Is that right? One A Day Menopause Formula
Having had a hot flash or two by now, I'm ever on the alert for information about easing such symptoms of menopause. So when I recently saw an ad for One A Day Menopause Formula, naturally I wanted to know more. Can a daily dietary supplement really, as the product claims to do, help reduce hot flashes, address mild mood changes, support bone and breast health and more?
I asked Andrew Kaunitz, professor and associate chair of the department of obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Florida College of Medicine-Jacksonville, what's the likelihood that such pill can do all that.
Kaunitz began by explaining that when "vasomotor symptoms" such as hot flashes start interfering with a woman's daily activities -- often because they've caused sleep deprivation -- some kind of treatment is appropriate.
But, he says, the only thing that's really been proven through blinded placebo studies to help alleviate such symptoms is hormone therapy using some combination of estrogen and progestin. For most women in their late 40s and early 50s -- prime perimenopause and menopause time -- hormone therapy's safety profile "tends to be quite good," Kaunitz says. As with any medication, he notes, hormones affect different women in different ways depending on their age and health. Some hormone therapies can increase certain women's risk of breast cancer and blot clots, for instance.
As for dietary supplements such as the soy isoflavones in One A Day, there's not enough scientific evidence showing they can help relieve menopause symptoms. "I tell you that regretfully," Kaunitz says. "Women are understandably anxious about the safety of hormones," he says, and that anxiety likely "enhances interest in complementary and alternative approaches" such as dietary supplements.
But In general, he says, non-hormonal treatments "are not more effective than placebo."
"I wish they were," he adds, "but they're not."
Jennifer LaRue Huget
July 2, 2010; 7:00 AM ET
Categories: Is That Right? , Nutrition and Fitness , Women's Health
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