Objective: The aim of this study was to assess the efficacy and safety of Diascorea alata for treatment of menopausal symptoms.
Materials and methods: Two-center, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical investigation on 50 menopausal women randomly assigned to two groups, treated for 12 months with either placebo or two sachets daily of Diascorea extracts containing 12 mg/sachet. Primary outcome measures were changes in the Greene Climacteric Scale caused by Diascorea compared with placebo; secondary outcomes were changes in plasma hormone profiles. One-way ANCOVA test was performed to investigate the significance.
Results: At 6 months and at the end of treatment, those women who received Diascorea showed general improvement in almost all the clinical symptoms investigated. A significant reduction was noted in the total Greene scores in the Diascorea group assessed at the end of 12 months' treatment (p < 0.01). This phenomenon was more significant for the psychological parameters of anxiety than for other parameters. Apparent improvements were noted in the parameters 'feeling tense or nervous' (p = 0.007), 'insomnia' (p = 0.004), 'excitable' (p = 0.047) and 'musculoskeletal pain' (p = 0.019) among those receiving Diascorea. Diascorea consumption also resulted in positive effects on blood hormone profiles.
Conclusions: Compared with placebo, Diascorea alata improves symptoms, particularly the psychological parameters in menopausal women. Safety monitoring indicated that standardized extracts of Diascorea alata were safe during daily administration over a period of 12 months.