John R. Lee, M.D. is a retired specialist in internal medicine. During his thirty years of professional practice, he noticed a steady increase in osteoporosis and a decline in women’s health. These worrying trends prompt him to investigate the root of the problem instead of merely administering the treatment. He also found that it was possible to treat these ailments with long-existing natural products. This is well documented in his book, “What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Menopause”. The following is extracted from his speech when he addressed 500 women in Atlanta.
After a few years of professional practice, I realized that doctors normally wait until the patients are ill before treatment is considered. This is because medical schools only teach them to diagnose and then treat accordingly. They are not taught how an illness started. I have come to the understanding that if the root of the illness is identified, the correct approach is to take precautions so as to avoid its occurrence by adjusting one’s lifestyle and eating habit. For this reason, I have focused on the prevention rather than the cure.
After practicing medicine for many years, my patients have also become older. Many of my female patients have approached menopause. They complain of irregular menstruation, breast tenderness, depression, water retention, thyroid dysfunction mimicking hypothyroidism, decreased libido (sex drive). There is an increase in the number of osteoporosis sufferers. The normal medical practice is to treat with a female hormone known as Estrogen. Estrogen treatment, however, has been proven to increase cancer risks. Thus, Estrogen treatment cannot be used for patients suffering from breast cancer, diabetes and obesity. I want my patients to change their eating habits, take calcium tablets and vitamin D. However, this is not enough to increase the density of the bone. I do not believe that Mother Nature is so cruel; there must be a better treatment.
During a seminar in 1976, a speaker pointed out that doctors should prescribe another female hormone progesterone when they treat patients with Estrogen. This is because progesterone can help prevent cancer in women. I think it is reasonable, because the ovary makes these two hormones at the same time. I attended another seminar in 1978 where a speaker queried the logic of administering only Estrogen and omitting the naturally available progesterone in the treatment of women wellness. Natural progesterone is occurring in wild yams, soybean and some 5000 different plants. As it is classified as a cosmetic, safe and without side effects, a doctor’s prescription is not necessary when purchasing progesterone. Upon hearing this, I was very interested and collected some more information from him so as to do some further investigation myself. I told my patients first to determine their bone density, then to buy progesterone cream to apply; and to test their bone density again after one year to determine if there has been any improvement. My patients came back to inform me that there was a general improvement in their health. There was no more water retention; even the skin and hair texture has improved; and more importantly their bone has improved.
Bone tissues renew themselves voluntarily. When old bone tissues resorb (osteoclasts), new ones are formed (osteoblasts). Estrogen slows down the reabsorption process but does not increase the bone mass and density. On the other hand, progesterone stimulates the formation of new bone and thus improving the bone mass and density. The ovary produces 20mg of progesterone daily from the day it ovulates to the day before menstruation. Progesterone is also produced by the placenta during pregnancy up to 400mg daily during the last 3 months of gestation. Thus, a daily dosage between 20 to 400mg is considered safe.
After the egg is fertilized, the ovary would produce more progesterone, which plays an important role in engorging blood to endometrium (uterine lining) in preparation for the embedding of the fertilized egg. If progesterone is insufficient, the fertilized egg would not be embedded, and this would result in voluntary abortion. After the fertilized egg is embedded, the ovary will continue to produce progesterone until the placenta is formed to take over its production. Towards the last 3 months of pregnancy, the placenta is able to produce 400mg of progesterone daily as the expectant mother reaches the peak of her physical condition. Thus, from the day she conceives to the day she delivers, progesterone is an indispensable hormone to the expectant mother. The majority of people think that this is the only function of progesterone. In reality, progesterone plays an important role throughout the body; from the nervous system, thyroid gland, brain cells, rebuilding muscles to the general well-being of the person. For instance, progesterone is an important element in building the membrane that protects the brain. Thus, there is 20 times more progesterone in the brain cells than in the blood cells. This explains why dementia old ladies regain their mental abilities after applying progesterone cream. Furthermore, progesterone can also convert fat into the body into energy. Thus, progesterone promotes health.
In 1938, a South American doctor devised a method to convert progesterone-like substance in plants exactly the same molecule as human progesterone. It was used to manufacture progesterone cream that can be completely utilized by the human body without any side effects. However, since this progesterone molecule is completely identical to that found in the human body, the pharmaceutical manufacturers are not able to patent it. Thus, they modified the structure of these molecules which were derived from wild yams, to preserve only some of the special properties of progesterone. Then they use these modified molecules to manufacture drugs such as contraceptives; and at the same time have their modified progesterone (progestin) patented. However, this man-made progesterone has lost most of its good qualities and at the same time picked up several undesirable side effects. Pharmaceutical manufacturers use this synthetic progesterone to produce hormone-related drugs. One example is “Provera”, a widely prescribed drug that has many side effects.
