any thoughts on progesterone?

Alzheimer's, cardiovascular, and other chronic diseases; biomarkers, lifestyle, supplements, drugs, and health care.
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anonna
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any thoughts on progesterone?

Post by anonna »

I am currently trying to figure out how to optimize hormone replacement therapy to prevent dementia, and would love any input you might have.

After reading the recent meta-analysis from Dr. Lisa Mosconi and team (https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10 ... 60427/full) which found that estrogen-only HRT was associated with somewhat reduced rates of Alzheimer's compared to estrogen + progesterone, I decided to try to wean off of the oral progesterone that I've been taking for many years along with transdermal estrogen. I have several risk factors for Alzheimer's, including APOE 3/4, a very strong family history of the disease, and bilateral hearing loss. I've also had a hysterectomy so am not required to be on progesterone.

However even a very slow weaning off of progesterone is having a major negative impact on my sleep. I've tried introducing other sleep-promoting supplements such as Melatonin, Ashwagandha, Glycine, Magnesium but none of them seem to be anywhere near effective as progesterone for me.

My ob/gyn is supportive either way and didn't have much to say about whether it made sense to prioritize anything that can help me sleep better vs. estrogen-only HRT. Does anyone have any thoughts on the relative importance of these two factors in Alzheimer's prevention?
sandyt
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Re: any thoughts on progesterone?

Post by sandyt »

I believe that study was using progestogens, which is a synthetic form of progesterone. From what I’ve heard progesterone does not have the same drawbacks. In fact, it’s supposed to be protective.
anonna
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Re: any thoughts on progesterone?

Post by anonna »

Thanks so much for weighing in! The challenge is that it's a meta-analysis rather than a single study, so aggregating lots of different studies with different protocols.

But yes, one possible reason for the discrepancy they found between estrogen only vs. estrogen/progesterone could definitely be that some of the underlying studies were using synthetic progesterone. They mention other hypotheses though, such as "the antagonizing effect of progesterone on ERs, which may alter and possibly counteract estrogen’s neuroprotective properties."

Is there a particular source or study that you are thinking of when you say that progesterone is protective? I would love for that to be the case, but it seems like the data that's out there is mixed.
Maria4/4
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Re: any thoughts on progesterone?

Post by Maria4/4 »

anonna wrote: Fri Dec 01, 2023 8:59 am After reading the recent meta-analysis from Dr. Lisa Mosconi and team (https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10 ... 60427/full) which found that estrogen-only HRT was associated with somewhat reduced rates of Alzheimer's compared to estrogen + progesterone, I decided to try to wean off of the oral progesterone that I've been taking for many years along with transdermal estrogen. I have several risk factors for Alzheimer's, including APOE 3/4, a very strong family history of the disease, and bilateral hearing loss. I've also had a hysterectomy so am not required to be on progesterone.
Hi Anonna,

I had the same doubts. I decided to use a progesterone cream. It's bio identical and prescribed by my functional medicine doctor. The main advantage is that it doesn't go through the liver. I also use a low dose (less than the 100mg). The cream has 100mg of progesterone per mL, but I don't always use the full dosage.

Sleep deprivation boosts our probability of having AD. I had huge sleep problems before HRT. I also tried many supplements without any results. Progesterone is the xanax of nature :lol:

I began HRT with 100mg of oral progesterone. When I shifted to the cream, I was afraid I was not going to sleep, and indeed it was not as powerful as the oral dose, but it was a lot better than nothing. But now I feel the cream has the same effect than the oral dose use to have and I am able to sleep so well. I don't know if I simply was nervous with the shift or if the cream is less effective in inducing sleep and we need some time to ajust.

I also have a detox plan that I follow on a daily basis. From what I read, it's crucial to detoxify very well the hormones, and my genetic information showed that I have several deficient pathways. This is also something I recommend you do with your functional medicine doctor. Detoxication is key to ensure that HRT will not do more harm than good.

I hope you will find a great solution for you very soon.

Maria 4/4
anonna
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Re: any thoughts on progesterone?

Post by anonna »

Hi Maria, thanks for chiming in and really appreciate the suggestion of progesterone cream, I hadn't thought of that. For now I've decided to prioritize my sleep and have stopped trying to wean off oral progesterone, but I'll mention that to my doctor as a possible option if I decide to try weaning off again in the future.

I've been on different forms of hormone replacement therapy for several years now, but have not been doing anything specifically aimed at 'detoxification'- can you share more about your strategies there?

Thanks so much!
QueenJane
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Re: any thoughts on progesterone?

Post by QueenJane »

Hi Anonna - I’ve been on melatonin, oral
progesterone, etc, in the past. Currently not taking anything but 1000mgs of taurine a night which has me sleeping well. I occasionally have weird dreams from it, but I’m sleeping all the way through the night for the first time in years, sometimes not even having my sleep disturbed by the urge to pee. I think taurine may interact with a few things, but nothing that I take. As always, interactions are worth checking out, but I’m sure you already knew that. I think several other people in this forum take taurine since it’s reported to provide cognitive protection and increase longevity. I hope that helps. Wishing you a good night’s rest!
Maria4/4
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Re: any thoughts on progesterone?

Post by Maria4/4 »

anonna wrote: Tue Jan 02, 2024 11:00 am I've been on different forms of hormone replacement therapy for several years now, but have not been doing anything specifically aimed at 'detoxification'- can you share more about your strategies there?
Hi Anonna,

I have several detox deficiencies because of my genes, so I try to compensate each of these deficiencies with food and supplements.
For a more generic advice, I found this article that has very usefull recommendations, that I also follow: https://www.parishealingarts.com/functi ... ase-detox/

I hope this information will be usefull for you.
Maria 4/4
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Re: any thoughts on progesterone?

Post by simatai33 »

Hello, from the studies I’ve read, natural or micronized progesterone and bio-identical estrogen (estradiol) is more protective, and the length of time taken matters too. It’s better to start earlier and not take it longer than ten years I believe.

Sleep is so important for dementia prevention! If that is your main concern as it was mine, I have been reading up how most of the population now is vitamin D deficient, which greatly impacts sleep and immune function. Here is the podcast that goes into detail about this: https://www.peak-human.com/post/dr-joel ... oronavirus

I recently was surprised to find out I’m deficient in Vitamin D. I am not overweight, eat healthy whole foods (very little junk food and snacks), and live in Hawai’i where I get fresh air and sun. Yet even with bioidential HRT protocol, something still felt off with my hormones. The HRT got rid of the hot flashes but I still had trouble sleeping well, although better than before HRT. My PCP was not helpful with this, but my naturopath knew to switch me from synthetic to natural progesterone. It took a month for me to adjust, and the hot flashes subsided. Then she had me test for Vitamin D. Now that I know my Vitamin D is low, I’ve upped the dosage to 5000iu daily with Vitamin K2 200mcg. Maybe try to get your vitamin D checked? Or just take the supplement and see if it helps your sleep? For me it also helps to take 400mg Valarium with the Progesterone at night before bed. Hope some of these tips helps!
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Re: any thoughts on progesterone?

Post by DistinguishedHeathen »

Though I don't have the source offhand, I recall that there's some evidence that cycling progesterone (such as taking one week off per month or varying dose throughout the month) to mimic the ups and downs of a natural cycle helped mitigate the cognition concerns. Though I'm not able to go digging because I'm at work, might give you a starting point on Google.
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