Popular Menopause Product May Cut Breast Cancer Risk

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25th September 2009, 08:01am - Views: 1026

A SECOND study has linked a popular plant-based menopause symptom-relief

product with a reduced risk of breast cancer.

The result of the study was published in the current edition of the medical journal

Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers.

A team of researchers led by Dr Nadia Obi, of the German Cancer Research Centre,

in the city of Heidelberg, examined breast cancer occurrence among a total of

10,121 women from different parts of Germany.

What they found was that women who used a popular black cohosh extract

menopause symptom relief medication called Remifemin had a reduced risk of

breast cancer in the order of 20 per cent.

Remifemin has been on the market since 1956 and has been available in Australia

over the counter since 1989.

The new study echoed work published in the International Journal of Cancer in

January, 2007, in which a team led by Professor Timothy Rebbeck, of the University

of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, reported that a broad-based population study of

women who used a range of natural menopause symptom relief products showed

that Remifemin users appeared to have a 53 per cent lower rate of breast cancer

than the control group who did not use anything at all.

At the time, Professor Rebbeck urged others to pursue research on the apparent link

to help to determine the nature and scope of the relationship between the use of

black cohosh extract and a reduced risk of breast cancer.

In the newly-published study, Dr Obi reported that a range of black cohosh products

were examined, but only the users of Remifemin were identified to have a reduced

risk of breast cancer.

Dr Obi also urged medical colleagues to do more work on the relationship between

black cohosh extract and an apparently reduced risk of breast cancer.

The apparent link to a lower risk of cancer may be explained by a study that was

published in the European medical journal Phytomedicine in 2008, which reported

that the chemical composition of the black cohosh extract in Remifemin triggered a

stress response in cancer cells that led to them dying.

The team was led by Dr Linda Saxe Einbond, of Columbia University.

Dr Einbond attributed the stress response to a chemical chain called triterpene

glycoside actein that was found within the black cohosh extract.

Media contact:

Carl D. Thompson

SciNat Australia 

0438 750440

Referenced studies available upon request to: carl.thompson@plink.com.au

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