Ask a toxicologist: Should I take bioidentical progesterone?

Question from LindaW: What's up with bioidentical hormones? Is it okay to take them?

Bioidentical progesterone is a joke. Don't even think about buying it. Then, consult your doctor with your health concerns.

Bioidentical progesterone is sold on numerous web pages after having been popularized by John Lee and now Joseph Mercola (and by findings that hormone replacement therapy isn't safe for everyone). It's unscientific and dangerous.

Reason 1
As stated on some web site: 'Bioidentical hormone therapy has all of the good effects of HRT with none of the severe side-effects that have caused so many women looking for menopause relief to steer away from traditionally administered HRT.' First they have you send in a saliva sample to determine your hormonal needs. Look at this site. Yes, hormonal treatment does need to be tailored to each person, but no published study shows that you can learn squat from saliva tests.

"ZRT Labs, a respected provider of hormone testing products"

Respected by whom? for what? "I respect them for making me oodles of money" probably.

Reason 2
They over inflate the risks of being on conventional hormone therapy and encourage people to get off therapys that have been shown to be good risk benefits for certain people, self-diagnoses, take silly tests, and then self medicate with something that hasn't been shown to be effective. Now, if their method was so much better, why don't they just run a trial and get it approved by the FDA, that way they'd make tons of money and help more people. I think you know why they aren't doing this.

Reason 3
Bioidentical hormones can be dangerous. Studies have shown that hormone levels in the products can vary widely, so you never really know what you are going to get. More than a third of these mixtures failed FDA quality tests but they are powerless to take them off the market due to a loophole in the laws.

Reason 4
Bioidentical' hormones are made from yam compounds that are synthetically alterted. Some conventional medicine hormones for hormone replacement therapy are made from yams. Others are made from horses. These sites like to make a big deal about this First, so much for bioidentical; let me ask you, when you think about your body would you consider yourself closer to a yam or a horse? Second, yams are yams, so 'bioidentical' hormones really have no advantage over commercial yam derived hormones, except for the fact that they are shoddily manufactured. Third, the commercial equine hormones are metabolized by your body to convert into the exact chemical structure that your body makes.

Reason 5
Bioidentical hormones will cost the consumer more because insurance won't cover it.

Reason 6
The claims on some of these sites (Lee's and Mercola's, specifically) are plain ridiculous. Also Lee's book "Hormone Balance Made Simple", makes me chuckle. Look for my book which is being published next month, "Neurosurgery Made Simple"

So there you have it, not proven effective, may not be safe, is expensive, not natural. Sounds great doesn't it? "Natural" and "Bioidentical" don't really mean anything, they're just marketing ploys to get you buy their boneheaded products. Thanks for the question Linda, I think the tone of your question sort of answered yourself. If you feel uncomfortable with doing something to your body, don't do it. Get some more info and talk to your Doctor (and ask your friendly neighborhood toxicologist while you're at it!).

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Where do these cranks come from?


With respect to the FDA - The Food and Drug Association, since when are bio-identical hormones Food...or a drug?! last I looked they were classed as a cosmetic!

First, The real name of the FDA is the FD&C (Food, drug, and cosmetic) administration. Cosmetics certainly fall under its area of regulation.

How exactly has using bio-identical hormones not been shown to be effective? I can point you in the direction of tonnes of testemonials from people who would heartily disagree with that!

Umm, testimonials, eh? Very scientific. I can point you to tonnes of testimonials for just about any crackpot woo-woo medicine.

I'd respond to the rest but honestly I stopped reading at that point.

By Fnord Prefect (not verified) on 23 Aug 2007 #permalink

I would just like to make a few comments about your ideas of saliva testing and bio-identical hormones.

1. In answer to your question "respected by whom?" Dr David Zava, who is the director of the lab, is a world reknowned biochemist, who is respected greatly for his work within the scientific community.
Saliva tests are highly useful in discovering where imbalances lie. It will tell you the bio-availability of the hormones which you test, which is something that the doctors will not do - they do total levels, which is not as accurate. Also with saliva and blood spot testing, they can be done at home and there are no courier fees to pay.

2. HRT is based on the fact that every one is oestrogen deficient, when actually the opposite is true. The menopause symptoms are actually worsened by more oestrogen, since many women are already oestrogen dominant.
How exactly has using bio-identical hormones not been shown to be effective? I can point you in the direction of tonnes of testemonials from people who would heartily disagree with that!
Oh and running a trial to get it approved really isn't as easy as you make it out to be!

