progesterone cream for bone loss?

LouNovember 21, 2001

I am still on my mission to research Fosmax for the bones. Now I have read Natural Woman and Natural Hormones and it says that progesterone cream can stop bone loss. Does anyone know anyhting about this cream? I don't take FemHRT any longer (2 weeks off) and am pretty concerned about popping Fosamax each Saturday morning for bone loss. Any information would be greatly appreciated. Is progesterone cream dangerous. Can it cause cancer? What is it good for? Thanks Lou

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The otc kind will not stop bone loss. It probably won't cause cancer if it contains only what the label claims. It's very good for the bank accounts of those who manufacture and sell it.

    Bookmark   November 21, 2001 at 8:57AM
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There are other drugs for bone loss now: alendronate, calcitonin, and raloxifene. I have taken none of them but I'm sure my endocrinologist will want to discuss them after reading my most recent bone scan next week. Here is a link ( to a web article about bone loss that discusses these drugs (and other bone loss issues). Its a .pdf document so you will need to download acrobat reader from for free if you don't already have it.

Here is a link that might be useful: Mt Sinai School of Medicine

    Bookmark   November 21, 2001 at 10:39AM
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I've been reading a book "What your Doctor my not tell you about Menopause". It goes into great detail about the benefits of natural progesterone cream as opposed to HRT. The book claims natural progesterone is not dangerous and helps increase bone mass. It's a good read.

Good luck, Jerri

    Bookmark   November 25, 2001 at 8:04AM
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"Progesterone as a Bone-Trophic Hormone" by J.C. Prior, Endocrine Reviews, Vol. 11, No. 2 discusses this and cites a lengthy reference list. Unfortunately, it is not online. I obtained my copy a few years ago as part of an info packet from Women's International Pharmacy (

    Bookmark   November 25, 2001 at 7:03PM
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I've attached the abstract available on Medline for this particular article.
Note the date and strong caveat about making any assumptions about
progesterone and bone from this particular research.

A recent article
pretty much disposes of any notion of osteoporosis as a disease of women
of any age since the results of a recent study in Canada finds that
osteoporosis is an equal opportunity disease found equally in both men
and women. See: and scroll down to the 7 day
search box. Put osteoporosis in as your search term.

Some quotes from the story:

> The findings of the Canadian Multi-Centre Osteoporosis Study, a program involving almost
> 10,000 participants in nine centres across Canada, will almost certainly change the way
> medical professionals deal with unexplained bone fractures in men and the way education
> about the condition is handled.
> "We didn't think that men fractured," Jonathan Adachi, a rheumatologist and professor of
> medicine at St. Joseph's Hospital and McMaster University, said yesterday.
> "This was unheard of in the past. No one had looked at it [osteoporosis in men] with any
> seriousness. We used to think that when men fractured their hips, it was due to trauma or
> long-time alcohol use, which can weaken bone density."
> The study involved x-rays and bone scans on 3,000 men and 6,000 women over the age of
> 50. It showed 25 per cent of the men have osteoporosis, which showed itself as spinal
> fractures. The figure was the same for women.


> Osteoporosis, a condition of brittle bones caused by bone tissue loss, can be the result of
> hormonal changes or lack of calcium. In the past, the condition was believed more common
> in women than men because of hormonal changes during menopause.
> This new study is likely to change that belief, and with it the way health professionals educate
> their patients about the disease.

It should also be noted that Prior never endorsed the use of otc progesterone creams as a treatment for osteoporosis and that most of the sites selling this snake oil (including the "Women's International Pharmacy" have taken a few sentences of her research out of context in an attempt to make their case sound more scientific.

Progesterone as a bone-trophic hormone.
Prior JC
Endocr Rev 1990 May 11:386-98

Endocr Rev â Volume 11 Ââ
Issue 2
MEDLINE, full MEDLINE, related

Experimental, epidemiological, and
clinical data indicate that progesterone is active in bone metabolism.
appears to act directly on bone by
engaging an osteoblast receptor or indirectly through competition for a
osteoblast receptor. Progesterone seems to
promote bone formation and/or increase bone turnover. It is possible,
through estrogen-stimulated increased
progesterone binding to the osteoblast receptor, that progesterone plays
a role in
the coupling of bone resorption with bone
formation. A model of the interdependent actions of progesterone and
estrogen on appropriately-"ready" cells in
each bone multicellular unit can be tied into the integrated secretions
of these
hormones within the ovulatory cycle.
Figure 5 is an illustration of this concept. It shows the phases of the
remodeling cycle in parallel with temporal
changes in gonadal steroids across a stylized ovulatory cycle.
estrogen production before ovulation may
reverse the resorption occurring in a "sensitive" bone multicellular
unit while
gonadal steroid levels are low at the time
of menstrual flow. The bone remodeling unit would then be ready to begin
a phase of formation as progesterone levels
peaked in the midluteal phase. From this perspective, the normal
cycle looks like a natural
bone-activating, coherence cycle. Critical analysis of the reviewed data
indicate that
progesterone meets the necessary criteria
to play a causal role in mineral metabolism. This review provides the
preliminary basis for further molecular,
genetic, experimental, and clinical investigation of the role(s) of
progesterone in
bone remodeling. Much further data are
needed about the interrelationships between gonadal steroids and the
cycle" of bone. Feldman et al., however,
may have been prophetic when he commented; "If this anti-glucocorticoid
effect of progesterone also holds true in
bone, then postmenopausal osteoporosis may be, in part, a progesterone
deficiency disease."

    Bookmark   November 25, 2001 at 7:59PM
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moving up

    Bookmark   January 1, 2002 at 1:33PM
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Ladies, please read the above post by Leigh. Sounds to me like progesterone could play an important role in decreasing bone loss. Leigh, didn't you read this? I mean, isn't this what Dr. Lee has been saying all along? Yet by your estimation, Dr. Lee is a quack and a charleton who is only out to make a buck at the expense of us ladies.

    Bookmark   January 1, 2002 at 1:59PM
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I read it carefully. I read nothing about otc progesterone creams. And I noted that the conclusion in the article

"This review provides the
preliminary basis for further molecular,
genetic, experimental, and clinical investigation of the role(s) of
progesterone in
bone remodeling. Much further data are
needed about the interrelationships between gonadal steroids and the
cycle" of bone."

There has been almost nothing published on any bone benefit of progesterone since this was published in 1991 according to a Medline search. Had there been anything promising I think it safe to assume that it would be published.

As I posted before, mlm scammers, compounding pharmacies and the like along with Lee have taken a few sentences of this study out of context and used them to promote the use of otc progesterone creams to "treat" or "prevent" osteoporosis.

The Canadian study at the top of the post is far more important and is also current. Osteoporosis is found equally in men and women and may well not be related to sex steroids at all.

I provided the sources and *my* interpretation. Other readers must provide their own interpretation. Such differing interpretations can often lead to very productive dialogue.

    Bookmark   January 1, 2002 at 2:20PM
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