The Gland Illusion

Early Attempts at Rejuvenation through Male Hormone Therapy


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About the Book

Testosterone and estrogen treatments are common today, but in the late 19th and early 20th centuries the discovery of sex gland secretions led both physicians and the public to believe they had found the secret to bodily rejuvenation. This led to bizarre human experimentation involving injections of glandular fluid, ingestion of glandular tissues and the transplanting of testes and ovaries. Stranger still, the treatments supposedly worked, with both men and women reporting enhanced vitality. Only later would the truth about these placebo-induced results be brought to light. This book explores the early history and practices of “organotherapy” and how it provided important scientific insights despite its pseudoscientific nature.

About the Author(s)

John B. Nanninga, M.D., is a retired urologist who lives in Winnetka, Illinois.

Bibliographic Details

John B. Nanninga, M.D.
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 220
Bibliographic Info: 12 photos, appendices, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2017
pISBN: 978-1-4766-6612-9
eISBN: 978-1-4766-2659-8
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments v
Preface 1
Introduction 4
1. Glands 11
2. Dr. Victor Darwin Lespinasse 20
3. Dr. George Frank Lydston, Jr. 30
4. Dr. Leo Leonidas Stanley: West Coast Offense 46
5. Dr. Serge Voronoff and Monkey Glands 61
6. Dr. Eugen Steinach and Vasectomy 84
7. Dr. John R. Brinkley and Goat Glands 94
8. Quacks 118
9. Placebo Effect 127
10. Estrogen 136
11. Testosterone 147
12. The Fountain of Youth 156
13. ­Direct-to-Consumer Advertising 161
A. Daily Schedule of Station KFKB, Milford, Kansas 177
B. Stenographic Notes of a Talk by Dr. John R. Brinkley—November 8, 1933 178
C. Stenographic Notes of a Talk by Dr. John R. Brinkley—November 9, 1933 179
D. The Consulate in Piedras Negras Reporting on Brinlkey 182
E. Brinkley’s Accumulation of Wealth 183
Chapter Notes 184
Bibliography 202
Index 207