How to move through the menopause naturally – doctor tips

BRITTLE NAILS? BLADDER WEAKNESS? BRAIN FOG? THESE ARE LESS COMMON SYMPTOMS OF THE MENOPAUSE HOW TO MOVE THROUGH THE MENOPAUSE NATURALLY

by Dr David Edwards, Trudy Hannington, Suzie Sawyer

FACTS & STATS

Did you know there are over 30 different symptoms that can be attributed to the menopause3 from common symptoms such as hot flushes, night sweats and mood swings to the more obscure including brittle nails, bladder weakness, brain fog and even changes in body odour? This can make it difficult for women to understand what’s attributable to the menopause and what’s not.
Three quarters of women in the UK say the menopause has caused them to change their lives and 51% say menopause has affected their sex lives4
A staggering 42% of women also said that menopause symptoms were much worse than they had anticipated.

Research shows that women experience the menopause in many different ways1 and much is influenced by their personal, family and sociocultural background. While for some women the menopause symptoms seem never ending, there are many natural solutions on offer to women that can make a really positive difference and ease the many menopause woes.

GP, Dr David Edwards, Psychosexual Therapist, Trudy Hannington and Clinical Nutritionist, Suzie Sawyer share some of their tips, bust a few myths and provide some natural and effective answers to menopause challenges.

Dr David Evans

GP, Dr David Edwards and a specialist in male and female sexual dysfunction notes: “Prescribed hormone replacement therapy (HRT) is a popular choice for women to help manage menopausal symptoms. However, there are many women who, either for medical reasons or personal choice, prefer not to take HRT. These women, or indeed those already taking HRT, may find it helpful to try the following lifestyle and supplementation tips. Most importantly, don’t suffer in silence and always consult your GP for a one to one consultation if you are at all concerned. Here are a few of my tips:

MOVE IT: Any exercise that stresses the bones such as skipping4, can slow down the loss of bone density associated with the menopause. Brisk walking or aerobics5 release endorphins, the feel-good hormones in the body which can help alleviate low mood and anxiety, common feelings during the menopause years. Pilates and yoga6 are good for flexibility while pelvic floor exercises help protect against urinary incontinence as you age.

STAY COOL: Hot rooms can aggravate flushing so keep your house and bedroom temperature cool. Cutting back on caffeinated drinks and topping up with plenty of water may also help.

Try Herbal remedies – Traditional herbal medicines containing Black Cohosh and St John’s Wort have been clinically proven7 to help relieve common menopause symptoms. Some women find concentrating and copying with stressful situations particularly difficult during the menopause. Rhodiola rosea has been shown to help relieve symptoms of stress8 without causing sedation or a foggy brain. Make sure you choose one which carries the THR kite mark as this guarantees quality, safety and includes approved dosage information in-pack.

Psychosexual Therapist, Trudy Hannington

A leading Psychosexual Therapist, a former Chair of the College of Sexual and Relationship Therapy (COSRT) and committee member for the British society of Sexual Medicine, Trudy Hannington notes: “Female Sexual Dysfunction is a common problem that has been ignored and affects one in two women after the menopause. Most sexual problems have more than one cause. I regularly see women going through the menopause who start to experience sexual and relationship problems such as low sex drive, arousal problems and, in many cases, feelings of no longer being attractive or desirable to their partner. A few tips I have include:

Book a ‘Date Night’. Use the time to get know each other again and discuss what makes you both feel good. Switch off phones and other electronic devices so that you can give each other your full attention.
Be touchy. Improving foreplay and taking time with sensual massage can help improve communication. Kissing, touching and exploring each other’s bodies can help to boost libido.

Clinical Nutritionist, Suzie Sawyer

Clinical Nutritionist, Suzie Sawyer adds: “Diet forms the cornerstone of health. And this becomes even more important during the menopause when hormones are fluctuating. The right nutrition can have a big impact on hormonal health by nourishing and helping control and eliminate unpleasant menopausal symptoms. Here are a few of my tips to help ease some of those menopause woes:

Add soy products, rich in isoflavones to your diet. There is much research10 to suggest that eating whole soya foods rich in Japanese and Chinese cultures can have a positive effect on menopausal symptoms. However, products need to be made from whole soya rather than soya isolate or soya protein isolate to gain benefit from the isoflavones. Other isoflavone-rich foods include chickpeas, lentils and kidney beans.
Increase fibre intake. There are two types of fibre; insoluble found in wholegrains and vegetables which aid good bowel movements, and soluble found in oats, beans and fruit. Both are essential in the diet and especially to help with detoxifying ‘old’ oestrogens. Whilst it’s the lack of oestrogen causing menopausal symptoms, the body needs to effectively excrete those it’s utilised; eating a fibre-rich diet is the key11
Protect your bones. As oestrogen levels fall, women are at risk of osteoporosis, therefore protecting your bones needs to be high on your nutritional plan. Interestingly, Public Health England recommends that everyone needs ten micrograms of vitamin D daily (our key bone-building vitamin) to help prevent vitamin D deficiency, particularly during the winter months. Taking a daily supplement is the best health insurance policy. Try Alive! Calcium with Vitamin D Soft Jells. Bones are also protected by eating isoflavones which naturally produce a metabolite with oestrogen-like activity called equol12, so it’s a win-win situation!

Vitamin D11,12 and Magnesium13 also work together in maintaining bone health. Our skin produces most of the vitamin D we need when and if it’s exposed to sunlight, but you can also find it in oily fish, eggs and some fortified breakfast cereals. Magnesium, which aids the absorption of calcium, can be found in nuts, pulses and green, leafy vegetables. Try Alive! Ultra Women’s 50+ Wholefood Plus tablets.

Encourage production of the ‘happy hormone’! Depression is, unfortunately, a very common symptom of the menopause14. The body makes serotonin, our happy hormone, from foods containing the amino acid tryptophan. The good news is that it’s widely available in a variety of foods including fish, wholegrains, soya, beans, eggs, bananas and oats, so make sure you’re eating some at every meal, if possible. Plus, if you’re having trouble sleeping, have a small tryptophan-rich snack before bedtime; serotonin also produces melatonin, our key sleep hormone.

PRODUCT RECOMMENDATIONS

Black Cohosh is found in MenoHerb Black Cohosh Menopause
Relief, a traditional herbal medicine used for the relief of menopause symptoms including hot flushes, night sweats and temporary changes in mood such as nervous irritability and restlessness, exclusively based upon long-standing use as a traditional remedy.

Available in Boots £10.20 for 30 one-a-day tablets.

MenoHerb is suitable for vegetarians and free from gluten, wheat, sugar and soya. Always read the label.

The unique combination of Black Cohosh and St John’s Wort can be found in MenoMood Menopause Mood Relief, a traditional herbal medicine used for the relief of menopause symptoms including hot flushes, night sweats, slightly low mood and mild anxiety, exclusively based upon long-standing use as a traditional remedy.

Available in Boots and Holland & Barrett and all good pharmacy and health food stores or visit www.menomood.co.uk . £16.99 for 30 one-a-day tablets.

MenoMood is suitable for vegetarians and free from gluten, wheat and soya. Always read the label.

Rhodiola rosea can be found in Vitano® Rhodiola tablets, a traditional herbal medicine used for the temporary relief of symptoms associated with stress, such as fatigue, exhaustion and mild anxiety, exclusively based upon long-standing use as a traditional remedy.

Available in Boots £6.99 for 16 two-a-day tablets.

Vitano® is suitable for vegetarians and vegans and is free from lactose, gluten, wheat, soya, corn and sugar. Always read the label.

