Dr. Lee's Transcript part 1 of 2
The following is a transcript of an audio tape recording of a lecture on Natural Progesterone, given by Dr. John R. Lee, author of "What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Menopause." Due to the length of this transcript, you may want to save part 1 and 2 to your hard drive for viewing off-line, by choosing "Save" or "Save as" under "File" on your browser's menu. Enjoy.
Dr. Lee: Thank you Pastor Barbara and Pastor Mays, it's a true pleasure to be here in Georgia, and I do compliment everyone who came out in the rain. Coming over I was telling Mrs. Allen that when I was in England last summer I spoke to a beautiful room, not as big as this but a very nice room at St. Andrews College, medical school and hospital. It's on the Thames river just across from the Parliament, about a 300-400 year old room. One hundred and twenty five doctors were there and I spoke from 10:00 in the morning to 5:00 in the afternoon on this topic with a lunch break and a tea break. Mrs. Allen said, "well you've only got an hour or two at the most here but fortunately Georgia women are a whole lot smarter than those doctors in England, so we can get it all in, in an hour" (laughter).
It's kind of strange being here. I was thinking last night I probably have a better idea of what you people are doing here than my being here. I think that the people that are here today have an awareness that there's a problem shaping up in this country having to do with women's hormones and part of the problem is that the response by conventional medicine is not working well. There's something wrong here. Something wrong is going on and women realize that they have to educate themselves. They have to acquire knowledge. They have to make tough decisions in their life because there's some bad things that are happening to women that they're not prepared for and the response of the conventional doctor is actually part of the problem as I've already explained. So I think I know why you're here. Why I'm here is a little more difficult to explain.
I was in family practice for 30 years in Mill Valley and I must say it took me, I may not be the smartest kid on the block, but within about 10 years I figured out that medicine the way we practice it, isn't as intelligent as it ought to be. We tend to have to wait until somebody gets diabetes or has his fracture or has breast cancer or heart attack or stroke, and they we're supposed to step in and try to fix it. It struck me that it would be a whole lot smarter to try and figure out where these things come from and then to alter people's choices, their lifestyle choices that they're making to try and optimize their chance of being healthy and minimize their chance of getting diseases. Because many of the things that we do end up with are things of long standing that gradually accumulate and gradually pass into some threshold where the disease becomes manifest.
In my case I was sensitive to this because my father who was the only doctor in a little town in Minnesota had his first heart attack at 44 and died at age 49 when I was 15 years old. Now when I got to medical school I discovered that you don't get a heart attack, or get a fatal heart attack like that unless you've spent years and years and years accumulating the cholesterol plaque building up in your arteries. So I tell you, at that moment I quit drinking whole milk. I haven't had a glass of milk since 1955, because the family history of heart disease in my family is awful high. My dad, my two uncles, my only male cousin, they all had serious heart attacks in their early forties or late thirties. I'm the first Lee in our family in three generations, the first male Lee to not only break 50 but break 60, I'll be 66 in another week or so. (Applause) So, either I'm doing something right or I'm adopted. (Laughter)
But at any rate, my interest turned to preventive medicine, and this has led me into all sorts of studies that I never dreamt of when I was in medical school. Medical school is more like a trade school, I have to admit. They teach you how to diagnose problems and that means to classify them by their signs and symptoms and to respond with a treatment to treat whatever the sign or symptom was. If you have a bladder infection you get sulfa if you have hypertension you get a diuretic and so on. There wasn't much thought given to spending time tracking down where these things come from.
So I accidentally got involved with the progesterone in a kind of peculiar way I guess. In my practice, after you've been in practice 20 years people who were 40 when you started are suddenly 60. People who were 30 are suddenly 50. Of course YOU don't change but all of a sudden you've got older people to take care of. Osteoporosis was my entrance into the field of progesterone. I thought I knew as much as anyone else about estrogen and progesterone in practice. But I had these people developing osteoporosis.
We had a doctor in town who developed a clinic to measure bone mineral density. Dr. Malcolm Powell. He had been a professor at UC and developed a way of using photons. Like kids at Halloween used to shine a flashlight through their hand and you could see the dark areas where the bone was and the pink areas where the light went through? He had a machine that could measure how much light was lost in passing through, and the loss of the energy of the light beam could be calibrated to the density or the mass of minerals that were in the path of the beam. Then later the X-ray folks developed a very light dose X-ray to do the same thing. They could measure the mass of the minerals in the path of the beam of any bone in your body. So we had these tests, very accurate, they're about 96-97% accurate, to measure bone mineral density loss and I had these people with osteoporosis.
