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Category: Hormone Balance  |  Permalink

Published: Tuesday, September 30, 2014


Here you go, friends…More Wonderful News about Progesterone, the "Feel Good" Hormone!

Progesterone and your brain suggestions 

The brain LOVES progesterone and responds very well to supplementation.. In fact, the concentration of progesterone in the brain is 20 times higher than that in the blood! When progesterone levels are too low, estrogen and testosterone will be unbalanced and can lead to conditions like anxiety, insomnia, migraines, and weight gain which are all related to brain function.  In the brain, progesterone is able to counterbalance the negative effects of excess estrogen. While estrogen excites the brain, progesterone CALMS it.

Studies have shown that progesterone has anti-anxiety effects by acting on GABA receptors in the brain. GABA is an inhibitory neurotransmitter that promotes sleep and relaxation and balances excitation with inhibition.  Progesterone INCREASES the GABA receptor sites, leading to balance and a lessening of anxiety.

The progesterone and estrogen ratio is also linked to migraines. Progesterone is found to relieve hormonal migraines, including those associated with PMS. Migraine symptoms are associated with low levels of magnesium in the brain. High estrogen or estrogen dominance causes magnesium levels to drop. Adding supplemental progesterone INCREASES magnesium levels. . Magnesium can relieve migraine symptoms because of its ability to relax vascular smooth muscle.  (You can also take supplemental magnesium 400-800 mg per day)

Progesterone and osteoporosis

Conventional medicine widely believes that osteoporosis is caused by declining levels of estrogen. However, bone loss begins well before menopause when estrogen levels in women remain intact. FACT:  a woman's peak year for bone density is at age 30, after which she will experience bone loss of about 1-1.5% per year. Countless women who take estrogen supplements and maintain a healthy diet still have disappointing bone density. It is actually PROGESTERONE , not estrogen, which declines rapidly in women after age 30. So progesterone needs to be involved in the treatment of osteoporosis.

What is the physiology? There are two types of cells that regulate bone: osteoclasts and osteoblasts. OSTEOCLASTS function to dissolve old bone, leaving tiny spaces behind. These spaces are then filled in with new bone by OSTEOBLASTS . Both osteoclasts and osteoblasts require hormone balance to function properly. Estrogen slows down bone loss but does nothing to encourage NEW bone. progesterone (and testosterone) facilitate the building of new bone by stimulating  the bone-building osteoblasts. So….Natural progesterone can stimulate the new bone formation required to prevent and reverse osteoporosis.

Progesterone and cancer

Hormones "out of whack"  has  been associated with an increased risk of breast and endometrial cancers. Controlled studies suggest that synthetic progestins increase breast cancer risk.  (Write for my pamphlet Top 10 Reasons To Get Off Synthetic Hormones to learn more details)  Natural, bio-identical progesterone does NOT affect the risk of breast cancer. In fact, studies have shown that natural progesterone is a PROTECTIVE agent against breast and endometrial cancers. While estrogen causes breast and uterus cells to multiply, progesterone does not promote cell growth and cancer cells are inhibited.

Progesterone levels at the time of breast cancer surgery even influence survival rates, according to a 1996 study. The study revealed that 65% of women with higher progesterone levels were alive 18 years after the surgery, as opposed to only 35% of women with low progesterone levels. Wow!  Ask your oncologist about  progesterone, ladies!

Progesterone after a hysterectomy?

Many medical professionals believe that progesterone is not necessary for women who have undergone hysterectomies. However, scientific studies suggest otherwise-using estrogen therapy alone can lead to many negative health consequences.  See my blog about Estrogen Dominance or write for my hand-out)  When women are young, they have optimal levels of all hormones, not just estrogen. Replacing only estrogen after a hysterectomy will surely lead to estrogen dominance, so progesterone is just as necessary.  In fact, it can be even more important.

As one distinguished researcher said: "If you do not have a uterus, brain, or heart, then, fine….don't use progesterone with your estrogen.   Otherwise, you need it!"

Progesterone and men (see more on my Progesterone & Men blog)

Although typically considered a female hormone, progesterone is an invaluable tool for men's hormone balance as well. Just as estrogen dominance can severely affect quality of life for women, it has equally detrimental effects for men. In fact, excess estrogen in men is linked to breast enlargement, decreased sexual function, weight gain, and prostate enlargement.  A BAD combo!

Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) appears to be related to long-term exposure of the prostate gland to DHT and possibly estrogens. In fact,  Dr. John R. Lee, considered the pioneer of natural progesterone research, (and my mentor!) stated that excess estrogen exposure was a primary cause of prostate enlargement and even prostate cancer. Progesterone can help prevent the conversion of testosterone into DHT in addition to counterbalancing estrogen.

How to use natural progesterone

Perimenopausal: From the 12th through the 26th day of the cycle (10th-26th day for heavy bleeding). ¼ tsp. twice daily.

Postmenopausal: 1/2 tsp. daily for 25-28 days of the month. Use ¼ tsp twice daily if under 60.  Over 60, you can use your whole dose at one time.

For either of these two groups, if symptoms are severe you can increase the dose until you are comfortable and then cut back to 40 mg per day.

PCOS:  Day 1-10  20 mg of progesterone at bedtime

Day 11-start of period, 40 mg of progesterone at bedtime.


I sincerely invite you to write to me.  I want to help you feel GREAT….All the time!
I also have a FREE 30 page booklet entitled "Natural Progesterone For You" that I will send you or your loved ones.

You were NOT designed to suffer!  Natural progesterone can be your new best friend!





1. Campagnoli C, Clavel-Chapelon F, Kaaks R, Peris C, Berrino F. Progestins and progesterone in hormone replacement therapy and the risk of breast cancer. J Steroid Biochem Mol Biol. 2005 Jul;96(2):95-108.

2. Stein DG. The case for progesterone. Ann NY Acad Sci. 2005 Jun;1052:152-69.

3. Heersche JN, Bellows CG, Ishida Y. The decrease in bone mass associated with aging and menopause. J Prosthet Dent. 1998 Jan;79(1):14-6.

4. Hotze SF. Hormones, Health, and Happiness. Houston, TX: Forrest Publishing; 2005.

5. Dalton, K. The Premenstrual Syndrome and Progesterone Therapy. Chicago, IL: Year Book Medical Publishers; 1977.

6. Lee JR, Zava D, Hopkins V. What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Breast Cancer. New York, NY: Warner Books; 2002.

7. Huber J. Estrogen substitution therapy in climacteric: should progesterone be omitted in hysterectomized women? Geburtshilfe Frauenheilkd. 1991 Apr;51(4):257-61.

8. Beckham JC, Krug LM, Penzien DB, et al. The relationship of ovarian steroids, headache activity and menstrual distress: a pilot study with female migraineurs. Headache. 1992 Jun;32(6):292-7.

9. Smith SS, Waterhouse BD, Chapin JK, Woodward DJ. Progesterone alters GABA and glutamate responsiveness. Brain Res. 1987 Jan 6;400(2):353-9.

10. Le Melledo JM, Baker G. Role of progesterone and other neuroactive steroids in anxiety disorders. Expert Rev Neurother. 2004 Sep;4(5):851-60.

11. Fettes I. Migraine in the menopause. Neurology. 1999;53(4 Suppl 1):S29-33.

12. Turner RT, Backup P, Sherman PJ, Hill E, Evans GL, Spelsberg TC. Mechanism of action of estrogen on intramembranous bone formation: regulation of osteoblast differentiation and activity. Endocrinology. 1992 Aug;131(2):883-9.

13. Cowan LD, Gordis L, Tonascia JA, Jones GS. Breast cancer incidence in women with a history of progesterone deficiency. Am J Epidemiol. 1981 Aug;114(2):209-17.

14. Formby B, Wiley TS. Progesterone inhibits growth and induces apoptosis in breast cancer cells: inverse effects on Bcl-2 and p53. Ann Clin Lab Sci. 1998 Nov-Dec;28(6):360-9.

15. Mahavni V, Sood AK. Hormone replacement therapy and cancer risk. Curr Opin Oncol. 2001 Sep;13(5):384-9.

16. Tilakaratne A, Soory M. Effects of the anti-androgen finasteride on 5 alpha-reduction of androgens in the presence of progesterone in human gingival fibroblasts: modulatory actions of the alkaline phosphatase inhibitor levamisole. J Periodontal Res. 2000 Aug;35(4):179-85.

