BACKGROUND: Red clover, like soybeans, is rich in naturally occurring
antioxidants called isoflavones. These substances also have very weak
estrogen-like properties. Some research suggests that isoflavones may
attach to estrogen receptors on cells -- fooling the body into believing
that estrogen is present, but without the established risks of conventional hormone-replacement therapy.
RESEARCH: Researchers selected 30 menopausal women, ages 49-65 years, who
were having at least five hot flashes daily. During the first phase of this
study, researchers asked the women to take placebos for four weeks. During the second phase, women were then given either 80 mg of isoflavones from
red clover extract or placebos daily for 12 weeks. Menopausal symptoms were
tracked using the Greene Climacteric Scale Score.
RESULTS: While taking the placebos during the first phase of the study, the
women had an average 16 percent decrease in the number of daily hot
flashes. During the second phase of the study, women taking the isoflavone
red clover supplements had an additional 44 percent decline in hot flashes
but no further reduction occurred within the placebo group. Thus, women
taking isoflavones from red clover extract had an overall 60 percent
reduction in symptoms, and a 44 percent greater reduction than did women in
the placebo group. The Greene Scale showed a trend toward more symptoms in
the placebo group.
IMPLICATIONS: This study shows that women who take isoflavones extracted
from red clover may benefit from a significant reduction in menopausal hot
Van de Weijer PHM, Barentsen R. "Isoflavones from red clover (Promensil?)
significantly reduce menopausal hot flush symptoms compared with placebo,"
For the original abstract, visit: <http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov:80/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=PubMed&list_uids=12161042&dopt=Abstract>