Preparation of Progesterone from Cholesterol
This is what I understand happens, following the process of production of progesterone, described on page 894, second column.
In the first two steps cholesterol is brominated in benzene, and oxidized in a solvent with acid permanganate(aq). In the last step the product is again debrominated using zinc dust.
The strong oxidizing agent potassium permanganate is used, as well as sulfuric acid. The article below describes the process of production of progesterone from cholesterol.
Progesterone has numerous physiological effects. Although primarily associated with the reproductive system, progesterone has multiple effects outside of it. This steroid hormone can act as an antiinflamatory agent, reducing the immune response; it can also assist in thyroid hormone action and bone building. Progesterone appears to prevent endometrial cancer (cancer involving the uterine lining) as well as breast cancer (1).