Sixty years ago, progesterone was found to be the main hormone produced by the ovaries. Since it was necessary for fertility and for maintaining a healthy pregnancy, it was called the “pro-gestational hormone,” and its name sometimes leads people to think that it isn’t needed when you don’t want to get pregnant. In fact, it is the most protective hormone the body produces, and the large amounts that are produced during pregnancy result from the developing baby’s need for protection from the stressful environment. Normally, the brain contains a very high concentration of progesterone, reflecting its protective function for that most important organ. The thymus gland, the key organ of our immune system, is also profoundly dependent of progesterone.
In experiments, progesterone was found to be the basic hormone of adaptation and of resistance to stress. The adrenal glands use it to produce their antistress hormones, and when there is enough progesterone, they don’t have to produce the potentially harmful cortisol. In a progesterone deficiency, we produce too much cortisol, and excessive cortisol causes osteoporosis, aging of the skin, damage to brain cells, and the accumulation of fat, especially on the back and abdomen.
Experiments have shown that progesterone relieves anxiety, improves memory, protects brain cells, and even prevents epileptic seizures. It promotes respiration, and has been used to correct emphysema. In the circulatory system, it prevents bulging veins by increasing the tone of blood vessels, and improves the efficiency of the heart. It reverses many of the signs of aging in the skin, and promotes healthy bone growth. It can relieve many types of arthritis, and helps a variety of immunological problems. (Read More)
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