The dilemma was, in 1976, that if we give estrogen as we were taught, you increase the woman's risk of breast cancer and cancer of the uterus. This didn't seem right to me, I couldn't imagine mother nature making this dilemma. There's something wrong here. But there it was, there was very solid evidence that unopposed estrogen is the only known cause of cancer of the uterus and it was probably the cause of at least 30% of the breast cancers.
There was a meeting at the Mayo Clinic in 1976 called the consensus meeting. Experts from around the world gathered, and said women should not be given estrogen unless you give some progesterone along with it because they found that progesterone protects against those cancers. That mother nature had always arranged for those two hormones to be made at the same time. The ovary makes both hormones. Mother nature did not decide that women should be on estrogen by itself month after month, year after year and yet that's what doctors were doing. They were putting women, post menopausal women on estrogen for their bones and they were creating cancer of the uterus and breast cancer. So when the Mayo Clinic said that progesterone should be given it turns out here was no company selling natural progesterone, real honest to God human female progesterone. They were all making synthetic analogs that worked like progesterone in the sense that they could be used for birth control pills. So they jumped in and started advertising to the doctors, "oh, we have a good progesterone here, use ours" so Provera came in and Megastrol came in and all these synthetics we'll be talking about came in.
Well, that was all right but a lot of doctors weren't using progesterone if a woman has already had a hysterectomy. The doctor would say, "well, she can't get cancer of the uterus, she's already had a hysterectomy. So they would still be giving unopposed estrogen.
I saw these patients who were on estrogen and they were getting swollen breasts and fibrosistic breast disease, they were getting fat around their middle, their hips, their abdomen, losing libido and getting depressed. When they traveled any place and they were sitting any period of time their feet would swell they'd have water retention and all that. And it struck me that there's something wrong here.
Also I had patients who couldn't take any estrogen because they've already had breast cancer or diabetes or vascular disorders or obesity, there's all sorts of counter indications for estrogen, gall bladder disease, migraines, hypertension, it goes on and on. So I had patients with osteoporosis who couldn't take estrogen and I was wondering, "what can I do for these patients?" "I can tell them to eat a good diet, I can put them on calcium, I can put them on Vitamin D, I can try and get them off cigarettes" and all these things you're supposed to do. But we knew from the bone mineral density that that was not enough. Bones needed something or they were going to get osteoporosis.
So in 1978 I attended a meeting, actually I was giving a talk on hypoglycemia and Linus Pauling was there giving a talk on Vitamin C, when Dr. Ray Peat, a Ph.D. from Oregon was there giving a talk to doctors challenging them, saying, "why aren't you all using progesterone, the second female hormone? It's readily available, they can make it from yams, they can make it from soy, they can make it from 5000 different plants, it's identical to what the humans make, it's been out for 30 years in face creams, cosmetics, it's wonderful for the skin, it's available, the FDA can't find anything wrong with it, why are you using only estrogen for post-menopausal ladies?
At menopause the ovary doesn't make any more eggs, doesn't make very much estrogen, your periods subside and we call it menopause and the doctors are just using estrogen and Ray Peat was up there saying, "look, I have a list of 250 references and they show that progesterone is a very important hormone and he lists all these important things, it's available over the counter, it's absorbed through the skin, and I was sitting there, just my mind was blown by this. I said everything he's saying is right. That all makes sense. The ovary makes two hormones why aren't we giving the two hormones?
So I got a hold of Ray Peat afterwards and I said, "I'd sure love a copy of your list of references, I'd like to look into this more." I did, and I found more references because every paper you get has another 150 references in it. So I accumulated quite a library of these references, and I found everything he said was collaborated by the references he had. This was very impressive to me, because this doesn't always happen in medical papers. You know, in medical papers, some doctor might do something, he might make some observation, but then he goes and makes a conclusion, and in the process of making a conclusion all sorts of underlying assumptions come in to play. A lot of times in medical papers there is so much that is still unknown. If they don't recognize the underlying assumptions, their conclusions can be wrong. Medicine is not nearly as scientific as you might think, because there's so much that is unknown. The whole essence of life is impossible to understand in scientific terms.
