Phil Micans Interviews the Renowned Hormone Therapist Dr Thierry Hertoghe in Brussels, Belgium.
Subject: Passion, Sex and Long Life, The Oxytocin Adventure
PM: Well, it’s a great pleasure to be here on a lovely warm morning in Brussels with Dr Thierry Hertoghe. Good Morning, Thierry and thank you for finding the time.
TH: Thank you Phil, I am very honoured to be able to talk with you and Antiaging-Systems.
PM: You are too kind, actually too kind, a true gentleman, we know that very well.
PM: Now there’ll be a lot of people watching who will be very familiar with you, your work, your books, many things that you have been involved in. But perhaps in your own words, please tell us a little bit about yourself and your background.
TH: Well I am a doctor who works in hormone therapy and also what is called antiaging medicine. Basically, it is more reversing aging medicine, and I’m a very enthusiastic doctor working in this sector, I work with 9 doctors in my centre in Brussels. I am also the President of the International Hormone Society which has about 3000 physician members, and the World Society of Antiaging Medicine which has about 8000 physician members. And I write books, I have a book called The Hormone Handbook, which is probably the most solid book on how to do hormone therapy for physicians. And I have also an Atlas of Endocrinology for Hormone Therapy which is also a good seller. We will probably talk about this small book--one of the small books that I wrote--about oxytocin, which is very interesting. So basically, I think I work in medicine that makes people enthusiastic, and myself, certainly.
PM: That’s wonderful. Indeed, that comes over from you very much and many people will know, of course, that you are one of the leaders in antiaging medicine. Where do you think, in general, antiaging medicine is today?
TH: Well, antiaging medicine is further than we thought we would ever go, and it is going further on. Three years ago, for example, I thought I knew almost everything, and I can say I knew very little. We are now more into what is called reversing aging, and I think, and I really believe, that the dream will come true in the next 20-30 years--for maybe 10-20% of people we will probably be able to totally reverse aging from age 70 back to age 35, for example.
PM: Wow, that’s just fantastic news! I know there are many topics we can cover today, but I think we will concentrate on one or two, and we would love to talk a little bit more about oxytocin in just a moment.
Passion Sex and Long Life, The Oxytocin Adventure.
PM: Quite recently, Thierry, you wrote a book called Passion, Sex and Long Life, the Oxytocin Adventure. Can you tell us a little bit, what is oxytocin?
TH: Oxytocin is a hormone, and maybe the only reason why you and I are together here and the cameraman is there. It’s a hormone that brings people together, makes you more affectionate, you want to see people, you’re not disturbed by people, you like them. It’s also a hormone that is very important. It is the hormone of orgasm. If you have a very strong feeling, and if you have an orgasm, you have to have a high enough level of oxytocin. And there are many more important actions of oxytocin that are explained in the book. For example, people with autism, children with autism, or adults with schizophrenia, get much less schizophrenic or much less autistic with this small molecule.
PM: That’s fascinating. Now I happen to know that, to use an expression, you are a man who puts his money where his mouth is. In other words, you try products before you give them to patients. You’ve obviously tried oxytocin. Could you please tell us what your experiences were?
TH: It changed my life. I’m a person who is a hard worker, and I can resist any critic because I don’t care about critics. I do pay attention, but not really. It didn’t hurt me, because I was low in oxytocin. And when I tried oxytocin, it was very strange, I didn’t feel so much difference in the beginning but I had to go and buy a horse for my daughter, and I began talking to the people there very easily, asking questions, and I was so sociable and I even began talking very easily with the horses… So basically, this was a surprise to me, and it was also very pleasant. I saw this also with family members, that there was a change when they took oxytocin. So I really think this is a very crucial hormone that makes relationships between people much better.
PM: That could explain, of course, why the press has dubbed it “the bonding hormone,” or sometimes even “the love hormone“-- we’ve heard those expressions before. Does that help to explain some of its medical uses, in say, schizophrenia, where people need the empathy, they need that connection?
TH: Absolutely. Those people with schizophrenia or autism not only have low levels of oxytocin, but the receptors where oxytocin works are not as good quality, are low in number, and don’t work so well. So, in my experience it is the best treatment they should have. It’s not the only treatment, but certainly it is the number one treatment.
