Fenugreek: The Latest Natural Cure For Menopausal Symptoms?

Menopause is something every woman has to go through at some point in her life. It wouldn’t be so bad if it didn’t have such annoying symptoms. When menopause hits you should be sure to expect any of these symptoms:

  • Hot flashes
  • Skin dryness
  • Night sweats
  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Breathing problems
  • Insomnia
  • Joint pain
  • Muscle pain
  • Urogenital complaints
  • Bleeding issues
  • Numbness
  • Vaginal changes
  • Anxiety
  • Irritability
  • Palpitations
  • Mood changes
  • Depression

It is a really long list and nothing on it is something you want to experience if you can help it. Typically, these symptoms don’t come alone; they come complete with a decrease in inhibin. This drop in inhibin levels causes follicular stimulating hormone and androgen levels to go up while estrogen levels decrease in the form of estradiol.

Once your blood estradiol levels begin to fall, estrogen receptors that are on the surface of the cells will be empty; this will cause some dysfunction within the cells. The standard treatment for this condition is to increase the circulation of estradiol in blood by artificial means. These would be via the prescription of synthesized or isolated progesterone and estrogen. These treatments come with their own risks and result in their own particular symptoms. Some of the worst complications are cancer or heart disease.

Fenugreek has been taking the medical field by storm as a natural alternative to prescription based menopausal treatments.

Fenugreek, the ripe seed of Trigonella foenum graecum Linn (family Fabaceae), is widely used as a condiment and traditional herbal medicine worldwide.

Fenugreek contains many chemical ingredients such as alkaloids, saponins, flavonoids, coumarins, vitamins, and amino acids.

Studies in animals and humans have reported numerous pharmacological effects of fenugreek, including anti-diabetes, lipid-lowering, anti-inflammation, antioxidation, antitumor, immunoregulation, and hepatoprotection, and so on.

In China, this plant is also used by traditional Chinese medicine practitioners to relieve menopausal symptoms in women.

It has the ability to treat your menopausal symptoms without resulting in some of the more harmful side effects of the prescription medicines. Fenugreek is able to do this because it contains beneficial steroidal saponins, which have the ability to modulate hormones.

Research Study:

A randomised double-blinded placebo-controlled study, reported for the first time, the influence of a fenugreek extract on perimenopausal discomforts, employing fenugreek extract for supplementation.

“Maintaining a proper hormone balance during the menopausal transition phase is the key in the management of perimenopausal discomforts,” said Dr Krishnakumar, Chief Research Officer at Akay. Moreover, transition to menopause and its changing hormonal milieu are strongly associated with the onset of a depressed mood even among women with no history of depression. The positive association between vasomotor symptoms and depression has also been demonstrated. “Supplementation at 250mg× 2/day Fenusmart for 6 weeks significantly improved the vasomotor symptoms and depression with a healthy hormonal balance without any adverse effects or affecting the clinical safety parameters in perimenopausal women at the investigational dosage,” wrote the researchers from India.

The women characterised with perimenopausal symptoms (n = 48), as assessed by menopausal rating scale questionnaire, were randomised either to FHE (n = 24) or placebo (n = 24) and supplemented with 250 mg twice a day for 42 days. Both inter and intra-group comparison revealed a significant improvement in somatic, psychological, and urogenital scores in Fenusmart group, especially for hot flashes (25.9%), night sweats (26.5%), depression (31.8%), and insomnia (21.6%). Fenusmart treated women showed an improvement in general wellbeing as revealed by the 22.1% improvement in menopausal rating scale total symptoms scores as compared to 9.3% in placebo.

Further hormone analysis revealed an enhancement in serum estradiol (18.9%), free testosterone (38.2%), and progesterone (19.9%) concentrations and a significant decrease in FSH (38.2%) and SHBG (21.1%) concentrations in the Fenusmart group; without significant changes in other clinical safety parameters.

The researchers said: “The menopause transition is characterised by loss of ovarian follicular activity leading to an imbalance in the hormone levels, especially the depletion of estradiol levels. The reproductive hormone levels were found to be attenuated by Fenusmart supplementation towards attaining a hormonal balance. protodioscin and trigonelline in Fenusmart play a major role in this activity. Protodioscin may be converted to DHEA, which may further have converted to testosterone by 17β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase (17β-HSD).

“Low dose administration of DHEA positively modulated several endocrine parameters in early and late postmenopausal women, inducing the increase of the androgenic, estrogenic, and reducing the climacteric symptoms. Also, women with higher DHEA have reported greater overall quality of life, physical functioning, and fewer depressive disorders.”

DC Health News Team

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