What’s The Episode About?
In this episode, I’ll be sharing my experience with helping women overcome a host of hormone imbalances and mood issues with a miracle Vitamin that experts in functional medicine would arguably agree every woman needs.
The levels of this magical Vitamin in women have been going down worldwide, and no one can really explain what causes it to go down, but I will tell you how to make sure your health provider is giving you the right treatment from the symptoms of low Vitamin P. Don’t miss out.
Key Points Discussed:
- The mysterious Vitamin P (01:00)
- Radiation type exposures and other exposures that affect women’s health (02:44)
- The importance of healthy progesterone levels in women (05:34)
- The wonder drug that is progesterone and how the OBGYN community responds to it (10:15)
- Misinformation from the Women’s Health Initiative study (14:11)
- The sink in the house that has never had its pipes cleaned (17:57)
- Feeling like a million bucks from getting the Vitamin P right (24:01)
Where Can You Learn More?
- Get the book now!
- To work with Dr. Brown, please visit: http://bit.ly/2Z6r9Ek
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- You can find the podcast on Apple, Google, Spotify, Stitcher, or wherever you listen to podcasts.
- If you haven’t already, please rate and review the podcast on Apple Podcasts!
When Was It Published?
October 23, 2019
Disclaimer: The Transcript Is Auto-Generated And May Contain Spelling And Grammar Errors
00:00 In today’s episode of The Optimal CEO Podcast, I’ll be sharing my experience with helping women overcome a host of hormone imbalances, and mood issues, with a miracle Vitamin that experts in functional medicine would arguably agree every woman needs. And if you think you’ve figured it out, it’s probably not what you think it is. So stay tuned as we dive in.
00:25 Here at The Optimal CEO Podcast, we help CEO entrepreneurs who love taking ownership of their wellness journey, but because they know it’s their most prized investment and when their state of wellness is at its peak, their income source. We want to help relieve CEO entrepreneurs from the pressure of unnecessary health exposure so they can be highly focused on growing their business and physically optimize for the journey so they can enjoy getting there.
01:00 Hi, I’m Dr. Brian Brown and I’d like to personally welcome you to today’s podcast episode. Thank you for joining me. So, what is this mysterious Vitamin P? I know many of you are sitting out there thinking, “Oh my God, I’ve never heard of Vitamin P. This is brand spanking new to me.” Well, it’s actually a… I call it a Vitamin, so we’ll put quote marks around Vitamin, because actually my clients actually started calling it that jokingly, and it just kind of stuck. And, I’ll tell you why they said that, because it’s one of those things that they consider just hugely necessary in their lives. I have clients that will come in and say, “You can take away anything that you prescribe to me, but you cannot have my Vitamin P. It makes that much difference in my life.” And, when you hear things like that as a clinician, as a health provider, it makes you stand up and pay attention. And, it actually makes you kind of do a little digging and say, “Okay, well why is that? Why is someone coming in and telling me that you can have anything that you prescribed to me.”
02:01 Cause I think there are a lot of things that we do in my practice that are just absolutely life-changing, and clients would agree there with that as well, but on the flip side of that, one of the most valuable things they see is this Vitamin P. And, it’s specifically for females. Guys don’t need Vitamin P, but women do. Now, Vitamin P is one of those things that the world health organization has realized worldwide, and they don’t really understand why this is happening, that more and more women are becoming deficient, and this particular substrate in the body, and I’ll talk to you about it. I’ll reveal what it is here in just a second, but I want to let you know that it’s a worldwide epidemic issue, and we’re really not sure why it’s happening.
02:44 This is something that should naturally occur in the body, but we’re seeing more and more women have issues with this worldwide, even in third world countries where they don’t have the exposure to food chemicals that we have in the western world, yet they may actually… they had the same radiation type exposures due to cellular antennas, and which are hormone disruptors. Everybody has cell phones now, and basically they’re handheld computers. Even in third world countries, it always amazes me when I travel to Africa, or anywhere, and South America, or central America, all throughout the Caribbean, Asia. It can be some of the most remote places in you’ll see people with cell phones, and they’re on the internet, they’re on Facebook. If you meet somebody just in passing, and they don’t even know you, you’re gonna get 10 million friend requests from everybody in the village because they want a connection to the western world, outside world, and it always boggles my mind that that access is there.