ALIVE! Calcium with Vitamin D Soft Jells

Calcium, Vitamin D and Phosphorus for maintenance of normal bones, teeth and for normal growth and development of bone in children.
Contains a unique dried blend of 26 fruits and vegetables
Delicious strawberry natural fruit flavour: made with only natural fruit flavours
Available in Boots £14.99 for 60 two-a-day soft jells.

Suitable for vegetarians and is free from gluten, soya, dairy, yeast, artificial flavours, colours and preservatives.

NEW ALIVE! Ultra Women’s 50+ Wholefood Plus
25 vitamins and minerals with adjusted levels to meet the needs of women over 50.
A unique dried blend of 26 whole fruits and vegetables
Daily greens blend of 14 botanicals.
A digestive enzyme blend including bromelain to help ease protein digestion
A cranberry concentrated extract for urinary tract health
Additional flax lignans with phytoestrogens for hormonal balance

Available in Boots £24.99 for 60 one-a-day tablets.

Suitable for vegetarians and is free from gluten, soya, dairy, yeast, artificial flavours, colours and preservatives.

Women juggle work & life balance better with age

British women are struggling to bring balance to their lives, with only one in four (27%) saying they successfully juggle the demands of work, family and a social life. But over-40s are the most likely to get it right, with almost one in three saying (31%) saying they strike the right balance and more than half (57%) say they sometimes get it right.

Four out of five (84%) women say there are times when they are trying to keep too many balls in the air and a similar number (81%) fear their frenetic lifestyles could lead to health problems in the future.

Hormonal balance

This worrying picture of women’s health and emotional wellbeing has emerged in polls conducted for Kira, one of the nation’s most trusted names in women’s health and herbal supplements.

The One Poll surveys of 1,000 women — half aged between 20 and 40 and half aged 40 to 60 — found that older women are the best when it comes to resisting the pressure to be perfect, with two out of five (41%) saying it was never an issue, compared to less than a third (29%) of 20 to 40-year-olds

Older women are also less likely to look enviously at their friends’ lives, with almost two out of five (38%) saying this was never an issue, compared to less than a quarter (23%) of the 20 to 40-year-olds.

They are also less likely to fall prey to pressure from social media with only one in 13 (8%) saying online activity made them feel they were being short-changed by life, compared to almost one in five (18%) of the younger women.

Body confidence as we age
Body confidence also grows with age, with seven out of ten (69%) of the older women saying they had no interest in cosmetic surgery or procedures, compared to six out of ten (59%) of the younger group. The 20 to 40 group was twice as likely to want a boob job or new nose, 18% compared to 8% and 10% versus 5%.

However, anxiety about the future was a factor across the board, with almost nine out of ten (89%) women in both age groups saying they worried about what lay ahead. Money and debt was a cause for concern for one in three (32%) and two out of five (45%) admitted they were struggling financially.

Dr Catherine Hood, a women’s health specialist and an advisor to Kira notes: “It’s reassuring that experience brings a little more stability and contentment, but these surveys show women are balancing different demands throughout their lives.

She adds: “The demands of our bodies change too, which is why bone health becomes much more of an issue as we age. Top up vitamins can be helpful during periods of stress or when busy lifestyles makes it difficult to exercise and eat healthily.

“But I would advise any woman over 40 to take special care to protect their bone health with a high calcium supplement such as Kira Body Balance.”

How to find balance, bone health and avoid hormonal blips
Kira Hormonal Balance is a one-a-day food supplement which is great for women on the go as it does what it says on the pack, and helps keep your hormones in balance.

It contains a combination of essential B vitamins, which are important for hormonal metabolism and balance. Vitamins B2, B6, B12, vitamin C and folic acid also help reduce tiredness and fatigue, while vitamins B1, B6, B12, folic acid and pantothenic acid may help to maintain normal mental performance and normal psychological function.

Ageing isn’t just skin deep – how freeze and heat therapy can help ageing muscles

There is no denying the effect of age on our skin, and experts advise it is never too soon to get into the good habits and routines that delay the arrival of fine lines, wrinkles and other signs of ageing.

However, ageing is not simply skin deep.  The decline in collagen levels, which is largely responsible for wrinkles and sagging skin, also takes a toll on our muscles. But because there are no sudden visible signs of this steady loss of tone and elasticity, many of us do not realise what is happening until its too late and muscle wastage and loss of power is beginning to impact on day-to-day life.

DF Spray

Deep Freeze range zaps pain enabling suffers to get mobile faster with less damage to muscles

A new poll of 2,000 people in the UK by the muscular pain treatment specialists at Deep Heat and Deep Freeze has found that seven out of ten (71%) of people had no idea we lose muscle as we age and two out of three (64%) did not know it is a particular problem for women after the menopause.

Sarcopenia, the medical term for this age-related loss of muscle mass, is thought to affect between one in ten (9%) and one in five (18%) people over the age of 65 and is associated with an increased risk of frailty, falls, disability and even death.

The rate and extent of muscle loss is influenced by a range of factors including genetics, diet and lifestyle – and there is clear evidence of the truth in the saying:  “Use it or lose it!”

New research from the University of Stirling provides some crucial clues on how to maintain mobility, reduce post-exercise pain and help hold back the effects of age on our muscles.

Deep Heat range

Deep Heat range is available at pharmacies nationwide

Commenting on the research review by Angus Hunter, Director of the Health and Exercise Sciences Research Group at Stirling University, Toby Garbett, who now provides leading edge fitness training to a range of clients including schools says:  “This research review suggests that warming products such as those from the Deep Heat range may help break the insidious cycle of muscle wastage, inactivity and weight gain associated with ageing.

“Increasing tissue temperature causes a decrease in tissue viscosity – which, essentially, helps muscle retain its shape and elasticity.

“Heat therapy may also act to enhance exercise performance by increasing oxygen transport and release via vasodilation.”

He adds:  “In summary, this research view confirms that a combination of cold therapy, such as Deep Freeze products, in the initial acute phase, followed by soothing thermotherapy such as Deep Heat thereafter, can aid recovery and optimises the conditions for healing after injury.  This minimises the period of immobility which unquestionably depletes muscle mass.”

Physiotherapist, Sammy Margo agrees:  “it is important to lay the foundations and promote muscular health from an early age.

“You need flexibility, cardiovascular fitness and the right behavioural and psychological foundations to minimise the risk of muscle pain and problems – not just in old age, but at any age.”

 

Deep Freeze Cold Spray brings instant pain relief

Plea from health professionals on behalf of post-menopausal women

Health professional?Within the last week, a group of health professionals sent an open letter to their fellow specialists about the plight of those post-menopausal women reporting bleeding.

Post-menopausal bleeding indicates a gynaecological abnormality, usually a cancer growth within the womb.

The letter (BMJ 2010; 341:c7407) contains details about how many women reporting bleeding actually get referred for secondary care. Referral rates for patients with postmenopausal bleeding ranged from 66.4% in 55-64 year old patients to 40.1% in those over 85.

Last year the Eve Appeal highlighted the low profile from which gynaecological cancers suffer. Their campaign (with contributions from cancer sufferers and oncology nurses and specialists) focused on the low number of post menopausal women reporting bleeding to their GPs.

Gynaecological cancers are the world’s fourth largest cancer killer of women, with over 1 million women worldwide being diagnosed with a gynaecological cancer every year. Of the gynaecological cancers, womb cancer is now the UK’s most common, with 7,500 cases diagnosed nationwide.

The Eve Appeal, in conjunction with the National Forum for Gynecological Oncology Nurses (NFGON), are focused on improving the chances of women everywhere in beating these killers, by work in improving prediction, diagnosis and timely treatment.

