Navigation Links
Flaxseed Fails as Treatment for Hot Flashes

By Amanda Gardner
HealthDay Reporter

SUNDAY, June 5 (HealthDay News) -- The search for a safe remedy for menopausal hot flashes has been foiled again, with flaxseed the latest in a long line of compounds that apparently don't reduce the incidence of the unpleasant symptoms.

Researchers presenting a new study Sunday at the annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology in Chicago report that a daily flaxseed bar was no more effective than a placebo in helping with hot flashes in women with or without breast cancer.

"It's unfortunate because these are such common problems, not just in breast cancer survivors but in postmenopausal women in general," said Dr. Joanne E. Mortimer, director of women's cancers programs at City of Hope Cancer Center in Duarte, Calif. "These poor women have one less option." Mortimer was not involved with the study.

Hot flashes often occur in breast cancer patients who have undergone hormonal treatment for their tumors as well as in women going through normal menopause.

"Women who are taking endocrine [hormone] therapy and have significant side effects may be less likely to be adherent to treatment, and that leads to worse outcomes," said Dr. Erica L. Mayer, a breast oncologist with Dana Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, who also was not involved with the new research.

Estrogen therapy has been shown to be effective in reducing the incidence of hot flashes but not without a hefty health cost, including a heightened risk of stroke and blood clots.

Flaxseed contains lignans, which can work against estrogen.

"Anecdotally it [flaxseed] has been thought to improve hot flashes and they [the researchers behind the new study] had some pilot data from a non-randomized trial that women who took flaxseed had decreased hot flashes," said Mayer. "That led to the current trial."

For the new study, almost 200 postmenopausal women who reported having at least 28 hot flashes a week were randomly selected to receive either a placebo or a daily flaxseed bar for six weeks.

About half of the women had had breast cancer and half had not.

Although both groups of women reported declines in the number of hot flashes they were experiencing, that number was about the same in each group, with about a third in each group reporting a 50 percent reduction in symptoms.

There were also side effects in both groups, namely bloating, diarrhea and nausea, most likely due to the fiber in the placebo and flaxseed bars, said study author Sandhya Pruthi, an associate professor of medicine at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn.

"This is a much more complex brain process that we need to understand," said Mortimer. "Negative studies like this [should] spur us on to find the biological mechanisms behind this [hot flashes]. Right now, we don't even know the mechanisms."

Various antidepressants such as Effexor and Zoloft have been shown to be effective against hot flashes, as has acupuncture, said Mayer.

Still, she added, "This is a disappointing study in that it didn't confirm what we had previously seen, but it supports further high-quality, ongoing research to identify agents which are well-tolerated, acceptable to patients and effective in reducing hot flashes so they can stay on therapy and have better breast cancer outcomes."

More information

The U.S. National Library of Medicine has more on menopause.

SOURCES: Erica L. Mayer, M.D., breast oncologist, Dana Farber Cancer Institute, Boston; Joanne E. Mortimer, M.D., director, women's cancers programs, City of Hope Cancer Center, Duarte, Calif.; June 5, 2011, news conference with Sandhya Pruthi, Ph.D., associate professor, medicine, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn.; June 5, 2011, presentation, American Society of Clinical Oncology annual meeting, Chicago

Copyright©2010 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Mayo Clinic: Flaxseed no cure for hot flashes during breast cancer or menopause
2. Clues to Why Rheumatoid Arthritis Drug Humira Fails Some Patients
3. Referral to high-volume hospitals for operations fails to improve outcomes statewide
4. Major Drug Review Research Fails to Disclose Funding Sources
5. Home dialysis effective for kidney patients after transplant fails
6. Once-Promising Heart Failure Drug Fails in Trial
7. Device Avoids Open-Heart Surgery When Artificial Valve Fails
8. State Senate Fails Idahoans Struggling With High Health Care Costs
9. Stem cell treatment may offer option for broken bones that dont heal
10. Anorexic girls have increased bone density after physiological estrogen treatment
11. Matching targeted therapies to tumors specific gene mutations key to personalized cancer treatment
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
Flaxseed Fails as Treatment for Hot Flashes
(Date:10/13/2017)... , ... October 13, 2017 , ... The American Board ... become its next President and Chief Executive Officer, succeeding Dr. James C. Puffer upon ... beginning July 1, 2018 until Dr. Puffer’s retirement at the end of 2018. Upon ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... October 13, 2017 , ... Lori R. Somekh, founder of the ... national organization of elder law and special needs planning attorneys. “Membership in ElderCounsel helps ... provides a forum to network with elder law attorneys nationwide,” said Somekh. , ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... October 13, 2017 , ... Ellevate Network, the leading ... to advocate for action towards gender equality at their inaugural Summit in New York ... globe, and reached a social audience of over 3 million. To watch the Mobilize ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... October 13, 2017 , ... Coveros, a ... has been awarded a contract by the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services ... accelerate the enterprise use of Agile methodologies in a consistent and high value ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... Francisco, CA (PRWEB) , ... October 12, 2017 ... ... Dr. Cheng, are now treating sleep apnea using cutting-edge Oventus O2Vent ... apnea, a serious sleep disorder characterized by frequent cessation in breathing. Oral appliances ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:9/28/2017)... 28, 2017 Hill-Rom Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: HRC), ... call and webcast on Friday, November 3, 2017, beginning ... ending at approximately 8:30 a.m. (CDT) / 9:30 a.m. ... 2017 financial performance and guidance for 2018, Hill-Rom executives ... enhance operational performance, and long-range financial outlook through 2020. ...
(Date:9/25/2017)... R.I. , Sept. 25, 2017  EpiVax, ... assessment, vaccine design, and immune-engineering today announced the ... on the development of personalized therapeutic cancer vaccines. ... has provided exclusive access to enabling technologies to ... Eng., MBA will lead EpiVax Oncology as Chief ...
(Date:9/19/2017)... 2017   ZirMed Inc ., a recognized leader in ... it has been ranked #1 by its users for the ... 2017 User Survey. ZirMed was recognized as the top-ranked end-to-end ... medical centers over 200 beds and holds one of the ... survey history. ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: