Osteopenia treatments: natural progesterone cream
John R. Lee M.D.'s Osteopenia treatments included supplements, exercise and natural progesterone cream. He advised post menopausal women to apply 15 - 20 mg. of natural progesterone cream on their skin for 3 weeks of each month.
Dr. Lee believed that natural progesterone cream was safer than synthetic HRT both for treating menopausal symptoms and the bone loss that usually accompanies menopause.
Osteopenia treatments research - does it agree?
The Osteopenia treatments research about progesterone cream shows mixed results.
Some Osteopenia treatments research is very positive about natural progesterone cream :
1.JR Lee. "Osteoporosis reversal; the role of progesterone." International Clinical Nutrition Review. 1990;10(3):384-91.
Transdermal progesterone supplementation with and without conjugated estrogens was evaluated in a clinical setting using 100 women aged 38 to 83 years.
The average time from onset of menopause was 16 years. 63 women were followed for three years with dual photon absorptiometry. Treatment also included dietary changes, nutritional supplements, and exercise. All individuals followed showed an increase in bone mineral density over the three years, with the greatest increase occurring in the first year. There was no difference noted between estrogen/progesterone and progesterone only groups. Subjective changes included increased libido, diminished hot flushes, reduced joint pain, and increased mobility and energy. No side effects were noted during treatment protocol.
2. Another research article concerning Osteopenia treatments is: M Liang, EY Liao, X Xu, XH Luo, XH Xiao. "Effects of progesterone and 18-methyl levonorgestrel on osteoblastic cells." Endocrine Research. 2003 Nov;29(4):483-501.
The authors evaluated in this study the effects of progesterone (P4) and levonorgestrel (LNG) on markers of bone growth, utilizing normal human osteoblasts as well as the osteosarcoma cell line, MG-63.
Their study found that, compared with placebo, both P4 and LNG increased the proliferation and differentiation of human osteoblasts through osteocalcin gene transcription.
3. JC Prior, YM Vigna, MI Schecter, AE Burgess. "Spinal bone loss and ovulatory disturbances." New England Journal of Medicine. 1990; 323:1221-7.
A review of the available data indicates that progesterone acts to promote bone metabolism. It appears to be independent of estrogen by either acting directly at progesterone receptors, or indirectly through competition at glucocorticoid receptors in the osteoblasts.
These summaries of Osteopenia treatments can be found at http://www.womeninbalance.org/research.html
But not all the studies of progesterone cream in Osteopenia treatments show positive results.
1.A study was conducted in England's Southampton Osteoporosis Research Unit in which post-menopausal women received either 40mg ( a quarter of a teaspoon of progesterone cream twice a day ) or a placebo cream for a year.
In the second year the group using the progesterone cream group applied 80mg ( a half teaspoon twice daily ) and the placebo group now applied a quarter of a teaspoon of the active progesterone cream twice a day. This second group of women also took a comprehensive vitamin and mineral supplement.
To ensure a comparison, a separate group of 14 women took hormone
replacement therapy (HRT) using a skin patch. These women underwent the same procedures as the cream groups.
All the women in the study were encouraged to eat healthy diets high in dairy calcium, fruit and vegetables and to follow the generally advised life style recommendations. After year 1 and year 2, all women received DXA scans of the lumbar spine.
Conclusion: "Measurements of bone-turnover markers showed no change in the progesterone groups compared to a suppression of turnover in the HRT group, further confirming the BMD findings. Other results from the study suggest a trend that progesterone cream may be helpful in improving hot flushes and sweats in some women, compared to placebo, although this trend was not as strong as shown with HRT."
Source: National Osteoporosis Society Online located at http://www.nos.org.uk/researchupdate.asp
(Note: The amounts of progesterone used in this study exceeded the amounts recommended by Dr. Lee.)
2. "Transdermal progesterone cream for vasomotor symptoms and postmenopausal bone loss." HB Leonetti, S Longo, JN Anasti.Department of Obstetric and Gynecology, St. Luke's Hospital, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania 18015, USA. Obstet Gynecol. 1999 Aug;94(2):225-8.
OBJECTIVE: To determine effectiveness of transdermal progesterone cream for controlling vasomotor symptoms and preventing postmenopausal bone loss.
