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Dr Lee: A major factor contributing to this imbalance between estrogen and progesterone is the industrialized world we now live in, immersed in a rising sea of petrochemical derivatives. They are in the air, food and water and include pesticides and herbicides (such as DDT, dieldrin, heptachlor, etc.) as well as various plastics (polycarbonated plastics found in babies bottles and water jugs) and PCBs. These estrogen-mimics are highly fat-soluble, not biodegradable or well excreted, and accumulate in the fat tissue of animals and humans. These chemicals have an uncanny ability to mimic natural estrogen and thus are given the name “xeno-estrogens” since, although they are foreign chemicals, they are taken up by the estrogen receptor sites in the body, seriously interfering with natural biochemical activity. Drinking sodas out of plastic bottles is one of the leading causes of estrogen dominance.
Extensive research is now revealing an alarming situation worldwide, created by the inundation of these hormone-mimics. In their book, Our Stolen Future, authors Theo Colburn of the World Wildlife Fund, Dianne Dumanoski of The Boston Globe, and John Peterson Meyers, a zoologist, have identified 51 hormone mimics, each able to unleash a torrent of effects such as reduced sperm production, cell division and sculpting of the developing brain. These mimics are not only linked to the recent discovery that human sperm counts worldwide have plunged by 50% between 1938 and 1990 but also to genital deformities, breast, prostate and testicular cancer, and neurological disorders.
Anti-aging Benefits of Natural Progesterone
- Progesterone is a primary precursor in the biosynthesis of the adrenal corticosteroids. Without adequate progesterone, synthesis of the cortisones is impaired and the body turns to alternate pathways. These alternate pathways have masculine-producing side effects such as long facial hairs and thinning of scalp hair. Further impaired corticosteroidproduction results in a decrease in the ability to handle stress, e.g., surgery, trauma or emotional stress.
- Many peri- or post-menopausal women with clinical signs of hypothyroidism, such asfatigue, lack of energy, intolerance to cold, are actually suffering from unrecognizedestrogen dominance and will benefit from supplementation with natural progesterone.
- Estrogen and most of the synthetic progestins increase intracellular sodium and water uptake. The effect of this is hypertension. Natural progesterone is a natural diuretic and prevents the cell’s uptake of sodium and water, thus preventing hypertension.
- Whereas estrogen impairs homeostatic control of glucose levels, natural progesterone stabilizes them. Thus, natural progesterone can be beneficial to both those with diabetesand those with reactive hypoglycemia. Estrogen should be contraindicated in patients with diabetes.
- Thinning and wrinkled skin is a sign of lack of hydration in the skin. It is common in peri- and post-menopausal women and is a sure sign of hormone depletion. Both estrogen and progesterone restores skin hydration.