The C.A.M. Report
Complementary and Alternative Medicine: Fair, Balanced, and to the Point
  • About this web log

    This blog is intended as an objective and dispassionate source of information on the latest CAM research. Since my background is in pharmacy and allopathic medicine, I view all CAM as advancing through the development pipeline to eventually become integrated into mainstream medical practice. Some will succeed while others fail. But all are treated fairly here.

  • About the author

    John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at www.Vicus.com, a complementary and alternative medicine website.

  • Common sense considerations

    The material on this weblog is for informational purposes. It is not medical advice or counsel. Be smart, consult your health professional before using CAM.

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    Red clover to treat depressive symptoms in older women

    Last year, a review of herbals to treat menopausal symptoms concluded that red clover provided no benefit.

    A year later and researchers from the General Teaching Hospital Korneuburg, in Austria report more positive findings using red clover extracts (MF11RCE).

    First, the details.

    • 109 postmenopausal women were randomly assigned to take each treatment for 90 days.
      • 2 daily capsules of MF11RCE (80 mg red clover isoflavones)
      • Placebo
    • Anxiety and depressive symptoms were measured at the start of treatment, and at 90 and 187 days using the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS) and Zung’s Self Rating Depression Scale (SDS).

    And, the results.

    • After receiving the MF11RCE compound, anxiety and depression decreased significantly.
    • This effect was equivalent to a 77% reduction in the total HADS score (76% for anxiety and 78% for depression) and an 81% reduction in the total SDS score.
    • After placebo, there was also significant improvement compared that averaged 22%.
    • The authors don’t tell us specifically in the abstract that these difference are different between treatments, but they are big.

    The bottom line?

    The authors concluded, “Red clover derived isoflavones (MF11RCE) were effective in reducing depressive and anxiety symptoms among postmenopausal women.”

    They believe that isoflavones protect against neuron damage by their antioxidant and estrogen actions.

    3/14/10 21:40 JR

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