But at any rate I was impressed with what Ray Peat had, so I told my patients, I said, "I want you to go to Dr. Malcolm Powell's office and do a photon bone mineral density test and then I want you to go to the health food store and pick up some of this cosmetic cream." It was called "cielo" at that time, it means "blue" or "heaven" or "sky" and I want you to use that and rub a little bit in every day and then a year from now we're going to check and see how your bones are doing.
So over the next 2 or 3 years I did this and to my amazement all of these women who had bad osteoporosis, otherwise I wouldn't have been willing to do this extraordinary thing, their bones were all getting better. Then I looked at the people who were on estrogen, their bones didn't get better. It was just that estrogen slowed down the loss. You see the difference? Estrogen does not reverse osteoporosis, never has, never will. That's not it's function. What estrogen does is to slow up bone loss by slowing up the cells that are absorbing old bone.
Bone is interesting tissue, it's always being made, remade, unmade, made over again, just like skin, just like hair, just like the lining of your stomach, bones are constantly being made, unmade and then made anew. The cells that undo them are called osteoclast and they dissolve them away. When they find old bone, subject to more crystallization, fracture risk higher, these cells identify the old bone and they dissolve it away. Little pockets of it here and there. Behind them come the osteoblast. The osteoblast comes in and makes new bone where the old bone had been removed. In fact the new bone can't be made unless the old bone is removed first. So it's very, very important to have this happen.
What estrogen does is to slow up the dissolving away of the old bone. It does nothing to make new bone. The function of progesterone and testosterone, which is the same in this action, is to tell the cells that make new bone to get to work and make new bone wherever there's a spot for it. So you are increasing new bone formation when you get progesterone, or testosterone. So my patients all did very well even though they never took any estrogen at all.
Pretty soon I accumulated quite a number of these people, and of course they were telling other people. So other doctor's patients were coming over to my office and saying "what do you do" and I was telling them to go get some of this cream over the counter and put a little dab on and they said, "how do you know how much to give?" and I said, "well I certainly don't know, we're going to see what the tests show up a year later, but I know it can't hurt you because during a regular monthly cycle, the ovary normally makes 20 milligrams a day. From ovulation time until the time of your period. And during pregnancy the placenta makes it, and it makes up to 400 milligrams a day. So the safety range is somewhere between 20 milligrams a day and 400. You can't miss. A little dab of this cream is about 20 milligrams. So you're in the right ball park, and the only way we can tell is if we check the bone mineral density at the end of the year.
So we did and then I began learning things from these patients. They told me their energy level was higher, they told me that they could do a whole lot more work and that they could use up their body fat, their body fat was slimming down, they were able to turn body fat into energy.
Estrogen on the other hand turns the food energy into body fat. That's why they give it to steers. You understand, they castrate the steers, put them in feed lots, feed them sorghum and give them estrogen. Steers you see, are sold by the pound. So the function of estrogen is to lard in a lot of fat in with the meat in a quick time, and also to retain water. By retaining water the weight goes up so you get more per pound when you kill the steer for meat. That's the function of estrogen, and that function is prevented when you take progesterone. Progesterone allows you to use the fat for energy.
The women were teaching me that their fibrosistic breasts had returned to normal breasts. The women were teaching me that those that had developed some acne and pimples like teenage boys get, here they were post-menopausal women, that their skin had all cleared up. The women showed me that where their hair had been thinning, they now had full, luxuriant hair again. The women told me that they had previously been bothered by fibroids, and the fibroids were coming down and their doctor couldn't figure out why. Those that had water retention didn't have it any more, their edema had gone away. Those that had had muscular aches and pains had gotten better.
I could never understand this until just July of this year. There was an article in "Science" the journal for the American Cabinet for the Advancement of Science. It was an article about how the Schwann cell makes the myelin sheath that covers and protects all the nerves as they pass through your body. There are little cells every couple of centimeters that makes a covering, an insulation called myelin that protects the nerve from damage and it protects the nerve so it doesn't short circuit and lose it's electric impulse when the nerve impulse comes down. Turns out the Schwann cell can't do this unless something interferes with this progesterone receptors. Progesterone is necessary to make the myelin sheath. Now who ever new that before?
One of the problems in medicine is that they tend to label a hormone by some presumed function. A sex hormone, thyroid hormone, they don't realize that the reality is that the body is so much more complex that to label it by one function means you do not understand what that hormone does. They do so many things.
