Progesterone: A Key Ingredient for Optimal Health

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There seems to be a common misconception among physicians and patients that all hormones are the same.  Of course,   this is not true, but it shows the pharmaceutical propaganda machine is working. The basic difference between chemical   hormones and natural hormones is that one has side-effects and the other does not. This is because side-effects are a   property of drugs not foods. Consequently, it follows that hormones obtained from natural food sources, also known as   “bio-identical hormones,” do not have the same negative effects associated with synthetic hormone drug products.

The most common prescription hormone drugs include various forms of estrogen and progestin, a synthetic progesterone   that acts more like estrogen than progesterone. Female patients are typically prescribed these synthetic hormone drugs to   help with their menstrual cycle or menopause. In general, estrogen has a very broad physiological role for males as well   as females. The effects of estrogen include, but are not limited to, the following: water retention, aging, stress, memory   loss, hypoglycemia, increased fat, hypothyroidism, miscarriage, infertility, uterine fibroids, blood clotting, vascular spasm,   increased cholesterol, gall bladder disease, and cancer.

The main cause of hormone-related health problems in women is not due to the absolute deficiency of estrogen or   progesterone but rather the relative dominance of estrogen and relative deficiency of progesterone. For this reason,   hormone replacement therapy (HRT) with estrogen alone without an opposing progesterone, such as the prescription   drug Premarin, should be avoided. This chemicalized hormonal substitute differs from the natural estrogen in one’s body   and contributes to increased estrogen. Increased estrogen, in turn, increases the risk of DNA damage, cancer (e.g.,   endometrial, breast cancer, etc.), and estrogen dominance. Other contributing factors to excess estrogen include adrenal   fatigue, environmental estrogen, obesity, stress, poor diet, and lack of exercise.

Estrogen excess may result in such common maladies as depression, weight gain insomnia, anxiety, blood sugar   imbalance, migraine headaches, and chronic fatigue due to adrenal gland exhaustion. Moreover, stress can result not   only in adrenal gland exhaustion, but reduced progesterone output and increased estrogen production. A further reduction   in progesterone output contributes to all the problems associated estrogen dominance (“Acute stress persistently   enhances estrogen levels in the female rat,” Shors et al., Stress. 3(2):163-71, 1999

Interestingly, nature has provided us with progesterone, which acts as an antagonist to estrogen. For example, estrogen   stimulates breast cysts while progesterone protects against breast cysts. Estrogen enhances salt and water retention   while progesterone is a natural diuretic. Estrogen is associated with breast and endometrial cancers, while progesterone   has a cancer preventive effect. In fact, studies have shown that premenopausal women deficient in progesterone had 5.4   times the risk of breast cancer compared to healthy women (“Breast cancer incidence in women with a history of   progesterone deficiency,” Cowan et al., Am J Epidemiol, 114(2):209-17, Aug 1981).

Here are some answers to frequently asked questions that patients have about progesterone:

1. Is progesterone supplementation safe? Yes. No side effects have been attributed to natural progesterone in either   the scientific or medical literature. While large doses of estrogen have been found to destroy certain areas of the   adrenal cortex, large doses of progesterone have been shown to have anti-stress effects without harming the   adrenals.

2. Should I take progesterone if I’m pregnant? A “Medical News” item in a 1976 issue of JAMA reports a study   showing that progesterone probably plays a critical role in preventing rejection of the fetus by the mother. Its use   before and during pregnancy is also associated with a reduced incidence of birth defects.  Studies in animals have   also shown that prenatal progesterone increases brain size, which is associated with a long life.  Conversely, excess   estrogen reduces brain size and damages behavior, which may, in turn, adversely affect a subsequent generation   (“The Epigenetics of Sex Differences in the Brain,” McCarthy et al.J Neurosci. 2009 Oct 14; 29(41):12815–12823).

3. Can I use progesterone for weight loss? Yes. The primary reasons for using progesterone for weight loss purposes   are to decrease the effects of insulin and adrenaline. This is because insulin transports sugar into the fat tissue for   storage which, in turn, stimulates the release of adrenaline to raise sugar levels again creating a positive feedback   loop. Consequently, as the episodes of hypoglycemia decrease the production of adrenaline to counteract   hypoglycemia also decreases. Decreased adrenaline means that less sugar is produced, less insulin is needed for   storing sugar as fat, and thus, more weight can be lost.

4. Does progesterone help with insomnia? Yes. Progesterone, which is most highly concentrated in the brain tissue,   increases GABA production in the brain which, in turn, promotes sleep.

5. What is the recommended daily dosage of progesterone? The physiologic dose of progesterone for the non-  pregnant female is 10-50 mg/day and 10 mg/day in the post-menopausal female. Pregnenolone, a precursor to   progesterone, may be taken as anywhere from 30-150 mg/day for women whereas the physiologic of pregnenolone   for a man is 5-10 mg/day. In general, the best time to use progesterone for weight loss is 1-3 minutes before eating.

by Daniel F. Royal, DO, HMD, JD Owner of the Royal Medical Clinic, Henderson, NV

“The Greatest Health of Your Life”℠

Boston Testosterone Partners
National Testosterone Restoration for Men
Wellness & Preventative Medicine

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New Research Shows Natural Progesterone Can Help Treat Breast Cancer (Part 2)

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This article is republished courtesy of The Official Website of John R. Lee, M.D. If you missed part one of the article, read it here.

