Flavonoids (Soy)GinkgoHerbalsMenopausePhytoestrogensProf. Ernst

Herbal and dietary supplements on cognition in menopause

Prof. Ernst and colleagues evaluated the evidence regarding the effects of herbal and dietary supplements on cognition (ability to reason) in menopause.

First, the details.

  • 12 studies were included in the review.

And, the results.

  • 5 studies suggested that the following supplements may improve cognition in postmenopausal women.
    • Isoflavone
    • Soy
    • Gingko biloba

The bottom line?

Most of the included studies had serious flaws in their design, which compromised the validity of the findings.

The authors concluded, “The evidence that herbal and dietary supplements might positively affect the cognitive decline during the menopause is not compelling.”

In a more general sense, reviews in 2009 and 2010 (summarized here) concluded that for menopausal symptoms, “herbal formulations such as dong quai, ginseng, kava, and dietary soy, among others, do not appear to benefit patients more than placebo.”

A negative study of red clover (phytoestrogen) supplement and black cohosh is summarized here.

3/27/11 20:29 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 www.Vicus.com, a complementary and alternative medicine website.