In my research over the years, learning about progesterone I discovered brain cells concentrate progesterone and testosterone to levels 20 times higher than the blood carries. Now, brain cells wouldn't do this unless the progesterone or testosterone has some function in the brain cell. Why go to the work of drawing that progesterone in, holding it against an osmotic gradient, getting it through the cell membrane into the brain cell unless there is some reason for it?
So now I understood why some of my patients who gave this to their elder mothers and aunts who were in nursing homes, they gave it to them for their bones or because it's so wonderful for skin, it hydrates skin again, makes skin much better, these elderly women all became much more alert and aware. Women who were content to just to lie in bed all day and couldn't keep track of the conversation with their niece or whatever, after a week or so of being on progesterone they're up leading discussions on the headlines and the latest in book reviews.
I had a doctor come all the way from South Hollow Brazil. He gave it to his 92 year old mother and his mother resumed being an intellectual giant again where before she had become a baby-like cripple, and he specializes in the care of the elderly. He came all the way up from South Hollow Brazil to a little town where I live Sabasco California to spend an afternoon talking to me about it. It helps brain function.
So I was learning all this from the patients. It's not in the books. When I eventually did write a book about it, people said they took it to their doctors who said, "well this doesn't agree with things that I read in my books, it's not in the other books," and I said, "that's right, if it were already described I wouldn't bother." But I was doing something people hadn't done before as far as I know. I wasn't doing it on 1 or 2, I was doing it on everyone. I probably have more experience giving natural progesterone to people than anyone you're ever going to meet. I've been doing it since 1978. I retired in 1989 but my old patients keep me informed and people are calling me all the time since the book came out, I get 50-60 phone calls a day. I'm in more touch with people now more than ever in my practice.
So then I decided, here I have all these people on estrogen and they're not getting better. I'm slowing up their bone loss but I'm not doing anything to reverse it. Why not add some progesterone to them? This is when I learned one of the most important lessons. When I give this to a woman who's doctor has her on estrogen, turns out the dose he has ordered is ALWAYS, two, four, eight, times too much. And I was trying to figure out, is the doctor that dumb? What is happening here? Why is it that when I give progesterone they get estrogen side effects? They get breast swelling, they get water retention, they get headaches, their feet swell, that's estrogen.
Well, it dawned on me finally when I looked it up. Turns out when you have the same hormone all the time like estrogen, unopposed by progesterone, the estrogen receptors tune down. Just as if you're working in an office where there's too much noise. After working there for six months you end up not noticing the noise. Then you go away for two weeks and come back and say, "oh my God, how could I have been working here without realizing all this noise is here?" Same thing happens with light. You've been out in the bright daylight sometimes and you go into a matinee movie and can't see anything for 45 minutes, your eyes have tuned down, constant exposure to the same message tunes down the message and hormones are like messengers.
Every cell that they work on, it does so because there's a receptor, already made that binds and unites with that hormone's molecule, and goes to the nucleus and creates the effects of the message. But it takes binding with that receptor. When you have unopposed estrogen, the receptors tune down. When you add the progesterone the receptors come back to full force again, full efficiency.
So, I learned that every time I added this to a woman already on estrogen I had to tell her to cut her estrogen at least in half. Then later she could cut it down even more because the progesterone was handling so many of her problems. She didn't need all that much estrogen. Then I had some ladies who kept cutting it down, cutting it down and pretty soon they weren't taking any, and they were doing fine. No hot flashes, no vaginal dryness, no problems, they were doing fine and I said, "how can this be?" I was taught in medical school estrogen goes to zero.
So I went to the library and looked up the original references of people, primary references. Somebody measured estrogen levels for 5 years before menopause and then 5 years after menopause and you know what they all found? Every single one? They found the estrogen only drops about 40-50%! It doesn't go to zero! Women continue to make estrogen even if they have their ovaries removed! How do they make it? The fat cells make it. The body fat converts to one of the hormones that the adrenal gland makes, into real estrogen. The greater your need for estrogen, the more it makes. The body's not dumb. The body has this backup mechanism and it works. In fact the test show that a fat lady after menopause makes more estrogen than a skinny lady does before menopause. Isn't that something? And you have all these doctors giving fat ladies estrogen! There's something wrong here! (laughter) It became more and more apparent to me, I learned all this from the patients.
