Black/Blue CohoshCholesterol/LipidsFlavonoids (Soy)Menopause

Black cohosh has no effect on lipids, glucose, insulin, or fibrinogen

Contrary to common lore, black cohosh (Actaea racemosa) doesn’t prevent the hot flashes or night sweats associated with menopause.

Here’s more on what it doesn’t do.

First, the details.
351 peri or post-menopausal women with vasomotor symptoms were randomly assigned to one of 5 treatments for 3 months.

  • Black cohosh (160 mg daily)
  • Multibotanical including black cohosh (200 mg daily)
  • Multibotanical plus soy diet counseling
  • Conjugated equine estrogen 0.625 mg (Premarin), with or without medroxyprogesterone acetate 2.5 mg daily (Prempro), for women with or without a uterus, respectively
  • Placebo

Researchers and patients were not told of their treatment.

And, the results.
There were no significant differences in blood levels of total cholesterol, LDL (bad) cholesterol, HDL (good) cholesterol, triglycerides, glucose, and insulin levels in any of the herbal treatment groups or the placebo group when compared from the start to the end of the study.

The bottom line?
Predictably, the researchers concluded, “Black cohosh containing therapies had no demonstrable effects on lipids, glucose, insulin or fibrinogen.”

More on the failure of black cohosh to control the symptoms of menopause is available here.

6/5/07 13:05 JR

Hi, I’m JR

John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at, a complementary and alternative medicine website.