A sign of relief for women undergoing menopause, as a study has found that fermented-red clover extract can effectively reduce the number, severity of hot flushes, hormonal swings and bone loss.
The study also found that the extract prevents the normally accelerated menopausal bone loss affecting one in three women over the age of 50.
A researcher Max Norman Tandrup Lambert said that the fermentation process of the red clover extract that makes the difference, as the lactic acid fermentation increases the bioavailability of the bioactive estrogen-like compounds.
The team investigated fermented the red clover extract as a healthier alternative to traditional estrogen therapy proscribed by doctors.
In the ensuing collaboration it was Per Bendix Jeppesen and Max Norman Tandrup Lambert that advised the farmer in fine-tuning his Red Clover extract to improve the gastro-intestinal uptake of the active isoflavone compounds.
They analysed 60 women with menopause symptoms based on criteria of at least five severe hot flushes per day and blood tests (including FSH, that indicates the "stage" of menopause).
The women were separated into two groups of 30 each, in which 30 drank 150ml Red Clover extract per day for 12 weeks, whilst the other 30 drank a masked placebo product.
After 12 weeks they were tested again.
In this study, the hot flush symptoms of women were measured using a so called 'skin conductor', a device that is applied to the underside of the wrist that can determine the number hot flush events and their severity objectively based on sweat secretion.
Similarly, the effect of the red clover extract on bone health has been tested via so-called DXA scans of the spine and hips.
These findings are very promising as the benefits take place without any of the side effects of traditionally proscribed hormone therapies that increase the risk of cancers and cardiovascular diseases.
The research appears in the journal PLOS ONE.