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Voice from the past leads to future columns about hormone progesterone

By Staff | May 8, 2009

One of the companies with which I do business recently sent me a CD. I receive a lot of CDs, most of which I put in my briefcase, carry back and forth for a few weeks, and then toss, irritated that they take up room and annoyed that I don’t get a chance to listen.

So I carried this one around for awhile, and then decided to look at it. To my surprise, it was a recording of an informal talk by one of my favorite authors and practitioners, Dr. John Lee. Dr. Lee was one of the “founding fathers” of the progesterone movement, the author of several books on the subject, and without dispute the world’s foremost expert on the subject. I popped it into my CD player and listened. In fact, I am now on my fourth listen.

This CD brings back fond memories of when I was writing on weight and other issues, and had dived into the progesterone literature head-first. I met Dr. Lee personally at a conference at which I was speaking on my new book. I had just been introduced to the audience when an elderly gentleman and his wife entered the room and took seats in the back. My host interrupted the introduction to introduce the new arrivals: Dr. Lee and his wife. I nearly fainted. I was planning to touch on some of the subjects for which Dr. Lee was world-renowned and felt sure I would mess up somewhere in the presentation.

I relaxed, however, when I saw Dr. Lee nodding his head in agreement. He is a gracious man.

I will spend considerable time on this subject in the next few weeks. If you are a woman (or know a woman), I urge you to delve into this topic more deeply and put it into practical use.

Progesterone (the other female hormone) is essential in the building of bone. Although estrogen is frequently prescribed to help reverse bone loss, estrogen does not, in fact, help rebuild bone. It may help slow the bone reabsorption process (the loss of bone tissue) but progesterone is the hormone that is essential to laying down new bone. In 1976, Dr. Lee started prescribing over-the-counter progesterone cream to his osteoporotic patients and over a period of 3 years, found that their bones were stronger and denser, regardless of the age of the women. (He also recommended dietary and lifestyle changes but these changes did not alone reverse bone loss.)

Next week, we will talk about the effect of progesterone on mental acuity during senior years.

Carol is a certified lifestyle educator at the offices of Dr. Alan Gruning in Fort Myers. She owns the Island Nutrition Center on Sanibel. She can be reached at 472-4499.