional hormone therapies and their use is not supported by evidence regarding pharmacokinetics, safety, and efficacy.

I would wager to guess that the study will indicate that after the placebo effect is accounted for, the efficacy of bioidentical hormones and synthetic hormones is more or less the same and that "further study is needed." I would go so far as to say that the fundamental problem with hormone replacement therapy is that it is not needed, and that doing nothing is the best thing you can do, that hormone replacement therapy results in the long-term health effects seen in earlier studies.

Of course science! is great and there's a reason people do all these sorts of clinical trials, but 2 early stage studies is not prima facie for there being any difference in the bodies response to these two hormones.
posted by geoff. at 2:05 PM on June 1, 2009 [1 favorite]


...if Sommers ends up dead at 110, tottering towards the grave, covered in estrogen cream, having wasted hundreds of hours of her life tinkering with drugs and pills, what has she won?

To paraphrase Louis Anderson: she'll be dead...but doesn't she look good?
posted by jquinby at 2:05 PM on June 1, 2009


Those drugs are perfecftly safe... FOR ZOMBIES!
posted by Artw at 2:06 PM on June 1, 2009


I'm not prescribing anything, and I'm not arguing that what Susan Somers does should be the standard of care.

I'm arguing that bio-identical hormone replacement is a very interesting, rich, and growing subject of study and medicine, and that's what she was referring to for part of her article. It doesnt involve a needle in her vagina, and it isn't quack pot. Taken out of context it might sound odd, but so did washing your hands before surgery until just after the civil war. So lets try to keep a little perspective here, shall we?

Everything turns into character attacks on the internet for some reason, instead of people talking about real things, facts, science, what have you. It's why I never registered I guess.

In any case, I think I've been pretty upfront, pretty honest, and as least with regards to the people on this website, non-confrontational despite lots of goading to do so.

I'm not very interested in any of the personal stuff going on here so I'm not really going to respond to it anymore. But if anyone is interested in bio-identicals, what they treat, current research, etc. I will be happy to add what I can to the discussion.
posted by jakeelala at 2:06 PM on June 1, 2009 [16 favorites]


Your momma's so fat that when she jumps up in the air she gets stuck.

Oh, right. We were talking about our own mothers. Don't talk about my mother.
posted by Burhanistan at 2:06 PM on June 1, 2009


Also, specifcally in reference to the fact that Susan is promoting "transdermal" hormone replacement therapy (ie the syringe in her chach), here's a good article about why some people (my mother included) have advocated for many years that transdermal is the only way to replace hormones, not pills or injections.

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/03/090326134024.htm
posted by jakeelala at 2:08 PM on June 1, 2009


I'm not prescribing anything, and I'm not arguing that what Susan Somers does should be the standard of care.

I'm arguing that bio-identical hormone replacement is a very interesting, rich, and growing subject of study and medicine, and that's what she was referring to for part of her article
.

You know, you could have said that at the outset of this, and put forth things in a much more direct manner. That would have obviated this whole stupid argument. There is interesting potential for hormone therapy, and we're just beginning to scratch the surface. But the way you framed your posts really didn't help.
posted by Burhanistan at 2:09 PM on June 1, 2009


My mother trains doctors on the molecular biology and endocrinology associated with cyclically dosed bio-identical hormones. [...] Who might I ask, are you?
posted by jakeelala at 1:48 PM on June 1


I'm not really interested in debating the chemistry, but I can't believe you're claiming to be correct because of what your mom does for a living.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 2:09 PM on June 1, 2009 [58 favorites]


Look good when you're dead? Feh. I'm not going to give a damn what I look like when I'm dead; I'll be too busy taking my seat in the front row at the Marvin Gaye show. And then asking Virginia Woolf a few questions. That sort of thing.
posted by jokeefe at 2:10 PM on June 1, 2009 [1 favorite]


I'm not very interested in any of the personal stuff going on here so I'm not really going to respond to it anymore. But if anyone is interested in bio-identicals, what they treat, current research, etc. I will be happy to add what I can to the discussion.

Babelfish returned: "I'm not interested in disagreement, molecular chemistry, accounting for stupid things I've said, or responding to the arguments of recognized medical professionals, so if anyone else would like me to misrepresent my qualifications and interest in the subject at hand, I'll be wherever the big kids aren't."
posted by Inspector.Gadget at 2:10 PM on June 1, 2009 [3 favorites]


Do you have some cites for this, or is this just more of your incessant "I know this [person/institution] is guilty of something but I can't provide proof or details!" blathering?

The FDA's "special agreement" relationship with Merck over the approval of Vioxx, and with Pfizer and the approval of Celebrex — despite safety issues — seems to be on public record.

So, fandango_matt, do you know differently, or can you please take your personal problems to Metatalk, where they belong?
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 2:10 PM on June 1, 2009 [2 favorites]


I wasn't attacking your character. I asked you two very specific questions in as polite a manner as I could. I was sincerely interested in your opinion on doctors who caution against these sorts of regimens.
posted by LeeJay at 2:10 PM on June 1, 2009


Oh, right. We were talking about our own mothers. Don't talk about my mother.

(stands up, shoots interviewer)
posted by jquinby at 2:11 PM on June 1, 2009 [8 favorites]


And not only that-- as a woman rocking her way through peri-menopause, hot flashes and all, I get to be ranty here-- why would I want my old hormones back? Good riddance to them-- my mind hasn't been this clear in years.*


*Some may disagree. But hell with 'em. [/privilege of age]
posted by jokeefe at 2:12 PM on June 1, 2009 [10 favorites]


I really doubt the problems with hormone replacement therapy were related to the small molecular differences between traditionally manufactured hormones and the new way of synthesizing the so-called bio-identical hormones. That would lead us to the following conclusion: the mechanism of action that increased the chances of a myriad of illnesses all came from a slight difference in a couple of carbon bonds on this hormone. Considering:

If the molecule is the same, we don't care how it's synthesized. That's different than being synthetic, or none bioidentical. When you say estrogen, it should mean 17-beta estradiol, not one of the many permutations of that found in the body, as they are pre- or post- 17 beta estradiol. It's the mother estrogen. It should also not mean something altered to act like a estrogen.

And it's actually not just the molecule that's important, static dosing is a culprit too. Hormones in your body are never steady state, they change constantly all day and night. Dosing has to be rhythmic and cyclical as well. It's the difference between well being and breast cancer. Or at least that's what we're out to prove.
posted by jakeelala at 2:14 PM on June 1, 2009


taking estrogen by cooter (as well as by patch and god knows how else)

Yeah, this is not promoting healthy discourse. Really, "cooter"?

For the record, there are FDA-approved bioidenticals, and there are pharmacy-compounded bioidenticals. The concern is that, with pharmacy-compounded bioidenticals, the dose is neither consistent nor regulated.

Of the many, many women who take HRT, the primary focus is not trying to "stay young" but dealing with health problems that come from: (a) surgical menopause years before the body would normally go through the natural process, or (b) low hormone levels in women whose bodies should still be making the hormones but, for some reason, are not, although they are not yet menopausal.

Susanne Somers and her ilk are statistical outliers, not the average woman on HRT.
posted by misha at 2:16 PM on June 1, 2009 [4 favorites]


Or at least that's what we're out to prove.

Earlier you said:

That's why people do clinical studies. It's also why they design them sometimes to skew results a certain way.

Setting out to prove something is not a good way to do science. Take the plank from your own eye first.
posted by jedicus at 2:18 PM on June 1, 2009 [13 favorites]


I don't know differently, Alex Reynolds, that's why I asked you to back up your claim that "the FDA works with pharmaceutical companies to skew study results." Apparently, you cannot, so I'm going to write this off as another one of your numerous unsubstantiated claims.
posted by mattdidthat at 2:19 PM on June 1, 2009


I wasn't attacking your character. I asked you two very specific questions in as polite a manner as I could. I was sincerely interested in your opinion on doctors who caution against these sorts of regimens.

Sorry. I was hoping the people I was directing that were more clear. There have been a number of interesting questions posed to me here today that I've tried to answer as fully and politely as possible.

Doctors who caution against these things are generally not terribly well informed. It isn't nesc. their fault, it's a very new, noisy and extremely complicated area of research. It represents some of the most difficult immunology, endocrinology and molecular biology research out there. Most doctors don't have time to see all their patients, let alone keep up difficult science they haven't had to look at since med school.

That's why my mother regularly teaches (for CME credits no less) to try and bring this more to the doctor masses, and take some of it out of the research for clinical application.

I would encourage you to ask your dcotor where his/her information comes from, and what they do to stay current on the topic. I would also suggest you get a second opinion from a doctor who doesn't warn against it, and see which one you feel most comfortable with. There is an enormous amount of disinformation out there, like the WHI which looked at extremely old women on average, taking static dose things like Premarin. It was almost medieval. The smarter researches and doctors have already started rejected a lot of it's conclusions.
posted by jakeelala at 2:21 PM on June 1, 2009


jakeelala - I really don't know a whole hell of a lot about hormone therapy, and so have nothing at all to add to that discussion. But I *do* have experience with Metafilter, so I can give you some advice on commenting.

You have some expertise in this field, or feel that you do. Fine. You have an opinion that's somewhat controversial. Fine. The thing to do is not to come out swinging and responding to every detractor and trying to "set everybody straight." The thing to do is to consolidate your knowledge into one long comment that lots of people won't bother to read, but that people who are truly interested might. Make sure you're saying everything you want to say.

And then walk away for a while. You may not even need to make another comment.

People will disagree, snark, try to ruin your day, whatever. But ultimately none of it matters. If your purpose is to share your knowledge, then do so. Otherwise you're just arguing, and nothing is less fun to read than somebody else's nattering little back-and-forth.
posted by Afroblanco at 2:21 PM on June 1, 2009 [38 favorites]


taking estrogen by cooter (as well as by patch and god knows how else)

Yeah, this is not promoting healthy discourse. Really, "cooter"?

For the record, there are FDA-approved bioidenticals, and there are pharmacy-compounded bioidenticals. The concern is that, with pharmacy-compounded bioidenticals, the dose is neither consistent nor regulated.

Of the many, many women who take HRT, the primary focus is not trying to "stay young" but dealing with health problems that come from: (a) surgical menopause years before the body would normally go through the natural process, or (b) low hormone levels in women whose bodies should still be making the hormones but, for some reason, are not, although they are not yet menopausal.


misha, I don't mean disrespect for women on HRT for necessary conditions. I will, however, treat Sommers' stay-young regime with the flippancy it deserves.
posted by jokeefe at 2:24 PM on June 1, 2009 [1 favorite]


That's why people do clinical studies. It's also why they design them sometimes to skew results a certain way.

Setting out to prove something is not a good way to do science. Take the plank from your own eye first.


I can't edit posts or I would have right after I posted that. We have proven it clinically, we aim to document our findings.
posted by jakeelala at 2:24 PM on June 1, 2009


I would be interested in reading a level-headed examination of where most MDs get their information about hormone therapy, who provides it, how much of it is backed by pharma companies, etc. I would imagine there is a fair amount of opacity in the whole thing. These kinds of subjects need to be approached at a walking pace to be of any use.
posted by Burhanistan at 2:25 PM on June 1, 2009


People will disagree, snark, try to ruin your day, whatever. But ultimately none of it matters. If your purpose is to share your knowledge, then do so. Otherwise you're just arguing, and nothing is less fun to read than somebody else's nattering little back-and-forth.

I feel that I am doing so, and have previously stated I'm not interesting in doing anything with these posts. I may be breaking that rule responding to you, but so be it. I can't help if people want to make silly comments or attack me. And I didn't come out swinging, I said (or at least hoped to imply) "here's another side to the story that isn't Susan Somers or the people at Newweek who I believe to have an ulterior motive. Oh and by the way, I don't agree with either of them".

Ce la vie.
posted by jakeelala at 2:26 PM on June 1, 2009


Just putting a story out there - when my mom went through the 'Pause, she started on conventional hormones and they made her really sick. She was super-anemic, dazed, exhausted, and really bitchy all the time. She got so forgetful I started to get paranoid that she was getting early-onset Alzheimer's or something.

My mom switched to bioidentical hormones and within a month she was back to her old self. I don't think she made other changes to her diet/exercise/general life, so our family really does believe it was the bioidentical hormones that made the difference.

I don't know much about hormone therapy, and I can't argue from anything more than personal experience. But bioidentical hormones gave my mom back all the energy and happiness that regular hormones seemed to take out of her, and for that I'm so grateful. I missed my mom while she was gone.
posted by harperpitt at 2:26 PM on June 1, 2009 [1 favorite]


I guess I don't understand why 17-β estradiol (or estrogen to give it it's less formal name) would be different coming from a pregnant mare, a yam or a reactor in Newark. Parts is parts, as they say.

Bio-identical vs "artificial" or "synthetic", that's like trying to differentiate identical Lego houses by the kits the blocks originally came from.

It's impossible to tell a refined natural product from a synthetic one, unless you're worried about the impurities (my job, btw). Natural products (can) have lots, synthetic ones tend to be extremely clean, in my experience.
posted by bonehead at 2:27 PM on June 1, 2009 [1 favorite]


Back on the rail: I pretty much gave up on Oprah after the James Frey business, her later 180 notwithstanding. I can't understand how someone who was taken in by A Million Little Pieces of Bullshit can remain an extraordinarily successful businesswoman; anyone who couldn't see the holes in that book would eventually trade in their fortune for three magic beans.
posted by Halloween Jack at 2:28 PM on June 1, 2009


For years women have been offered what has been known as ‘hormones’ but are really horse’s urine whereby the molecular structure has been altered to produce a synthetic harmful chemical that has now been proven to have killed many women

Urge to kill... rising.
posted by grouse at 2:29 PM on June 1, 2009


Ah, god yes, everything Afroblanco said. I learned that the hard way in a recent thread on the Myriad Genetics BRCA patent lawsuit, where I played the part interested, informed, but non-authoritative proponent of my position and ended up being argumentative and divisive. I also made several factual and logical errors in the heat of the thread. I regret it a lot.

So, take it from somebody who's been there: take a deep breath, realize some mistakes were made, walk away, and learn from the experience.
posted by jedicus at 2:30 PM on June 1, 2009 [2 favorites]


I'm not making my point well enough I guess.

The same molecule is the same molecule, you are right bonehead. No argument there.

But lots of HRT does not revolve around the same molecules. They use conjgated estrogens, or combo progestins.

But those aren't what's meant people say "your body makes estrogen and progresterone". They mean 17-Beta for instance. But not premarin. Premarin is not bioidentical because it isn't 17-B, not because it's from a horse. I hope that clears it up.
posted by jakeelala at 2:30 PM on June 1, 2009


Wake me when Oprah starts recommending better ways to crush my enemies, see them driven before me, and to hear the lamentation of their women.
posted by ooga_booga at 2:32 PM on June 1, 2009 [19 favorites]


My mother had a hysterectomy when she was in her 40s and made the decision to use Premarin for an extended period. She just didn't want to deal with the menopause at that point. The change was astounding, my mother, a woman who would actually cry over spilt milk, became a level and even person with the simple addition of some stable hormone levels. It was astounding. And wonderful.

Last summer she discovered two very tiny tumors in each breast that were directly linked to the two decades of HRT. She's doing great after a double masectomy and a rebuild, but over Christmas the crazy momma came back to visit. She was ten times worse on the mood swings and wacky outbursts of tears and so forth. After much discussion with me and my adamant encouragement that she discuss it with her oncologist, she got on anti-depressants. It took a great deal for her to admit that she wasn't level and that the thoughts and feelings she was having were not within her control. However, my sane mother is back with us.

I dearly wish her doctor had told her early on that anti-depressants could achieve the same outcome as the HRT. I'm sure she would have had a hard time accepting that her wacky moods were hormonal, but not in the way she imagined. I'm also certain beyond a shadow of a doubt that if her original OB/GYN had told her that she could be on anti-depressants and have that stigma versus losing both breasts in twenty years, she'd pick the former in a heartbeat.

I understand that a lot of women, myself included, have a hard time letting go of our youth and the promises of HRT to help you hang on to it for just a little longer is a siren song that's hard to resist. But damn, to run such a high risk to lose your life or breasts...it ain't worth it.
posted by teleri025 at 2:32 PM on June 1, 2009 [7 favorites]


nothing is less fun to read than somebody else's nattering little back-and-forth

I dunno, I thought it was kind of funny.
posted by diogenes at 2:32 PM on June 1, 2009 [3 favorites]


Ah, god yes, everything Afroblanco said. I learned that the hard way in a recent thread on the Myriad Genetics BRCA patent lawsuit, where I played the part interested, informed, but non-authoritative proponent of my position and ended up being argumentative and divisive. I also made several factual and logical errors in the heat of the thread. I regret it a lot.

So, take it from somebody who's been there: take a deep breath, realize some mistakes were made, walk away, and learn from the experience.


I think I've kept a cool head pretty admirably, actually. And I haven't written anything non-factual or erroneous. I appreciate the advice however.
posted by jakeelala at 2:32 PM on June 1, 2009 [1 favorite]


The other day I was at the grocery store and the checker's mother was unable to identify a portabello mushroom.
posted by Benjy at 2:33 PM on June 1, 2009 [24 favorites]


jakeelala, welcome to Metafilter.

-Some people here want to have a discussion, and others just want to argue.
-Some people want to provide facts to back up their claims, and others just want to prove you wrong.
-Some people are nice and respectful, others will crap on you what you say for fun.

Although I think most times people react differently at different times, I'm sorry you had to deal with the latter in all three instances.

For everybody else. Are you aware saying things like "QED" and "Game. Set. Match." are tantamount to a five year old yelling "I win!" when they've just made up the game and the rules to play? It also makes you sound about as convincing.

Protip: If you have a good point, make it and then give hugs.
posted by P.o.B. at 2:33 PM on June 1, 2009 [6 favorites]


I'm sorry but did you even LOOK at the photo on Suzanne's site? The woman is 62! She looks 35! ... Try and explain that with all your fancy "credentials"!

Er...um.....a good plastic surgeon?
posted by cjets at 2:33 PM on June 1, 2009 [1 favorite]


Apparently, you cannot, so I'm going to write this off as another one of your numerous unsubstantiated claims.

The way trials generally work is that they need to show safety and better-than qualities, compared with previous drugs, or studies are halted. The safety studies are usually conducted early in the trial process.

For the FDA to approve a drug despite a worse safety record than the previous drug means that it made it through one, if not two stages before approval. And given it was established that the FDA had a relationship with a drug company that worked outside the expected approval process, then the two parties are working together despite poor study res...

Actually, fuck it. You're an idiot. The issues were reported widely and I'm not wasting any more time with you.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 2:33 PM on June 1, 2009 [2 favorites]


I like how that Doctor Oz dude wears OR scrubs

Oh are they?
posted by Ratio at 2:35 PM on June 1, 2009 [10 favorites]


posted by teleri025 at 2:32 PM on June 1 [+] [!]

That's terrible teleri025 and I'm sorry your mother had to endure that. Premarin is poison, and it does give you breast cancer (among many other things).

Please try to understand however that Premarin is not BHRT, it's HRT. Also, it was one ofthe first, and as a casualty of that, one of the worst medicines of its kind.

Woman on effective, cyclical BHRT have an enormously low rate menopause induced depression. Its one of the best things about it. In any case, hopefully she finds the treatment that's best for her at this point.
posted by jakeelala at 2:37 PM on June 1, 2009


jakeelala, thanks for staying civil amongst the snicker snicker she put a syringe up her vadge hee hee hee hi-fiving...

it's embarrassing...
posted by hellboundforcheddar at 2:38 PM on June 1, 2009 [5 favorites]


Wow there are some assholes in this thread. Perhaps some cream?
posted by spicynuts at 2:38 PM on June 1, 2009 [7 favorites]


Sorry. I was hoping the people I was directing that were more clear. There have been a number of interesting questions posed to me here today that I've tried to answer as fully and politely as possible.

Thank you for answering my questions. I admit that I at first thought you were a shill for what Somers is promoting. Your later comments have made your position clearer. The work you are doing sounds very interesting.
posted by LeeJay at 2:40 PM on June 1, 2009


Jakeelala, thanks. However, as a layperson, my issue with her treatment was not that her doctors prescribed Premarin, but that they assumed that the mood swings and depression she had were directly related to her girly-bits.

