What is Progesterone
In order to understand what natural progesterone is it is important to
understand what role progesterone serves in the body.
Progesterone is Produced by both
Women AND Men
Progesterone, also known as the "pregnancy hormone", is both a male and
In pre-menopausal women the majority of Progesterone is produced by the
corpus luteum of the ovaries and when pregnant, the placenta. The corpus luteum
is a yellow mass of cells produced after the release of a mature egg.
Post-menopausal women and men produce most of their progesterone from the
adrenal glands. In men some is produced in the testes. Both sexes synthesize a
small amount in the nervous system.
Progesterone is one of the hormones produced when the body metabolizes
pregnenolone, sometimes referred to as the "mother of all hormones". The reason
for this name is because not only does the body use pregnenolone to produce
progesterone, it also is used to produce corticosterone, testosterone (both male
and female) and estrogen.
While progesterone is produced in more abundance in young fertile women the
hormone cannot be called a male or female hormone. Reports indicate that it is
used in almost all areas of the body and is highly fat-soluble.
It is reported that progesterone deficiency can produce a variety of
effects in both men and women. Some of these reported symptoms are: depression,
increased risk of prostate problems (in men), higher cholesterol
Unlike estrogen that generally falls only 40 to 60 percent at menopause,
progesterone levels can fall to nearly zero.
As you probably already know, too little or too much of any hormone is a
bad thing. Levels of progesterone in the body can decrease due to many factors.
The major cause for women is menopause and of course, age reduces progesterone
levels in both men and women.
There are two ways to increase progesterone levels in the body, naturally
and through synthetics. Pharmaceutical companies produce synthetics. Since you
can't patent a natural product they have to produce molecularly different
variations of progesterone.
According to Dr John R. Lee, natural progesterone USP has
a molecular structure identical to the
progesterone produced by the human body.
Natural progesterone is produced through the fermentation (and other steps) of
the Mexican Wild Yam. Dr. Lee (international authority on natural progesterone)
points out that if the molecule produced from the extract of the Mexican Wild
Yam is molecularly identical then it is indeed the identical hormone.
Reports would seem to indicate that natural progesterone has no
side effects while the same would not seem to be the case for the
Don't take for granted that your doctor understands the differences in the
natural product and the synthetic products. Make sure you get natural