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Progesterone For Men – The Missing Link In Man Boob Reduction?

by Garry Davidson on April 27, 2013

Progesterone in Male Breast Reduction

If you weren’t too busy lusting over your high school biology teacher (biology teachers almost invariably being female and hot… why is that?), you may recall that progesterone is an important hormone in women. It’s mainly known for its role in pregnancy. But that probably has you wondering – if progesterone is a pregnancy hormone, what in the world does it have to do with men?

Well you could say progesterone makes men manly enough to get women pregnant. Most of the studies out there suggest progesterone in men has a similar effect to the male hormone testosterone. Like testosterone, progesterone enhances your libido, improves your mood, helps keep your weight down and increases muscle mass, gives you more energy, stronger bones, stronger erections and a whole host of other health benefits. Progesterone also increases levels of testosterone in your body and enhances its effects. At the same time, it reduces estrogen and antagonizes its effects.

It’s no wonder then that progesterone can play a big role in helping you lose those man boobs.

How Does Progesterone Help Get Rid Of Man Boobs?

The role of progesterone has been severely underestimated in men. Depending on the stage of a woman’s menstrual cycle, men can have just as much progesterone in their bodies as women. Most scientific studies have focused on the effects of progesterone on women, and its role in men has been neglected. It’s only recently that scientists have started to realize how important this hormone is in men.

When it comes to determining a man’s masculinity – body fat, muscle mass, libido, sperm count, erections, etc – the latest studies suggest progesterone is just as important as estrogen and testosterone. In fact, progesterone is a precursor to both of these hormones (meaning both estrogen and testosterone are produced from progesterone), so it plays a big role in deciding the levels of these hormones. Where guys with man boobs generally have high estrogen and/or low testosterone, progesterone works, in part, by lowering estrogen, and raising levels of testosterone.

Progesterone Acts With Testosterone

Progesterone has many of its own effects on the body. In men, the studies suggest that progesterone works a lot like testosterone, so much that it can even be considered a second male sex hormone. In a study, published in the book, The Hidden Structure of Interaction, researchers found that progesterone and testosterone levels rise and fall together in weekly and monthly cycles. Both testosterone and progesterone levels rise together in response to increased sexual activity in men.

Progesterone is also the most potent known inhibitor of the enzyme 5-alpha-reductase, which converts testosterone into dihydrotestosterone (DHT). DHT is a known cause of male pattern balding, prostatic hyperplasia, and prostate cancer. By blocking 5-alpha-reductase, progesterone promotes higher levels of testosterone in your body.

Progesterone Antagonizes Estrogen

Not only does progesterone raise levels of and have similar actions to the male hormone testosterone, it also acts against estrogen, much like testosterone does. Progesterone antagonizes the estrogenic effect on your body via multiple different mechanisms. One such mechanism is via regulation of cell metabolism to promote the oxidative pathway. This prevents conversion of the much weaker form of estrogen, estrone, to a more potent form, known as estradiol.

We know for example, that like testosterone, progesterone reduces estrogen-driven cancers like prostate cancer in men, and breast and endometrial cancer in women.

As men age, both their levels of testosterone and progesterone decrease, while estrogen levels increase. When high estrogen levels are unopposed by testosterone and progesterone, it leads to a condition called estrogen dominance. Amid the myriad of different problems, symptoms and conditions caused by estrogen dominance, it is also the single most important cause of gynecomastia (man boobs).

Known Problems with Estrogen Dominance Known Benefits of Natural Progesterone Therapy
  • Gynecomastia (man boobs)
  • Excess, stubborn and hard to lose body fat, especially abdominal and chest fat
  • Hair loss
  • Male breast tenderness
  • Cellular changes leading to cancer, including breast cancer in men
  • Enlargement of the prostate
  • Inflammation of the prostate
  • Increased frequency of urination (waking up multiple times at night to go for a pee)
  • Heart disease (makes you more prone to chest pains and heart attacks)
  • Depression and fatigue
  • Reduced sex-drive
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Helps use fat for energy, making it easier to lose weight
  • Increases muscle mass
  • Protects against prostate and breast cancer (both are increasing in men)
  • Increases sexual drive
  • Corrects erectile dysfunction in much the way viagra does, by increasing production of  nitric oxide
  • Helps normalize blood sugar levels
  • Normalizes thyroid hormone function
  • Stimulates new bone formation
  • Improves brain function, has antidepressant properties
  • Improves skin problems including acne, seborrhea, rosacea, psoriasis
  • Diminishes muscular aches and pains, has anti-inflammatory properties
  • Improves sleep pattern

So do you see how progesterone can be a big player in man boob reduction? It’s important of course, for us to focus on the estrogen to testosterone ratio (E:T ratio), but perhaps we’d get better results if we focused on the E:T&P ratio (estrogen to testosterone & progesterone ratio).