The latest plea by health professionals highlights how much work has to be done – not only in getting more women to see their GPs in such circumstances but also in making sure those women are getting the treatment they need to beat gynaecological cancer.

Health Secretary Andrew Lansley recently promised an improvement to the care framework within the NHS, which, if implemented properly, would improve detection and survival rates for womb cancer sufferers. It remains to be seen whether the financial pressure on the NHS, as with other public organisations, will be conducive to improving even the most vital of services.

To get more information about any of the gynaecological cancers, please visit the Eve Appeal at www.eveappeal.org.uk.

 

Do your bit for menopausal women….

Kings College

guys and st thomas.jpg

 

 

 

Have you been diagnosed with premature ovarian failure (early menopause) within the last three years? If so, you could help to find a treatment for future generations… and maybe improve your own life a little!

Premature ovarian failure affects one in 20 women under 45.  It is estimated that there are more than 7,000 women with premature ovarian failure living in the London boroughs of Lambeth and Southwark alone. . 

It is a devastating diagnosis because it causes unpleasant menopausal symptoms, long term health risks, and greatly reduces the chance of becoming pregnant naturally.  Very little research into the condition has been carried out.

The female hormone Oestrogen is used as a ‘replacement’ treatment, to boost low levels in the body, which in turn alleviates symptoms of the menopause. However, it is not known what the ‘best’ treatment is and the effects of taking no treatment are also unknown.

But that is about to change…

Doctors and researchers at Guy’s Hospital and King’s College London are looking for women aged between 18-44 years who have been diagnosed with premature ovarian failure (early menopause) within the last three years, to participate in a research study to help find out more about the best treatment for the condition and the exact effects of no treatment.

The study at Guy’s Hospital will compare the effects of active treatment with either hormone replacement therapy or the combined oral contraceptive pill, or no treatment, and will involve approximately 70 women.

Katy Hayward from Lancashire is one of the women taking part in the study.  She was diagnosed with premature ovarian failure last year at 28 years old.  She said:  “I discovered I had gone through an early menopause a year ago and found myself searching for answers.  I realised that by participating in research I can help researchers find the best ways to manage premature ovarian failure, and hopefully help improve health care services provided for women in my position in future.”

Details of the study and how to take part

Dr Beth Cartwright, from the Menopause Research Unit at Guy’s Hospital said: “Local women can help us to extend understanding of the early menopause by taking part in this important research study.  They can choose whether to take treatment or not. 

Through a number of tests, scans and questionnaires over a two year period, we will compare the effects of the different treatments and the no treatment option on bone health, cardiovascular health, sexual function, symptom control, psychological wellbeing and overall quality of life. 

All women taking part will receive comprehensive care relevant to their premature ovarian failure and their participation will help in the treatment of early menopause in the future.”

Participation in the study involves seven visits to the Menopause Research Unit at Guy’s hospital over a two year period.

This includes;

– a screening visit to check eligibility to enrol
– DXA bone scans to monitor bone density
– ultrasound scans to look at the ovaries
– blood tests 

These investigations are carried out at enrolment and after six, 12 and 24 months. 

The DXA bone scan involves a very small amount of radiation which is similar to two days’ exposure to everyday background radiation.  The blood test and ultrasound scan may cause slight discomfort.

For further information about the study, contact Dr Beth Cartwright in the Menopause Research Unit at Guy’s Hospital on 020 7188 3024 or email: beth.cartwright@kcl.ac.uk.  By contacting the unit you are not obliged to take part.

Anyone for a cup of tea?

_MG_6396[1] [320x200].JPGThe menopause can be a very difficult time, but help may be at hand in the shape of a good cuppa.

Tava Tea Wellness Blend uses organically grown whole Sencha, Wuyi Cliff Oolong and Puerh tea leaves of the best grade possible.

These tea leaves contain a vast array of powerful nutrients and have been used for health and healing in China for over 5000 years.

The tea has also become popular amongst women keen to reduce the physical effects of the menopause in addition to promoting general well-being and soothe aches and pains.

The tea’s ingredients increase the drinker’s metabolism and reduce food cravings, which become a problem during heightened hormonal activity associated with the menopause.

Case study 1 – Trudy Leigh, 50, from Loughton, Essex

Trudy gave Tava Tea a try after gaining weight during the early stages of the menopause
She said: ‘I’d always been a slim woman at just over eight stone, but after starting the menopause I gained weight almost overnight. It was a new and uncomfortable experience and no matter what I did, including almost starving myself, I couldn’t shift the extra pounds.’

Trudy has been sipping four cups a day and lost half a stone in three weeks.

Case study 2 – Nicola Chapman, 51, from Bristol

Nicola was having a bad time with hot flushes, she ‘felt uncomfortable, short of energy and embarrassed at turning red and having to fan myself in public. Since drinking the tea I’ve seen my hot flushes decrease to once or twice a day, it’s made a world of difference.’

Dr Tim Thurlings, who developed the tea’s unique blend, said he’s delighted to be able to help women during what can be a particularly difficult time.

He said: ‘The blends of tea we use are proven to have positive effects when it comes to losing weight and promoting feelings of well being  – something which can be particularly important for women going through a time of substantial physical and emotional change.’

‘Not only does the tea speed up the metabolism and help with hot flushes, it also helps reduce cholesterol, lower blood pressure and decrease the risk of developing some forms of lung cancer.’

This means anyone can benefit from a cup of this particularly saintly brew…. So, who’s going to put the kettle on??

www.tavatea.co.uk

 

Ask the anti-ageing doctor with Dr John Moran

 

Dr John Moran is a specialist in hormone replacement therapies for the treatment of symptoms of the menopause, andropause and sexual disfunction
 
Here he answers some of your questions:
 
 
What can I do to stop these dreadful menopausal night sweats?
 
This is one of the most unpleasant symptoms of the menopause and can last for years.  Its caused by a decline and imbalance of hormones. You may also  want to consider a blood test to see what your hormones are doing – and depending on the results whether you need hormone replacement therapy (HRT) either from your GP or bioidentical hormone replacement which is one of the most effective ways of treating the menopause.
 
I have heard about the male menopause – it is true that men go through this as well? 
 
Yes – once thought to be fiction rather than fact, medical research has now established that there is a slow decline in androgens, including the male hormone testosterone, in men from the age of 50 onwards.  Its also called the male climacteric or andropause.
 
Here are six easily recognisable symptoms of the andropause:
 
1.  Low sex drive and reduced erectile quality, particularly at night
2. Mood changes, irritability, fatigue and depression 
3. Decrease in lean body mass with associated loss of muscle strength
4. Decrease in body hair and skin elasticity
5. Decreased bone mineral density resulting in osteopenia, when small amounts of bone are starting to be lost, can be dectected by testing in a hip and spine bone density scan.  Osteopenia is the stage prior to full-blown osteoporosis and is an amber light warning.  A urine tesr can also detect bone turnover
6. Increased abdominal fat may put men at risk of coronary heart disease and diabetes                
Since I reached my 40s I have started to gain weight is there anything I can do outside of a diet and exercise to get rid of these extra pounds around my middle?

 
First of all you need to look at your lifestyle.  Are you eating healthily?  Are you taking enough exercise? The amount of abdominal fat around the middle is an indicator of several diseases of ageing including cardiovascular disease, stroke and diabetes.  As people age they become more sedentary and a decline in hormones which help with energy doesn’t help.  Get a checkup, including dietary advice.

I keep getting up in the middle of the night to urinate – do you know what could be causing this?
 