I have found that natural progesterone is most effective when applied on skin; 40 to 70 times as effective as taken orally. Its molecule size is smaller than that of a cholesterol molecule and can be totally absorbed through skin into the underlying fat layers, then into muscle tissues and to blood, attach itself to the red blood cells but cannot be detected during blood serum tests. After applying the cream, doctors were not able to detect progesterone in the blood serum test and dismissed the treatment as being ineffective. However, the patients’ condition did improve; so doctors attributed the improvement to psychological aspects. Little did they know that they were looking at the wrong places for answers and had come to a wrong conclusion. Fortunately, present day sophisticated technology made it possible to detect the amount of progesterone and Estrogen in saliva.
In my circle of female friends and relatives, those who are above 40 years of age have either removed their uterus or are taking Estrogen. The story goes like this: when she reaches her forties and is approaching menopause, her menstruation becomes irregular and she does not feel well; being plagued by headache, interrupted sleep, breast tenderness, etc. She would be told by her doctor that she is approaching menopause and is advised to take Estrogen. In fact, it’s the lack of progesterone that is responsible for her sufferings. After taking Estrogen, her condition worsened, and the doctor prescribes a higher dosage resulting in blood clotting discharge. This happens because Estrogen increases the metabolism rate of the uterus cells. Then the doctor announces that this is a pre-cancer phenomenon and advises the patient to have her uterus removed surgically. In this way, one error leads to another, resulting in a large number of post-menopause women losing their wombs.
Another point to note is that there are too many brands of progesterone cream available in the market presently, which does not contain progesterone or have less of it in its content. I feel that a reasonable content should be 400 to 480mg of progesterone to every ounce of the product. An ounce of the stuff is just nice for a month’s supply of 24 days of usage. It averages out to a daily usage of 20mg, which is the quantity that the ovary would produce daily.
Recently, some French doctors together with their Taiwanese counterparts conducted “Double Blind Test” on some 40 women patients who were scheduled for surgery to remove the breasts in 10 days’ time. One group of 10 women was given progesterone (20mg daily) to apply; another group of 10 was given Estrogen; a third group of 10 was given both progesterone as well as Estrogen; and the last group of 10 was given a ‘placebo’ cream. Ten days later, all 40 women went for surgery as scheduled and specimens from their breasts were collected at the same time for biopsy. Using results from the last test group as standard, it was found that the ‘progesterone group’ had progesterone levels 100 times higher than the standard – the same level as that of a normal healthy menstruating female. The ‘Estrogen group’ had Estrogen level 100 times higher than the standard; providing evidence that both hormones can easily be absorbed into the body through the skin. Furthermore, two methods were used to gauge the rate of growth of the cancerous breast cells; the so-called cancerous cells are actually normal cells that were growing too fast, resulting in tumor formation. The result shows that the ‘progesterone group’ has a growth rate of 15% lower than that of the ‘placebo’ control group, the Estrogen group has a growth rate of 250% higher than the standard. The group that used both progesterone and estrogen did not have a significantly higher growth rate – indicating progesterone being the ‘winner’.
In America, 50% of women above the age of 35 suffer serious deficiencies in progesterone. After menopause when the ovary stopped producing progesterone, progesterone level in the body dropped to zero. However, Estrogen level merely declined to 40 – 60% of the previous level because fat cells in the body continued to produce it. The situation is similar to those women who have their uterus removed surgically. This is what I call ‘Estrogen dominance’. The cause may be due to excessive calories in the body, ovary produces insufficient progesterone, man-made hormones from meat in the diet, or high dosage of Estrogen that should not be prescribed by the doctor. The remedy to this situation is to avoid overeating, to adopt a meatless eating habit, etc. As to insufficient progesterone being produced by the ovary, this is due to environmental circumstances that have damaged the normal function of the ovary.
If you are above 35 and have health symptoms described above, there is a strong likelihood that you are suffering from a deficiency in progesterone. This can easily be confirmed by a saliva test to determine your progesterone level. Allow your doctor to know that there is a lack of progesterone and excess of Estrogen in your condition.
My talk ends here and we shall spend the rest of our time answering some questions.
Please explain the relationship between Fibroid Tumor and progesterone
My personal opinion is that all Fibroid Tumor is caused by excessive Estrogen. If it is possible to return the level of progesterone back to normal and maintain it right up till and past menopause; that is when less Estrogen is produced and a lower level of progesterone is permissible, the tumor will shrink gradually. However, if the fibroid tumor is massive (larger than a bunch of grapes), then it will have to be surgically removed. Otherwise, it is possible to control the condition with progesterone. The method is start counting the day when menstruation starts as day 1, apply progesterone externally from day 12 to day 26; repeat the treatment the following month for the new menstruation cycle. Generally, there will be about 30% reduction in the fibroids, which will eventually shrink after menopause.
