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: FDA approves vaccine to block meningitis strain (Update)

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

A new tool in drug overdose prevention

7 hours ago

The Center for Disease Control reported earlier this month that the heroin overdose death rate across 28 states it surveyed doubled between 2010 and 2012. This sharp increase and the chilling statistics that say more than 11 ...

Nasal spray treats heroin overdose

Oct 28, 2014

"Every year, drug overdoses are responsible for roughly 1000 ambulance calls in Oslo," says Arne Skulberg, an anaesthesiologist, a PhD candidate at NTNU and the 2014 winner of Norway's Researcher Grand Prix ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.