Hormone Hacking: How to engineer your quality of life

Has misinformation clouded our understanding of the anti-aging power of hormones?

DAVE ASPREY: Let's talk about hormones. And there's two big groups of hormones that I think most people know about. One is testosterone. The other is the estrogens.

Well, let's hit testosterone first. When I was 26, I had lower testosterone levels than my mother. And this is by lab testing.

That's not a good thing. And this happens when you're obese. Because even if you're just carrying that extra 20 pounds, your body will use the fat cells to convert testosterone into estrogen.

And this is why, for most of my life, but not now, I was really self-conscious about my man boobs. And they would just get all perky when I was a little bit puffy, because my testosterone was very quickly turning into estrogen. So what do you do about things like that? Should you be on hormone therapy as you age?

The evidence is in. And all the anti-aging doctors I've worked with, the functional medicine people, they know very well. But they're facing this wall of misinformation, mostly from the '70s and early '80s, about, testosterone will give you cancer, estrogen will give you cancer.

Well, the testosterone problems that we had were bodybuilders using synthetic forms of testosterone. What anti-aging doctors use and what I use is a bioidentical form of testosterone. And people go to their regular doctor, and they'll get a test, and they'll say, oh, your levels are within normal ranges for your age.

Did you ever see the movie Grumpy Old Men? Well, that is testosterone deficiency. You do not want the average hormone levels of a 60-year-old if you're 60. You want the average hormone levels of a 30-year-old if you're 60, and you want to live a long time. So what you do is, you supplement with testosterone.

Now, you could say, well, that was advice for men. No, it's advice for men and women. Because guess what happens when women have enough testosterone. It's way less than for men. No, they don't get a deep voice and a goatee. What they get is a zest for life. They start liking sex more than they did before. But they show up at work and they like it. They show up for their families better. Their brains are on. And they usually lose a little bit of fat and they have muscle tone. But you cannot get bulky on testosterone as a woman, if you're taking bioidentical normal doses. The bodybuilder look takes a lot more testosterone than that. So you don't need to be afraid of that whatsoever.

But what you will find is that you love your life and you feel more like yourself. And it's not about the bedroom, but it helps there too. And for men, it's an equivalent thing. It turns your brain on. It makes you just want to go out there and do things. And it's a really important anti-aging technology. And I consider it cruel when a doctor looks at a 60-year-old with levels of testosterone that are low and says, oh, you're fine. No, you're not fine. You're starting to decline. Guess what having adequate testosterone in men and women does. It can lower your risk of cardiovascular disease.

And let's cut over to estrogen. We've all heard, oh, estrogen replacement causes cancer, so let's quit doing it. Guess what estrogen they used for those studies. They used an artificial form of estrogen that is not the same as what humans make that was collected from horse urine from pregnant mares. That's actually how they did this. They had little horses walking around with little cups underneath them. And they collected that, purified it, and sold it to you. And it didn't do what bioidentical hormones do, because you can't patent bioidentical hormones, since they're already in your body.

What that means is that, when you work with a functional medicine doctor, and they measure your levels of estrogen, and you use topical estrogen replacement-- this is a cream you put in various parts on the body, or injections, or pellets-- there's different ways to get it-- your risk of all sorts of diseases go down. And if you're dealing with pre and perimenopause, it can really change the quality of your life in a very, very meaningful way. So, we are walking around with people suffering, tired, emotional ups and downs, all sorts of problems because we're afraid that a bioidentical compound your body makes will have the same effect as something a horse did 25 years ago.

And this is why anti-aging doctors and functional medicine doctors are the ones that I choose to see when I'm dealing with aging. And when I break my arm, I go to the hospital. Of course, I don't break my arm. I have high bone density, 'cause I manage that.

  • Hormone therapy and supplementation have often been associated with cancer and unwanted side effects.
  • However, this connection is fueled by misinformation and faulty sources of testosterone and estrogen outside the human body.
  • When taken correctly, bioidentical hormone supplements can dial back the aging process and spark a zest for life while decreasing the risk of cardiovascular disease in both men and women.

Public health crisis: Facebook ads misinform about HIV prevention drug

Facebook's misinformation isn't just a threat to democracy. It's endangering lives.