METHODS: We randomly assigned 102 healthy women within 5 years of menopause to transdermal progesterone cream or placebo. Study subjects and investigators were masked until data analysis was completed. An initial evaluation included complete history, physical examination, bone mineral density determination, and serum studies (TSH, FSH, lipid profile, and chemistry profile). Subjects were instructed to apply a quarter teaspoon of cream (containing 20 mg progesterone or placebo) to the skin daily. Each woman received daily multivitamins and 1200 mg of calcium and were seen every 4 months for review of symptoms. Bone scans and serum chemistries were repeated after 1 year.
RESULTS: Thirty of the 43 (69%) in the treatment group and 26 of the 47 (55%) in the placebo group complained initially of vasomotor symptoms. Improvement or resolution of vasomotor symptoms, as determined by review of weekly symptom diaries, was noted in 25 of 30 (83%) treatment subjects and five of 26 (19%) placebo subjects (P < .001). However, the number of women who showed gain in bone mineral density exceeding 1.2% did not differ (alpha = .05, power of 80%).
CONCLUSION: Although we found no protective effect on bone density after 1 year, we did see a significant improvement in vasomotor symptoms in the treated group.
Personal experience with progesterone cream for my Osteopenia treatments
After reading about natural progesterone cream as one of the natural Osteopenia treatments, I spoke with my health care provider about it. Her advice was that if I decided to use it I should be sure that I purchased a cream with the dosage suggested by Dr. Lee. I purchased Pro-Gest and used it for about a year. (If you want a reliable supplier of Pro-Gest or Fem Crem
My next dexa scan showed some improvement but since I was doing other Ostepenia treatments during that same year, I could not be sure if the improved bone density was due to the progesterone cream on some of the other Osteopenia treatments.
Does the research on Osteopenia treatments suggest any cautions ?
If you decide to use natural progesterone cream perhaps you should not combine it with soy based Osteopenia treatments.
Sometimes we think that if one Osteopenia treatment is good, two is even better. But this may not be the case with Soy and Natural progesterone cream as Ostepenia treatments.
Here is a study that appeared in the Eur J Nutr. 2004 Aug;43(4):246-57. Epub 2004 Apr 14.
"Soymilk or progesterone for prevention of bone loss--a 2 year randomized, placebo-controlled trial." by Lydeking-Olsen E, Beck-Jensen JE, Setchell KD, Holm-Jensen T. Institute for Optimum Nutrition, Copenhagen K, Denmark.
BACKGROUND: Given concerns over the use of hormone replacement therapy (HRT), women are seeking natural alternatives to cope with the symptoms and effects of menopause. The bone sparing effects of soy protein and its isoflavones is well established in animal studies, while 5 previous human studies on soy and bone have yielded variable outcomes due in part to their short duration of study. Progesterone has been suggested as a bone-trophic hormone, but the effect of long-term, low dose transdermal progesterone is unknown.
AIM: The aim of the study was to compare for the first time the long-term effects of soymilk, with or without isoflavones with natural transdermal progesterone, or the combination, on bone mineral density in the lumbar spine and hip.
METHODS: Postmenopausal, Caucasian women with established osteoporosis or at least 3 risk-factors for osteoporosis, were randomly assigned, double-blind to one of four treatment-groups: soymilk containing isoflavones (soy+, n = 23), transdermal progesterone (TPD+, n = 22), or the combination of soy+ and TDP+,(n = 22) or placebo (isoflavone-poor soymilk, soy/ and progesterone-free-cream TDP/, n = 22). All subjects received comparable intakes of calcium, minerals and vitamins. Bone mineral content (BMC) and density (BMD) were measured in lumbar spine and hip by using dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DEXA) at baseline and after 2 years. FINDINGS: The percentage change in lumbar spine BMD and BMC respectively, did not differ from zero in the soy+ group (+1.1%, +2.0%) and TDP+ group (/1.1%, +0.4 %) but significant bone loss occurred in the control group (/4.2%,/4.3 %) and the combined treatment group (/2.8%, /2.4 %). No significant changes occurred for femoral neck BMD or BMC.
INTERPRETATION: Daily intake of two glasses of soymilk containing 76 mg isoflavones prevents lumbar spine bone loss in postmenopausal women. Transdermal progesterone had bone-sparing effects but when combined with soy milk a negative interaction between the two treatments occurs resulting in bone-loss to a greater extent than either treatment alone.
Finding Progesterone cream containing Dr. Lee's recommended amount.
If you are going to purchase natural progesterone cream as part of your Osteopenia Treatments, be sure that you buy a cream that has the amounts of natural progesterone recommended by Dr. Lee. Buying on line is often less expensive.
If you wish to read about other Osteopenia treatments, you can click here Osteopenia treatments