If she'd had a doctor that wasn't so damn old-fashioned, she might have not only gotten the appropriate advice and managed to avoid the cancer; but maybe even have kept her girly-bits for a while longer.
posted by teleri025 at 2:42 PM on June 1, 2009


so I don't know anything about hormone replacement therapy, bioidentical or otherwise. So, I did what anybody would do who wants more information on a subject as is prepared to risk being pranked by high school kids: I went to wikipedia. Specifically, I wanted to know what research was available. here is the entire wikipedia page.

here is the entire section of that entry on research:

Peer-reviewed assessments of the evidence for and against BHRT point to a lack of consensus, stemming from a dearth of randomized controlled trials. A 2006 literature review concluded that BHRT is "well tolerated, provides symptom relief, and can address many of the health needs as well as the individual preferences of menopausal and perimenopausal women" [1]. A subsequent review (2009) assessed 200 studies and concluded that there was evidence to suggest bioidentical hormones were safer and more effective than synthetic hormones.[9] . It should be noted, however, that while both reviews appeared in peer-reviewed journals, the authors are prominent advocates of BHRT, with potential conflicts of interest. The author of the first review, Deborah Moskowitz, has been associated with a manufacturer of bioidentical hormone preparations [2], while the author of the second is Dr. Kent Holtorf (bio) a prominent natural/bioidentical hormone advocate.

Another 2008 review concluded that there was little evidence to support the use of compounded hormone products based upon saliva testing, and that individualized compounded hormone products have no proven advantage over conventional hormone therapies. [10]

posted by shmegegge at 2:45 PM on June 1, 2009 [2 favorites]


OH OH OH: "My mother trains doctors on the molecular biology and endocrinology associated with cyclically dosed bio-identical hormones. "

That's almost as good as "My Dad is a Nuclear Maintenance Engineer; he repairs and maintains nuclear fission reactors" that means (of course) that I am the closest Subject Matter Expert on the matter in this Discussion forum; or at least it is the ever classic "Appeal to Parental Authority fallacy" as in "My Mom is a better chef than you, so there"


Nice.
posted by NiteMayr at 2:49 PM on June 1, 2009 [1 favorite]


jakeelala, it seems that you got caught in the crossfire of the anti-Somers sentiments. Thanks for sticking it out to make sure your position was made clearer. It would be interesting to see some good (non-Oprahfied) links about how media companies that own Time/Newsweek are tied to pharmaceutical companies via advertising dollars and how this influences the quality of information lay people receive about hormone therapy.
posted by Burhanistan at 2:49 PM on June 1, 2009


Jakeelala, thanks. However, as a layperson, my issue with her treatment was not that her doctors prescribed Premarin, but that they assumed that the mood swings and depression she had were directly related to her girly-bits.

If she'd had a doctor that wasn't so damn old-fashioned, she might have not only gotten the appropriate advice and managed to avoid the cancer; but maybe even have kept her girly-bits for a while longer.


You'd be surprised how hard it is to find a doctor like you're describing. However, if she had, you are right. She'd still have all her girly bits, not be depressed, and probably healthier for a whole host of other reasons. But we can't exclusively blame the doctors. Their hands are very often tied by insurance companies, pharmaceutical companies, and a simple lack of time for keeping up with new research.

The sad part is a lot of the fundamental research pointing to the efficacy of BHRT and it's benefits in fighting cancer, heart disease and diabetes is quite old. It's just been obfuscated by a lot of bad information in the interest of selling drugs and/or pricey surgery and the associated supplies and fees. That and womans health has been one of the most poorly studied and poorly administered areas in medicine for a very long time. Say what you will about Susan Somers, but she is rightly an advocate of forcing the medical community to acknowledge and understand the vast differences between male and female physiology. That alone is valuable.

But I digress...
posted by jakeelala at 2:51 PM on June 1, 2009


If Suzanne Somers called herself a "transhumanist" some of you would wax poetic that she was ahead of her time.
posted by mobunited at 2:52 PM on June 1, 2009 [6 favorites]


During the 1940s and the 1950s Professor Paul Niehans offered from his Swiss clinic what he referred to as "live cell therapy". Arguing... that a loss of the secretions of the sex glands resulted in premature aging, Niehans injected patients with sheep, calf, pig, and human fetal cells. Diminished libido, degeneration, and a range of sex problems from small organs and acne to inferiority complexes and impotence could, he claimed, all be cured. Many members of Europe's social elite including Somerset Maugham, Charlie Chaplin, Winston Churchill, Noel Coward, and Pope Pius XII availed themselves of his services. - Angus McLaren, Impotence: a cultural history

Three of those five men suffered from dementia in old age, FWIW.
posted by Joe Beese at 2:55 PM on June 1, 2009


it's a very new, noisy and extremely complicated area of research. It represents some of the most difficult immunology, endocrinology and molecular biology research out there.

Hey, my mom's just a librarian, so I wouldn't know, but it sounds like maybe people should wait until this stuff is better understood before they go squirting it all willy-nilly into their vaginas. You say it shows a lot of promise; fine. But, by your own admission, it's still a far cry from being a well tested therapy with an established medical consensus and a demonstrated level of safety. Further, if we're going to accept argument from authority, there are a lot of authorities more credible than you and your mom who have raised concerns about BHRT.

Afroblanco is right: you might be absolutely correct, but if you've been lurking for so long*, you should know that appeals to authority, irrelevant criticisms of Big Bad Pharma**, and claims about controversial medical practice which aren't backed up with specific evidence don't fly here. That's where a lot of the personal stuff is coming from: you're doing all this "TRUST ME I'M AN EXPERT" stuff, and when people ask you to substantiate your claims, you ignore them. And many MeFites, for better or for worse, will give up on rational discussion and just start messing with you when attempts at rational discussion fail. At least it wrings some entertainment from a disaster of a thread.

In all seriousness, welcome to the site. You picked an awkward place to begin :)

*The account I'm posting from is new, but I was on here for a while before. TRUST ME, I'M AN EXPERT

**There are certainly relevant criticisms of Big Pharma, but claiming that a controversial therapy is valid because Big Pharma does bad stuff is never one of them.
posted by ixohoxi at 2:56 PM on June 1, 2009 [7 favorites]


Here's are some snippets from three other review articles on bioidentical hormone therapy:
'Bioidentical hormones' is a term created by the lay media to refer to chemicals derived from plants that are modified to be structurally identical to endogenous human hormones... Patients assume bioidentical hormones are natural and safer than synthetic hormones with regard to the risk of developing breast cancer and other diseases, but there is little evidence to support this belief...*

The term 'bioidentical' hormone replacement therapy (BHRT) is widely misunderstood by the patient population and misrepresented in patient literature. Within the clinical community, BHRT is currently being prescribed by some as an 'innovative therapy' with no published evidence in peer-reviewed journals that it is better than the current standard of care; in at least one case, BHRT is being used as a study agent in unregulated and unethical research involving very high doses of estrogen and progesterone. Additionally, professional ethics problems abound within the prescribing population, since those claiming expertise and training in BHRT vary widely in competencies, may cross practice boundaries, and may have overt conflicts of interest if they are selling or promoting their own for-profit recipes of BHRT on commercial forums. Ultimately, BHRT presents clinical, research and professional ethics problems that are discussed in depth.*

Compounded [biodentical hormone therapies (BHTs)] have been promoted by some as natural, safer, and in some cases more efficacious than conventional hormone therapies, but there is a dearth of scientific evidence to support these claims. Compounded BHTs lack well controlled studies examining route of administration, pharmacokinetics, safety, and a critical, science-based rationale for the mixture and ratios of bioidentical estrogens employed in many preparations. Many advocates of compounded BHTs customize prescriptions based on saliva tests or blood sera levels in direct contradiction to evidence-based guidelines, which support tailoring HT individually according to symptoms. Currently, scientific uncertainties associated with compounded BHTs make their use less preferable to that of [conventional hormone therapies (CHTs)], as CHTs have been and continue to be assessed by clinical trials regarding both benefits and risks and are indicated for use according to evidence-based guidelines.
I have a degree in biochemistry, but my mom doesn't.
posted by grouse at 2:57 PM on June 1, 2009 [49 favorites]


Citation for last snippet
posted by grouse at 2:57 PM on June 1, 2009 [2 favorites]


Everybody on the internet claims to be a 6'8" powerlifter, retired astronaut, and Nobel laureate with a 2-foot penis.

Isn't the foot-penis a unit of torque or something? I'm sure I remember that from high-school physics.
posted by The Bellman at 2:58 PM on June 1, 2009 [7 favorites]


A commenter in the Gawker thread on the Newsweek article:

I have very much noticed that Oprah's show has become increasingly strange and new-agey. I chalked it up to the eccentricities that come with being super fucking disgustingly obscenely ridiculously rich.
posted by Joe Beese at 3:00 PM on June 1, 2009 [2 favorites]


posted by The Bellman Isn't the foot-penis a unit of torque or something?

Not torque. Thrust.
posted by mattdidthat at 3:00 PM on June 1, 2009 [10 favorites]


posted by shmegegge at 2:45 PM on June 1 [1 favorite +] [!]


Compounded hormones are made at the pharmacy and prescirbed by a doctor, there is absolutely no financial remittance to big Pharma. That's why Wyeth is in a lawsuit to shut down compounding, so they can recapture that revenue stream. We're becoming a nation run by laws set out by corporations, instead of the government protecting us from them. It would be a horrible blow to personalized healthcare if Wyeth wins. My mother testified in front of the Senate speaking against Wyeth's stand a couple years ago. Right now it doesn't look like Wyeth will get it's way, but you've quited is typical Pharma rhetoric about compounded BHRT.

How hard do you think it is for Pharma funded researchers and labs to make expert edits to Wikipedia? IT's not even nesc. a smear campaign, just bad information. And there reason there's no evidence is because there haven't been randomized trials of compounded BHRT hormone regimens yet. They're expensive and hard to do. Very few people have caught on yet that BHRT isn't enough, it has to be rhythmic, not static dose. It's a very interesting but very confusing landscape. Coupled with the fact that the science is complicated, it's sort of a minefield. But that's ok, good on you for at least looking it up.

However, that is exactly what we are doing by banding together compounder's and training Dr's and patients to take the same medicine, compounded the same way, on a large scale.

Not everyone in the BHRT space are new age whackos or aging movie stars. We just attract those because they have more open minds and can accept something that bucks the trend before others will be convinced. The world needs both.
posted by jakeelala at 3:00 PM on June 1, 2009 [2 favorites]


Also, I have to say that "Premarin" is, like, the most awesomely descriptive product name ever. Premarin = PREgnant MARes' urINe

Going to high school in Branson, I always assumed the river-like-"lake" they called Taneycomo, was named after some sort of local indian lore. I later found out it actually stands for Taney County Missouri.
posted by nomisxid at 3:03 PM on June 1, 2009 [2 favorites]



In all seriousness, welcome to the site. You picked an awkward place to begin :)

That's a welcome wagon - with a whoopee cushion!
posted by Jody Tresidder at 3:04 PM on June 1, 2009


Everybody on the internet claims to be a 6'8" powerlifter, retired astronaut, and Nobel laureate with a 2-foot penis.

OK. FINE, I LIED!

I'm 6'1"
posted by P.o.B. at 3:05 PM on June 1, 2009


teleri025: ... my issue with her treatment was not that her doctors prescribed Premarin, but that they assumed that the mood swings and depression she had were directly related to her girly-bits.

Do you think that her mood swings and depression were due to factors other than the hormonal swings of menopause?
posted by swerve at 3:06 PM on June 1, 2009


Sicne no one else eems to have mentioned it:

Also, I hope someone would please change the title of this MeFi post.

You know what? I hope you fuck off. Afroblanco was pretty polite about it, but you don't register a new account to ask for someone to change the title of a post. Seriously, get the fuck out. You're using an appeal to authority argument based on your Mom. Anything intelligent you might have to say - and I stress that this is unlikely yet possible - is undermined by making this extremely lame argument.

Somers is advocating voodoo. I'm all for challenging orthodoxy but talking out of your ass and making shit up isn't challenging, it's being stupid. Whatever the benefits of hormone therapy, Somers isn't the person to trust on the topic.
posted by GuyZero at 3:07 PM on June 1, 2009 [11 favorites]


teleri025, probably not. But the treatment was wrong.
posted by jakeelala at 3:08 PM on June 1, 2009


[Somers] believes doctors, scientists and the media are all in the pocket of the pharmaceutical industry.

And her solution is to buy expensive "bio-identical" hormones replacement from selfsame pharmaceutial industry? By the way, there's a reason your body reduces those hormones later in life: It's to prevent cancer. And of course adding those hormones back increases your cancer risk. And look who got cancer

kldickson, I'm sorry but did you even LOOK at the photo on Suzanne's site? The woman is 62! She looks 35! I know what you're thinking... Photoshop, right? Well, Photoshop wasn't around when Suzanne was 35! Try and explain that with all your fancy "credentials"!

She doesn't look 35, she looks like a robot. But a sexy robot.

synthetic: not a real hormone that exists in your body naturally, a chemical.
bio-identical: actual hormones that exist in your body naturally.


That's not the definition most people use. For most people "synthetic" means "synthesized in a lab or chemical plant" and natural means taken from a living thing without much processing. Even if the end molecule is exactly the same, people still consider the synthetic compound is the same as the naturally occouring one. Just look at people who complain about high fructose corn syurp in pop, and say you should eat fruits (which contain exactly the same chemical -- fructose -- as the soda)

Also, hormones taken from other animals are not going to be the same, because there will be mutations in the genes that generate those hormones. Unless you take the hormone from another human, or create it in a lab (i.e. synthesize it) it cannot be "bio-identical"

Sigh. Except in my case, it's actually true. Everyone thinks I'm just trying to impress people.

Pix or STFU.

What I wouldn't give to have my Bextra back. Like Vioxx (I believe) it was a COX-2 inhibitor and completely solved a chronic pain issue I suffer from.

Have you heard of this new drug called Opium?

I guess I don't understand why 17-β estradiol (or estrogen to give it it's less formal name) would be different coming from a pregnant mare, a yam or a reactor in Newark. Parts is parts, as they say.

Different genes produce different proteins. Every animal (or plant) will have a slightly different version of the hormone, and plants will have an even more distant version. I'm not sure how different but there will be some.
posted by delmoi at 3:11 PM on June 1, 2009


I'm also certain beyond a shadow of a doubt that if her original OB/GYN had told her that she could be on anti-depressants and have that stigma versus losing both breasts in twenty years, she'd pick the former in a heartbeat.

my issue with her treatment was not that her doctors prescribed Premarin, but that they assumed that the mood swings and depression she had were directly related to her girly-bits.

I'm so sorry about your Mom's bout with breast cancer, and very glad to hear she is doing well now. But her depression may have been related to menopause, and she may have contracted breast cancer without ever having taken Premarin--you realize that, right? I'm simply suggesting that there is not necessarily a causal relationship here.

(I don't take Premarin, by the way, but I do use an estrogen patch AND I am on anti-depressants as well. And for me, neither one worked by itself, it took a combination to do the job.)
posted by misha at 3:17 PM on June 1, 2009


Someone needs some chill pills...in a cream form...to rub on their crotch.

You're using an appeal to authority argument based on your Mom

jakeelala was asked to give credentials. Which I think is corny and not part of the discussion.

"Let me know who you are so I can form an Ad Hominem"
posted by P.o.B. at 3:17 PM on June 1, 2009 [6 favorites]


Swerve, well my mom was always excessively moody and had very emotional swings in and around her time of the month well before the hysterectomy. And while I know my body chemistry isn't my mother's, I found that my monthly drama vastly decreased once I began anti-depressants for a completely unrelated condition. So...YMMV.

Again, I'm totally not a doctor and have no real opinion on this whole topic other than there needs to be a more effective way of getting information to the patients than there currently is. Oprah may be an outlet that gets to a lot of people but I wish she'd present a more balanced understanding. Instead of saying, "You have mood swings and your possibly menopausal, so this new form of HRT will fix you." I'd rather her say "Look, there's a variety of reason you may be off-balance, look into them all before you settle on a type of treatment that is not fully understood." Today's wonderful and flawless medical solution may be tomorrow's Vioxx or Premarin.
posted by teleri025 at 3:18 PM on June 1, 2009


GuyZero,

I haven't made anything up. Also, Susan Somers is not advocating Voodoo, she is mostly advocating Voodoo. The BHRT part is dead on. I would love to quote to you our patient statistics for terminal cancer patients, quality of life issues, or even osteoporosis. But it is as yet unpublished and therefore un-peer-reviewed, so I'm not going to irresponsibly quote it here. I can only tell you we're doing it, what we've been seeing. If you don't like that, read a different post and wait for the publishing, it's underway.

You can also get the same hormones she takes for 100$ a month, so they're not even out of most people's ability to pay. And that's without insurance, in case anyone was wondering. It's the beauty of compounded medicine, there's pharmflation.

With regards to my mother, I simply haven't taken responsablity for her research, despite the fact that I am privy to it, and even involved in it.

In fact, I haven't even really talked much about her research specifically, on purpose. I'm not her.

But anyway, I hope you have a nice day, and feel better. I'm sorry your displeased with the things I've said here.
posted by jakeelala at 3:19 PM on June 1, 2009 [2 favorites]


About four years ago, I started a CafePress store called Ignore Oprah as part of a larger project, and then abandoned it. Maybe I should start it up again.
posted by kimdog at 3:19 PM on June 1, 2009


but [what] you've [quoted] is typical Pharma rhetoric about compounded BHRT.

It does not follow that because something was written by an interested party does not make it incorrect. Please address the particular criticisms, such as bias on the part of BHRT researchers and a lack of proven advantage.

Furthermore, you have no proof that those wiki entries were made by anyone connected to pharmaceutical companies, just speculation. It could also be that nonbiased observers came to those conclusions independently.
posted by jedicus at 3:19 PM on June 1, 2009 [1 favorite]


I'm sorry your displeased with the things I've said here.

Perhaps you meant...

I'm sorry my first comment ever was telling everyone that the title of this post needs to be changed because that's arrogant and presumptuous.

I'm sorry that when asked to justify my point of view that I used my mother's credentials which is obviously irrelevant as I'm fairly confident that the data I have is reliable and the fact will speak for themselves.

I'd like to know why Somers keeps citing unnamed "western" doctors as the basis for her beliefs. If these doctors are correct why don't they simply say so in public themselves?
posted by GuyZero at 3:27 PM on June 1, 2009 [2 favorites]


That's why Wyeth is in a lawsuit to shut down compounding, so they can recapture that revenue stream.

I don't know what Wyeth is.

We're becoming a nation run by laws set out by corporations, instead of the government protecting us from them.

I agree.

It would be a horrible blow to personalized healthcare if Wyeth wins. My mother testified in front of the Senate speaking against Wyeth's stand a couple years ago. Right now it doesn't look like Wyeth will get it's way, but you've quited is typical Pharma rhetoric about compounded BHRT.

I keep reading a lot about your mother, here. Does your mother happen to work FOR a company involved in BHRT?

How hard do you think it is for Pharma funded researchers and labs to make expert edits to Wikipedia?

I know for a fact that it's very easy for them. Similarly, I know it's just as easy for you, your mother and people who support your position to edit it as well, providing all of the background information, citations and scientific resources you want to support your argument. Maybe you should do that.

IT's not even nesc. a smear campaign, just bad information.

Which part?

And there reason there's no evidence is because there haven't been randomized trials of compounded BHRT hormone regimens yet. They're expensive and hard to do.

And I'm supposed to take this information as a reassurance that BHRT is totally safe and awesome? Mind you, I'm not against BHRT. As I said, I know nothing about it. But the more I read this thread the more I keep thinking there isn't a whole lot to know right now, and that makes me wonder why you're so fired up and insisting that it's perfectly awesome when no one's really put it to the test.

Not everyone in the BHRT space are new age whackos or aging movie stars.

No doubt. I hope you can understand, though, that Susanne Somers is a whacko. BHRT or otherwise, that woman went onto the world's largest daytime audience share and told them to squirt estrogen into their vaginas every day, take 60 supplement pills daily and that menopause is something to be avoided, instead of simply treating abnormal symptoms. And your first step in coming into this thread was to talk about how the only reason people think she's wrong is because they're all paid by Big Pharma.

We just attract those because they have more open minds and can accept something that bucks the trend before others will be convinced.

you sure that's why?

Now listen, you want to start providing us with some real facts and data, I'm all ears. All I did was quote the most readily handy reference tool I know. Your rebuttal (which I wasn't really expecting. I didn't think the passage was damaging enough to BHRT to need rebutting) has been empty of evidence, and that's not a strong selling point for me.
posted by shmegegge at 3:28 PM on June 1, 2009 [2 favorites]


actually, when the pro-BHRT doctors and researches try to edit wikipedia to be more accurate on the subject they are quickly swept under the rug and called liars by the established editors. These are real MD's and PhD's trying to voice what they feel is more accurate information.

So I know there's something going with wikipedia, it's one of the many battles we fight everyday. I also work in the Pharma/Biotech industry currently (last 4 years) and I am privy to a great deal of unethical business taking place everyday that would make most people cringe if they knew about it. It's an ugly, ugly place. Maybe I'm wrong about wikipedia, but if you knew some of the things I do about paying doctors to hawk your drugs, and paying for expensive data systems to calculate down to the penny how much you've given to your pay roll docs in order to not break the law by giving them too much, you'd be skeptical too. That's just one example, there are many many more.

