ANTI-AGING COSMETICS, TAINTED CREAMS

November 30, 2011
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The laws in the United States are such that face creams and even shampoos are classified as cosmetics and as such are not under the purview of the FDA. Furthermore, manufacturers can add up to 4% progesterone without listing it on the label to their product.

Diagnos-Techs, Inc. (http://diagnostechs.com) recently published information advising health care practitioners that 90-95% of the creams, lotion etc. submitted to them for testing contained progesterone! This is an alarming revelation and suggests that the laws in this country are in need of change to protect the consumer.

What type of products were the most likely to be adulterated with progesterone? Anti-wrinkle, anti-aging, rejuvenating, or products that state “our own special formula” are the most likely offenders.

What’s the down side if getting too much progesterone? If you are a menstruating female, it can throw off your ovulation cycle and therefore make fertility planning and success a nightmare. Progesterone is supposed to rise in levels after ovulation. Excessive progesterone will inhibit the ovulation cycle. Furthermore, progesterone absorbed through the skin gets stored in fat cells! What’s wrong with that? The fat cell does not readily respond to the HPA (hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal axis), which regulates ovulation. Therefore, the fat cell can discharge progesterone into the blood stream whenever it likes, throwing off one’s hormonal balance. And yes, if are thinking that progesterone cream for cycling females is not a good idea, you are absolutely correct for that very reason.

If you are a man and using anti-aging, rejuvenating creams, well then progesterone creams could be throwing off your testosterone metabolism. Excessive progesterone for either sex will cause fatigue. Progesterone stored in fat cells can take 6 months or more to be detoxified by the body. Elevated progesterone may not result in your feeling any obvious symptoms!

If we don’t know what is contained in our creams, what can we do to see if our hormones are being thrown off? Ask your health care provider to give you a saliva test for progesterone. What’s the difference between standard blood tests for progesterone and saliva tests? The blood test results do not reflect the same information as the saliva test. The saliva test more accurately reflects tissue levels of hormones over blood testing. (Stanczyk, FZ: Paulon, RI; Subiz, R. Percutaneous Administration of Progesterone: Blood Levels and Endometrial Protection, Menopause (2005) 12:232-237), O’Leary, P; Feddema, P; Chan, I; et al. Salivary, But Not Serum or Urinary Levels of Progesterone Are Elevated After Topical Application of Progesterone Cream to Pre-and Post-Menopausal Women. Clin Endocrin (2005) 53:615-620.) Long chain fats, i.e. lipids from cream and the hormone progesterone are transported via lymphatics as opposed the blood stream, which then circulates more in saliva over blood. Testing only for blood levels of progesterone will totally miss the elevated levels of progesterone lurking in the lymphatics! Therefore don’t be lulled into feeling you are safe with only a serum test for progesterone. You can order a test kit online through Immune Matrix at (https://www.immunematrix.com/store/product.php?productid=16266&cat=264&page=1) which includes a consultation with a licensed health care practitioner on your results. If your hormone levels are elevated then you can go about the detective science of finding out what products you are using that have affected your hormone levels.

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Anna Manayan

Anna Manayan