Progesterone is one of a group of steroid hormones in our bodies known as progestogens. In women, progesterone is released into the body by the remains of an unfertilized egg following ovulation. If that egg happened to be fertilized, progesterone would help get the womb ready for a baby.
Men also have progesterone in their bodies. It’s produced in the adrenal gland and in the testicles. Men need progesterone for a healthy reproductive system as women do, but also for regulating blood sugar levels.
If a woman’s body is too low in progesterone, or if she has none left, she may experience heavy or irregular menstrual bleeding. If your progesterone levels drop while you’re expecting a baby, you may experience early labor or even miscarriage. During peri-menopause, your body stops ovulating and you lose the progesterone in your body.
But progesterone is a very important hormone and not only for regulating our menstrual cycles.
We also need progesterone for:
• Using fat for energy
• Thyroid and thymus gland health
• Maintaining healthy cell oxygen levels
• Normalizing blood clotting
• Healthy libido
• Reducing anxiety
• Stimulating the new bone formation
Progesterone protects our brain cells, reverses aging in our skin, is a natural antidepressant and it even promotes good respiration. Progesterone can protect against mood swings, hair loss, hot flashes, heart attacks, development of facial hair, breast cancer, uterine cancer, ovarian cancer, night sweats, vaginal dryness, and even insomnia.
In men, progesterone can help ease depression and it can also help with symptoms of andropause (a hormonal change in men that’s much less talked about than menopause), including insomnia, anxiety, irritability, and fatigue. Progesterone may also help prevent prostate cancer.
Whether you’re male or female, if your body is low in progesterone, or if you’re no longer producing it, your doctor may recommend hormone therapy. If so, make sure it’s bio-identical hormone therapy!
There are some foods you can add to your diet to boost your body’s progesterone levels:
• Egg yolks
• Red meat
Focus on eating more foods containing magnesium, zinc, vitamin B-6, and vitamin C, all believed to boost progesterone levels.
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