Helen Pensanti, M.D.

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Dr. Helen Pensanti Discussion

The Real Name for Natural Progesterone is Diosgenin.

There is a little "bruhaha" going on between the pharmaceutical industry and those of us that are selling natural progesterone creams. I want to set the record straight so that there will be no confusion in your minds.

Many of you have been following me since the early days on TBN. Back in 1990, I began telling as many women as I could to go off of Synthetic Hormones for Menopause because I saw the "handwriting on the wall" that synthetic hormones were causing cancer, stroke, heart attacks etc.

This grass roots movement of switching off of synthetic hormones and starting "natural progesterone" caused the pharmaceutical industry to lose billions of dollars.

All has been well until recently. Well, I am getting ahead of myself. Let us start with the facts so that you will know the truth.

Facts About Natural Progesterone Cream:

  • 25 BC Mexican Wild Yam is mentioned in the chinese PEN TSAO CHING as a highly valued herb.

  • 14th Century England women used mistletoe berries (diosgenin) and made a tea of some sort and called it "All Heal" and used it for various female disorders.

  • 18th and 19th centuries was used for menstrual cramps and other female related disorders.

  • In 1936 Japanese scientists extracted Diosgenin out of the Wild Mexican Yam Plant, began studying it, and eventually it was turned into "Birth Control Pills"

  • 1942 Wyeth Ayerst the maker of Premarin a synthetic estrogen receives a patent for the product and begins to market it to M.D.'s as a treatment for the symptoms of Menopause.
  • 1966 Robert A.Wilson M.D. writes a very popular book called "Feminine Forever". Women everywhere read it with enthusiasm and began to request Premarin from their Physicians because of the claims that women would not lose the "bloom of youth".

  • 1975 Physicians were warned not to give synthetic estrogens without balancing it with a Progestin after the NEJM reported a greater risk of endometrial cancer.

  • 1986 PEPI Study - Research has shown that women 45 years or older who have at least 75 percent dense tissue on a mammogram are at elevated risk of developing breast cancer. Reasons for this are not yet understood.

    Studies, including the Post-menopausal Estrogen/Progestin Interventions (PEPI) trial, show that about one fourth of women who use hormone replacement therapies (HRT) that include progestin have an increase in breast density on their mammograms. In the PEPI trial a smaller number (about eight percent) of women taking estrogen-only synthetic therapies also had increased breast density.

  • 1995 The American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology published an article stating that not only long-term, but short-term users of Premarin had a 40% percent risk of acquiring breast cancer!

  • In the 1995 Nurses’ Health Study, a study was done on the increased risk of breast cancer in women taking various synthetic hormones. It was found that women taking synthetic estrogen alone had a 36% increased risk; those on synthetic estrogen plus progestin had a 50% increase; those on progestins alone had a 240% increased risk of acquiring breast cancer! Women who, at the time of the study, had been taking estrogen and progestin for 5-10 years had a 45% increased risk. This study is one of the largest done to date.

    Also in the Nurses’ Health Study, the older a woman was the higher the risk. Women between the ages of 60 and 64 who had been taking synthetic hormones for five years or more had an increased risk of developing breast cancer by 71%. Studies have shown that within 5 years of discontinuing synthetic hormones, a woman’s risk of breast cancer returns to normal.

  • Feb 13th, 2002 JAMA study of Hormone Replacement Therapy in Relation to Breast Cancer. Results showed the longer use of HRT was associated with increased risk of lobular breast cancer.The incidence of breast cancer, all histologic types combined, was increased by 60% to 85% in recent long-term users of HRT. Long-term HRT use was associated with a 50% increase in non lobular cancer. Their data adds to the growing body of evidence that recent long-term use of HRT is associated with an increased risk of breast cancer and that such use may be related particularly to lobular tumors.

What is in this Wild Mexican Yam Plant that makes it so attractive?

DIOSGENIN… a plant chemical found in several plant species.

This Diosgenin is part of a group of chemicals called SAPONINS.

What is so special about DIOSGENIN?

Diosgenin is bio-identical to the progesterone that is secreted by a healthy female ovary. It is a plant version of the human female version of progesterone.

Extract of Wild Mexican Yam is available in many forms including capsules, creams and gels. They pass easily and quickly through the skin and therefore topical application in cream form is most often recommended. Drops and sub-lingual tablets (that dissolve under the tongue) are also common . Tablets that have to be swallowed are to be avoided because the active ingredients are broken down in the passage through digestive system.

So, back when this grass roots movement started, this DIOSGENIN was commonly called or nick named "natural progesterone". This went on for years, and using the real word of Diosgenin was lost in our common language.

When the Pharmaceutical Industry decided to fight back they came up with a really good plan. "Let's use the law in California called Proposition 65 to shut down these upstarts trying to sell "Natural Progesterone."

They are using a law that is forcing anyone using the name Progesterone to state that it is cancer causing as per the PDR. ( Physician's Desk Reference).

Well the truth is we are not selling progesterone per say. We are selling Diosgenin.

We should never have used the nick name of "Natural Progesterone" from the beginning. We should have told women the truth. That what we were giving them was DIOSGENIN. And that is the truth!

So, in the future you will see Diosgenin on all my labels for my Bio-Identical Phyto-Progesterone Cremes. Just remember that it's nick name or common name is Natural Progesterone, but, we will not be allowed to call it that any longer.

Diosgenin is also known as Natural Progesterone

I would also like to add this from Virginia Hopkin's Healthwatch.

This will explain some of the other nonsense and tricks that are going on with trying to block us from selling Natural Plant Based Diosgenin commonly called Natural Progesterone.

"The NTP’s Tenth Report on Carcinogens even acknowledges that “no adequate human studies of the relationship between exposure to progesterone and human cancer have been reported.” Progesterone is a naturally occurring hormone produced by all humans, unlike most of the chemicals listed in Prop 65, which are not naturally present in humans.”

I’d like to add that most of the research originally cited by the NTP to justify adding progesterone to the list of carcinogens was largely based on synthetic progestins—apparently they didn’t realize that progesterone and progestins are very different. Progesterone cream companies that don’t add this label in California become vulnerable to lawsuits from a particularly nasty group of attorneys who are using Prop 65 to make millions of dollars. Meanwhile, there are 799 other chemicals out there, most of which probably do pose a risk of cancer." Virginia Hopkin's Healthwatch




Helen Pensanti M.D.

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