03:45 Is it radiation exposure that causes some of this? I don’t know. Maybe. So I think if you look at the whole field of exposure, I think we have to take that into consideration. But the world health organization really doesn’t know why the substrate and the human body and the female body is getting lower and lower and lower, and we’re actually seeing it cause more hormone imbalances and lead to things like miscarriages or infertility. We’re seeing infertility rates go up across the globe. Is it the chemicals that are sprayed on crops? Uh, we really don’t know. So there’s a lot of question marks out there as to why it’s happening, but we know that it’s happening. So when female comes into work with me, uh, one of the first things I suspect is is that she is low and this particular substrate, even if even if the person is in their 20s we used to think that this particular substrate was only low if a person was say 30 35 or older.
04:38 But now we’re seeing it in the teens and twenties and I’ll talk more about that in just a second. So I’ll let you off the hook. This vitamin P as my clients have called it, and I’ve lovingly come to know it, is actually progesterone. Progesterone is a hormone that’s produced in the body or should be produced in the body and just in its simplest form, a progesterone does multiple things, but think of progesterone is kind of putting on the brakes for estrogen and it kind of balances things out. Without progesterone, women have really crazy periods. They cramp a lot, they bleed heavily. And I know these things aren’t pleasant to talk about, but this is just reality. And that’s what we typically see when a female progesterone level is low. Now, what I typically see among a lot of health professionals, if they do check a progesterone level, they’ll say, Oh, well it was just the time of the month that we drew it.
05:34 That’s not an answer that I’m willing to accept. I typically will investigate further, especially if I’ve got a younger client. I want to know exactly when that person had their last period. And then from there, from the time that they start their period, every seven, seven days, I will actually draw a progesterone level to see what it’s doing over the course of the month. If I to be more specific, I’ll actually send them home with a kit where they can do saliva samples daily and we can do daily samples for 45 days to track and see and map and see what that progesterone level is doing. It’s critically important for women’s health to have healthy progesterone levels. If we don’t have healthy progesterone levels, there’s a whole host of issues that can occur. Uh, some of the issues, uh, that can, that can occur. Um, [inaudible] is it puts you at higher risk for ovarian cancer.
06:27 And this is published in studies. We know that research shows that women with low progesterone are at higher risk for ovarian cancer. Women with low progesterone are higher risk for breast cancer. It helps maintain a healthy lining in the uterus. So that heavy, heavy bleeding during the menstrual cycle does not occur. It reduces hot flashes that improve sleep. It improves, uh, PMs type symptoms, improves mood, depression, anxiety, helps control premenopausal, premenopausal dysfunction, and all the symptoms that come with premenopause or peri-menopause and improves menopausal symptoms, promotes survival of the embryo and the fetus throughout the gestation period. So when a, when a woman gets pregnant, actually progesterone levels go up and, and progesterones are needed to help the egg implant and the embryo to implant into the uterine wall so that it could start growing very healthy. When we see progesterone levels that are low, we tend to see a lot of miscarriages because that embryo is not implanting correctly into the uterine wall.
07:30 It progesterone protects against atherosclerosis, it has neuro protective benefits for the brain. And again, all of these are proven in research studies, clinical studies that have been done and when you look at the medical literature and improves exercise tolerance and and the list goes on and on and on. It even has thermogenic effects, fat burning effects. Now please don’t get this confused with synthetic progesterone. Another name for it is Provera, which is name brand, but basically it’s a progestin. The problem that we run into and medicine and it’s T and it’s even confusing to some people in functional and integrative medicine, they think all progesterones are the same. They lump them into the same category. Nothing could be further from the truth. When we’re talking about progesterone from a bioidentical standpoint, we’re talking about a plant extract that closely mimics the body’s own hormone. You’ll see a lot of over the counter creams that are yam extracts that raise progesterone.
