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Thursday, October 29, 2009

Progesterone Cream Causes Cancer in California?!

Happy Fall! - First time since I moved to NC that I have really enjoyed fall!!
A client has brought to my attention the new warning on all bottles of Progesterone cream. It states: This product contains Progesterone, a chemical known to the State of California to cause cancer. So, naturally I had to look into why this new warning is there. First I looked up the ingredients of Progest by Emerita to see if they added something to it that I should know about and this is a look at what is in it: Water (Purified), Tocopheryl Tocopheryl Acetate (Vitamin E), Aloe Barbadensis (Aloe Vera) Leaf Juice, Carthamus Tinctorius (Hybrid Safflower) Seed Oil, Panthenol, Glycerin, Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Oil, Glyceryl Stearate, Cetyl Alcohol, Sodium Behenoyl Lactylate, Stearic Acid, USP Progesterone, Phenoxyethanol, Caprylyl Glycol, Sorbic Acid, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Oil, Citrus Medica Limonum (Lemon) Peel Oil, Carbomer. Free of parabens, mineral oil, petroleum or animal products and has not been tested on animals Okay - that looks the same - and all good for sure - so why the new warning. Well - this is what I found. There was a proposition put in place in 1986 called: Proposition 65, the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986. It was enacted as a ballot initiative in the state of California and was intended by its authors to protect California citizens and the State's drinking water sources from chemicals known to cause cancer, birth defects or other reproductive harm, and to inform citizens about exposures to such chemicals. It requires that that Governor annually posts a list of chemicals “known to the state to cause cancer or reproductive toxicity .” Progesterone is on the list. Just a word about Progesterone - it is a necessary hormone to keep bones "renewing" themselves to stay healthy. Studies show as a women goes through menopause and is no longer ovulating - therefore getting cyclical progesterone - that she is likely to lose about 20% of her bones density within the first 5-7 years. Here's a clue why - it takes a long bone 5-7 years to rebuild itself - small bone 3-5 years. Without the cyclical hormones that aid cells in the bone in building up and breaking down bone, the bone starts to lose it's density. Back to Proposition 65... the study done to add progesterone to the list used synthetic - let me repeat SYNTHETIC PROGESTERONE - Progestins and and other progestagens (progesterone-like compounds). Also using other steroid hormone derivatives (mainly synthetic estrogens) and many different methods of administration. Progestins and other synthetic progestagens are not necessary for building healthy bone! - Progestins and progestagens are similar in molecular structure to progesterone, but when they bind to progesterone receptors, their effects are usually much stronger and more likely to cause abnormal physiologic responses. Furthermore, the majority of the studies concerning the health effects of these progesterone derivatives involved combinations with synthetic estrogens! There were very few studies mentioned in the 2004 document that used exclusively bio-identical progesterone (like the Progest cream). The doses of progesterone ranged from 10-1000 times the dose usually recommended by manufacturers of progesterone creams. All of the studies cited in the OEHHA document used either oral, injected, or suppository forms of hormones; none was conducted using transdermal creams. This is an important consideration because hormones absorbed through the skin are metabolized differently than hormones that are administered via other routes.
So you understand now that the study that was run did not use the proper mode of application or even the bio-identical natural progesterone in practical dosing. There are companies such as Emerita that are trying to get this removed from the list of carcinogens - however - in the meanwhile you can take a sigh of relief! -

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Men suffer from Menopause too....

