POST 227 How to Increase Progesterone

Progesterone Increasing & Hormonal Balancing

If you need increase your progesterone in order to get pregnant, once you do become pregnant, stop this program and revert to a prenatal diet and supplement plan, unless your health care professional advises yo to continue working on higher progesterone levels, especially during the first trimester. Getting your hormones tested is the only accurate way to monitor the results. 

The most important herb you will be taking is Chaste Tree Berry also known as Vitex. The problem with Chaste Tree is that it takes up to 6 months to work in some cases but it is the best for rebalancing your system, especially for women who have been on birth control pills. There are certain foods that you should focus on eating more of. Balancing the estrogen is part of balancing the progesterone. The following protocol will do both. Expect this to take 2-6 months to accomplish with consistency in the supplements and basic dietary attention. You have a couple months going so this will move along fairly quickly. By the age of 35, women’s progesterone naturally drops by 75% and estrogen by 35%. Unless on birth control pills, women should take herbal hormonal supplements from age 35 to eternity.

We live in an active world and today, most people exercise on a regular basis. Exercise is healthy however, too much exercise can cause hormonal problems. Normal or moderate exercise is good all around. Overexercising and intense continuous strenuous exercise programs (marathons, CrossFit, Hot Yoga, etc) will increase your cortisol levels. A Hot Yoga class is not same as ongoing training for long marathons for example. We are referring to excessive exercising where you lose your body fat storage and the percentage becomes imbalanced. Cortisol is known as the death hormone, so that tells you, you don’t want too much of this one. A clear visible side-effect of too much Cortisol is when you collect and store fat around the middle of your body– belly fat. Cortisol is the same detrimental hormone involved with metabolic syndrome- no, not low thyroid, but pancreatic imbalance which leads to high blood sugar. When you over-exercise, Cortisol in the beginning helps you reduce visceral fat, the fat that is spread throughout your internal body threading into muscles or around organs, veins, arteries, etc. Everything has its place and Cortisol is no different, just in a lower degree as part of your hormonal balance. Too much exercise however, when you reduce your body fat beyond getting rid of visceral fat, causes your adrenal glands- which on their own cannot produce enough Cortisol to keep up, will then “steal” the natural progesterone you produce away from your reproductive system so that it can in turn manufacture the Cortisol you need in order to counter-act the effects caused by excessive strenuous exercise. As with all things- and this includes hormones, it is balance, balance, balance. Moderation in all things- always the case. Too much of a good thing is a bad thing.

To clarify, normal, moderate exercise is excellent for overall health and won’t hurt your progesterone levels. Overexercising, in order to give you a perspective, is an intense and strenuous ongoing exercise regiment where imbalance is the result, exercise such as competitive CrossFit or marathoners often have issues like losing their monthly cycles.

