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Pregnant Women Don't Get Cancer:
Politics, Facts and Fallacies about Natural Progesterone.
By: Dr. William Wong, ND, PhD.

 

Only in the Peoples Republic of California!  The state legislature and the state office of environmental health assessment there are giving cover to the big drug companies, protecting them from upcoming lawsuits due to the side effects of their synthetic hormones.  Let me explain the legal / political posturing first then I'll explain what we see in human physiology.   Let's first bust a myth: "California is a progressive place that leads the American nation in new ideas."  Not as regards natural medicine and natural health they don't, not by a long shot.  In fact, the best place for natural health and alternative medicine in the entire country is just next door to that loony bin in Arizona!  California is a repressive place for natural medicine, which has consistently oppressed natural care and penalized MD's who practice alternative medicine.  One of the most blaring cases that come to mind was that of well known Dr. Gary Gordon, who had his license yanked by California for performing IV Chelation therapy!  He was reducing the income of heart surgeons who did not get to do bypasses on Dr. Gordon's patients!  In the past 2 decades the state has gotten rid of Naturopathic licensure, closed a Naturopathic College (Pacific), and put the screws to physicians attempting to be more natural and less invasive in their practice.

Protecting the patient and consumer is what these paternalistic elitists say they are doing.  (These students of Dialectical Materialism know better than the great-unwashed masses).  What they are actually doing is much more sinister and harmful to the population they claim to be helping.  Protecting big business, likely while lining their pockets, is what these neo-socialists are doing while assuming the guise of protecting the public from unscrupulous health food fanatics!   Quite a position to take for a bunch of '60's pro communist radicals from the old SDS and the Black Panthers!   Their '60's platform was that big business was evil and needed to be destroyed in favor of production owned by ”the people”.   I guess since they might now be getting “special considerations” from the drug companies they consider themselves (the people) to own a stake in the companies. 

Whatever am I ranting about you ask?  It's this:  Last year into this year the drug firms that made synthetic progesterone were rocked when studies showing that their junk caused terrible side effects including cancer!  (We already knew the synthetic progestine caused birth defects).  Now anyone familiar with the patent process knows you can't patent nature.  And anyone knowledgeable on how the drug company’s work knows that they won't sell anything they can't patent because they can't make any money using nature when everyone around is free to copy it.  So, when the drug companies make a hormone they change its molecular structure just a hair here and there so that the drug has most of the properties of the hormone but is not exactly like the natural hormone.   That way they can get a patent on their version of the hormone and sell the heck out of it while the competition needs to tweak the molecular structure some other way so they can get a patent on their hormone drug.  Follow me so far?  Good. 

Since the side effects of the synthetic drug progestine were SOOO BAD, there are a bunch of product liability lawyers sharpening their knives finding women who have been harmed by the drugs and planning class action suits against the drug makers for the damage they inflicted.  Since the drug companies, who care about people as much as the tobacco companies do, know they are going to lose the lawsuits, they want to minimize their losses by saying that their drugs had the same side effects as natural progesterone. Why? Since they could not control the side effects of the drugs they want to make it look as though they are not that liable or negligent by claiming natural progesterone has the same side-effects.  According to them, what happened is just what happens when you take progesterone in any form; drug or natural. 

IF the side effects of their drugs are the same as for the stuff from nature, then they can't be responsible for what happened.  If on the other hand the side effects of their drugs happened because of the changes they made in the molecular structure of the hormone, then they are responsible.  Understand?  It’s a matter of blame and liability.   

What’s all this got to do with the Peoples Socialist Republic of California?  If a state known for supposedly championing consumer rights and environmentalism, declares that all progesterone is carcinogenic and requires a warning liable to be placed on natural progesterone sold there, then it bolsters the drug company’s claim that they are not responsible for the side effects of the progestine drugs.  See where this is going? 

My question is this: if the state health and environmental authority is so hip on labeling progesterone as a carcinogen, with no validation other than the synthetic hormones being cancer causing, why don't they require the same label on known carcinogens like the natural and synthetic estrogen found in HRT drugs?  Not only has the US government listed Estradiol and Estrone as known carcinogens, but doctors in Europe have stopped prescribing it for the same reasons!  Since the release last spring of a comprehensive review of all HRT studies done in the last few decades from researchers at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, most of the physicians in the EU have now stopped prescribing estradiol because of it's cancerous and other nasty side effects.  Karolinska is the largest teaching hospital in Europe and the home of the Nobel Prize in Medicine.  When they speak most of the worlds’ doctors listen.  So again my question: why haven't estrogen drugs, natural estrogen and isoflavone supplements been singled out for the carcinogenic label while the most benign and beneficial sexual hormone gets the moniker?  The reason is that the estrogen lawsuits haven't started – yet.  The lawyers are further ahead on the progestine lawsuits than they are with the HRT suits. 

With that off my chest let's look at the way progesterone works in human physiology.  While on paper progesterone can convert into estrogen and therefore become carcinogenic, that conversion rarely if ever happens “In Vivo”, in live human beings.  If it did:

Pregnant women, whose progesterone levels are 486% higher than normal do not convert P into E.  If that were so the rate of miscarriage would be sky high.  Instead high natural progesterone levels guard against estrogen (which is one cause of miscarriage) and preserve pregnancy so well so that the British National Health Service gives natural progesterone cream to women who's estrogen levels are too high and endangering their pregnancy.  In no instances have the addition of progesterone elevated estrogen levels or caused miscarriage. 