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Category: Hormone Balance  |  Permalink

Published: Tuesday, September 23, 2014



Two recent studies of progesterone supplementation show that it can promote multiple health benefits, including balancing blood sugar levels, normal sleep, stimulating bone growth, and reducing anxiety.

For men and women alike, progesterone has the ability to balance and offset the powerful influence of estrogen, an excess of which can cause problems such as weight gain, insomnia, anxiety, depression, fatigue, and decreased mental clarity. For some women, too much estrogen can lead to migraines and also more serious conditions like uterine fibroids, ovarian cysts, and osteoporosis. As men age, they often experience problems like weight gain around the midsection, hair loss, lowered libido, and prostate enlargement. More and more physicians are now becoming aware of the link between these symptoms and an imbalance in the levels of the sex hormones estrogen and progesterone.

In menstruating women, progesterone and estrogen are produced by the ovaries each month. During the first two weeks of the menstrual cycle, the ovaries secrete increasing amounts of estrogen. After those two weeks, ovulation begins and an egg is released and progesterone production begins. Progesterone prepares the womb for gestation, but if the egg is not fertilized, no pregnancy will occur and as a result, the production of both progesterone and estrogen will rapidly decline and bleeding will begin.

However, if pregnancy does occur, the placenta will begin to secrete such high levels of progesterone that ovulation will cease for the duration of the pregnancy and the uterine lining will become rich and strong for the developing fetus.




After menopause, a woman's estrogen levels can drop by about 40-60% and progesterone levels  decline even more dramatically. Although the adrenal glands still secrete some progesterone, this decline upsets the body's natural hormone balance, especially in a world filled with xenoestrogens. Following menopause, a woman's progesterone levels can plummet to almost zero and lead to many negative symptoms. In fact, numerous health problems are directly caused by an imbalance of progesterone and estrogen that leads to something known as "estrogen dominance." This term was coined by Dr. John R. Lee, an M.D. who specialized in the study of progesterone.  He used the term to describe the condition when  the body does not produce enough progesterone to offset high levels of estrogen. This  can be caused either by normal levels of estrogen combined with low levels of progesterone or low levels of estrogen combined with non-existent levels of progesterone.


If you have any of the symptoms listed below, you may be experiencing progesterone deficiency:

-         Anxiety

-         Irritability

-         Hypersensitivity

-         Nervousness

-         Restless sleep

-         Headaches/migraines before menstruation

-         Weight gain

-         Breast tenderness

-         Decreased libido

-         Heavy periods

Progesterone has many wonderful functions in the body:

-         Maintaining a healthy uterine lining and preventing excess

           tissue buildup

-         Inhibiting breast tissue overgrowth & stimulation

-         Increasing metabolism

-         Promoting weight loss - is thermogenic tells the body to burn

           fat for energy

-         Balancing blood sugar levels

-         Acting as a natural diuretic

-         Normalizing blood clotting

-         Stimulating the production of new bone

-         Enhancing the action of thyroid hormones

-         Alleviating depression

-         Reducing anxiety

-         Promoting normal sleep patterns

-         Improving libido  



What is the difference between natural and synthetic progesterone (like progestin). Natural progesterone is synthesized in the laboratory from the Mexican wild yam. This plant version has been in existence since the 1940's, so it has been around for a LONG time. This type of progesterone is bio-identical, meaning its molecular structure is identical to the hormones that our bodies produce naturally; it's a carbon copy so to speak. The most effective form of bioidentical progesterone, called micronized progesterone USP, works by enabling the progesterone to be absorbed at a steady, even rate.

Synthetic progestins, on the other hand, are NOT bio-identical. In fact, they were originally developed and manufactured as birth control agents. These synthetic progestins are very powerful and are able to function as contraceptive because a very small dose can prevent ovulation. In other words, they shut down normal ovarian function. One of the most common progestins, called Provera, is known to lead to blood clots, fluid retention, acne, rashes, weight gain, and depression.

By the way, there does exist an oral progesterone pill that has 200 mg of natural progesterone. However, when taken orally, progesterone is metabolized by the liver and can lead to complications in patients with a history of liver conditions. The pill also makes some women feel bloated, sleepy and/or constipated.  Therefore, a cream seems to be the most effective and efficient way to get progesterone into the body because it is extremely fat-soluble and can be easily absorbed through the skin. One important advantage of using progesterone in a cream form is that the dosage can easily be altered to fit the needs of individual patients simply by varying the amount of cream used.