Photo Credit: Paul Butler / Flickr
Politics & Current Affairs
  • Facebook and Instagram users have been inundated with misleading ads about medication that prevents the transmission of HIV (PrEP), such as Truvada.
  • Over the years, Facebook's hands-off ad policy has faced scrutiny when it comes to false or ambiguous information in its political ads.
  • Unregulated "surveillance capitalism" commodifies people's personal information and makes them vulnerable to sometimes misleading ads.

LGBT groups are saying that Facebook is endangering lives by advertising misleading medical information pertaining to HIV patients.

The tech giant's laissez-faire ad policy has already been accused of threatening democracy by providing a platform for false political ads, and now policy could be fostering a major public-health concern.

LGBT groups take on Facebook’s ad policy

According to LGBT advocates, for the past six months Facebook and Instagram users have been inundated with misleading ads about medication that prevents the transmission of HIV (PrEP), such as Truvada. The ads, which The Washington Post reports appear to have been purchased by personal-injury lawyers, claim that these medications threaten patients with serious side effects. According to LGBT organizations led by GLAAD, the ads have left some patients who are potentially at risk of contracting HIV scared to take preventative drugs, even though health officials and federal regulators say the drugs are safe.

LGBT groups like GLAAD, which regularly advises Facebook on LGBT issues, reached out to the company to have the ads taken down, saying they are false. Yet, the tech titan has refused to remove the content claiming that the ads fall within the parameters of its policy. Facebook spokeswoman Devon Kearns told The Post that the ads had not been rated false by independent fact-checkers, which include the Associated Press. But others are saying that Facebook's controversial approach to ads is creating a public-health crisis.

In an open letter to Facebook sent on Monday, GLAAD joined over 50 well-known LGBTQ groups including the Human Rights Campaign, the American Academy of HIV Medicine and the National Coalition for LGBT Health to publicly condemn the company for putting "real people's lives in imminent danger" by "convincing at-risk individuals to avoid PrEP, invariably leading to avoidable HIV infections."

What Facebook’s policy risks 

Of course, this is not the first time Facebook's policy has faced scrutiny when it comes to false or ambiguous information in its ads. Social media has been both a catalyst and conduit for the rapid-fire spread of misinformation to the world wide web. As lawmakers struggle to enforce order to cyberspace and its creations, Facebook has become a symbol of the threat the internet poses to our institutions and to public safety. For example, the company has refused to take down 2020 election ads, largely funded by the Trump campaign, that spew false information. For this reason, Facebook and other social media platforms present a serious risk to a fundamental necessity of American democracy, public access to truth.

But this latest scandal underlines how the misconstrued information that plagues the web can infect other, more intimate aspects of American lives. Facebook's handling of paid-for claims about the potential health risks of taking Truvada and other HIV medications threatens lives.

"Almost immediately we started hearing reports from front-line PrEP prescribers, clinics and public health officials around the country, saying we're beginning to hear from potential clients that they're scared of trying Truvada because they're seeing all these ads on their Facebook and Instagram feeds," said Peter Staley, a long-time AIDS activist who works with the PrEP4All Collaboration, to The Post.

Unregulated Surveillance Capitalism

To be fair, the distinction between true and false information can be muddy territory. Personal injury lawyers who represent HIV patients claim that the numbers show that the potential risks of medications such as Turvada and others that contain the ingredient antiretroviral tenofovir may exist. This is particularly of note when the medication is used as a treatment for those that already have HIV rather than prevention for those that do not. But the life-saving potential of the HIV medications are unequivocally real. The problem, as some LGBT advocates are claiming, is that the ads lacked vital nuance.

It also should be pointed out that Facebook has taken action against anti-vaccine content and other ads that pose threats to users. Still, the company's dubious policies clearly pose a big problem, and it has shown no signs of adjusting. But perhaps the underlying issue is the failure to regulate what social psychologist Shoshana Zuboff calls "surveillance capitalism" by which people's experiences, personal information, and characteristics become commodities. In this case, paid-for personal-injury legal ads that target users with certain, undisclosed characteristics. It's been said that you should be wary of what you get for free, because it means you've become the product. Facebook, after all, is a business with an end goal to maximize profits.

But why does a company have this kind of power over our lives? Americans and their legislators are ensnared in an existential predicament. Figure out how to regulate Facebook and be accused with endangering free speech, or leave the cyber business alone and risk the public's health going up for sale along with its government.

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