And I was asked for credentials, so I gave them as specifically as I felt comfortable.
posted by jakeelala at 3:29 PM on June 1, 2009


Metafilter: Whose name I insist on pronouncing as if it were that of a Mayan God

Metafilter: I'd just be very nervous about putting random things in it.

Metafilter: Coy new-age garbage

Metafilter: Entered your consciousness ass first.

(alternate: You know who else entered your consciousness ass first?)

Metafilter: A platform for opportunists.

Metafilter: Actual hormones that exist in your body naturally.

Metafilter: *

Metafilter: Let nature take care of ultimate placement.

Metafilter: By all means, please get more technical.

Metafilter: (stands up, shoots interviewer)

Metafilter: Not torque. Thrust.

Metafilter: The syringe in her chach.

Metafilter: If Suzanne Somers called herself a "transhumanist".

Metafilter: A lot of authorities more credible than you and your mom.



*not really.
posted by vibrotronica at 3:29 PM on June 1, 2009 [14 favorites]



What no one has mentioned here is that the studies that indicted hormone replacement therapy for causing heart disease and stroke and dementia, rather than preventing them, were conducted in a way that completely invalidated the results. (and btw, that study? not drug company funded).

These hormones were suddenly given to women in their 60's, who were long past menopause and had years without hormones and were then filled with them.

This is not how women typically take HRT (and the uncontrolled studies of typical use of HRT showed benefit the way it is usually taken-- the reason these cannot be wholly relied upon is because the women weren't randomized, so the healthier women could have been the ones who chose to take the hormones. Nonetheless, all of those observational studies found benefit-- so real women taking the hormones the usual way were at very least not *actually* worse off than those who didn't, they were better off. If the negative effects of the HRT had outweighed the positive effects of selection, they'd have done worse).

Breast cancer risk is different. Studies have always shown increased risk. The thing is, a woman is much more likely to die of cardiovascular disease than breast cancer, so if HRT *is* actually protective when taken at the right time, it still might be good for women who are not at high risk of breast cancer.

The bioidentical thing is somewhat of a sideshow but it might be helpful because we're not going to get a big, proper RCT done at time of menopause of traditional HRT to answer this.

Point is, Newsweek's graph saying HRT proven to be BAd BAD BAD.. is incorrect.
posted by Maias at 3:33 PM on June 1, 2009 [1 favorite]


posted by GuyZero I'd like to know why Somers keeps citing unnamed "western" doctors as the basis for her beliefs.

I'd like to know what, exactly, "Western" medicine is. Is it frontier medicine, practiced by cowboys and modern-day Doc Hollidays? Is Western Medicine better than Northern or South-by-Southeastern Medicine? Does the efficacy of Western medicine vary with your proximity to the Equator? Can I specify my preferred hemisphere when I get prescriptions? Also, what about Polar medicine or Antarctic medicine?
posted by mattdidthat at 3:33 PM on June 1, 2009 [2 favorites]


actually, when the pro-BHRT doctors and researches try to edit wikipedia to be more accurate on the subject they are quickly swept under the rug and called liars by the established editors.

To be fair, I believe this happens with every Wikipedia entry, including such august topics as mudkips and fictional teen vampires. It's hardly evidence of a conspiracy beyond power-tripping Wikipedia editors.
posted by GuyZero at 3:33 PM on June 1, 2009 [5 favorites]


Not having a vagina though, I'd just be very nervous about putting random things in it.
That's because you don't have a vagina.
posted by semmi at 3:35 PM on June 1, 2009 [4 favorites]


I'd like to know what, exactly, "Western" medicine is.

As opposed to "Eastern" Chinese/Japanese/Korean doctors, who the stereotype says have strange belief systems and are used by quacks to support quackery. So it's a swipe at other quacks and it's crypto-racist at the same time.
posted by GuyZero at 3:37 PM on June 1, 2009


shmegegge

it is beyond the capabilities of myself, or this forum, to prove everything you want proven about BHRT. If it wasn't, there wouldn't be any argument around it and you'd all be shooting it up your wahoos.

You're able to argue your stance from a position which leaves me no chance of winning. I won't fight that fight, I'm sorry.

I just posted that I will not give you unpublished results from our own research, that would be unethical and irresponsible. The reason we're doing the research, is because it's so scant and poorly done to this point.

I am very sorry I don't have more specific information for you. There are a few good books in the world on BHRT, and a few on rhythmic BHRT. Start there, and then move onto the footnote/works cited/references papers where you'll (hopefully) find the science included in the book. You'll find there to be an enormous amount.
posted by jakeelala at 3:39 PM on June 1, 2009


Suzanne Somers' mom goes to college.
posted by Smedleyman at 3:43 PM on June 1, 2009


She's also a published researcher in the field of oncology, specifically reproductive cancers. She's also currently overseeing 2 very early stage studies of long term (1-7 years) BHRT replacement therapy with an oncologyst and an OBGYN who are proponents of such treatments. Clinical trials to follow.

Who might I ask, are you?


Somebody else's son. Which pretty much makes us even, I suppose.

I've thrown a lot of hooey around in my time, but that sir/madam, is an absolutely massive pile of hooey.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 3:44 PM on June 1, 2009 [1 favorite]


Somebody else's son. Which pretty much makes us even, I suppose.

As humans, you are right, we are equal.

In the topic of BHRT, not so much. I have previously mentioned I am involved with the research and several concurrent studies. Unless...

Are you doing that too? It sounds like you are, and in that case we should get together for coffee or lunch sometime to discuss our rather interesting professional pursuits. Perhaps we could combine data or just exchange information about protocols and standards and dosing and all of that fun stuff we both deal with everyday.

/sacrasm

Some of you guys on here really ruined what would have been several very interesting disucssions. Oh well.
posted by jakeelala at 3:47 PM on June 1, 2009


There are a few good books in the world on BHRT, and a few on rhythmic BHRT.

Leaving behind generalities and providing something as simple (and unincriminating) as the titles of said books would help your bid to be taken seriously. As it stands, I can't help but notice that you write in generalities about the research (peer-reviewed or otherwise) that is supposed to convince us that you know what you're talking about. If you're this into this stuff, why not throw out some book titles, so we can be convinced as well?
posted by OmieWise at 3:47 PM on June 1, 2009 [3 favorites]


jakeelala was asked to give credentials. Which I think is corny and not part of the discussion.

Only after he claimed "I actually know far more about this subject than I think you can imagine." If I claimed that I would expect to have my credentials questioned as well.

I think it's interesting that he had no response to the several peer-reviewed articles I posted that are a little skeptical of these claims, and his only response to shmegegge's was unsupported claims of "bad information," financial self-interest and bias on the part of skeptical biomedical professionals. Of course, those claims could apply equally to the advocates of BHT. In fact, this is why I am a bit skeptical of BHT from the outset—up to this point I have only seen BHT pushed by people who have a financial interest in it, and who make ridiculous claims that make no sense biochemically but that sound good enough to con laypeople.

But the bottom line is, as many experts have written in peer-reviewed journals, and jakeelala finally admitted, "there's no evidence" that BHT provides a clinical benefit over CHT. Acting as if the clinical benefit or even safety is proven when it hasn't been is irresponsible, and claiming that those skeptical of the unsupported claims are part of a vast conspiracy funded by Big Pharma is just silly.

I will not give you unpublished results from our own research, that would be unethical and irresponsible.

As a professional biomedical scientist and researcher, I can say that what is unethical and irresponsible is asserting conclusions from research that you are unwilling to provide the data for.
posted by grouse at 3:49 PM on June 1, 2009 [42 favorites]


A complicating factor in understanding how these estrogens (bioidentical or not) work in the body is that they are forms of steroids, which means they can enter the cell nucleus and produce changes in DNA transcription for many different genes. So, IMHO, this means numerous side effects are likely.

In contrast, most other drugs work at one or a small number of cell-surface receptors with more or less well-defined signaling pathways. If I personally need meds, I would prefer a non-steroid.
posted by exogenous at 3:53 PM on June 1, 2009


ok grouse, where do you work? do you research BHRT or any HRT? Just out of curiosity.

Also this post has gotten very long. If you would like to repost the papers you've mentioned I would be happy to give you my take on all of them. I'll even talk it over with old mom to see what she thinks if I'm stumped.

I'm not hiding from anyone, I'm just not offering the answer to all the worlds problems through hormones on Metafilter. I'm sorry that makes people upset. I am more than open to a dialog however.

I'm guessing the reason I didn't respond to you was your tone or how you posed things. You've been exceedingly rude and petulant in your approach to discourse with me today. I won't suffer that sort of behavior. You could use a degree in manners next, now that you've conquered all of biomedical science.
posted by jakeelala at 3:55 PM on June 1, 2009


You've been exceedingly rude and petulant in your approach to discourse with me today.

FYI, that's exactly how you come off, jakeelala. Although I would love to hear something substantive from you on this topic - you've come tantalizingly close to actually having something insightful and illuminating to say when you're not asserting you proxy credentials or complaining about how badly you've been treated.
posted by GuyZero at 4:03 PM on June 1, 2009 [8 favorites]


I think the general point makes sense. Hormone Replacement Therapy. Therapy is supposed to be my benefit. Replacement means putting something back in which is lacking, defective, or perhaps entirely absent. Hormones are complex organic molecules.

All other things being equal, I would prefer to have something identical in not merely composition, but structure and every other property I could manage, to what was being replaced (assuming a non-defective scenario) versus something with just a general name. If the hormone levels fluctuate according to a pattern, it also makes sense to do the same for the therapy.

My biochemistry books are all boxed up and I can claim no knowledge to the specifics, the closer you get to "the real thing" (that is, whatever your body is supposed to be doing) the better, as far as I am concerned.
posted by adipocere at 4:05 PM on June 1, 2009


This thread has been a blast to read. It's like Mamet in the park.
posted by nola at 4:08 PM on June 1, 2009 [8 favorites]


You've been exceedingly rude and petulant in your approach to discourse with me today.

FYI, that's exactly how you come off, jakeelala. Although I would love to hear something substantive from you on this topic - you've come tantalizingly close to actually having something insightful and illuminating to say when you're not asserting you proxy credentials or complaining about how badly you've been treated.

It's ironic that the angriest voices in this thread are accusing me of being petulant. Even if that were the case (and I stand by my comments as not being that way), it would give you no excuse.

I think there are a number of people involved in this chain who don't feel like we were only tantilizingly close to an interesting conversation.

But, I broke my rule about not responding to personal attacks again. Off I go...
posted by jakeelala at 4:08 PM on June 1, 2009


adipocere, you are right on.

your body has been evolving for millions of years to produce what it needs. It defintely knows better than we do at this point. it's a terrible fallacy that we need lots of fancy drugs and made up chemicals to stay healthy.

the most promising and interesting fields of medicine are those using all the things that already exist in our body to fight disease: transcription factors, stem cells therapy and gene therapy, and in my mind, BHRT.

The age of making drugs instead of balancing and working with all of the myriad drugs we produce endogenously is coming to an end. All hail the power of evolution.
posted by jakeelala at 4:12 PM on June 1, 2009


Crikey, I don't ever think I've seen the most recent (top) story on the page have 192 comments before.
posted by spock at 4:13 PM on June 1, 2009


The Bellman: Isn't the foot-penis a unit of torque or something?
mattdidthat: Not torque. Thrust.

You're both wrong. It's a unit of energy expenditure over time. Roughly equivalent to 1/235th of a watt-hour, or that portion of the energy expended in overcoming friction by an experienced 15 year old during a typical 15-second masturbatory experience.

A handy rule-of-thumb (ahem!) to remember is that it only takes a 1/4 foot-penis to make a cooter post on MetaFilter.
posted by Pinback at 4:15 PM on June 1, 2009 [1 favorite]


Wait, what stance am I arguing from? I asked you for information. If there is info supporting your position freely available on the Internet, I'd like to know. You know, in the interest of an open discussion. I'm not really used to people acting like I'm trying to trick them just because I asked a question.
posted by shmegegge at 4:16 PM on June 1, 2009


posted by jakeelala your body has been evolving for millions of years to produce what it needs. It defintely knows better than we do at this point. it's a terrible fallacy that we need lots of fancy drugs and made up chemicals to stay healthy . . . The age of making drugs instead of balancing and working with all of the myriad drugs we produce endogenously is coming to an end. All hail the power of evolution.

So, are you seriously declaring we don't need fancy drugs like vaccines against things like polio, measels, and whooping cough to stay healthy?
posted by mattdidthat at 4:16 PM on June 1, 2009 [1 favorite]


So, jakeelala, what are your credentials? You don't have to prove them, just tell us what they are. Who do you work for and what specifically does your job entail?

I am prepared to reconsider my position on BHRT based on your arguments if you can be specific about your expertise.
posted by fuq at 4:19 PM on June 1, 2009 [1 favorite]


bump
posted by PigAlien at 4:21 PM on June 1, 2009 [1 favorite]


spock: "Crikey, I don't ever think I've seen the most recent (top) story on the page have 192 comments before."

That's the power of Suzanne Somers' vagina for you.
posted by Joe Beese at 4:22 PM on June 1, 2009 [5 favorites]


well, mattdidthat, vaccines are not drugs. in fact, they stimulate our body's own immune response... so, you're actually supporting jakeelala's statement about evolution...
posted by PigAlien at 4:23 PM on June 1, 2009


John Lee is a pioneer in the field, and old mentor of my mothers:
John Lee

This is also another site that has some good information:
Wiley

However, strong (or any) peer-reviewed papers are not generally freely available on the internet, so I cannot point you to those. Especially obscure endo and molecular biology papers. That's triple compounded by the fact that the majority of the good research done on the topic is all Japanese and European. The US is dismally behind.

Do you have access to Science Journals? If so, I will take the time to try and dig up citations for the particularly interesting ones.

As I said, the appendices of popular books on the subject are a great place to start as well.
posted by jakeelala at 4:23 PM on June 1, 2009


So, I'm a reproductive neuroendocrinologist (PhD, not MD, although I work with MDs and MD/PhDs in my lab), working in a lab that looks at hormone replacement during reproductive senescence. Jakeelala is getting a lot of stuff right (I'm interested in how you talk about your mom's stuff, but then say "that's what we're trying to show" - do you yourself do research?). It's hard to jump into the conversation at this point, though.

Bioidentical hormone therapy is kind of interesting. The state of OB-GYN perimenopausal treatment at the moment though, since the early 00's, is focused on symptom relief rather than treatment. In 10 years or so there might be a decent amount of published studies. That's the problem with looking at longterm outcomes - it takes a while for the results to get sifted out and assessed.
posted by gaspode at 4:23 PM on June 1, 2009 [6 favorites]


gah, symptom relief rather than prevention. Where is my brain!?
posted by gaspode at 4:26 PM on June 1, 2009


Jesus H. Christ you guys. Lay the fuck off.

Jakeelala is sounding more and more reasonable as time goes on compared to most of you dick wads.
posted by tkchrist at 4:30 PM on June 1, 2009 [7 favorites]


That's the power of Suzanne Somers' vagina for you.

Is there anything Suzanne Somers' vagina can't do?
posted by diogenes at 4:30 PM on June 1, 2009 [1 favorite]


I agree with the brand new user to an extent. It's true that the mass media has a vested interest in selling a particular medical philosophy with the associated drugs and treatments. The problem is that the "alternative" crowd is largely reactionary, misinformed, and pursuing its own agenda.

The problem is that there's no difference. The alternative crowd are just as driven by profit motive.

it's a terrible fallacy that we need lots of fancy drugs and made up chemicals to stay healthy.

Step on some rusty nails and let me know how that works out for you.
posted by rodgerd at 4:31 PM on June 1, 2009


this is a bit far down and no one really cares at this point but it's C'EST la vie. /pedantic twat
posted by litleozy at 4:34 PM on June 1, 2009 [3 favorites]


thanks for the support gaspode. considering the inflammatory nature of the topic, and the permanence / visibility of the internet, I need to be very careful when I talk about this sort of thing. Especially since I am not a primary investigator, I'm simply trying to represent what my mother and her colleagues and associated Dr's and researchers do, and be a positive voice for BHRT.

Its true that most BHRT stuff is used for hot flashes and things like that, but it's true brilliance is in things like miraculous bone density increases over 1-3 years in 70 year old women, or in preventing stage 4 terminal cancer patients from dying when they elect it over chemo. Also, 90% of BHRT is still done wrong, with synthetics and static dosing. It's all still very much a work in progress.

Suffice it to say there are very exciting and wonderful things on the horizon for aging peoples... :)

I am working more to help coordinate research at the moment to answer your question directly, I am not doing the research myself. It is an academic area of study for me presently, however.

are you affiliated with any current regimens or published studies on BHRT? I'd love to here more about what you do.
posted by jakeelala at 4:35 PM on June 1, 2009


Jakeelala is sounding more and more reasonable as time goes on compared to most of you dick wads.

Except they provide no proof whatsoever and is insisting on arguing using hearsay, conjecture and conclusions from unpublished results.

I'm pretty sure if we wanted to allow that sort of thing to fly I'm going to go out on a limb and say all medicine is evil as an omnipotent knower of all things medicine despite all well reasoned evidence to the contrary.
posted by Talez at 4:40 PM on June 1, 2009 [1 favorite]


There are so many better ways this thread could have gone.

jakeelala, your twin statements of a) having no formal medical education, and b) claiming your mother's research as your own (our work, our research, we we we) makes you really stand out as someone not to trust particularly well.

What a gigantic derail.

What's most galling to me about the article is that someone thinks you can actually just wish away cancer.
posted by Hildegarde at 4:42 PM on June 1, 2009 [3 favorites]


jakeelala, can you please comment about where you work, as well as post PubMed links to articles on which you are author? Presumably this should be a reasonable and ethical request. Thank you.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 4:42 PM on June 1, 2009 [3 favorites]


You can't remember the substance of my comment (or find it using your browser's search function), but you can "guess" that "the reason I didn't respond to you was your tone or how you posed things"? Yeah, I'm a bit skeptical of that too. Anyway, if you want to discuss it, it's still there.

However, strong (or any) peer-reviewed papers are not generally freely available on the internet, so I cannot point you to those.

This is a convenient claim, but it is totally, totally false. Even if the paper itself is not freely available, the abstract of any biomedical publication worth its salt will be freely available on PubMed, and usually includes the main conclusions of the paper. So, there's nothing to stop you from pointing people to articles or their abstracts. Although don't do it on my account as I can easily find them by reading the review articles who are written and peer-reviewed by scientists who are actually experts in this field.
posted by grouse at 4:42 PM on June 1, 2009 [14 favorites]


If I may go off on a brief tangent raised by another poster... I actually worked as a programming consultant at one of the world's largest pharmaceutical companies (who I cannot name for reasons of client confidentiality) in the late 90s. My job was to program an application and database to calculate 'rebates' paid to physicians based on the number of prescriptions they wrote for certain medications manufactured by the company. The program had to take into account how much they were allowed to pay the doctors in 'rebates' without breaking the law (i.e. bribery).

Needless to say, being somewhat younger and more naive than I am now, I was shocked to learn about this. I think such shenanigans are fairly well publicized now, and anyone with even a cursory knowledge of the subject knows such things go on.

The rules on what the pharmaceutical companies could pay were so complicated and vague that actually writing these equations turned out to be practically impossible. They would have needed some Wall Street quants. I left when the client and my boss reached an impasse on how to tackle the problem.

As an aside to that, the big-six consulting firm I was working for was charging $2M for this application that I was writing all by myself, and I was getting paid $50 an hour. I didn't spend 3 months on the project. Even if I had spent a year, they would have made $2M to pay me $100,000.

But, get this, my boss said to me one day, "Don't you EVER do anything the client requests without first asking me. They're not even going to get one extra semi-colon without paying for it!!!"

The strange part is, the only reason my boss agreed to take on this piddly $2M project was because he had a larger, $50M project with them that he wanted to keep, and this was part of customer service and retaining the client.

My point would be -- and this is not directed at anyone in particular in this thread or elsewhere -- your average citizen has no clue, no concept, of the obscene amounts of money and power these large corporations have to throw around, and how willing they are to throw it around to keep control of these obscene amounts of money and power, even stepping right up to the line of law-breaking, and even crossing it regularly. In addition, these companies are controlled by megalomaniacs who believe themselves to be mini-messiahs and above the likes of you and me.

People complain all the time of class warfare, but the truth is that class warfare has been going on throughout all of history, and one side knows it, and the other doesn't.
posted by PigAlien at 4:45 PM on June 1, 2009 [39 favorites]


However, strong (or any) peer-reviewed papers are not generally freely available on the internet, so I cannot point you to those.

Abstracts are available from any number of publishers. Could you please take a moment to post some links to your research?
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 4:46 PM on June 1, 2009 [1 favorite]


This thread is how I'm filling up my favorites. Also, on preview, I'd forgotten what trolls were really like. We don't get them that often on the MeFi.