It may be nothing but frequent urinating at night can be a symptom of diabetes.  This may also be linked to prostate problems. Ask your doctor for a blood/urine tests.
I used to have beautiful soft skin and shiny hair but my skin is getting dry and my hair lacklustre?
 
The cause may be a number of conditions – most likely not very serious – depending on your age and general health.  Its likely a simple dietary deficiency.  Are you taking enough Omega 3 – ie fish oils, eating nuts and seeds – these not only help our skin and hair but also feed our brain, helping to protecting against neurological damage.
I’ve heard about bioidentical hormones – what are they?
 
They are made from plants and are bioidentical to those made by our body and may include estrogen, natural progesterone, testerone and DHEA.  Whereas the HRT prescribed by most doctors, at least on the NHS, is artificial and made from  synethetic substances and mare’s urine, branded Premarin, for example. 
I am a 50-year-old man and know I should be more active but I feel tired all the time and my sex life has gone out of the window? Is there a natural solution to this such as vitamins and supplements?
 
The answer may be as simple as changing your diet and exercise but older men often feel this way because of the decline in hormones.  You should seek advice and get a full checkup.
Is is good for older people to have sex or should they stop at a certain age?
 
There is no reason to stop having sex has we get older providing that is what you and your partner both want.  It stimulates us mentally and physically – assisting the release of beneficial hormones – and its a form of exercise so good all round.
I want to loose weight, can hormone replacement help?
 
It depends.  If you have put on weight recently then you need to look at your lifestyle and diet.  A blood and/or urine test to see what is happening with your hormones may help.  Many older woman do suffer from an underactive thyroid and supplementation may help but you would need to have tests to determine this.
 
Contact Dr Moran
 
To contact Dr Moran with a health query email him at including contact details. Dr Moran cannot enter into personal correspondence.  His replied cannot apply to individual cases and should be taken in a general context.  If you do have a health concern you should contact your own professional doctor/GP.
 

Babyboomer pressures overshadow the good life

 

Rather than enjoying later life, Britain’s babyboomers are taking on more and more worries, reveals a new study by Astral, the all over hydrating body moisturiser, loved and used by millions of British women.

Astral_Face_on_new_label.jpgWith female babyboomers set to live longer, up to 85 years on average, life and work worries are now overshadowing their prime. According to Astral’s new report , health concerns (50%) topped the list of worries, followed by family woes such as children and ageing (40%), then finance (30%) followed by the state of the world (25%).

‘The Change’ tops all health concerns….The menopause was linked to the majority of women’s health worries and confidence issues, as they struggled to handle its symptoms and the impact on their home and extended work lives. Almost half (45%) of the study said they suffered a lack of energy, with three quarters (75%) feeling physically tired and 45% only managing to do essential tasks, but not having enough energy for anything else, thanks to the menopause.

Embarrassing problems associated with the ‘change’ also presented further hurdles, with hot flushes affecting almost everyone (90%), and digestive upsets effecting 85% on a regular basis. Irritability was another factor that women found hard to control and impacted their extended working lives, with 60% seeing a distinct downturn in their mood thanks to the menopause.

Beautiful, youthful skin plays a large part in feeling beautiful. Almost all of the women in the Astral study (95%) said the menopause had affected their skin, with half (45%) claiming dry skin was a real problem and 35% highlighting their face and body lacked lustre, with 30% seeing a loss in suppleness and increased dryness.

Astral on trial….
Study respondents going through ‘the change’ were asked to test Astral over a three week period to see how effective it was as an all over body moisturiser. Testers used Astral once or twice a day. Final study results revealed that 95% of users found Astral very effective in actually preventing dry skin, with 85% saying they found the cream soothing, hydrating and great at helping to maintain skin moisture balance.

85% of the study correspondents found Astral more effective than their usual moisturiser. As a result trialists said they were set to continue to use Astral as a daily, hydrating body moisturiser.

Commenting on this latest trial news from Astral, Dr Trisha Macnair notes: “The menopause really plays havoc with women’s skin and yet often goes unmentioned versus more dramatic symptoms. Falling oestrogen levels, which affect the production of collagen, is responsible for helping skin, hair and nails to retain their elasticity. As a result, thanks to ‘the change’, oestrogen levels fall and skin starts to sag, get dry and be less supple.

“The truth, as revealed in this report, is that when a woman’s facial skin is in good condition she feels more confident and more attractive, which can be a real boon when other parts of her body are potentially making her feel out of control. If the skin on her body is in good condition then she feels not only more confident, but also feels better because she is more comfortable.

“So what is needed is a moisturiser that can help menopausal women take control of their skin’s condition. Astral, is a very effective solution for menopausal women because it is so nourishing and hydrating as a cream. It’s secret for me lies with the product’s formulation which includes lanolin, a rich natural moisturising ingredient which binds water to itself locking in moisture, while still allowing the skin to breathe, as well as being naturally hypoallergenic and easily absorbed.”

About Astral

Astral cream was first launched in 1950 and for more than half a decade since millions of women have used this all-over face and body moisturiser, giving generations of women soft skin thanks to Astral’s rich formulation. The formulation of the cream is the same today as it was when it launched.

Astral is full of delicately balanced and nourishing ingredients which make it a perfect all-over moisturiser. It can be used every day to keep skin soft and supple and it can even tackle the driest skin on elbows and feet. Thanks to its versatility, Astral can also be used as an after-sun lotion and make-up remover.

Astral is available in Boots, Morrisons, Sainsbury’s, Superdrug, Tesco and all good chemists. It comes in three pot sizes: 50ml – ‘the handbag pot’, which is perfect for on-the-go indulgence (£1.49); 200ml – with all the different uses of Astral, many women get a few 200ml pots and keep one by the bed, one in the bathroom, one by the kitchen sink or any place where Astral might come in handy (£4.19); 500ml – Astral prides itself on being a premium quality product with a great value price (£7.99). With the 500ml pot women get even more for their money.

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Try Femal herbal menopause remedy free – sample giveaway

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The full list of menopausal symptoms is long and frankly, over-whelming, so its good to know that natural remedies can help manage the symptoms.

But new research has shown that the natural healing and balancing power of pollen could be used to help ease the common menopausal symptoms of hot flushes, night sweats, irritability and fatigue.

Vitamins, carotenoids, flavonoids, minerals, amino acids, fatty acids, enzymes phytosterols and prostaglandins all form a part of pollen, making it the perfect building material for our cells. Femal contains two special extracts of standardised pollen combined with vitamin E, formulated to support women’s health throughout the life stages from the start of womanhood to maturity.

TRY IT FOR FREE! You can experience the benefits of Femal for free – we have 10 packets to giveway. All you have to do is email us at readeroffer@elixirnews.com with your name and address. Please put FEMAL in the email header please. (see terms and conditions below).

Femal is also available from Boots and independent pharmacies priced around £16.00. For further information about Femal, contact + 44(0)1372 379828.

*Terms and conditions
There are a limited number of packets to be given away which will go to the first applicants
No cash equivalent is being offered
This offer closes on 31 October

Estroven Nighttime – natural hop formula reduces night sweats

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The menopause affects women differently but most will experience a variety of physical and emotional changes which can cause them to feel out of sorts, forgetful, tired and emotional – something today’s busy women could do without!

But now there is a natural product that will enable women to continue to live life to its full potential by supporting overall health and wellbeing, especially at night. Estroven Nighttime has been designed to provide gentle nutritional support during the period when a woman’s level of oestrogen, a key hormone, is out of balance or in decline.

During the menopause the levels of oestrogen – which have fluctuated during the perimenopause – drop. This hormone imbalance may exacerbate a number of symptoms including night sweats, which then hampers restful sleep, interferes with sleep patterns and can result in overall tiredness and irritability.

Estroven Nighttime can be taken before, during and after menopause. Each caplet of Estroven Nighttime contains 40mg of natural isoflavones from a unique combination of soya and Japanese arrowroot. These phytoestrogens – a plant compound which mimics the effect of oestrogen – occur naturally in foods such as soya, lentils and other legumes. The average UK diet is low in these isoflavones, so using this supplement may help menopause sufferers during this period. In addition, the product contains essential vitamins and minerals to help maintain general well being , as well as relaxing ingredients such as magnesium, Dateseed extract and Hops extract to offer support when most needed at night.

Hops are a well-renowned herb that has been used for many years for its natural mild sedative and relaxing properties. Date seed extract is used for its calming effects and magnesium is an important mineral in the body to maintain healthy muscles by helping them to relax.

Health & Well-Being Consultant, Liz Tucker says; “The symptoms of menopause can mess up your moods, make you feel exhausted and out of control. Symptom severity and time scale can vary greatly and it is this uncertainty that many women dread. Fortunately there are some simple natural steps every woman can take that could help reduce and stabilize negative menopausal effects.

“Research² indicates that an improved diet and specific supplements can help, in particular increasing your intake of phytoestrogens. These are found in plant based foods such as soya and supplements such as Estroven Nighttime which have been specifically designed to alleviate the symptoms of night sweats and sleep problems.”

So, if you are looking for a product which supports wellbeing during menopause and helps you relax at night, then try Estroven Nighttime. Available in packs of 14 caplets, priced at £6.85. Estroven Nighttime is available from Boots, Tesco, Holland & Barrett and independent pharmacies and healthfood stores. It will sit alongside the original Estroven product which aids women’s overall wellbeing by day, and is available in packs of 30 caplets and retails at £14.68.

For more information on Estroven and Estroven Nighttime please contact the Estroven Careline on 0844 800 9348 (UK telephone number)

More Information

¹ Estroven Nighttime contains: Vitamin D, Vitamin B6, Calcium, Magnesium, Isoflavones, Date Seed Extract and Hops Extract
² Full scientific data at Estroven

Pollen extract cuts menoapause symptoms – new study

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Pollen extract could be used to help ease menopausal symptoms for women during the time of the menopause, new research has revealed*.

The 10 month trial, published in a recent issue of Genesis: The Journal of Genetics and Development, studied 417 menopausal women taking two tablets a day of Femal – a specialised formulation of nutritional flower pollen extracts – at Bordeaux University in France.

The results indicated:

A significant reduction in the frequency of hot flushes by 65%
A reduction in the frequency of night sweats by 64%
The intensity of hot flushes was reduced amongst participants by 64%
The discomfort of night sweats was also reduced by 67%
A clear improvement in irritability and fatigue was noted and quality of sleep improved by 47%
93.5% of the participants felt the supplementation was effective in improving discomfort of symptoms associated with the menopause

Christian Lebreton from Hirapharm which manufactures Femal, commented: “Adding to an already impressive body of evidence supporting the benefits of pollen extract for women experiencing PMS or the menopause, this study confirms the extremely positive indications of supplementation for the 75% of Western women who suffer with menopausal sysmptoms”.

Femal contains two special extracts of standardised pollen combined with vitamin E, formulated to support women’s health throughout the life stages from the start of womanhood to maturity. Femal is available from Boots and independent pharmacies priced around £16.00. For further information about Femal, contact UK telephone number + 44 (0)1372 379828.

References:

* Assessment of the tolerance and effectiveness of a food supplement Serelys (Femal) for menopausal women. Elia, D., and Mares, P., 2008. Genesis, 135, November 2008

Femal

Femal, Scandinavia’s number one selling formula, is the result of 10 years of research and development that began with the biochemical analysis of more than 400 plants. Clinical research and development has consistently established the health benefits of seven specific nutritional flower extracts and their role in supporting women’s health.

Flowers are glorious manifestations of nature’s healing and balancing power, offering us health and vitality. Pollen is nutrient-dense and guarantees the proliferation of the plant world and our healthy existence. Femal gives you the essence of pollen in 100% bioavailable form.

Vitamins, carotenoids, flavonoids, minerals, amino acids, fatty acids, enzymes phytosterols and prostaglandins all form a part of pollen, making it the perfect building material for our cells. Femal helps safeguard the intake of these nutrients on a daily basis.

Frequently Asked Questions

Will pollen cause an allergic reaction?

The pollen extracts in Femal have been specially treated to ensure minimal risk of allergic reaction. Most allergic reactions to pollen are caused through airborne particles that then cause irritation of the airways. Since food supplements are digested, this reaction would be unlikely.

How many do I take?

It is recommended that two tablets per day would be the best intake, particularly when taking Femal for the first time. This intake can be adjusted to one tablet per day to suit individual requirements. This may be most comfortable with a glass of water or fruit juice in the morning.

Can I reduce the intake?

Everyone is different and therefore will have different requirements. However, some women find that they can reduce their long term usage down to one tablet a day once they have been taking Femal for a time. If at some point you feel that your requirements have changed and you feel reverting to a higher dose would be appropriate than it is perfectly acceptable to take two tablets for a three month period. It is not advised to exceed the recommended intake.

How long can I take Femal for?

As with many food supplements Femal is intended for use regularly over time and on a daily basis. Most women find that after three months the two tablets per day dose can be adjusted to one tablet per day. Femal is designed to be taken throughout a woman’s adult life and may therefore be used during the monthly cycle and during and after menopause. As a food supplement, it should be taken in addition to a varied and balanced diet and healthy lifestyle and should not be a substitute for either of these important aspects of healthy living.

Can I take Femal alongside medications?

It should be OK to take Femal alongside any medicines. However, should you have any concerns do consult your doctor.

Can I use Femal whilst pregnant and or when breastfeeding?

It is recommended that pregnant women and those breastfeeding should stop taking the product during this time. Whilst this is precautionary, if in doubt you should consult your doctor.

What other measures can I take?

You have already taken some steps in reading this. Supplementing your diet may provide your body with additional nutrients during its natural changes.

This may also be the time to look at your lifestyle and how this may affect your dietary needs, such as eating at least five fruit and vegetable servings per day and maybe reducing caffeine and alcohol consumption. Exercise is another important aspect in helping to keep your body in optimum health and you may want to consider how this may be incorporated in your daily routines. Keeping a diary may help to monitor your success.

FREE Natural supplement for menopause relief

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Women can spend up to fifteen years overwhelmed by menopausal symptoms which can affect work, sleep and quality of life. But help is now at hand in the form of a new slow-release isoflavone nutritional food supplement, which can offer natural 24-hour support to women at the time of the menopause.

New Menovone is a ground-breaking nutritional food supplement, which utilises an effective and unique slow-release function to deliver isoflavones from soya beans around the clock.

Menopausal symptoms most commonly start between the ages of 47 and 52, which means they often strike at an extremely busy period of a woman’s life.

While 75% of Western women experience hot flushes, menopausal symptoms in Asian countries are virtually unknown and this has been attributed to the fact that Japanese diets include a high level of isoflavones from foods such as tofu and miso soup. Remarkably, there is no term for ‘hot flush’ in Japan,

Isoflavones are plant compounds, which occur naturally in foods such as soya, tofu and nuts. They have a similar chemical structure to oestrogen and therefore have similar (although weaker) physiological effects. Throughout the menopause, natural hormone levels of oestrogen gradually decline and research has shown that increased isoflavone consumption can be of benefit to women at this time.

