Progesterone plays an essential role at all stages of a woman’s life. Supplementing with natural progesterone - bioidentical to that produced by the body – offers multiple health benefits, particularly around the time of the menopause. And it is actually important for men’s health too …
Natural progesterone is extracted by enzymatic modification of diosgenin, a saponin found in wild yam. While it is often highlighted as an effective remedy for period pains and for relieving pre-menstrual syndrome, its effects are by no means limited to this stage of a woman’s life.
It corrects peri-menopausal hormone imbalances
Natural progesterone cream offers a simple way of replacing this key hormone which declines naturally as the menopause approaches, and sometimes well before.
Natural progesterone cream can safely correct peri- or post-menopausal hormone imbalances at their source and thus improve almost all associated symptoms (swollen breasts and bloated tummy, night sweats, hot flushes, loss of well-being, depression …) It can relieve climacteric symptoms in menopausal women by significantly reducing the number and intensity of hot flushes. This has been shown in multiple studies, with efficacy shown in more than three-quarters of participants ( 1
In conjunction with specially-selected plant extracts (Vitex agnus castus, Phlomus umbrosa, Cynanchum wilfordii, Angelica gigas nakai, Norwegian spruce, hop
) natural progesterone stabilises fluctuations in hormones by restoring the oestrogen/progesterone ratio, and thus provides long-lasting relief to menopausal symptoms, with no side-effects.
It helps prevent osteoporosis
In a three-year study2
conducted by Dr. John Lee, in which women with an average age of 65 were treated with natural progesterone cream, bone density was found to increase by 15.4%. Over the same period, a 4.5% loss of bone density was observed in untreated women.
The US Food and Drug Administration subsequently approved funding for a randomised, double-blind study on the use of natural progesterone cream to prevent osteoporosis. Women in the study were monitored for between one and five years post-menopause, the period during which bone loss is most rapid. After one year, the benefits of natural progesterone were so clear that the study abandoned its ‘double-blind’ status. In contrast to those in the placebo group, no woman treated with natural progesterone experienced a loss of bone density 2
Natural progesterone thus stimulates the formation of new bone cells, essential for preventing and reversing osteoporosis, and also appears to increase levels of IGF-1 which promotes bone formation3
It constitutes an all-round anti-ageing aid for women…
… For cardiovascular health
With its ability to increase sodium excretion in urine, natural progesterone has a mild diuretic effect. Studies examining this effect have demonstrated its capacity to ease water retention and even lower blood pressure. This effect is only seen with natural progesterone. Scientists have observed endothelial disruption, platelet activation and blood clot formation with synthetic progesterone but never with the natural form4
… For preventing some forms of cancer
Some data suggests that natural progesterone may be a protective agent as well as a potential adjunct treatment for breast and endometrial cancer. While oestrogen promotes cell proliferation, causing cells to multiply in the breast and endometrium, progesterone has no such effect. In a study conducted by the National Taiwan University Hospital, researchers showed that transdermal oestradiol increased breast cell proliferation by 230% while transdermal progesterone lowered it by 400 %5
Also benefits men
Healthy males naturally produce 1.5mg of progesterone a day via the adrenal glands. But as is the case for almost all steroid hormones, levels decline with age. Benign prostatic hyperplasia and prostate cancer are associated with excess oestrogen. Progesterone inhibits the activity of aromatase, an enzyme which converts testosterone into oestrogenic compounds that can trigger mutagenic changes in prostate cells.
Progesterone ensures levels of dihydrotestosterone (DHT) in the blood and prostate remain low by competing with 5-alpha-reductase and thus preventing some testosterone from being converted into the more powerful male hormone, DHT. The progesterone is converted into 5-alpha-dihydro-progesterone and the testosterone remains testosterone. Excess levels of DHT may be responsible for male baldness.
Finally, as progesterone serves as a substrate for the production of important hormones such as cortisol, androstenedione and testosterone, a lack of progesterone is often accompanied by deficiencies in cortisol and androgens.
How to benefit from its effects
Natural progesterone cream should be applied regularly twice a day to the neck, chest, behind the knees or on the inner arms or thighs, changing the application site each time. Pre-menopausal women can use it daily during the last two weeks of their cycle and menopausal women can alternate application – two weeks on and two weeks off.
Free from side-effects
Natural progesterone cream is produced from the saponins of plants such as yams, which are particularly rich in diosgenin, a progesterone precursor. It has an identical molecular structure to that of the hormones produced naturally by the body.
The cream is completely safe for transdermal use and is very effective due to its highly lipophilic (fat-soluble) molecules and low molecular weight which makes it easily absorbed through the skin. Some creams offer a liposome penetration system. Liposomes are lipid microspheres which enable the active principles to be transported through the layers of the skin much more easily than the large molecules of traditional creams. And natural progesterone-based sprays are available that deliver exactly the doses required for restoring desired physiological levels.
Natural progesterone is thus rapidly absorbed by subcutaneous fat and slowly released into the bloodstream without interception by the liver. Serum progesterone levels revert to normal after a few weeks’ use and then stabilise because of the body’s affinity for this natural hormone. There is no need to see a therapist to adjust the dose – simply have an annual or bi-annual blood test.
Stephenson K. et al., Progesterone cream does not increase thrombotic and inflammatory factors in postmenopausal women, Blood, 2004, 104:16.
Lee JR. Is natural Progesterone the missing link in osteoporosis prevention and treatment ? Medical hypotheses, 1991, 35 : 316-318
Barengolts E.L. et al., Effects of progesterone on serum levels of IGF-1 and on femur IGF-1 mRNA in ovariectomized rats, J. Bone Miner Res., 1996 Oct, 11 (10):1406-12.
Thomas T. et al., Progestins initiate adverse events of menopausal estrogen therapy, Climateric, 2003 Dec, 6(4):265-267.
Chang K.J. et al., Influences of percutaneous administration of oestradiol and progesterone on human breast epithelial cell cycle in vivo, Fertile Steril., 1995 Apr, 63(4):785-91.