About Natural Estrogen
In women estrogen is made in the ovaries, the follicle around the ovum, the adrenal glands, and the fat cells. With the progression of the aging process, the ovaries stop producing estrogen on a regular basis, and the main source for the production of estrogen becomes the adrenal glands. Unused testosterone is also transformed into needed estrogen, and even estrogen stored in fat cells is called to action as the ovarian production of estrogen diminishes. Estrogen and progesterone are designed to balance each other, to keep each other in check. It is almost impossible to separate their actions, but for the sake of simplicity, I will attempt it here:
Estrogen makes everything grow.
The positive effects of its action are that it:
- Makes the lining of the uterus grow to prepare for pregnancy.
- Helps the breast tissues grow in preparation for making milk.
- Causes the ovum to mature inside the ovary to prepare for ovulation.
- Creates the follicle where the egg matures.
- Promotes the growth of the fetus.
- Keeps the vagina, the vulva and the cervix well developed and moisturized.
- Promotes growth of underarm and pubic hair, and pigmentation of the nipples.
- Stimulates body fat accumulation to help the fetus grow.
- Prevents bone destruction by bone-destroying cells (osteoclasts).
- Protects from hypertension by relaxing the lining of blood vessels.
- Stimulates the production of lipoprotein lipase, an enzyme which breaks down fat. The result is low cholesterol levels and good balance between good (HDL) cholesterol and bad (LDL) cholesterol.
- Lowers insulin levels.
- Induces relaxation of blood vessels in the circulation in general and heart in particular.
The negative effects of the growth induced by estrogen unopposed (acting alone), without the balancing effects of progesterone are:
- Increased accumulation of body fat
- Increased water and salt retention
- Interference with normal insulin release and blood sugar control
- Increased risk of overgrowth of endometrium (lining of the uterus)
- Increased risk of overgrowth of breast tissue
- Increased risk of depression
- Increased risk of headaches
- Increased risk of gallbladder disease
- Increased incidence of blood clot formation
About Natural Progesterone
Progesterone is the parent or precursor of estrogen in the ovaries. The adrenal glands and testes also manufacture it. Progesterone is the precursor of testosterone, all androgens, and other adrenal hormones, making it extremely important for reasons far beyond
its role as sex hormone.
Progesterone’s functions on the estrogen-progesterone team are to:
- Prepare the endometrium for implantation of the fertilized ovum
- Insure survival of the fetus in the uterus
- Prevent water retention
- Help use fat for energy at the cellular level
- Serve as a natural anti-depressant
- Create a calming effect on the body
- Help eliminate sleep disorders
- Help keep insulin release in check and maintain even blood sugar levels
- Prevent overgrowth of the endometrium
- Prevent breast tissue overgrowth
- Maintain sex drive
- Maintain normal blood clotting parameters
- Protect against fibrocystic breasts
Progesterone’s negatives are few and easily balanced by estrogen:
- a sedating effect
- increased spotting and changes in bleeding patterns
- gastrointestinal discomfort
- hyperpigmentation of facial skin when exposed to sunlight
About Natural Testosterone
The most important role of testosterone is to provide male characteristics. Although this may appear straight forward, testosterone functions are of significance to women as well.
Testosterone helps to:
- Promote muscle strength and exercise endurance
- Improve libido
- Increase energy levels
- Improve sense of well-being
- Increase body hair production
- Produce enlargement of the penis and testes as well as clitoris
- Improve sexual desire and fantasy
- Improve bone density
The negative effects of testosterone are due to overproduction or intake through either testosterone supplementation in pharmaceutical formulations or unsupervised androgen consumption. The side-effects are similar to those of estrogen dominance, since testosterone transforms into estrogen when it’s overabundant. The side-effects include:
- Male pattern baldness
- Increased facial hair
- More aggressive behavior
- Higher cholesterol levels
- Too much clitoral enlargement
- Involution of testes and penis
- Growth of breast tissue in men
We are only now starting to appreciate the importance of testosterone in men and women.
While the balance of estrogen and progesterone is highly dependent on a cycle, we do not yet know how the balance of testosterone fits. As the story of hormones unfolds, I’m sure much more will come to light about testosterone.
Contact information for Natural Hormone Pharmacy can be found on the Resources page.
Reproduced with permission from The Natural Hormone Pharmacy