A Healthy Prostate using Natural Progesterone

Increasingly, reports have shown that men, as well as women, suffer severe health damages from estrogen dominance. Natural Progesterone supplementation, conversely, plays a very important role in protecting the prostate gland.

Dr. John R. Lee MD, correctly targets declining progesterone levels in aging men leads to declining testosterone levels. As the testosterone levels fall, the effect of Estradiol increases inversely, leading to an Estrogen Dominance situation. Estradiol (the most powerful of the three human Estrogens) promotes the onco (cancer) gene, Bcl-2, while progesterone promotes the protective gene, known as p53, which slows cell apoptosis. Clinic evidence shows that prostate hypertrophy and prostate cancer are correlated with a Estradiol dominance condition.

Dr. Lee, Dr. Eckhart, Dr. Maher, Dr. Hanley and Dr.Pensanti affirm that excessive exposure to estrogen is the primary cause of prostate enlargement and prostate cancer. Additionally, Xeno estrogens (estrogen-like chemicals in household products, cosmetics and foods), permeate our environment, exacerbating estrogen dominance in our bodies, further increasing prostate cancer risks.

Supplemental application of natural progesterone can help prevent prostate cancer.

Natural progesterone does this by:

1) Helping to balance and impede estrogen dominance and

2) Acting as a 5-alpha reductase inhibitor helping prevent conversion of testosterone, in maturing men, to DHT (a depleted testosterone molecule which also instigates prostate enlargement).

Men who have applied10 mg of natural progesterone cream daily report that their enlarged prostates (BPH) have been reduced, their PSA levels normalized and prostate cancers reversed.

Qualified research among a growing number of clinicians and researchers definitively proves out these important benefits leading to prostate health and wellness.

Discussion:

[The following articles were written in whole or in part by Dr. John R. Lee, M.D . Distributed for educational purposes only, by permission.]

Conventional treatments clearly aren't working - what's a guy to do?

Prostate problems are the fastest-growing health concern among men in Westernized countries, and the rate of prostate cancer is increasing steadily. Prostate cancer becomes progressively more common with age, and that conventional treatments (surgical or chemical castration, radiation, or surgical removal of the prostate) don't do much good and in fact are likely to cause rather undesirable side effects.

The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) of June 28, 2000, carried an article comparing treatment recommendations by radiation oncologists and urologists for men with moderately well differentiated, localized prostate cancer and greater than a 10-year life expectancy based on age. In such cases, 92 percent of urologists recommend radical prostatectomy (removal of the prostate gland), whereas 72 percent of radiation oncologists recommend radiation treatments. An accompanying editorial points out that the treatment advice is determined by the services the doctor provides rather than by any clear-cut evidence of the superiority of either treatment, or even whether or not either treatment is any better than watchful waiting. Sadly, none of them recommended any nutritional or hormonal alternative management.

Worse than Doing Nothing

The value of PSA (prostate specific antigen) testing to detect prostate cancer, though touted as a proven strategy for early detection, is also questionable. In Sweden, for example, physicians rarely screen for prostate cancer or use radical therapies, choosing watchful waiting instead. Despite this, mortality rates for prostate cancer have declined in Sweden. In the U.K., prostate cancer mortality rates are similar to the U.S. even though PSA screening is not routinely performed. In older men, when prostate cancer occurs, the cancer is slow-growing and early intervention may be of little consequence.

A Better Way to Treat Prostate Cancer

If radical treatments such as castration, radiation or prostatectomy are no better than watchful waiting, it is time to re-analyze our underlying hypotheses concerning prostate cancer. The present treatments are based on a war metaphor - find the abnormal cells and obliterate them by radiation or surgical removal. Little thought is given to the underlying metabolic causes that change normal cells into cancer cells. As with any disease, once the cause is identified, successful prevention and treatment strategies emerge. Conventional medicine is fixated, despite lack of credible evidence, on testosterone as a presumed cause of prostate cancer.

When looking at the many studies that compared hormone levels with the occurrence of prostate cancer, there is no correlation with elevated testosterone levels. If high testosterone levels caused prostate cancer, why don't 18 year-old men get it?

The fact that some evidence shows a modest survival benefit from medical castration (orchiectomy) does not mean that testosterone reduction was the operative factor. The testes make other hormones as well, and the observed prostate benefit of castration may stem from reducing one or another of them.

The role of estrogen dominance provides a more probable hypothesis. Estrogen dominance is the only known cause of endometrial (uterine) cancer. The prostate is the male equivalent of the uterus; they both developed from the same embryonic cells. They both contain the oncogene, Bcl-2, and the cancer-protective gene, p53. And it has been shown that estradiol "turns on" p53 which blocks Bcl-2 in both breast cells and prostate cells.

