Life Extension Magazine November 2006
As We See It
My Recent Conversation with Suzanne Somers
By William Faloon
Until his obituary appeared on the front page of my newspaper, I had never heard of John Diebold. When I read his obituary, I was reminded of how difficult it is to convince the public to accept new ideas, no matter how logical the idea may seem.
John Diebold wrote a book in 1952 that advocated that businesses use computers to enhance productivity. Despite having degrees in business and engineering, Diebold was ridiculed for suggesting that computers could play a role in the business environment.
After graduating from Harvard University, Diebold was hired by a consulting firm, but was fired three times for insisting that clients consider computerizing. Unable to work for other companies, Diebold founded his own consulting firm in 1954.
Diebold eventually made a fortune by persuading corporations to automate their assembly lines, store their records electronically, install interoffice email, and use word processors to replace typewriters and carbon paper. His consulting firm won contracts with the world’s largest corporations, including IBM, Boeing, Chase Manhattan Bank, ATT, and Xerox. Diebold also developed a system to convert medical statistical data into electronic form, thus making it possible for scientists to conduct complex research that was otherwise too daunting.
In 1991, John Diebold sold his consulting company to Daimler-Benz, makers of Mercedes-Benz automobiles. He then focused his energies on a non-profit institute he founded to promote the libertarian concept of privatizing governmental agencies in order to provide more efficient public services.
In the 1990s, John Diebold wrote that the future will be a “utopia built on technological progress . . . where human tissue farms will grow replacement organs . . . while AIDS and heart disease will all but disappear.”1
What Does John Diebold Have to Do with Suzanne Somers?
I recently interviewed actress Suzanne Somers, and found that she encountered problems analogous to John Diebold’s when she tried to convince mainstream doctors that aging adults need to restore their hormones to youthful ranges. No matter how logical a case Suzanne Somers has made for bioidentical hormone replacement, the vast majority of doctors continue to watch their patients suffer and die rather than prescribe natural hormone therapies.
Like John Diebold, Suzanne Somers wrote a controversial book to promote her cause. Suzanne’s first book on the topic was published in 2003 and made a strong case for people to check their hormone levels and rebalance what is lost to aging. While her first hormone book sold over 2 million copies, the vast majority of American men and women continue to endure the horrendous miseries and lethal consequences of hormone imbalances.
Suzanne is so passionate about convincing the world that the symptoms of aging can be postponed by restoring youthful hormone balance that she has just written an even more compelling book on the subject.
The “Logic” Behind Interventional Hormone Balancing
That there is even a debate about the need for aging people to balance their hormones defies common sense.
The human body comprises more than 10 trillion cells. To sustain life, these individual cells must communicate with one another in order to function in a synchronized “living” pattern.
Hormones are produced in various tissues of the body and transported in the bloodstream, where they prompt cells to perform vital bodily functions. Hormones are “communication signals” between individual cells. Youthful hormone balance enables the body to function in a unified (healthy) manner, rather than a chaotic (diseased) state.
Most patients seen by conventional doctors today already suffer a chaotic state of hormone imbalance. It is this very hormone imbalance that often precipitates the underlying illness that prompted the patient to seek medical care in the first place.
Instead of testing every patient’s blood and restoring youthful hormone balance, most doctors attempt to treat only the symptoms of hormone imbalance, such as atherosclerosis, depression, osteoporosis, fragility, erectile dysfunction, senility, etc.
Medical doctors are educated to have at least some understanding of the influence of hormones in maintaining healthiness and life. Yet these same medical professionals argue that it is perfectly fine for aging adults to have hormone levels that may be 90% below those seen in youth.
Remember, these patients are seeing their doctors and complaining of disease symptoms that often directly correlate to a specific hormone imbalance. If the proper blood tests were performed, it would become crystal clear that the patient’s hormones are out of balance. Despite these irrefutable facts, most doctors fail to even consider testing for and correcting age-related hormone imbalance.
Suzanne Somers is determined to educate every health-conscious American about the critical need to achieve and maintain youthful hormone balance. Her latest book presents a persuasive set of facts that are impossible to ignore.
Who Do You Trust—Your Doctor or Suzanne Somers?
Suzanne Somers does not have a medical education, nor has she ever worked in a conventional medical setting. Perhaps that is one reason why she can see the logic behind naturally restoring the body’s hormones to youthful levels.
Most practicing doctors are both biased against and ignorant about hormone treatment modalities. This prejudice has caused these doctors to turn a blind eye to thousands of published studies validating the enormous health benefits that are achievable in response to restoring youthful hormone balance. Additionally, medical school curriculums typically provide only about four hours of specific training about hormones.
Suzanne is a personal beneficiary of the natural hormone replacement therapies prescribed by her very progressive physicians. She has spent thousands of painstaking hours reviewing the published scientific literature, and then interviewing physicians who have been successfully using anti-aging hormones in their practices for over two decades. A portion of her latest book consists of interviews with physicians who routinely prescribe anti-aging hormones to their patients.
So in deciding who knows more—state-licensed, highly educated, practicing medical doctors or actress Susanne Somers—it would appear that Suzanne’s self-education-based crusade gives her the upper hand.
It is regrettable that so many conventional doctors have devolved into a medieval mentality that is resistant to novel and natural approaches to treating age-related disease.
Do You Remember Nathan Pritikin?
