Research: CHUNG and colleagues,

Listed in Issue 151

Abstract

CHUNG and colleagues, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Yonsei University College of Medicine, 134 Sinchon-Dong, Seodaemun-Gu, Seoul, Korea, have evaluated black cohosh and St John’s wort for menopausal symptoms.

Background

The aim of this study was to investigate the efficacy of black cohosh (Cimicifuga racemosa) and St John's wort (Hypericum perforatum) in women with menopausal symptoms, and to assess their effects on vaginal atrophy, hormone levels, and lipid profiles.

Methodology

In this double-blind randomized, placebo-controlled, multicentre study, 89 peri- or postmenopausal women experiencing menopausal symptoms were treated with St John's wort and black cohosh extract (Gynoplus, Jin-Yang Pharm., Seoul, Korea) or a matched placebo for 12 weeks. Menopausal complaints were evaluated by the Kupperman Index (KI) initially and at 4 and 12 weeks following treatment. Vaginal maturation indices, serum estradiol, FSH, LH, total cholesterol, HDL- cholesterol, LDL-cholesterol, and triglyceride levels were measured before and after treatment.

Results

Out of the initial 89 participants, 77 completed the trial (42 in the Gynoplus group, 35 in the placebo group). Mean KI scores and hot flushes after 4 and 12 weeks were significantly lower in the Gynoplus group. HDL levels decreased in the control group from 60.20 +/- 16.37 to 56.63 +/- 12.67, and increased in the Gynoplus group from 58.32 +/- 11.64 to 59.74 +/- 10.54; this was statistically significant (p=0.04).

Conclusion

The black cohosh and St. John's wort combination was found to be effective in alleviating menopausal symptoms and might provide benefits to women’s cholesterol metabolism.

References

Chung DJ et al. Black cohosh and St. John's wort (GYNO-Plus) for climacteric symptoms. Yonsei Medical Journal 48 (2): 289-294, Apr 30, 2007.

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