08:30 Actually those yam substrates are where we get to progesterone that we prescribe from compounding pharmacies, but there are much higher doses and typically you don’t get the high doses. Actually not typically. You never get the high doses with the creams that you get over the counter. They might give you a little bit of symptom relief but not for very long. If you’re in peri-menopause or there’s years before menopause, it might just be be very briefly for a few months, but you typically don’t see the progesterone levels raised to the levels that you need them to to offset the estrogen that’s still kinda hanging around out there. So the bottom line is I can’t emphasize enough how important progesterone is. I’m going to tell you a couple of stories along the lines of of women coming in and we’ve been working with them a while and we’ve prescribed them progesterone and they’re taking it and they say, you can have anything you can take, take away anything that you prescribed to me except for the progesterone or vitamin P.
09:24 and I told you, I made me curious as to why that was happening and hands down, almost every woman will come back and say, I sleep better and I’m not as anxious and my mood is better. I’m just less depressed. The fourth thing though, it’s typically list if they’re having problems with their menstrual cycle as they’ll say that my menstrual cycle is so much better, my PMs is almost gone and we can actually tweak the progesterone and actually get it to a place where they can take it problematically, raise the dose up a little bit during those PMs, Toms and actually get them till the point where they don’t have any type of PMs type symptoms. So his vitamin P is progesterone a wonder drug? I believe that it is my clients. You can ask any of them. We’ll all hands down agree that vitamin P is a miracle drug.
10:15 Now what are some of the problems that we run into in the community when let’s say a female gets put on vitamin P from a forward thinking health provider of functional medicine integrative medicine person and they go for their annual female exam and a, there’s this miracle question that’s always on every questionnaire when you check in at the desk. I have you had any changes in medication or have you started any new medications and I’ll invariably put, yes, I’ve, I’ve been started on progesterone from such and such doctor or such and such clinic and it sets off alarm bells usually in many OB GYN communities. Uh, not all. I’ve met a lot of OB GYN ins that are very forward thinking, very on top of things when it comes to treating clients in relationships to these issues. But still many are kind of lagging behind and it’s not their fault.
11:06 It’s the way we were trained in our training. It actually has to be more the fault if we’re going to assign fault and I hate doing that, but if we’re going to assign fault, that’s probably more big pharma and probably more insurance companies that we have to blame for that because that’s just the way it kind of seeped into our medical education. But one of the things that I typically hear is a woman that will go into their provider and say thought was something like, I’ve been doing some reading and I think I’m going into menopause. I can’t sleep, I’m anxious and my mood is all over the place. I think I need some bioidentical progesterone because I read that it really helps. And I know Sally over here has taken it and it really helped level out her moods and she just feels better.
11:44 And then they get the reply back from their well-intentioned medical providers says, no, it’s going to cause you to have cancer. You should never take that. So the other thing that I typically hear is, is the same scenario a woman goes in, she can’t sleep, she’s done some research, thinks it’s progesterone, or whether that’s research on dr Google or research with their friends. I actually think friend research is probably more powerful than dr Google, but a, they come in close first and second with each other. And the second thing I typically hear feedback from medical providers is, Oh my gosh, that’s going to cause you to have blood clots or a heart attack or stroke. And these are the same things I hear when a functional medicine or integrative medicine provider has actually started them on it and they’d go in for this initial or their annual a female exam and they put on there that they’ve started progesterone.
12:32 So we hear the same things. It’s going to cause you cancer or it’s going to cause your blood clots or heart attack or stroke. The other thing I’ll hear is say, especially if they go in and say, doc, I had to start this. It’s made all the difference in the world. My periods had gotten really, really, really heavy, very painful. And also I wasn’t sleeping well and I was feeling anxious. My PMs was off the charts and then I’ll hear something like, well, it’s going to cause you to have worst periods. And again, nothing could be further from the truth. I’ll, I’ll talk to you more about that here in just a second. And that lastly, the thing here is it’s going to cause you to gain weight. So let’s start with the first one and that scenario where you hear that it might cause you issues with cancer.
