Teenage Girls, Hormones and Stress

August 9, 2011 by  
Filed under Childrens Health, Natural Medicine

Teenagers and hormones are almost a joke – and certainly appear in enough tv sitcoms and magazine articles for us to take the state for granted – but could supplementing with natural hormones help teenage girls in particular?

Dr David Zava is the CEO of ZRT Labs and the co-author with Dr John Lee of What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Breast Cancer and he has been involved for many years with analyzing and tracking the effect of natural hormones. A particular problem can be seen in teenage girls and came to his attention through a retired nurse who asked his advice.

She wanted to have more information on the use of progesterone cream to normalize cycles in teenagers as she had found that both her own daughters had benefited from using progesterone in the latter half of the cycle to normalize their cycles when they were stressed. The teens are like a pressure cooker and stress is endemic: whether over schoolwork, exams, appearance, peer pressure and so on and often can result in depression and hormone related migraines. She was curious as she found that such stress was often is responsive to rebalancing estrogen with progesterone but could find little literature or information on the subject so turned to an expert for his opinion.

Dr Zava confirmed her own research that there have been no double-blind, placebo controlled studies with thousands of subjects as this is expensive and as natural progesterone is not patentable there is no interest from pharmaceutical companies in funding trials. The trials that are done tend to be small scale and anecdotal, and there are numerous studies indirectly supporting its use. For instance in one trial for a small group of teens with PMS. Half were given progesterone cream for the last two weeks of the cycle, half on placebo, and there was indeed substantial improvement in the group taking the cream. One study showed that in the first year after starting to menstruate 80% of girls did not ovulate, meaning they did not make progesterone. Three years after their periods had started 50% did not ovulate, and by the sixth year 10% did not ovulate. That represents a lot of girls with premenstrual bloating, weight gain, mood swings, irritability and anxiety – all of which are symptoms of oestrogen dominane.

Unfortunately there is a considerable amount of oestrogen in the environment which means that teens and young adults are much more likely to be estrogen dominant – and accounts for the increasing number of teenage boys with ‘breasts’. In teenagers the adrenal glands can pick up some of the slack in progesterone production if it is not being produced in the right quantities by the ovaries, but in a stressed young adult the adrenals will be busy elsewhere.

The suggested therapeutic dose suggested by Dr Zava and doctors in the USA who specialize in treating teenagers is 15 to 20 mg of progesterone cream during the last week or ten days of the menstrual cycle can be enormously helpful. You can find more articles on hormone balance at www.bio-hormone-health.com and if you are interested in Dr Zava’s work you will find more on his website at www.zrtlab.com.

Infertility Linked to Cholesterol Gene in Women

July 13, 2011 by  
Filed under Health, Womens Health

This gene also affects progesterone production and may be the cause of infertility in a substantial number of cases of infertility. This breakthrough comes from a new study by researchers at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in the US and published online in the journal Human Reproduction.

The gene responsible is the scavenger receptor class B type 1 gene (SCARB1) and this new research follows up studies in female mice that first linked a deficiency in these receptors for HDL — the so-called “good” or “healthy” cholesterol — and infertility. Now researchers report finding the same link in studies of women with a history of infertility when they analyzed ovarian cells and fluid collected from 274 women unable to become pregnant for various reasons and undergoing in vitro fertilization (IVF).

Endocrinologist Annabelle Rodriguez, M.D., an associate professor of medicine at Johns Hopkins in the USA said “Right now, the benefit of this research is in knowing that there might be a genetic reason for why some women have difficulty getting pregnant. In the future, we hope this knowledge can be translated into a cure for this type of infertility.” She believes the genetic variation could be present in 8 to 13 percent of the population and that means potentially being able to help a substantial number of women.

They researchers have also developed a simple blood test for this variation of the gene involved, but this knowledge has not so far led to any approved therapy though it would seem logical to ensure that a woman’s progesterone levels are healthy and balanced before looking to start a family.

If you want more information on natural progesterone you will find related articles at www.bio-hormone-health.com

US Army Finds Traumatic Brain Injuries May Be Helped by Progesterone

January 16, 2010 by  
Filed under Health


It’s a common misconception that it is only women who produce progesterone, though certainly men have far less of it, it is needed for many processes in the body. This naturally occurring hormone can protect damaged cells in the central and peripheral nervous systems and new research done at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia, is recommending that progesterone is a viable treatment option for traumatic brain injuries.

This research has emerged because of the increase seen in traumatic brain injury among combat casualties in Iraq and Afghanistan. It is estimated that as many as 30 percent of wounded soldiers have suffered such injury and it has stimulated government interest in developing a safe and effective treatment for this complex disorder.

It seems there is growing evidence to indicate that administering progesterone after such injuries can have beneficial effects, including substantial and sustained improvements in brain function. This applies equally to men and women, as progesterone can cross the blood-brain barrier and reduce the level of swelling after a brain injury, it also significantly reduces the area of necrotic cell death and improves behavioural outcomes.

Natural progesterone was recently tested in two clinical trials for traumatic brain injury and will begin a phase 3 trial soon. The researchers concluded that given its relatively high safety profile, ease of administration, low cost and ready availability, then progesterone should be considered a viable treatment option, particularly as there is little other treatment available to brain injury patients.