Also, the Oprah cult needs to be stopped. The hubris of that woman is absolutely astounding. I'll never get over her having James Frey on her show just so she could humiliate him. HOW DARE YOU LIE TO THE O-PRAH!

I also have a serious problem with her giving a prime-time pulpit to every quack with an axe to grind, like the vaccination people. We're expecting our first child, and you would not believe how many of these Oprah drones say to us (unprompted, re: vaccines) "Well, just be informed and get both sides." It reminds me of the anti-evolution people, suggesting that there is some science that can back up their denial of and hatred for science. Oprah and her ilk are making common, everyday situations seem to have two sides in the name of ratings; there are no two sides (as I see it) to having an actual doctor examine your illness, or making sure your kid isn't giving mine the fucking measles just because some nutjob saw the Matrix too many times and told you all about it, or insisting on not wearing deodorant because it "gives you Alzheimer's". Yes, doctors and pharmaceutical companies get paid for this. I get paid for doing my job, too; it doesn't make me a bad person.

Easy pickings for comedians and satirists Oprah may be, but there's more than a grain of truth to the glib jokes. It's pretty obvious that she, like so many of the uber-wealthy, has gone slowly over the deep end towards proto-mysticism, quackery, and pseudo-medical age-defying fad hawking.
posted by littlerobothead at 4:46 PM on June 1, 2009 [5 favorites]


So is there a functional difference then between "synthetic" hormones and "bioidentical" ones whatever that means? That seems to be the core claim here, which I still haven't seen really addressed.

Are we really discussing the difference between Premarin, which I think it's fair to say, everyone would agree is not the same as the human female mix of hormones, and a treatment with pure 7-b estradiol? Or, is there some true difference between 7-b estradiol sourced from plant products (the bio-identical stuff) and that from other less "natural" manufacture? Is this just a discussion of correct hormone ratios or is there an unquantifiable mysticism here? From the claims made in the original article, it strongly smells of the second.
posted by bonehead at 4:53 PM on June 1, 2009 [1 favorite]


jakeelala, your twin statements of a) having no formal medical education, and b) claiming your mother's research as your own (our work, our research, we we we) makes you really stand out as someone not to trust particularly well.

If you read between the lines, you'll notice he never claims that his mother has a medical degree (or any sort of degree) either, nor does he ever claim that she has published any peer-reviewed papers on the alleged subject of expertise—bioidentical hormone replacement therapy. Or participation in either of the two federally registered clinical trials on BHRT. So it's a pretty weak argument from authority.

I wonder if part of the reason the identities of the people in question here are being kept secret is because MetaFilter users would find the claims even less credible if they knew who was making them.
posted by grouse at 4:55 PM on June 1, 2009 [9 favorites]


6'8" powerlifter, retired astronaut, and Nobel laureate with a 2-foot penis.

I do so hate it when people go online and pretend to be me. While I'm here does anyone need any heavy things lifted, kittens rescued from trees or their toilet snaked?
posted by MikeMc at 4:56 PM on June 1, 2009


She's a witch! BURN HER!!!
posted by jabberjaw at 4:56 PM on June 1, 2009


^ meant susan sommers, of course
posted by jabberjaw at 4:56 PM on June 1, 2009


it's a terrible fallacy that we need lots of fancy drugs and made up chemicals to stay healthy.

yup - more and more reasonable indeed...


come on - as gaspode indicates, there may be good information buried in jakeelala's posts, but it would really be much more useful without the patronizing tone, peculiar citations of authority, and overall conspiratorial thrust. Additionally, the admitted endeavour to "prove" her particular point of view seems a pretty clear conflict of interest.
posted by sloe at 4:57 PM on June 1, 2009


I a not a scientist and have no published research of my own, nor claimed to be. I will happily point you in the direction of some good research from others to start. I'll try if I have time tonight. Is this thread the best place or should it go elsewhere?

And to those sending me messages about bhrt, again I am not a dr (yet). But I will reply with the best places I think are resources for people who are considering it based on what I know.
posted by jakeelala at 4:57 PM on June 1, 2009


you'll notice he never claims that his mother has a medical degree (or any sort of degree) either

Huh, good point. Well, for the record, I train doctors of all varieties in my day job. I am one of the primary support people and faculty trainers for courseware on my campus, and part of my job is to make sure that all the various doctors (including honest-to-goodness medical doctors!) understand how to use the learning management system.

Suddenly I feel so much more qualified to speak on these topics.
posted by Hildegarde at 5:01 PM on June 1, 2009 [1 favorite]


I've expressed an interest in remaining anonymous for now, I'm sorry if you feel tha makes what I have to say less meaningful to you.

I am not published, my mother is. Let's stop making this about me and stick to the issue, shall we?
posted by jakeelala at 5:02 PM on June 1, 2009


Y'know... even granting that she's someone more or less paid to look good; and that she invests enormous amounts of time, money, and physical exertion into looking good; and that the artistry of studio lighting can have some impact; and that she's probably had a fair amount of plastic surgery over the years-- still, judging by the low-res video clip on the Newsweek website, Suzanne Somers looks great for someone 62 years old.

At any rate, medical science is built on averages; I tend to think that some things that don't work for most people may well work very very well for a small set of other people... just as the things that we prescribe as the accepted and legitimate treatment for a given malady may work in most cases, but don't work in every case.

To some extent, this outlier vs. average dynamic tends to play out plainly in critiques of new approaches:

1) Small, Motivated, Convinced User Set: It worked for me... so IT WORKS! Try it!

2) Larger, More Detached Non-User Set: I didn't try it... no authority I know is willing to advance an argument for why it would work... in fact, science says there's no way this could ever work... so you're nuts! It couldn't work for anyone, EVER, including you!

So, hey-- were I a woman entering menopause, and very uncomfortable about it, and about the notion of aging, I'd be willing to look at BHRT. (And while the "reviews" posted at Amazon are usually from self-selecting passionate partisans-- those who love a book or those who hate it; those who got great results, or terrible results, or like the *idea* of something, or *hate* it-- the anecdotes on Somers' book are not uninteresting...)
posted by darth_tedious at 5:02 PM on June 1, 2009


I am not published, my mother is. Let's stop making this about me and stick to the issue, shall we?

I'd like to get to know your body of work, so that I can evaluate it on its merits. Can you please tell us where you work, and, since you're not published, please include detailed technical criteria that you use to validate the efficacy and safety of your products?
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 5:06 PM on June 1, 2009


Let's stop making this about me and stick to the issue, shall we?

This wasn't actually a post about hormone replacement therapy in the first place, so you can hardly try to start moderating it now. It's a story about Oprah and her tendency to bring strange medical/pseudo-medical/wacky spiritual practices into public discourse.

According to your own admission, there's no evidence to back up this kind of treatment, and if it's inappropriate or unethical for you to give us some unpublished data points, it's probably unethical to even argue that this information should be public at all. That still comes back to Oprah being irresponsible for publishing it.

To me the most interesting part of the article was about "The Secret", not whatever it is Suzanne Somers is squirting up her dainty bits. Oprah wanted bubbles, and THERE THEY WERE. It's AMAZING!
posted by Hildegarde at 5:07 PM on June 1, 2009 [1 favorite]


posted by jakeelala your body has been evolving for millions of years to produce what it needs. It defintely knows better than we do at this point. it's a terrible fallacy that we need lots of fancy drugs and made up chemicals to stay healthy . . . The age of making drugs instead of balancing and working with all of the myriad drugs we produce endogenously is coming to an end. All hail the power of evolution.

A relative of mine has asthma, and on occasion uses an Albuterol inhaler to breathe. Another relative of mine is taking AZT to combat the effects of HIV. Another relative is taking various immunosupressants due to a kidney transplant.

Are you suggesting my relatives do not need these "fancy drugs" to stay healthy? I'd like to know.
posted by mattdidthat at 5:08 PM on June 1, 2009


I never said we need no drugs, isaid it's fallcy that we need lots, as in the Current volumeTaken by so many. Posting on this iPhone sure is hard
posted by jakeelala at 5:08 PM on June 1, 2009


so, suzanne somers i jakeelala's mom?
posted by snofoam at 5:09 PM on June 1, 2009 [4 favorites]


I think you've hit the nail on the head, snofoam.
posted by Hildegarde at 5:09 PM on June 1, 2009


Jakeelala, part of the problem some people are having with your claims is that there are many people here who are, in fact, working in the field in which you are staking territory. You appear to be discounting anyone's questions which come from people who are aware of the issues and are asking pertinent questions, and the dodge about not having online citations is a bit perplexing. PubMeb is very reputable and well-known. It is also odd that you have assumed such a mantle of authority, only to reveal that it is your mother who is working on these issues, and you are merely a student on a level you have not disclosed.

One of the virtues of Metafilter, as I'm sure you know as a longtime lurker, is that we have so many people who have specific credentials in any number of esoteric fields.

It doesn't do anyone any good to behave as if we are all ignorant about biochemistry, because as several people have come forward in the thread to state, there are credentialed biochemists commenting. This might be why you are getting such a close cross-examination.
posted by winna at 5:10 PM on June 1, 2009 [5 favorites]


Do you have access to Science Journals? If so, I will take the time to try and dig up citations for the particularly interesting ones.

Please do. I think you might be surprised at the number of MetaFilter users who do have access to such journals, because they are either students at or employees of universities, or other research institutions, that have institutional subscriptions. Also, as others have noted, even if they do not have access to the full article, nearly all journals now make abstracts freely available online. While certainly not as useful as the full article, the abstract would be more informative than nothing.

Also, specifcally in reference to the fact that Susan is promoting "transdermal" hormone replacement therapy (ie the syringe in her chach), here's a good article about why some people (my mother included) have advocated for many years that transdermal is the only way to replace hormones, not pills or injections.

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/03/090326134024.htm


While the article you link correctly notes that "transdermal" refers to medications absorbed through the skin (e.g., a nicotine patch), it should be noted that the "syringe in her chach" method is commonly referred to as intravaginal administration in the medical literature, and is generally considered separately from transdermal administration.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 5:10 PM on June 1, 2009 [1 favorite]


posted by Blazecock Pileon I'd like to get to know your body of work, so that I can evaluate it on its merits. Can you please tell us where you work, and, since you're not published, please include detailed technical criteria that you use to validate the efficacy and safety of your products?

Stick to the issues. Her place of employment is irrelevant and is none of your business.
posted by mattdidthat at 5:11 PM on June 1, 2009


Metafilter: Not torque. Thrust.

One, in a medium, please.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 5:11 PM on June 1, 2009


I'd like to chime in and say I think a number of people have been exceedingly rude to jakeelala. There are plenty of ways to make a point without attacking someone, and jakeelala has given quite reasonable explanations as to why s/he might wish to retain some anonymity. If those reasons aren't sufficient to satisfy you, there is no need to result to bullying. What is this, 4chan?
posted by PigAlien at 5:13 PM on June 1, 2009 [2 favorites]



So is there a functional difference then between "synthetic" hormones and "bioidentical" ones whatever that means?

No. "Synthetic" and "bioindentical" 17-B-estradiol act at both forms of the estrogen receptor (alpha and beta) with identical affinity. As long as it's 17-B-estradiol. I'm not sure what "bioidentical" means in this context either. 17-B-estradiol is 17-B-estradiol is 17-B-estradiol, irrespective of origin.

Now premarin is a completely different kettle of fish, but you comparing bioidentical ("non-synthetic"??) 17-B-estradiol to premarin is apples to oranges.
posted by gaspode at 5:13 PM on June 1, 2009


Hey...is this a record? Jakeelala has made 34 comments in a single thread.
posted by Hildegarde at 5:14 PM on June 1, 2009


Good lord, jakeelala has been posting from an iPhone this whole time? That's determination.
posted by Burhanistan at 5:15 PM on June 1, 2009 [1 favorite]


jakeelala, as I said our lab looks at reproductive senescence - we don't study HRT per se. We're a neuroscience lab, and look at mechanisms of estradiol action in the brain. The area of our lab that looks at reproductive senescence looks at neuroprotection in stroke models in middle aged rodents. That's only one line of research. My own research focuses on the interactions between estrogen receptors and insulin-like growth factor receptors in the brain, and functional regulation of GnRH neurons.
posted by gaspode at 5:15 PM on June 1, 2009


Also, some of you are incredible jackasses and need a good beatdown. How does Wednesday work for you?
posted by Burhanistan at 5:16 PM on June 1, 2009 [1 favorite]


Man, this thread is the train wreck that keeps on giving.
posted by diogenes at 5:17 PM on June 1, 2009 [11 favorites]


sage
posted by PigAlien at 5:19 PM on June 1, 2009 [1 favorite]


I'm glad jakeelala decided to contribute to this thread -- and if I decide that I seriously disagree with any of jakeela's respectfully stated comments, I hope I can do it without being a flaming, taunting jerk. Seriously, I think some of you guys (and it seems to mostly be guys) have embarrassed yourselves and are too busy being "right" to realize it.
posted by hermitosis at 5:22 PM on June 1, 2009 [3 favorites]


Hey...is this a record? Jakeelala has made 34 comments in a single thread.

That's hitting about 14% of the total thread comments at this point. Pretty impressive (I don't mean that in a good way).
posted by eyeballkid at 5:25 PM on June 1, 2009 [1 favorite]


I think snofoam is off by a generation.
posted by maxwelton at 5:26 PM on June 1, 2009


All jakeelala has to do is say that it was a mistake to try to assert authority based on his mother's work and that it was rude to insist that the title of the post needs to be changed and that would shut most of us up pretty quickly. Seems pretty simple to do, and yet...
posted by GuyZero at 5:26 PM on June 1, 2009


The hive mind is more like a pack of dogs it would seem.
posted by Sailormom at 5:26 PM on June 1, 2009 [1 favorite]


Kind of a shame this got to be all about Suzanne Somers. I've been simmering about Oprah's support of Jenny McCarthy, and her anti-vaccination beliefs. I just watched a great video of Larry Page's commencement address at Cornell. He talks about how his dad had polio. My stepdad had polio as a young man, and post-polio syndrome later in life. Getting rid of polio is so amazing, so wonderful, that we should fund a worldwide effort and make sure nobody has to have polio anymore.

Most Americans live lives of incredible privilege, including the freedom from a lot of diseases. I'm so sorry for people whose kids have autism, or any other illness, but to use that as a way to stop people from getting preventable diseases like measles, polio diptheria, etc., is morally indefensible. I want to keep the privilege of not seeing kids get polio, measles or other diseases that can be prevented.

Suzanne Somers is likely a wealthy woman, and able to afford all sorts of treatments. I hope they aren't harmful. Suzanne Somers and Jenny McCarthy are self-proclaimed experts. I trust real experts because they use their real, full name, and give their credentials and contact information when they publish their research. There's a lot, a lot, wrong with Western medicine, but scientific method, and replication of published results, is generally an area where it shines. Oprah Winfrey should be ashamed of herself for promoting this crap.
posted by theora55 at 5:27 PM on June 1, 2009 [24 favorites]


So is there a functional difference then between "synthetic" hormones and "bioidentical" ones whatever that means?

No. "Synthetic" and "bioindentical" 17-B-estradiol act at both forms of the estrogen receptor (alpha and beta) with identical affinity. As long as it's 17-B-estradiol. I'm not sure what "bioidentical" means in this context either. 17-B-estradiol is 17-B-estradiol is 17-B-estradiol, irrespective of origin.


which is what I said here:
"I'm not making my point well enough I guess.

The same molecule is the same molecule, you are right bonehead. No argument there.

But lots of HRT does not revolve around the same molecules. They use conjgated estrogens, or combo progestins.
"

Bonehead was the posters name, not me calling him a name :)

I've never claimed to be a published scientist or a doctor. I openly, from the start, claimed that I was representing research I am privy to and becoming a part of due to lucky familial connections and a decision to pursue medicine.

And of course I know the difference between transvaginal and transdermal. The particular protocol Somers is on is transdermal, but she chooses to put it where the sun dont shine because the absorption is much higher than transdermally. Like the nasal spray you can buy now, which I think is estriol but I'd have to check my facts on that one.

As previsouly stated, my mother nor I have any professional relationship to Susan Somers. Nor familial.

And to the poster asking about inhalers: no. Of course I don't think your relatives who find relief from certain proven therapeutic treatments should suffer. That does not mean I don't think it's entirely possible that some or all of what you've described, which are autoimmune disorders (generally, unless there was some trauma causing their breathing impairment) couldn't possibly candidates for hormone therapy. As mentioned above, hormones are generally steroids (or sometimes peptides but we'll stick to the steroids for now), and steriods act on the immune system. There has been some evidence that steroid hormones can illicit strong therpuetic benefits for autoimmune disorders, such as allergies and asthma.

Thanks for the support from those of you offering it. It's much appreciated. I thought MeFi might have a little more class than other internet forums but I guess people can be people wherever you go. Hopefully we can all settle down into a more constructive conversation as this wears on. I will try to start posting some papers. I would love to take this from "who the hell are you Jakeelala?" to "this or that paper does or does not support blah blah blah". Don't shoot the messenger, folks.
posted by jakeelala at 5:27 PM on June 1, 2009


metafilter: some of you guys on here really ruined what would have been several very interesting disucssions. Oh well.
posted by cjorgensen at 5:27 PM on June 1, 2009


"Is there anything Suzanne Somers' vagina can't do?"

Not wet the bed?
posted by Smedleyman at 5:31 PM on June 1, 2009


And I was asked for credentials, so I gave them as specifically as I felt comfortable.

How about you actually do that instead of citing other peoples' credentials? My stepfather's a doctor but that doesn't mean I'm qualified to post about how Levitra works.
posted by Pope Guilty at 5:31 PM on June 1, 2009 [1 favorite]


Burhanistan, That's nothing. Do have any idea how long this thread is taking to load on my 300 baud modem?
posted by cjorgensen at 5:32 PM on June 1, 2009 [4 favorites]


I'm comfortable posting about how Levitra works, but the mods keep deleting it.
posted by cjorgensen at 5:34 PM on June 1, 2009 [2 favorites]


LISTEN, YOU ARE POSTING A COMMENT ON A WEBSITE JUST LIKE EVERYBODY ELSE HERE. YOU ARE NOT SPECIAL. IF ANYTHING, YOUR LACK OF POSTING HISTORY MAKES YOU EVEN LESS SPECIAL.

YOU ARE THE CANCER THAT IS KILLING /b/ METAFILTER!!!!!111!

Desu Desu Desu Desu Desu Desu Desu Desu Desu Desu Desu Desu Desu Desu Desu Desu Desu Desu Desu Desu Desu Desu Desu Desu Desu Desu Desu Desu Desu Desu Desu Desu Desu Desu Desu Desu Desu Desu Desu Desu Desu Desu Desu Desu Desu Desu Desu Desu
posted by MikeMc at 5:34 PM on June 1, 2009 [4 favorites]


here's a very good one off the top of my head regarding not jut BHRT, but cyclical, combined estrogen/progesterone which what I'm mostly referring to in these posts, as that is the focus of the research I am most familiar with.

Ellen Løkkegaard, Anne Helms Andreasen, Rikke Kart Jacobsen, Lars Hougaard Nielsen, Carsten Agger, and Øjvind Lidegaard. Hormone therapy and risk of myocardial infarction: a national register study. European Heart Journal, 2008; DOI: 10.1093/eurheartj/ehn408
posted by jakeelala at 5:34 PM on June 1, 2009


20/20 exposé, anyone?
posted by Sys Rq at 5:35 PM on June 1, 2009 [4 favorites]


jakeelala - Do you have access to Science Journals? If so, I will take the time to try and dig up citations for the particularly interesting ones.

I'd be interested to see those. I'm not in your field (I'm more molecular virology/oncology) but skimming this conversation has piqued my curiosity. I'm not planning to get involved in this particular heated debate, I'm just after some nerdy bedtime reading. My institution has pretty good journal access.

Also, I'd be interested to read a response from you to grouse's points up there.

a robot made out of meat - ^I wish that I was in Big Pharma's pocket. Do you know how crappy {grad student, post doc, jr. faculty} pay is?
This, a thousand times this. Some of the tricks drug companies think up to promote their wares and hawk them to medics are pretty scandalous, but I do get upset when the tinfoil hat crowd claim that all doctors and medical researchers are corrupt and under their pay. I know that I haven't seen any big cheques with my name on recently.
posted by metaBugs at 5:35 PM on June 1, 2009 [2 favorites]


...Um, excuse me, I was looking for the thread about Oprah. Was that thread cancelled at the last minute?....
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 5:36 PM on June 1, 2009


posted by EmpressCallipygos excuse me, I was looking for the thread about Oprah. Was that thread cancelled at the last minute?

