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Hormone Scholar (Tulane University)

Lecturer, Author, Clinician, Dancer

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What Top Doctors Say About Dr. Berkson’s Newest Book…….

Sexy Brain: How Sizzling Intimacy &  Balanced Hormones Prevent Alzheimer’s, Cancer, Depression and Divorce

Dr. Berkson’s SEXY BRAIN is a breakthrough book informing the public about a new threat from our toxic environment: environmental castration. Just as we are seeing diseases like type-2 diabetes, sleep apnea, and obesity in our younger adults, conditions that historically were seen only in seniors, we have to now add hormonal imbalance and sexual dysfunction to this list. This book takes our awareness of the effects of our toxic planet to a new level.


Mark Hyman, M.D.

I couldn’t put this book down. SEXY BRAIN is a must read for anyone searching for a healthier lifestyle. Dr. Berkson writes in a simple yet elegant style. It is impossible for anyone to reach their optimal health or achieve rewarding sex without hormonal balance. Dr. Berkson’s book provides all the information needed to understand why hormonal balancing and an active sex life are so important.”

–Author of The Miracle of Natural Hormones and Dr. Brownstein’s Natural Way to Health Newsletter


David Brownstein, M.D.

Dr. Berkson and I have been life long friends. I know she translates excellent science into excellent advice and now she does it surrounding intimacy. A great read.


Alan R. Gaby, M.D.

In the first six pages I was already blown away! People are going to love this! What I also appreciate is that this is such a well-written book that parents, with complete peace of mind, can gift it to their young adult kids to learn all the in’s and out’s of intimacy and how to make marriages last.


Carole L. Roberts, M.D.

The New Understanding About Hormones

It’s sad to say but hormones are the most misunderstood genre of medicine.

This is true for many reasons.

Misunderstanding. Too many doctors and even scientific papers don’t understand the difference between synthetic hormones, which have been altered to make them profitable, and bioidentical hormones that are just like those made by your own body and designed by Mother Nature.

Too often docs tell patients that “a hormone is a hormone is a hormone. Wrong!

For example, many doctors think progesterone (“naturally” made by your body) and progestins (“synthetic” so altered to be patentable and sold for profit) are pretty much the same. They are not and act very differently inside the human body.

Hormones “redefined” with today’s hormone-altering-chemicals. Today’s polluted planet and our food are laden with hormone-altering chemicals. These “endocrine disruptors” are altering our endocrine system. They can alter hormonal functioning inside the human body or even alter genetics set-up in the womb so the baby develops early or unusual hormone issues. Hormone disruption also occurs in our animals friends such as birds, alligators, fish and all life on Mother Earth.

Doctors are not taught this “new understanding” of hormones in med school because they are still being taught that hormones are mainly important for reproductive or sexy things, addressing issues like peri- or post-menopause, andropause, ED, or disease.

New Understandings

Larger job description. Most doctors and patients regard hormones as having to do with “sexy” or “reproductive” issues. Or to be considered during aging with menopause or andropause. But new science clearly shows that hormones rule body and brain health. Hormones deliver signals to tissues throughout the entire human body that are critical for staying healthy or fighting illness.

For example, the male hormone testosterone (T) protects the immune system, especially inside the gut where 70% of the immune system lives. T protects both breast and prostate tissue from growing out-of-control. Hormone replacement in the form of testosterone topically, or as a pellet or cream applied to mucosal areas, boosts immune function and protects tissues such as breast and prostate from turning cancerous.

T protects the basic cell of the heart (cardiomyocyte). T is also an analgesic hormone. Often giving testosterone to a patient with angina who has low or very low normal T, improves or gets rid of their heart pain.

The female hormone estrogen has over 800 newly-appreciated functions, like protecting mitochondria (a cell’s power generator) from damage and allowing your genes to respond to your lifestyle choices (epigenetic changes). One particular estrogen, estriol, has been shown to be protective against cancer. Estrogen’s final metabolite, 2MEO, protects against the initiation of cancer and even fights against established cancer. This is not well known nor acted upon in the typical medical practice.

It’s all in the ratio. It is the “ratio” of protective to aggressive hormones inside the human body that makes you vulnerable to cancer or recurrence of cancer or other diseases like excessive gut wall permeability (leaky gut). These ratios are often not recognized, tested or addressed.

Body’s Internet System

Hormones deliver signals or “emails” to receptors (proteins in the shape of satellite dishes) that line most of our tissues and cells. In this way hormones are your body’s “Physiologic Internet System.” They send emails to cells to tell them what to do to keep you the best version of yourself.

You don’t want this system to freeze or wane. Silencing hormonal emails makes you more vulnerable to diverse diseases.

Insufficient hormone signals are the major cause of aging. Much of the symptoms of senescence (aging) are due to your Hormonal Internet System freezing up and your tissues missing out on protective hormone signals.

Hormonal deficiencies or imbalances are not regularly assessed or addressed as part of many illnesses, such as autoimmune diseases, colorectal diseases, in high-risk women for hormonally driven diseases or even for aging issues such as joint pain and brain fog.

Yet hormonal deficiencies or hormone imbalances often worsen the patient’s symptoms and future, while replacing and/or balancing hormones fairly rapidly makes patients feel a lot better while giving their future a better chance.