3. Yes you are right that hormone levels can vary widely, which is why it is important to look for creams that have been clinically trialed - for example - Pro-Gest is the only natural progesterone cream to have been clinically trialed.
With respect to the FDA - The Food and Drug Association, since when are bio-identical hormones Food...or a drug?! last I looked they were classed as a cosmetic!

4. Bio-identical hormones mean that they are IDENTICAL to our own ones. Now when you compare horse hormones with yam derived hormones - what exactly are we talking about here? Oestrogen or progesterone? Because Yam derived oestrogen is not bio-identical, nor are horse oestrogen. With the horse oestrogen, I take it that you are referring to Premarin, which is obtained in the most awful way, which i won't go into here, but it basically horse urine. Now a bio-identical hormone that is derived from yam is natural progesterone - natural meaning bio-identical, not naturally formed as many people seem to mis-interpret. Yam extract is used and then changed in a lab to form the progesterone molecule. The progesterone in HRT is actually a progestin - which is molecularly different from our own progesterone - so how exactly is that supposed to help us? It's like the difference between oestrogen and testosterone - at first glance they seem remarkably similar, but on closer inspection, you see a very small part of it that is slightly different - and these two molecules tell your body whether it is male or female! imagine what bigger difference between progestins and progesterone can do!

5. Yes insurance wont cover it because no-one seems to have an open enough mind to let these new hormone understanding have a go - every one is too transfixed on the medical model.

6. "The claims on some of these sites (Lee's and Mercola's, specifically) are plain ridiculous. " - would you mind giving us some examples - because as far as I know there aren't many - especially on Lee's and Mercola's sites! Admittedly there are some sites out there that are doing anything and everything they can think of to bring their competition down, I won't mention names, but they know who they are.

So there you have it, proven effective by many many women, safe perfectly safe if used along recommended guidelines, and natural, but not in the way you would preume it to be natural!

Thanks, A.T. While I'm not a candidate for HRT (being male and all, y'know), without this explication I could have mistaken "generic" (same compound made under the same regulatory structure sans brand name) with "bioidentical" ( apparently meaningless).

Another handy bit of information courtesy of Sceinceblogs.

By Ktesibios (not verified) on 23 Aug 2007 #permalink

Where do these cranks come from?


With respect to the FDA - The Food and Drug Association, since when are bio-identical hormones Food...or a drug?! last I looked they were classed as a cosmetic!

First, The real name of the FDA is the FD&C (Food, drug, and cosmetic) administration. Cosmetics certainly fall under its area of regulation.

I'd respond to the rest but honestly I stopped reading at that point.

How exactly has using bio-identical hormones not been shown to be effective? I can point you in the direction of tonnes of testemonials from people who would heartily disagree with that!

Umm, testimonials, eh? Very scientific. I can point you to tonnes of testimonials for just about any crackpot woo-woo medicine.

By Fnord Prefect (not verified) on 23 Aug 2007 #permalink

No reason to rework the row already hoed before me. In the most polite smack downs ever:

Alice, go to pubmed and look at the following papers:

If any one wants some nasty ones I've know where plenty of them are too. :)

Okay - so I might not have got that fact about the FDA 100% right, and testimonials are not very scientific. But it is actually going to be very difficult to get a huge amount of funding for scientific evidence, unless it is privately funded. None of the pharmaceutical companies will because they make no money out of using bio-identical hormones as they can't be patented. That is probably one of the main reasons that bio-identical hormones are shunned as rubbish. The pharmaceutical industry owns medicine, and as long as people think that they can go to the doctor to pick up a drug that will "cure" them of this and that, the pharmaceutical industry will remain as strong as they are now.
But slowly, things are starting to turn around, people are realising that doctors do not hold all the answers, and they have to look else where for answers. Many people turn to bio-identical hormones as a last hope, and they find it works - and if you don't believe them, well, they know they are being helped.

Sorry, I saw your comment after a replied to the previous one - problems with not refreshing the screen I spose!
As far as I can understand (I'm no scientist) those papers that you mention merely say there are no papers saying that it is safe. Well I explained why there isn't in the previous one.

Hmmmm. Generally I love reading your posts and interpretations of the research literature, but the dismissive attitude in this post bothered me, especially because the only real rational offered was lack of studies. But at the risk of getting smacked down, I'll respond.

