Study: Flaxseed doesn't reduce women's hot flashes

Jun 05, 2011

Women looking for a natural remedy for a common menopause problem have a disappointment: A new study has found that eating flaxseed does not curb hot flashes.

Hormone pills ease hot flashes, but they can raise the risk of and are not safe for women who have had that disease. Flaxseed has weak hormonal effects, and doctors thought it might help.

Dr. Sandhya Pruthi of the Mayo Clinic decided to test this in a rigorous study after a patient said she thought flaxseed was helping her. Researchers enrolled 178 women who had at least 28 hot flashes a week. About half previously had breast cancer.

The women were given with or without flaxseed to eat once a day. After six weeks, a third of each group reported 50 percent fewer hot flashes, and all reported more bloating, diarrhea and nausea.

"This we suspect was due to the in the bars," Pruthi said.

Women who don't want to take hormones for menopause symptoms might consider certain antidepressants, such as Effexor, or other drugs such as Neurontin that well-done studies have shown can help, she said.

Dr. Mark Kris, a cancer specialist at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York, said the flaxseed results are disappointing

"There were so many testimonials that we thought was going to work, but a testimonial is not a rigorous clinical trial result, and that's what our patients deserve," he said.

"Even natural products do have side effects," so it's important to test them in studies such as this one, he said.

The National Cancer Institute paid for the study. Results were reported Sunday at the American Society of Clinical Oncology conference in Chicago.

Explore further: Expression of privilege in vaccine refusal

not rated yet
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Acupuncture may cool hot flashes

Sep 25, 2006

Researchers at Stanford University are planning further investigation to see if acupuncture can cool the hot flashes of menopausal women.

Hot flashes underreported and linked to forgetfulness

Jun 16, 2008

Women in midlife underreport the number of hot flashes that they experience by more than 40 percent, and these hot flashes are linked to poor verbal memory, according to a study by researchers at the University of Illinois ...

Recommended for you

Expression of privilege in vaccine refusal

13 hours ago

Not all students returning to school this month will be up to date on their vaccinations. A new study conducted by Jennifer Reich, a researcher at the University of Colorado Denver, shows that the reasons why children may ...

Using computers to design drugs

Aug 22, 2014

Designing a new medicine is an expensive and time consuming business. Typically it takes around $2 billion and ten years for a new drug to move from its initial design in the lab, to the clinic. All the ...

Lilly psoriasis drug fares well in late-stage test

Aug 22, 2014

Drugmaker Eli Lilly and Co. said its potential psoriasis treatment fared better than both a fake drug and a competitor's product during late-stage testing on patients with the most common form of the skin disease.

User comments : 0