It's taped to the bottom of your chair.
posted by mattdidthat at 5:38 PM on June 1, 2009 [5 favorites]


European Heart Journal, 2008; DOI: 10.1093/eurheartj/ehn408, as cited by jakeelala above.
posted by netbros at 5:38 PM on June 1, 2009


Science isn't done by the disinterested. It's about proving your hypothesis to the skeptical. Heated arguments will be had, and people may well take "sides." In fact, it may be beneficial for scientists to be interested in accepting or rejecting conclusions, so as long peer review is in place and the threat of experimental reproduction is on the table. Emotional investment may be required to prove a point as people pick apart the flaws in your suggestion.

In short, confirmation bias is real but can be molded to benefit society. The scientific investigator is a crucial player, but does not referee the game.
posted by pwnguin at 5:39 PM on June 1, 2009


Every time they talk to one of these idiots int he article, they get an ass-covering PR statement like, "Of course, you should talk to your doctor to see if the all-spherical foods diet is for you." Which is the problem, in America.

What typical US citizen has a "their doctor" that they see on a regular basis, who has an in-depth knowledge of (a) that patient's full health and (b) all these claims? Few to none. I am in a pretty comfortable position and I have someone I see maybe twice a year, who is certainly capable but also has about 3999 other patients to deal with. And to see her I have to take some time off from work, go downtown, and pay a $15 co-pay. Those three things are not trivial for many people.

Unless America gets a same health care system (and by "sane" I don't mean we ask the insurance companies if maybe they can find some ways to cut costs that won't inconvenience them too much, President Obama) then worthless junkbags like Somers and McCarthy will get time because it's a hell of a lot easier for someone to see them than for someone to see a person with actual medical credentials who gives a shit about the patient.
posted by Legomancer at 5:41 PM on June 1, 2009 [6 favorites]


Pope Guilty, if you were an assistant to your father, working in his office, dispensing Levitra and collating data on studies about the effectiveness of Levitra, and corresponding with the company that manufactures Levitra, I'd say you probably would have some qualifications to talk about how Levitra works. So, if you would, could you kindly now drop it?
posted by PigAlien at 5:41 PM on June 1, 2009 [1 favorite]


Oh, and regarding the aforementioned 20/20 exposé: Some quick googling would appear to indicate that the credentials sought in this thread are detailed at about 5:50 in that clip.
posted by Sys Rq at 5:44 PM on June 1, 2009


if you were an assistant to your father, working in his office, dispensing Levitra and collating data on studies about the effectiveness of Levitra, and corresponding with the company that manufactures Levitra, I'd say you probably would have some qualifications to talk about how Levitra works.

Are you kidding me? The former requires a high school education at best, the latter requires a degree in medicine or biochemistry and specialized knowledge within that field. I'm not saying that jakeelala doesn't know what he's talking about, but your example is completely unconvincing.
posted by GuyZero at 5:47 PM on June 1, 2009 [5 favorites]


Holy crap, that 20/20 episode makes us looks like of bunch of toothless babies. They eviscerate Somers.
posted by GuyZero at 5:49 PM on June 1, 2009 [2 favorites]


I've expressed an interest in remaining anonymous for now, I'm sorry if you feel tha makes what I have to say less meaningful to you.

I am not published, my mother is. Let's stop making this about me and stick to the issue, shall we?


Your anonymity is not the problem, and it is not what is keeping us from "the issue." It is your unsupported claim of special qualifications coupled with anonymity that is the problem. It is your abuse of anonymity to arrogate authority you do not have that is the problem. It is you that made this about you:It's ironic that you are now acting as if your opinions are entitled to equal treatment despite your anonymity, when you came in here acting as if they deserved more than that—some deference, even—because of your unsupported claims to expertise. But if you don't want this to be about you anymore, that's fine. I've said my piece and if you don't have anything else to say on that, neither will I.

Now, for "the issue." To me, there are many things that could be regarded as a legitimate issue of discussion here, but let's focus for a moment on whether BHRT is an appropriate clinical intervention. There have been several reviews in the peer-reviewed scientific literature that both advocate and discourage this, and have been posted here by shmegegge and me. You have not engaged with these sources, which is what I would consider "sticking to the issue." Instead you haveSo you are welcome to get back to sticking to the issues, but I think your previous efforts were not impressive. Your current "don't shoot the messenger" stance is particularly unimpressive given that so much of your argument here has relied on personal and group attacks against those who would argue against you rather than the substance of their arguments.
posted by grouse at 5:53 PM on June 1, 2009 [88 favorites]


Pope Guilty, if you were an assistant to your father, working in his office, dispensing Levitra and collating data on studies about the effectiveness of Levitra, and corresponding with the company that manufactures Levitra, I'd say you probably would have some qualifications to talk about how Levitra works. So, if you would, could you kindly now drop it?

what?

As someone providing day-to-day accounts of the business of dispensing Levitra, sure they could provide insight. And, due to thier job, it's likely they could provide a slightly more informed than average lay-person opinion. But as an expert or authority providing an assessment of the theoretical modes of action or clinical tested benefits, risks, and efficacy of Levitra? No.

If simple exposure to information was enough to make one proficient in that field, then the administrative assistants in my departmental office would be able to use band gap theory to explain why diamond is transparent.

(And although they can do almost anything, they can't do that.)
posted by sloe at 5:59 PM on June 1, 2009


Metafilter: particularly unimpressive.
posted by jquinby at 5:59 PM on June 1, 2009


Here's the thing. Suzanne Somers doesn't just "advocate for" experimental hormone treatments--she's making money from a book she wrote about them. I don't care what medical treatments she wants to use herself, but if she's going to, in effect, prescribe them to others, I'm going to examine her claims of their efficacy critically.

The idea that we need to be super-critical of, say, Merck, but if any random TV star has a set of theories about medicine we're all just brainwashed sheeple if we question her assumptions...
posted by Sidhedevil at 6:00 PM on June 1, 2009


Kind of a shame this got to be all about Suzanne Somers. I've been simmering about Oprah's support of Jenny McCarthy, and her anti-vaccination beliefs.

Well, we just did our quarterly vaccine "controversy" re-hash a few days ago. Which is not to say it couldn't also be discussed here, but may explain why people don't seem particularly interested in doing so.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 6:01 PM on June 1, 2009


GuyZero, maybe you could tell jakeelala to "fuck off" again. That really gets your point across.

I personally don't think stating "I actually know far more about this subject than I think you can imagine." is arguing from authority, nor do I think it deserves to be a focal point to constantly crap on someone.

Anyway, carry on.
posted by P.o.B. at 6:01 PM on June 1, 2009 [2 favorites]


I do have this Levitra pen, though.
posted by Pope Guilty at 6:05 PM on June 1, 2009 [2 favorites]


Science isn't done by the disinterested. It's about proving your hypothesis to the skeptical.

You know, just the other day I whipped up a as many different treatment conditions as I could reasonably think of, loaded them all on a gel and ran that puppy. My hypothesis was that one of them might loose some proteins from solution, or not. And I swear to you now, before God and everyone, I DIDN'T GIVE THE PROVERBIAL FLYING RAT'S ASS WHICH ONE DID BETTER. I just wanted a standard, in a jar, with most of it's content still in solution.

Yay objectivity.
posted by Kid Charlemagne at 6:06 PM on June 1, 2009


Back to Oprah?
Over the years I have met quite a few people who work for Harpo Studios since I live fairly close. People that work for Oprah get paid extremely well, but she demands utter loyalty. Periodically she plans a vacation or outing for her entire staff and their families and you had better go and make sure you enjoy yourself. My ex is close friends with the spouse of an Oprahite. When I expressed envy of the amazing all expenses paid trip they were getting ready for, he looked pained. Yeah, it was a great opportunity, he said, but you really had to be on and show appreciation. There was time alotted for employees to go off on their own and that's what got him thru. It was Oprah's deal - you are just there to fill some space with a smiling face. Kind of like Disneyland.
We were once at a party with a definite Oprah contingent. It was a very drunken evening. I was sitting near a few of them and when my side of the table's conversation lapsed a bit, I started paying attention to what they were talking about. They were talking office politics; who said what, who plays dumb and asks lots of questions only to go running to management with perceived disloyalty, etc.
I had never heard of a more back stabby, phony place to work. Just brutal. Suddenly they realized they had an audience (someone else nearby asked "How to you live with that shit day to day"), and there was an embarrassed silence.
I got the impression that although she preaches spiritualty and love, she and her inner circle are thrive on suspicion and self absorbtion. I figure they are trying to sell themsrlves on the new age happy crap.
posted by readery at 6:11 PM on June 1, 2009 [20 favorites]


Nice find, Sys Rq.
posted by Pope Guilty at 6:12 PM on June 1, 2009


6. Learn to count.
posted by Sys Rq at 6:12 PM on June 1, 2009 [1 favorite]


I do have this Levitra pen, though.

That's some damn subtle marketing there Lou. Of course it could just be me projecting, I think it was Freud who said: "Sometimes a pen is just a pen".
posted by MikeMc at 6:13 PM on June 1, 2009 [1 favorite]


Science isn't done by the disinterested. It's about proving your hypothesis to the skeptical.

Huh? In my day, doing science (or academics in general) was about being skeptical, of your own hypotheses and others. Most of the scientists who work down the hall from me seem just as gratified when they eliminate a hypothesis as they are when it's borne out (or something in between) because they gain new information and advance knowledge regardless.
posted by FelliniBlank at 6:15 PM on June 1, 2009 [1 favorite]


The second citation provided in this post is questioned at this point in the 20/20 piece.
posted by sloe at 6:16 PM on June 1, 2009


i just lost a 30 minute post replying to grouses orginal citations far above. Grrrr.

Anyway I will summarize here:

Referring to your first block of text: I posted a Danish study that shows it doesn't cause heart attacks.

Here are 2 papers showing progesterone killing breast cancer cells:
1
2

I'm still at work and can't do a full list right now. Also at home I have must more exhaustive lists of supporting research.

The other 2 paragrpahs highlight:
-Variability with compounded BHRT. That's true. But a good BHRT researcher puts things in place ensure uniformity and adherance to the compounding requirements (training, spot checks, single supplier for bases and hormones, etc).
-It's true that good BHRT hormones come from plants. That makes them natural. That's just true. They grow on trees. Next topic.
-The last paragraph is just the author saying "get out of my sandbox" because if you don't have a certain specific backround that he agrees with, you are not eligible to have an opinion, even with peer reviewed published data behind you.
-There is a lack of robust data, but not a lack of data as the Danish study I posted above points out. There will be much more soon. There are however lots of studies showing how dangerous traditional HRT is, which unfortunately gets lumped with cyclical, BHRT.
posted by jakeelala at 6:16 PM on June 1, 2009


Metafilter is like the Wittgenstein, come at us and we get all stabby with the poker.

1. "The world is all that is the favorite"
posted by geoff. at 6:21 PM on June 1, 2009


Has Kevin Trudeau weighed in on this yet? If anyone knows the truth about natural cures it's Kevin Trudeau.
posted by MikeMc at 6:21 PM on June 1, 2009 [4 favorites]


How hard do you think it is for Pharma funded researchers and labs to make expert edits to Wikipedia?

Uh, I seem to recall that in my last "acceptable use of company blah blah blah training" (aka, 30 minutes I'd like back - I could kinda guess that looking at porn and/or committing wire fraud at work are frowned upon) I was specifically told not to get involved on Wiki pages, or electronic forums where our products were being discussed from work computers.

If I were editing the page that this discussion was generating I'd just add, "You people are going to make baby Jesus Friedrich Wöhler cry to the talk page.
posted by Kid Charlemagne at 6:22 PM on June 1, 2009


6. Then GIS the relative's name and take the third image.
posted by Midnight Rambler at 6:24 PM on June 1, 2009 [1 favorite]


Right about now telling someone to "fuck off" for asking the title of the post to be changed is looking downright friendly.
posted by GuyZero at 6:26 PM on June 1, 2009 [3 favorites]


[few comments removed - if MeFites want to link their online and offline identities, it's their choice, please don't do so otherwise.]
posted by jessamyn at 6:32 PM on June 1, 2009


And now my comment makes no sense - or less sense, as "no sense" implies it ever made sense.
posted by GuyZero at 6:34 PM on June 1, 2009


Let's get back to talking about how nutty Suzanne Somers is. Cleansing her blood and what not? I mean, come on. Must be nice to be a zillionaire with nothing better to do.
posted by Hildegarde at 6:35 PM on June 1, 2009


I wonder what the percentage of post-menopausal women on Mefi is?

"Bio-identical" and plant-based HRT have been available in various formulations as an alternative to conventional drug treatment for over ten years. I know two women who have used/preferred them to standard prescriptions. And another who used intra-vaginal estrogen injections via, yes, a "syringe." See Women's Health and Madison Pharmacy Associates.

As gaspode points out, estrogen/estradiol affects the brain:
Estrogen Makes the Brain a Sex Organ and Estrogen also a potential neurotransmitter .

Welcome to your baptism-by-fire, Jakeelala, thanks for the information and signing up, you did well (by being a reasonable person who happened to know something about the topic and going way out of your way to contribute).

Otherwise too much boyzone/credentialzone/sciencenazizone. You'd think some of you guys were menopausal.
posted by psyche7 at 6:35 PM on June 1, 2009 [2 favorites]


Ooh burn.

This shill exposure gave me a gleeful twinge of schadenfreud.
posted by JustAsItSounds at 6:35 PM on June 1, 2009 [1 favorite]


*blows kisses at Sys Rq and grouse*
posted by Quietgal at 6:36 PM on June 1, 2009


> Remind me never to piss metafilter off. I'd hate for you people to figure out who I was in real life.
posted by cjorgensen at 6:36 PM on June 1, 2009


This thread is so getting shut down. There's no way we can continue this conversation without talking about who jakeelala is.
posted by diogenes at 6:37 PM on June 1, 2009 [4 favorites]


Let this be a lesson to all.

Um...but it's best that we don't talk about it.

So Oprah: we can blame her for Dr. Phil too, right? Jenny McCarthy and Dr. Phil. When will the madness end?

At least she's got that book club.
posted by Hildegarde at 6:41 PM on June 1, 2009


I was afraid that would happen.

Well, enjoy your magic Oprah balm, ladies.
posted by Sys Rq at 6:41 PM on June 1, 2009


Although, to his credit, I did not imagine how much he knew about the topic. There was indeed way more than I imagined.
posted by GuyZero at 6:41 PM on June 1, 2009 [7 favorites]


One of the potentially useful pieces of information was the European Heart Journal article linked to above. I'm no biochemist but this looks to be a straightforward examination of the role of HRT (not the Suzanne Somers kind) on heart attack risk. What would be most illuminating is a head to head clinical assessment of the HRt and the BHRT treatments. Grouse? (and as an aside, jakeelala's early comments made me suspect s/he was a shill for BHRT too - the commentary got better as the thread evolved. I appreciate the close examination of his/her comments).
posted by bluesky43 at 6:41 PM on June 1, 2009


It was patently clear at the outset (and in her/his 400 ensuing comments) that this is a person with a big old vested axe to grind -- the precise nature of the axe doesn't make a giant difference.
posted by FelliniBlank at 6:42 PM on June 1, 2009


"Here's the thing. Suzanne Somers doesn't just "advocate for" experimental hormone treatments--she's making money from a book she wrote about them"

I hadn't even thought about that. "Hey those doctors are making money off the big pharmaceutical companies selling you this stuff!!!"
Well, aren't you making money off a book you're selling about the...
"SHUT UP!"
posted by Smedleyman at 6:43 PM on June 1, 2009


yeah, thanks anyway for those who were interested. feel free to MeFi mail me if you're interested in research (not yet posted) or discussing further. It was nice while it lasted, even with the not so nice people getting involved.

If you learned nothing else from this discussion let it be that this is an extremely interesting topic, research is ongoing, and the booked is not closed.
posted by jakeelala at 6:43 PM on June 1, 2009


Can we say that jakeelala has a vested interest in the business associated with this website: http://www.thewileyprotocol.com/.
posted by diogenes at 6:43 PM on June 1, 2009 [5 favorites]


Wait, wait! I remember the instructions.

Google... stagger, fall, stagger similar name, stagger stagger... Ah blast, I've lost it.

A whole site though! Glad I was here for it. That was like buried treasure. Dirty, dirty booty, it was.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 6:43 PM on June 1, 2009 [1 favorite]


and I repeat, Susan Somers does not have any affiliation with me or anyone else i'm related to.
posted by jakeelala at 6:45 PM on June 1, 2009


Here's that Wiley Watch link again, incidentally.
posted by Sys Rq at 6:46 PM on June 1, 2009 [12 favorites]


jakeelala: the real lesson of this thread is that shills for a company will often show up and pretend to be objective science-types to make their side look better to the dumb populace. Not naming any names.

I think it's time we all sang a little kumbaya.
posted by Hildegarde at 6:48 PM on June 1, 2009 [4 favorites]


So jakeelala can accuse others of being pharma shills, having a vested interest in calling BHRT's effectiveness into doubt (IE. it hasn't been proven, yet).

But the same BHRT sceptics are called 'sciencenazis' when it is found out that jakeelala is most probably the son of a leading BHRT proponent.
posted by JustAsItSounds at 6:48 PM on June 1, 2009 [3 favorites]


This is like one of those old-timey metatalk threads.

Pass the popcorn.
posted by oddman at 6:48 PM on June 1, 2009 [1 favorite]


It's really easy to post things on the internet that are demonstrably untrue, too.
posted by Hildegarde at 6:48 PM on June 1, 2009


I am moving in a couple of weeks. I should be packing up my twelve thousand pounds of crap.

Instead, I am breathlessly refreshing this thread.

And if it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it's usually not a zebra.
posted by winna at 6:50 PM on June 1, 2009 [3 favorites]


Holy shit. That is all.
posted by LeeJay at 6:50 PM on June 1, 2009


To everybody wondering what you missed: jakeelala is actually Suzanne Somers' vagina!
posted by diogenes at 6:54 PM on June 1, 2009 [10 favorites]


saying that BHRT is safe and there is now research beginning to support it is not shilling. It's giving you a side of the story that is still (for now) in the minority.

And if you start back way at the beginning you will see I was just correcting what I felt to be a semantic error in the title. I never came in here shilling anything. you all asked questions, I did my best to answer them. Then when I wanted to talk science instead of credentials, it becomes a witch hunt.

what is wrong with some of you? I never said "take this BHRT regimen". I never said I was a doctor or even a scientist. I wasn't shilling anything but what I know. All I said was we're doing studies! I never tried to sign anyone up!

a couple of you must have exceedingly boring lives to find validation in this sort of interaction with strangers on the internet. i can't believe i paid 5$ (of my own, non-Pharma, non-BHRT money) on this.
posted by jakeelala at 6:56 PM on June 1, 2009


I just want to say wrote Oprah, Dr. Phil, and that Dr. Oz dude and not one wrote back. That $1.20 I'll never see again.

Anyone got an address for Suzanne Somers's vagina?
posted by cjorgensen at 6:56 PM on June 1, 2009


You know what I hate about threads like this? Some damn fool eventually writes, "Pass the popcorn," and I start thinking, "MMMMmmm. Popcorn . . ."
posted by miss patrish at 6:58 PM on June 1, 2009 [2 favorites]


This is like one of those old-timey metatalk threads.

Pass the popcorn.


Indeed. *munch munch*
posted by nola at 6:59 PM on June 1, 2009 [3 favorites]


I wasn't shilling anything but what I know. All I said was we're doing studies!

Seriously man, just walk away and we'll all pretend this never happened.
posted by diogenes at 7:00 PM on June 1, 2009


jakeelala is actually Suzanne Somers' vagina!

This is Suzanne Somers' vagina getting its daily squirt of estrogen.
posted by fleetmouse at 7:00 PM on June 1, 2009 [2 favorites]


Let's get back to talking about how nutty Suzanne Somers is. Cleansing her blood and what not?

Nutty? Chelation can be downright fucking dangerous! I looked into it when my wife and I were considering "alternative" Autism therapies (we have a son "on the spectrum") and that shit is scary. In the end we decided to pass on the false hope offered by the DAN! crowd and the vaccine/heavy metal poisoning people and stick to proven behavior therapies. It's so easy to get sucked in when people offer you a possible solution for your seemingly hopeless situation, please, please, be careful when you are tempted to reject proven therapies and medications.
posted by MikeMc at 7:01 PM on June 1, 2009 [4 favorites]


jakeelala, if you've been lurking as long as you say you have been, you pretty much knew it would go down this way, right? I mean, I saw this coming from your first post.

And I was sincere with my "welcome to metafilter," there are other threads you might find worth $5.

This one was worth $5 to a lot of other people.

On the bright side, you've made enough comments to post to your mom's project now.
posted by cjorgensen at 7:01 PM on June 1, 2009 [1 favorite]


Then when I wanted to talk science instead of credentials, it becomes a witch hunt.

I would say that, given the revelations in this thread, a little contrition would be nice. Or even a simple acknowledgment that you've been a hypocrite and that your blanket accusations against mainstream doctors are misplaced.