Unfortunately in the UK, our diets are very low in isoflavones, with surveys showing that the average UK diet provides less than 3mg per day. In comparison, consumption in Asian cultures can be as high as 100mg per day.

Utilising this important nutrient, Wassen – makers of the popular nutritional food supplements Selenium-ACE and Magnesium-OK –has launched Menovone which provides 60mg of slow release isoflavones in each one-a-day tablet, helping women manage the menopause naturally.

The unique nutritional food supplement also contains the essential vitamins and minerals folic acid, vitamins D, E and B vitamins, to help maintain a woman’s well-being before, during and after the menopause. These nutrients can also enhance bone and heart health. Menovone does not contain any drugs or HRT, and is therefore a natural option which can help support women at the time of the menopause.

Priced at around £9.95 for one month’s supply, Menovone is available from Tesco, Waitrose, independent pharmacies, health food. For your nearest stockist call 01372 379828.

Manufacturer Wassen is giving away a one-month supply to 20 ELIXIR readers. If you would like to receive a free pack of Menovone please email us at readeroffer@elixirnews.com with Menovone Offer in the email header. Please note that this offer closes on 21 January 2009, no money equivlant is being offerd and the Editor’s decision is final.

Menovone has also got together with respected media doctor Dr Dawn Harper to create ‘I’m Not Mad, I’m Menopausal’ – an easy-to-follow leaflet full of natural and effective ways to help reduce and manage menopausal symptoms. For FREE copies of ‘I’m Not Mad, I’m Menopausal please contact Wassen on: + 44 (0) 1372 379828, download from www.wassen.com or email: menopauseadvice@wassen.co.uk

MENOPAUSE

Exercise may help menopause symptoms

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New York: A regular brisk walk may help women going through menopause improve their mental well-being, a new study suggests.

Researchers found that middle-aged women who exercised regularly had lower levels of stress, anxiety and depression around the time of menopause than those who did not exercise regularly.

The findings, published in the journal Medicine and Science in Sports and Medicine, add to evidence that physical activity can benefit mental, as well as physical, health.

“With the aging population, physical activity represents one way for women to stay mentally healthy,” Dr. Deborah B. Nelson, the lead researcher on the study, said in a statement. “Physical activity can help throughout the menopausal transition and afterwards,” added Nelson, a public health researcher at Temple University in Philadelphia.

The findings are based on data from 380 Philadelphia women who were 42 years old, on average, and premenopausal at the beginning of the study. Eight years later, 20 percent were menopausal and another 18 percent were in the late transitional phase.

The researchers found that women who got moderate to high levels of exercise reported lower stress levels than inactive women did. Among postmenopausal women, those who exercised regularly had lower stress levels and were less likely to have anxiety and depression symptoms.

Exercise did not, however, seem to protect women from the physical symptoms of menopause, including hot flashes.

“Physical symptoms like hot flashes will go away when you reach menopause,” Nelson said, “but mental health is something women still need to think about postmenopause.”

Importantly, Nelson pointed out, women need not work out intensely to get a mental and emotional lift.

“In the urban setting, these women walked outside on city blocks or in shopping malls,” she said. “Groups could organize to take walks after dinner. It didn’t require going to the gym.”

Doctors condemn FDA decision to ban estriol following pressure from drug lobby

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A coalition of gynecologists, internists, allergists, ER physicians and general practitioners responsible for treating thousands of women today criticized the US’s Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for taking action that threatens to deny hundreds of thousands of women access to customized medications they take for symptoms of menopause.

The FDA last week announced that the hormone estriol can no longer be used in estrogen medications customized for women by compounding pharmacies. Estriol is a component of 90 percent or more of these customized preparations.

The FDA action is in response to a “citizen petition” filed by the giant drug maker Wyeth Pharmaceuticals. Wyeth is the maker of Premarin and Prempro, two hormone treatments for women that have been linked to cancer, heart disease and stroke by a 2002 Women’s Health Initiative, National Institute of Health (NIH) study. Millions of women have discontinued taking Wyeth’s hormone products as a result of the WHI study, which was halted because of the serious health risks that were discovered in 2002.

“The FDA has succumbed to pressure from Wyeth in its attempt to clear the market of safer alternatives to its unsafe products,” said Erika Schwartz, M.D., a co-founder of BHI, the Bioidentical Hormone Initiative (www.bioidenticalhormoneinitiative.org), a not-for-profit medical organization comprised of conventionally trained, practicing physicians who have successfully treated patients with bioidentical hormones for years. “The FDA should protect the interest of women, not the profits of Wyeth.”

Estriol has been used by women for decades as a component of customized estrogen hormone drugs, most commonly known as Biest and Triest. It occurs naturally in the human body and, according to the FDA, has never been associated with adverse events or other health and safety issues. Estriol is also in a phase II/III clinical trial pending FDA approval for treating women with Multiple Sclerosis (MS). It is approved for use and widely used in Europe and is a component of medications that have been commercially available in the U.S.

“There is no evidence that anyone has been harmed by estriol,” said Kent Holtorf, M.D., also a co-founder of BHI. “The FDA has even admitted that safety concerns are not the reason behind their decision to try to remove estriol from the market. Instead, they are responding to Wyeth’s blatant attempt to remove medicines that provide an alternative to their flawed horse hormones that are foreign to a woman’s body.”

“FDA’s actions are clearly misguided,” said David Brownstein, M.D., another founder of BHI. “They have no legitimate reason or even the legal authority to limit a licensed physician’s use of a safe and effective bioidentical hormone. There are numerous positive studies and countless successful outcomes with estrogen treatments containing estriol.”

The FDA claims that it is taking estriol off the market because it is not a component of any FDA approved drug, despite the fact that the hormone has been used for decades without problems. Estriol has a long standing United States Pharmacopoeia monograph, an accepted standard for drug ingredients absent significant health risks. Other common drugs that are not components of FDA approved drugs include aspirin.

“There are no legitimate medical, scientific or legal reasons for the FDA to take this action,” said Dr. Schwartz. “It would require countless women to return to their doctors and alter the medications they have used both safely and effectively for years. If the FDA has its way, since estriol is available in Europe, a woman will need a passport, not a prescription to get her medication.”

The citizen petition filed by Wyeth with the FDA requested that estriol be removed from the market, along with other requests to remove customized medications that compete with their flawed products. The petition created a tremendous backlash from women, doctors and pharmacists. Over 77,000 comments, a near record, were filed with the FDA in response to the petition, all but a handful opposing Wyeth’s request.

“The few comments in support of the Wyeth petition were filed mostly by organizations with substantial financial ties to Wyeth,” said Dr. Schwartz. “The FDA has chosen to protect Wyeth’s wealth rather than women’s health. This is a shameful act for this agency to take.”

For more information on the Bioidentical Hormone Initiative, visit www.bioidenticalhormoneinitiative.org

How to look to look younger – the experts reveal all at our exclusive event in London’s Harley Street

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London: ELIXIR is pleased to invite you to the first of of several exclusive events in the UK and elsewhere in which you will hear from leading experts on the latest procedures and techniques in aesthetic rejuvenation and healthy ageing.

When: 25 November 2007
Where: HB Health 48 Harley Street, London W1.
Time: 10.30am to 4pm

This event allows you unique access to top professionals in cosmetic surgery, dentistry and aesthetics – so that you can ask them your questions and concerns. Many will also be offering significant discounts on treatments for those who sign up on the day.