(You can read more about dosing in Progesterone Made Easy Part 2)
 I LOVE natural progesterone crème and have been using it in transdermal crème form for the past 25 years!

 It's great for men, too!

Love Barbra,


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Fast Track Your Slim Down

Category: Recipes  |  Permalink

Published: Thursday, September 18, 2014





              Ground Beef                                    Mushrooms





Sub in 1 ½ lbs. chopped, sautéed mushrooms for each pound of

 ground beef called for in your favorite meat sauces and chili recipes


               Cream                                            White Beans






Puree 2 cups of rinsed and drained white beans with 1 cup of low-sodium

vegetable broth, then use in place of cream to thicken soup. 


                  Noodles                                    Zucchini Slices





Slice zucchini lengthwise into 1/8-inch thick strip. Sprinkle with

salt and let them "sweat" for 30 minutes. Pat dry and layer with marinara

and cheese for lasagna.


                     Flour                                        Black Beans





Replace up to half of the flour called for in your favorite brownie and

 baked good recipes with an equal amount of pureed black beans.



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Cancer Fighting Foods

Category: General Health Information  |  Permalink

Published: Monday, September 15, 2014





Cruciferous Vegetables


Raw broccoli, cabbage, and cauliflower contain glucosinolates, a type of phytonutrient that can help kickstart the production toxin-clearing enzymes.




This juicy citrus fruit-along with bell peppers and oranges-is full of vitamin C, which may block the formation of cancer-causing compounds.


Pantry goods




Pecans (as well as walnuts and pomegranates) contain ellagic acid, a nutrient that research suggests inhibits cancer cell growth.




Compared with those who don't drink tea, regular tea sippers (green, black, oolong, and white all count) are at a lower risk of certain cancers, such as breast, colon, lung and ovarian.


Herbs & Spices




Lower risk of certain cancers, such as breast, colon, lung, and ovarian.

Fresh or dried ginger has antioxidant properties that may aid in cancer prevention, according to research.




Rosemary contains carnosol, a natural chemical that has been found to potentially help reduce breast cancer risk.



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Brain Health

Category: General Health Information  |  Permalink

Published: Friday, September 12, 2014

Brain Health

You've mastered a healthy diet. You feel good. But what's going on in your brain? Is it stable? In good health? Can you recall your past experiences so you can pass along your wisdom?  That was God's intention!  Let's revigorate!

Keep your brain young and you will never feel old or outdated. Without nourishment, your brain actually shrinks and you head slowly towards cognitive dysfunction, dementia, and possibly Alzheimer's.

This can start as early as your 40s, but it can be reversed! The brain can repair itself and even become younger because it is so elastic.


Here are your best top 3 natural remedies:

- Take supplements that nourish your brain.

- Balance your hormones! The brain is loaded with hormone receptor sites,

  especially for progesterone.

- Lose weight; stay as slender as you can! Obesity leads to brain shrinkage.



The brain operates on 4 main chemical circuits:

- Dopamine-promotes energy

- GABA-creates feelings of calmness

- Serotonin-creates feelings of happiness and satisfaction

- Choline & Serine-enhances memory


All of these need to be in balance in order to feel energized, content, and calm. Low dopamine leads to weight gain, wandering minds, and even ADD or ADHD. Low GABA levels can lead to anxiety. Low serotonin levels are a major factor in depression, and low levels of acetylcholine and Phosphatidyl serine lead to loss of recall and a flat feeling.


Levels begin to decline at age 40 for women and age 50 for men. Stop the decline now! Watch my video, "The Secrets to a Younger Brain," which can be found here on my YouTube Channel, Hope For Your Hormones:



The supplements that are discussed and that I love are:

     - L-Tyrosine for dopamine
     - Zen Mind for GABA
     - 5-HTP for serotonin
     - Phosphatidyl Serine for memory


Remember, my friends:   There is NO computer that can ever be more sophisticated than the human brain. No one can outdo God! So honor your temple. Keep your brain young into your 90s and beyond!  That's what I am working on!!


Love, Barbara



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