Before we get into the title of this blog I wish the reader to understand the difference of what the FDA considers progesterone and what is the true progesterone. The FDA considers progestin to be a true human hormone. This is completely false! The hormone that is provided by nature is progesterone which has a similar but different biochemical configuration then the synthetic progestin. The pharmaceutical companies cannot patent a natural substance so they substitute the biochemical configuration of natural substances (in this case progesterone) for profit. Their combination of synthetic estrogen and progestin was causing so many cardiovascular and cancer problems that it was evident that this combination was very hazardous to a woman’s health. So the Woman’s Health Initiative Study had to be terminated and not finished. Of course, the FDA did not pull this combination off the market and did not investigate the possibility of using true progesterone since economically their pharmaceutical colleagues would suffer. This incorrect usage of interchanging progestin with the natural progesterone has caused fear in some women to the dangers of hormone usage. Anyway this could be another blog in itself and maybe it will be if there is enough interest in the WHI study.
Most of the readers already know the job of progesterone of being an important woman’s hormone in the menstrual cycle and for gestation. So I will not take up the space with the known. I am going to enumerate other findings of progesterone just so the reader can either comment to me or do their own homework of researching these incredible findings
It was found that women that had serious cerebral injury (called Traumatic Brain Injury [TBI]) and were hospitalized got out of the hospital on the average of 3 days earlier if they were on progesterone then women who were not on progesterone. For along time there was no answer to why this was. These TBI injuries in women are more and more common due to our involvement in wars, sports, and accidents . I presume that TBI always existed in large numbers but was not being diagnosed in the past, maybe because our technology is so much better today.
It was then found that progesterone was needed along with cholesterol and omega 3s to produce the myelin sheath (the coating surrounding the cerebral nerves called neurons). This is similar to the insulation around an electric cord. Because of the coating the transfer of signals down the nerve is incredible faster then if the coating did not exist or was damaged. For more on TBI and Progesterone one can go to the internet and just look up this subject. One of the latest is by Miles Cekic in Future Neurology 2010:5. You can see from these articles that progesterone may be a source for curing certain demyelinating diseases (diseases with the myelin sheath involved) or at least in conjunction with other resources in men as well as woman. I believe it would also be worth investigating using progesterone in trials of diseases that have no cure but are known to be demyelinating diseases such as Multiple Sclerosis.
For numerous years – thanks to John Lee M.D. We have known that progesterone and estrogen were important to prevent osteopenia and osteoporosis in women. Why these were not used more frequently then the pharmaceuticals is obvious. But I would like to add that I have found that testosterone in low doses is necessary to prevent and alleviate both former conditions; but still in conjunction with estrogen and progesterone. I have written on this topic in the testosterone blog and in my book (Emotional Vampires and your Hormones; an holistic physicians view of how stress affects your well-being and what you can do about it). Testosterone in natural physiological dosage for women is important for anti-aging. An informed physician can calculate the correct dosage for each individual so that side affects will not exist or the dosage can be minimally tweaked to prevent unwanted side affects.