Bioidentical Hormones 101 
The Book, by Jeffrey Dach MD

Chapter 16. Newsweek Attacks Oprah and BioIdentical Hormones

Newsweek Attacks Oprah Winfrey and BioIdentical HormonesChapter 16. Newsweek Attacks Oprah and Bioidentical Hormones

An attack article appeared in Newsweek attacking Oprah Winfrey and Bioidentical Hormones. Why should Newsweek attack Oprah Winfrey? (1)  Oprah's TV show advocates Natural Medicine and Bioidentical Hormones in direct competition to the interests of the Pharmaceutical Industry and their synthetic hormones.  In case you haven’t noticed, these are bad times for print media with declining readership caused by competition from the Internet.  Newsweek is starving, a magazine described as “an infomercial masquerading as medical news” and “an example of corruption in journalism".  Perhaps Newsweek is merely an attack dog for the drug industry, with a typical Newsweek issue representing $2 million in pharmaceutical advertising revenue. (2-5)

Newsweek: a Desperate Mouthpiece for the Pharmaceutical Industry

Five national consumer organizations have complained about Newsweek charging Newsweek with unethical journalism in the promotion of the drug industry's agenda.  Specifically, Newsweek ran a special edition, entitled Health for Life, paid for by the drug industry's PhRMA.  Newsweek promotes a biased drug agenda, all the while pretending to be impartial and objective.  This is truly deceptive. (6-8)

Oprah is Immensely Popular

With a large personal fortune, and 40 million weekly TV viewers, Oprah Winfrey is immensely popular.  Her O magazine sells 2 million copies a month.  I suggest Oprah’s popularity comes directly from championing the interests of the people.  In this case, Oprah has championed Natural Medicine and Bioidentical Hormones, topics which are immensely popular with the public.  Is Oprah hurt or concerned about the Newsweek article? In this new day of viral marketing, any publicity is good publicity, including this Newsweek hatchet job article.  I suspect Oprah is laughing all the way to the bank.

Newsweek is an Infomercial Masquerading as Medical News

For those of you interested in the actual details of the Newsweek errors, distortions and deceptions, I have itemized a few of them for you below:

1)      Newsweek says: "bioidentical hormones are unregulated". This is an outright falsehood. Compounded bioidentical hormones are highly regulated at the state levels. Just walk into a pharmacy and ask the pharmacist in charge about the regulations.  There are literally hundreds of them.   And yes, bio-identical hormones ARE FDA approved.  The following table contains a list of FDA-approved bio-identical hormone commercial products available at the drugstore commonly used to treat menopause and andropause:

Hormone Product

Year of FDA Approval


Alora (estradiol):

FDA approved 1996

Watson Labs

Climara (estradiol):

FDA approved 1994


FemPatch : (estradiol)

FDA approved 1997

Parke Davis

Vivelle-Dot (estradiol):

FDA approved 1994


Estraderm: (estradiol)

FDA approved 1986


Esclim: (estradiol)

FDA approved 1998

Women's First Healthcare

Estrace (estradiol):

FDA approved 1993

Bristol Myers Squibb

Estring: (estradiol)

FDA approved 1996

Pharmacia UpJohn

Prometrium (progesterone):

FDA approved 1998

Solvay Pharmaceuticals

Crinone: (progesterone)

FDA approved 1997

Columbia Labs

AndroGel (testosterone):

FDA approved 1999

Unimed / Abbott

Testim (testosterone):

FDA approved 2002



FDA Approved Bioidentical Hormone Products:

Estradiol products: Estrace, Progynova, Estrofem, Alora, Climara, Vivelle, Vivelle-Dot, Menostar, Estraderm, Estrasorb Topical, Estrogel, Elestrin, Lunelle Estring, Femring.

Progesterone products: Prometrium, Utrogestan, Minagest, Microgest, Crinone, Prochieve, Cyclogest .

Testosterone products: Testoderm, Androderm, AndroGel, Testim.


The Newsweek deception is this: Newsweek says,” there is no FDA approval for Compounded hormones.”  Yes, this is correct.  That's because compounded products are not required to be FDA approved.  Instead, compounding is regulated by state and local regulatory agencies.  For example, every time you receive intravenous antibiotics medications at the hospital, this is a compounded drug which is NON-FDA approved.  Compounding is here to stay.

2) Newsweek says: "Somers is simply repackaging the old, discredited idea that menopause is some kind of hormone-deficiency disease, and that restoring them will bring back youth," says Dr. Nanette Santoro, director of reproductive endocrinology at Albert Einstein College of Medicine and head of the Reproductive Medicine Clinic at Montefiore Medical Center."  This statement is another outright falsehood.  Menopause is characterized by hormone deficiency, and this is the absolute truth proven by lab tests I see every day. This idea has not been discredited.  Well, maybe Newsweek wants the public to think so. 

 3) Newsweek says: "Hormone therapy can increase a woman's risk of heart attacks, strokes, blood clots and cancer".  Here we see a typical switch tactic by Newsweek.  Newsweek is attempting to confuse the public about two very different types of hormones.  Yes, Newsweek is correct that synthetic monster hormones (such as Provera) are associated with cancer and heart disease. However, Newsweek has not told the public the truth that bio-identical hormones are safe and are not associated with increased risk of cancer or heart disease.  Obviously that would displease their drug industry masters.