For those who wonder why a television actress—instead of a medical doctor—is leading the campaign to educate Americans about natural hormone replacement, please understand that much of what Suzanne Somers now writes about was long ago advocated by anti-aging medical doctors. Regrettably, the media did not pay much attention to these avant-garde physicians. It took a well-known celebrity actress like Suzanne Somers to motivate the tabloid-like media to even pay attention to this critically important health issue.
This by no means the first time that common-sense science was overlooked by the medical establishment.
An engineer named Nathan Pritikin became interested in nutrition after he was diagnosed with heart disease at a very young age. The medical advice given to Nathan Pritikin and all other heart disease sufferers in the 1950s was: “Take it easy, don’t over-exert yourself, and keep eating the 40% fat American diet of eggs, beef, and the like, until you die.”2
Unwilling to accept that fatalistic advice, Nathan Pritikin studied cultures from around the world that had very low incidences of heart disease, adapted their diets to American tastes, and thus created the world-famous Pritikin Program.3
Scorned by the medical profession, the Pritikin Program was propelled to the forefront of American culture only when a well-known cardiologist, Dr. David Lehr, convinced the CBS News investigative series 60 Minutes to do a positive feature on the Pritikin Program. Dr. Lehr knew that the Pritikin Program worked and that doctors needed to focus on nutrition and exercise, not drugs and surgery.
It was joint appearances by Nathan Pritikin and Dr. David Lehr on 60 Minutes in 1977 and 1978 that made “Pritikin” a household word and brought into acceptance the then-controversial notions that regular exercise and a diet high in fiber-rich foods like fruits and vegetables and low in saturated fat can dramatically improve health and prevent heart attacks, the number-one killer of Americans.2
These concepts are widely accepted by the medical profession and the American Heart Association today, but were fiercely attacked by both the FDA and the medical profession in the 1950s and 1960s.4 The FDA even issued edicts (published in the Federal Register) stating that it was illegal to associate cholesterol and saturated fat with arterial disease.
You Don’t Have to Suffer and Die Because of Physician Ignorance and Arrogance
The FDA prohibits pharmaceutical companies from advertising their hormone drugs for anti-aging purposes. The First Amendment to the United States Constitution protects Suzanne Somers’ right to author books that reveal the truth about age-related hormone deficiencies and what you can do to correct them.
In reading Suzanne’s latest book, I was impressed to see how she interacted with anti-aging physicians who are prescribing natural hormones to their patients every day. These progressive doctors are on the front lines of daily battles against premature aging and death. They diagnose diseases caused by hormone imbalance, design a treatment program based on blood test results, prescribe natural hormone drugs, and then follow these patients for years and even decades. It is these doctors who have developed anti-aging hormone restoration programs and who prescribe these natural approaches on a real-world basis.
Like Suzanne Somers, I, too, am a personal beneficiary of a hormone modulation program that I initiated around the age of 43. Within three weeks of suppressing my excess estrogen and replacing deficient testosterone, I felt 10-15 years younger. As I continued to modify my hormones, I was able to take five inches of fat off my abdomen. When reading Suzanne’s book, I am able to personally validate the veracity of the statements she makes about how aging men suffer from mental depression, abdominal obesity, too much blood cholesterol, and easy fatigue, all because they have lost their youthful hormone balance.
Epitaph and a New Beginning
On December 26, 2005, John Diebold died at the age of 79 from esophageal cancer, a disease that has grown to epidemic proportions in the United States. Suzanne Somers has now survived five years from her initial breast cancer treatment, with no signs of recurrence.
Suzanne used a number of alternative approaches in treating her breast cancer. Some of these treatments are highly recommended by the Life Extension Foundation, while others are not.5-7 If you purchase Suzanne Somers’ new book, we will include a specially written commentary to describe what we believe are ideal methods to both prevent and treat breast cancer.
In this issue of Life Extension magazine, you can read my interview with Suzanne about her new book, which is appropriately titled Ageless.
I highly recommend Suzanne’s new book (with the free commentary we include) for those who seek to partially reverse aging by scientifically restoring their hormones to youthful levels.
For longer life,
P.S. When paying tribute to the pioneers of modern society such as John Diebold, we should remind ourselves what caused them to perish so as to reduce our own risks of suffering the same fate. The best way to mitigate your chances of contracting esophageal cancer is to aggressively treat esophageal reflux, whether or not symptoms are present.
1. Available at: http://news.com.com/John+Diebold,+79,+a+visionary+of+the+computer+age,+dies/2100-1003_3-6009646.html. Accessed August 25, 2006.
2. Available at: http://www.pritikin.com/pritikin/pritikin_History.shtml. Accessed August 25, 2006.
3. Available at: http://www.pritikin.com/pritikin/pritikin_ProgramBasics.shtml. Accessed August 25, 2006.
4. Available at: http://www.lef.org/magazine/mag99/jan99_abs.html. Accessed August 25, 2006.
5. Available at: http://www.lef.org/magazine/mag2004/oct2004_cover_somers_01.htm. Accessed August 25, 2006.
6. Available at: http://www.lef.org/magazine/mag2004/oct2004_awsi_01.htm. Accessed August 25, 2006.
7. Available at: http://www.lef.org/magazine/mag2004/oct2004_report_science_01.htm. Accessed August 25, 2006.