herald

Monday 25 September 2017

No proof of seed oil 'cure' for hot flushes

Women taking pomegranate seed oil, marketed as an alternative remedy for meno-pausal symptoms, got no more relief from hot flushes than women taking a pill containing sunflower oil as a placebo, says a new study.

The study, in which women took the pomegranate seed oil -- rich phytoestrogen plant compounds that mimic oestro-gen -- twice a day, was the first clinical trial of the remedy.

As many as 85pc of women experience hot flushes -- a sensation of heat, often accompanied by sweating, rapid heartbeat and anxiety -- many times a day before, during or after menopause.



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"Pomegranate seed oil does not significantly reduce hot flushes within a 12-week observation period, but further studies are needed," wrote lead researcher Leo Auerback, of Vienna.

His team followed 81 postmenopausal women aged 45 to 60. At the start, women reported an average of 11.1 hot flushes a day, and women in the placebo group reported 9.9. After 12 weeks, the women taking pomegranate seed oil saw a nearly 39pc reduction on hot flushes, while women in the placebo group saw a drop of nearly 26pc.

The 13pc difference was too small to credit pomegranate seed oil with any real benefit, the researchers said.

jlast@herald.ie

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