Aim: The aim of this paper was to evaluate the activity of magnolia bark extract added to isoflavones and lactobacilli in menopausal women with typical menopausal symptoms and concomitant borderline psychoaffective and/or sleep alterations, of severity not requiring a psychopharmacological therapy.
Methods: Menopausal women were enrolled in a multicenter, controlled, parallel-group study and randomized to E (isoflavones 60 mg + Lactobacillus sporogenes + calcium and vitamin D3 - Estromineral, Rottapharm Madaus) versus ES (magnolia bark extract + E - Estromineral serena) 1 tablet/night for 12 weeks.
Results: In 91 gynecological centers, 634 women were treated (300 with E and 334 with ES), mean age 53.1 years and Body Mass Index (BMI) 25.2 kg/m2; 28% were past hormone replacement therapy HRT users and 3.3% had had a previous breast cancer. Both treatments significantly reduced versus baseline the symptoms tested at 0, 4, 8 and 12 weeks. E and ES showed a similar efficacy on hot flushing, nocturnal sweating with awakenings, palpitations and vaginal dryness. ES was more active on insomnia, irritability, anxiety, depressed mood, asthenia and loss of libido. Woman's well-being and physician's final judgment were positive in >70% in both groups. The rate of adverse events was 1% with E (metrorrhagia, cramps and constipation) and 1.2% with ES (gastralgia, blood loss, constipation and breast tension).
Conclusion: Isoflavones are effective in improving the classical menopause symptoms. The clinical activity of magnolia bark extract on the relevant psycho-affective symptoms, particularly anxiety, irritability and insomnia, was evident. ES in the mild psychical alterations that can occur in climacterium avoids to run the known dependence risks linked to psychopharmacological agents withdrawals.