Vaginal, endometrial, and reproductive hormone findings: randomized, placebo-controlled trial of black cohosh, multibotanical herbs, and dietary soy for vasomotor symptoms: the Herbal Alternatives for Menopause (HALT) Study
ABSTRACT To evaluate vaginal, endometrial, and reproductive hormone effects of three herbal regimens compared with placebo and hormone therapy (HT).
This was a 1-year, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of 351 women, ages 45 to 55, with two or more vasomotor symptoms per day. Women were randomly assigned to (1) black cohosh, (2) a multibotanical containing black cohosh, (3) the same multibotanical plus dietary soy counseling, (4) HT, or (5) placebo. Women were ineligible if they had used HT in the previous 3 months or menopausal herbal therapies in the previous month. Data on vaginal cytology and dryness were collected (at baseline and 3 and 12 mo). Daily menstrual diaries were maintained by 313 women with a uterus, and abnormal bleeding was evaluated. Serum estradiol, follicle-stimulating hormone, luteinizing hormone, and steroid hormone-binding globulin were assessed (baseline and 12 mo) among 133 postmenopausal women. Gynecologic outcomes of the five groups were compared.
The five groups did not vary in baseline vaginal cytology profiles, vaginal dryness, menstrual cyclicity, or hormone profiles. The HT group had a lower percentage of parabasal cells and vaginal dryness than the placebo group at 3 and 12 months (P < 0.05). Abnormal bleeding occurred in 53 of 313 (16.9%) women. There were no differences in frequency of abnormal bleeding between any of the herbal and placebo groups, whereas women in the HT group had a greater risk than those in the placebo group (P < 0.001). Among postmenopausal women, HT significantly decreased follicle-stimulating hormone and increased estradiol; none of the herbal interventions showed significant effects on any outcomes at any time point.
Black cohosh, used alone or as part of a multibotanical product with or without soy dietary changes, had no effects on vaginal epithelium, endometrium, or reproductive hormones.
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ABSTRACT: The cardinal climacteric symptoms of hot flushes and night sweats affect 24-93% of all women during the physiological transition from reproductive to post-reproductive life. Though efficacious, hormonal therapy and partial oestrogenic compounds are linked to a significant increase in breast cancer. Non-hormonal treatments are thus greatly appreciated. This systematic review of published hormonal and non-hormonal treatments for climacteric, and breast and prostate cancer-associated hot flushes, examines clinical efficacy and therapy-related cancer risk modulation. A PubMed search included literature up to June 19, 2014 without limits for initial dates or language, with the search terms, (hot flush* OR hot flash*) AND (clinical trial* OR clinical stud*) AND (randomi* OR observational) NOT review). Retrieved references identified further papers. The focus was on hot flushes; other symptoms (night sweats, irritability, etc.) were not specifically screened. Included were some 610 clinical studies where a measured effect of the intervention, intensity and severity were documented, and where patients received treatment of pharmaceutical quality. Only 147 of these references described studies with alternative non-hormonal treatments in post-menopausal women and in breast and prostate cancer survivors; these results are presented in Additional file 1. The most effective hot flush treatment is oestrogenic hormones, or a combination of oestrogen and progestins, though benefits are partially outweighed by a significantly increased risk for breast cancer development. This review illustrates that certain non-hormonal treatments, including selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, gabapentin/pregabalin, and Cimicifuga racemosa extracts, show a positive risk-benefit ratio. Key pointsSeveral non-hormonal alternatives to hormonal therapy have been established and registered for the treatment of vasomotor climacteric symptoms in peri- and post-menopausal women.There are indications that non-hormonal treatments are useful alternatives in patients with a history of breast and prostate cancer. However, confirmation by larger clinical trials is required.SpringerPlus 12/2015; 4(1). DOI:10.1186/s40064-015-0808-y
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ABSTRACT: Many women will undergo menopause without incident, but others will experience bothersome effects resulting from declining estrogen levels. Vasomotor symptoms, which manifest as intense feelings of warmth, flushing, and perspiration, are the most common symptoms for which women seek treatment. Hormone therapy is indicated for the relief of vasomotor symptoms related to menopause. We review current Food Drug Administration-approved options for hormone therapy and discuss implications for practice and patient education.Journal of Obstetric Gynecologic & Neonatal Nursing 02/2014; 43(2). DOI:10.1111/1552-6909.12282 · 1.20 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Past reviews on Cimicifuga racemosa (CR) without differentiation between extracts, quality, and indication altogether led to inconsistent data. Therefore, for the first time, we meet the requirements of the system's logic of evidence-based phytotherapy by taking into consideration extracts, pharmaceutical quality (reflected in a regulatory status as medicinal product), and indication. A literature search for clinical studies examining CR's efficacy and safety for menopausal complaints was conducted. The results were sorted by type of extract, regulatory status, and indication. Accordingly, Oxford Levels of Evidence (LOE) and Grades of Recommendation (GR) were determined. CR extracts demonstrated a good to very good safety in general, on estrogen-sensitive organs and the liver. However, only registered CR medicinal products were able to prove their efficacy. Best evidence was provided by the isopropanolic CR extract (iCR): the multitude of studies including more than 11,000 patients demonstrated consistent confirmatory evidence of LOE 1b (LOE 1a for safety) leading to GR A. The studies on the ethanolic extract BNO 1055 including more than 500 patients showed exploratory evidence of LOE 2b resulting in GR B. A positive benefit-risk profile is stated and limited to Cimicifuga racemosa products holding a marketing authorisation for treating climacteric complaints.Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine 01/2013; 2013:860602. DOI:10.1155/2013/860602 · 2.18 Impact Factor