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"Health Brief - The Front Line of Alternative Medicine Natural Progesterone A cream that cuts the risk of osteoporosis and subdues PMS."
by Jack Challem

Progesterone, a principal female reproductive hormone, naturally balances estrogen, a second female hormone. Many women have excess estrogen, which increases the risk of breast and endometrial cancer and osteoporosis and can  worsen premenstrual syndrome (PMS). To balance progesterone/  estrogen levels, many doctors prescribe synthetic progesterone,  progestin, which has side effects. Natural progesterone’s side  effects are minimal.

Why Too Much Estrogen 

A high-fat, low-fiber diet promotes the growth of bacteria in the intestines. These bacteria break down estrogen into forms that are  reabsorbed into the bloodstream instead of being eliminated. High- fiber diets, on the other hand, promote estrogen’s elimination. A healthy liver converts estrogen to less active, noncarcinogenic forms. However, consuming too much alco-hol, sugar, fat, and caffeine causes the more active forms of estrogen to re-circulate through the body.  

Therapeutic Claims 

John R. Lee, M.D., says that takine natural progesterone lowers the risk of osteo-porosis, PMS, fibrocystic breast con-ditions, ovarian  cysts, miscarriage, menopausal symptoms,  and breast and endometrial cancer. Evidence that natural. progesterone tions and menopausal symptoms is based on the clinical findings of Lee and other physicians. Evidence that it prevents osteoporosis and cancer is based on the common scientific understanding that estrogen and progesterone must be in balance to prevent bone loss and certain cancers.

Where it comes from 

Most natural progesterone is made from dios-genin, a plant sterol abundant in the Mexican yam (Dioscorea villosa). Manu-facturers convert diosgenin to the identical progesterone molecule that the body produces.

Side Effects 

Some side effects of synthetic progestin in-clude bloating, head-ache, fatigue, weight gain, and depres-sion, and it can actually increase the symptoms of PMS. According to Lee, natural progesterone causes no side effects in the dosages he recommends. 

Dosage and How to Use 

Lee recommends a cream (avail-able in health food stores) that contains 475 mg of progesterone per ounce. (Plain Mexi-can yam creams contain only diosgenin, not progesterone; the body on its own cannot convert diosgenin into progesterone.) Lee suggests that women apply a small amount of the progesterone cream daily, from days 12 through 26 of their menstrual cycle, to their breasts and buttocks. Alternate the side of the body every four days. Use about one ounce of cream during the fifteen-day period. Some women need more to relieve symptoms, and others less. The amount needed may decrease over time, and you may discontinue its use after a year or two to see how you do without it.

Jack Challem is the coauthor Of The Natural Health Guide to Beating the Supergerms (Pocket Books, 1997). “Progesterone cream is wonderful.” Menopause was pretty much hell For Joan Beckmeyer, fifty-two, of , Somerville, New Jersey. “Duringthe day, I had the mod incredible hot Flashes you could imagine,” Beckmeyer says. “And at night, I had these sweats that Ieft me also-lutely drenched. I’d wake up and have to clean up No Sweat: Natural my soggy body.” progesterone helped Beckmeyer Joan Beckmeyer end was otherwise in nightly drenching good health and menopausal sweats. steadfastly avoided drugs prescribed by her physician. But she was also practically at wit’s end and was considering succumbing to synthetic estrogen and progestin.

Then, a Friend recommended that she read Dr. John R. Lee’s book, What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Menopause. It made sense to her, and she began using a natural progesterone cream. “For the first month or two, I didn’t notice any change,” Beckmeyer recalls. “Then, during the third month, I realized that I hadn’t gotten up that night with a terrible sweat. And then I stopped having hot flashes during the day. “Not only that-l Feel a lot better. too.” she adds. "I have a lot more ener-gy. The progesterone cream is just won-derful, and I’m no longer embarrassed to sleep over at Friends’ houses.”


Environmental, epidemiological and clinical data indicate that pmgesterone is active in promoting bone formation and has great utility in many deficient, chronic medical conditions. Timely treatment with transdermal natural progesterone, appropriate nutritional supplementation exercise and healthy lifestyle improvements can eliminate the scurge of osteoporosis and its sequela. 

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