If Natural Progesterone Has So Many Benefits, Why Don’t Doctors Routinely Prescribe It For Their Patients?

Since progesterone is a natural substance it can’t be patented for sale at high profit margins. That makes pharmaceutical companies uninterested in marketing and promoting progesterone. If pharmaceutical representatives don’t market a product to doctors, most doctors tend to be unaware of its benefits.

How Can You Use Progesterone To Get Rid Of Your Man Boobs?

If you have man boobs, make sure you see your doctor to exclude any medical causes first. Absent any medical causes, it’s likely your man boobs are caused by an over-exposure to environmental estrogens, in which case your progesterone levels are likely to be low.

If you want to be sure that you have low progesterone levels, you can always get yourself a saliva hormone testing kit.

Using Dietary Tactics

The following nutrients in food are known to increase progesterone levels naturally:

Omega 3 fatty acids: a good source is flaxseed oil, take between 15 to 75ml per day.

Zinc: good natural sources include sesame seeds, raw pumpkin seeds, green peas, and raw crimini mushrooms. Zinc deficiency is very common, especially in those who do weight-training and exercise regularly. For this reason it isn’t a bad idea at all to take zinc supplements. Zinc also inhibits the enzyme aromatase to prevent the conversion of testosterone into estrogen, and can really help you to lose those man boobs quickly.

Walnut

Walnuts do an excellent job at both increasing progesterone and decreasing estrogen. Just two 1-ounce servings per day can keep breast cancer at bay.

Vitamin B6: both increases progesterone and decreases estrogen. Liver, kidney beans, soy beans, navy beans and chickpeas are a good source. Nuts such as almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts and chestnuts are also a good source.

Using Natural Progesterone Creams

Natural progesterone creams are perfectly safe and have no known side-effects when used at a low, physiological dose. Progesterone is very poorly absorbed orally and broken down into unwanted metabolites. Fortunately, it’s readily absorbed by the skin into the blood so transdermal creams are very practical and effective.

Natural Progesterone Cream

A natural progesterone cream is the best way forward. Progesterone applied on your skin, goes straight into your blood, just like naturally produced progesterone in your body does. Pills and tablets on the other hand, have to go through your GI tract and undergo metabolism by the liver.

What Type Of Progesterone Cream Should You Buy?

It’s very important to opt for the natural variety. Pharmaceutical companies made a lot of mony at one time producing and selling a synthetic version called progestins. These were soon found to have quite a few undesirable side-effects.

The progesterone cream you buy should contain “USP progesterone”, where  USP stands for “United States Pharmacopia” which refers to the grade or purity of the product. Opt for a cream that contains 400-500 mg of progesterone per ounce (like this one) and states so clearly on the label.

How Should You Apply The Cream?

As advised by leading progesterone expert, Dr. John Lee, you should aim to use no more than 8-10 mg per day. So with a cream that contains 400-500 mg of progesterone, use one eighth of a teaspoon (0.6 ml) once per day.

Rub the cream on any one of the following body parts daily:

  • Chest
  • Inner Arms
  • Inner Thighs
  • Abdomen

The cream you buy may tell you to use more than just 0.6 ml once per day, but keep in mind that most progesterone creams are made with women in mind. Because of the early misconception that both estrogen and progesterone only play major roles in women, most information, materials, books and treatments for estrogen dominance are tailored around women. Women naturally have more progesterone in their bodies than men, so they require a higher dose of the cream to achieve hormonal balance.

But don’t forget. Just because women are getting all the attention with their estrogen excess, doesn’t mean YOU don’t suffer from it as well. Your man boobs are testament to the fact that you do suffer from estrogen dominance and you should do everything in your power to correct it so you can fix your chest and live a normal life.

How Long Should You Use Progesterone For?

This depends on your progesterone levels. If you do a saliva test and find that your progesterone levels are low, then continue to use progesterone for as long as your levels remain low. If this is the case then I’d advise you see your doctor just so they can keep an eye on your levels and the dosage of progesterone you use.

If however you don’t do a saliva test, then give progesterone a trial – see if it works for you. Many have reported benefits within a few days of using a progesterone cream, while for others it can take a little longer. If you feel progesterone isn’t helping you after 3 months of use, then stop using it and focus your efforts on other methods of man boob reduction.

