Aging Process

Estrogen and, more recently, progesterone replacements are anti-aging strategies with which most of us are more or less familiar.

Natural progesterone is one of the body's most important hormones. It has benefits far beyond its role in menstrual cycles and pregnancy. Natural progesterone is a mild diuretic, burns fat, is anti-depressant, boosts the thyroid, normalizes blood clotting, blood sugar, zinc and copper levels, and cell oxygen levels. It protects against breast soreness, cysts and breast and uterine cancer. It is a precursor to cortisone and the sex hormones, testosterone and estrogen. Progesterone stimulates bone building and helps counteract the side effects of estrogen.

Five to seven years before the onset of menopause, progesterone levels start to decline. At the onset of menopause, progesterone levels may fall close to zero! The pre and postmenopausal loss of progesterone can be correlated with osteoporosis and many other bodily changes commonly interpreted as "aging".

Progesterone, unlike estrogen, actually builds bone, and in this doctors opinion is the best and safest hormone for bone building, especially along with Hgh secretagogues.

Progesterone is the building block of the adrenal stress hormones. Without adequate progesterone, it is harder for the body to handle stress, injury and trauma. Furthermore, without adequate progesterone, the hormones DHEA and androstenedione, which are androgenic, predominate. (Androgenic means, "to make like a male".) This eventually results in the long facial hairs and thin scalp hair in elderly women. Progesterone may prevent and even reverse this occurrence.

Progesterone aids the thyroid. Many women have signs of low thyroid, but their blood tests are normal or their response to thyroid supplementation is less than desired. Natural progesterone, by alleviating estrogen dominance, increases the activity of thyroid hormones.

Natural progesterone is also a natural diuretic, helps stabilize low and high blood sugar, often restores libido, and may even help prevent premature senility.

OTC progesterone is best applied transdermally. As such, it helps to hydrate the skin, remove small wrinkles, and may even help with age spots. But more importantly, transdermal forms bypass the filtering action of the liver, allowing for much lower doses.

Natural progesterone should not be confused with the much more commonly prescribed synthetic progestins like Provara. The synthetics do not duplicate natural progesterone's many benefits. They also carry many unwanted side effects that natural progesterone does not. Be careful, as your doctor may be calling these synthetics progestins "progesterone" though they clearly are not!

Ironically, natural progesterone is sometimes used to make synthetic progestins, even though they don't have all the above anti-aging effects and have numerous side effects.

For women who still menstruate, natural progesterone is often an effective therapy for menstrual related disorders, as most common menstrual problems are believed to be related to estrogen dominance. Estrogen dominance is a relative abundance of estrogen compared to progesterone. Such an imbalance is common in Western developed nations because of high saturated fat, low fiber diets and exogenous estrogens (estrogen-like substances from petrochemical environmental pollution and livestock). Lesson 4 will discuss estrogen dominance.

For women with menopausal symptoms such as hot flashes, vaginal dryness and night sweats, correction is often possible without estrogens. First, incorporate a diet rich in fruits and vegetables, beans, raw nuts and seeds (especially ground flax), and fiber. Soy is particularly good. (See UltraMeal.)

Be sure the diet is also low in sugar, "junk" processed foods, and saturated and hydrogenated fats. Add to this aerobic exercise and Vitamin E at 400-800 units. The addition of transdermal progesterone, Projuvine from day 8 till menstruation, 1/2 teaspoon, twice a day, will often restore balance in 2 - 3 months. Within 6 months maintenance doses can slowly be worked down to as little as 1/8 teaspoon, once or twice a day, from day 12 to 26 of the cycle.

For post-menopausal women the program is to enhance from day 1 to 25 of the month, stopping until the next month commences. Again, after three months or so dosage should be gradually tapered down to 1/8 to 1/4 of a teaspoon once or twice a day for 2 weeks out of 4. This means day 12 to 25 on the calendar.

If menopausal symptoms continue, and if estrogen is still to be avoided, then herbal "phyto-estrogens" can be added. (See Menopause Wellness.)

Alternately, those with tired out stress glands who continue with peri-menopausal symptoms even with all the above should consider adrenal glandular supplements (Chronic Stress Wellness). See Vol. 1, lesson 5, "Stress: The Ultimate Ager".

Of course, if estrogen risk history is low based on your studies of Vol. 1, lesson 4, "Estrogen: Friend or Foe?" using a transdermal cream w/ both natural estrogen and progesterone is preferred. (See Estro Pro)

For women 40 years or older and who are interested in using natural hormones as part of an anti-aging program, HGH secretagogues like Hgh Plus, along with natural transdermal progesterone like Profeminell, is the most common, simplest and safest recommendation.

Look for transdermal progesterone's that have at least 480 milligrams of USP progesterone per oz. Wild yam is not a sufficient substitute for progesterone. (Projuvine has 500 mg/ oz. !)

It is possible to have progesterone dominance although it is uncommon. In menstruating women the strongest and most common syndrome associated with progesterone dominance is suicidal depression during PMS. Obviously, females with serious menstrual disorders should have blood and salivary hormone analysis and professional guidance and should not attempt self-directed programs.

In peri- and post-menopausal women this most common cause of progesterone dominance is over application of transdermal progesterone!

The common sign of over application is hand stiffness and swelling and mild depression. So be sure to taper off as recommended above. Better yet, retest your progesterone and estrogen via saliva tests. Progesterone levels over 600 pg/ml suggest need for a two week "wash out " period of abstinence, followed by resumption at a lower dose schedule.