Magnesium supplement halves hot flashes
If, for whatever reason, you suddenly have less steroid hormones circulating in your body, you get hot flashes. Just ask women in the menopause, cancer patients on anti-hormones or chemical athletes who've just finished a hormone course. Researchers at Virginia Commonwealth University discovered that dirt-cheap magnesium supplements help.
Scientific studies of the effects of medicines on hot flashes have shown that substances such as venlafaxine, an anti-depressant, can reduce hot flashes by about half. [J Clin Oncol. 2001 Dec 1; 19(23): 4280-90.]
There is also plenty of anecdotal evidence that magnesium supplements reduce the frequency of hot flashes. [reviewstream.com] That's why the researchers wondered whether these supplements wouldn't work just as well as tried and tested medicines.
They did a trial with 25 women who were on anti-oestrogens as part of their breast cancer treatment and who were having serious problems with hot flashes.
The researchers gave the women 400 mg magnesium dioxide daily, which they took before going to bed.
The figures below show that the supplement worked every bit as well as medicines. The number of hot flashes per week went down by 40 percent in the course of weeks 2-5 and the severity of the hot flashes halved. The women were also less troubled by fatigue and transpiration. As a result of the supplementation the women experienced their hot flashes as less of a problem. The quality of their lives did not improve, however.
"The greater than 50% reduction in symptoms suggests that oral magnesium is likely more effective than placebo and meets preestablished criteria of sufficient success to test in a randomized, placebo-controlled trial", the researchers write. They also emphasise that you can buy magnesium supplements at low cost in every drugstore, and that the dose they used is one hundred percent safe.
Italian researchers published research findings in 2007, which showed that fish-oil supplements helped against hot flashes.
Support Care Cancer. 2011 Jun;19(6):859-63.
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