I do tend to agree with the Mercola comment because I don't like him, either, but mostly because of his highly commercial website, not so much on his positions (I agree with him on grains, though). I've read a couple of Lee's books and many, many others on female hormones with a wide variety of positions on hormones of all sorts, in addition to as much peer-reviewed research as I could find. It's confusing, to say the least, and I wish there was more scientific study on bioidentical hormones. And Lee unfortunately for him, died prematurely in an auto accident, so his books are getting a bit dated anyway.

I guess I should first off say I'm a) not a scientist, but I am married to a research biochemist so we do discuss science a lot in our home, whether I want to or not :-). I do the best I can with my non-science liberal arts degree (with a bit of nutrition, physiology, and biology for electives way back when and lots of more recent reading on nutrition, diabetes, metabolism, and women's health issues) but I am not nearly as learned as many, if not most, of the AT's readers. But, I'd immodestly like to think I understand perhaps a bit more science than the average non-science type and I'm always trying to learn more.

b) I'm a 45 yo female who, for the last year or so, has cautiously used bioidentical hormones (progesterone and testosterone) with good results.

I'm a fairly cautious person when it comes to OTC and Rx drugs but eventually I decided that a) my blood tests were indicating that some of my hormones were pretty low even even for perimenopause which corresponded with the b) increasingly bothersome symptoms and very short cycles and c) when I weighed all the info I could find pro and con, the pros on BH made more sense to me, even if the evidence was lacking due to lack of study. Leap of faith perhaps, but frankly, I'm losing a lot of faith in the "groupthink" medical system lately, too (that's another story).

First I tried progesterone cream on my own (OTC Pro-Gest non-parabens cream, then when I after I started seeing a knowledgable gynecologist, I added Rx Prometrium pills as well, as plus another compounded Rx low dose testosterone after several blood tests had undetectable unbound levels). I made these decisions after more than a year of reading any and all research and lay literature I could find on the topics and coming to my own conclusions that it was worth a try. My doc uses bloods tests. I really couldn't find any convincing literature either way on the saliva testing. I did see assertions that the World Health Organization uses saliva tests because they are practical in the field (no need for refrigeration, longer time frame, easy sample collection, etc.), but I was not able to find definitive backup for that.

Yup, I also found a dearth of "scientific" information on bioidentical hormones. I don't use the term "natural" hormones because I know that bioidentical hormones are synthesized in a lab, even if the original source is "natural". In fact, I don't use the word natural much at all because it it means so little. I ignore it on packaging and marketing material. But I do think there is a difference in the way patented hormones and bioidentical hormones are recognized by the body.

I'm not the only one (not that that makes it scientific, either). Being "that age", I've friends in various stages of perimenopause and menopause and a few have some difficult symptoms which are relieved with one BH or another, but not relieved with non-bioidentical (patented) hormones, which sometimes caused new problems, such as acne, etc. Some of that may be due to the inflexibility with patented hormones, which are more likely to be in few one-size-fits-all dosing options (also, many of the studies with conventional patented hormones are sponsored by the drug companies so they only use those hormones instead of BH). Some women just tough it out in misery (& their families, too) because it is too confusing and there isn't enough really good, credible information. And yes, there are lots of women who sail through those years prior to menopause with nary a problem. Goody for them. For some, the fluctuating or dropping hormones are worse than being a teenager.

My experience is not scientific at all, of course, but life is better for me using BH. If it is a placebo effect, so be it. I can accept that, since I didn't find any really acceptable alternatives. My former primary doctor (not my gynecologist) offered mostly sleeping pills and antidepressants for any symptom I could describe but couldn't point to, but that made even less sense to me.

So I guess it's my body, my science project at this point. And it's worth every penny that isn't covered by insurance (the Rx is, only the OTC isn't).

I've got one other comment and that pertains to the "consult your doctor" advice. Sure. Makes sense. Consult more than one if you can afford it. But doing your own research and questioning the doctor's advice makes sense, too. Conventional medicine is wrong wrong more often than people realize and sometimes doctors are the last ones to stay up on the latest research. I know this too well, but I'll save that story for some other post.

I am a menopausal woman who has tried to relieve my symptoms using the conventional hrt offered by the mainstream pharmaceutical companies but it was not very effective on me. I convinced my doctor (mainstream)to work with a compounding pharmacist and I am now able to control my symptoms quite well using a very low dosage of hormones. Now I am not saying that these hormones are any safer than the conventional ones, but they sure work alot better for ME. One size does not fit all!

