By Dr. Jeff Chamberlain, MD — One of many Menopause blogs on SmartLivingNetwork.com
Perimenopause, the time around menopause, can be trying with different women experience varying degrees of the annoying symptoms associated with it. Luckily, there are a large number of products out there for menopause. Here are my thoughts on them.
Soy: There is some good evidence that taking 20 to 60 grams/day of soy protein can help reduce symptoms. Soy extracts of 35 to 120 isoflavones/day have also shown to be helpful.
Flaxseed: 40 grams/day may be beneficial, and is a good source of omega-3 fatty acids & alpha-linolenic acids, which also have other health benefits.
Black Cohash: Very popular, but studies seem to show that some preparations work and others do not. The best data is on an extract called Remifemin 20mg tab per day and CR BNO 1055 40 mg/day. Other preparations have shown to not work as well.
Red Clover: Used by some people, but in controlled studies show that they are probably not better than placebo.
Dong Quai: Commonly used, but studies show it probably does not help better than placebo, and it may be carcinogenic.
DHEA: There has been a lot of hype about DHEA lately, which is a precursor to the sex steroids testosterone and estrogen. There have been conflicting studies if it actually helps with perimenopausal symptoms or not. It can cause cosmetic side effects from the testosterone such as acne, hair growth. There are also concerns that the estrogen might increase the chances of breast cancer.
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