Women looking for relief from hot flashes and other menopausal symptoms often turn to supplements containing estrogen-like isoflavones (from soy or red clover), the herbal remedy black cohosh, or creams containing progesterone. A new report from ConsumerLab.com provides quality ratings for over 20 such products and identifies those providing amounts of compounds shown to be effective in clinical studies.
The report also identifies products that failed to meet their label claims or with other problems. For example, ConsumerLab identified a menopause supplement containing only 32% of its listed isoflavones and a black cohosh supplement contaminated with a small amount of lead.
“Alternative therapies can help some women cope with menopause,” says Tod Cooperman, M.D., President of ConsumerLab. “However, not every product can be expected to work. And it is difficult, if not impossible, to really know what’s in a product and make meaningful comparisons without laboratory testing.”
With soy products, for example, as much as half of the “isoflavones” listed on the label are actually just sugar molecules that are naturally linked to the phytoestrogens.
Experts at ConsumerLab, such as pharmacognosist, William Obermeyer, Ph.D., calculated the amounts of “active” isoflavones in each product, making it possible for consumers to compare products to one another and to clinical standards.
The Menopause Supplements and Creams Review is available to subscribers online at ConsumerLab.
Brands included are Balance Progesterone Naturally, Bluebonnet, CVS Pharmacy Menopause Support, Emerita Pro-Gest, Estroven, GNC Women’s Menopause Formula, Healthy Woman Soy Menopause Supplement, Life-flo Progest-Care, Metagenics SpectraSoy, Nature Made Soy Balance, Nature’s Answer Soy and Red Clover Isoflavones, Nature’s Bounty Non-GMO Soy Isoflavones, Nature’s Way Black Cohosh, New Chapter Estrotone, Nutrilite Black Cohosh and Soy, One a Day Menopause Formula, Oöna for Menopause, Promensil Menopause, Puritan’s Pride Non-GMO Soy Isoflavones, Spring Valley (Walmart) Natural Black Cohosh, Spring Valley (Walmart) Soy Isoflavones, Vitamin Shoppe Especially for Women, and Vitamin World Non-GMO Soy Isoflavones.
Thirteen of these products were selected for testing by ConsumerLab. Eight others are included for having passed the same evaluation in ConsumerLab.com’s Voluntary Certification Program.
The report also includes two products similar to those tested but sold under different brand names.
ConsumerLab is a leading provider of consumer information and independent evaluations of products that affect health and nutrition. The company is privately held and has no ownership from, or interest in, companies that manufacture, distribute, or sell consumer products. Membership to ConsumerLab is available here.