  • Pregnant women have a very low overall cancer rate, for all types of cancers at only 6.5 per 100,000 women.  This is opposed to women in general of the same age group with cancer rates of: 111.2 per 100,000 for breast cancer, 41.5 per 100,000 for lung cancer and 18.2 for colon and rectal cancer (the three major types of cancer that kill women).   And, it seems women are protected from the disease during the entire period of their pregnancies!  While as soon as the high progesterone levels drop to practically zero right after birth, just postpartum women have a slightly higher rate of acquiring breast cancer!  Hum, the progesterone is gone, the estrogen is up and the cancer rate increases.  That says it all!  (Also remember that postpartum depression is the result of the low or no progesterone level had right after giving birth.  Estrogen is needed to stop the pregnancy and spark the birth process and high estrogen along with the milk producing pro-lactin hormone is responsible for a woman not being able to get pregnant while she is breast-feeding.  (Estrogen is a serious creator of depression as is pro-lactin).  Since the major hormonal difference between being pregnant and not is the super elevated Progesterone level, it has always been assumed that P is protective against cancer.    Admittedly, it would be difficult for a gal to achieve the same 486% elevation using natural progesterone cream unless gals bathed in the stuff!
  • In women who have gotten pregnant right after giving birth and in gals who have done so repeatedly (2 to 3 pregnancies in a row), and basically they have been pregnant for 2 to 3 year straight with the 486% higher progesterone rate for prolonged period of time, these gals do not develop cancers from the dramatically long term high progesterone level.   

In fact, when have most of us heard of a pregnant woman getting cancer?  In 20+ years as a naturopath I haven't heard of a single case! 

  • Women using natural progesterone, who take hormone tests and have elevated progesterone levels, still don't show elevated estrogen levels.  Understand in theory, on paper, progesterone is dangerous because it can convert to estrogen.  In humans we see no such conversion, in fact higher P levels lower E levels!

So who would benefit from scaring women away from progesterone use?   It's no doubt that the widespread use of natural progesterone has severely cut into sales of antidepressants and estrogen drugs with peri and postmenopausal women.  

Aside from the drug companies and the situation I mentioned before, do you remember the tryptophan scare of the late 80's?  A tainted batch of food grade tryptophan was dumped into the US market by a Japanese pharmaceutical maker.  Product liability trials in US Federal courts have shown that the Japanese tryptophan maker knew the batch was tainted with over 25 different bacterial contaminants! 

Tryptophan was used to combat depression, elevate mood and promote sleep.  Several different nutritional product makers bought the tryptophan from the Japanese company and distributed their products nation wide.  The 25+ different contaminants in the tainted batch created hundreds of cases of various things from muscle pain to severe body wide edema.  Two customers died.  Individual states and the FDA moved not just to remove the tainted product from the market but also to ban all food grade tryptophan as a stand-alone product.  Up to that point tryptophan was the most widely used anti depressant in America.  Six weeks after the ban was in place Eli Lilly released Prozac.  Coincidence?  Not friggin likely! 

Would the company that kept knowledge from the FDA about the higher rates of suicide and mania (uncontrolled violent behavior) among teen Prozac users during clinical trials in Europe, ever think of eliminating the competition (tryptophan) with such an underhanded and dangerous stunt?   By the way, if I as a lowly Naturopath knew of the British suicide and mania test results 10 years ago, why did the FDA not know about those results until 2004?  Also, did you know that in every major case of school violence since 1993 all of the stabbers, shooters and would be bombers were on antidepressant drugs or Ritalin or BOTH!  In the more than 80+ incidents that fact remains a solid one.    But have you heard of that fact?  No.  You'll hear the blame placed on video games, or guns, anything but the mind-altering drugs!   That all those kids were on antidepressant or other mind-bending drugs is a fact the dope companies definitely don't want you to know.  Where are the lawyers waiting to take on Eli Lilly for that fact?   Why is the fat slob neo-communist propaganda movie maker not filming a “documentary” about kids crazed into violence by mind altering prescription drugs?    

We have evidence of the drug company’s tactics with Merck and their keeping red rice yeast off the health food market by continuous lawsuits and appeals against a health food marketer.  Red rice yeast has statins, which lower cholesterol naturally and with out side effect while the synthetic statin drugs kill thousands.  We now have another example of how the drug companies are interested in our welfare.  Merck and its cover up of the dangers of Vioxx are now responsible for some 55,000 deaths and some 139,000 heart attacks and strokes in the US according to an FDA researcher!  ARE THE DRUG COMPANIES INTERESTED IN PROMOTIONG HUMAN HEALTH AND WELLBEING as their warm fuzzy TV ads constantly suggest?  Or have their actions spoken louder than their ads.   Scripture says: “By their works ye shall know them”.

For the state health and environmental group and the legislature in California to give cover to the drug companies shows they are in too cozy with the dope peddlers.   The FDA is now going to come under congressional investigation for “being cozy” with the pharmaceutical firms.  FDA officials routinely get jobs, stock, or favors from the multi national drug firms once they leave FDA.  Not an environmental for fair and non-biased review of new medications and their risks.  Not an environment that makes for transparent regulation of the drug industry.

But what of the bureaucrats and legislators who are feeding from the drug corporation’s troughs?  As author George Orwell wrote of the revolutionaries in his famous work Animal Farm: the pigs, (socialists, neo-communists and old leftists), are looking more and more like the humans (unscrupulous capitalist oppressors) every day! 

On the question as to whether you as a woman should use natural progesterone for all of it's benefits, listen to that little still voice inside your hearts and decide for yourselves. 

 
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