Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Choosing a Progesterone Cream

It’s a well-known fact that the quality of products vary in as much as no one person is exactly alike. The less expensive a product is, the more likely it is to have filler ingredients that are cheap for the manufacturer to use, and subsequently provides a sub-par product. Regulations vary …from country to country and continent to continent, with the U.S. being the most lenient when it comes to monitoring products we use every day. The hygiene products you find in stores may abound with formaldehyde producing preservatives, parabens, carncinogens, and xenoestrogenic petro-chemicals.
That being said, today I thought I would share a few tips about what to look for in a progesterone cream. Most likely this “happy hormone” cream can be purchased at your local drugstore. It may not be regulated, and indeed, it could contain ingredients that would actually prohibit the benefits of bio-identical progesterone from the desired effects.
The resources for today’s info comes from a presentation provided to me by an area doctor, Stacey Bean, and from a new e-book I have which is titled “Progesterone & Pregnancy”, written by Catherine P. Rollins of the Natural-Progesterone-Advisory-Network.com (This site is a great resource for traditional doctors wanting to learn more about natural approaches for their patients.) For anyone desiring to start a family, I highly recommend this book which sells for less than $10. It is an invaluable source for information on how to have a healthy pregnancy, which starts long before conception. You owe it to yourself and your future baby to have a most pleasant pregnancy and your baby will benefit from healthful steps you have taken prior to God working the miracle inside you. (Consider the price of two lattes and you have just afforded this e-book!) Back to progesterone shopping tips….
  • Creams made in the U.S. should contain micronized progesterone that meets USP (United States Pharmacopiea) standards. (or BP – British Pharmacopoeia if you live in Britain). If not USP, or BP, certified – it would be wise to question the quality.
  • The USP is a standards-setting organization that advances public health by ensuring the quality and consistency of its medicines, and its logo will be found on certified product packaging.
  • Micronization mills the progesterone to a particular size. Basically the smaller the particle size the more absorbent the progesterone is in order to pass through the intercellular spaces of the skin’s strateum corneum (the physical lipid barrier to prevent substances/chemicals from entering the body).
  • The cream itself, that is used as a “carrier” for the progesterone, has to be one formulated for maximum absorbency. Creams containing mineral oil (paraffin) will NOT deliver progesterone to the body because the progesterone is more soluable in the mineral oil and will not penetrate the skin.
  •  For the same reason, creams should contain NO animal products or by-products  (an example would be lanolin derived from sheep), or any petro-chemical based ingredients.
  • Parabens should be avoided as a 2004 study suggests paraben exposure may have negative health effects.
  • Avoid Wild Yam Extract creams. This is not the same as progesterone and can potentially have an estrogenic effect on the body. There is also no proof that the body can convert wild yam diosgenin into progesterone on its own.
  • A container of cream should contain 450-500 mg of progesterone per ounce (28 grams).
  • Percentage of progesterone cream determines how much is administered, i.e. 2% = 20 mg./1 gram; 4% = 40 mg./1 gram, etc.
  • Look for creams that provide their own dispensing systems, as teaspoons vary from kitchen to kitchen and it is best to dose in grams or ounces. Most cream distributors provide their own measuring dispenser, eliminating guesswork.
My personal choice is USP certified Prolief, which administers the cream via a pre-metered pump, and delivers 2%, or 20 mg. per application. I find the pump extremely convenient and quick to use, so no matter how rushed I am in the morning, or how tired I may be at bedtime, it is simple to use. Another benefit to a sealed bottle with an airtight seal is that the progesterone itself maintains potency, and the cream does not oxidize.

If having a cream made at a compounding pharmacy, I would recommend an assurance that the cream does not contain trace heavy metals. One friend of mine used a cream from a compounding pharmacy, and one of her doctors traced some of her issues to metal toxin traces from the bio-identical progesterone cream she was taking. This is why it is so important to do your own due diligence and obtain a potentially life-changing, life-saving cream from a reliable and trusted source.

To your health, and may your life become more balanced!
Rita S.

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