Some Facts About Wild Yam Cream and Progesterone

Published: 16th November 2005
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Wild Yam Cream has be advertised as a treatment for menopause, hot flashes, night sweats, PMS, migraine headaches, mood swings, fertility, larger breasts, heart disease, and osteoporosis. The people who sell these products claim they contain "natural hormones" and "hormone like compounds." To many people, suffering from these conditions, this seems like the perfect "medicine" to help them. In most cases these creams are not effective because the product advertised does not contain the hormone claimed. The fact is, there is no progesterone in the wild yams, nor can your body make progesterone from the hormone like compound, diosgenin, in the wild yam. So, why is there such confusion about this?

The reason this misinformation exists is because a few decades ago, wild yams were harvested and purified to produce the intermediate chemical, diosgenin, for progesterone and other hormone production in the lab. An intermediate means that this component of wild yams was reacted with other chemicals, in a laboratory, to make progesterone. People not familiar with this process thought that these wild yams actually contained progesterone. This belief is still persistent today and many unscrupulous business people sell products made from "wild yams" and claim that they can cure or relieve the symptoms of many diseases and medical conditions.

As for natural sources of progesterone, that is a misnomer. Today 99.9% of progesterone is made in a laboratory. However, the synthesised version of natural progesterone is identical to naturally occurring progesterone and is referred to as bio-identical progesterone. The term "synthetic progesterone" is often used to refer to products such as Provera®, Cycrin® which are not identical to progesterone. These synthetic versions have additional chemical groups added to the progesterone molecule, for a number of reasons. These reasons include improved absorption (oral dosage forms) and making the molecule patentable. Today, most bio-identical progesterone is made from soya intermediates.

There is plenty of literature discussing the benefits of hormone replacement therapy, however, many people often confuse "natural and synthetic" as "good and bad." The fact is that bio-identical hormones are available from your doctor, if you specify and state you would prefer to use natural hormones. Just because the progesterone is synthesised in a laboratory does not mean it is synthetic or "bad." The fact is, the natural form of progesterone, unlike the component diosgenin, which is not found in the human body, is better for you, even though it is made in a lab. It could be more dangerous to use a hormone like substance, like diosgenin, that could be harmful to your health.

It is often claimed that natural progesterone has no side effects, however, it is a hormone, and does have a number of side effects that you should be aware of, these include:


 





      • a feeling of euphoria (based on the amounts used)







      • breast tenderness







      • possible acne upon initial use as body adjusts







      • possible suspension of ovulation if used prior to ovulatio







      • possible spotting in women just starting menopause







      • alteration of cycle time







      • may prevent sperm maturation in men when used in excess







      • hives, skin rash, itching







      • increased sensitivity to sunlight







      • nausea and headaches




It is always a persons choice as to whether they want hormone replacement therapy or not, but to make that decision on unfounded product information is dangerous and could adversely affect your health. Your doctor can prescribe natural (bio-identical) progesterone if you are not comfortable with the synthetic versions like Provera® and Cycrin®. There are many options for hormone replacement therapy, but make sure you know the facts and avoid wasting your money on products that don't work, or could be harmful.

Additional Information: Progesterone Monograph



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