Reduced menopause symptoms with herbal supplement vs. hormone therapy

Reduced menopause symptoms with herbal supplement vs. hormone therapy

November 28, 2023

2 min read


We were unable to process your request. Please try again later. If you continue to have this issue please contact [email protected].

Key takeaways:

  • An herbal supplement was associated with reduced global, physical and psychosocial menopause symptom scores vs. estrogen plus progestogen.
  • Hormone therapy was associated with reduced vasomotor symptoms.

An oral herbal supplement with glucosinolates, phytosterols and citrus flavonoids was associated with some improved menopausal symptoms short term compared with estrogen plus progestogen therapy, researchers reported in Menopause.

Researchers in Peru manufactured an herbal mixed complex based on glucosinolates, phytosterols and citrus flavonoids to help alleviate menopausal symptoms, Martha Villar-López, MD, from the social health insurance group at EsSalud and the Center for Clinical Research in Complementary Medicine at the National University of San Marcos in Lima, Peru, and colleagues wrote. A previous phase 1 clinical trial found that this oral herbal supplement was safe and tolerable for use by adult women, but no study has assessed its efficacy for menopausal symptoms, the researchers noted.



Reduced menopause symptoms with herbal supplement vs. hormone therapy

An herbal supplement was associated with reduced global, physical and psychosocial menopause symptom scores vs. estrogen plus progestogen. Source: Adobe Stock.

Villar-López and colleagues conducted a single-blind, three-armed phase 2 randomized clinical pilot trial with 54 postmenopausal women. All women were randomly assigned to an oral herbal supplement 1,500 mg per day containing glucosinolates, phytosterols and citrus flavonoids (n = 18), the supplement 3,000 mg per day (n = 18) or conjugated equine estrogens 0.625 mg per day plus medroxyprogesterone acetate 5 mg per day (n = 18) for 3 months.

The primary outcome was menopausal symptom intensity measured by the Menopause-Specific Quality of Life Questionnaire (MENQOL), which assesses how vasomotor, psychosocial, physical and sexual menopause symptoms impact quality of life with higher scores indicating worse severity. Secondary outcomes included hormonal, lipid and safety profiles of the oral herbal supplement.

At 3 months, researchers observed higher mean global MENQOL scores in the estrogen plus progestogen therapy group, whereas the herbal supplement groups had lower scores (difference, 24.4; P < .001). At 2 months, mean MENQOL global (difference, 13.7; P < .001) and physical (difference, 6.6; P = .002) scores for women in the herbal supplement groups were lower. In addition, the mean MENQOL psychosocial scores at 3 months were lower in the herbal supplement 1,500 mg per day and 3,000 mg per day groups compared with the estrogen plus progestogen therapy group (difference, 3.8; P < .001).

Women in the estrogen plus progestogen therapy group had better vasomotor symptom scores since month 1 compared with the herbal supplement groups (difference, –6.1; P < .001). The hormone therapy group also had higher mean levels of estradiol (difference, 34 pg/mL; P < .001) and lower follicle-stimulating hormone (difference, –34.7 mIU/mL; P < .001) and luteinizing hormone (difference, –24.3 mIU/mL; P < .001) compared with the herbal supplement groups since month 1.

Finally, women in the hormone therapy group had higher mean total cholesterol (difference, –7.9 mg/dL; P = .011), LDL cholesterol (difference, –7 mg/dL; P = .001) and HDL cholesterol (difference, 7.5 mg/dL; P < .001) levels compared with women in the herbal supplement 3,000 mg per day group.

“Although we recognize that estrogen plus progestogen therapy is the standard treatment, our herbal compound may be attractive for women with contraindications to estrogen plus progestogen therapy or those who simply do not want to take estrogen plus progestogen therapy,” the researchers wrote.

Leave a Reply