The brain is no exception

Your brain is ruled by hormone signals. (That’s why my latest book is called SEXY BRAIN as your brain is especially run by your sex steroid hormones, such as estrogen, progesterone and testosterone).Your brain is flush with receptors that receive many signals from these specific hormones.

Memory, motivation, and sense-of-self come mostly from healthy hormones sending signals to your hippocampus (small part of your brain that gets the biggest blood flow in the body since your memories and identity live here). Knowing this, Dr. Dale Bredesen, a neurology scientist at UCLA, developed an effective “Anti-Alzheimer Protocol”. One essential part of his multi-faceted program is adding hormones back into an aging brain. Part of the reason the brain is not acting healthfully is hormone deficiencies. These can be easily be addressed by hormone replacement.

Testosterone, in higher healthy normal ranges, has been shown to “down regulate” or “shut up” the Alzheimer vulnerability gene, ApoE 4—one of several variants of the apolipoprotein E (ApoE) gene. Those who have this ApoE 4 gene are three to eight times more likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease than those who do not carry it. Having healthy levels of T in your bloodstream helps fight off this genetic tendency.

Most doctors have not been taught these diverse benefits of T. Women are often told that if they don’t want more sex drive, they shouldn’t add T to their hormone therapies. They don’t realize this means having their patients miss out on T’s brain protection! Let alone immune protection.

Estrogen protects brains, too. The Cache County studies out of Utah showed that Alzheimer’s disease incidence was reduced by up to 50% if women had been on estrogen therapy for at least 10 years. If Dr. Oz had a show that shared any product that lowered the risk of dementia by 50%, we would all be running out to get it.

Autoimmune Diseases

There are approximately 159 autoimmune diseases. All but one (kidney autoimmune disease) happens more often to women than to men. Why? Because men have more testosterone and T protects their immune systems.

Replicated studies show that hormones (testosterone and a special form of estrogen called estriol) are immune protective. Hormone therapies of T and/or estriol have been shown to reduce certain aspects of autoimmune diseases, such as shrinking brain plaque in multiple sclerosis patients and rebooting gut wall barrier function in inflammatory disease patients. Many studies about this are published in peer review science, but in most medical settings this information is either not known or acted upon.

Hormones & Your Gut

There are receptors throughout the entire digestive tract, liver, and pancreas. Even the love hormone, oxytocin, sends signals to your gut wall. Part of the increase of gut issues as we age is that hormone signals are slowing down (hormonal deficiencies and/or hormonal imbalances) and gut tissues are missing out on protective hormone emails. Again, all this information is available in peer review science, but isn’t acted upon in most medical settings.

The Yo-yo History of Hormones

Over time, medical recommendations of what to do about hormones have gone up and down, this way and that. First science said that women should take hormones to treat heart disease and slow down aging. Then the first randomized trial (Women’s Health Initiative, July 2002) made headline news, proclaiming that OMG, hormones caused these issues rather than protected against them. This, of course, made scary headline news. Docs stopped prescribing hormones (in the US, not so much in Europe). Most women got frightened to death about hormones and worry that they’ll get breast cancer.

Multiple reanalyzes that came from prestigious universities, like Yale, demonstrated that these studies had too many methodology issues to accurately make these scary claims. Some famous statisticians even called the hormone trials of the Women’s Health Initiative statistical fiascoes.

Women and docs heard the first scary headlines. But when the facts were reversed, these less scary headlines didn’t make nighttime news.

To this day too many women are scared of hormone therapies, when in fact, aging without addressing your hormone insufficiencies is often much more unsafe.

Follow the Money

The CEOs of the companies that provided the synthetic hormones used in the Women’s Health Initiative trials fought hard against bioidentical hormones. For years they screamed that a hormone is a hormone and that synthetic progestins and horse estrogens were completely safe to prescribe to women.

Now these very same CEOs are soon releasing their own bioidentical hormones (called Replenish) and writing in peer review studies about how much better and safer they are.

Why? It’s the trend of the times. It’s also clearly what the science supports. It’s also what functional doctors and researchers like myself have been writing, lecturing and sharing about for years. 

Plus, hormone therapies make money.

Follow the dough. (I don’t mean gluten-free)

The use of hormones has been confusing, to say the least. As the dance continues, women are often the pawn of those who get rich off of whatever hormones are in vogue.

My mother, when pregnant with me, was given the most powerful synthetic estrogen ever invented (DES). This drug was given as a prenatal vitamin and/or pregnancy protector to millions of women for 36 years—until it was labeled as a Class 1 carcinogen and banned. I have fought many cancers and serious diagnoses as a result of my early exposure. Doctors repeatedly told me I had no hope of healing the various health traumas I have been through, from recurrent cancers to irreversible blindness . . . all of which are now in my rear view mirror.

What I have learned…….

It’s best to work with a team that understands this bigger picture so you can be the very best version of yourself for many years to come.

May the healthy hormonal force be with you!

Dr. Devaki Lindsey Berkson

  • Hormone Scholar at Environmental Estrogen Think Tank (CBR Tulane)
  • Clinician
  • Best selling author
  • Professor at Higher Board Certification Courses for MDs, NPs and pharmacists
  • Research Fellow
  • Breast Cancer Survivor for 25 years

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