OSU study into hormone replacement therapy

Monday, July 19th 2004, 10:16 am
By: News On 6

Millions of women are looking for natural alternatives to hormone replacement therapy to give them relief from symptoms caused by menopause.

OSU is one of two universities conducting a study on menopausal women taking herbal supplements to find out if they're safer and more effective. News on 6 reporter Patrina Adger has the story. “I used to have hot flashes where it first started at my head and went all the way to my toes, bright red!" 48 year old Marilyn Williams is going through menopause.

She was on hormone replacement therapy for nine years until she decided to try a natural alternative. "When I first started out I'd have 12 to 15 hot flashes in a day and now I'm down to five maybe four." Williams and 60 year old Leanor Belvin are two of 25 women involved in OSU's study on herbal supplements as an alternative to hormone replacement therapy.

Belvin says she quit taking Prempro when she found out the health risks involved. "When I first read about the HRT causing strokes it concerned me because there's a history of stroke in my family."

Recent studies have shown that the risks of hormone replacement therapy far outweigh the rewards, and can raise the chances of developing heart disease, stroke, and breast cancer. Doctor Brenda Smith with OSU’s Department of Nutritional Sciences says the women are taking an over-the-counter supplement currently on the market which she says has already proven to help reduce menopausal symptoms such as hot flashes, night sweats and mood swings.”

Once they enter the study they take the supplement for 12 weeks. During the course of that 12 week period, they make several visits back to checkup up on if they taking the supplement and how they are doing."

Seven weeks into the study Marilyn says she prefers herbal over hormone. As for Leanor she plans to stay on the natural supplements for as long as she can. "I think its helping. I do!"

OSU is still looking for women between the ages of 35 and 75 years old who haven't been on hormone replacement therapy in the last three months.

If you'd like to participate in the study, call the OSU research study line at 405-880-6902 for more information.