Branded ingredients company Helios CORP/Sunbio supports the release of a special report on the risks women may face taking popular natural treatments for menopause. The report discusses data from studies on black cohosh, Genistein, Siberian Rhubarb Extract and Amberen. It also introduces a new natural menopause ingredient, EstroG-100. EstroG-100 has a proven track record of safety and efficacy and has an NDI from the FDA plus a Health Canada Reg and approval.
“Menopause is tough enough as it is," says Michael Jeffers, Helios CORP/Sunbio CEO. “Women shouldn't have to put their health at risk to get through it with some comfort. A 2003 study shows that 80 percent of women turn to natural alternatives to help with the symptoms of menopause. Our thinking in supporting the release of this report is to make sure women have the information they need to make a safe and reliable choice,” says Jeffers.
In 2002, the conventional treatment for menopause symptoms, hormone replacement therapy (HRT), came under fire when the Women's Health Initiative trial showed it increased women's risk for heart disease, breast cancer and stroke. Without this option, women have turned to natural alternatives.
- In 2006, the U.K. and Australia required labeling for black cohosh products warning about potential liver toxicity. In 2008, nonprofit standards and safety organization US Pharmacopeia also made this recommendation. Denmark and Korea have banned its sale.
- In 2007, a National Institute of Environmental Health study showed genistein, a soy isoflavone, to be carcinogenic in rats. Organizations like the North American Menopause Society and the Breast Cancer and Environmental Health Research Agency have called for more research on soy and genistein to clarify its efficacy and safety.
- Research on the popular alternative Amberen shows that it raises estrogen levels above the levels achieved through HRT. No research has been done to clarify if it is safe for women worried about estrogen positive breast cancer.
- Siberian Rhubarb Extract was clinically tested for binding affinity to estrogen receptor site’s and showed to be ER-beta binding positive. The 2002 WHI, HRT study showed ER-beta positive as well.
Says geriatric physician Dr. Eunah Fisher, MD, FACP: "I haven't had any patients who used genistein. But I have had many women try black cohosh without relief of their symptoms. After the literature revealed some of the adverse events associated with black cohosh and genistein, I began to discourage my patients from using them."
In contrast, EstroG-100, a combination of three botanicals drawn from traditional Korean medicine, offers women proven relief without risks. EstroG-100 has been proven efficacious through both Phase I and Phase II clinical trials. It has been proven safe through five toxicity tests and two liver toxicity tests. Two additional tests demonstrate EstroG-100 has no binding affinity for estrogen receptors alpha and beta.
As Dr. Nikos Linardarkis, MD, author of 10 Natural Ways To A Good Night's Sleep, points out, "The research always changes and things come up. We didn’t have the ability to test for certain things like estrogen binding affinity 20 or 30 years ago. But now we do. So we should change. It doesn't make sense for women to take a product that has potential health risks. Why not use a good ingredient and a product that is safe?"
In addition to detailing concerns associated with products within the menopause category, the report raises some larger questions for the nutritional supplement industry.
"Unfortunately, pharmaceutical drugs have redefined health and wellness, all in a very short period of time. But there should be well-researched, nutritional choices available to the consumer," explains Jeffers. "All Helios CORP/Sunbio ingredients undergo unbiased Phase I and Phase II clinical testing as well as thorough safety testing. This report challenges the nutritional supplement industry to consider the high road where safety and performance exist. Set the bar higher for the benefit of the consumer."
For the complete story, please see the report, Is Gritting Your Teeth The Only Safe Way To Get Through Menopause? A Frank Discussion of The Risks And Efficacy Of Alternative Nutritional Treatments For Menopause. To download a copy of the free report, please visit safemenopause.com.