Health

Rx Comparison: HRT vs. Remifemin in Menopause

by Michael T. Murray, ND

Introduction

Menopause denotes the cessation of menstruation in women. It usually occurs by the time a woman reaches the age of fifty. Common symptoms associated with menopause include: hot flashes, thinning of the vaginal lining, and psychological symptoms such as depression, anxiety, and forgetfulness.

The current medical view of menopause is more of as a disease rather than a normal physiological process. Current medical treatment of menopause primarily involves the use of hormone replacement therapy featuring the combination of estrogen and progesterone. During the 1940s, and 1950s, estrogen became a popular prescription for ameliorating the symptoms of menopause. By the time the 1970s arrived, estrogen replacement therapy was firmly entrenched as the medical treatment of menopause. Unfortunately, many women had to die of endometrial cancer before estrogen was identified as a major contributing factor.

It is now a well established fact that estrogen is associated with an increase in endometrial cancer. Based on extensive investigations, it is estimated that women taking estrogen are between four and thirteen times more likely to develop endometrial cancer than women wo are not taking estrogen.1

To combat the link between estrogen and endometrial cancer, drug companies and physicians began recommending that estrogen be combined with progesterone. Estrogen replacement therapy thus became hormone replacement therapy (HRT). The combination of estrogen with progesterone (or more accurately a progestin) appears to have reduced the risk of endometrial cancer, but still carries with it the stigma of causing other cancers.2

HRT and Breast Cancer
The cancer-causing potential of hormone replacement therapy is a real and serious concern for most physicians and women. There have been over 0 studies seeking to determine the risk of hormone replacement therapy on cancer.3-6 Unfortunately, despite intense investigation these studies have not provided any clear-cut answers. The bottom line is that nobody really knows for sure what impact hormone replacement therapy has on cancer, but there is enough evidence to warrant concern.

Remifemin
The most widely used and only thoroughly studied natural approach to menopause is Remifemin - a special extract of Cimicifuga racemosa (Black cohosh) standardized to contain 1 mg of triterpenes calcualted as 27-deoxyacteine per tablet. Over 1.5 million women have used Remifemin with great success. In 1995, nearly 10 million monthly units of Remifemin were sold in Germany and Australia. Clinical studies have shown Remifemin to relieve not only hot flashes, but also depression and vaginal atrophy.

Summary
Remifemin has been shown to produce symptomatic relief comparable to that of hormone replacement therapy without the risk of serious side effect. In reagrds to Remifemin, the following can be stated: A safe and effective alternative to hormone replacement therapy used by over 1.5 million women since 1956. Effective in the relief of all menopausal symptoms: Physical: Hot flashes, night sweats, headaches, heart palpitations, and vaginal atrophy. Psychological: Drepression, anxiety, nervousness, sleep disturbances, and decreased libido. No side effects. Dosage: Two tablets twice daily (4 mg 27-deoxyacteine daily).

Correspondence
Michael T. Murray, ND
15401 S.E. 54th Court
Bellevue, WA 98006 USA
References

  1. Rubin GL, et al: Estrogen replacement therapy and the risk of endometrial cancer: Remaining controversies. Am J Obstet Gynecol 162:148-54, 1990.

  2. Whitehead MI, et al: Effects of estrogens and progestins on the biochemistry and morphology of the postmenopausal endometrium. N Engl J Med 305:1599-1685, 1981

  3. Henrich JB: The postmenopausal estrogen/breast cancer controversy. JAMA 268:1900-2, 1992

  4. Armstrong BK: Oestrogen therapy after the menopause. Boon or bane? Med J Austral 148:213-4, 1988

  5. DuPont WD and Page DL: Menopausal estrogen replacement therapy and breast cancer. Arch Int Med 151:67-72, 1991 6 Steinberg KK, et al: A meta-analysis of the effect of estrogen replacement therapy on the risk of breast cancer. JAMA 265:1985-90, 1991

(Excerpted from Townsend Letter for Doctors and Patients, June 1996 edition) by The San Francisco Medical Research Foundation
20 Sunnyside Avenue, Suite A-156
Mill Valley, CA 94941
(415) 381-4061 - Fax (415) 381-2645

Copyright © 1996. The Light Party.

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