(I notice that all the articles you've posted have to do with hormone therapy in general, not BHRT or the Wiley Protocol. I hope the readers of this thread can read between the lines on this one.)
posted by nasreddin at 7:01 PM on June 1, 2009 [2 favorites]


So I watched the 20/20 piece, and was really impressed by Somers botoxicated face.
Except for her blinky eyes, there is NO MOTION above and including her upper lip.

She does have perfect-looking skin at 320x480 resolution, though.

Her interviewer also seems to have an immobile forehead. But the contrast between Somers and the various real people in the piece (and their animated faces) are, well, contrasty.

As for doctors--I pretty much trust my doctor, but I'd trust him more if he bought his own ballpoint pens.
posted by hexatron at 7:02 PM on June 1, 2009


whats there to walk away from?

i didn't do anything wrong. i stand behind every single thing written. i never misrepresented myself, I even expressed what my mother did, so i didn't even hide that I have a bias.

i'm sorry, whats the big controversey here?
posted by jakeelala at 7:03 PM on June 1, 2009


This thread is so getting shut down.

Is this the place where we start talking about the one-eyed kitten?
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 7:05 PM on June 1, 2009 [2 favorites]


BHRT is safe and there is now research beginning to support it

You have the order in which science works backward.
posted by Pope Guilty at 7:05 PM on June 1, 2009 [28 favorites]


i'd trust my doctor more if he bought his own pens, and paid for his own trips to the tropics to give a "thoughtleader speech"
posted by jakeelala at 7:05 PM on June 1, 2009


i never misrepresented myself, I even expressed what my mother did, so i didn't even hide that I have a bias.

You really believe that you did this in a way that wasn't deliberately misleading?
posted by nasreddin at 7:06 PM on June 1, 2009


I notice that all the articles you've posted have to do with hormone therapy in general, not BHRT or the Wiley Protocol.

nasreddin, you may have missed this one.
posted by winna at 7:06 PM on June 1, 2009


I pretty much trust my doctor, but I'd trust him more if he bought his own ballpoint pens.

Once I got my hand on like 400 Prozac magnets, a pen, and a t-shirt.

I covered my fridge with the magnets. They always walked away. I am down to one.
posted by cjorgensen at 7:07 PM on June 1, 2009


i'm sorry, whats the big controversey here?

*Head explodes*
posted by diogenes at 7:08 PM on June 1, 2009


nasreddin, you may have missed this one.

Haha, my bad! I hope this means I can list my website under "articles" on my CV. 2-2 teaching load, here I come!
posted by nasreddin at 7:09 PM on June 1, 2009 [2 favorites]


Wait, so, did jakeelala even get a chance to see the... ah... redacted comments, then?
posted by rkent at 7:10 PM on June 1, 2009


You really believe that you did this in a way that wasn't deliberately misleading?

no. i asked to remain anonymous, which allowed you to assume absolutely anything you wanted about me, good or bad. and i did not lie about a single detail in anything i wrote.
posted by jakeelala at 7:11 PM on June 1, 2009


I'm not really interested in debating the chemistry, but I can't believe you're claiming to be correct because of what your mom does for a living.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 5:09 PM on June 1 [20 favorites +] [!]


And I can't believe you've never become more informed than the average person by living with an expert.

I know more than the average person about arthritis, because my mother-in-law is an expert; I can talk intelligently about intelligence analysis and security issues because I get to hear the rants about them every other day from my husband. And he can, at the drop of a hat, intelligently and accurately discuss early modern demography, when he's never so much as looked at a book on it. Strange to believe, but early modern demography has come up in cocktail party conversations, and he was correcting a seriously demographically challenged medievalist.

Knowing that jakeela's mother is an expert on this topic tells me that jakeela can't help but be more informed than me, or likely most other people in the thread, through sheer osmosis.
posted by jb at 7:12 PM on June 1, 2009 [2 favorites]


Wait, so, did jakeelala even get a chance to see the... ah... redacted comments, then?

Either that or he's a glutton for punishment.
posted by diogenes at 7:13 PM on June 1, 2009


saying that BHRT is safe and there is now research beginning to support it is not shilling. It's giving you a side of the story that is still (for now) in the minority.
So, you know it's safe but the research is only now beginning to support its safety... that's lucky.
And if you start back way at the beginning you will see I was just correcting what I felt to be a semantic error in the title. I never came in here shilling anything. you all asked questions, I did my best to answer them. Then when I wanted to talk science instead of credentials, it becomes a witch hunt.
I actually know far more about this subject than I think you can imagine.

Who might I ask, are you?
posted by JustAsItSounds at 7:13 PM on June 1, 2009


Less QQ more PP, people.
posted by P.o.B. at 7:16 PM on June 1, 2009


jakeelala: you did say flat out that there was no connection between your, erm, company, and Suzanne Somers. As it turns out, there is, and they did press together. Your anonymity in this context, and suggesting that your mother really is an expert when the sources online clearly indicate that she is not, makes you and her part of the quackery that launched this thread in the first place.

Come back and preach to us after you have real credentials from an actual school, and a list of publications.

For now, we will go on being skeptical. And you can't "I know more than you can imagine" your way into manipulating us.
posted by Hildegarde at 7:17 PM on June 1, 2009 [31 favorites]


Can we get an auto refresh on this page? My command R is wearing out.
posted by cjorgensen at 7:17 PM on June 1, 2009 [1 favorite]


Knowing that jakeela's mother is an expert on this topic tells me that jakeela can't help but be more informed than me, or likely most other people in the thread, through sheer osmosis.

thank you. i've actually learned so much i've decided to go back to school to med school. i'm truly inspired with what she's done. i have a few pre-reqs I never took and the MCATs to study for. im starting a little later than most, but it will be fine. if anything i'll be better prepared for it.
posted by jakeelala at 7:18 PM on June 1, 2009


Wait, so, did jakeelala even get a chance to see the... ah... redacted comments, then?

Yes. In fact, one of his was among the redacted.
posted by Sys Rq at 7:20 PM on June 1, 2009


One question. Where's the science?
posted by bluesky43 at 7:20 PM on June 1, 2009


You know how when a cat kills a mouse it sort of halfheartedly bats it around after it's dead. That's where we're at in this thread.
posted by diogenes at 7:22 PM on June 1, 2009 [4 favorites]


I was thinking the point where the cat sits in the bathtub waiting for the mouse to come out of the plughole.
posted by subbes at 7:24 PM on June 1, 2009


redacted
posted by cjorgensen at 7:25 PM on June 1, 2009 [1 favorite]


I'm just waiting for the part where jakeelala claims to be "sleep-deprived" or in possession of a fedora. That'll liven things up.
posted by FelliniBlank at 7:25 PM on June 1, 2009 [3 favorites]


no. i asked to remain anonymous, which allowed you to assume absolutely anything you wanted about me, good or bad. and i did not lie about a single detail in anything i wrote.

I'm normally less eager to go OMG SHOPPED than many people here. In fact, when someone walks into a thread and asks to remain anonymous but references some credentials they have (by proxy, even), I still give them the benefit of the doubt. When I read that someone's mother is a credentialed medical researcher with published articles to her name, I assume she is a medical researcher working in an academic capacity and publishing articles about her research. After all, it's reasonable that you might not want to drag your mother into something she didn't ask to be dragged into.

What I don't expect this person's mother to be is
a) without any credentials at all, even basic ones;
b) without any recently published or relevant articles;
c) directly financially benefiting from the promotion of the poster's viewpoint;
d) engaged in a falsificationist scheme to misrepresent the reliability of her research data.

It's fair to say that on the Internet, no one knows you're a dog. When you say that I could have assumed anything about you, you're right. But the reason I contribute to MeFi--rather than, say, 4chan--is that I generally trust the people I'm talking to to be reasonably truthful in their self-representation. This community functions well enough that the benefit of the doubt stretches pretty far. You've abused that trust, and your weasely attempt to say that you didn't lie misses the point entirely.

"Fuck off"s and self-righteousness aren't poisoning discussion on this site nearly as much as your kind are. I hope you'll either be more forthright in the future, or never come back. (I suspect it's going to be the latter, but who knows.)
posted by nasreddin at 7:25 PM on June 1, 2009 [53 favorites]


...your internet jerkface power grows as you exhibit your superior anger wit in aggresive comment form...

i liked the one about the dead mouse and the cat, i could tell that was meant to be particularly insulting. i appreciate the effort.
posted by jakeelala at 7:27 PM on June 1, 2009


Has anyone linked to the MeTa thread yet?
posted by Sys Rq at 7:30 PM on June 1, 2009 [1 favorite]


Is the whole, unskinned potato supposed to be cooked?
posted by cjorgensen at 7:32 PM on June 1, 2009 [11 favorites]


wait wait wait, I did point to 2 peer reviewed journal articles, PUBLISHED, and on PubMed, with her name on them. And there's a third I didn't put up out of laziness.

Those papers were written at Sansum Medical Clinic. A respected and well known Cancer clinic in Santa Barbara.

Or maybe you saw her testifying in front of the Senate?

I never mentioned any particular credential. I did say she was published in peer reviewed journals, the proof of which I've linked to.
posted by jakeelala at 7:32 PM on June 1, 2009


This community functions well enough that the benefit of the doubt stretches pretty far. You've abused that trust, and your weasely attempt to say that you didn't lie misses the point entirely.

Seconded.
posted by nola at 7:33 PM on June 1, 2009 [6 favorites]


I like my medical researchers to actually have some medical knowledge, jakeelala. Strange as this may sound to you, sneaking up on cancer clinics doesn't make you magically qualified to give medical advice about hormones.
posted by Hildegarde at 7:36 PM on June 1, 2009 [3 favorites]


wait wait wait, I did point to 2 peer reviewed journal articles, PUBLISHED, and on PubMed, with her name on them. And there's a third I didn't put up out of laziness.
What about T.S. Wiley's stint as a guest investigator?

This was a favor from Dr. Bent Formby – Wiley's scientific mentor – in 1997. “We appointed her as guest investigator at Sansum Medical Research Institute for 3 months. By doing so she became affiliated with an academic institution.... We were all very nice to her and glad to be able to support an ordinary housewife with an interest in bioscience.”

Apparently it didn't work out so well. “I was very surprised to discover how illiterate TS was in science and math. She knew absolutely nothing. She did not even know the difference between hydrogen and oxygen or the square root of a number.... She told me she never had science and math in high school.” And, “That was a great mistake because she has absolutely no knowledge about science and how a scientific laboratory with all the applied molecular techniques works.”

Formby scoffs whenever T.S. Wiley titles herself a microbiologist, cancer researcher, and the panoply of other labels. “She has not – absolutely not – any knowledge of experimental biomedical research. Has never been in my lab.”

(Today, Dr. Formby openly feels no affection whatever for T.S. Wiley. He never endorsed the protocol and in fact he opposed its last-minute inclusion in the book on ethical grounds. After he attempted to help the women suffering on the protocol by explaining the science behind their symptoms, the Wiley camp turned on him, smearing his name in public and private – a recurring pattern, incidentally.)
(from the Wiley Watch site)
posted by nasreddin at 7:36 PM on June 1, 2009 [28 favorites]


Ok they redacted the earlier comments and now you've undone that. i would be happy to continue this conversation privately but this is not the forum for it and never was. If a mod could please re-enforce the previous deletions that would be great.
posted by jakeelala at 7:38 PM on June 1, 2009


My best friend in kindergarten was African-American. And a medical researcher.
posted by decagon at 7:39 PM on June 1, 2009


Stop telling us how eminently qualified your mother is, or someone is always going to want to pull out the evidence that you're completely full of shit.
posted by Hildegarde at 7:39 PM on June 1, 2009 [15 favorites]


you read one website of one detractor and you decide that you now know all there is to know about someone?

i'll remember to entirely disregard anything you ever write again. also i would hate to think there was a chance if i wrote "everyone should jump off bridges" you might just take that at face value, and go do it. I'll have to be very careful with my comments from now on.
posted by jakeelala at 7:42 PM on June 1, 2009


jb

imo, any more-than-average informed opinion - no matter how it is achieved - is welcomed. But the tone and outright statements of authority of the posts in question go well beyond that appropriate to the "incidental expert" you describe.

ie, I feel it would also be inappropriate for you to enter and exert authority in a contentious arthritis thread by stating: "I actually know far more about this subject than I think you can imagine" because your mother-in-law is an expert.
posted by sloe at 7:42 PM on June 1, 2009


Ok they redacted the earlier comments and now you've undone that. i would be happy to continue this conversation privately but this is not the forum for it and never was. If a mod could please re-enforce the previous deletions that would be great.

Dude, be real, that's like asking them to take piss out of a pool.
posted by milarepa at 7:43 PM on June 1, 2009


I would like to strongly urge people to take this to the open MeTa thread.
posted by jessamyn at 7:45 PM on June 1, 2009 [4 favorites]


also i challenge anyone to go back and re-read my first post. It was very clear, unbiased, simply informative. I wasn't challenging anyone or pushing ANY agenda.

I mostly wanted you to know no one was injecting syringes of hormones into their vaginas. that was ludicrous.

also, i mentioned in the difference between bio-identicals and synthetics that BRT proponents think synthetics will kill you. I didnt say they will kill you.

i had no intentions of anything like this happening. as the discussio nprogessed i felt it was in the interest of the parties being discussed that I stay anonymous because I was representing my own views, and not anyone elses.

I'm sorry some of you are having such a hard time seeing this for what it is.
posted by jakeelala at 7:45 PM on June 1, 2009


Well, that one website goes into massive detail about the footnotes of some book your mother wrote, and masses of them are ridiculous, point nowhere related to the point in question, or are fabricated. I mean, clearly ridiculous, pointless and fabricated. You wouldn't get a passing grade an on undergraduate anthropology paper with that kind of sloppy research methodology, so I have serious questions about anything she attempts to do in the medical realm.
posted by Hildegarde at 7:46 PM on June 1, 2009 [1 favorite]


@Afroblanco The reason Oprah puts herself on the cover of each issue is that in the first year the magazine was published, sales actually dropped when she had someone else on the cover.
posted by magstheaxe at 7:47 PM on June 1, 2009


Wow, mad props to Mefi's "SCIENCE! It works, bitches! Brigade!" (and all the deputies and honourary members, too)

I saw jakeelala's orig post earlier today thinking, hah, she just immolated herself and will never be back, only then come home to find a 400+ post thread. Never thought that it'd take this long to be exposed. Are shills getting better, or was this an exceptional one?

--

Interesting take on celebrity wrt propping up the McCarthys and Sommers' and Cruises. Having tons of money makes you important to other people (who want your money) probably gets to most people's heads and makes them think that they're important to everybody (because they only surround themselves with people who want their money).

If I'm ever ridiculously rich, I'm not giving any of you a cent.
posted by porpoise at 7:48 PM on June 1, 2009


Anyone who has had their wisdom teeth out understands that there are syringes without needles. It doesn't take a degree in anthropology by osmosis to understand that.
posted by chiababe at 7:49 PM on June 1, 2009 [1 favorite]


you read one website of one detractor and you decide that you now know all there is to know about someone?

Ah, okay, so more detractors, then? How about publications in Menopause and Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine? The Wikipedia page on the Wiley Protocol cites these and other critics.
posted by jedicus at 7:49 PM on June 1, 2009 [2 favorites]


Holy crap, folks. I am astonished by the Plucky Internet Detective-ing once again.

And, yeah, don't pay attention to THOSE people making money from prescribing Fleeblezorp. They're all just sheeple and shills. Pay attention to THESE people making money from prescribing Zeebleflorp. ZEEBLEFLORP: I KNOW MORE ABOUT THIS THAN YOU CAN EVER IMAGINE.
posted by Sidhedevil at 7:53 PM on June 1, 2009 [15 favorites]


I'm not even halfway through, but I have to say that I am LOVING this thread.
posted by kookaburra at 7:54 PM on June 1, 2009 [2 favorites]


ZEEBLEFLORP IS MADE OF PEOPLE! BIOIDENTICAL PEOPLE!
posted by Hildegarde at 7:56 PM on June 1, 2009 [16 favorites]


I wonder if T.S Wiley actually licensed that Beatles song used in the introductory Flash intro on her web site.
posted by MegoSteve at 7:59 PM on June 1, 2009 [1 favorite]


I wonder if T.S Wiley actually licensed that Beatles song used in the introductory Flash intro on her web site

It's a bioidentical song derived from plant sources.
posted by Sidhedevil at 8:02 PM on June 1, 2009 [44 favorites]


I did point to 2 peer reviewed journal articles, PUBLISHED, and on PubMed, with her name on them.

The two articles you linked to compared progesterone to no treatment at all, in vitro. Which has very limited bearing, at best, on the comparison of progesterone to artificial progestogens in vivo.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 8:02 PM on June 1, 2009 [1 favorite]


the credibility of any 20/20 expose will be utterly destroyed by its association with john stossel.
posted by klanawa at 8:05 PM on June 1, 2009


To me, jakeelala's writing style and temperament seem remarkably similar to those of T.S. Wiley's husband, Neil Raden. I say this as the person behind Wiley Watch, someone who has been going around and around with these people for over four years now.

I can't prove it of course, but I can offer this: http://forums.randi.org/showthread.php?t=67706 Neil Raden joins the discussion at comment #18 and I at #39.

Popcorn came up in that one too.
posted by debv at 8:05 PM on June 1, 2009 [50 favorites]


compared progesterone to no treatment at all, in vitro. Which has very limited bearing, at best, on the comparison of progesterone to artificial progestogens in vivo.

I'm just going to take your word on that.
posted by MikeMc at 8:05 PM on June 1, 2009


Wait, debv from Wiley Watch is here? Temporary tooth crown be damned, I may have to break out the caramel corn for this one.

*carefully munches on right side only*
posted by FelliniBlank at 8:12 PM on June 1, 2009 [6 favorites]


Here I am about to make a reference to portobello mushrooms, and debv posts and holy moly, a late second act twist, this thread has everything.
posted by TwelveTwo at 8:12 PM on June 1, 2009 [5 favorites]


John Stossel? Give me a break!
posted by chinston at 8:13 PM on June 1, 2009


debv, they've retracted identifying postings in this thread twice already. please refrain.
posted by jakeelala at 8:14 PM on June 1, 2009


well... he only introduced it, so the taint is faint.
posted by klanawa at 8:15 PM on June 1, 2009


Actually the post already has a few links to Wiley Watch, and those aren't going to be deleted. If you want to associate yourself with those posts in some way, jakeelala, that's your business.
posted by Hildegarde at 8:16 PM on June 1, 2009


It's going to sound really strange to hear the word "jakeelala" all night at the 10th anniversary meetup.
posted by Demogorgon at 8:18 PM on June 1, 2009 [5 favorites]


he only introduced it, so the taint is faint.

I don't want to hear about John Stossel's taint any more than I want to hear about Suzanne Somers's vagina.
posted by Sidhedevil at 8:20 PM on June 1, 2009 [6 favorites]


Gee! We may be able to fund all the 10th anniversary parties with all these new signups. Way to be.
posted by netbros at 8:21 PM on June 1, 2009 [1 favorite]


I'm going to pronounce it jakey-la-la, just in case you're not sure what I'm talking about at the meet up.
posted by Hildegarde at 8:21 PM on June 1, 2009 [1 favorite]


It's going to sound really strange to hear the word "jakeelala" all night at the 10th anniversary meetup.

Have a little smoke and try saying it 25 times in a row. How the hell do you say "jakeelala" anyway?
posted by MikeMc at 8:22 PM on June 1, 2009 [1 favorite]


How the hell do you say "jakeelala" anyway?

I believe you say it like you are beating drums and chanting.
posted by TwelveTwo at 8:24 PM on June 1, 2009 [2 favorites]


For some reason I keep thinking of Jake E. Lee.
posted by MikeMc at 8:29 PM on June 1, 2009


Aside from anything else, I'm pretty sure that the bowl next to Somers' laptop on the banner picture on her blog is actually dried human pituitary glands. She's not getting these hormones from yams, people. It's...uh, people.
posted by Burhanistan at 8:36 PM on June 1, 2009


Jack-a-lynn (from about 2:15)
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 8:38 PM on June 1, 2009


debv, they've retracted identifying postings in this thread twice already. please refrain.

The identification was not done by someone's postings here (I didn't see them). It comes from you not being smart enough about the internet/Google to know to use a different username if you didn't want to be easily identified. Most MeFites do know how to use Google. And you linked to Wiley.

FWIW, there is a similar interest in BHRT by Neil Raden here.

I think it would be in your best interests to be as forthcoming here, Jake, as you are on Twitter.
posted by spock at 8:44 PM on June 1, 2009 [1 favorite]


debv, they've retracted identifying postings in this thread twice already. please refrain.

What we're dealing with here is a conflict between a general mefi administrative policy of not outing user information against their will and the situation here where you, someone who just signed up for the site and has zero prior history here, is both banking (at great length) on their bona fides and pointedly refusing to acknowledge what those bona fides actually are.

