A natural progesterone cream supposed to reverse postmenopausal osteoporosis is ineffective because it is not properly absorbed into the system.
Researchers tested the rub on cream Progest on 20 postmenopausal women aged between 37 and 70. All the participants had had a hysterectomy at some stage.
The women applied one teaspoon of the cream morning and night, which is four times the manufacturer's recommended dose. But on analysis, it was found that absorption of progesterone from Progest was far too low to offer protection or conserve bone.
The researchers, from the Menopause Clinic at King's College Hospital in London, say Progest should not replace conventional HRT treatment (Lancet, 1998; 351: 1255-6).