I find this post and comments interesting:

This one is rather damning:

"Bioidentical hormones can be dangerous. Studies have shown that hormone levels in the products can vary widely, so you never really know what you are going to get. More than a third of these mixtures failed FDA quality tests but they are powerless to take them off the market due to a loophole in the laws."

It could be some manufacturers are better and more reliable than others, but let the buyer beware.

"Third, the commercial equine hormones are metabolized by your body to convert into the exact chemical structure that your body makes."
If this is true than it would seem there should be no advantage to bioidentical hormones. But then why, when all the previous studies showed that natural estogen was likely to be good for your heart, did HRT increase heart problems? Could it be the ratios and quantities?

Clearly Anna and Karen seem to have benefited from treatment but, as they are aware, testimonials are not science - we could get a slew from homeopaths.

Angry Toxoligst gave good reasons why going this route at this point would be unwise, but does he think controlled studies of the effects of bioidentical hormones would be worthwhile?

Yeah, for all of the anger directed at "big-pharma", the 'supplement' industry is at least as money grubbing but without the research or quality control.

My mother swore that her magnetic wristbands alleviated her arthritis. Maybe it was placebo, maybe it was natural fluctuation in pain levels falsely associated in her memory with the 'treatment'. (i.e. she hurts, puts on her magnets and when the pain passes she assumes causation). So excuse me if I discount testimonials if it won't stand up to a blind study. I'm not trying to be dismissive and I am happy if you found relief, just as I never tried to convince my mother not to use her magnets. But once you advise others to use these is when I think you may be being irresponsible at best.

By Fnord Prefect (not verified) on 27 Aug 2007 #permalink

The reason there are no clinical trials is because they don't work. Why wouldn't they do them if they truly work because it would lend instant credibility and their sales would skyrocket. Oh but then they would be just like the evil Pharma cos that they constantly demonize so they would lose out on a well-honed and conspiratorial marketing technique.
These modern day snake oil salesmen have capitalized on and perfected playing to the scientific ignorance of the general population. Dr. Mercola is not an expert. He is a salesman. Anyone can write books and you can make a logical connection with about anything if you try hard enough. But in science the only way to truly back up your claims is with research not testimonials. Here's a little scientific principle that Dr. Mercola does not quite understand: The Null Hypothesis. The Null Hypothesis states that unless you show me experimental evidence that Treatment A is better than no treatment or Treatment B, the statement "Treatment A is NOT better than no treatment or Treatment B" is true. So in the absence of controlled experiments looking at the efficacy of bioidentical hormones as compared to no treatment or conventional hormone replacement therapy, one can only conclude that they do NOT work.
One more point, the placebo effect is very powerful and is especially relevant when subjective assessments (hot flash intesities, etc). It has been associated with a 30-50% response rate in placebo treated subjects in studies looking at alleviation of these types of symptoms.

Well put. I would like to add another thought. Pharmaceutical companies can be dishonest. Doctors can be sloppy or downright incompetent. But isn't better to try a new doctor or different (tested and efficacious) medicine than to run off to an 'alternative medicine' purveyor whose claims invariably fail scientific scrutiny?

By Fnord Prefect (not verified) on 27 Aug 2007 #permalink

I agree about the supplement industry. I approach unregulated supplements and herbs with as much reservation as OTC and Rx medications, perhaps even more. I try to learn as much as I can before using anything anymore. I definitely don't listen to the folks in the vitamin/supplement sections.

I don't advise others to use BH, although a couple of friends and I have had long discussions and shared information sources about BH, each coming to her own conclusions. It's important to decide after learning as much as possible (which is quite difficult with the hormone issue because of the lack of good studies). And I have my gynecologist's blessing; she prescribes BH as well as compounded BH. She is in a very conventional practice, btw, not "complimentary" or "alternative". Together, we determined that it was progesterone in the luteal phase and a very small daily dose of testosterone that would benefit me, not estrogen (my estrogen levels are on the low end, but not roller-coasting, so I don't get hot flashes or other symptoms of estrogen deficiency - yet).

At the risk of sharing too much personal info, I have looked back over my cycle calendar (very detailed because of 7 years trying to get pregnant) and noted that for nearly the past decade (age 34-44) my cycles went from an average of 31-33 days down to 25-26 days, and for the past 2-3 years to an average of 20-21 days (shorter, more frequent cycles are common in perimenopause). Even shorter if I fly across time zones post-ovulation. Not fun.

