Why progesterone for men? Progesterone is commonly thought of as a 'female' sex hormone. This is misleading as it is vital to sustain not just health but life itself in all mammals of both sexes.
As a man gets older testosterone is converted into di-hydrotestosterone (DHT), which some believe is the cause of benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) and cancer, but some do not.
Oestrogen levels also increase as a man gets older. Oestrogen is known to stimulate cell growth. Reading between the lines, because as yet, there is no definitive study done on this, it appears to be the increased oestrogen level which is the problem and not the two testosterones. As progesterone is a powerful counter-balance for estrogen, progesterone for men is essential.
If in fact testosterone were the culprit, then men aged 22 would have the highest incidence of BPH and cancer, as testosterone levels are at their highest point in the early 20's, but of course they don't. From the early twenty's to the late twenty's testosterone makes it's greatest drop, thereafter it continues to decline, but at a slower rate.
BPH starts affecting a man in his fifties and interestingly oestradiol levels start climbing from the age of fifty and are at their highest point in men in their late 60's, but during the same period progesterone levels are declining. Progesterone for men becomes that much more important with age.
5-alpha reductase inhibitors such as finasteride are usually given to prevent the conversion of testosterone to DHT, but research has found that progesterone is a natural inhibitor of 5-alpha reductase.
Progesterone also down regulates the action of oestrogen if used in a sufficiently high dose. The endogenous oestrogen made by humans is now being supplemented by synthetic oestrogens found in the environment. They are now found in food, air, water, plastics, skin care products, no one can avoid them. Some authorities speculate this is the cause of the increase in problems such as hyperplasia or cancers of any hormonally sensitive tissues, such as the prostate, endometrium, cervix and breasts. So, despite often being, erroneously, thought of as a 'female' hormone progesterone for men is essential to preserve masculinity!
It's safety for men is without question. It's now given via IV transfusions for Traumatic Brain Injury, over 70% of TBI victims are men.
Below are the reference ranges for oestradiol, testosterone and progesterone for men...
- Oestradiol 0.5 - 2.2 pg/ml
- Progesterone 15 - 100 pg/ml
- Testosterone 44 - 148 pg/ml
As a reference point, the same hormones below are for women...
- Oestradiol 1.3 - 3.3 pg/ml
- Progesterone 75 - 270 pg/ml
- Oestradiol 0.5 - 1.7 pg/ml
- Progesterone 12 - 100 pg/ml
Range for all ages
- Testosterone 16 - 55 pg/ml
The symptoms of prostate diseases are...
- smaller urethras
- increased frequency of urination
- cellular changes leading to cancer
In many cases these changes can be linked to a rise in estrogen and di-hydrotestosterone and a drop in testosterone. The rise in estrogen also causes fatty tissues to be deposited in mens breasts and a reduction in facial hair. High levels of di-hydrotestosterone have been linked to prostate enlargement and cancer.
Progesterone is as vital for men's health as it is for women's. Approximately 5 to 15mg of this hormone is made on a continuous daily basis in the testes, which convert it into testosterone and other hormones, including estrogen.
As progesterone protects men against excessive estrogen, particularly the xeno-estrogens and di-hydrotestosterone, some researchers believe that the drop in progesterone levels associated with aging combined with the rise in environmental estrogen is causing the alarming increase in these problems.
That the lack of progesterone and prostate problems are interrelated is supported by the fact that the prevention and control of these diseases has been assisted in many cases by the use of supplemental progesterone administered as a skin cream.
There is substantial anecdotal evidence indicating that as little as 20mg/day is sufficient to reduce an enlarged prostate to normal. Some cases of prostate cancer have also responded to progesterone. As it is safe, with no toxic side effects, it is being used increasingly often as an alternative to other prostate cancer treatments.
The medical term for 'man boobs' is gynecomastia which comes from the Greek meaning 'woman' + 'breasts'.