Then I would go try and find a reference to try and explain it, try and understand it. People say, "what kind of doctor are you?" they want me to say family practice or internist or surgeon or whatever. I say, "I'm the kind of doctor who is a puzzle solver. I can't walk by somebody doing a puzzle without trying to figure out what the puzzle is or adding a piece here and there. I'm the kind of a doctor who when he hears 3 doctors out of 4 prefer hydroprophin or something else," I always wonder, "what does that 4th guy know that the other 3 don't?" (Laughter) Don't you have that? But I think I have this compulsion to solve puzzles, especially in natural science type things, and then I get a compulsion to want to tell people what I found. I figured out that's what I'm doing here. I have nothing to sell, I don't have any interest in any of the companies that make these creams.
I wrote a book two years ago. I first wrote a series of about 5 or 6 papers but the American journals wouldn't publish them because they said, "Dr. Lee doesn't have a control group." I was showing them that people with osteoporosis get BETTER when you add progesterone. That's never happened before in the history of womankind. There isn't any other study that shows that, and that estrogen doesn't do it. It's kind of like if somebody says, "all sheep are white." You do not have to do a double blind control, all you have to do is find one black sheep. Right? And you've disproved that. If you say osteoporosis cannot be reversed and I do it on 100 patients, I don't need a control group, I'm doing something that's reversing osteoporosis and they ought to be looking into it. I wasn't in a position to do the double blind studies because people were coming to me for advice on how to use the progesterone they could buy over the counter.
I've learned all these things that I'm trying to tell, so I wrote the papers and the first one was published in an Australian journal which is recognized around the world, International Journal of...something with nutrition, but it's a real good journal around the world. The next one was in the English journal, Medical Hypothesis. The next one was in a Canadian journal and bit by bit this was getting the news around.
Then there was a letter to Lancet. Lancet had shown these hormones are well absorbed through the skin, so I wrote, "yes, I know, I've been doing this, and it reverses osteoporosis," and they published it. Then I began to get letters from doctors all around the world, and my wife said, "why don't you put it all together in a book."
I'd given talks at our local hospitals, Marin General and Ross Hospital showing these bones getting better on these people. I mean, I ordered the tests but I had nothing to do with making the tests, and the people were using the progesterone. There was no way I could interfere with the results. The doctors would say, "wow, they've never seen anything like this before," but none of them would do it in their practice. Here it was available, they all had patients with osteoporosis they were still doing the same dumb thing. But one by one, they would call me and they'd say, "John, my mother-in-law is visiting and she has terrible osteoporosis, how is it you use this cream?" or they'd say, "my wife has PMS, how do we do this?" or, "my wife has fibrosistic breast disease," or, "my wife is having to take thyroid." Progesterone helps the thyroid hormone work. Estrogen interferes with the thyroid hormone.
This wasn't my discovery, this was described in the 50's in a study in Lancet. It doesn't interfere with the gland, it interferes with how the thyroid hormone is working. So the person acts as if they're low thyroid but the blood tests of T3 and T4 are okay. But the doctor often ends up giving more thyroid and can overcome this sluggishness of the thyroid by giving more of it. So he thinks he's doing a good job. And he can do that, forcing more thyroid hormone than the cells really need. But then you set up the stage for Hashimoto's thyroiditis. And THAT was described 30, 40 years ago.
No, it became apparent in my practice when I would measure progesterone levels, that progesterone deficiency is very common malady, long before menopause. This is never taught in medical school. No one ever thinks of measuring progesterone levels. They'll say, "well, after 43 or 44 it's harder for you to get pregnant, and you may have periods till you're 55," but they never say "it's harder for you to get pregnant because the ovary isn't making progesterone."
Let me tell you a little bit about what progesterone does. The main purpose of progesterone is to procreate the species. First you have the hypothalamus, then the pituitary sends down signals to the ovary to get to work to start the period over again. That signal is called FSH, follicle stimulating hormone. Follicles are little nests of cells in the ovaries, each containing the capability of one egg. One egg is already made and resting in there. It has to be developed, made full and then when one is released, that follicle becomes the corpus luteum, which then becomes a factory for making progesterone.
But anyway, the first response of the ovary to follicle stimulating hormone is to make estrogen and at the same time 150 follicles or so are developing an egg. When the first egg is released and the progesterone starts being manufactured that progesterone tells the other follicles to relax, quit, they don't have to do their job because this one has one good egg out. When that egg meets up with the sperm, it is able to signal back to the ovary, "don't stop your progesterone manufacture, make more. Progesterone is necessary to maintain this sequetory lining in the uterus. The uterus develops this nice bloody lining as a nest to be able to nourish the fertilized egg and to sustain it and if you have a fall off of progesterone at that point you will initiate a shedding, like a monthly shedding, and you will lose the pregnancy. So the ovary is very important, it has to make more progesterone at that point.