If you find that progesterone creams are working for you, then I still want you to taper it down after 3 months. It’s OK to use an over-the-counter cream to help you get rid of your man boobs, but you don’t want to be using hormone modification therapy for the rest of  your life just to maintain a flat chest. You should be relying on lifestyle modification as discussed in How To Lose Man Boobs Naturally.

If your man boobs come back as soon as you stop using progesterone, then you must see your doctor and get a hormone test.

Where Can You Get Natural Progesterone Creams From?

Natural progesterone creams are readily available over the counter, so you should be able to find some at your local chemist or drug store. Take a look at the ingredients list and make sure the cream contains “USP progesterone”, very important.

You can also order a progesterone cream online here. This particular cream contains 450 mg of USP progesterone per ounce, which is just what you need. If you prefer to get a cream that is specifically designed for men, you can get one here.

Where Can You Learn More About Progesterone?

Dr John R. Lee was a leading expert on progesterone and its benefits on the human body. Here is an interesting article on his website, entitled ‘Hormone Balance In Males’:

http://www.johnleemd.com/store/male_hormone.html

Most of Dr Lee’s work on progesterone in males focuses on the prostate rather than on gynecomastia and man boobs. But this is all still very relevant to you and me because the hormonal changes that cause prostatic enlargement are very similar to those that cause the development of man boobs.

Be Warned However…

Progesterone can be awesome, I’ve seen it work wonders for some guys, and do nothing for others. The only way to find out what it’ll do for you is to give it a try. If you’re not too convinced, do some more reading around the net. You’ll find there are very few, if any, complaints about side-effects from people who use a quality natural progesterone (here, here and here).

If you do try it, make sure you give it around 3 months to have an effect. Though you can notice its effects much earlier, it takes longer to work on some people than it does on others.

Right, so the warning…

Progesterone does NOT replace a good diet, lifestyle and exercise regime. If you are overweight for example, nothing will help you more than bringing your weight down. Progesterone can help of course, but you must also do the right type of exercise and eat well. If you have man boobs, you have to follow a system that covers all of your hormonal bases – not just progesterone, but also all of your causes and sources of high estrogen, low testosterone, and high insulin.

When Will Progesterone NOT Work?

When it comes to losing man boobs, progesterone is just one piece of the puzzle. To successfully reduce man boobs, you need to follow a full, comprehensive program on natural male breast reduction. Progesterone can really help accelerate your results if, at the same time, you’re following a good male breast reduction diet, exercise and lifestyle regimen. But you’ll only be wasting your money if progesterone is the only thing you use.

From what I’ve seen, if you apply progesterone while following the guidance in How To Lose Man Boobs Naturally, you can’t go wrong. You can learn more about male breast reduction in this free video:

http://chestsculpting.com/how-to-lose-man-boobs-naturally-free-video/

Chest Sculpting Newsletter

{ 33 comments… read them below or add one }

Anne Glover February 26, 2014 at 12:00 pm

Hi Garry,
I just wanted to say how brilliant to see a man writing about progesterone.  I am using it in very high doses to help my husband who has prostate cancer.  When he was first diagnosed five years ago his PSA (which I know doesn’t really count for much) was at 4.3 Following a biopsy it confirmed a 3+3 gleeson score low grade cancer.  Watch and wait was put into operation.  I have long been a fan of John Lee and ordered his book on prostate cancer.  He recommended between 8mg – 10mg.  This had no affect.  I began writing to the natural progesterone therapy people who have also been studying cancer for years.  They suggested having a blood test.  The original blood test revealed very low testosterone, high progesterone (for a man but due to the supplements) and extremely off the scale estrogen.  We upped my husband’s dose to 100mg a day and the following year PSA test revealed it had reduced to 3.5.  Acceptable for a man of 63.  His high estrogen was mainly caused by xenoestrogen that is all around us these days, in the environment, cleaning products, foods, plastics clothes and it exactly replicates estrogens within the body.  Our diet is a main cause for too much estrogen although not necessarily  from carbs.  The high carb modern diet is, however, responsible for diabetes, obesity, heart problems and many metabolic diseases.  Men have to take responsibility for their own health.  My husband is typical of the man who leaves it to me to sort it out.  His  PSA went up last year to 7.8 and following another biopsy his gleeson score 3+4.  The doctor has advised surgery.  However, we are on a ketogenic diet together with various alternative options.  If you’d like an update I shall post again.
I hope this helps a bit.

