What’s in Estroven?
Estroven’s line of multi-symptom menopause relief products have been developed with many ingredients that either reside in nature or are naturally sourced, that have a relatively long safety profile history and demonstrated efficacy supporting their use to relieve peri/menopausal symptoms. Many of the ingredients used have been around for centuries and have a long history of providing menopausal symptom relief. Others have only recently been discovered as scientists begin to better understand the bioavailable nutrients that are most beneficial in reducing peri/menopausal symptoms.
Safe & Natural Ingredients
The two major dietary ingredients used by the Estroven brand are clinically proven soy isoflavones and/or Black Cohosh, since these address the most common menopausal symptoms: hot flashes and night sweats.*
Here is more detailed information on the origins of active ingredients used in Estroven products.
Black cohosh is a rich source of natural compounds that has been shown to help reduce hot flashes.* It has been used for centuries throughout the world to provide support for many areas of female health. There are different varieties of this herb, however the type of black cohosh used in Estroven products is cimicifuga racemosa, a native perennial North America plant with a long tradition as a beneficial herbal remedy for the relief of moderate to severe menopausal symptoms related to the automatic nervous system (e.g., hot flushes, insomnia, nocturnal sweating, dizziness, headaches and palpitations) as well as psychological menopausal symptoms (e.g., irritability, depression, anxiety).*1 It’s important to note the Asian variety of black cohosh may not have the same degree of purity or potency.
A high purity standardized cimicifuga racemosa extract from the root and rhizome providing therapeutic doses of triterpene glycosides (triterpene saponins) is used in some of the Estroven multi-symptom relief products.These standardized natural extracts have been studied extensively as demonstrated by the abundance of scientific literature with over 1500 patients experiencing a good to very good therapeutic response.2
Some of the leading medical journals have supported the use of American grown black cohosh to reduce menopause symptoms, including the Journal of Women's Health, which states, "The evidence to date suggests that black cohosh is safe and effective for reducing menopausal symptoms, primarily hot flashes and possibly mood [changes]." The North American Menopause Society (NAMS) recommends dietary isoflavones, black cohosh, or vitamin E for women who need mild relief from hot flashes and night sweats.
Germany's Kommission E, a governmental regulatory body similar to the United States FDA, has approved the use of black cohosh for menopausal symptoms. This scientific panel, which has done its own investigation and review of the safety and efficacy of North American cimicifuga racemosa, has concluded that it is useful and warranted in treating these symptoms.
Soybeans (and other plants in the legume family like peanuts, chick peas, fava beans, alfalfa and kudzu) are very rich sources of the phytonutrient isoflavones. Isoflavones are vegetable substances, which can act on some of the same receptors as estrogen in the body.
There has long been an association of a reduction in menopausal symptoms with the consumption of these biologically active molecules called isoflavones. Of the three main types of isoflavones (genistein, daidzein, and glycitein) genistein and daidzein have protective functions that have been shown to be the most effective in helping to reduce hot flashes and night sweats.* The two main naturally sourced isoflavones used in Estroven products come from the soy bean and Kudzu, and all contain genistein.
The soybean has been consumed by many women as a natural solution for treating menopausal symptoms such as hot flashes and night sweats. Soybeans naturally have the highest amounts of genistein and daidzein, which are said to be responsible for its activity. One review that analyzed various trials according to the specific isoflavones contained in commercially available supplements found that supplements containing high amounts of genistein significantly reduce hot flash symptoms.3 Because high amounts of genistein are important, the soy isoflavone concentrates used in the Estroven products maintain closely the isoflavone ratios of the whole soy beans. There is no known evidence that the consumption of large amounts of isoflavones is harmful in humans as soy has been a dietary staple in many countries for more than 5,000 years. In studies of purified isoflavones, it has been shown that even large amounts of isoflavones, those exceeding normal dietary intakes, had minimal clinical toxicity in healthy postmenopausal women and the data further indicates that chronic dosing would not lead to an accumulation of isoflavones in the body4
Pueraria lobata, known as Kudzu, is a tuberous plant found in Asia known to be rich in the isoflavonoids puerarin, daidzin, genistein, and daidzein. Kudzu powders have been traditionally used in Chinese medicine for the treatment of menopausal symptoms. Tests in a recent study confirmed that extracts for Kudzu do not cause genetic mutations (i.e., cancer), but may in fact have some genetic protective activities from mutations and that products from these plants may be consumed safely.5
Irritability is a complaint of some women going through peri/menopause and Estroven’s Maximum Strength is designed to address this need in addition to hot flashes and night sweats.* Estroven addresses irritability by incorporating magnolia bark extract, a natural ingredient with a long standing history of use for thousands of years in traditional Chinese medicine, along with other natural herbs to improve overall mental well-being.* Magnolia bark, specifically, is noted as being affective at reducing the stress and anxiety that result in irritability.* Extracts of Magnolia officinalis, magnolia bark, are rich in the phytochemicals honokiol and magnolol, which have the ability to alleviate stress while producing a calming effect.* In recent human clinical studies in menopausal women, researchers demonstrated magnolia bark’s anxiolytic affects to reduce irritability.*6 Estroven Maximum Strength formula with clinically demonstrated magnolia bark extract helps address this menopausal concern. To date, no significant toxicity or adverse effects have been reported.
