Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Black cohosh does not relieve menopausal hot flashes

20.12.2006
Results may disappoint those who want a safe alternative to hormone therapy

The popular herbal supplement black cohosh does not relieve hot flashes among women going through menopause, according to a study by researchers from Group Health Cooperative, a Seattle-based health care system.

Published in the December 19 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine, this study is the first of its kind to compare various forms of black cohosh to a placebo and to hormone therapy (estrogen with or without progestin).

"Black cohosh used alone or as part of a multibotanical supplement shows little potential as an important therapy for relief of hot flashes," the researchers concluded. The herbal interventions were no better than placebo. Hormone therapy, on the other hand, significantly reduced the frequency of hot flashes.

"We were disappointed by the findings because many women want an alternative to hormone therapy, and many have assumed that black cohosh is a safe, effective choice," said Katherine M. Newton, PhD, associate director of Group Health Center for Health Studies and the principal investigator of the study. "While hormone therapy is still the most effective treatment for hot flashes, recent studies have shown that it poses serious risks."

Newton estimates that 80 percent of women experience hot flashes around the time of menopause, which typically happens between ages 45 and 55. The average age of menopause is 51.

To conduct the study, the researchers randomly assigned 351 peri-menopausal or post-menopausal women, aged 45 to 55, to one of five therapies:

1) black cohosh (160 mg daily)

2) multibotanical supplement, including black cohosh (200 mg daily), alfalfa, boron, chaste tree, dong quai, false unicorn, licorice, oats, pomegranate, and Siberian ginseng

3) multibotanical supplement plus diet counseling to increase consumption of soy

4) menopausal hormone therapy (estrogen with or without progestin)

5) placebo

The study was double-blinded, meaning that the study participants and the staff did not know which treatment was assigned to any given woman. Evaluating the women at three, six, and 12 months, the researchers found no significant difference between the numbers of daily hot flashes in any of the herbal supplement groups when compared to the placebo group. Specifically, women taking the herbal treatments reduced their hot flashes by about one half an episode per day when compared to women taking the placebo. The women taking hormone therapy reduced their hot flashes by about bout four episodes per day when compared to placebo.

"Prior to our study, the trials of black cohosh were small and of short duration," explains Susan Reed, MD, MPH, co-investigator and professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Washington. "Our study was the largest and longest to date. Plus, we had good controls with both the placebo and hormone therapy arms, allowing us to definitively show differences between the groups taking herbs and the placebo group."

With no strong evidence that herbal alternatives work for hot flashes, Newton suggests several behavioral changes women can make. These include dressing in layers, sleeping in a cooler room, keeping ice water and a fan nearby, and avoiding possible triggers such as very hot liquids and alcohol.

Newton also notes that hot flashes decreased during the 12-month course of participation in all the study groups, including the placebo group. "We call this the ‘tincture of time'—that is, over time, hot flashes nearly always go away on their own," Newton said.

Joan DeClaire | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.ghc.org

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Speed data for the brain’s navigation system
06.12.2016 | Deutsches Zentrum für Neurodegenerative Erkrankungen e.V. (DZNE)

nachricht Study suggests possible new target for treating and preventing Alzheimer's
02.12.2016 | Oregon Health & Science University

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Significantly more productivity in USP lasers

In recent years, lasers with ultrashort pulses (USP) down to the femtosecond range have become established on an industrial scale. They could advance some applications with the much-lauded “cold ablation” – if that meant they would then achieve more throughput. A new generation of process engineering that will address this issue in particular will be discussed at the “4th UKP Workshop – Ultrafast Laser Technology” in April 2017.

Even back in the 1990s, scientists were comparing materials processing with nanosecond, picosecond and femtosesecond pulses. The result was surprising:...

Im Focus: Shape matters when light meets atom

Mapping the interaction of a single atom with a single photon may inform design of quantum devices

Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...

Im Focus: Novel silicon etching technique crafts 3-D gradient refractive index micro-optics

A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.

Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...

Im Focus: Quantum Particles Form Droplets

In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.

“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...

Im Focus: MADMAX: Max Planck Institute for Physics takes up axion research

The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.

The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ICTM Conference 2017: Production technology for turbomachine manufacturing of the future

16.11.2016 | Event News

Innovation Day Laser Technology – Laser Additive Manufacturing

01.11.2016 | Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

Simple processing technique could cut cost of organic PV and wearable electronics

06.12.2016 | Materials Sciences

3-D printed kidney phantoms aid nuclear medicine dosing calibration

06.12.2016 | Medical Engineering

Robot on demand: Mobile machining of aircraft components with high precision

06.12.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>