Reply

Garry Davidson March 10, 2014 at 5:32 pm

Hi Anne, thanks for the great post.

I’m sorry to hear your husband’s PSA is up again. Another expert on progesterone is Ray Peat. I learned a lot from his articles, you may want to check out his site.

I hope you find a solution for your husband. Do let me know how you both get on.

Best wishes,
Garry

Reply

davidgmills May 14, 2014 at 4:05 pm

Anne:

See my post below about my regimen.

I think a broader regimen might help your husband reduce his PSA again. Most importantly is to find a way to get the estradiol down and testosterone up. To do that I would suggest:

Add pregnenolone capsules every other day to supplement the topical progesterone (longer half life or pregnenolone) , add DHEA capsules (an alternative route to making testosterone but use sparingly once a week) and get LH up with daily d-aspartic acid (capsules). Also get Vitamin D up (it is really a hormone more so than a vitamin).

Check regularly for testosterone, estradiol, LH and Vit D.

Reply

Magnus March 11, 2014 at 6:52 pm

Hi, I’ve been using 10mg ProgesterAll  for around 2 weeks now, and I noticed the small gyno I have had might have actually become worse.
All other effects are great, happier, raised libido and such, but I am scared that my gyno might grow. I am 19 male.
Do you have any experience of this? It’s so hard to find any science on this subject, especially on men.
Thanks beore hand

I meant to say puffy nipples, not gyno. I had a little puffy nipples 2 weeks ago, started using Progesterone cream to raise my low testosterone levels, I also had a low Pg/e2 ratio. Now however, my nipples are bigger than ever. It’s freaking me out a bit.

Reply

Garry Davidson March 18, 2014 at 11:53 am

Hi Magnus. You should always check your hormone levels before you start using progesterone and after you’ve used it for a while. If things are getting worse you should stop using it. Reduce your dosage gradually rather than stop using it suddenly. You may consider using pregnenolone in the future, but check your hormone levels first and consult with a physician.

Reply

davidgmills May 14, 2014 at 3:04 pm

Update from new test results:

For over a year now, I have been taking a regimen of 60 mg of topical progesterone a day, 100 mg of prognenolone tablets every other day, 25 mg of DHEA a week, and 1500 to 2000 mg of d-aspartic acid (increases LH) per day. All are over the counter. I also take 5000 IU of Vitamin D a day.

The results have been amazingly good. In August of 2013 my testosterone was up to 448 (estradiol not taken) and my LH was 3. Then last month, April of 2014, my testosterone had increased to 590 and my estradiol was way down to 10.5. My Sex hormone binding globulin was 52.3 (LH not taken). Vitamin D was 49 last August but was not tested this time.

I have come a long way.

In November of 2010 before I began my first hormone therapy my testosterone was 155, my estradiol was 46, my LH was 2.1, and in February of 2011 my sex hormone binding globulin was only 30 after ten weekly shots of testosterone. I had low Vitamin D for a long time even though I live in Memphis.

I had really low LH and that could have been a lot of my problem. For men who have that, here is the article showing d-aspartic acid boosts LH:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19860889

But I would not take d-aspartic acid long term without taking plenty of testosterone precursors (the three I take) to make sure you don’t deplete yourself of them.

Several men I know are now trying my routine and I will continue to update as warranted.

Reply

Garry Davidson May 16, 2014 at 11:01 am

Hi David

Thanks again for your helpful contribution.

If anyone reading this is planning on using progresterone, pregnenolone, or DHEA, I strongly suggest you check your hormone levels before and during treatment, just like David has been doing.

If you want to learn more about progesterone or about David’s experience with the hormone, he informed me that he posts quite frequently over at http://www.progesteronetherapy.com/ (hope you don’t mind me sharing that one David). David and I have also learned a great deal from Ray Peat, over at http://raypeat.com/.

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John May 29, 2014 at 2:03 am

Hey Garry,
Im a 19 year old suffering from Gynecomastia for about 4 years now, Im in the process of ordering Progesterone. However I’m confused on whether I should order the cream or gel recommended by your friend David. I would also like to know if I apply it the chest only or others areas of the body also?? And how much do you recommend applying?

Please get back to me Garry, Thank you

Reply

Richard June 29, 2014 at 12:25 am

Hello Gary

What’s with the slang, “man boobs”? I find your article well written and then you use the slang terminology for no apparent reason. Male and females have breasts, not an uncommon phenomena for anyone dealing with issues. why should we degrade men with such slang.

Richard

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