This first event is rather special as the proceeds of the entry ticket will go to the cancer charity of the Honorable Order of Ancient Freemasons, the New Blues (UK registered charity no 1007693). The £20 ticket also includes a buffet lunch, refreshments and a goody bag.

The programme includes the following:

John Moran RD, MBBS LDSRCS, DPsSc, DFFP, Msc Nutri.Med The Holistic Medical Clinic who will discuss hormones, ageing and the menopause

Laresse – the latest non-surgical facial filler from the US. Read more about Laresse at www.laresse.com

Dr Nijon Eccles The Chiron Clinic of the Chiron Clinic at 48 Harley Street, London W1 on breast health and nutrition

Dr Daniel Sister of Beauty Works West on Carboxy Therapy – how carbon dixoide can rid you of wrinkles, flab, scars, stretch marks and more…
Dr Nigel Agger of The Harley Dental Implant Centre on cosmetic dentistry including the latest whitening techniques, veneers and implants for facial rejuvenation.

Shenaz Shariff of the Face and Body Clinic on alternative ways of removing unwanted hair and facial rejuvenation with Revitale

Restoring youthful facial volume with the deep tissue filler Sculptra by Angelica Kavouni of Cosmtic Solutions in London’s Harley Street. Visit www.cosmetic-solutions.co.uk

and

Are food allergies making you fat? More information at ALCAT food intolerence testing at www.thevitalityshopuk.com

Please note: The programme may be subject to change.

To obtain tickets email us at Club Elixir

Pine bark may help menopause symptoms

Stockholm: A study to be published in a forthcoming edition of the Scandinavian Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology reveals that Pycnogenol® (pic-noj-en-all), pine bark extract from the French maritime pine tree, reduces “climacteric symptoms” such as hot flashes, depression, panic attacks, cholesterol and other common symptoms associated with women entering the perimenopause.

The results suggest Pycnogenol® may serve as an alternative treatment to estrogen replacement therapy, which is the most common remedy of pre-menopause (“perimenopausal”) symptoms.

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, perimenopause is the natural part of aging that signals the ending of a woman’s reproductive years. It marks the time when a woman’s body begins its move into menopause and can last anywhere from two to eight years.

“Pycnogenol® was chosen for this study due to previous research revealing health benefits associated with cognitive function, skin elasticity, nitric oxide stimulation, free radical scavenging and the broadening of antioxidant activity,” said Dr. Peter Rohdewald, Institute of Pharmaceutical Chemistry at Germany’s University of Munster and a lead researcher of this study. “Achieving these health benefits is key to treating perimenopausal symptoms naturally.”

The randomized, double-blind, placebo controlled study was conducted at Ham-Ming Hospital in Taiwan with 155 perimenopausal women. Each day, patients either received 200 mg Pycnogenol® or placebo, and recorded their symptoms using the Women’s Health Questionnaire (WHQ). The WHQ consisted of the following: somatic symptoms, depressed mood, vasomotoric symptoms, memory/concentration, attractiveness, anxiety, sexual behavior, sleep problems and menstrual symptoms.

Additionally, patients visited the clinic at one, three and six months following start of treatment. At each visit, BMI, blood pressure, lipid profile and total antioxidant status were recorded. After six months, LDL (bad) cholesterol dropped by 10 percent with Pycnogenol® treatment compared to placebo. Patients who supplemented with Pycnogenol® also had increased antioxidant levels compared to the placebo group.

During treatment, rapid improvement of symptoms was reported from the Pycnogenol® group after one month. All symptoms of the WHQ improved significantly compared to the start of treatment, and patients did not report unwanted side effects. In the placebo group, no significant changes of symptoms were recorded.

“There is a shift away from the use of hormone replacement therapy due to side effects and in its absence women are searching for safe and natural options to help manage their symptoms. This study investigating Pycnogenol® as a potential natural alternative is very encouraging in view of the safety of Pycnogenol® as it does not bear any hormone-like activities at all,” said Dr. Rohdewald.

Numerous other published studies reveal Pycnogenol’s® effectiveness for women’s health, such as relieving menstrual pain and endometriosis, and it is patent-protected for this application. Additional studies reveal Pycnogenol® is a natural anti-inflammatory, which provides the basis for the rationale to use Pycnogenol® to naturally moderate inflammatory pain sensation involved in menstruation.

Pycnogenol® is available from pharmacies and health food stores nationwide priced from £9.99 for 30 capsules. For further information please visit www.pycnogenol.com

Notes to editors:
About Pycnogenol®:
Pycnogenol® is a natural plant extract originating from the bark of the Maritime pine that grows along the coast of southwest France and is found to contain a unique combination of procyanidins, bioflavonoids and organic acids, which offer extensive natural health benefits. The extract has been widely studied for the past 35 years and has more than 220 published studies and review articles ensuring safety and efficacy as an ingredient. Today, Pycnogenol® is available in more than 600 dietary supplements, multi-vitamins and health products worldwide. For more information or a copy of this study, visit www.pychnogenol.com

Premarin creates new low dose HRT pill

London: A new low-dose hormone replacement therapy for women who go through an early menopause after a hysterectomy may soon be available.

The oestrogen- only pill has been launched for women under 50 who face a premature menopause because of womb surgery. It contains half the hose of the oestrogen – the hormone responsible for most of the potential negative side-effects of earlier HRT including heart disease and cancer.

The new low-dose pill Premarin contains 0.3mg of oestrogen, less than half the standard HRT preparation of 0.625mg. The hormone combats symptoms such as hot flushes and night sweats. It also fights bone thinning which affects women after the menopause and can lead to osteoporosis and broken bones.

HRT is thought to offer a degree of protection to women from many of the diseases of ageing including heart disease, osteoporosis, hairloss and even Alzheimer’s Disease.

Phyto Soya shown to safely reduce hot flushes

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London: A new clinical study of post-menopausal women who were put on a course of soya plant supplements for nearly one year has shown that it reduces hot flushes by 61%.

In another study, sponsored by manufacturer Arkopharma, the supplement called Phyto Soya was also shown to be safe and caused no growth of the endometrium – the womb lining. A total of 310 biopsies were taken at the end of a year long study of post-menopausal women and no cases of abnormal growth were detected.

The capsules also helped vaginal dryness which can also be another side effect of the menopause.

Phyto Soya which is sold in the UK in branches of Boots is a range of natural soya isoflavones, formulated for women who do not want to take Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT), or have had to stop using HRT because of side effects or would like to complement the effects of their prescribed medication.

Over 70% of women are affected by menopausal systems some of which begin during the perimenopause when they are still experiencing menstruation. These symptoms can go on into the 60s and 70s. The hot flush is a classic symptom that affects 80% of women – for one in five it is severe.

Dr Catherine Hood a general practitioner who specialises in women’s health says that the supplement is an excellent alternative for women who do not want to take HRT but that women with a history of breast cancer should seek medical advice on taking the two a day capsules.

She said: “Alongside the clinically proven efficacyof Phyto Soya in reducing the frequency of hot flushes, this study indicates the safety of this supplement for post-menopausal women. The conclusion is that this specific soy extract may be recommended for women who prefer not to take HRT.”

For further information: Read the Menopause Fact File. Also the Phyto Medicines Fact Sheet and also information on the Phyto Soya range of products by Arkopharma

Pill to delay menopause may be on way, says top UK scientist

London: A leading fertility expert has revealed that new drugs are being developed that would delay the menopause.

The UK’s Professor Robert Winston if Imperial College London who was speaking at the Cheltenham Science Festival said that a protein had been discovered which if taken as an injection or pill could extend the life of eggs in the ovaries.

