Reports says some foods and herbs help menopause symptoms

June 5, 2001 in Menopause, Vitamins, Minerals, Supplements

Reports says some foods and herbs help menopause symptoms

Few of the health-food store botanicals that claim to ease menopause symptoms have scientific evidence to back them up, although some do seem useful in the short-term, according to new practice guidelines issued by the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology.

According to ACOG, there is reliable research showing soy products and the herb black cohosh may be helpful in the short term at soothing the hot flashes that often come with menopause. A soy-rich diet has more evidence for their effectiveness than do soy-based supplements. As for other products such as yam extracts and the Chinese herb dong quai, the report finds little reason to believe they fight any menopausal symptoms.

More and more North American women are turning to "alternative" therapies to deal with menopause symptoms including hot flashes and sleep difficulties. One recent U.S. survey showed that nearly half of 2,600 women surveyed used vitamins, herbs, soy and similar products to ease menopause discomforts.

The report advises women who want to try herbal remedies opt for a "reliable brand," to use only one such product at a time and to let their doctors know what they are taking for menopause relief.

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