Is progesterone helpful to those women who have undergone chemotherapy as a treatment for breast cancer?
In recent years, doctors need to review the definition of breast cancer. In some cases, doctors declare breast cancer as soon as they see tiny growths dispersed over the chest area and immediately recommend chemotherapy or radiation treatment. The results were good, as there was no case to begin with. If the patient had changed her eating habit and stopped consuming Estrogen then, there would be no need for treatment at all. However, if it were a genuine case, my recommendation is to avoid Estrogen completely and eat a meatless diet (to eliminate taking man-made hormones in the meat) and at the same time start using progesterone.
Is applying progesterone effective for cyst found on the breast?
If it were really cyst, three months of application of progesterone would significantly improve the condition. There was a case where this lady had fast growing cyst and needed surgery to remove both breasts the following week. I recommended her to use progesterone from the 12th to the 26th day of her menstruation cycle (counting as 1st day when menstruation begins). Two months later, her cyst disappeared and there was no need for surgery.
My daughter has painful menstruation that requires emergency treatment at times. Doctors prescribed contraceptives but it was not much help. Further, she becomes depressed and temperamental. Would progesterone be helpful?
Contraceptives are harmful to the body. Estrogen in the contraceptives takes the copper out from the cells to the blood stream and restrains the absorption of zinc. Copper and zinc are important elements in the brain cells; if their levels were not in balance, it would lead to depression and mental problems. These are the consequences of taking contraceptives and should be avoided. Using progesterone definitely helps, but more importantly is to change her eating habit.
Have you let the health maintenance organizations (HMOs) understand this information? They should be very interested.
Many research and health maintenance organizations depended on funds donated by pharmaceutical manufacturers. Someone has already sent my book to them. After reading, they did not know whom I was and what to do. Some pharmaceutical manufacturers spread the rumor that I was a Chinese doctor (note: Dr. Lee is not a Chinese) who owned 50% of progesterone manufacturing facilities. These are lies. I am merely a medical doctor who has written a book to share my 15-year experience using progesterone. Non-believers can test it out personally. A lady followed my recommendations to apply progesterone and had her osteoporosis condition vastly improved. Her doctor, who did not believe it the virtues of progesterone, recommended her a new man-made progesterone product. She wrote a letter to him saying, “Why do you keep on advertising for the manufacturer? You have forgotten that I use only natural progesterone. My bone density has increased by 35% within 2 ½ years whereas the new product cannot even stimulate a 5% improvement. Why then are you so persistent in promoting this product?” In my opinion, these organizations will take note and carry out their own tests only when everyone continuously makes known her observations. In this way, it may be more effective in raising their awareness. It gives me great satisfaction to be able to clarify these facts.
Recently, the medical authority announced that Estrogen is beneficial to women suffering from heart related ailments. What do you think?
In America, Estrogen is the most popular drug prescribed by doctors, but many smart women refused to use them presently. In order to promote their products, manufacturers announced that they are good for the heart and osteoporosis. Among the related medical reports that I have read, 16 said that Estrogen did not do heart cases any good, 2 claimed that it actually caused a stroke, only 1 research report from Harvard claimed that it was helpful for heart problems. However, in this research project, the control group of women who were not taking Estrogen was in the high-risk category; participants being obese addicted to drugs or diabetic. In fact, this group of people cannot use Estrogen anymore. The other research group of women who used Estrogen were slim, clear of drugs and women who regularly exercised. Under such unfair comparison parameters, more non-Estrogen users died of heart attacks; this report however, failed to explain to doctors the increase the 48% of stroke cases in the Estrogen consuming group. In my opinion, the manufacturers were obviously trying to mislead doctors in order to boost their sales.
Is progesterone helpful to men suffering from prostate cancer?
I believe that the lack of progesterone does damage to the prostate gland. I have heard many cases of varying degrees of recovery after applying progesterone. One male patient’s condition was so bad that he was advised by his doctor to go for surgery. He asked for some time to consider. At the same time, his wife was using progesterone for treating her osteoporosis and he tried some on himself too. He found it quite good. Six months later, his medical report showed that there were no more cancerous cells. According to feedback from patients, I strongly believe that there is indeed some connection between progesterone and prostate cancer. Unfortunately, there is no research being conducted in this area presently. Personally, I would recommend progesterone for men suffering from prostate cancer.
- Natural Progesterone by Anna Rushton & Dr. Shirley A Bond. Thorsons Publishing
- Breast Cancer: What You Should Know (But May Not Be Told) About Prevention, Diagnosis, and Treatment by Austin, Steve, N.D., and Cathy Hitchcock, M.S.W. Prima Publishing
- Eat Right, Live Longer by Bernard, Neal, M.D. New York: Harmony Books
- The Menopause Industry: How the Medical Establishment Exploits Women. By Coney, Sandra, Hunter House