PM: I suspect a lot of doctors who might be watching, will be saying ‘Ah I know about oxytocin, we use it to aid childbirth.’ But we are talking, obviously, about very different uses, and we will get a little bit into the different ways to use oxytocin and the different dosages. So obviously, it is way beyond just to aid childbirth.
TH: Yes. There are two classical ways, one is in breastfeeding. It improves breast feeding, and it improves also childbirth, delivery. It makes the uterus contract more so the delivery will be quicker and the baby gets out of the uterus.
PM: Yes, that great. I’m sure our viewers will be looking forward to us discussing more about what we might call the current “off label” uses for oxytocin.
Oxytocin Use for Pain and Sex
PM: I think for a lot of people, their main interest will be in the sexual perspective. I read some research a little while ago that showed that when women are suffering from severe fibromyalgia and in a lot of pain, they noticed they had no pain when they orgasmed. Has that got something to do with oxytocin?
TH: Yes, oxytocin is the hormone of orgasm, and that makes men sleep after, and they don’t have pain; and for women, they are wide awake and they don’t feel any pain, they just feel a very pleasant feeling. It has even been used as a painkiller by injecting into the spine. So people with back pain lose the pain with oxytocin. It’s very interesting, the mechanism increases your morphine, so you have more opiates, which is our own morphine that we create. It is a better way to take drugs--just take oxytocin.
PM: Absolutely, a much more pleasant experience as well. So we hear about women having multi orgasms. Is there any benefit for men in this regard?
TH: Well, for men, it will help ejaculation, orgasm in men. For example, I had a patient who, during 5 years didn’t have any ejaculation--but he had relationships and no problems with erections. After taking oxytocin, he said that 8 times in 10 he would ejaculate when he had intercourse. Basically, it is fundamental for men to ejaculate during orgasm. But oxytocin does not really improve erections in humans. It does in animals, but not in humans.
PM: That’s very interesting, we will talk a little later about dosages and applications. Sometimes, as a pharmacist, I have been approached by patients who said they tried oxytocin and it didn’t seem to do very much for them. Is there any reason that we can explain that?
TH: One of the reasons could be the wrong diet. As soon as your diet is wrong--the western diet with a lot of sweet, sugars, carbs--it doesn’t seem to work. This is the case actually for most hormones and most peptides. If you take a treatment and your food is wrong, it doesn’t work. The only good food is a paleo diet, which is the diet that existed when our ancestors were hunters and gatherers, with meat and vegetables and fruit. That’s a good diet. Drinks also. If you drink alcohol or coca cola it won’t work so well. And we don’t always know why, but it is so. So the other reason could be that you have other deficiencies. When you’re deficient in that hormone that is so prevailing in your symptoms, even if you have oxytocin it doesn’t work. Or it even aggravates the situation by decreasing your hormone level, like cortisol, for example. You need to check other hormone levels when you want to have a certain treatment.
PM: That’s interesting. It’s like a warning sign. If you aren’t seeing any effects from oxytocin, then go and see your antiaging doctor, because you are probably deficient elsewhere.
PM: Thierry, I’d like to ask you, if I may, about dosages. What do you normally recommend?
TH: Let’s say in a normal person who takes mainly oxytocin to be more social, I recommend 5 units in the morning. For children, it will be smaller-- even a small fraction, 1 or 2 units for autism, for example. And then when adults have intercourse, or go to a party, then they could take an additional 5 units in the evening, which will be occasionally. I wouldn’t go any higher, because if you take much higher than that you will lower your adrenal glands and people get tired. So stick to those dosages for the usual situations.
PM: Are there any particular applications that you prefer – do you like sublingual or intranasal, or do you think there is a difference between those applications?
TH: I think there is a difference. If you take a sublingual dose, it will often be absorbed quickly and you get the greatest effects two hours after taking it.. So that’s perfect if you go somewhere and meet people, or you have to negotiate something, you should be friendly in that situation. We’ll take oxytocin before and you’ll see it work much better.