Starting thyroid hormone for mild hypothyroidism 1.5 yrs ago helped a lot with the week of extremely painful breasts I had developed a few years ago, but didn't affect the frequent cycling. Using progesterone in the luteal phase for the past year has bumped my cycles back up to 24-27 days. It put an end to the decade of pre-menstrual spotting, too. If I miss progesterone doses (especially the cream, more so than the nightly micronized-in-oil oral gelcap) for the entire luteal phase (post-ovulation), then the cycle is shortened.

It's hard for me to see how a placebo effect could affect my cycle length so dramatically. I have even not used progesterone some cycles to see what happens and those cycles are always much, much shorter.

How will this play out in the long run? Don't know. But the evidence that prolonged exposure even to the body's own estrogen isn't necessarily good - cancer rates are higher for women who bear less children and later, i.e., more lifetime cycles (that's me, one child at age 37). And I seem to have enough estrogen to keep cycling still.

Of course, I keep my eyes open for new information and will adjust/stop my treatment as needed.

I tend to be very skeptical of alternative medicine claims. However, it is not as simple as "why wouldn't they do them if they truly work?" The reason is (not surprisingly) money.

To legally make a health claim, you must do studies to the FDA's satisfaction, following an established progression. Studies that do meet normal scientific standards are still not considered adequate, and may not be referenced or legally used as evidence of safety or efficacy.

For pharmaceuticals, FDA-quality studies take an average of 10-15 years, and cost in excess of $100,000,000. Many promising pharmaceuticals do not get developed into products due to this investment required, if the expected patient population for that drug product is not big enough or rich enough to be able to pay enough for the treatment to recover this cost. And that's for products that *can* be patented.

Given this, I don't necessarily fault the supplement companies for not jumping through the hoop. The FDA has defined the only hoop it will consider valid, and it's a really high hoop with really hot flames.


By Phil Boncer (not verified) on 27 Aug 2007 #permalink

Ozzy and Phil, you're both right. It does take a massive investment to get through the FDA approval process, however, there are investors with bags of money willing to invest in a good developing medicine (look at all the money thrown at iffy development). So while it takes a ton of money to show safety and effectiveness, the investment dollars are available and most companies aren't going for it (some have and spectacularly failed their trials). So in the end, I think that the developers don't truely trust their product. They may a little, but with some doubt don't want to give up their alternative business on the chance that they may fail. Otherwise they would reach for the big bucks.

Also, the investment dollars might only be available for FDS testing and approval process if the company can get a patent, which isn't possible for bioidentical hormones, only for hormone analogs.

The investment dollars are not at all readily available. I have spent the last 15 years working for small(ish) companies who are trying to develop medicines and/or medical devices. It is *very* hard to raise the money to do this and keep raising it long enough to get a product to market (or even get it far enough along to sell it to a major company). And to do so, you have to be able to show that if approved, your product will make a great deal of money for the investors. That requires (a) a patentable product, and (b) a proven patient base that is either very large or very rich.

Those investors are willing to put some bags of money into risky endeavors, but only if they see a potential for a huge profit to offest that risk. Anything that has no chance of making back that hundred million (plus a large profit) will have no chance of attracting money to get it through the FDA.


By Phil Boncer (not verified) on 28 Aug 2007 #permalink


One might argue that selling perimenopausal women hormones has already proven to be highly profitable. And now there's a gap in the market...

The problem is that loophole mysteriously allowed for hormones because they're 'natural' and therefore not subject to fda approval in (what appears to be) most cases.

Phil, That's a good point I hadn't thought of - if the potential profit isn't enough, you've got no chance. From a market perspective, however, I have to wonder how useful products can be if they don't stand to make back that profit. I guess you would respond that, unfortunately, we'll never know. The safety hurdles that are in place are reasonable I think, though, so I'm not sure what would solve this problem.

The reason they can't make back the profit is that bioidentical hormones cannot be patented. So if X company invests in FDA approval, they would have no exclusivity in the marketplace, unlike with patented hormone analogs. The prices will plummet, because the product is generic and any number of manufacturers could make it.

I am on Bio-Progesterone and it does help. I have a real MD that checks my levels. Either angrytoxicologist is male or has had no hormonal imbalances.

