Postmenopausal syndrome is a condition that affects many women as they enter menopause. This transition in a woman’s life can be accompanied by a range of uncomfortable symptoms, including hot flashes, fatigue, and mood swings. While hormone replacement therapy (HRT) is commonly used to treat these symptoms, some women are hesitant to use this treatment due to potential health risks.
As a result, alternative remedies such as astragalus extract have gained popularity in recent years. In this article, we will explore the potential benefits of astragalus extract for postmenopausal syndrome and the scientific evidence supporting its use.
Table of Contents
Menopause and Postmenopausal Syndrome
The biggest question is: What are the symptoms of postmenopausal in a woman?
After menopause, because of the rapid decline in estrogen, women are prone to a significantly increased risk of developing psychological and emotional symptoms such as:
- fatigue, excitation, anxiety, depression;
- poor concentration, memory loss;
- changes in the skin, recurrent facial flushing;
- urogenital symptoms, vaginal dryness;
- intermittent dizziness, sensory abnormalities;
- cardiovascular diseases: heart disease, high blood pressure, and stroke;
- headache, nausea;
- the likelihood of developing autoimmune diseases and colon cancer.
The most effective way to face these conditions and improve menopausal symptoms is to supplement estrogen; however, long-term administration of synthetic estrogen increases the risk for breast and uterine cancers.
Astragalus extract and its health benefits
The peeled and dried root of Astragalus membranaceus Bunge is an important medicinal ingredient that is used in about 300 kinds of Chinese medicines. Its main components are isoflavonoids and triterpene saponin; it also contains phenol glycoside and aminobutyric acid.
The proven health-promoting properties include:
- diuretic effects,
- the ability to decrease blood pressure,
- antidiabetic effect,
- anti-inflammatory effects,
- anti-fatigue effects,
- the ability to improve cellular and humoural immunity,
- the ability to reduce alkaline RNase activity in the liver and spleen
- and anti-osteoporosis effects.
The latest research results on the effects of Astragalus
In a recently published clinical single-center, double-blinded, parallel-group, placebo-controlled trial, Astragalus membranaceous Bunge together with Rubus coreanus Miq. (Korean blackberry) was found to show such positive effects without health risks.
The course of the investigation
Participants were females with postmenopausal syndrome in the menopausal or menopausal transition period.
The endpoints of validation of the clinical study were:
- Improvement in the Kupperman index (KI) score of women. KI is a widely used and accepted index to evaluate the most important menopause-associated discomforts and to measure the clinical effect of treatment on menopausal symptoms.
- Change in the Menopause Rating Scale (MRS). MRS was standardized as a self-administered scale to assess symptoms/complaints of aging women under different conditions; to evaluate the severity of symptoms over time; and to measure changes pre- and postmenopause replacement therapy.
- Change in lipid profile.
Participants were randomly allocated into two groups:
- RCAM group: taking Astragalus membranaceus Bunge and R. coreanus Miq. extract
- Placebo group: taking placebo
Both groups were administered 2000 mg of the extract or placebo, respectively, daily for 12 weeks.
- KI score was significantly decreased in the RCAM group compared with that in the placebo group
- There was a significant difference between the groups in the amount of change in the MRS.
- There was no statistically significant difference between the groups in the lipid index (High triglycerides:TG, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol: LDL-C, and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol: HDL-C), except for that in TC (total cholesterol).
- There were no clinically significant changes between the groups in the vital signs, blood tests, and urine tests except for aspartate transferase (AST) and alanine transaminase (ALT) levels. Still, the values were within the normal range.
- There were no clinical symptoms of any serious adverse reaction.
- The effects on the endocrine function, thickness of the endometrium together with the levels of estradiol, follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), and luteinizing hormone (LH) were monitored and no statistically significant change in these parameters was observed.
For females with menopausal symptoms in the menopausal transitional and postmenopausal periods, ingestion of the R. coreanus Miq. and Astragalus membranaceous Bunge extract for 12 weeks was effective, as demonstrated by a decrease in KI score and MRS relative to that in the placebo group, and significantly improved the menopausal symptoms. Moreover, the extract was found to be safe.
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