Hop extracts and hop substances in treatment of menopausal complaints

Planta Med. 2013 May;79(7):576-9. doi: 10.1055/s-0032-1328330. Epub 2013 Mar 19.


Hop extract is a long used medicinal product and, regarding hormonal activities, in 1999 a number of prenylflavanones have been identified as its major constituents with 8-prenylnaringenin (8-PN) being the main active estrogenic compound. There have been several in vivo studies performed that demonstrate the potential of hop extract and the single compound 8-PN to alleviate climacteric symptoms like osteoporosis, vasomotoric complaints, and sexual motivation. On the other hand, only a few clinical studies have been performed so far, and these mainly focused on menopausal discomforts, especially hot flushes, yielding rather inconclusive results. Despite preferentially activating estrogen receptor α, 8-PN is only slightly uterotrophic, but it also elucidates estrogenic effects on the mammary gland. In conclusion, although hop extract and especially 8-PN are promising candidates as a relief for climacteric symptoms, data on the safety and efficacy is still scarce.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Estrogen Receptor alpha / metabolism
  • Female
  • Flavanones / pharmacology
  • Flavanones / therapeutic use
  • Hot Flashes / drug therapy*
  • Humans
  • Humulus / chemistry*
  • Mammary Glands, Human / drug effects
  • Menopause*
  • Osteoporosis, Postmenopausal / drug therapy*
  • Phytoestrogens / pharmacology
  • Phytoestrogens / therapeutic use*
  • Phytotherapy*
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology
  • Plant Extracts / therapeutic use
  • Sexual Dysfunctions, Psychological / drug therapy*
  • Uterus / drug effects


  • 8-prenylnaringenin
  • Estrogen Receptor alpha
  • Flavanones
  • Phytoestrogens
  • Plant Extracts