November 06, 2006 12:00 PM

Suzanne Somers’ Ageless

In her latest, best-selling author Somers, 60, touts a treatment called “bioidentical hormone therapy” as the true youth dew. But seven docs warn against some of her advice. Keen to enter the debate? A cheat sheet:

WHAT’S BIOIDENTICAL HRT? “Non-drug therapies,” says Somers, “that are exact replicas” of hormones that drop during menopause. Unlike some HRT drugs, they’re plant based.

WHY DID DOCS SLAM AGELESS? Arguing that part of her book promotes “a ‘one-size-fits-all approach,’ endorsing dangerously high levels of estrogen,” critics—including Diana Schwarzbein, M.D., an endocrinologist who has treated Somers—claim that the protocol she follows is “unproven” and that “not all women need to supplement their hormones.”

MEDICAL ASSOCIATION Somers claims her “antiaging bible” is based on interviews with 16 doctors. “I’ve explained different ways they’re giving bioidentical HRT. I let women decide what resonates for them.”

CAVEAT LECTOR Schwarzbein “applauds” Somers for spreading the news about BHRT but adds, “If you want to say [your own regimen] worked for you, great. But please don’t make it sound scientific.”

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