Supplements

  • Chaste Tree Berry: 1000 mg AM and 1000 mg again late day PM. Must be on an empty stomach. Wait 1 hour to eat after taking it. Best upon waking for convenience and can be taken at bedtime if you have not eaten in 2 hours. Never miss this supplement.  Increases progesterone
  • Maca: 1500 mg. AM and 1500 mg again late day PM- same as above  Take on an empty stomach. Maca is a hormonal balancing herb which is effective for both women and men alike. For women it improves fertility, for men it improves fertility by causing sperm to swim faster helping the likelihood of conception more possible.  Maca helps to block “bad estrogen” in women and overall estrogen in men, helping testosterone levels to increase naturally. Maca can help to balance out the estrogen correct its ratio with progesterone. It controls estrogen in the female body by increasing progesterone and correcting the ratio between the two. Excessive estrogen circulating in the body, magnified and increased by the use of synthetic birth control pills is difficult to remove. To remove synthetic hormones, eat foods high in sulfur and supplement Organic Sulfur daily which will also remove heavy metals and clear the liver.  Decreases estrogen, balances estrogen, decreases “bad estrogen” and is complimentary with the supplement DIM
  • CoQ10:  200 mg. to 600 mg.  If you have a history of miscarriage, CoQ10 may be a supplement to take before you are pregnant and in a small amount during early pregnancy. CoQ10 is prevalent in the uterus and acts to prevent contractions or spontaneous abortion. Once you are pregnant, it is recommended to stop taking it or continue in a only a small dosage during the first trimester or first half of the pregnancy. Some prenatal multi supplements will contain some CoQ10 which would be adequate. Taking CoQ10 before becoming pregnant, especially if you have had a miscarriage, is recommended. Most women will take 200-400 mg. for 2-4 weeks when first beginning but if at any time you become pregnant, then STOP this dose and take 30 mg. per day or rely on your multiple to provide what you need. If you are NOT pregnant, take the higher dose for a month or so and then reduce to 100-200mg once a day. Because there is just not enough information on supplements and pregnancy or nursing mothers, so choose on the side of moderation and don’t over-do anything. Taking 30 mg. per day is considered a small dose. 200-400mg is more of a therapeutic dose.  Can help reduce the risk of spontaneous abortion in women with a history of miscarriage
  • Fish Oil: 1 capsule daily with a meal. This is specific to anchovy, mackerel, and sardine.   Increases progesterone. Making the lox recipe I have would be the best because you could have it with 1/2 avocado for breakfast a couple of times per week. A small amount of this salmon is rich with the nutrients you need. Eating avocado and salmon together (or sardines) is a win win. It is not recommended that you eat salmon every day, especially during pregnancy, but you can eat avocado every day and boost your dietary fatty acids.  When pregnant there is a greater need for Omega 3 Fatty Acids. Always use a pharmaceutical grade or a tested product for mercury. Chia Seed also has Omega 3 Fatty Acids and is your optional plant source. 
  • Salmon Oil: 1 capsule daily with a meal.  Increases progesterone. After pregnant, choose only one product, salmon or fish oil made from sardine, anchovy, or mackerel but not both.  Increases progesterone
  • B100: 1 capsule with 1st meal. Balances the use of B6 and supports neurotransmitter function, stress reduction, and a wide spectrum of body functions.  One per day fulfills multiple physical needs, eliminates the need to take a separate B6 supplement.
  • B6 100mg. 1 capsule with 1st meal if NOT taking B100.  If you are taking B100, do not add B6, it already has it in it. Taking B6 ahead of becoming pregnant by about 2 months has been found to prevent morning sickness or the degree of morning sickness. Starting after you are already pregnant hasn’t been found to be as effective. B6 is important to your baby’s brain development. A B100 covers all your bases including B6. B6 is essential to forming corpus luteum, which is your top progesterone producer from within the ovaries. It aids the body in maintaining adequate progesterone. A deficiency of this B vitamin can suppress the production of progesterone. It acts in concert with the other B’s and should be taken as a “family” but with an increase focus on B6, such as 1 B100 capsule accompanied alone with an addition B6 100mg. Most believe 200mg per day is adequate although some research shows otherwise with dosages up to as much as 800mg. Anything above 200mg can be a conflict for certain brain functions so it is prudent to stick with 200mg and include the other supplements in this material for creating a balance.  Increases progesterone 
  • EPO 1 capsule with a meal.  Increases progesterone and balances it with the estrogen.  Increases progesterone, balances it with estrogen
  • Flaxseed Oil 1 tablespoon, 1 x daily with a meal.  Increases progesterone and balances it with the estrogen.  Increases progesterone, balances it with estrogen
  • D3 5000 mg 1 x daily with a meal.  Increases progesterone, balances estrogen, and improves all types of hormonal balance. D3 is a natural hormone and most commonly taken 1 x daily in a 5000 mg dose unless blood tests require a different amount. Always use D3. It is critical to all hormonal balance. Do not confuse D2, generally given as a 50,000 mg weekly capsule, which is a synthetic form. D3 is needed to balance your magnesium, calcium, and phosphorus for strong bones, teeth, and related tissue.  Increases progesterone, balances it with estrogen