The fertilized egg in the blastula stage, there may be only 8 cells, signals the ovary, make more progesterone. Isn't that amazing? But the first business of the fertilized egg is to tell the ovary to keep on making it. Then, as the ovary does that, and the embryo develops, then the placenta develops and the placenta gradually takes over the function of making progesterone, and it makes more and more and more as the pregnancy goes on. So that in the last 3 months of pregnancy instead of making 20 milligrams a day you're making 400 milligrams a day. There's no other hormone in your body that is made in such a prodigious amount. That's a ton of hormones, and it doesn't hurt anybody. In fact women are healthiest in their last 3 months of their pregnancy. Think of that.
So here's a hormone that's absolutely necessary for the embryo to survive, from conception all the way up to time of birth. That period of time is called gestation time. We all know that, gestation time. The hormone that promotes that is pro-gestation hormone, progesterone. There's no mystery.
The problem is when people learn THAT role, they think they understand progesterone. Instead, progesterone is involved all through the body, from the nerves, to the brain cells, to the thyroid gland, fat metabolism, energy, muscle building, just imagine all the things. It's during pregnancy that you can burn your body fat to help the baby grow.
Estrogen helps you when you're not pregnant so that you turn food into body fat so that gives you survival benefit during times of famine. Women will outlive men if they live in a society that has occasional famine. Mother nature is very clever. But when you're pregnant you want to be able to use that energy for the baby and that's the role of progesterone.
There are so many roles. It causes hydration of proper water in the skin. It protects the cell membranes so the cell membranes can keep sodium out and allow potassium and magnesium to come into the cell. It maintains the intercellular concentration of the GOOD minerals and keeps out the sodium, otherwise if the sodium comes in then the water comes in and you get swelling.
Did you know that on all these synthetic progesterone's... we've got to be clear, there's a little synaptic problem that doctors have with this. Progesterone, as you all know is the name of the hormone made by the corpus luteum, the follicles that release the egg. The ovary makes progesterone. What I did, oh, here it is, in my book I put that molecule right there. THAT is progesterone, nothing else is.
When the companies want to give you some progesterone, something with progesterone activity, they go back to the discovery that Dr. Russell Marker made in 1938. He found that in plants there are fats and oils called saponines, where the word sap comes from. These are fats and oils that plants make. Now, the plants don't make cholesterol like humans do and other animals do. But they make sterols that are very similar. Plants don't make real progesterone. They make fats and oils that are very similar to this molecule.
In 1938 Dr. Russell E. Marker, down in middle America someplace, discovered the steps of how to convert that saponine into real, honest to God natural progesterone. Called natural because it's natural for humans. It's that molecule. It's able to be made.
So these companies that want to sell you progesterone, the pharmaceutical companies, they can't make any money selling that molecule because it cannot be patented. That's a natural molecule, you cannot patent natural things. They deliberately alter this molecule. They add different acetate groups over here and a methyl group over there and they make something that mother nature never made. But it may still have one or two of the effects of progesterone, enough so it will convince the ovary that the other ovary's already ovulating. They can use it then as a birth control pill. Anything that holds in the bloody lining can be called a progesterone. It doesn't matter what it is. They make them out of testosterone, they make them out of horse urine, they make them out of the real stuff. The companies have these huge farms growing the wild yam in Mexico and they make this progesterone, then they deliberately alter it into Provera and Megastrol. Now it no longer has the full range of activity. Plus it's loaded with toxic side effects. That's what they're selling people.
They use this same hormone to make testosterone for males, they make their estrogens out of this hormone, they can make all of the cortical sterones, cortisol, the hydrocortisone and all of these things can be made out of this molecule, just the way the body does. This is the "mother" of all the other molecules.
The body makes this out of cholesterol. The body uses this as a precursor for all the other hormones. So, throughout the book I show how this happens. You can't see this, but this is cholesterol, pregnelone and progesterone. From progesterone you start making all the cortisone's and you end up making all the estrogens, you make testosterone but without it you can't do that. So it has a million different roles. That's why I call it the multiple roles of a remarkable hormone.
So I think you get the idea that by my experience with these women, intelligent women, telling me, teaching me, I have learned an awful lot about progesterone. I feel an obligation to tell people what I've learned about progesterone.