We've removed a couple of very direct references to identity so far, but it's starting to look like a mug's game given the way you've gone about presenting yourself here so far, which, to be clear, has been very, very poorly.

But mostly it'd be nice if everybody could cool it in general at this point. Those who can't cool it are strongly recommended to take it to the metatalk thread, which is probably a better place for this to be hashed out going forward.
posted by cortex at 8:46 PM on June 1, 2009 [4 favorites]


Note: Help maintain a healthy, respectful discussion by focusing comments on the
issues, topics, and facts at hand—not at other members of the site.
posted by cjorgensen at 8:46 PM on June 1, 2009



debv, they've retracted identifying postings in this thread twice already. please refrain.


Jakeelala, unfortunately you're well tied online to your real-life identity without any of the poster's help. I'm an awful internet sluth and easily came up with your full name and picture. As a matter of course, you should be careful with your on-line identity - especially if you are going into medical school, because you will be held to a higher standard. I also hope that if you do go to medical school you will gain some respect for evidence-based medicine and learn to be skeptical but appreciate the effects of traditional (ie non-hormonal) medicine.
posted by fermezporte at 8:50 PM on June 1, 2009 [1 favorite]


Just catching-up on this thread ... but, it rates up there with Miko's unmasking of Holden Karnofsky & GiveWell. What's next? An offer of a donation?
posted by ericb at 8:54 PM on June 1, 2009 [1 favorite]


MetaFilter: "i can't believe i paid 5$...on this."
posted by ericb at 9:04 PM on June 1, 2009


With regards to my mother, I simply haven't taken responsablity for her research, despite the fact that I am privy to it, and even involved in it.

In fact, I haven't even really talked much about her research specifically, on purpose. I'm not her.


I for one would be interested if you did speak very specifically of her research.
posted by debv at 9:06 PM on June 1, 2009 [3 favorites]


Note: Help maintain a healthy, respectful discussion by focusing comments on the issues, topics, and facts at hand—not at other members of the site.

My MeFi also says this:

If you do want to make a post recommending a product, it is a good idea that you shouldn't have a special interest, financial or otherwise, in the product. Even if you don't, you should still be prepared to face some probing questions in the thread.
posted by Sidhedevil at 9:07 PM on June 1, 2009 [1 favorite]


What would be most illuminating is a head to head clinical assessment of the HRt and the BHRT treatments. Grouse?

A double-blind randomized clinical trial is underway, looking at exactly that question.
posted by grouse at 9:08 PM on June 1, 2009 [3 favorites]


So, the bottom line on the whole thing is that using hormones in the way Somers advocates, bioidentical or Premarin or otherwise, is basically like dumping 200 proof alcohol into a crusty old engine that wasn't turning over very well before. You'll get some instant dramatic results but risk blowing a gasket or seal much quicker. At present, research hasn't shown yet just how much alcohol is enough to get the engine going without stressing it. Is that about right?
posted by Burhanistan at 9:09 PM on June 1, 2009 [2 favorites]


Aha. Finally made it through the Meta thread and this thread, both of which have been rapidly evolving.

Glad to see that my hinky feelings were not unfounded. Glad to know my internet filter is working.

Pretty lousy to not be upfront about the financial interests one has in promoting a particular (patented) protocol.
posted by five fresh fish at 9:10 PM on June 1, 2009 [1 favorite]


I just posted that I will not give you unpublished results from our own research, that would be unethical and irresponsible. The reason we're doing the research, is because it's so scant and poorly done to this point.

I'm not sure why mentioning unpublished research, presumably with the heavy disclaimer that it is such, would be unethical. And at the same time, selling a medical product years in advance of conducting credible research on would be expected to raise no eyebrows.
posted by debv at 9:15 PM on June 1, 2009 [3 favorites]


i haven't read the whole thread, but i just wanted to say that i don't see the benefit of living to 110 with a vagina like a pincushion
posted by pyramid termite at 9:17 PM on June 1, 2009


To me, jakeelala's writing style and temperament seem remarkably similar to those of T.S. Wiley's husband, Neil Raden. I say this as the person behind Wiley Watch, someone who has been going around and around with these people for over four years now.

Shazam ... this is gettin' ever more interesting. Popcorn and beer for everyone!
posted by ericb at 9:18 PM on June 1, 2009 [2 favorites]


also i challenge anyone to go back and re-read my first post. It was very clear, unbiased, simply informative.

You mean the one where yous say: Bio-identical protocols rely the actual, unaltered molecules of progesterone, testosterone, estrogen etc. for replacement. and make baby Friedrich Wöhler cry?

I mean dude, a molecule is a molecule. You either have pregn-4-ene-3,20-dione with 21 carbons, 30 hydrogens and 2 oxygens with all the right handedness, or you have something else. I promise you that every carbon will have six protons. It's spooky, like God is the one running quality control on this shit. Suggesting that there is some magic in them little orange taters is not informative.

Topping that with: I actually know far more about this subject than I think you can imagine. To quote Shakespeare Han Solo, "I don't know, I can imagine quite a bit." without exactly revealing anything for the longest time gave me a queasy feeling that made re-liberating Galaxy News Radio seem more profitable than watching the slow motion train wreck unfold. And then wackieness ensued.

I mean go back and look at comments I've made in other threads. I've tried to point out when people have misunderstandings about how things work. I've expressed my own frustration with the system and said what I felt needed to change. Hell, I've even thrown a bit of knowledge into a Google query and been surprised as hell by the results.

What I haven't done is kept what I do for a living secret. Why? Lots of reasons, but mostly because I didn't want to look like the clowns in this story.
posted by Kid Charlemagne at 9:18 PM on June 1, 2009 [5 favorites]


Okay, this bugged me:

Knowing that jakeela's mother is an expert on this topic tells me that jakeela can't help but be more informed than me, or likely most other people in the thread, through sheer osmosis.

Nobody "knew" that jakeelala's mother was an expert--all we knew is that he said his mother was an expert. It turns out that his mother's claims of expertise are, to put it mildly, quite controversial.

I don't understand why, when someone says "My mom's an expert" the people who say "Could you give your mom's name or credentials or professional affiliations" are the assholes. It seems to me that an unsubstantiated claim of expertise in the family isn't anything anyone needs to take seriously.
posted by Sidhedevil at 9:21 PM on June 1, 2009 [5 favorites]


Never mind that there are actual biochemists in this thread. If I said my mom was a biochemist and started talking about chemistry, and then an actual biochemist piped up, who should be believed to be the expert?
posted by winna at 9:25 PM on June 1, 2009 [1 favorite]


I mostly wanted you to know no one was injecting syringes of hormones into their vaginas. that was ludicrous.

This thread got awesome, but I wanted to comment on this. Your original reason for joining the site, and commenting, is stupid. NO ONE assumed that meant sticking needles in her vagina. I, along with everyone else here, assumed that it meant sticking a syringe (without a needle) in there. Either way, it seems like a gross and excessive thing to blindly fight a losing battle against aging.
posted by graventy at 9:29 PM on June 1, 2009 [1 favorite]


I don't understand why, when someone says "My mom's an expert" the people who say "Could you give your mom's name or credentials or professional affiliations" are the assholes.

Yeah, I don't get that, either.
posted by jayder at 9:30 PM on June 1, 2009


I, along with everyone else here, assumed that it meant sticking a syringe (without a needle) in there.

Which is, indeed, exactly what Ms. Somers says she does. So once again, we know more about this than he could ever imagine.
posted by Sidhedevil at 9:32 PM on June 1, 2009


Either way, it seems like a gross and excessive thing to blindly fight a losing battle against aging.

I don't get the mechanics of it. Does she hold the fluid in for a few minutes, then queef it out? Or it is just a quick spritz up the cootchie and it comes gushing right back out? Did they get into this on Oprah?
posted by jayder at 9:34 PM on June 1, 2009


We've broken the queef barrier, finally!
posted by Burhanistan at 9:38 PM on June 1, 2009 [1 favorite]


I'm guessing it's some kind of creme and it's absorbed. You could probably dry it and snort lines off a mirror if you were into that sort of thing.
posted by Kid Charlemagne at 9:40 PM on June 1, 2009 [1 favorite]


I thought she injected raw hormone with a needle straight into her vag. I mean, why not? Bodybuilders and heroin junkies do crazier shit for more rational reasons. Using a needle would be the least crazy part of the story.
posted by GuyZero at 9:42 PM on June 1, 2009


Well, all right then. Either way, it's something damned creepy to do every day.
posted by graventy at 9:52 PM on June 1, 2009


Dopeheads inject in really weird places, but steroids are intramuscular and are generally shot in the butt muscles.
posted by P.o.B. at 9:57 PM on June 1, 2009


Either way, it's something damned creepy to do every day.

If you haven't watched the 20/20 spot linked above, do so now. Somers is very much on edge and defensive about her behavior, and overtly makes statements to the effect of "look at what I got! You want this?".
posted by Burhanistan at 9:59 PM on June 1, 2009


Saved to disk as "epic_metafilter_thread.html." Thank you all so, so much.
posted by chalkbored at 10:04 PM on June 1, 2009


Metafilter: Whose name I insist on pronouncing as if it were that of a Mayan God:

So, M' Ta Fil tra? Web 3.0 (4.0?) will probably drop the baby talk names (Meebo, Hulu, Google) for names that sound like Mayan gods, so that's ahead of the curve.
posted by mccarty.tim at 10:07 PM on June 1, 2009


Christ, man, you've had like 20 chances to just step outside and get some fresh air but no, you gotta keep digging yourself out of the giant hole you're standing in.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 10:10 PM on June 1, 2009


This, right here, is a Metafilter classic at this point:

I actually know far more about this subject than I think you can imagine.

Right up there with What is all this, I just came here looking for a used car and I'm used to being silenced ALL MY LIFE!

posted by Slarty Bartfast at 10:15 PM on June 1, 2009 [4 favorites]


This is like one of those old-timey metatalk threads.

Pass the popcorn.


Brought it out two hundred posts ago. On my second air-popped bowl.
posted by humannaire at 10:21 PM on June 1, 2009


Saved to disk as "epic_metafilter_thread.html." Thank you all so, so much.

Like it's over.

And when I was 14 I thought Suzanne Somers was hot. I'm 38 now, and no longer think this. Getting old does suck. I mean, why can't I be 14 forever watching reruns of Three's Company and....

Ah hell, I can't do it. I am glad I grew out of that hell.
posted by cjorgensen at 10:28 PM on June 1, 2009


Yeah, wow. "What are your credentials?" indeed.

I think the most important thing I learned today was that I actually know far more about this subject than I think you can imagine.
posted by fuq at 10:29 PM on June 1, 2009


Has anyone linked to the MeTa thread yet?

Oh God, there's a MeTa thread, too? Please let me pay another $5. I am enjoying this way too much. It's just too good. What have I done so well in my life today that I earned this tonite? What have I done to earn this?

I want to pay more! Do you hear me, Metafilter? I WANT TO PAY MORE!
posted by humannaire at 10:36 PM on June 1, 2009 [3 favorites]


Dear humannaire,

We already have your soul so any further cash payments are redundant.

Love,
Metafilter
posted by Burhanistan at 10:39 PM on June 1, 2009


Very late to this thread but... I must respond to this:

Everybody on the internet claims to be a 6'8" powerlifter, retired astronaut, and Nobel laureate with a 2-foot penis

I do not claim to have a 2-foot penis. That is all.
posted by Lynsey at 11:10 PM on June 1, 2009


Hey guys! What'd I miss?
posted by mazola at 11:13 PM on June 1, 2009 [1 favorite]


Wow, Mefites really love Oprah. I never would've thought.
posted by Flex1970 at 11:24 PM on June 1, 2009


Hey guys! What'd I miss?

Mother's Day. Give mom a call and tell her you love her!
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 11:31 PM on June 1, 2009 [1 favorite]


Ok. What's your Mom's phone number?
posted by mazola at 11:41 PM on June 1, 2009 [9 favorites]


It's been interesting over four years to watch the sophistication of the Wiley Protocol shilling evolve.

A friend of mine had been telling me about the Wiley Protocol and pointed me to an online forum discussing it. This was early 2005, before Suzanne Somers' endorsement, when there was only one pharmacy dispensing Wiley's product. It was when the first women who had bought into the promises of this protocol were finding themselves suffering, disillusioned. They had begun to really look into the promises and the people making them. "Of course there's research supporting the protocol. Yes, it's all in a box in the garage. Come over and look at it any time you want."

They looked into Wiley's credentials and her footnotes, and they contacted Dr. Bent Formby -- Wiley's mentor and co-author -- who it turns out did not support T.S. Wiley's hormone protocol, and for very specific reasons which he was willing to share with this community of women. And it was when they published his words that the controversy surrounding the Wiley Protocol was pretty much born.

This is what I stumbled into, but what caught my eye more than anything was the fact that in this "Sex, Lies, and Menopause Support" forum, the IP addresses of its posters were displayed right under their names. There were posts by Neil Raden, T.S. Wiley's husband, followed by attacks on these women but under another name, "Sally" -- but from the same IP address. There were further attacks on these women as well as positive testimonials about the protocol and the pharmacy supplying it -- from the same IP address as the pharmacist supplying it.

It was right there for all to see, as long as you knew what those four numbers signified. Did Neil Raden, a widely-recognized expert in IT, not know what an IP address is? When I exposed what was going on he claimed that all Santa Barbara Cox Communications customers were behind the same IP address. Well, it took one email to disprove that.

Hence Wiley Watch. Things didn't end there. The game has only gotten more sophisticated.
posted by debv at 11:53 PM on June 1, 2009 [31 favorites]


*sigh*

And I wanted to get stuff done today.
posted by delmoi at 11:55 PM on June 1, 2009


Soooo.... looks like the beast is finally dead. More than I think I can imagine.
posted by ooga_booga at 11:57 PM on June 1, 2009


Whoops! Spoke too soon.
posted by ooga_booga at 11:58 PM on June 1, 2009 [1 favorite]


I did want to say something about Oprah. I used to be a big fan and I watched her show regularly. Oprah is able to do what she does because she lives her human struggle in full color for all to see. Many many people (mainly women), relate to her because she is a "woman out loud" so to speak.

As she runs into the same problems and has the same questions that beset so many women, she does it in public and pursues answers with an uncommon (but, for many, welcome) vigilance. Finding success in life, losing weight, conquering health problems, hashing out relationship issues, finding successful people and following their advice, gift-giving, and gossiping over the latest watercooler fodder (from celebrity loved lives to Octomom), Oprah has a lot of the same interests as millions of other women. Yet she has the money and platform to explore these issues on an unprecedented scale (you like to give perfect gifts to your loved ones, well Oprah gives perfect gifts to hundreds, you yell at Octomom on the tv screen, well Oprah can cynically cross-examine Octomom's dad), and unmatched charisma, ambition, and arrogance.

I stopped watching Oprah about five years ago, right after Barack Obama started making regular appearances on her program. Shilling for a politician was my line in the sand, for others it was James Frey or the Secret or something else. I remember thinking "Who does she think she is, that she can make someone President? I watch to get away from this partisan political stuff!" I honestly couldn't remember her having done this before, and this was before the Presidential run when I am assuming it got much worse. I saw where she was going and I jumped off the train.

I think she puts her photo on every magazine because it separates her magazine from all of the others aimed at women. Masterful branding.

Oprah is a classic ENFJ, for anyone interested.
posted by Danila at 11:59 PM on June 1, 2009 [1 favorite]


By the way, thanks debv, we need more good people like yourself on crankwatch.
posted by ooga_booga at 12:00 AM on June 2, 2009


Hey everyone. A little late to the party. Did I miss anything?
posted by Sandor Clegane at 12:49 AM on June 2, 2009


I read this discussion with ever increasing incredulity and I am glad that the shenanigans were eventually exposed.

I was going to jump in at one point in the discussion and mention that single or even multiple clinical trials are not definitive from what I understand, that larger studies with strict methodology are the only ones we should trust to give us accurate results to based medical treatments on. The media seem like they will literally run results of any preliminary study as if it were well evidenced.

Here's a link to the science based medicine blog, about the Oprahfication of Medicine
posted by so_ at 1:03 AM on June 2, 2009


"You know, they have synthetic hormones now."

"Really? How do you make a hormone?"

Oh, never mind...
posted by ActingTheGoat at 1:19 AM on June 2, 2009 [2 favorites]


For the record, I bet my right hand against quonsar's big pharma's lies.
posted by Tacodog at 1:32 AM on June 2, 2009


Loved all of this thread, but this made me laugh the most:

Ever notice that Oprah always puts herself on the cover of her own magazine? Seriously. Every time I'm in the checkout line, BAM, there's her magazine, and BAM, there she is on the cover.

Anybody else think that's weird?
posted by Afroblanco

Right, like you don't do the same thing with every issue of "Afroblanco!" magazine.


Gold.
posted by Summer at 3:35 AM on June 2, 2009 [2 favorites]


Hey everyone. A little late to the party. Did I miss anything?

Only the other five posters who already made that joke. That and the several "I'm only six-one" responses. Oh Metafilter, so witty.

BTW awesome work, super-sleuths. Helped me survive the 1am to 5am doldrums. Damn night shift.
posted by nursegracer at 4:42 AM on June 2, 2009


I stopped watching Oprah about five years ago, right after Barack Obama started making regular appearances on her program. Shilling for a politician was my line in the sand

Dude, the one thing Oprah has ever done that was worth a shit, and you call her out on it? Personally, I was appalled at Barack Obama for cozying up to the trivial, bullshit-spewing sack of pop culture nonsense that Oprah calls her show and her audience. But I let it go because I think, sadly, that it helped him to win, and that was a higher goal.

As I recall it was Oprah who let G. W. Bush get away with saying his favorite philosopher was Jesus Christ. But that didn't bug you, right?

At best, Oprah is a gullible fool. At worst, she's a hack and a shill for the worst pychobabble and alt-med bullshit.
posted by fourcheesemac at 5:08 AM on June 2, 2009 [1 favorite]


One more: since T. S. Wiley claims a degree in anthropology and membership in the American Anthropological Association, and since I'm an anthropologist and get pissed off when people fake degrees and credentials in general, but in my field in particular, I was interested to learn that she's been lying for years about this. She has no degree in anthropology (or anything else yet determined from any legitimate school); and having just checked the membership directory for the AAA, she's not there (even though I think anyone can join).
posted by fourcheesemac at 5:22 AM on June 2, 2009 [13 favorites]


fourcheesemac: "Personally, I was appalled at Barack Obama for cozying up to the trivial, bullshit-spewing sack of pop culture nonsense that Oprah calls her show and her audience. But I let it go because I think, sadly, that it helped him to win, and that was a higher goal."

I have absolutely nothing to say about this.
posted by Joe Beese at 5:27 AM on June 2, 2009 [2 favorites]


I just want to tell you all good luck. We're all counting on you.
posted by jquinby at 5:34 AM on June 2, 2009 [9 favorites]


As I recall it was Oprah who let G. W. Bush get away with saying his favorite philosopher was Jesus Christ. But that didn't bug you, right?

Hahah. Actually it was my local TV reporter who first got that answer out of him. This was at a debate before the Iowa caucuses with both the local reporter (John Bachman, complete with 70's hair) and also Tom Brokaw. When he first asked the question i was embarrassed, it was so retarded. All of the rest of the candidates had good answers, but when it got to bush he just said "Jesus Christ" and didn't elaborate. Then when pressed he said "If you don't know, I can't tell you." After that, every single other candidate included Jesus in their list, but they were at least able to come up with a plausible explanation.

Man, George W. was dumb.

Oprah might have asked the same question later, though.
posted by delmoi at 5:51 AM on June 2, 2009 [1 favorite]


And I wanted to get stuff done today.
posted by delmoi at 1:55 AM on June 2


Just a hint, but try starting before 1:55 AM next time.
posted by cjorgensen at 6:37 AM on June 2, 2009 [7 favorites]


This thread reminds me of this: You should quit... I should know, I'm a medical doctor.. yt slacker reference.
posted by dog food sugar at 7:14 AM on June 2, 2009


In spite of everything else, there's just something really creepy about Somers. I hadn't given her a moment's notice since watching Three's Company reruns as a kid, and was only dimly aware that she has been off building an empire these past years.

Seeing her reckless stance on HRT, and her disregard for conscientious science and the health of others really makes me wish that she fails miserably.
posted by Burhanistan at 7:33 AM on June 2, 2009


Thank you Jesus for making this thread.
posted by chunking express at 7:43 AM on June 2, 2009 [1 favorite]


Her rationalization in that 20/20 piece is staggering: she's saying that her medical theories may well kill people by the thousands, but it's ok- she's using them too, so they're all in the same boat.

Nice job Oprah- you're killing off babies with Jenny McCarthy, and you're causing cancer in hausfraus by promoting Sommers.