  • Fats Take about 1 tablespoon of coconut oil with food one time per day. Include fish oil, salmon oil, oils from fish like salmon and halibut. Use olive oil as your primary cooking oil to help protect your veins and arteries. Olive Oil acts like teflon so it prevents fats from sticking and forming plaque.  Proper fats helps to balance hormones, cell membranes, supports the myelin sheath and protects immune system processing, protects your brain and nerves. Americans typically get too much Omega 6 fats and contrary need to focus most on Omega 3 and 9. Saturated fats protect the brain from dementia. autoimmune disorders, and various learning disabilities. Saturated fats although critical should still be limited, such as coconut oil- 1 tablespoon daily is an ideal amount, and the rest coming from nuts and foods, with a primary use of olive oil which acts like a teflon to the veins and arteries, protecting the body from the dangerous buildup of plaque. Fat is highly prone to rancidity which is just one reason that antioxidants are so important to health. Keep your fats fresh and use everything in moderation.  Balances hormones and protects your brain
  • Zinc take a loading dose of 30-50 mg with a full meal for 1-3 months then reduce to zinc in foods or a lower dose of 10-30 mg.  Zinc is a trace mineral. Take between 30-50mg per day with a full meal (protects from upsetting the stomach) for a period of time between 1 and 3 months. Follow by eating plenty of foods containing high zinc or supplement going forward with a low daily dose such as 10-30 mg.  See your multiple supplement which may be enough to without additional need after the loading dose has been established. Zinc is essential to the pituitary gland to regulate and boost levels of FSH hormones. FSH hormones help your ovaries to create more progesterone and estrogen as needed by the reproductive system for healthy fertility.  Increases levels of FSH hormones
  • Organic Sulfur work up to 1 teaspoon 2 x daily. Doses need to be 4 hours or more apart and taken on an empty stomach. Wait 30 minutes to eat after taking it   Balances everything. Removes heavy metals. Removes synthetic hormones stuck in the liver and recirculating in the blood, from birth control pills or foods eaten in the past.  Helps to remove heavy metals and synthetic hormones causing imbalances, supports skin and collagen to reduce the stress in the skin in the development of stretch marks
  • Vitamin C 1000 mg. daily with a meal.  Influences the ovaries in the ovulation process, has been found to raise progesterone levels including during the luteal phase on day 21 of the cycle or 2nd half of the menstrual cycle.  Influences ovulation, stimulates the development of collagen in the prevention of stretch marks and supports the immune system
  • DIM     you can get this in DIM-containing foods (see below)  This is in all cruciferous vegetables, DIM contains diindolylmethane which is a phytonutrient which supports enzyme activity which directly improves estrogen metabolism and helps to reduce estrogen dominance. DIM has multiple anti-cancer benefits. One of these can easily be incorporated into your daily diet. Any of these MUST however be cooked. Raw will lower thyroid function and cause adrenal fatigue. Cooked they are optimal and very effective, cooked will not upset your metabolism.  Binds “bad estrogen”
  • Magnesium Take magnesium along with calcium, preferably in a citrate form, at bedtime. Magnesium is a mineral which is required for the adequate production of progesterone, estrogen, and testosterone. It is critical for the endocrine system for the regulation of the stress hormone, cortisol.  Promotes healthy hormonal production of progesterone, estrogen, and testosterone
  • Folate 400 mcg. with a meal.  If using Folic Acid instead, use 800 mcg.  Increases progesterone, increases fertility, ovulation, reduces nausea in pregnancy, reduces miscarriage by as much as 50%, best utilized taken at the same time as the B100 & B6 with food.  Folate is better utilized by the body compared to Folic Acid and only half the amount is needed because it is assimilated easily. Folate is better absorbed and utilized by the body compared to folic acid. For example, instead of 800mcg of folic acid, take only 400mcg of folate. Folate is believed to be important to healthy ovulation and regularity. It is important to the prevention of birth defects and breast cancer.  Helps reduce the risk of miscarriage
  • Vitamin E 400 IU with a meal  Increases integrity & viability of both the egg & sperm DNA. Improves elasticity of veins, arteries, and skin; all which are burdened by pregnancy.  Skin elasticity, benefits the circulatory system
  • Hyaluronic Acid (HA) 100 to 300 mg per day with food. An unfortunate side effect of low progesterone is also a loss of HA. When your progesterone is where it should be, it increases HA synthesis by your body by up to 267%!! This is skin-restorative, hydrating, and youth promoting. Because you are low in progesterone, you will be low in HA. Taking an HA supplement has many healthy variables to consider so while you are working on your hormone balance, take an HA supplement to protect your skin from premature aging and a loss of your skin’s underlying pad. Most men and women both take HA as they age in order to support not only skin, but joint and disc health, tighter and more supple skin, and bone health. With extra weight of pregnancy, HA helps to protect your knees and reduce the formation of stretch marks.  Protects your joints, discs, and improves skin’s snap-back