A Recipe for Beating (and Preventing) Breast Cancer

The latest research on natural progesterone and breast cancer clearly indicates how important it is for women to maintain healthy, normal levels of progesterone that are in proper balance with estrogen. Doing so could not only increase many womens’ chances of recovering from breast cancer – as the latest research indicates – but could also help them to avoid getting breast cancer in the first place.

As Dr. Lee and Dr. Zava point out in their book, hormonal imbalances have reached epidemic proportions in most developed countries over the last several decades. Due to poor diets, lack of exercise, a rise in obesity levels, the widespread use of hormone-altering chemicals, and other factors, many women suffer from chronically higher than normal estrogen levels and much lower than normal progesterone levels. In other words, many women are in chronic states of estrogen dominance. This is one of the key reasons why breast cancer rates are as high as they are.

Considering the epidemic levels of hormonal imbalance we are experiencing, how can a woman know if her progesterone and estrogen levels are in proper balance? If they are out of balance, how can she return them to proper balance and maintain them in that all-important state? Dr. Lee and Dr. Zava answered these questions in their landmark book: What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Breast Cancer. While it is not possible here to cover everything they wrote, here is a short summary of their recommendations.

  • Check yourself for symptoms of estrogen dominance. While being estrogen dominant is bad news, the good news is that it usually leaves a clear trail of symptoms. To find out if you may be estrogen dominant, read Dr. Lee’s list of estrogen dominance symptoms. If you find that you have a number of the symptoms on this list, chances are good that you are suffering from this syndrome.
  • Get your hormone levels tested. While symptoms are good indicators of hormonal imbalances, the most decisive tool for identifying imbalances is a hormone test. As a general rule, Dr. Lee and Dr. Zava recommended that women who are concerned about breast cancer test at least five hormones. These are estradiol (the most potent estrogen in the human body and the one most frequently linked to breast cancer), progesterone, testosterone, cortisol, and DHEA-S.
  • Work with doctors who are trained in the use of natural hormones. Beating breast cancer is a team effort, so build a team that will support rather than thwart your quest for hormone balance. While growing numbers of doctors are becoming aware of the value of natural hormones, many have not kept up with the latest research and may resist your suggestions.
  • When needed, take physiological doses of bioidentical progesterone and other bioidentical hormones to restore proper balance. When it comes to taking natural hormone supplements, it is critical to remember that more is not better. The goal is to return hormone levels to what would be considered normal for a healthy person. In most cases, this means taking relatively small amounts of bioidentical hormones and regularly reevaluating hormone levels through saliva testing. Many women find after testing their hormones that all they need is some bioidentical progesterone to establish proper balances between the major hormones. Others, however, find that they may need to add other natural hormone supplements to achieve balance and get adequate symptom relief. A good doctor who understands and is trained in the use and prescribing of natural hormones can advise you on your supplement strategy and help you consider your options.
  • Eliminate hormone-altering chemicals and xenohormones from your life. Every day, our bodies are exposed to toxic chemicals that did not exist just a decade or two ago. There are synthetic hormones in the foods we eat, pesticides in our air and water, and estrogen-like compounds in many of the products we use every day. Many of these chemicals and xenohormones are known cancer-causing agents. Fortunately, we can sharply reduce our exposure to these substances and dramatically reduce their presence in our bodies. What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Breast Cancer identifies the sources of these chemicals and offers concrete advice for avoiding them.
  • Use diet and exercise to support hormone balance. Our modern diets are heavily tilted towards foods that promote obesity and estrogen dominance. Our sedentary lifestyles only reinforce this problem. Both women and men can benefit from reducing their intake of sugars, refined carbohydrates, and foods that are high in trans-fatty acids while increasing their intake of organic, cruciferous (e.g. cauliflower, broccoli, brussel sprouts) vegetables, fruits, and fiber. They can also benefit from regular, moderate exercise, which helps metabolize and eliminate excess estrogens.
  • Keep educating yourself, for you are your best health advocate. When it comes to preventing or fighting breast cancer in your body, you have every right to be the leading decision maker. Dr. Lee and Dr. Zava firmly believed this and wrote What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Breast Cancer for patients as well as their doctors. The book contains a wealth of information that can help you make important decisions with your doctor. For instance, if your doctor is recommending you take an estrogen inhibitor such as Tamoxifen, the book can help you weigh the pros and cons of using such drugs as well as chemotherapy, radiation, and other treatment options. So we encourage you to read it carefully and discuss it with your doctor. In addition, we encourage you to read the free articles about breast cancer on The Official Website of John R. Lee, M.D. as well as the references listed at the end of this article.

Thanks to the latest research, we have further proof that Dr. Lee and Dr. Zava were ahead of their time when they said that natural hormone balance could help prevent and treat breast cancer. We support you in learning from them, putting what you learn into practice, and sharing what you learn with your family, friends, and doctors.

 References

Mohammed, Hisham, et al “Progesterone receptor modulates ER-a action in breast cancer,” Nature 2015; 523; 313-317. Click here for abstract.

Perks, Bea “Progesterone receptor could slow breast cancer growth,” Pharmaceutical Journal, PJ 17 Jul 2015. Click here to read.

Please contact us for more information on our bioidentical therapies.

“The Greatest Health of Your Life”℠

Boston Testosterone Partners
National Testosterone Restoration for Men
Wellness & Preventative Medicine