Okay, I hear men - have for 15 years - starting with my father when my mother was going through menopause talk about the woman in their life going through menopause and how hard it is on them. But, I have rarely heard women talk about the husbands version of menopause, called andropause. Most men and women don't even know it exists! - Yes, starting around age 40, men start to have their hormones decline as well. This causing symptoms of weight gain around the mid section, depression, irritability, nocturnal urination, erectile dysfunction, lowered libido, lower energy, higher cholesterol and triglycerides. Most people in general would chalk this up to familial tendencies. It's easier to do that, requires a lot less work. It takes work for everyone to get through this time of life. Let's go through a few things. Testosterone - the hormone famous for making men aggressive and for making woman a little too hairy is what starts to decline as men age. Testosterone is responsible for all structural integrity - muscles, skin, and bone. Let's talk about muscle. The heart is a pretty important muscle most would agree. Men have more testosterone receptors on the heart than any other muscle in the body. So as testosterone declines the heart weakens. When this hormone declines men will have more cardiovascular problems. Veins and arteries start to thicken, cholesterol comes up, triglycerides go up, insulin increases causing the prostate to swell, fibrinogen increases.... most of which is treated as a separate issue by separate doctors! - There are a lot of behind the scene issues that compound this problem. There are two areas of the body responsible for making testosterone, the adrenal cortex (which are beat up with regular caffeine intake, stress and lack of sleep) and cells in the testes. There are two areas of the brain that communicate to these areas to produce testosterone. The Hypothalamus and pituitary glands. These glands need a healthy amount of trace minerals - which are void in our foods for the most part these days. Men need to supplement what is taken in from the diet with a good multiple. The cheap ones are not good - synthetic and full of fillers - don't go cheap. And an additional zinc with proper enzymes with meals to utilize it all. Zinc is necessary for the body to make testosterone! If you are insulin resistant you are probably zinc deficient. If you sweat - you are zinc deficient, if you drink alcohol or if you ejaculate on a regular basis - yes, you are zinc deficient - don't be shy with it - you are excreting zinc all the time! - So, a multiple AND additional zinc supplementation. Okay. now the liver. If you haven't cleansed in a while then do one. You should every 3 months or 3,000 miles just like changing fluids in your car. You don't need to go crazy, just make sure you are not just cleaning the bowel, do a liver detox as well - that will ensure you are cleaning your blood more effectively - and therefore keeping the kidneys happier. In case you didn't know, the liver and kidneys are your filters. The liver filters out toxins we ingest and inhale. It clears out hormones we get in red meat, eggs, cheese, chickens, pesticides and herbicides.... It would be helpful a few months after feeding the body in this was to test your hormones. For men I test testosterone levels as well as DHT (dihyrotestosterone), LH and FSH that the pituitary is making, cortisols from the adrenal cortex, androsteredione (another androgen made in the adrenal cortex) and progesterone. Knowing your PSA score will give you an idea of progression of the health of the prostate gland. Can you see why if the doctor notices swelling in the prostate and he gives you something for the swelling it doesn't solve what's causing the swelling in the first place? There's so much more to it than the symptom. The cause needs to be addressed as well. This problem that starts at 40 will not make you symptomatic until you hit your 50s for the most part. By the time you are symptomatic, what caused the imbalance has been going on sometimes for 10 years. It is time for catch up with everything concerned (diet, insulin, adrenals, pituitary, liver, hypothalamus, testes)......... Do something about this now and you won't have to suffer as much as you get older. If you are already in the symptomatic state - what is stopping you from correcting it? Come see a Naturopath, like me, and I will guide you in correcting the imbalance.

Monday, February 23, 2009

FIBER FACTS

Okay, so it's been a long while since I have blogged. Holidays and the insane amount of time the kids are out of school along with nanny scheduling problems and snow days etc..... I know, excuses excuses. I am back now and feeling ambitious. I have some fiber facts for you. You need sufficient fiber for keeping bowels healthy, keeping elevated glucose in the system that your body isn't using from reeking havoc on all your systems, for blood cholesterol level help and to soak up all the garbage we inhale, ingest or just store. We eat only about 1/5 the amount of fiber we did 100 years ago. The average American consumes 8-11 grams of fiber a day. The American Hearth Association and the American Diabetic Association recommend 25-35 grams of fiber a day. I am going to take that a step further and say - if you are over the age 50 you need to bump that up to around 40 grams a day. High fiber diets inhibit the development of disease. To see if you have enough fiber - look at your stool (you all do it anyway) and see if it floats?! - It needs to. If it doesn't you need more insoluble fiber. Think insoluble for intestines. It will make you feel fuller longer between meals and will lower the glycemic index of foods that break down into the sugar very quickly in your system. It also acts as a natural laxative. So, what is insoluble fiber you say? It is in foods like: wheat bran, beets, peas, broccoli, carrots, lima beans pears, apples, brazil nuts whole grains and green beans. Let's talk quantity. A medium pear offers 5 grams fiber. An all bran cereal, 1/3 cup has 7 grams insoluble and another 1 1/2 grams soluble fiber. Soluable fiber helps to regulate blood sugar, blood pressure and aid in weight management. Diets high in soluble fiber help balance HDL and LDL cholesterol to healthy levels. A healthy diet should contain both soluble and insoluble fibers. 2/3 of that fiber intake should be insoluble. Examples of soluble sources are: flax seed, cabbage, pears, peas strawberries, green beans, psyllium, oat bran, corn peppers and green vegetables. Off and running again, have children to attend to. I vow to write more often.