Progesterone is Essential for Women and
by Barbara Minton
all TBYIL articles by Barbara Minton
(The Best Years in Life)
Big Pharma calls their progesterone
substitution drugs 'progestins'. These
are a synthetic attempt to mimic real
progesterone, and it is the most
dangerous of all the hormone
substitution drugs. The havoc wreaked
in the body from progestins is why the
Women's Health Initiative Study was
stopped prematurely after many women
developed devastating side effects from
its use. But nature has supplied us
with an alternative to deadly progestin
drugs for hormone replacement -- safe
and protective natural progesterone. Why
do women and men need progesterone?
Without it there can be no hormone
balance and the body cannot achieve the
health and harmony that is homeostasis.
Optimal levels of progesterone
are essential for balancing estrogen and testosterone. When these and the other
bodily hormones are all in balance, homeostasis is achieved and life is joyous
and filled with energy and zest. Degenerative disease is virtually unheard of.
But the more we veer away from homeostasis, the worse we feel and the closer we
skate to a diagnosis of one or more of the many diseases that plague so many
people as the years go by.
Progesterone is thought of as a
female hormone, but small amounts of it are essential in males where is
influences spermigenesis, sperm reaction and testosterone biosynthesis in Leydig
cells. Progesterone is non-cycling in males and a continuous supply is needed
for its effects on the cardiovascular system, immunity, kidney function, fat
tissue, behavior, and respiratory system.
In women progesterone cycles
just as estrogen does. Progesterone is present only during the second half of
the monthly cycle (the luteal phase), coming on stage like gangbusters just as
estrogen is exiting. This relationship reflects the fact that progesterone is
the primary balancing hormone for the aggressive tendencies of estrogen.
Progesterone is a critical
metabolic intermediary in the production of other endogenous steroid hormones,
including estrogen and testosterone, and the corticosteroids. It plays a big
role in the synthesis of steroids in the brain.
Progesterone is the
principle hormone of gestation
The word 'progesterone' implies
it is the critical hormone during the gestation period. It is made in the
collapsed follicle in the ovaries until either menstruation begins or the
placenta takes charge of continuous production of the hormone during pregnancy.
Progesterone causes the endometrium to receive and nourish the fertilized egg.
If no egg is implanted, progesterone levels drop and the cycle begins anew.
If pregnancy occurs,
progesterone levels remain elevated until birth, when they drop precipitously.
It this plunge that is responsible for the post-partum depression many new
mothers suffer, and it can be alleviated by the use of natural progesterone
The team of estrogen and
progesterone is a strong one
If you have read our article on
estrogen, you probably realize that it works in tandem with progesterone.
Each of these hormones creates a balance for the other in many aspects, one of
which is building healthy bone.
While estrogen slows bone loss,
progesterone stimulates the formation of new bone, and both hormones are
essential to the maintenance and production of healthy bone. The reason bone
drugs such as Fosomax and the other bisphosphonates produce bones that fracture
easily is because they address only one of these functions, the function of
restraining bone loss. They allow old bone to ossify, become brittle and
fracture, the very thing they are advertised to prevent. They do nothing to
stimulate the replacement of old bone with vital new bone growth. Only
progesterone can do that. No matter how many organic fruits and vegetables you
eat, calcium and other supplements you take, or hours spent exercising, you
cannot build healthy bone without progesterone.
And just as unbalanced estrogen
is the hormone of irritability, nagging, obsession, anxiety, agitation and
panic, progesterone calms, relaxes and soothes. It is a best friend for anyone
What else can this amazing
Progesterone helps to prevent
migraines, normalize blood clotting, and improve vascular tone. A good deal of
research has found that having optimal levels of estrogen, progesterone and
testosterone drastically lowers the risk of breast and other cancers, and other
Progesterone helps keep cells
oxygenated, and normalizes blood sugar levels. It also boosts thyroid function,
and decreases inflammation and water retention. Through its function of toning
blood vessels, progesterone can reduce or eliminate the symptoms of chronic
vascular insufficiency, a disease that strikes when progesterone levels are
Having optimal levels of
progesterone helps women to maintain their ideal weight. It is a natural
diuretic and fat burner. If you are gaining weight and feeling bloated in the
days leading up to your period, you are probably very low on progesterone.
Are you showing the symptoms
of progesterone deficiency?
Symptoms of progesterone
deficiency can line up with symptoms of other health issues. But if you are
having several of these symptoms and have passed the age of 28, it is highly
probably that you do not have enough progesterone:
Why are women losing
progesterone at such an early age?
The modern world we live is
filled with substances our ancestors didn't have to cope with. Xenoestrogens
(foreign estrogens) are found throughout our environment in the form of
petroleum products, pharmaceuticals, pesticides and plastics. They are even in
the exhaust from cars and trucks. These exposures can overwhelm progesterone
During embryonic life, we are
especially sensitive to xenoestrogens, and we can develop dysfunctional hormone
systems as a result. Xenoestrogens remain in the body and do not biodegrade as
the estrogen we make naturally does. They stay with us for life, influencing
the functioning of our bodies.
The stress of modern living is
another factor. Stress increases cortisol which can then block the access of
progesterone to its receptors, thus blocking the action of progesterone.
How can we make sure we have
The building block for
progesterone and the other hormones is cholesterol, and blocking cholesterol
with statin drugs ruins hormone production, still one more good reason not to
take them. Having a diet that provides adequate cholesterol (eggs, butter,
bacon, etc) is important.
An herb known as Vitex can help
to lower estrogen and raise progesterone so that the two come into balance. But
this herb works subtly and is usually only effective for women in the early
stages of progesterone decline. After that, supplementing progesterone is a
Watch out for xenoestrogens in
canned food liners and plastic water bottles. Get rid of stored paint cans,
stop microwaving food, and use personal care products that contain only
ingredients you can recognize.
The term 'estrogen dominance'
doesn't mean you have too much estrogen. It means you don't have enough
progesterone. This can be remedied best by using natural progesterone cream
which is bioidentical to the progesterone made in the body. It can be found in
health food stores or online. No prescription is required, and simply follow
the directions on the container.
If you would like to learn more
about progesterone and other steroid hormones, many of the leading specialists
in anti-aging medicine have highly informative websites that include studies.
These are some of the best:
Why Estrogen is a Woman's Friend,
Not Her Enemy
Replacing Lost Hormones is the
Greatest Gift You can Give Yourself
Understand the Great Importance of
Hormones to Your Health
The Whole Truth about Bioidentical
Barbara is a school psychologist and the author of Dividend Capture, a book on personal finance. She is a breast cancer survivor using bioidentical hormone therapy, and a passionate advocate of natural health with hundreds of articles on many aspects of health and wellness. She is the editor and publisher of AlignLife's Health Secrets Newsletter.
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