Life Extension Magazine®
Woman using progesterone cream on face after shower

Issue: Mar 1999

Progesterone Cream

The hormone that has recently made headlines is progesterone - and for good reason.

Scientifically reviewed by: Dr. Gary Gonzalez, MD, on January 2021.

Progesterone Cream Progesterone has recently been touted as the "miracle hormone" by conventional and alternative medicine circles alike. Lacking adequate levels of the hormone have been shown to produce debilitating effects; having sufficient progesterone in the body provides many health-enhancing benefits to both men and women. Life Extension Foundation's natural progesterone cream, PRO-FEM can replenish the body's need for the hormone in a topical, easy-to-absorb application.

Due to its "fat loving" qualities, progesterone is well absorbed through skin into the underlying fat layer. In fact, it is the most lipophilic of the steroid hormones. From the fat layer, the progesterone is taken up gradually by red blood cell membranes in capillaries passing through fat. The progesterone transported by red blood cell membranes then becomes readily available to all target tissues. A natural progesterone cream, PRO-FEM can easily be applied to different parts of the body for direct absorption through the fat under the skin. (For suggestions on how to use progesterone cream, see the product description.)

Why is PRO-FEM a vital asset to anyone's alternative medicine regimen? During and after menopause, natural progesterone synthesis often grinds to a halt, setting the stage for a host of menopausal miseries and degenerative diseases. Symptoms of a progesterone deficit include pre-menstrual discomfort, night sweats, hot flashes, along with a loss of well being (depressed feelings). Progesterone is also required for bone maintenance, and osteoporosis is the disorder most commonly associated with inadequate levels of this hormone of youth.

Scientific studies indicate that progesterone may have the greatest potential in the hormonal prevention of breast cancer. At a recent scientific conference, persuasive evidence was presented showing that the correct use of natural progesterone could result in a 90% reduction in the risk of breast cancer. Progesterone has many beneficial properties, such as the activation of natural killer cells, but one factor of special relevance is that progesterone diminishes the production of a mutagenic form of estrogen called 4-hydroxyestrone, while increasing the production of cancer-preventing estriol. In other words, estrogen can be made safe through the concomitant use of progesterone.

The benefits of progesterone, however, are not restricted to women. Both benign hyperplasia and prostate cancer are linked to excess estrogen. Progesterone inhibits the aromatase enzyme that converts testosterone to estrogenic compounds that can mutate prostate cells. Hence progesterone replacement for men (at lower doses than for women) has potential for preventing prostate cancer, while safely boosting levels of free testosterone. Based on progesterone's inhibition of the dangerous aromatase enzyme the hormone may also improve the sex lives of aging men, although no studies have yet concluded the latter.

In addition to making people feel better, progesterone may help to prevent the mental decline that occurs with aging. Progesterone has been shown to increase neuronal energy production and protect brain cells against damaging hyper-excitotoxicity.

A potentially life-saving test

Measuring blood levels of homocysteine is a new and potentially life-saving test that provides information about vitamin and methylation status in addition to determining levels of toxic homocysteine. Those with a family history of heart disease, stroke or Alzheimer's disease are at a particular risk from elevated homocysteine. Elevated homocysteine has also been linked to complications in diabetes, lupus and other chronic diseases. While many people have assumed that because they are taking vitamin supplements their homocysteine levels will be in a "safe" range, The Life Extension Foundation Foundation has discovered that this might not always be the case. The only way of knowing for sure is to get tested.

In response to the demand for homocysteine testing, Abbot Laboratories has developed a method of testing homocysteine blood levels that reduces the cost dramatically. The Life Extension Foundation is one of the first organizations to offer this homocysteine blood test.

The importance of an annual blood chemistry test cannot be over emphasized. The blood chemistry includes 24 individual tests that can enable a person to detect a potentially lethal disease while it is still in a curable stage. The Foundation's blood chemistry test includes the following: HDL, LDL and total cholesterol, triglycerides, glucose, iron, calcium, potassium, sodium, kidney-liver-heart function, white and red blood cells and platelets, and some immune status tests.

Some physicians refuse to write the prescription because they have never heard of homocysteine and don't know what to ask the commercial laboratory for. When you order blood tests from The Life Extension Foundation, you save the cost of visiting a physician. If there are abnormalities detected that are not correctable by using natural therapies, a member can take the results of the blood test to a physician specialist who is familiar with homocysteine testing in order to receive immediate treatment.