3) Newsweek says: "And despite Somers' claim that her non-FDA-approved bioidenticals are "natural" and safer, they are actually synthetic, just like conventional hormones and FDA-approved bioidenticals from pharmacies—and there are no conclusive clinical studies showing they are less risky. "  Newsweek is trying to confuse the public into believing that synthetic chemically altered hormones (provera) are the same as bioidentical hormones.  They are not.  Synthetic means chemically altered, and this creates a monster hormone causing cancer and heart disease.  Bio-identical Hormones are not chemically altered.  They are identical to the hormones in the human body. The medical literature is replete with studies showing that bioidentical hormones are safe and effective, while, on the other hand, the chemically altered synthetic hormones are monsters and should never have been approved for human use.

4) Newsweek says:"Unless a woman has significant discomfort from hot flashes—and most women don't—there is little reason to prescribe them."   Newsweek is wrong again.  Hot flashes are only one of many symptoms of estrogen deficiency.  Other symptoms include vaginal dryness, sweats, difficulty sleeping, cognitive dysfunction, menopausal arthritis etc.  These are all valid symptoms and good reasons for prescribing bioidentical hormones.

5) This Newsweek article also provided misinformation about iodine supplementation, an essential mineral added to table salt since 1924.  This means that since 1924, the nation has supplemented with iodine in the form of iodized salt.  Supplementation with Iodine is safe and beneficial for health, and highly recommended.  For more information, see the chapter on Iodine and Breast Cancer Prevention.

Articles with related interest:

BioIdentical Hormones Trashed by AP News

Bioidentical Hormones According to the LA Times

Ten Bioidentical Hormone Fallacies

For references and links, see my web site:

References for Chapter 16. Newsweek Attacks Oprah and BioIdentical Hormones

(1) Newsweek. Live Your Best Life Ever! Wish Away Cancer! Get A Lunchtime Face-Lift! Eradicate Autism! Turn Back The Clock! Thin Your Thighs! Cure Menopause! Harness Positive Energy! Erase Wrinkles! Banish Obesity! Live Your Best Life Ever! By Weston Kosova and Pat Wingert, NEWSWEEK, Published May 30, 2009  From the magazine issue dated Jun 8, 2009

(2) Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Is REAL Medical Science, Not Entertainment Medicine by C.W. Randolph, Jr., M.D., Medical Director of the Natural Hormone Institute.

Mainstream Medicine and the Oprah Factor by Deepak ChopraAuthor, Sirius radio host, founder of the Alliance for a New Humanity Posted: June 9, 2009  

(4) Did Anyone Else Think The Newsweek Photo of Oprah Was Misogynistic? And Just Plain Dumb? by Claire Shipman and Katty Kay

(5)  Pat Wingert. Coming to Newsweek after a nine-year journalism career in Chicago, Wingert had worked as a reporter for The Chicago Tribune from 1985 to 1986 and The Chicago Sun-Times from 1977 to 1984..

Newsweek’s Newspeak: Pharma’s Weapon Against Oprah By Jake Crosby  Jake Crosby is a history student at Brandeis University

(7) Press Statement. CONSUMER GROUPS CRITICIZE NEWSWEEK FOR TRANSGRESSING ETHICAL BOUNDS BY WORKING WITH THE PHARMACEUTICAL DRUG LOBBY. Drug Lobby's Exclusive Sponsorship of Newsweek's Special Health Edition and Other Joint Efforts Improperly Aided Drug Lobby's Agenda, Groups Claim

(8) Consumer Groups Criticize Newsweek for Transgressing Ethical Bounds by Working with the Pharmaceutical Drug Lobby

(9) MARCH 16, 2009 The Truth About Hormone Therapy Wall Street Journal By Erika Schwartz, Kent Holtorf, and David Brownstein.

Newsweek May Stop Weekly Circulation January 17 2009

Can Newsweek relight the readership flame? The newsweekly aims to carve out a perch among its many competitors with a new, deeper focus. But dwindling circulation in the magazine industry points to a tough battle ahead. LA TIMES , James Rainey May 20, 2009.

Newsweek on Oprah: Pot calling the kettle black when it comes to bioidentical hormones? Dr. Mitchell Matez, D.O. Sanctuary Medical Aesthetic Center, Boca Raton.

(13) You Go, Oprah! by Jeanne

Two Scariest Women on the Planet - Oprah and Suzanne by Suzanne Somers 6/4/2009

Postgraduate Medicine: Volume 121: No.1 Jan 2009.
The Bioidentical Hormone Debate:Are Bioidentical Hormones (Estradiol, Estriol, and Progesterone) Safer or More Efficacious than Commonly Used Synthetic Versions in Hormone Replacement Therapy?  Kent Holtorf, MD 

Jeffrey Dach MD
7450 Griffin Road Suite 190
Davie, Florida 33314

For Disclaimer: Click Here
The reader is advised to discuss the comments on these pages with  his/her personal physicians and to only act upon the advice of his/her personal physician. Also note that concerning an answer which appears as an electronically posted question, I am NOT creating a physician — patient relationship.

Although identities will remain confidential as much as possible, as I can not control the media, I can not take responsibility for any breaches of confidentiality that may occur.

Copyright (c) 2014 Jeffrey Dach MD All Rights Reserved
This article may be reproduced on the internet without permission, provided there is a link to this page and proper credit is given.

FAIR USE NOTICE: This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of issues of significance. We believe this constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes.

Serving Areas of: Hollywood, Aventura, Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Pembroke Pines, Miramar, Davie, Coral Springs, Cooper City, Sunshine Ranches, Hallandale, Surfside, Miami Beach, Sunny Isles, Normandy Isles, Coral Gables, Hialeah, Golden Beach ,Kendall,sunrise, coral springs, parkland,pompano, boca raton, palm beach, weston, dania beach, tamarac, oakland park, boynton beach, delray,lake worth,wellington,plantation

Website Builder