December 2006: Black Cohosh and Phytoestrogens for Menopausal Symptoms
Hormone replacement therapy was long the mainstay of treatment for menopausal symptoms. However, recent studies have shown that it presents significant risks, while providing fewer benefits than once thought. These findings have increased interest in alternative treatments for menopausal women suffering from hot flashes, vaginal dryness, and other problems.
Natural substances with mild estrogen-like properties,
In November 2006, Italian researchers at the University of Naples published a study that found benefits with a combination of these substances. In this trial, eighty menopausal women were randomly assigned to receive either a mixture of isoflavones, lignans and black cohosh extract, or a calcium placebo. Over the course of three months, average menopausal symptoms (as rated by the standard Kupperman index) decreased to a greater extent in the treatment group than in the placebo group. The researchers note that isoflavones are absorbed and removed quickly, while lignans are absorbed and removed slowly. Therefore, they hypothesize that the combination provides more consistent benefits over a full twenty-four hours.
Sammartino A, Tommaselli GA, Gargano V, et al. Short-term effects of a combination of isoflavones, lignans, and Cimicifuga racemosa on climacteric-related symptoms in postmenopausal women: a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial. Gynecol Endocrinol . 2006;22:646-650.
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
Copyright © 2007 EBSCO Publishing All rights reserved.