The studies appear online and will be published in an upcoming issue of Menopause, the journal of The North American Menopause Society.
In the first study, the botanicals black cohosh and red clover were compared to the standard of care -- hormone therapy -- and to placebo for the treatment of hot flashes.
The researchers enrolled 89 women with moderate to severe hot flashes in a four-arm, randomized, double-blind clinical trial. The women, who experienced at least 35 hot flashes and night sweats per week, were followed for 12 months. They kept diaries to record the number of hot flashes per day as well as the intensity.
The researchers found that the average number of hot flashes per week decreased over time across all groups -- black cohosh decreased 34 percent, red clover 57 percent, placebo 63 percent and hormone therapy 94 percent.
"The important message is that all women improved, but there was a large placebo effect, and the botanicals did not work significantly better than placebo," said Stacie Geller, the G. William Arends Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at UIC and lead author of the study. "As expected, hormone therapy, considered the gold standard, significantly reduced hot flashes when compared with placebo," Geller said.
"We also found that the botanicals were safe -- which is important, since many women will still continue to use them."
Geller and colleagues from the UIC/National Institutes of Health Center for Botanical Dietary Supplements Center reported no significant differences between botanical treatments and placebo for any of the safety parameters, including breast and endometrial safety, liver enzymes, complete blood count, or lipid profiles.
In a second study, UIC and Northwestern researchers enrolled 66 women from the parent trial to determine whether the botanic treatments had an effect on cognitive abilities, particularly verbal memory. It is the first study to evaluate the cognitive effects of black cohosh.
The women completed baseline cognitive testing before receiving treatment and again during the 12-month treatment to measure the recollection of words and short stories. They also wore monitors that measured changes in skin conductance during a hot flash. Both subjective and objective hot flashes were recorded during a 24-hour period.
The study, like the main trial, found that none of the botanicals had either a beneficial or a detrimental effect on memory. The specific hormone therapy used in the trial, Prempro, had a slight negative impact on memory.
"Together, these two studies demonstrate that compared to botanicals, only hormone therapy had a beneficial effect on vasomotor symptoms, but this benefit was at the cost of a slight decrease in memory," said Pauline Maki, UIC associate professor of psychiatry and psychology and lead author of the cognition study. The focus of ongoing research at UIC, Maki said, is to identify a safe and effective treatment for hot flashes that is either neutral or beneficial to memory functioning.
Norman Farnsworth, who heads the UIC/NIH Botanical Center, notes that the center continues to study botanicals for their safety and efficacy in maintaining women's health and well-being. The center is supported by a grant from the NIH Office of Dietary Supplements, the NIH National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, UIC, and the UIC College of Pharmacy. Additional support for the clinical trial came from the Naturex, Inc. of Hackensack, N.J. and Pharmavite LLC of Mission Hills, Calif.
Co-authors of the primary safety and efficacy study include Lee Shulman, Suzanne Banuvar and Geena Epstein of Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, and Richard van Breemen, Ying Zhou, Samad Hedayat, Dejan Nikolic, Elizabeth Krause, Colleen Piersen, Judy Bolton, Guido Pauli and Farnsworth of UIC.
Co-authors of the cognitive study include Banuvar and Shulman of Northwestern and Leah Rubin, Deanne Fornelli and Lauren Drogos of UIC.
An extended interview as MP3 audio file is at https://blackboard.uic.edu/bbcswebdav/institution/web/news/podcasts/PdCst66-Aug6%2709-Maki.mp3
For more information about UIC, visit www.uic.edu
Sherri McGinnis Gonzalez | EurekAlert!
Multi-year study finds 'hotspots' of ammonia over world's major agricultural areas
17.03.2017 | University of Maryland
Diabetes Drug May Improve Bone Fat-induced Defects of Fracture Healing
17.03.2017 | Deutsches Institut für Ernährungsforschung Potsdam-Rehbrücke
Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.
The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.
Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...
Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.
Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...
In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...
Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to simulate these confined natural conditions in artificial vesicles for the first time. As reported in the academic journal Small, the results are offering better insight into the development of nanoreactors and artificial organelles.
Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to...
20.03.2017 | Event News
14.03.2017 | Event News
07.03.2017 | Event News
24.03.2017 | Materials Sciences
24.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
24.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy