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Hormones & Pharmacological Agents

Progesterone

13 years, 1 month ago

1657  0
Posted on Dec 30, 2005, 8 p.m. By Bill Freeman

GENERAL DESCRIPTION: Progesterone is produced in the female in the ovaries and adrenal glands; it is the endogenous equivalent of synthetic progestins that are synthesized from steroidal sapogenins. Natural progesterone and synthetic progestins are structurally different and may have different roles in the body.

GENERAL DESCRIPTION:

Progesterone is produced in the female in the ovaries and adrenal glands; it is the endogenous equivalent of synthetic progestins that are synthesized from steroidal sapogenins. Natural progesterone and synthetic progestins are structurally different and may have different roles in the body. Progesterone is essential in order for the maintenance of the menstrual cycle and for breast development and function. Women are usually prescribed progestins if estrogen is prescribed during or after menopause, because prolonged estrogen replacement therapy without the addition of progestins has been shown to increase the risk of uterine cancer.

ROLE FOR ANTI-AGING:

Progesterone is known to significantly improve the symptoms of menopause. Preliminary findings have suggested that progesterone could help to reduce the risk of osteoporosis, as it appears to be important in bone metabolism. However, study findings of the efficacy of progesterone for prevention of osteoporosis have been contradictory. Several studies have linked synthetic progestins to an increased risk of breast cancer, conversely, at least two separate studies have found that natural, topical progesterone may protect against breast cancer. Thus, the effect of progesterone and progestins on breast cancer risk remains inconclusive. Study results published in 2002 suggest that progesterone may help to inhibit the growth of endometrial cancer cells.

DEFICIENCY SYMPTOMS:

Symptoms of progesterone deficiency include: swollen breasts, depression, low thyroid, fibrocystic breasts, water retention, weight gain, and loss of libido

THERAPEUTIC DAILY AMOUNT:

A typical dose of progesterone in topical form is 20mg per day. Some studies have used up to 200mg per day of oral progesterone. Even though progesterone is sold as a dietary supplement, it is recommend that it is not used except under medical supervision.

MAXIMUM SAFE LEVEL:

Progesterone should only be taken as directed by a physician. The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) and the National Toxicology Program (NTP) class progesterone as a potential carcinogen.

SIDE EFFECTS/CONTRAINDICTION:

Synthetic progestins have many side effects, including the increase of LDL cholesterol and the decrease of HDL cholesterol, other side effects include bloating, breast soreness, depression, and mood swings. Neither natural progesterone nor synthetic progestins should be taken by women who are: trying to conceive, pregnant, or lactating.

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