Occasional sleeplessness is another menopausal symptom that can dramatically impact a woman’s quality of life and both melatonin and a proprietary herbal blend are incorporated in the Estroven Nighttime formula to support sleep.* Melatonin promotes natural sleep and supports the regulation of circadian rhythms. Melatonin has a clock-shifting effect and can help to regulate sleep-wake cycles in humans by advancing or delaying the sleep phase depending on the time of administration.7 In human studies, acute toxicity of melatonin has been demonstrated to be extremely low.8
Mood and memory lapses are two more symptoms that affect menopausal woman and Estroven’s Mood and Memory formula incorporates two herbal blends to address these concerns. The first, similar to the Estroven’s Maximum Strength Formula, which incorporates a Magnolia officinalis, magnolia bark, enriched blend to support overall mental well being.* A second herbal blend consisting mainly of Ginkgo Biloba and L-theanine is incorporated to address memory concerns.*
Standardized Ginkgo extract, contains flavonoid glycosides and terpenoids and is commonly used as a memory and concentration enhancer. Ginkgo biloba has been studied in several clinical trials and was found in varying degrees to enhance cognitive performance, memory, and attention.1,9,10 In general clinical trials involving ginkgo extracts produce few adverse effects which were typically the same as the placebo.1
L-theanine, an amino acid commonly found in tea, is also known to have psychoactive properties reducing mental stress and improving cognition. L-theanine has a significant effect on the release or reduction of neurotransmitters like dopamine and serotonin, resulting in improved memory and learning ability.11, 12 L-theanine is extremely safe as its consumption in tea has a long history.
Energy is always a problem but sometimes menopausal women experience a lack of energy where it affects their daily life. B vitamins are critical when it comes to enhancing energy levels and although they are a natural source in many foods, both animal and vegetable, many individuals can experience deficiencies as a function of poor diet or activity level. B vitamins are generally responsible for converting food into energy the body uses. In particular, thiamine, riboflavin, and vitamin B-6 (pyridoxine) work together for many of the energy producing metabolic reactions13 and are consequently provided in slightly higher amounts in the Estroven Energy product. An herbal blend containing green tea is also included to provide that initial boost of energy associated with its caffeine and L-theanine content.*14
- Blumenthal, Mark. The ABC Clinical Guide to Herbs. Austin: American Botanical Council, 2003.
- Liske, Eckehard. "Theraputic Efficacy and Safety of Cimicifuga Racemosa for Gynocologic Disorders." Advances in Natural Therapy 15.1 (1998): 45-53.
- Williamson-Hughes, Patricia S., Brent D. Flickinger, Mark J. Messina, and Mark W. Empie. "Isoflavone Supplements Containing Predominantly Genistein Reduce Hot Flash Symptoms." Menopause 13.5 (2006): 831-39.
- Bloedon, LeAnne T., A Robert Jeffcoat, Wlodek Lopaczynski, Michael J. Schell, Tracy M. Black, Kelly J. Dix, Brian F. Thomas, Craig Albright, Marjorie G. Busby, James A. Crowell, and Steven H. Zeisel. "Safety and Pharmacokinetics of Purified Soy Isoflavones: Singledose Administration to Postmenopausal Women." American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 76 (2002): 1126-137.
- Cherdshewasart, W., W. Sutjit, K. Pulcharoen, and M. Chulasiri. "The Mutagenic and Antimutagenic Effects of the Traditional Phytoestrogen-rich Herbs, Pueraria Mirifica and Pueraria Lobata." Brazilian Journal of Medical and Biological Research 42 (2009): 816-23.
- Agosta, C., M. Atlante, and C. Benvenuti. "Randomized Controlled Study on Clinical Efficacy of Isoflavones Plus Lactobacillus Sporogenes, Associated or Not With a Natural Anxiolytic Agent in Menopause." Minerva Ginecol 63.1 (2011): 11-17.
- Burgess, H. J., V. L. Revell, T. A. Molina, and C. I. Eastman. "Human Phase Response Curves to Three Days of Daily Melatonin: 0.5 Mg Versus 3.0 Mg." Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism 95.7 (2010): 3325-331.
- Malhotra, Samir, Girish Sawhney, and Promila Pandhi. "The Therapeutic Potential of Melatonin: A Review of the Science." Medscape General Medicine. 6.2 (2004):46. Web. 8 Mar. 2012.
- Cieza et al. “Effects of Ginkgo biloba on Mental Functioning in Healthy Volunteers.” Arch Med Res. 34.5 (2003):373-81.
- Hartley et al. “Effects on Cognition and Mood in Postmenopausal Women of 1-Week Treatment with Ginkgo biloba.” Pharmacology, Biochemistry, and Behavior. 75 (2003):711-20.
- Raj Juneja, Lekh, Djong-Chi Chu, Tsutomu Okubo, Yukiko Nagato, and Hidehiko Yokogoshi. "L-theanine-A Unique Amino Acid of Green Tea and Its Relaxation Effect in Humans." Trends in Food Science & Technology 10 (1999): 199-204.
- Nathan, Pradeep J., Kristy Lu, M. Gray, and C. Oliver. "The Neuropharmacology of L-Theanine(N-Ethyl-L-Glutamine): A Possible Neuroprotective and Cognitive Enhancing Agent." Journal of Herbal Pharmacotherapy 6.2 (2006): 21-30.
- Manore, Melinda M. "Effect of Physical Activity on Thiamine, Riboflavin, and Vitamin B-6 Requirements." American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 72 (2000): 598S-606S.
- Bryan, Janet. "Psychological Effects of the Dietary Components of Tea: Caffeine and L-theanine." Nutrition Reviews 66.2 (2008): 82-90.