This suggests that if the ration of testosterone to estradiol in men changes so that the estradiol effect becomes dominant, prostate cancer cells develop. Recent studies no find that this correlation is fact.

What's Happening with Men's Hormones?

Estrogen levels are rising in the general population in Westernized countries due to pervasive pollution of the environment by chemicals that are estrogen mimics (aka xenoestrogens), such as pesticides, plastic residues and dozens of industrial chemicals such as dioxins and PCBs. This is why most postmenopausal women need progesterone (to oppose or balance the estrogen), and it's no doubt one reason that the incidence of prostate problems is increasing so rapidly in men.

Estrogen levels increase in aging men who are overweight because fat cells convert the male hormone androstenedione into estrogens, which then stimulates prostate growth. Thus, the more fat a man carries on his body, the higher his estradiol levels are likely to be. Regular exposure to pesticides through spraying in the home or garden only adds to the problem.

Even if a middle-aged man's testosterone levels are normal, if his estradiol levels are high he can have estrogen dominance symptoms such as weight gain, larger-than-normal breasts, gall bladder problems, anxiety and insomnia, and prostate enlargement that leads to urinary problems.

The crux of the present confusion about men's hormones is the matter of achieving hormone balance. Hormone balance refers not to absolute concentrations of any given hormone, but to the ration of one hormone with another. It is the ratio of testosterone to estradiol that best reflects the hormone-related risk of prostate cancer. To sum up, as men age, their testosterone concentrations decline but their estradiol concentrations do not; those commonly rise a bit, and the ration of testosterone to estradiol falls.

Testosterone is a potent antagonist of estradiol and its effects on the body. When testosterone levels decrease, estradiol becomes dominant. Estradiol not only stimulates prostate cell proliferation but also activates the oncogene Bcl-2. One by one, normal prostate cells become cancerous prostate cells.

This fits with findings of ultra-scans and prostate biopsies - the cancer cells are found in various small clusters here and there throughout the prostate, and not as a single prostate cancer mass.

Treatment of Hormone Imbalance in Men

Hormonal treatment should correct the estrogen dominance by supplemental progesterone and testosterone. If saliva tests find progesterone deficiency, progesterone supplementation is advised since it inhibits 5 alpha-reductase, the enzyme that converts testosterone to dihydrotestosterone (DHT). High levels of DHT are correlated with prostate cancer.

Conventional treatments such as surgical or chemical (e.g., Lupron) castration stop the testes from making all sex hormones. The observed cancer benefit is not due to testosterone reduction, but is more likely due to the decrease in estradiol production.

Unfortunately, this approach sacrifices the potential benefits of testosterone and progesterone (men make small amounts of progesterone in their testes and adrenal glands). Restoring physiologic levels of testosterone and progesterone to prevent estrogen dominance is a happier solution to the problem.

Knowledgeable clinicians are working successfully with men who have prostate problems by prescribing 4 to 6 mg of testosterone daily along with nature progesterone, preferably delivered by a patch or cream. The higher doses of testosterone often prescribed by conventional physicians (as much as 300 mg daily!) is an invitation to hormone imbalance in the other direction and a wide range of physical and emotional side effects. It is absolutely not necessary to take high doses of testosterone to achieve hormone balance. Up to this point the discussion has concerned the treatment of prostate cancer, but prevention is your best bet.

In addition to maintaining a healthy hormone balance as mentioned above, prevention of prostate cancer undoubtedly involves other factors such as diet, specific nutrients, essential fatty acids, stress managements, and antioxidants. Whole foods such as broccoli and cabbage are attracting great interest as cancer fighters. The nutritional advice on cancer that I give to women in the chapter in my "PREmenopause" book also applies to men.

In conclusion, the conventional testosterone hypothesis is a 60 year-old mistake. Present treatments are fraught with undesirable side effects and their purported benefits are little different than that of watchful waiting. Extensive usage of PSA tests has done little to change prostate cancer mortality rates.

Fortunately, new studies teach us that estrogen dominance (a falling testosterone to estradiol ratio) may have a great deal to do with getting prostate cancer. This is where we need to start.

History of Wrong Treatment:

" PROSTATE PROBLEMS AND HORMONES.

Some years back, a handful of men called or wrote to Dr. John R. Lee MD telling him of their experience with progesterone, usually the result of handling progesterone cream while helping a woman apply it. They reported that their symptoms of prostate enlargement or benign prostatic hypertrophy (3PK) such as urinary urgency and frequency decreased considerably, and their sexual performance increased,

Since then, several men with prostate cancer had told Dr. Lee their PSA (Prostate Specific Antigen) level - an indication of prostate cancer - decreased when they started using a daily dab of progesterone cream and that they have had no progression of their prostate lesions since using the cream. One man called to say his bone metas-tases are now no longer visible by Mayo clinic X-ray tests.

