In 2000, results from two large studies showed that taking estrogen and medroxyprogesterone could actually increase the risk of heart attacks, strokes, and breast cancer. (Medroxyprogesterone is a drug that protects the uterus and may reduce a woman’s risk of cancer.) Then came the news that hormone replacement therapy was linked to the risks of urinary incontinence and dementia.
Ever since all this news broke, there has been intense focus on finding alternative therapies. Here, I want to give you an up-to-date, unbiased review of what all the scientific literature says. Do dietary supplements actually reduce menopausal symptoms? Let’s go case-by-case starting with the big hitter.
Black cohosh is native to North America. It is the most- studied supplement for treating menopausal symptoms. As early as 1940, it has been widely used in Germany. Here are the best studies conducted so far in chronological order:
1988: Over six months, 48 to 140 milligrams (mg) of black cohosh a day significantly reduced menopausal symptoms Continue reading