Thursday, June 19, 2014

Newsletter 6.4: Why Wild Yam Isn't Enough

The latest news from Life Choice!

June Alive Sale:

Life Choice is happy to pass Alive discounts on to our wholesale customers, but we ask that retailers would pass the savings on to retail customers, as well.

Coming Soon: CLAW OCHMB Therapy (along with Opti-Cal/Mag with K2) is part of a therapeutic cleansing program. Learn more about CLAW here.

Why Wild Yam Isn't Enough

Recently, one of the top selling wild yam creams in Canada, Heartland Natural Wild Yam Moisturizing Cream, was recalled. The reason? Health Canada conducted tests and discovered that the cream contained the prescription ingredient progesterone.

View the recall here.

What made this recall interesting were the implications. If wild yam could naturally convert to progesterone in the body, why would the product also contain prescription progesterone?

While the diosgenin found in wild yam created quite a stir in the 1990s as a cure for menopausal disorders and other symptoms of aging in women, the plant itself has no proven hormonal action, nor have any studies shown it to be effective in treating hormone related disorders. It is true that diosgenin can be converted into steroidal compounds, which are then used in the chemical synthesis of progesterone, but this happens in a laboratory—not in the human body. There is essentially no scientific evidence of wild yam's effectiveness in treating either menopausal symptoms or osteoporosis. Although many individuals claim relief of symptoms such as vaginal dryness with the use of progesterone creams, some of which contain an extract of Dioscorea villosa, no well-designed studies have evaluated these creams. Moreover, many products that claim to contain natural progesterone actually contain synthetic medroxyprogesterone acetate (MPA).

Soy has been a dietary staple in Asian countries for centuries. And, perhaps it's no coincidence that rates of heart disease, cancer and other serious diseases happen to be much lower among Asian cultures. Soy undoubtedly has a good deal of nutritional value. This member of the legume family contains abundant amounts of protein, fiber, lecithin and B vitamins.

Soy is also a rich source of various isoflavones, a class of phytoestrogens—plant-derived compounds with estrogen-like activity that mimic this hormone in the body. In addition to reducing symptoms such as hot flashes, soy contains powerful anticancer phytochemicals. Genistein and daidzein, the two most important soy isoflavones, are converted in the body to phytoestrogens, balancing high estrogen levels. These phytoestrogens can also block estrogen receptors in certain hormone-dependent tissues such as the breast and uterus, helping to protect against cancer. Non-GMO soy deserves special attention because of these well-researched properties. Most of the positive research has been on fermented soy foods, not soy isoflavone supplements (although research is ongoing on supplements as well). Soy as a food and supplement should be consumed on a regular basis for hormone balancing. If you are sensitive to soy products, isolated soy isoflavone supplements are often tolerated.

In America:
  • The American Institute of Cancer Research found that women who have had breast cancer can safely consume soyfoods.
  • For breast cancer survivors who want a more plant-based diet, with less meat and more protein, soy is a safe and healthy alternative.
In Canada:
  • Researchers undertook a two-year clinical trial evaluating the health effects of soy isoflavones, both alone and combined with exercise.
  • Over 300 postmenopausal women were studied.
  • Soy was found to be effective for improving leg strength, and soy either alone or with exercise also lowered LDL-cholesterol by 6%.
  • Soy also reduced adverse menopausal symptoms, such as breast tenderness, decreased concentration, depression, fatigue, hot flashes, insomnia, numbness, vaginal dryness and itching, night sweats, subjective weight gain, migraines, anxiety, irritability, and changes in bleeding patterns.
  • Also, soy isoflavone supplementation did not affect two measures of safety, endometrial thickness and mammographic density, which are both assessed to determine the risk of endometrial and breast cancer, respectively. These results agree with a large dataset showing isoflavones don’t affect these markers.
Very few women actually need hormone therapy. For example, a woman who has had her ovaries surgically removed will need hormones. Women who are at high risk or already have osteoporosis may also benefit from hormones, as well as a small percentage of women who do not have these risk factors but experience severe menopausal symptoms may need hormones. Many, if not most, of these situations can be avoided by providing your body with the right nutrients throughout your life. In these cases, seek the help of a knowledgeable doctor on the use of natural hormones–that is to say, hormones that are identical to the ones in your body, not the same as horse urine-derived hormones.

A high fiber diet, exercise, avoidance of environmental xenoestrogens such as pesticides and relaxation all contribute to hormonal balance.

Life Choice Progest Liposome Cream is an excellent option to help balance the female hormones during the different phases of the cycles of life, from menstruation to menopause. With non-GMO soy isoflavones, clover leaf extract, and chastetree berry, Progest Liposome Cream is a great natural alternative for natural hormone balance.
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