Dr. John Lee, Pioneer Uses Progesterone to Reverse Osteoporosis

In Dr. John Lee’s study of osteoporosis he discovered that bone mass stays relatively constant from puberty to a few years before menopause by the balance of osteoclast function (break down of old bone) and osteoblast function (formation of new bone).


However, in the years just before and post-menopause estrogen deficiency results in increased bone breakdown (resorption) and has very little effect on bone formation. On the other hand testosterone and progesterone both stimulate the osteoblast cells to form new bone.


After studying Raymond F. Peat’s observations about natural progesterone in 1982 Dr. John Lee, MD began treating his postmenopausal osteoporotic patients with 3% progesterone cream applied to the skin.


He advised that they continue following the conventional treatment of low protein-high vegetable diet, modest exercise, vitamins and modest calcium supplementation. He reduced the dose of thyroid medication when indicated and gave them hydrochloric acid with meals if they were not producing stomach acid.


He reduced their dose of estrogen to Premarin 0.3 to 0.625 mg. per day for 3 weeks per month if needed for hot flashes or vaginal dryness. About 40% of these women stopped taking the estrogen in subsequent years. If they were not using estrogen he did not prescribe it for them.


The 3% progesterone cream was applied to the skin at bedtime during the last 2 weeks of the estrogen intake. Then for one week per month the women used no hormones at all to simulate the natural hormonal secretion pattern.


From 1982 to 1991 Dr.  Lee, MD followed 100 postmenopausal white women, average age 65.2 years, range 38-83 years. On average they had gone through menopause 16 years previously. For many their osteoporosis had already manifested as height loss and one or more fractures, both indicators of significant bone loss.


Only 63 of these patients could afford to pay for serial annual dual photon bone density tests to measure the degree of bone loss. The other 37 noted such reduction of symptoms that they gladly complied with the program.


In this study group height loss stabilized, muscle and skeletal aches and pains subsided and no osteoporotic fractures occurred. They did sustain 3 traumatic fractures that healed normally. The treating orthopedist was impressed with the good quality of their bones.


In the three year period of following the 63 women who had serial dual photon bone density tests their average bone density increased by 15.4% instead of losing the expected 4.5%.


In addition natural progesterone therapy provided other benefits. Estrogen-induced buildup of the lining of the uterus reverted to normal in the presence of progesterone. Similarly estrogen induced fibrocystic breast pain and swelling was relieved by the progesterone applications. If estrogen caused hypertension, switching to progesterone normalized the blood pressure. Cholesterol and triglyceride levels improved and progesterone initiated a feeling of well-being.


In many of his patients Dr. Lee stopped prescribing estrogen because they responded so much better to the natural progesterone, especially in regard to osteoporosis. He felt that vaginal dryness was the only sign that indicated true estrogen deficiency and that many of them produced enough estrogen in their bodies to prevent bone resorption.


Progestins versus progesterone


Dr. Lee found a few studies that indicated progestins (synthetic hormones, drugs) had a positive effect on restoring bone in postmenopausal women. But natural progesterone was more effective, safer and did not induce the side effects that came with using the progestins.


In conclusion, here is the summary of Dr. Lee’s approach to rebuilding bone in osteoporotic postmenopausal women:

3% natural progesterone cream applied to the skin 2 weeks per month

Low protein, high vegetable diet

Modest exercise

Vitamin supplements

Estrogens only for hot flashes and vaginal dryness


If you’re interested in the progesterone, bioidentical-hormone approach be sure to read the series of articles on Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy (BHRT) for the modern day approach to using hormones in a safe manor. You will find resources to help you find a practitioner who can examine you, order lab work and guide you through the healthy way to use hormones.


You will find these articles here:


Read from the bottom article to the top for the proper sequence.


Also, get acquainted with Vivian Goldschmidt, MA, founder of Save Our Bones. She states I Increased My Bone Density Score and Completely Reversed My Osteoporosis Naturally… Without Drugs”.

Let her show you how at:


Save Our Bones


May you be blessed with healthy bones,

Dr. Jo

About Dr. Jo

Dr. JoDr. Jo delights in sharing the message of health. She believes disease is optional if you know how to take care of yourself. And she’s a great coach to help you reverse or prevent disease.

So she writes this blog to keep you up to date with information that may undermine your health if you are not aware of it. She also provides tips on healthy living, how to reverse degenerative diseases, delicious recipes, and ways to enjoyably change your habits to healthy ones.

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1 Comment On “Dr. John Lee, Pioneer Uses Progesterone to Reverse Osteoporosis”

Esther Blazer

Esther Blazer

20 October 2021

Way cool! Some very valid points! I appreciate you penning this post and also the rest of the website is really good.

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