What progesterone does.
Men need this as much as women. Although oestrogen is mentioned in this article, be aware that increases in oestrogen effects these days are due to xeno-oestrogens which come from pollution and interfere with hormonal balance in both men and women
It helps prevent osteoporosis in a manner that complements oestrogen/testosterone. While oestrogen prevents bone breakdown, progesterone actually promotes bone rebuilding by stimulating the osteoblasts (the cells that create the bone fabric itself). Progesterone is the only known natural biological chemical that stimulates the Osteoblast activity in both men and women.
It has a number of metabolic and nutritional effects.
- It promotes the use of fat for energy, thus opposing the oestrogenic tendency in women (and now men too) to fat storage.
- It normalizes blood sugar levels..
- It has a thermogenic effect—it makes you warmer by increasing blood flow to the skin. It counters oestrogenic binding of zinc and copper, thus normalizing those levels.
Progesterone exerts a diuretic effect, helping to get rid of the fluid bloating that oestrogen can cause. At the proper dose level, it is equal in effect to spironolactone, a diuretic used to combat certain types of high blood pressure.
In the brain, not only are there 50% more progesterone receptor sites found than anywhere else in the body, but progesterone concentrations are up to 20 times higher than in the blood. Progesterone has a soothing effect that is so significant that it is given to treat the (rare) seizures caused by the stimulatory effect of oestrogen.
Chemically, it has the same effect as Valium or Xanax or some anesthetic agents. It also exerts a lesser neurovascular effect in decreasing migraines and epilepsy caused by oestrogen.
It can promote sleep and counteract edginess, anxiety and panic. It contributes to the lessening of the memory problems seen with low hormone levels. It evens moods.
Urinary Tract effects
While it has not been demonstrated to have as significant an effect as oestrogen on vaginal and urinary tract health, many women report that the addition of progesterone does indeed help nourish these tissues. There are progesterone receptors in these areas, so there are grounds to support its action. Part of the effect too may be a result of the “oestrogen-sparing” effect whereby progesterone frees up oestrogen to circulate elsewhere.( Remember that high levels of progesterone can promote the increase of oestrogen how when and where your body has need of it.)
Progesterone is beneficial to thyroid function. It helps keep zinc and potassium in cells, which allows thyroid hormone to enter and be converted into the active form (T3). Given that oestrogen inhibits thyroid hormone action, this makes progesterone especially important to women with thyroid dysfunction (and menopausal women are so at risk for this that thyroid testing should be a part of any menopausal workup).
Progesterone in some recent studies is reported to provide greater cardiovascular benefits. This is new research and the mechanism is only speculated about, but the benefits do seem to be real. These benefits are not demonstrated by progestins, making the distinction very important in evaluating news articles reporting research results.
Progesterone seems to reduce the severity of allergic reactions and allergies. As Progesterone is the precursor of the “Cortico-steroids” which are a group of hormones that are responsible for keeping inflammatory, and allergic and auto-immune conditions at bay, both men and women have relief from all these conditions. Women who suddenly seem to develop allergies to everything in sight after a hysterectomy may be demonstrating low levels of progesterone.
Progesterone is one of the best anti-cancer remedies around. Progesterone keeps oestrogen under control. It is the antagonist to oestrogen and completes this hormonal cycle, Because Oestrogen is known to “switch on” the BCL2 gene which is an cancer gene, it is highly dangerous when this hormone is unopposed because it caused uncontrolled cellular proliferation and formation of cancer cells. Progesterone “switches off” the BCL2 gene and “on “ a protective gene, the P53 which protect us from cancer.