Results Mixed on Alternative Menopause Therapies

Insufficient data to support use of complementary therapies for menopausal symptoms

MONDAY, July 24 (HealthDay News) -- Insufficient data exists to support the use of complementary and alternative therapies for the symptoms of menopause, according to a systematic evidence review of 70 studies published in the July 24 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.

Anne Nedrow, M.D., of the Oregon Health and Science University in Portland, and colleagues reported mixed results for 48 studies that looked at vitamins, proteins, complete diets or other biologically based treatments. Of 15 fair- or good-quality studies of phytoestrogens, only four suggested the supplements provided a benefit in relieving symptoms of menopause. In four studies of black cohosh, just one large study showed an overall improvement in several symptoms, while three showed no benefit. Studies of energy, mind-body and other types of therapies suggested few benefits for menopause-related symptoms.

"Individual trials suggest a benefit for certain therapies, yet data are insufficient to recommend any complementary and alternative therapy as effective for the management of menopausal symptoms," the study authors conclude. They add that randomized, controlled trials of alternative therapies are needed to better determine their benefits and safety as growing numbers of women turn to these treatments to combat the symptoms of menopause.

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