13:16 Oh really? Not sure where this came in other than the women’s health initiative study a years ago. The women’s health initiative was one of those studies that had a lot of good intent, but the problem was is that the average age of the person accepted into the study was 65 and older and there’s a problem with that because we don’t treat menopausal women starting at age 65 we start treating menopausal women in the perimenopause years between 35 and 45 typically sometimes around age 50 but what we want to make sure is is that we are within the a 10 year window of them having had their last menstrual cycle. Now typically most of the female clients that I work with are already still having a cycle or they’re within 12 months of, there are those that are their last cycle and they’re not difficult to work with at all.
14:11 But in the women’s health initiative, what we saw was a lot of misinformation, to be quite honest with you, in that these women were prescribed synthetic estrogen in the form of Premarin and synthetic progesterone and when, and there was a group one which was estrogen only and then there was a group too that was the synthetic estrogen and progestin or Provera. What they noticed was, and they didn’t point this out in the data when they published it so that clinicians could pick on it. You had to do a little deep digging in there in order to find it, but what happened was they reported cancer rates went up. Well, cancer rates did go up, but they only went up in the estrogen only group. What we found out was is that when you give estrodiol or synthetic estrogen with out opposition, meaning without progesterone on board, then you actually increase cancer risk.
15:10 What we now know about progesterone as that, it’s a pop topic, meaning it causes cancer cells to burst pop. Think of pop in that a pop Todrick it causes cancer cells to burst. It’s very protective of cancer tissue. Now hands down. If a person, if a female is ever diagnosed with female cancer, every oncologist will say, you need to come off your hormones. Unfortunately, that’s based on some misinformation, some of your top cancer treatment centers, female cancer treatment centers worldwide still use micronized progesterone, the bioidentical progesterone to actually help treat a female cancers because it is a pop toxic to cancer cells. So that’s just the short of it. Since the women’s health initiative study was put out, we’ve had the Danish study, the chorus study, and the nurses’ health study. And, uh, they all have proven that micronized progesterone is in no way indicative of increasing cancer.
16:10 Um, in fact, what they show is the opposite. It actually reduces cancer risk. So can we say that micronized progesterone is a cancer treatment? Absolutely not. I’m not gonna say that because it’s not put in a double blind placebo controlled study solo all by itself to see if it helps treat cancer. So I can’t really say that. But what I can say is that studies show longterm studies show is that women who take micronized progesterone actually have decreased cancer risk. So a, the next thing that you typically hear, Oh, that progesterone is going to cause you have blood clots, heart attacks, stroke, so on and so forth. Again, we have to go back to longterm data and the nurses’ health study, the core of study and the Danish study give irrefutable evidence that shows that blood clot, heart attack and stroke risk goes down and Tom and to B and appears to be less of a risk with bioidentical forms of hormone including bioidentical progesterone.
17:03 In fact, what experts are starting to say is, listen, in those women who took the Ester die, all the estrodiol seem to be the culprit for increased risk of blood clots. And when you look at the women’s health initiative, we saw that. But typically if you look at a female who is taking an oral progesterone over age 65 they’re more than 10 years, post-menopausal. There’s this mysterious little chemical in the body that occurs in younger years of life because of estrogen. There’s this neat little particle in the body that occurs in the younger years of life because of estrogen called matrix metalloproteinases. And you don’t need to know what that is, but MMP is an amazing little enzyme. Think of it as liquid plumber for the arteries. So it keeps your arteries clean and prevents plaque build up. As we age and estrogen levels go down. So too.
17:57 So do the MMP levels that they go down as well. And when matrix metalloproteinases go down, it’s like having that old sink in your house, uh, that’s never had the pipes cleaned out. It’s 40 years of gunk buildup. And uh, then all of a sudden you put liquid plumber in there and it breaks that cog loose. And that’s exactly what happens. Uh, when we all of a sudden give a woman who’s more than 10 years post-menopausal, who’s had a chance over a time to build up possible plaques in their arteries, and then all of a sudden we reintroduce oral estrodiol and that plaque breaks loose and it causes a blood clot. It causes a heart attack, it causes a stroke. So there are certain criteria that we look for when we’re starting oral estradiol. For example, you wouldn’t want to prescribe this in a [inaudible] and a female who’s a smoker.
18:48 You wouldn’t want to prescribe this in a female with a BMI over over a certain point. Typically you’ll hear some providers say, I don’t prescribe estrodiol with BMI over 25, I don’t prescribe oral estrodiol with a BMI over 30. It’s left up to the clinician really, uh, to what risk tolerance they have. But estrodiol is very beneficial. It just needs to be prescribed with caution. And I don’t mean to get off on the estrodial tangent, but we have to understand [inaudible] Rhode Island in order to stand understand progesterone. I’ll be talking about estrodiol separately and upcoming segment segments. So the other thing that we hear, a argument that we hear is that, Oh, well, it’s just gonna make your periods worse. You know, that may be true. Uh, for some people there’s two things that go on. If we’re looking at a synthetic progesterone, I typically do see periods get significantly worse.
19:39 I’m not sure exactly why, uh, but I do know why micronized progesterone does that. And it typically will only occur in women who have had menstrual cycle issues. Anyway. Progesterone causes the, um, the sloughing off, and I know this, this is not for the faint of heart, but it causes the sloughing off of the inside lining of the uterus, which just causes the period, which, which is the period. And, um, when your progesterone levels low, you get either no sloughing or an incomplete sloughing. So you may have years or months of buildup of this lining on the inside of the uterus. And when you introduce micronized progesterone to a woman who’s not had enough progesterone, you can actually see a, a worsening of menstrual cycles for the first one to three months. And then after that, things tend to start leveling off and they get much better.
20:34 So there’s, there’s different tricks that you can do when you’re prescribing micronized progesterone to help overcome that. But a lot of times it’s worth for warning females who may or may have had a history of irregular periods or a dysfunctional uterine bleeding that they need to be forewarned that if they start progesterone, it could get a little bit worse before it gets a whole lot better. A lot of times women will say the trade off is worth it because, uh, they’re resting better and their anxiety is so much less than their PMs. Symptoms are so much less. Uh, other reasons that women can have dysfunctional bleeding. Of course, their ovarian cyst and Dimitrios cysts, fibroids. And in that particular case, if you’ve got somebody that’s having abnormal bleeding, especially if you started hormones, definitely want to get a, a, an ultrasound of the uterus. And that’s again going to be the health providers call to make sure that that gets done.
21:24 And lastly, the thing that I typically hear, Hey, progesterone is going to cause you to gain weight. Actually, if you look at micronized progesterone, micronized progesterone, his studies actually is thermogenic to fat cells and actually helps burn fat. It helps raise metabolism and improves things. Uh, so we’ll typically see women lose weight. Um, you’ll see weight gain with synthetic progesterone. In fact, you’ll see inefficient a weight gain with synthetic progesterone, especially if they do the 90 day injection, a depo Provera. Um, uh, I’ve seen, I’ve seen young girls that take depo Provera for birth control gayness merchants as 50 or 60 pounds in the first six to nine months of being on that. Um, it’s one of those things that I typically stay away from, but I don’t, I don’t see the weight gain with a micronized progesterone in my clients would, would definitely tell you the same.
22:14 So what’s the takeaway here? The takeaway here is several fold. Understand that vitamin P or progesterone can be lifesaving on multiple levels, whether it be strictly just from regulating menstrual cycles or taking care of PMs or taking care of depression and anxiety or taking care of sleep or treating perimenopausal and menopausal symptoms, preventing osteo, helping prevent osteoporosis or osteopenia, thinning of the bone, uh, whatever the case may be. Um, micronized progesterone has a neat niche in that area and we need to not take it for granted. We need to be and we need to have it on our radar. The second thing is, is that clinicians as well as health consumers, females out there listening to this podcast, they need to be aware that overall progesterone levels are coming down worldwide and it’s one of those things that we don’t know why it’s happening. We just know it is happening.
