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Why Wild Yam Based Progesterone May Not Benefit You

Posted Apr 11 2010 5:14pm

There is a divide in the world of progesterone. On one side are those who believe that wild yams provide the perfect base for progesterone products and on the other side are those who believe that wild yam is of no benefit to humans when used in progesterone formulas.

A yam is a tuber which is grown in Central and South America as well as in certain parts of Africa and Asia. Yams are similar to sweet potatoes (and are often confused as such) but they are in fact a different species of plant.

Wild yams contain diosgenin which is a plant steroid. Our bodies are unable to metabolize diosgenin from wild yam into progesterone; it must be processed by chemical means in laboratories. Obviously this detracts from the “natural” claims of wild yam based progesterone. A product simply can not be classes as natural if it has undergone chemical processing in a laboratory!

In stark contrast to the misleading claim of wild yam being a natural basis for progesterone, NatPro is made from the soya bean and this is actually identical to the progesterone that your body manufacturers itself. No chemical altering and no processing. This makes NatPro all natural compared to the non natural wild yam forms of progesterone.

Wild yam actually stopped being widely used in 1976 when it was found that diosgenin should not be used a principal sterol to synthesize progesterone. Why did people start realizing that wild yam was not beneficial to people? Simply because it was discovered that they do not contain progesterone in their extracts.

It is important for a progesterone cream to have a certain amount of progesterone in it. The American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology stated in a study in 1999 that this level should be at least 30 milligrams per gram.

Wild yam based progesterone creams were found to have as little as 5 milligrams per ounce. Some even had none at all!

The American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology even stated “the creams that are made from Mexican yams are not metabolized to progesterone by women”. Thankfully people are now realizing that wild yam based progesterone is of no benefit to humans.

As mentioned, Natpro uses progesterone which is derived from the soya bean. Being identical to the progesterone found in the human body, soya bean extracts form the perfect base for progesterone creams.

The website Quackwatch.com which keeps track of frauds, myths and misleading information concerning medical products, states that dioscorea villosa, from which the wild yam based cream is supposedly made, is not a source of progesterone and in fact is may even be estrogenic. They claim that the plant is useful in a lab but not in humans.

Quackwatch also go on to say “Not only is there little reason to suppose that Wild Yam Cream would be helpful for the medical conditions for which it is being promoted, but it doubtful that it ever could be as useful as synthetic progesterone.” It should be noted that these comments were made by a qualified doctor and therefore by someone who knows both sides of the story.

It is even said that there is a danger that menopausal women who use wild yam based progesterone could forego or even stop their hormone replacement therapy due to the sometimes deceptive promotion of wild yam based progesterone.

The greatest danger posed by this product and its deceptive promotion is that it will lead many menopausal women to forego or even discontinue appropriate hormone-replacement therapy (HRT).

Wild yam based progesterone is not recommend for women due to the fact that it is not natural and undergoes chemical processing before being sold to the public.

Jean Morgan is currently going through the menopause having previously suffered really badly with PMS and has researched natural remedies extensively. Visit her website about for more information about the PMS and menopause and how natural progesterone can help. Jean also has a blog at http://mywebinfosites.com/menopause/ where she offers menopause information and some menopause humour for those lighter moments. If you would like to buy it is available to purchase online at her websites.


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