Foods To Focus On

  • Zinc oysters, shrimp, crab, mussels, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, squash & seeds, chocolate, almonds & almond milk, Brazil nuts, cashew & cashew milk, avocado, black beans.
  • B6 salmon, tuna, snapper, mahi-mahi, eggs, milk, carrots, broccoli, beef (rare helpful), ricotta, bananas, peas, potatoes, green beans, spinach, chicken breast, turkey.
  • Fats flaxseed oil & seeds/meal, chia seed & oil, salmon & oil.
  • Magnesium yogurt, spinach, quinoa, almonds, cashews, peanuts, dark chocolate, black beans, avocado, edamame.
  • Fish OIl eat salmon and oily fish like sardines, mackerel, halibut, anchovies, often
  • Folate Getting folic acid is also part of how B12 functions in balance. Legumes, asparagus, leafy greens, eggs, beets and tops, citrus fruits, broccoli & Brussels sprouts (cooked).
  • Vitamin C All citrus fruits is the highest source, bell peppers- especially the red ones, all red peppers, cayenne, kiwi, kale & broccoli (cooked)
  • D3 salmon, sardines, tuna, shrimp, oysters, egg yolks, mushrooms, cod, cod liver oil, herring, halibut
  • Sulfur garlic, onions, eggs, all cruciferous vegetables (cabbage, kale, broccoli, cauliflower, watercress, Brussels spouts), bok choy
  • MACA, Chaste Tree, Red Raspberry Leaf, EPO, etc these are foods in themselves, taking an extract or correct recommended dosage in supplement form is needed
    • Red Raspberry Leaf– a progesterone regulating, balancing to progesterone levels. An herbal medicinal that tastes good and very similar in flavor to green tea. It doesn’t have caffeine so it can be a good alternative.
    • Maca– an adaptogen remedy. Adaptogens can be taken ongoing for as long as you want to take them. These herbs adapt to your body’s needs and promote it to produce hormones. Again, this is a longer process. It builds and is ongoing, increasing its effects as time goes along, similar to Chaste Tree Berry. Both are worth the wait time and increase progesterone over time.
    • Chaste Tree Berry–  source of vitex agnus-castus. Vitex is a compound that stimulates the secretion of luteinizing hormone (LH) from the brain which stimulates the ovaries to produce progesterone. Takes 3 months or 3 menstrual cycles to to see results.
  • Vitamin E Seeds; sunflower, nuts; almonds, hazelnuts, peanuts, green leafy vegetables;  spinach, dark lettuces, greens, broccoli, vegetable oils;  sunflower, safflower, corn, soybean, wheat (gluten)
  • DIM broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower and kale. It supports the activity of enzymes that improve estrogen metabolism.
  • Progesterone-Promoting Foods Include food(s) from this list in your diet every day. Remember that cruciferous foods need to be cooked to be beneficial while maintaining a healthy thyroid metabolism. If you have a high functioning thyroid, hyperthyroidism, this is the example where eating these foods raw has a good medicinal effect to slow the thyroid and balance the gland.
    • Beans
    • Broccoli
    • Brussel sprouts
    • Cabbage
    • Cauliflower
    • Maca
    • Kale
    • Nuts
    • Pumpkin
    • Spinach
    • Whole Grains
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