23:09 The world health organization is currently doing studies to see if they can figure out why this is, but the bottom line is it needs to be treated and we can’t treat it if we don’t check for it. So make sure your provider is checking for those progesterone levels in your body and not just doing it one time. If they need to investigate further, draw them every seven days to get a baseline. Sometimes I’ll draw them every seven days for six weeks to see if I can figure out what’s going on and is this progesterone level coming up at all. And then sometimes I’ll send a woman to the lab the day they start their, their, their menstrual cycle and see what the progesterone is doing there because it should be going up at that. Or I’ll send them back two days in a row, the day they start their cycle, the day after, and see if we can actually pinpoint whether or not that progesterone is rising as it should.
24:01 So make sure you’re working with somebody that understands that and makes sure you’re working with somebody that’s comfortable prescribing micronized progesterone, bioidentical progesterone, and not simply gonna put you on a synthetic progesterone. And goodness knows if you’re in the perimenopause menopause for years and you’re having that conversation of going on estrodiol or synthetic estrogen, Premarin, then you definitely need to have that conversation with your health professional that you don’t want to be put on estrodiol alone. You want to have the progesterone prescribed with it. So that’s all I’ve got for today. Uh, if you get your progesterone right, you’re gonna feel like 1 million bucks, I can almost guarantee it. Your energy level is going to come up. Your brain fog is going to clear, your sleep is going to be better, your anxiety is going to do it down, your mood is going to be improved.
24:48 And then there’s a whole host of other things that you can’t see are going on positively behind the scenes that we can’t even articulate. It’s just those longterm benefits of being on micronized progesterone. Well, that wraps it up for today. A does you guys, you’ve been following me for a while. Know I’m passionate about helping high achievers. I do work with, uh, entrepreneurs, influencers, CEOs, but, uh, I work with high achievers of all kinds. I help them move from great to extraordinary. These are people who are already good at what they do. They already feel good, but they want to move from feeling good or feeling great to an extraordinary feel good level and they can’t quite put their finger on what’s going on. Maybe they’ve dr hopped, I’ve been around the block a few times and they keep getting the same answers. Well, everything’s normal when we check your lab, everything’s normal.
25:35 And those are the people I work with. So if you’re struggling with anything similar to that, give us a call. Reach out to us on Facebook or Instagram. My inbox is always open. You can reach me at the optimal CEO on Facebook and Instagram if you’re trying to reach me on LinkedIn, Dr. Brian G. Brown on LinkedIn, and if you want to set up a 15 minute strategy session where we can explore some possible solutions to what’s going on and help you get you back, get back on track. Go to Brian G brown.com at the top of the page you’ll find a link there that says work with Doctor B. click on that link short 23 question questionnaire. Fill out that questionnaire. Soon as we get that submitted and to us, we’ll review it and my administrative assistant will actually a follow up with a phone call. Set up a 15-minute strategy session with me and we’ll, we’ll hop on a call together and see, see what we can do.
26:28 So I’d like to thank you for joining me today. This has been a passion project of mine. I love progesterone. I think it’s one of those essential hormones or jokingly tongue in cheek vitamins that every single woman needs, and it’s becoming more and evident worldwide that that is the case. So please tune in next time as well. We’ll continue this discussion on female hormones and start diving deeper into the other hormones that can be out of balance when we’re talking about female health and operating at peak performance and dominating for life longevity. Until next time, this is Dr. Brian Brown, the optimal CEO signing off, and I hope you have an optimal [inaudible] day.
27:08 Here at The Optimal CEO Podcast, we help CEO entrepreneurs who love taking ownership of their wellness journey, but because they know it’s their most prized investment and when their state of wellness is at its peak, their income source. We want to help relieve CEO entrepreneurs from the pressure of unnecessary health exposure so they can be highly focused on growing their business and physically optimize for the journey so they can enjoy getting there.