Background: Interest in herbal medicines and non-hormonal therapies for the treatment of menopausal symptoms has increased since the publication of adverse effects of estrogen replacement therapy. Vasomotor symptoms are the most characteristic and notable symptoms of menopause.
Objective: To investigate the changes in the frequency and severity of hot flush and associated vasomotor symptoms experienced by peri-menopausal and menopausal women supplemented with the herbal formulation (Nu-femme™) comprising Labisia pumila (SLP+®) and Eurycoma longifolia (Physta®) or placebo.
Design: Randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled, 24-week study enrolled 119 healthy women aged 41-55 years experiencing peri-menopausal or menopausal symptoms and supplemented with Nu-femme™ or placebo. The primary endpoint was comparative changes between treatment groups in the change in the frequency and severity of hot flushes. The secondary objectives were to assess the changes in the frequency and severity of joint pain, Menopause Rating Scale (MRS) and Menopause-Specific Quality of Life (MENQOL) questionnaire domain scores. Concentrations of serum hormone, lipid profile, bone markers, sleep quality and vitality were also studied as secondary objectives.
Results: At week 12, significant (P < 0.01) improvements in hot flush symptoms were observed in Nu-femme™ and placebo groups. Even though there was no significant difference between groups, higher percentage of improvement, 65%, was seen in Nu-femme™ compared to 60% in placebo. Significant improvements (P < 0.001) in MRS and MENQOL scores at weeks 12 and 24 were observed in both groups, respectively. Luteinising hormone and follicle-stimulating hormone levels were significantly reduced (P < 0.05) at weeks 12 and 24, respectively, compared to baseline in the Nu-femme™ group, with no significant changes observed in the placebo group. There were significant (P < 0.05) reductions in serum low-density lipid and triglycerides levels at week 12 in Nu-femme™ group, but no changes seen in placebo group. At the end of week 24, changes in haematology and clinical chemistry parameters remained within normal clinical ranges in both groups.
Conclusion: Herbal formulation consists of L. pumila and E. longifolia (Nu-femme™) may support reduction in hot flushes and improvements in hormone and lipid profile in healthy peri-menopausal and menopausal women.
Keywords: Eurycoma longiolia; Labisia pumila; hormonal imbalance; hot flush; menopause.
© 2020 Sasikala M. Chinnappan et al.