TH: Then you have oral forms--and sometimes in the long acting form, those work much slower, and they are more persistent, so could work in a person who has a pain syndrome, like fibromyalgia. But it is very difficult to get those products, so you could also take a sublingual and then repeat. Then you have also injectable, they are probably even quicker in actions than the sublingual, they can be stronger, and they are used more in cases where the sublingual won’t work.
TH: There is on the market a lot of intranasal oxytocin--but many studies have shown that it doesn’t seem to work as well, so you are missing the effects and you have to take much more of the spray to get some of the efficacy--but it may help.
PM: It might be interesting to ask if there are any natural ways you can stimulate your own oxytocin?
TH: Yes there are. If you just met a person, and you are able to make oxytocin you will increase your oxytocin by meeting people. If you touch a person, that person’s oxytocin levels will increase, and yours, too. If you go for a massage, for example, you will have an increase of oxytocin. If you’re singing you will also improve your oxytocin levels. I won’t sing, you will be protected, it won’t be beautiful.
PM: It will increase yours but not ours (laughter). That’s fascinating, and it explains a lot. I think everyone would agree that a massage is a very pleasant experience.
TH: Yes, but there are women, for example, who are not very sociable. Well, their oxytocin will not increase much, so it works mostly in those who already have a lot of oxytocin.
PM: And what about side effects and contraindications. Is there anything we should look for?
TH: There is one big side effect. When you take a dose that is too high, you lower your adrenal glands, the cortisol goes down and you feel burned out, and you can be irritable. So taking too high a dose does change the hormone balance and can have adverse effects. Don’t take, for example, 40 units of oxytocin for a week in a row, like they do with some autistic children. I’m not sure it is a good long term treatment.
Upcoming Projects and Resources
PM: Thank you again, Thierry, and I’m sure lots of people watching would be interested in knowing more. I would like to recommend your book Passion Sex and Long Life the Oxytocin Adventure, to them,. And one of the great things about your books, if people aren’t familiar with them, is that they’re a real “how to” guide. You’re a very practical person, and it’s not just the background, the book actually gets into details, tells people how to take a product, what to look for. You know, I think in America they call them the “chicken soup” guides. It’s a really nice practical guide. And your books follow this trait. Are you working on any new books or new subjects at the moment?
TH: Yes, I’m working on a book about how to reverse physical aging, I believe that we really have come to a time where we have very important information. It’s also very practical, with pictures, so you can recognise what a nutritional or hormone treatment can do--and it will come out very soon. I’m also working on a text book of hormone therapies, which will really be a big book that has everything from A to Z. Also, theoretical things--not only the practical. And there will be a book coming out on how to reverse mental aging. We had very interesting results in Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease recently, and also in reversing paralysis. So I think there will be a lot of very interesting things in those books.
PM: My goodness, I don’t know where you find the time! Apart from your books, you are also going to many congresses, and indeed you have your own medical training school, and I believe you have hundreds of doctors who have participated in that. You have a meeting coming up in November--would you like to tell us a little bit about that?
TH: In November, I think we have, what in Europe, is the most cutting-edge congress. It’s called Pro-Aging Europe congress, and we give workshops where physicians learn how to treat and reverse aging, or how to give hormone therapy, or how to give a nutritional treatment. And then we have a session--a one day congress where we have a lot of the best speakers and the best authorities in their domain of what is called Pro-Aging. We prefer the term pro-aging to antiaging, because we aren’t against aging, we just want to make things much better for people who are aging.
PM: Right, I have attended some of your congresses in the past, and they really are well worth going to. So I would advocate anyone that would like to come to lovely Brussels and enjoy themselves and really learn something in a great deal of detail. Which often isn’t the case at other congresses. Do you have a website, Thierry, where we could tell people to go and stay informed about what you are doing?
TH: Yes, I have a website for patients called: www.hertoghe.eu and then I have a website for training, for physicians mostly, but also where the books can be bought, the general public and the physician’s books, which is www.hertoghemedicalschool.eu.
PM: Right. We will put those up on the video and encourage everyone to go and have a good look and to come and meet you soon, just like I have today. Dr. Thierry Hertoghe, thank you so much.
TH: Thank you Phil
For further details on oxytocin availability and Dr Hertoghe’s books, please visit: International Antiaging Systems (IAS) at www.antiaging-systems.com