This development would give hope to the many women who find themselves childless in later life and comes at a time when doctors have seen a surge in women over the age of 40 seeking in vitro fertilisation treatments.

Professor Winston, professor of fertility studies at Imperial said scientifists believed they have identified a protein which could prolong egg life. This came at a time when women were healthier than ever before.

At the age of 16, said Professor Winston, a woman had 400,000 eggs – but by the age of 46 there will be virtually none left. He said women lost around two eggs an hour.

Can humble carrot turn back the clock for ageing men?

London: Ageing men should start munching carrots if they want to attract the opposite sex and turn back the clock.

According to new research by scientists at the universities of Glasgow and Exeter animals use the pigments in carrots to make themselves more colourful to attract mates.

Although many ageing men try to brighten themselves up by buying loud shirts, brightly coloured sports cars and motorbikes, and generally trying to make themselves more ‘interesting’.

Invariably, this fails miserably every time. So perhaps it’s worth taking a trip to your local green grocers to buy half a hundredweight of gnarled root vegetables?

Soya supplement proven to relieve menopause symtoms without dangerous side effects, reveal two new studies

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London: Two new studies, each involving 400 menopausal women, who were given a natural soya supplement has shown that it did not cause the potential dangerous side effects sometimes associated with oestrogen such as a thickening of the womb lining or breast cancers.

The studies were carried out by the French pharmaceutical company Arkopharma in relation to its supplement Phyto Soya, which helps relieve menopausal symptoms such as hot flushes by boosting levels of the hormone oestrogen naturally.

Nearly 400 women took part in each of the studies. The first looked at the effects of Phyto Soya on the endometrium – the lining of the womb – in women aged 45 to 65 years old. In this case the 310 biopsies that were available for evaluation at the end of the trial showed no cases of hyperplasia – an abnormal increase in the number of cells or cancer.

Separately, in another international study, which hasn’t yet been published, the women who were taking Phyto Soya were checked for changes in their breasts with mammography and breast ultrasounds. It found no changes at all in any of the subjects, and therefore no risks of breast cancer associated with the supplement. This study also confirmed that it caused no cases of endometriosis.

The studies’ authors are keen to point out that their results only apply to the brand of soya known as Phyto Soya and do not apply to any other soya isoflavone extract.

The good news for women is that a third study showed that trialists taking Phyto Soya experienced significantly fewer hot flushes a day, with two-thirds of them saying their number of hot flushes had been halved and 73% rating it as good or excellent.

The study concludes that menopausal women worried about the long-term effects of taking HRT now have a new, safe alternative in the form of soya extract.

The low incidence of menopausal symptoms in countries like Japan, where people eat a lot of soya, has long caused some experts to claim that soya extracts could do the same job as HRT. However, there was no proof that it was any less risky to take – until now, that is. But these new clinical studies have shown that Phyto Soya not only significantly reduces hot flushes but also is definitely safe when taken over long periods of time.

Soya is one of a number of plants that includes extracts called phytoestrogens, which are chemicals that act like oestrogens in animal cells. Isoflavones, which are found chiefly in soybeans, are specific phytoestrogens that have a chemical structure that is very similar to human oestrogen. This means that they can affect the way that women’s bodies produce oestrogen, if the right types and amounts are used.

HRT blamed for 1,000 ovarian cancer deaths

London: Women taking hormone replacement therapy are 20% more likely to suffer from ovarian cancer, claims a new report. More more than 1,000 women died in the last 15 years after contracting ovarian cancer following hormone replacement therapy it says.

The study published in the latest issue of The Lancet medical journal etimates that 70 deaths a yar are connected to taking the therapy which is dogged with controversy and confusion.

US researchers recently produced evidence to suggest that women int heir 50s on HRT are protected from heart attachs and premature death. This contradicted earlier claims that it put women at risk of heart disease.

This latest study, sponsored by Million Women Study, was started in 1996 suggests that more than 1,300 extra cases of ovarian cancer occured between 1991 and 2005. Of these women, 1,000 died of the disease. It reveals a 20 per cent increase in risk of the disease in women who have taken HRT for at least five years, but says it does not persist if women give up. The study, largely funded by Cancer Research UK, looked at responses from 948,576 postmenopausal women over seven years. It has previously linked HRT with breast cancer.

Overall the statistics mean that over a five-year period there is likely to be one extra case of ovarian cancer among every 2,500 women receiving hormone replacement therapy. For every 3,300 women on HRT, there is estimated to be one additional death from ovarian cancer.

HRT prescribed by the UK’s National Health Service is artificially made hormone replacement usually made from mare’s urine. It is used to combat symptoms of the menopause, including hot flushes, vaginal dryness and night sweats, with a range of drugs including tablets, implants and patches.

Safety concerns led to drug regulatory authorities in the UK and other countries issuing restrictions, including the advice to use it for the shortest time possible, which have continued to deter women from getting treatment. It has been blamed for both womb and breast cancer.GP data shows the number of British women on HRT halved from two to one million between 2002 and 2005.

The Phyto Soya range by Arkopharma

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Phyto Soya is the only natural range of soya isoflavones, which is clinically proven to work. The range is specially formulated to help women cope with the menopause years. The core elements of the range are capsules, both for pre-menopausal and menopausal women.

Phyto Soya Capsules
o Phyto Soya is clinically proven to reduce hot flushes by 61%
o 90% of women tolerated it with no side effects
o 20% of the study’s respondents reported that they had less vaginal dryness – vaginal dryness is a common side-effect of the menopause
o 73% of women rated Phyto Soya as good or excellent.

Phyto Soya is perfect for women who do not want to take HRT (Hormone Replacement Therapy), have had to stop using HRT because of side-effects or would like to complement the effects of their prescribed medication.

In addition, to the range of capsules, Phyto Soya now offers a range of other products for women at this key life-stage.

• Phyto Soya Vaginal Gel
Contains 10% soya isoflavones to enable hydration and protection of this sensitive area of the body.
– 36% of women say it helped with intimate hydration
– 54% say it boosted natural lubrication
– 38% said the skin became more elastic

• Phyto Soya Feminine Wash (500ml)
Contains soya isoflavones, calendula and coconut oil. This unique combination helps to combat the effects of oestrogen deficiency, soothes, softens and creates a protective film.

• Phyto Soya Body Firming Lotion (200ml)
Contains soya isoflavones, tea phytosterols, shea butter, glycerine, mannitol and vitamin E. Helps to firm and tone areas of the body that are prone to dryness.

• Phyto Soya Age-Minimising Cream
Clinically proven to improve skin smoothness right from the first month of use. A trial shows a 20% decrease in the depth of wrinkles and a 44% in collagen production.

Phyto Medicines Fact Sheet

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Medicinal plants and their preparations belong to the oldest known health-care products that have been used by human beings all over the world. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that up to 80% of the population of most developing countries use plant-based medicines. Between 25 and 50% of all modern drugs are derived from plants.

According to IMS research in 1995, the European Market for herbal medicinal products was estimated to be worth US $ 5,600 million. The leading countries are Germany (44 %) and France (28 %), followed by Italy, United Kingdom, Spain, Netherlands, Belgium and others.

According to the Allensbach study natural medicines helped people to alleviate various disorders such as cold, flu, digestive troubles, headache, insomnia, stomach trouble, nervousness, circulatory disorders, bronchitis, skin disease and exhaustion.

People are turning to natural and alternative treatments more and more as they become more health-intelligent and aware about what they put into their bodies. The medical profession in the UK is also becoming more accepting of these kinds of treatment as clinical evidence and patient experience is recognised. Alternative therapies are now available on the NHS in many parts of the country.