I realize that this is an old blog entry but I just came across it and want to add my 2 cents. I was put into surgical menopause 10 years ago (borderline ovarian cancer)at the "young" age of 41. I've tried all of the options and none of them completely addressed all of the issues.

In desperation I tried bioidentical hormones several years ago. Funny, but what some think are safe hormones not only raised my blood pressure but shot my liver enzymes out of the normal range for the first time ever. When I tried to discuss this with the pharmacist at the compounding pharmacy she claimed that something else must be causing the side effects (it's clear she was more interested in my wallet).

I'm now on a patch (I switched gynecologists) and my liver enzymes came down along with the BP. This medication has been studied in Europe where the women on the patch show no increase in breast cancer. And I haven't had other complications such as acne.

Do I trust all pharmaceutical companies, doctors and pharmacists? No and I never will. You have to do your own research. I don't think the FDA does a great job, but they also don't have the funding that's needed. Most people don't realize the dangers of "natural" products where there is no oversight and it's impossible to tell where the companies get some of their ingredients. It looks like for the time being many of us are going to be guinea pigs.

I was reading that the Red Bull Cola has been banned in Germany for containing cocaine or its matabolite benzoylecgonine. My problem is that I have been drinking it every day 2 to 4 cans per day for the last month. I have been drinking quite a bit because I have severe cluster headaches and the caffeine helps reduce the severity of the headache. Well I tested positive on a drug screen for cocaine and I know that is the only thing that would have caused it. I see that 1 can contain 0.13ug or 130ng per can and 0.4ug or 400ng per liter. Can you please help me find out who were the testing laboratory and a way of contacting them? I am a Police Officer and Iâm also in the Military Reserves for 22 years, which I stand to loose every thing if I cannot prove that this beverage was the cause of my positive drug test. I do take benicar hct 40/25 and viagra but they don't cause positive results can u tell me if there is a way to calculate how BE would be in a can given 1 can contains 130ng og cocaine.




By MADELEINE (not verified) on 06 Jun 2009 #permalink

Hi, my name is Kelly and I am from Australia. I started taking bio identical progesterone 50mg capsules June 2008. After suffering chronic migraines for more than 5 years, I tried this product, out of desperation basically. After the mainstream medical industry failed to help me, just putting me on prescription medication one after the other, and the side affects were almost as bad as the migraines themselves. Most of the GP's I visited, didnt even diagnose my medical condition as migraine!!!! I searched the internet for some kind of help and come across a web site from a doctor, he told of his 19 years working in a womens health clinic, and he accidently come across the benefits of bio identical progesterone for migraine headaches, while treating women for menstrual issues etc. The women would return after being treated and would say their headaches had improved if not vanished...
Well, I can honestly say that I have gone from getting a headache EVERY DAY, and a migraine 6 times each month which would have me bed ridden.. To now, I get NO headaches, no migraines!!! I got my life back... So I feel that you are cheating people from their chance at getting their lives back. Its not only good for post partum women but for 30 year old women like me!! I now continue to take 150mg of BIO IDENTICAL PROGESTERONE each day, as my migraines were classified as chronic... and I feel fantastic...
As far as the FDA goes, they are a big company who along with doctors are making loads of money off people being ill. the more prescription medicines they sell the more they make! Yes, bio identical progesterone costs more to the consumer.. But, you think how many people around the world are taking migraine prevention tabs that cost around $10 a packet.. Lets just say 10000 people take them on a monthly basis that is $100000 profit in a month and that is 1 type of prevention drug, do the math, they are making heaps.. they dont want people curing their migraines with a simple cure, they need us to be sick!! :)

I also had to comment on the saliva hormone test. I agree, that saliva is not a good indication of hormone levels, as they change through out the cycle.
The progesterone that I am taking is simple, you start out taking 50mg capsules one in the morn and one at night, you do that for a few months and if you notice a partial response, but still have some symptoms, then you increase the dose by 50mg and see how that goes for a few more months and so on. The maximum dose is 200mg a day. I was taking 100mg a day for a long time about 6 months, and then my headaches and dizziness returned, so I increased my dose, by adding another 50mg capsule, and now I have no symptoms. And if my symptoms do return, i can still add another 50mg capsule. but then that is it.. You can reduce the dose as well, and just see how your body goes, if the symptoms return, you just increase dose again. Its simple!!
The bonus is that, you can take any other medication with the progesterone with no interaction. check out his website at:

It will change your life!
Yes, you do need to be carefull of websites, but this one is fine!
I order the progesterone from Natural Living, NAVADA USA. and I have it shipped to australia. a 6 month supply costs me $150. It may seem a lot, but what price would you put on being healthy and feeling fantastic? I use to spend $180 a year on prevention medications anyway, so I am not only spending an extra $120 a year to feel better than I did before.. :) anyway, we all have to do our own research, it is OUR life and OUR body afterall, personally, I believe that I would have killed myself, if it weren't for this hormone treatment. I was sick of the pain!
I am not sure how the creams etc work, but I know the capsule is fabulous.