Although the cause is often deemed idiopathic (meaning it's not known), the majority of cases are caused by an imbalance of sex hormones. About 25% of cases fall into the idiopathic category.
The physical manifestation is breast enlargement, it normally occurs in both breasts but can sometimes be in one only, known as asymmetrical or unilateral gynecosmastia. Occasionally a secretion of milk can be present too. Man boobs can affect up to 60% of men, including infants and adolescents.
The breast can increase in size due to stimulation of the breast tissue and an increase in adipose (fat) cells. Man boobs can be tender or painful, the medical term is mastodynia, mastalgia or mammalgia.
Treatment of Man Boobs
If all other factors which cause man boobs, as outlined above, have been eliminated, in all probability it's been caused by excess oestrogen.
The safest route is to suppress this is with progesterone.
Progesterone is not a sex hormone, it plays no part in the secondary sexual characteristics which develop at puberty. It is secreted primarily by the testes in men and the ovaries in females. Smaller amounts are produced by the adrenal glands, the brain and glial cells.
There are no great quantitative differences between men and women (at least outside the woman's luteal phase).
Progesterone is the precursor to the sex hormones oestrogen and testosterone, and to cortisol and aldosterone.
Progesterone has several other advantages:
- unlike oestrogen which can exacerbate brain injury, especially in animal models of ischaemic stroke, progesterone can be given to both males and females without affecting gender and sexual functions
- it's use in Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) yielded extremely promising results and found no adverse events attributable to progesterone
- inhibits the mitogenic action of oestrogen
- protects against breast cancer which is increasing in men
- helps correct the hormonal imbalance commonly found in men with erectile dysfunction as it increases the production of nitric oxide. In much the same way as Viagra does, but with no adverse side affects
- as an anti-inflammatory agent, progesterone has been shown to reduce the response of natural killer cells as well as other known initiators of inflammation. Hence it's benefit for mastalgia (breast pain/inflammation)
- influences spermiogenesis, sperm capacitation/acrosome reaction and testosterone biosynthesis in the Leydig cells in men
- is used in the treatment of benign prostate hyperplasia (BPH) in men via a transscrotal delivery system
- is used to lower dihydrotestosterone levels in men. The progesterone metabolite 17-0H-progesterone was found to have the highest inhibitory effect on the enzyme 5-alpha reductase which converts testosterone into DHT
- is rapidly absorbed transdermally and its patterns of distribution and metabolism are comparable to those previously reported for intravascularly administered progesterone
- the progesterone metabolite allopregnanolone reduces the brain's response to stress
- progesterone regulates the secretion of catecholamines during stress
- prevents lipid peroxidation
- acutely inhibits cholesteryl ester formation which is associated with atherosclerosis
- confers coronary vascular protection
- improves sleep
- promotes regeneration and myelination of axons
- enhances remyelination in degenerative disorders
- has a neuroprotective and antioxidant effect in an injured nervous system
- has multiple effects on glial cells, it influences growth, differentiation and increases the expression of myelin-specific proteins in oligodendrocytes, and potentiates the formation of new myelin sheaths by Schwann cells in vivo
- it reduces programmed cell death and the synthesis of inflammatory factors that can kill neurons hours to days after traumatic brain injury
- systemic injections of the neurosteroid progesterone given after traumatic brain injury (TBI) have been shown to improve cognitive, sensory and motor recovery, enhancing both short and long term recovery
- readily crosses the blood brain barrier (BBB) reducing oedema to barely measurable levels in TBI
- reduces lipid peroxidation and the generation of isoprostanes, which contribute to post-injury ischaemic conditions
- produces metabolites which decrease pro-apoptotic and increases anti-apoptotic enzymes (in TBI)
- reduces the expression of pro-inflammatory genes and their protein products (in TBI)
- reduces the area of necrotic cell death and improves behavioural outcomes (in TBI)
- protects neurons distal to the site of injury which would normally die after TBI
- produces significant sparing of cognitive, sensory and spatial learning performance after bilateral brain injury