Natural progesterone, a cholesterol derivative, is made from wild Mexican yams or soybeans whose active ingredients are an exact molecular match of the body's own progesterone. Progesterone is also produced by the ovaries and compliments estrogen. Natural progesterone has far fewer side-effects than the synthetic varieties, called progestines – such as methylprogesterone (Provera).
It is interesting to note that in parts of Asia and South America where women eat either the wild yams or soybeans, the term "hot flash
" doesn't even exist in their languages. They also rarely suffer from the host of female problems presently plaguing Western women. Note, however, that the use of wild yam does not increase progesterone
levels, and does not act as a precursor to progesterone in humans. Soy products contain phytoestrogens
that act by altering tissue responses to estrogen
Dr. John Lee, a medical practitioner, independent researcher and author, has for 15 years conducted independent research into a natural, plant-derived form of progesterone. His non-pharmaceutically-funded research presents a much broader understanding of a woman's hormonal options and offers a totally safe, effective alternative that is free of all side-effects. He has found that this natural hormone – used in conjunction with a good diet and lifestyle changes – is capable of eliminating much of the suffering associated both with premenstrual syndrome
) and menopause
Millions of women in the Western world now use natural progesterone
– generally in the form of a cream which is rubbed into the body. They claim that they not only have relief from female symptoms but experience increased vitality, better skin and renewed emotional balance. Natural progesterone seems to have been totally overlooked by medical science while the erroneous focus has been on estrogen
or synthetic progestins. Considering that it is non-patentable and inexpensive, it is not surprising that this is so. It is well worth having a much greater understanding and appreciation for this remarkable hormone.Synthetic Progesterone
It is important to make the distinction between natural progesterone that is produced by the body and the synthetic progesterone analogues classified as progestins, such as Provera, Duphaston and Primulut. There is a big difference between the two in their effect on the body, although doctors most often use their names interchangeably.
Since natural progesterone is not a patentable product, the pharmaceutical companies have altered it to produce synthetic progestins commonly used in contraceptives and HRT. Synthetic progestins, because they are not exact replicas of the body's natural progesterone, unfortunately create a long list of side-effects, some of which are quite severe. A partial list includes headaches, depression
, fluid retention, increased risk of birth defects and early abortion, liver
dysfunction, breast tenderness, breakthrough bleeding, acne
, hirsutism (hair growth), insomnia, edema
, weight changes, pulmonary embolism
and premenstrual-like syndrome. [Lee, John R., M.D., Slowing the Aging Process with Natural Progesterone, BLL Publishing, California, USA, 1994, p.12.
Most importantly, progestins lack the intrinsic physiological benefits of progesterone, thus they cannot function in the major biosynthetic pathways as progesterone does and they disrupt many fundamental processes in the body. Progesterone is an essential hormone that also plays a part in the development of healthy nerve cells and brain and thyroid
function. Progestins tend to block the body's ability to produce and utilize natural progesterone to maintain these life-promoting functions.
Without adequate knowledge, education and access to natural products, women have been easy prey to the powerful campaigns of the multinational drug companies that have convinced doctors as well as governments of their claims. It is becoming more evident that women's interests are not always best met through such a biased approach. It is also not unusual for profits to take precedence over health and well being. The last thing a woman needs is to have her natural bodily functions denigrated to deficiency diseases – thus necessitating ongoing medical attention.
The greatest weapon against compliance and ignorance is knowledge. It's time to ask poignant questions of your health provider, to demand answers and to be willing to investigate safe, alternative approaches. It is apparent that women will need to participate in educating their doctors about the other choices that exist as well as the ones that they prefer. Certainly, women have it well within their own power not only to find safe, natural and effective ways to heal themselves but to live long, full lives, preserving their vitality, youthfulness and health.
The natural progesterone
available in cream form at health food stores typically contains 20 to 25mg progesterone per dose. Progesterone is also available for oral use, but must be specially prepared and is more expensive than creams.
Micronized progesterone, Prometrium®, works as well but is more costly. Prometrium® is available in a 100 and 200mg capsule.
Why it is Recommended
increases libido, prevents cancer of the womb, protects against fibrocystic breast disease, helps protect against breast cancer, maintains the uterus
lining, hydrates and oxygenates the skin, reverses facial hair growth and hair thinning, acts as a natural diuretic
, helps eliminate depression
and increase a sense of well being, encourages fat burning and the use of stored energy, normalizes blood clotting, and is a precursor to other important stress and sex hormones. Sometimes, even the two most prevalent menopausal
symptoms – hot flashes
and vaginal dryness – may disappear with applications of natural progesterone
, though it may take many months.
Natural Progesterone has been used for the treatment of arthritis
and varicose veins
. Some of the progesterone will be absorbed systemically, but the highest concentration is sustained in the local area, helping to correct the problem. Intravaginal application of progesterone cream provides higher doses where needed in cases of endometriosis
and ovarian cysts
Hormone levels may need to be tested prior to hormone cream use. Your doctor should know whether testing is necessary or not. Progesterone
levels are best taken approximately seven days before menstruation
testing of hormone levels may not be accurate once hormone creams are used.
Progesterone is a prescription drug and 100mg a day, every day, rather than cycling is recommended in women. Your doctor may prescribe doses of up to 100mg or more. A reputable researcher, Ray Peat, Ph.D. claims that progesterone dissolved in Vitamin E
is far better absorbed than other types/forms.
Progesterone used vaginally targets the uterus
and is absorbed systemically as well. For the topical
treatment of sun-damaged skin, acne
wrinkles, etc., progesterone in oil and especially with vitamin E can be applied directly to the affected area.
Side-Effects; Counter-Indicators and Warnings
is not known to have any toxic levels to date.
Some women who take progesterone experience unpleasant PMS-like symptoms. Individuals who have had significant premenstrual symptoms while they were premenopausal
are more likely to be affected. Changing the type of progesterone, the dose, the route of administration and the length of treatment can lessen this effect.CAUTION:
If you are using progesterone
cream and think you may be pregnant, suddenly stopping could cause a miscarriage