World Osteoporosis day

October 16, 2009 by  
Filed under Healthy Ageing


October 20th is the day to raise awareness of this potentially lethal condition and 2009 is the second year of a two year campaign which called on government health officials to recognize osteoporosis as a health priority

Osteoporotic fractures are a major cause of suffering, disability and death in the older population and their costs to our healthcare services exceed those of many other major chronic diseases. Between twelve to twenty percent of people die within one year following a hip fracture and it is estimated that 80% of those who are at high risk of osteoporosis, and have suffered at least one fracture, have neither been identified nor treated for the disease.

This means that you have to take responsibility here and if you feel you are at risk to have a bone scan done or take nutritional advice and support. For free comprehensive information on osteoporosis I recommend the booklet that Dame Dr Shirley Bond and I wrote and you can get a copy by clicking this link: progesterone

Progesterone use for endometriosis

July 8, 2008 by  
Filed under Sexual Health, Womens Health

Last week I talked about progesterone and mental health, and just like buses along comes another story about this key female hormone. I have myself written for the endometriosis society in the past about how progesterone can help with endometriosis, and now a study on female rhesus macaques monkeys at the the Oregon National Primate Research Center has brought more proof of the hormone’s effectiveness.

Apparently, female macaques in captivity are prone to endometriosis – a painful, debilitating condition where bits of tissue scattered around the pelvic cavity behave like uterine (endometrial) tissue, filling with blood and then releasing it. Conventional medicine hasn’t had much success in treating endometriosis safely and effectively, but Dr.John Lee, noting that women with endometriosis often get better when they are pregnant, recommended using high doses of natural progesterone and indeed, many of his patients found relief, though not a cure, by doing this.

In the Center’s study, seven monkeys with advanced endometriosis were injected with capsules that released progesterone continuously for up to 20 months. All of the monkeys showed significant benefit within the first two weeks and although two monkeys then got no further benefit, the other five continued to do well. If you know someone suffering from this painful condition it would be worth suggesting they talk to their doctor about obtaining natural progesterone in cream or sub- lingual form – don’t treat it with yam cream which converts insufficient progesterone in the body to be of use.

Natural progesterone cannot be obtained in the UK without a doctor’s prescription, but you can buy it over the internet and import it for your own use with no restrictions.

Progesterone’s role in mental health

Last week I talked about testosterone and this week there is more news on the hormone front – but this time about progesterone. This is one of the key reproductive hormones in women, but it also has a host of other functions; one of the most important being it’s effect on brain chemistry and function. Dr. John Lee, the American pioneer of natural progesterone usage for osteoporosis, once was quoted as saying famously said that if anyone in his family had a brain injury, he would slather them with progesterone cream. He said that over ten years ago, and as ever he was ahead of his time, as new research has vindicated what must have seemed a completely lunatic idea.

Sadly Dr Lee was not given the respect of his peers, but I was privileged to host several seminars for him in London and he was certainly one of the most generous and compassionate of men, as the many thousands of women who benefited from his research have proved. He has been vindicated on the brain chemistry front by a fellow doctor working in an ER department and who saw a lot of saw a lot of head injuries. He was curious about why brain injuries were worse in men than in women, and got approval to do a study in which brain injury patients were given injections of progesterone when they arrived in the ER. His research showed that those who received the progesterone did significantly better than those who didn’t and later studies have also shown the same result.

Around the same time, researchers discovered that progesterone was a key component of the myelin sheath that protects or insulates the nerves-so important in fact that progesterone is made in the myelin sheath. Other research showed that progesterone stimulates the brain’s GABA receptors, those feel-good, calming neurotransmitters. Now we know, according to this review paper, that “…progesterone has multiple non- reproductive functions in the central nervous system to regulate cognition, mood, inflammation, mitochondrial function, neurogenesis and regeneration, myelination and recovery from traumatic brain injury.” Furthermore, progesterone is everywhere in the brain: “Remarkably, PRs [progesterone receptors] are broadly expressed throughout the brain and can be detected in every neural cell type.”

Those who have experienced the mental fog of hormone imbalances – otherwise known as the ‘what did I come into this room for ‘syndrome – can now point to their brain and say, “It’s not me that’s confused, it’s my brain!”

Progesterone For Head Injuries?

I am very familiar with this natural hormone being used to treat osteoporosis and alleviate menopause symptoms, but Guomin Xiao, M.D., of Zhejiang University, has been doing a trial on treating head injury patients with injections of progesterone.

What was found was that less-severely brain-injured patients had almost a 50 per cent better chance of survival and better function after six months of treatment. Progesterone appeared to have little or no other effect during the acute phase but the main effect was seen during the recovery period after the patient had been discharged.

Although interesting, this was only a small study of 153 patients and further research is needed. However, certainly one of the benefits of progesterone as I have seen it used is to help alleviate depression, so it makes sense to see it extended to other brain function issues. Other medical research has previously found that the hormone aids in neuronal development and protects brain function in animal experiments.

Please Note: Natural progesterone is not available in the UK without a prescription as it is regulated as a natural medicine, although it is perfectly legal to buy it outside the UK and import it for your own use. Anyone wanting further information on how to obtain natural progesterone can contact us.