I've been looking online for some good information on Anti-aging and menopause related issues. Thank you for your high quality of content, the information on this website is second to none. Thanks for posting!

First of all I have used BioIdentical Progesterone since my obgyn rushed me into having a hysterectomy (for some reason which I found out later was insignificant). He insisted on giving me HRT which I tried and became so upset that I gave it up and looked into alternatives, as I usually do and found out about bio identicals. Many of my friends have done the same and we are all feeling and looking much much better. Doctors just load us with total BS like HRT because the Big Pharma Industry pays them to. It makes no sense at all but that's how they roll.
Incidentally Mercola is an honest individual who promotes the real deal to health.

After suffering for 10 years (from age 33) and having tried everything under the sun; and consulting every specialist under the sun THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU GOD FOR THE NATURAL WILD YAMS THAT YOU CREATED THAT CAN BE MADE INTO PROGESTERONE CREAMS. My life had been a living nightmare until someone finally FORCED me to get salvia testing, which led me to bio identical hormone replacement. My life has changed 100%. I ate well, I exercised, I meditated, I took supplements, I did everything right and not until I finally succumed to bio identicals did my life change. I have been indentified by every kind of medical specialist, even the ones who believe in bio identicals, as being a extreme case in terms of symptoms and suffering. TO ALL YOU WOMEN OUT THERE SUFFERING, MAKE THE EFFORT, SPEND THE MONEY, IT WILL CHANGE YOUR LIFE! No more "every twenty minutes" night sweats. No more sweating all day long, no more running nose, no more mood swings, no more ears ringing, no more going to the bathroom every twenty minutes, no more fatigue, no more sadness, no more anger, no more dizziness, no more nausea, no more dehydration. Say what you want, I am living proof this shit works! How sad that you would have a site saying things like this about something that has changed peoples lives for the better.

By SandraDee (not verified) on 18 Aug 2009 #permalink

P.S. Bio identical hormone replacement is not just for women, men can benefit too, and do without viagra....

By SandraDee (not verified) on 18 Aug 2009 #permalink

If Bio identical hormones are a joke, than why did natural bio identical progesterone stop my hemoraging.
After suffering for years my Dr. wanted to do surgery. I discovered bio identical hormones did my own research and tried the progesterone creams and with in 3 days I stopped hemoraging and never had to go through the surgery.
There is a vast misunderstanding about these Bio's and Drs. don't want us to be informed, because Drs and pharmasuetical companies make a lot of money at our expense.
These same Drs. a making bank on unessesary surgeries.
These same Drs. are not going to tell you the truth about Bio identical hormones because it is a threat to their livelyhood.
$25.00 is all it cost me to get my life and my health back... and no perscription. Do your homework..and discover the truth about Bio Identicals.

This really is a subject that is very confusing for a lot of people to wade through, myself included. What I want to say is this: I have suffered symptoms of PMT/PMS a great deal of my menstruating life and somewhere along the line approx 4-5 years ago the rising and horrendous symptoms of perimenopause/menopause. I have seen my doctor twice over the past two years and pleaded for help, after the resulting blood tests came through I got a pat on the head and an exclamation of a clean bill of health and promptly dismissed!! These symptoms made it impossible for me to live a 'normal' life. Conditions such as night sweats, hot flashes, insomnia, constant stress, loss of labido, headaches, an inability to think straight (foggy thinking) and even ultimately social phobia, the list goes on.. This condition really is NO JOKE for women who constantly wonder like I did 'what the hell is wrong with me' it even eventually COST ME MY MARRIAGE. I thank God that I discovered natural progesterone cream. I have used it for just over two months and my symptoms have almost all been ELIMINATED!!. Self medication is not something that is to be taken lightly and of course I would like to rest assured that there are and will be no long term health risks from using natural progesterone cream (My short experience has proven nothing but positive benefits up to now. I have no intention of discontinuing use and going back to what I can only describe as a living hell) I definately agree that for added peace of mind there needs to be some FAIR INDEPENDANT STUDIES COMPLETED.

