Phytoestrogens for menopausal symptoms

University of Auckland, O&G FMHS, Grafton Rd, Private Bag 92019, Auckland, New Zealand, 1142.
Cochrane database of systematic reviews (Online) (Impact Factor: 6.03). 02/2007; 12(4):CD001395. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD001395.pub3
Source: PubMed


Review question: This Cochrane review has evaluated whether phytoestrogen treatments reduce the number and severity of hot flushes and whether they are safe and acceptable. Background: Hormone therapy is an effective treatment for controlling the most common menopausal symptoms—hot flushes and night sweats. However, it is now recommended only in low doses given for the shortest possible time because of concerns about increased risk of some chronic diseases. Many women have started to use therapies that they perceive as 'natural' and safe, but they often do not have good information about the potential benefits and risks. Some of these therapies contain phytoestrogens—a group of plant-derived chemicals that are thought to prevent or treat disease. Phytoestrogens are found in a wide variety of plants, some of which are foods, particularly soy, alfalfa and red clover. Study characteristics: This review found 43 RCTs conducted up to July 2013 that included 4,084 participants with hot flushes who were close to the menopause or were menopausal. Evidence obtained is current to July 2013. Key results: Some trials reported a slight reduction in hot flushes and night sweats with phytoestrogen-based treatment. Extracts containing high levels of genistein (a substance derived from soy) appeared to reduce the number of daily hot flushes and need to be investigated further. Overall no indication suggested that other types of phytoestrogens work any better than no treatment. No evidence was found of harmful effects on the lining of the womb, stimulation of the vagina or other adverse effects with short-term use. Quality of the evidence: Many of the trials in this review were small, of short duration and of poor quality, and the types of phytoestrogens used varied substantially.

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Available from: Anne Lethaby
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    • "According to the recommendation of the American Society Reproductive Medicine (ASRM), an indication of hormone therapy is menopausal complaints such as vasomotor symptoms e.g. hot flushes or urogenital symptom[10]. In Indonesia and generally Asian countries, the use of hormone therapy is still very limited and only given to patients with complaints related to disturbing menopause estrogen deficiency or osteoporosis threat[14]. "

    Full-text · Article · Jan 2016 · Journal of Biosciences and Medicines
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    • "There has been a growing interest in red clover extract derived isoflavones among women according to scientific literature (Lipovac et al., 2011). The effect of red clover has been comprehensively assessed in several systematic reviews and showed a range from weak beneficial effect (Krebs et al., 2004, Lethaby et al., 2007, Nelson et al., 2006) to significant effect (Thompson Coon et al., 2007). Some animal studies have raised concern regarding high dose of red clover intake and an increased risk of estrogen-dependent cancers (Sites et al., 2014). "
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    ABSTRACT: Objective: To critically evaluate the effect of red clover on hot flash, endometrial thickness, and hormones status in postmenopausal and peri- and post-menopausal women. Materials and Methods: MEDLINE (1966 to July 2014), Scopus (1990 to July 2014), and the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (The Cochrane Library issue 1, 2014) were searched for published randomized controlled Trials (RCTs). Results: Of 183 relevant publication trials, 11 RCTs met the inclusion criteria. The mean hot flashes frequency in red clover was lower than the control groups (MD -1.99; p=0.067). There was larger decrease in FSH (SMD -0.812; CI: -1.93 to 0.312; p=0.157) and SHBG (SMD -0.128; CI-0.425 to 0.170; P=0.4) in red clover group, compared with placebo, which was not however statistically significant. LH (SMD 0.144; CI-0.097 to 0.384, p=0.242), estradiol (SMD 0.240; CI-0.001 to 0.482, p=0.051), testosterone (MD 0.083; CI: -0.560 to 0.726; p=0.901), and endometrial thickness (SDM 0.022; CI: -0.380 to 0.424, p=0.915) showed greater increase in red clover, compared with placebo, although the effect of estradiol was only significant. Conclusion: Red clover had a positive effect of alleviating hot flash in menopausal women. Our data, however, suggested very slight changes in FSH, LH, testosterone, and SHBG and significant effect in estrogen status by red clover consumption. However, the interpretation of results of the current study is limited due to methodological flaws of the included studies, menopause status, and large heterogeneity among them. Further trials are still needed to confirm the current finding.
    Full-text · Article · Nov 2015 · Avicenna Journal of Phytomedicine
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    • "Extracted or synthesized soybean isoflavones have been found to reduce hot flush frequency and severity[17]. However, a recent meta-analysis found that no there is no conclusive evidence that phytoestrogen supplements effectively reduce the frequency or severity of hot flushes and night sweats in perimenopausal or postmenopausal women, although benefits derived from concentrates of genistein should be further investigated[16,18]. It has been suggested that 8-pregnylnaringenin (8-PN), a flavonoid extracted from hops, may improve vasomotor complaints . "

    Full-text · Article · Sep 2015 · Maturitas
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