Though Dr Lee was retired from active practice, six of his former patients with early prostate cancer using progesterone cream (along with diet, some vitamin and mineral supplements, and saw palmetto) for about five years. all reported their cancer had shown no progression.

The Wrong Treatment All These Years

Since Huggins showed, in 1941, that castration (removal of the testicles) slowed progression of prostate cancer, physicians have assumed it was the resulting lack of testosterone that slowed the cancer, and ever since have relied on suppression of testosterone in their treatment of the disease.

However, the testosterone suppression benefit only lasts two to three years, and then the prostate cancer progresses to an androgen (male hormone) insensitive state and continues to spread. Despite this, metastatic prostate cancer patients are treated with androgen blockade through castration (orchiectomy) and/or hormone-suppressing drugs

Dr Lee remembered reading studies done 30 to 40 years ago showing that testosterone supplementation prevented survival of prostate cancer cells transplanted to test mammals. In more recent (as yet unpublished) studies it has been shown that in a prostate cancer cell culture, testosterone kills the cancer cells.

A 1996 study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences showed that in mice, testosterone will shrink human prostate tumors.

Now it became glaringly obvious that the benefit of castration in prostate cancer stemmed from estradiol reduction, not testosterone reduction

Why does prostate cancer occur so often in aging men?

1.     Consider the changes in testicular hormone production as men age:

2.     Testosterone levels fall;

3.     More testosterone is changed (by 5-alpha-reductase enzyme) to dihydrotestosterone (DHT), stimulating prostate growth;

4.     Progesterone levels fall. Progesterone is vital to good health in men. Progesterone is the primary precursor of our adrenal cortical hormones and testosterone. Men synthesize progesterone in smaller amounts than women do but it is still vital. Since progesterone Is a potent inhibitor of 5-alpha-reductase, the decline of progesterone in aging males plays a role in increasing the conversion rate of testosterone to DHT.

5.     Estradiol (an estrogen) effect increases. Testosterone Is a direct antagonist of estradiol. Both the fall in testosterone and the shift from testosterone to DHT allows increased effect of estradiol. Male estradiol levels are equivalent to or greater than that of postmenopausal females, but normally estradiol's effects are suppressed (antagonized) by the male's greater production of testosterone. Perhaps estradiol Is also the culprit (along with DHT) in prostate growth.

Getting Down to the Gene Level

Embryology teaches that the prostate Is the male equivalent of the female uterus. The two organs differentiate from the same embryonic cells and they share many of the same genes such as the oncogene, Bcl-2, and the cancer-protector gene, p53. It is not surprising then, that the hormonal relationships in endometrial cancer will be the same in prostate cancer; that is both are very sensitive to the harmful effects of unopposed estrogen and are protected by progesterone. Researchers T.S. Wiley and Bent Formby, Ph.D. have done test tube studies that verify this relationship, but human studies still need to be done.

The course of prostate cancer growth, like breast cancer growth [is] due to the continued presence of an underlying metabolic imbalance. The underlying metabolic imbalance in all hormone-dependent cancers is estrogen dominance. Prevent the estrogen dominance and you will prevent the cancer. If the cancer is already underway, correcting the estrogen dominance will slow the cancer growth and prolong life. The benefit of castration in prostate cancer stemmed from estradiol reduction, not testosterone reduction. Given the choice, I would choose testosterone and progesterone supplementation...."

Dr. Lee's Healthy Prostate Program

1.     Diet should avoid sugars, refined starches, and otherglycemic (insulin-raising) foods as well as high estrogen foods such as feedlot-raised meat and milk.

2.     Avoid xenoestrogens such as pesticides and some plastics.

3.     Maintain a good intake of antioxidants.

4.     If you are over 50, monitor saliva hormone levels of progesterone and testosterone.

5.     Supplement progesterone and testosterone by transdermal cream to maintain saliva levels consistent with that of healthy mature males. When supplemented in this manner: I recommend 8 to 10 mg per day of progesterone and 1 to 2 mg per day of testosterone.

6.     From my clinical experience, it would not surprise me that exercise and an active sex life are also protective factors against prostate cancer.

7.     It is known that chronic inflammation may also be potentially carcinogenic. It is wise, therefore, to maintain one's intake of antioxidants such as vitamin C, selenium, and fat soluble anti-oxidant vitamins, A, E, D, and K.






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