These same Drs. are not going to tell you the truth about Bio identical hormones because it is a threat to their livelyhood.
$25.00 is all it cost me to get my life and my health back... and no perscription. Do your homework..and discover the truth about Bio Identicals.

I agree. Bioidentical progesterone cream is the way to go! Check out the Virginia Hopkins website. They are very pro Dr. John Lee and many others who have spent a lifetime researching this issue. There is much scientific research that has been tossed aside or ignored in the name of "medicine" and the pharmaceutical industry. It works when nothing else does, and it's safe--no side effects--only the positive ones!

I'm amazed at the stupidity of the original posting answer. Obviously this person is benefiting by bashing bio identical HRT. It's worked for me while synthetic drugs have not.

You can continue to bash therapies that work and don't make you a lot of money but people eventually wake up to what yo are doing.

Have a nice day!

Natural bio identical progesterone stopped my wife getting migraines after years of suffering after no help at all from general dr's or migraine specialists... and we saw many. So Mr Crankypants angrytoxicoligist you can stick that in your pipe and smoke on it :)
For years she had one every month, always linked to her cycles, and no doctors or specialists had a "clue" what caused them. Finally after our own internet research (yeah that thing that the Dr's.. or should I say drug company "comedy acts" denounce as complete evil), we thought it may be linked to low progesteron according to years of research done by a Dr that was actually open-minded. First month of trying it no migraines... none for over a year, and no longer has light or sound sensitivity issues. She does get touches of headaches once a month sometimes but it doesn't worsen now. Previously it was 3-5 days even with several rounds of serious pain killers being injected. We're pretty sure that her levels are screwed up due to chronic back pain from a damaged sacrolatic joint. That's another story of our failed medical system (in Australia...) sad thing is my wife is still on a waiting list, after 4 yrs, to see the chronic pain clinic in a major regional hospital for manageing chronic back pain and migraines. At least we're on top of the migraines. Waiting for stem cells to fix the back :) From experience our medical system is completely screwed... it's about making money out of disease and not preventing diseases or curing the source of disease. They can't even diagnose a broken leg which a workmates daughter had... broken in 2 spots and the hospital sent her home saying it's bruised. Oh well, remind me not to get sick...
Oh yeah, if you have severe migraines, and female, progesteron levels could be your problem. Ignore the campaigns against non-patented solutions but do be carefull who you purchase off and do your own research.

natural progesterone gave me my life back ! I have endometriosis and have been in pain for years since taking progesterone in form of pessaries Im pain free and no cyst for nearly 2 years now

I was on non BH for 7 years and it was Hell. I had to get off of them because of the terrible side effects. I have been on BH for 3 months and have found so much more relief than I have ever had before. I can't say I am happy to be out the money because insurance won't cover anything that works...but I'd rather be out the money than go back to where I was before. I have been to so many doctors with no results. They just push pills that cause other problems. Most of the time they are insensitive and clueless to my physical needs. I am one who has been seeking help the traditional way...only to end up a mess. I am feeling better every day now. So, it doesn't matter to me what the FDA says or the medical profession. My personal experiences have led me to the conclusion that insurance companies, pharmaceutical companies and the medical profession as a whole are simply interested in keeping me sick so I will keep coming back so they can shovel more pills that will make me feel worse so I will come back to get more so they will stay in business. No thanks.

As a toxicologist I would like to ask you: How would you test someone to see if they are mercury-toxic?

Then, what would be the treatment if found to be mercury-toxic and/or a poor excretor (meaning the body is seemingly unable to properly rid its' self of toxins, thereby having a bio-accumulative affect)?

Thank you for your reply.

I have been taking Progest50 a bio identical progesterone for 3 years. My migrains have gone away, my weight and blood levels are perfect and I feel great. I went off it a few times and felt moody and had a migrain both times. My regular doctor and my Lyme doctor are both very happy with the results. I know a lot about natural health care and have seen regular progesterone hurt several of my good friends. The doctors seem to screw them up everytime they try to correct it. Two of them have gone natural with fantastic results. So Natural is always the best way to start in my opinion.

Is it possible to get compounded progesterone, alone, without other hormones?

yes, I am taking it in capsule form.

By Dena Sweeney (not verified) on 17 May 2012 #permalink