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Moods, Emotions and Aging:
Hormones and the Mind-Body Connection By Phyllis Bronson, PhD
Book Review - Carol Petersen, RPh,


CNPMoods, Emotions and Aging by Phyllis Bronson Dr. Phyllis Bronson's book could not have been published at a better time. Brisdelle™, a version of Paxil® or paroxetine, has just been approved by the FDA as a treatment for hot flashes, despite an advisory committee vote of 10-4 against it. Hot flashes, a symptom of menopause believed to be an effect of hormone deficiencies, may now be treated with a potent and highly addictive SSRI (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor) that has extremely dangerous side effects, including suicidal thoughts.

up to the fact that we don't have to drug ourselves into oblivion to address the consequences of age-related hormonal changes. Hot flashes are NOT the result of an SSRI deficiency! There are better answers and we have the power to demand them. Dr. Bronson's book will equip anyone facing the challenges of hormone deficiencies. Because she works with and writes about real people with serious mood and hormone imbalances, her readers may see themselves in the patient stories she tells and be inspired to take action to resolve their own health issues.

Phyllis Bronson is a rare individual who brings science to practice in her role as a clinical biochemist. Too often, the science and studies are readily available but clinicians don't or won't seek them out. Or, if they do, they are ostracized by their peers for stepping out of the box their medical education has defined for them.

Dr. Bronson asks the hard questions of our organized medical providers:

* Why is it that, since the WHI studies (which are discussed at length in the book) revealed significant problems with the use of Premarin and Prempro, patients are still being prescribed these products albeit “lower” doses are now promoted?

* Why, when she has seen women with low estradiol levels resolve their complaint about brain fog within an hour after supplementing with estradiol, are women being offered antidepressant drugs instead of estrogen hormones?

* Why, when the bioidentical hormone progesterone has been shown to be protective of nerve tissue and potentially protect against cancer, are women systematically being denied the use of progesterone when their ovaries are removed?

In addition to the hormones made from cholesterol in our bodies (e.g., the sex and adrenal hormones), there are also hormones derived from amino acids. Amino acids are the building blocks of the proteins we eat, and they become available to the body when protein is digested.

Dr. Bronson found that it is easy to supplement amino acids to help balance hormones such as dopamine and serotonin. Here's a radical thought: Instead of blocking the metabolism and reuptake of serotonin in the nerve synapse, which is what SSRIs do to raise serotonin levels, what if we supplement the body with the building block amino acids needed to make more serotonin? This is the path Dr. Bronson prefers, and she describes in her book how this has worked successfully for her clients.

In the book Honest Medicine, Dr. Burt Berkson describes how medical students are not encouraged to question or think. Their education is now just "training" consisting of whatever the current consensus determines to be the current standard of care. Unfortunately, standards of care can be influenced by people with motives that are not necessarily in line with what might be best for individual patient care.

Is your practitioner willing to go beyond the "training" received in medical school? Is she or he ready to partner with you to achieve optimal individualized care? Then Dr. Bronson's book will be an asset to both of you as you jointly evaluate your biochemical individuality and consider treatment accordingly.

Another valuable facet of Dr. Bronson's book is the discussions of how emotional issues can both provoke and be a result of hormone disarray. With the myriad of tools provided in this book, people who may have "lost" themselves emotionally may be able to find a pathway back.

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Reviewed in Washington Post Health and Science
July 24,2013
Women's Health Book addresses the impact of hormone depletion and some ways to counter it "Moods, Emotions and Aging" by Phyllis J. Bronson


For many years, hormone replacement therapy (HRT) was standard practice for women with pre-menopausal symptoms. But HRT fell out of favor after studies showed that women on these drugs were developing decreased vascular function and slight increases in the incidence of breast cancer, stroke and dementia.


According to "Moods, Emotions and Aging" by Phyllis J. Bronson, a Colorado-based researcher who advises women with hormone-based mood disorders, this "set off a wave of misinformation" Doctors began advising patients to stop HRT, and as a result, Bronson writes, "many women started feeling lousy without their hormones."

Bronson attributes HRT's side effects to the fact that commonly prescribed hormones are synthetic. She argues that women would respond better to bioidentical hormones, which are chemically identical to the hormones women make in their bodies. Such hormones, Bronson says, can improve a woman's mood and sense of self without the negative consequences of synthetic versions.

Bronson builds her case using her own story and those of the women she advises who have had success with bioidentical hormone therapy. She breaks down what happens to various hormones as women age, and how they can affect sexuality, emotional well-being and overall health, particularly age-related diseases such as Alzheimer's.

Still, not all doctors agree with this, and Bronson advises women to exercise caution. "Proper use of real hormones, those that mimic what is native to us as women, can help ease the transitions of life and aging by making women feel more optimistic and vital," she writes, but using them "as part of a quest for the ‘fountain of youth’ is not good medical practice."


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Moods, Emotions, and Aging by Phyllis Bronson PhD (book review) Posted on October 10, 2013 Mood Aging Emotions Phyllis Bronson

by Jeffrey Dach MD


I first saw Phyllis Bronson PhD in 2007 at the podium of the Orthomolecular Medicine meeting in Toronto. She was a keynote speaker on Women’s Bio-Identical Hormone Replacement, and spent the hour discussing biochemistry of estradiol and progesterone, and their effects on mood, depression and brain function. One of the things she explained was how hormonal imbalance causes Pre-Menstrual Syndrome (PMS), and natural progesterone is the preferred treatment, rather than SSRI anti-depressant drugs. Applying this information to my own clinical practice of bioidentical hormone replacement, I found that Dr. Bronson was right about that, as well as many other things in her book.

Dr. Bronson has a PhD in biochemistry, so her approach is based on an understanding of biochemical pathways at the cellular level. I should mention that Dr Bronson was mentored by the late Abram Hoffer MD, the father of orthomolecular medicine. Of the many case studies reported in the book, a few were Dr. Hoffer’s psychiatric patients in which Dr Bronson provided assistance with the bioidentical hormone treatments.

Over many years, at her home base in Colorado, Dr Bronson has worked closely as a team member managing patient care in a busy bioidentical hormone practice dealing with women's hormonal imbalance and associated emotional disturbance. The book contains the accumulated wisdom from these years of experience. Review of text.

Not only does Dr. Bronson discuss diagnosis of hormonal disorders and the proper use of bioidentical hormones to treat them, she also adds in a missing dimension, the use of nutritional supplements to benefit brain chemistry. Using her knowledge of biochemical pathways, she discusses the use of amino acid precursors such as tryptophan, tyrosine, and GABA to increase brain neurotransmitters, serotonin and dopamine with benefits for mood and emotional state. There is also the vast unknown area of women’s emotional and psychological states which are dealt with as well. The book contains many actual case studies illustrating how to approach diagnosis and treatment of pre and post menopausal women, with attention to insomnia, anxiety, loss of libido and other emotional disturbances.

The book should be required reading for any physician or health care professional thinking of starting a bioidentical hormone practice. The appendix of the book contains a nuts and bolts approach to prescribing the bioidentical hormones, estrogen, progesterone, testosterone, and DHEA, with recommended dosage schedules. Dr. Bronson’s book, Moods, Emotions, and Aging: Hormones and the Mind-Body Connectionis a gem and recommended for anyone interested in diagnosis and treatment of pre and post menopausal women’s hormone disorders. After reviewing many of these bioidentical hormone books, I can tell you this is one of the best, and most useful. I would predict that this book is destined to become a classic.