Nothing compares to unleashing Dr. Phil on us, though. Now you've gone too far.
posted by jenkinsEar at 7:45 AM on June 2, 2009 [1 favorite]


having just checked the membership directory for the AAA, she's not there

In fairness, I think most professional organizations allow members to opt out of being listed in their directories. (I had myself listed in the Special Libraries Association directory the first year or two I belonged, but opted out after that due to the number of not-quite-spam emails I was getting as a result of being listed.) But you are right that such organizations generally accept anyone willing to pay dues, so merely being a member of such an organization is not evidence of one's credibility in the field.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 7:53 AM on June 2, 2009


Let's all not forget one other chunk of bullshit Oprah sold America: The war in Iraq.
posted by Sys Rq at 8:04 AM on June 2, 2009 [1 favorite]


(Here's the juicy clip. Warning: Loud.)
posted by Sys Rq at 8:08 AM on June 2, 2009


Congratulations to jakeelala on the internet's first successful flame-in!
posted by brand-gnu at 8:20 AM on June 2, 2009 [11 favorites]


Man, Oprah did cheerleading for the Iraq war? I hope her empire crumbles quickly. What a damn loon.
posted by Burhanistan at 8:24 AM on June 2, 2009


Nice job Oprah- you're killing off babies with Jenny McCarthy, and you're causing cancer in hausfraus by promoting Sommers.

The Oprah Winfrey show is apparently a eugenics program of some kind.
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 8:50 AM on June 2, 2009 [1 favorite]


debv, they've retracted identifying postings in this thread twice already. please refrain.

By the way, "jakeelala", when somebody accuses you of sock puppetry and posits your real identity, that's the wrong answer.
posted by debv at 9:08 AM on June 2, 2009 [1 favorite]


Oprah really, really, really needs to get back to her Donahue-esque "walking around with a microphone" format. The old Oprah was like a proto-Metafilter: Audience members got to discuss and debate, unvetted, their individual viewpoints. Housewives were empowered.

Now now that it's just "Look under your seats!" and "Tom Cruuuuuuuuise!!!" her show and its audience have turned away from individualism and critical thought to become the paragon of slavish conformity. It almost seems like you're not allowed into her studio if you're not wearing khakis and a pastel sweater. The formerly empowered are now Stepford Wives.
posted by Sys Rq at 9:30 AM on June 2, 2009 [7 favorites]


Now now that it's just "Look under your seats!" and "Tom Cruuuuuuuuise!!!" her show and its audience have turned away from individualism and critical thought to become the paragon of slavish conformity... The formerly empowered are now Stepford Wives.

You know, if I were in her studio audience, the first thing I would do is check under my damn seat. I don't understand why that doesn't appear to happen.
posted by grouse at 9:47 AM on June 2, 2009 [2 favorites]


When Franzen refused the Oprah's Book Club endorsement, I thought he was nuts. These days, I think it was brilliant.
posted by sonic meat machine at 9:48 AM on June 2, 2009


On someone's suggestion, I watched the Stossel segment on Suzanne Somers, and I'm really not buying the claim that she is some gorgeous, tight-skinned 62-year-old supercougar. Her face looked puffy, lumpy and weird to me. I would love to see an unretouched, un-airbrushed photo of Somers in harsh lighting, so I could decide for myself whether she's discovered the fountain of youth.

To me, she looks like a 62 year old who's taken reasonably good care of herself, but if it weren't for the Botox, she could probably look about as saggy and worn out as any other 62 year old woman who isn't squirting herself full of estrogen.
posted by jayder at 9:52 AM on June 2, 2009


You know, if I were in her studio audience, the first thing I would do is check under my damn seat. I don't understand why that doesn't appear to happen.

Because then your manic cheers for that Pottery Barn gift certificate might seem phony.
posted by Sys Rq at 9:52 AM on June 2, 2009


Merck published fake journal
"I've seen no shortage of creativity emanating from the marketing departments of drug companies," Peter Lurie, deputy director of the public health research group at the consumer advocacy nonprofit Public Citizen, said, after reviewing two issues of the publication obtained by The Scientist. "But even for someone as jaded as me, this is a new wrinkle."

But times have changed and the landscape of health care is becoming treacherous for patients. The pendulum of health care is swinging from "too much and too soon", toward "too little and too late". While many doctors are naturally curious and caring they no longer have permission to pursue a hunch or spend extra time with a patient during a complicated case.


It's no wonder some people may distrust the medical biz and be curious about alternative treatments.

The excellent Women's International Pharmacy, which compounds bioidentical hormones for women and men.

I think Oprah has accomplished amazing things in her life on TV, especially in her early years in the 1980's by talking openly about a variety of previously taboo topics, in particular the issues arising out of a dysfunctional family.

Her unabashed enthusiasm for new ideas is somehow typically American and I think quite a likable trait. She could benefit her viewers -and her credibility- by being a little more reserved and cautious in her excitement.
posted by nickyskye at 9:54 AM on June 2, 2009 [3 favorites]


Her face looked puffy, lumpy and weird to me.

I concur. And that's with the wrinkle-erasing superlighting and what must be half a jar of Vaseline on the lens.
posted by Sys Rq at 9:56 AM on June 2, 2009


Her unabashed enthusiasm for new ideas is somehow typically American and I think quite a likable trait.

Sorry, but that's a very much over-the-top charitable way to say that she gives an endless stream of bullshit peddlers an uncritical platform.
posted by Burhanistan at 10:01 AM on June 2, 2009 [5 favorites]


Oprah really, really, really needs to get back to her Donahue-esque "walking around with a microphone" format. The old Oprah was like a proto-Metafilter: Audience members got to discuss and debate, unvetted, their individual viewpoints. Housewives were empowered.

I actually saw a really fun early episode were there was no guest at all -- Oprah turned the entire episode over to letting the audience members get up and share "good news." Whatever they wanted to talk about that they considered "good news," they could take the mike and say it.

One of the first speakers was a fresh-faced, smiling young man, early 20's, who got up to say that he had just moved to Chicago out of school -- he didn't have a job yet, didn't know anybody really in town yet, because he'd literaly just moved there the day before. But he was really excited to be there and really happy and really optimistic, he just wanted to let his family know he was happy and thrilled to be starting his life off. Five minutes later, after a string of other people offering little low-key good news stuff, an older guy took the mike -- and said he wanted to offer the new kid in town a job interview, because darn it, it looked like he had a lot of enthusiasm and spunk. Then about ten minutes after that, a woman took the mike and asked the new guy out on a date.

I think two other people made offers of one kind or another to that guy by the end of the show, and within an hour he had two job interviews, a date, and an invitation to join some local guys who played football on the weekends, and the biggest grin I've ever seen.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 10:22 AM on June 2, 2009 [15 favorites]


"You know, if I were in her studio audience, the first thing I would do is check under my damn seat. I don't understand why that doesn't appear to happen."

That's because they have little hydraulic elevators under the seats that hide the goodie-bags until the moment of the reveal! When you're Oprah, anything goes!
posted by PigAlien at 10:29 AM on June 2, 2009


That's because they have little hydraulic elevators under the seats

I thought it was Oprah's private army of machine gun wielding 6'5"+ men who are telepathically controlled by her. They motion to the audience when it is appropriate to make any overt movements.
posted by Burhanistan at 10:52 AM on June 2, 2009 [2 favorites]


One of the first speakers was a fresh-faced, smiling young man, early 20's, who got up to say that he had just moved to Chicago out of school...

And just think how far Barack Obama has come since that show.
posted by neroli at 11:38 AM on June 2, 2009 [4 favorites]


I remember when there were rumors floating around that Suzanne Somers never really had breast cancer; that she'd come up with that story after she'd been spotted exiting a liposuction clinic. (She had a new book coming out about "melting the fat away," and it wouldn't do for folks to know that she'd had some surgical help in that regard.) Even the oncologist's statement "Right now, she is cancer-free" didn't indicate she'd had cancer in the first place.
posted by Oriole Adams at 12:06 PM on June 2, 2009


Ooh, Oriole, that's an interesting one! Duplicitous indeed, if true!
posted by PigAlien at 12:50 PM on June 2, 2009


Oprah really, really, really needs to get back to her Donahue-esque "walking around with a microphone" format. The old Oprah was like a proto-Metafilter: Audience members got to discuss and debate, unvetted, their individual viewpoints. Housewives were empowered.

I watched The Jerry Springer Show from time to time in its early years, maybe early 1990s or so. And you know what? Springer actually did serious, thought-provoking episodes from time to time. (One where he spent a night on the streets with a homeless teenager particularly stands out in my mind.) Even the ones where he dealt with interpersonal conflicts, dysfunctional families, etc., were more about communicating and attempting to work out problems than the "poke the guests with sticks until they fight" the show evolved into.

But ratings are ratings, and I don't think Oprah is going back to her old format any more than Springer is.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 1:12 PM on June 2, 2009


and having just checked the membership directory for the AAA, she's not there (even though I think anyone can join).

That's what they told me. Same with the New York Academy of Sciences. Open to anyone with an interest in anthropology or science respectively.

In the SLM support forum that I mentioned, Neil Raden wrote "Susie is a member of the New York Academy of Sciences, to which she was nominated by her peers for her work in molecular biology." When I called them on that one, he said, "Susie was nominated to the NYAS, by peers. You must have joined the book club. I'm looking at the letter right now announcing her election. There is also a certificate. You are mistaken." Another claim easily disproved by a quick email.

Yet she touts these memberships as if they mean something. The contempt for people's intelligence still amazes me.

AAA also told me that one is generally not considered an anthropologist without having earned at least a master's in the field. She stopped claiming the nonexistent BA in anthropology after ABC News exposed it, but she still regularly calls herself an anthropologist.
posted by debv at 1:21 PM on June 2, 2009


rior to this post, Winfrey was hardly even on my radar. Now it seems to me she's another head of the same hyrda as Rush Limbaugh. I hope there is a waning of this kind of biased charismatic influence as this century progresses.
posted by Burhanistan at 1:22 PM on June 2, 2009 [1 favorite]


Right, like you don't do the same thing with every issue of "Afroblanco!" magazine.

When I worked at a drug store in high school, the magazine distributors used to throw a couple issues of Afroblanco! in the shipments, gratis. Nobody ever bought 'em, though, so we had to send them back at the end of the month. Usually the bundles we sent back had three copies of High Times, two Afroblanco! and maybe a Reader's Digest with a torn cover.
posted by davejay at 1:37 PM on June 2, 2009 [3 favorites]


posted by Burhanistan Oooh! We have a winner! Metafilter: I actually know far more about this subject than I think you can imagine.

Here you go! These are being sold at cost.
posted by mattdidthat at 4:02 PM on June 2, 2009 [3 favorites]


Yet she touts these memberships as if they mean something.

Kind of like when folks list that they attended Harvard, but actually took a course, or two, at Harvard University Extension School (which has a policy of open enrollment for all its courses).
posted by ericb at 4:07 PM on June 2, 2009


ZEEBLEFLORP

Ha! I just *knew* Hildegarde was actually quonsars sock puppet.
posted by Hovercraft Eel at 4:11 PM on June 2, 2009


Oh man, there's a commemorative T-shirt. jakeelala, you've made MetaFilter history. Is this in the MeFi wiki yet?

I'd like to thank everyone—seriously—who kept on this guy and outed him for the fraud that he is. (I don't include myself in that; I just made a few snarky comments.) Obviously, shame isn't enough to discourage charlatans, which means that someone else has to pick up the fight.

Don't let the door hit ya!
posted by ixohoxi at 4:36 PM on June 2, 2009


so_, thanks for posting that SBM link. What troubles me about all this isn't the particulars of Suzanne Somers (or this kerfuffle with jakeelala), but the overall meaning of the ideas that Oprah is promoting. It feels like magical thinking mixed with paranoia, and that makes me sad and worried about our society.
posted by epersonae at 4:58 PM on June 2, 2009


If you are participating in the scientific process then you are a scientist. Q.E.D. Some variation on that that whole observation, hypothesis, experiment, collect data thing is the key. If you don't have that, you're in a discipline I call "making shit up".

I love you, man. That is it, nailed to the wall and written in giant block letters.

We are allowing our society to be guided by "making shit up" far too much. It doesn't help that dipshits like Oprah are telling tens of millions of people to believe in magic. How the hell is it that such astounding ignorance as that demonstrated by Oprah and her magical friends is allowed to be broadcast as brainwashing for tens of millions of people? WTF, Western culture?!

In fact, I'll warrant you most of our problems are, at their very root, caused by our society choosing to follow some asshole who "made shit up" instead of thinking about the arithimetic laws of logic, statistical probability, and physical nature. The fundamental rule should be "If doing A increases Bad, and doing B decreases Bad, do B."
posted by five fresh fish at 4:59 PM on June 2, 2009 [4 favorites]


But people need their SCIENCE! NOW!!! and cannot be bothered to wait for useless stuff like long-term efficacy studies. I need to look younger yesterday and if that means magical cream in my party parts and trepanation, so be it!
posted by GuyZero at 5:06 PM on June 2, 2009 [2 favorites]


Americans need to be sent to reeducation camps just to get an extremely extremely basic understanding of the scientific method. But hey, if millions of ignorant Stepford Wives with no respect for reason ruin their bodies with psuedo-scientific bullshit, I can't say I'm really all that sympathetic to their plight. It's their kids and the shrinking fraction of remaining rational people who actually read and think that I'm worried about.

But seriously, Oprah is a complete and utter moron and a dangerously powerful one at that. The anti-scientific bullshit just doesn't stop these days.
posted by inoculatedcities at 5:42 PM on June 2, 2009


if you google image search suzanne somers you can get some with harsh red carpet lighting that show her lizard neck. she looks good for 62 but she ain't no 35.
also...she wants to live to be a 110!
posted by smartypantz at 6:36 PM on June 2, 2009


We are allowing our society to be guided by "making shit up" far too much.

Cite?

i kid, i kid...
posted by davejay at 7:01 PM on June 2, 2009


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_presidential_election,_2004

There you go, davejay.
posted by Talez at 7:53 PM on June 2, 2009


Thanks to this thread (and the associated metatalk thread), I don't think I'm going to be able to see anything posted by davejay without seeing da vejay(jay).
posted by the.carol.baxter.experience at 8:37 PM on June 2, 2009 [2 favorites]


Sometimes people do need their SCIENCE NOW and can't be bothered to wait for long term studies. But you know, if your dying anyway, what the hell.
posted by Kid Charlemagne at 8:46 PM on June 2, 2009


if you google image search suzanne somers

This pic of Somers as Chrissy Snow is FREAKING ME OUT. Seriously, what is going on in this picture? Is it a digital painting of a photo or what? Am I having a flashback? I think I need some orange juice.
posted by LeeJay at 8:46 PM on June 2, 2009


...But making shit up is so....CREATIVE! And fun.
(Last!)
posted by gorgor_balabala at 12:35 AM on June 3, 2009


in particular the issues arising out of a dysfunctional family.

Yeah, that went really well. A freaking industry was born on Oprah's show touting the abuse excuse for every single human failing and foible (and as the subject for every "memoir" written by a 23 year old MFA student for 10 years).
posted by fourcheesemac at 4:43 AM on June 3, 2009 [2 favorites]


I'm not sure why mentioning unpublished research, presumably with the heavy disclaimer that it is such, would be unethical. And at the same time, selling a medical product years in advance of conducting credible research on would be expected to raise no eyebrows.

If I may amend this comment, there is not and never has been any credible, ethical research conducted on the Wiley Protocol*, not to my knowledge. I stand to be corrected.

*http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18551081
posted by debv at 5:04 AM on June 3, 2009 [2 favorites]


(Last!)

You wish.
posted by fourcheesemac at 5:13 AM on June 3, 2009


wow so after having read all this thread I have been left with some very interesting questions concerning concepts of identity. Chapeau to the many thoughtful and, um, revealing comments. Funny, somehow, that difficulties with questions of 'bio-identity' (which would supposedly be vouchsafed physically or materially) would coincide in one same thread with difficulties surrounding symbolic or token identity. Myself, I'm not yet able make out their relationship.

Well, funny in a very nerdy fashion, that is. Yes, I am not afraid to rock cords on June 3.
posted by rudster at 6:53 AM on June 3, 2009 [1 favorite]


HuyZero, "I need to look younger yesterday..."

You did look younger yesterday.
posted by cjorgensen at 8:21 AM on June 3, 2009 [3 favorites]


Jakeelala, people keep referring to you as he and him. It's helpful to populate your profile.
posted by theora55 at 1:54 PM on June 3, 2009


Having now visited the MeTa thread, nevermind.
posted by theora55 at 2:37 PM on June 3, 2009


Thanks to this thread (and the associated metatalk thread), I don't think I'm going to be able to see anything posted by davejay without seeing da vejay(jay).

Aaaaaaand now neither will I. Goddammit.
posted by davejay at 10:21 PM on June 3, 2009 [2 favorites]


Hi. I just wanted to participate. Thanks.
posted by deliquescent at 10:18 PM on June 4, 2009 [2 favorites]


Participation is what we do here!
posted by Pope Guilty at 11:00 PM on June 4, 2009


Inter-vaginal HRT or GTFO.
posted by Burhanistan at 11:03 PM on June 4, 2009


Are they actually using baby-names for body parts while discussing medical issues on Oprah?
posted by ODiV at 8:32 AM on June 5, 2009


What? you don't consider "va-jay-jay" to be a valid scientific term?
posted by Pollomacho at 8:41 AM on June 5, 2009


PalMD of The White Coat Underground on Scienceblogs asks Who does Oprah go to for women's health advice? He writes: There is something fundamentally misogynist about Northrup's approach. In addition to being complete fantasy, it is part of the punitive culture of so-called alternative medicine. According to people like her, if a woman is just happy enough, satisfied enough, spiritual enough, then she won't be unhealthy. So what happens if you get sick? Well, you must not have been good enough. It's not like that's a new message for women.
posted by zinfandel at 10:39 AM on June 5, 2009 [1 favorite]


Oprah is either batshitinsane or tragically uneducated. I suspect the latter.

Hi. I just wanted to participate. Thanks.

So how'd that work out for you? Was it as good for you as it was for us? Will you be doing it again, and if so, will you do it earlier? We sincerely hope it was everything you wanted and more, and that you'll be back soon!
posted by five fresh fish at 10:57 AM on June 5, 2009


I think that with each million dollars you earn there's a requirement that you take on a randomly selected loony beleif, which explains why the super rich are all batshitinsane.
posted by Artw at 11:03 AM on June 5, 2009


Hi. I just wanted to participate.

Hmmm... seems more appropriate to askme.
posted by electroboy at 11:47 AM on June 5, 2009


it is part of the punitive culture of so-called alternative medicine. According to people like her, if a woman is just happy enough, satisfied enough, spiritual enough, then she won't be unhealthy. So what happens if you get sick? Well, you must not have been good enough. It's not like that's a new message for women.

Absolutely. Yes. Part of the alternative health message (at least the stuff under discussion) is that health is a moving target and intimately involved with your emotions. It's like bizarro world psychoanalysis.
posted by jokeefe at 12:06 PM on June 5, 2009


There's also the various woo complaints (electrosensitvity and the like) with their broad range of symptoms... I have to wonder if these are a form of reverse placebo effect.
posted by Artw at 2:08 PM on June 5, 2009


jakeelala, you trust MD's more than biochemists? What world do you live in where a medical doctor has anywhere near the training and intelligence of a research scientist?
posted by karmiolz at 9:10 AM on June 9, 2009


Just heard of this tweet on Oprah's twitter feed:
A reminder: BUYER BEWARE: I have NOTHING to do with acai berry scams on internet. Have tasted only ONE time on my show.
2:43 PM May 29th from web
Buyer beware, indeed, Oprah.
posted by grouse at 10:30 AM on June 14, 2009


Acai berries may not cure diseases, but god DAMN are they tasty!
posted by Pope Guilty at 10:41 AM on June 14, 2009 [1 favorite]


What world do you live in where a medical doctor has anywhere near the training and intelligence of a research scientist?

When did they start training research scientists to interact with people rather than just tissue samples?
posted by Pollomacho at 4:24 AM on June 15, 2009


Pollomacho, i think karmiolz was responding to this idiocy from jakeelala:
biochemists aren't MD's. I wouldn't expect them to know the difference.
Which was in turn a response to Inspector.Gadget (quoting jakeelala):
"Bio-identical protocols rely the actual, unaltered molecules of progesterone, testosterone, estrogen etc. for replacement."

Ten bucks* if you can get a biochemist in here to explain why this matters at all.

*not really.
Summary: jaeelala asserted that a biochemist wouldn't know the difference between actual, unaltered molecules of progesterone, testosterone, estrogen etc. and altered versions thereof. A statement made, most likely, to hide jakeelala's own profound ignorance of biochemistry.
posted by exogenous at 12:11 PM on June 15, 2009


Ah, thank you for the clarification, came in late.
posted by Pollomacho at 12:18 PM on June 15, 2009


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