Learn the Real Truth about Progesterone Creams and the Ingredients
What does the term ‘natural progesterone’ mean ? No progesterone unless it is made by your own body is completely natural. After saying that, progesterone derived from wild yam or soybeans comes closest chemically to the progesterone our own body makes. That is why the term ‘bio-identical’ is used in some descriptions. When the formula is bio-identical, it is accepted and used by the body more easily and naturally. Natural progesterone is derived in the laboratory from either the Mexican wild yam or from soybeans. Wild yam cannot be converted into progesterone by your body, only in the lab.
The Problem With Synthetic Hormones: Synthetic “progestins” or “progestogens,” are chemicals which do not duplicate the natural progesterone hormone. They can cause a great number of PMS side effects because they are chemical hormonal drugs.
How can natural progesterone cream help? The use of progesterone cream helps to balance out excess estrogen, and raise deficient progesterone levels. Progesterone helps in the production of other hormones such as estrogen and thyroid hormones. It helps many women with hot flashes, water retention, depression, fibroids, and other menopause symptoms. Progesterone reduces your risk for breast and cervical cancers.
Ingredients Found In Progesterone Creams: Your skin is an open door for chemical absorption. It is important to use skin care products with the least amount of chemicals. I know it takes time but research ingredients and always read labels. If you can’t find information on it, call the company and fire off some questions. If they won’t answer your questions honestly, I would not continue to use their products.
Common Ingredients Found In Progesterone Creams:
USP Progesterone: If it does not state on the label ‘USP Progesterone’ and the mg per ounce, it does not contain USP progesterone. Just because the label reads progesterone cream does not make it fact. Reading labels is necessary to your picking a cream that is really going to help you.
How much USP progesterone should a good cream contain? The amount of progesterone you need and how you take it depends on whether you are still having periods or if you are in your menopause years. The manufacturer of the product should give you an idea of its usage.
The late, Dr. John Lee, who is still considered one of the greatest authorities on the subject, stated that a good cream should contain 450 to 500 mg per ounce. If you use 1/4 tsp daily that equals about 20 mg/day. His advice for premenopausal women was to take 15 to 24 mg per day for two weeks, stopping the cream one or two days before your period was to begin. His suggestions for postmenopausal women was to take 15 mg per day for 25 of the 30 days in the month, resting your body 5 days.
Isn’t progesterone cream compounded by a pharmacy better? The problem with prescription progesterone cream is that often labs use synthetic hormones in the formula and other unnatural ingredients. This kind of progesterone cream can bring a lot of side effects. It is often not natural at all but full of chemicals.
Wild Yam Extract: Wild yam is an herb that is advertised to promote progesterone production in your body. The diosgenin in the wild yam can only be converted into progesterone in the lab. It cannot be converted by the human body. The ingredient, wild yam, itself is not very effective in helping to restore progesterone balance. It does seem to benefit women in other ways. It has been used in herbal medicine for years to ease cramps and menopause problems.
Grape seed Extract: If it is pure, than it is positive to have it in the ingredients. The problem is that researchers in several studies, have found that in some products the GSE preservatives contain synthetic benzethonium chloride which disrupts hormones or benzalknoium, a skin and eye irritant. So Grape Seed Extract in some cases is not pure as one would assume.
Uniphen P-23: A preservative containing several different kinds of parabens and Phenozyethanol. It is not natural.
Methyl Paraben, Propyl Paraben, Butyl Paraben: Chemical preservatives that are not needed when natural preservatives are available. They can irritate the skin. There is some research that connects parabens to breast cancer but not conclusively. They have found trace amounts of parabens in breast cancers. A more important issue is that parabens have chemical estrogenic effects in the female body. This combined with your natural estrogen can cause estrogen dominance and all sorts of hormonal problems. They also may alter the testes in males causing infertility with lower sperm counts. In some individuals, they may cause allergies and skin sensitivity. If you have skin allergies, eczema, rosacea, and acne, it is advised to use products not containing these parabens.
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Ethoxylated Wetting Agents: Chemicals to moisturize the product. Examples include PEG 100 Stearate, Polyethylene Glycol, Polysorbate 60, Polysorbate 80, all chemicals.
Mineral Oil: Mineral oil is found in thousands of baby products and cosmetics. It is a chemical, the by-product of gasoline from crude oil. It is inexpensive. It does not spoil so the products last longer. There are many serious negative reasons for not using any product containing mineral oil. It is a chemical that coats the skin like plastic. It clogs the pores so they can’t breathe and the toxins can’t be released from the skin. The oil is absorbed by all the skin layers and ends up in the liver, being eliminated out of the intestinal tract. In the intestinal tract there is a now a problem in that this mineral oil absorbs your fat-soluble vitamins. This causes deficiencies. There is form of pneumonia caused in the lung by mineral oil decreasing the lung function. There have been a couple of deaths related to children putting it in their mouth and swallowing it. Mineral oil should not be used in your personal care products including progesterone cream.
Stearal Konium Chloride: A chemical used as an emulsifier in products. It is a toxic chemical.
Keratin: Animal product taken from animals products such as hooves, horns, claws, and beaks.
Black Cohosh: North American Black Cohosh is the main variety used for menopause problems. The Asian variety is different and used to treat other health problems. Research has found that the variety and amount make a great difference in the results. There is a problem with quality and honesty in the labels. Many women today are estrogen dominant (too much estrogen). It is better to buy progesterone cream that does not contain herbs such as black Cohosh that increase estrogen.
St. John’s Wort: Herb found in some progesterone creams. In most cases, it would be better to have less ingredients not more in the formula. St. John’s Wort is taken by extract or capsule for menopause but this does not mean it will be absorbed through the skin in a formulation.
Other Herbs: Just because herbs are in your cream formula, does not mean they can be absorbed that way. It has been shown that in most creams listing a group of herbs, the herb content is minimal. Having herbs in the cream formula does not mean it will help you more. Since some herbs promote estrogen production, that can go against your main reason for using it.
Vitamin E: Used as a natural preservative
Rosemary Oil: Used as a organic preservative
Independently Lab Certified: Research has shown that many of the progesterone creams sold in health food stores do not contain USP progesterone period; contain only small amounts; or do not contain the USP progesterone amount listed on the label. Make sure your cream has been independently lab tested for its progesterone content. Unless it has been tested, you don’t know for sure what you are getting. The first two ingredients stated on the label, are the ones most dominant in the formula. Keep that in mind.
Where should progesterone cream be applied to be most effective? Transdermal application is generally considered the most effective way to absorb progesterone. Oral progesterone gets diffused in the liver and intestines in most cases. Pump applications may be a problem because the progesterone is not evenly distributed in the cream when it’s pumped out. Apply the cream two times a day in alternate skin areas such as the breasts, neck, inner thighs, inner arms, chest or stomach.
Hormonal Lozenges: Lozenges are placed between the upper gum and cheek to dissolve slowly. If you chew them, swallow them, or suck them, the progesterone ends up being diffused in the liver and intestines. These lozenges can also be formulated to address your individual hormonal needs as well. There is an unclear answer on the lozenges and their effect on the liver at this time. Oral dosages it is known can be an overload on some patients liver function.
Progesterone cream quality is a real issue in the marketplace or online. Knowing what and why these ingredients are in the cream will help you choose the best one for your hormonal health.