Women cautioned against using herbal supplements | Cornell Chronicle

Women who take soy or herbal supplements, such as black baneberry, red clover and ginseng, should do then with care, says a Cornell University adept affiliated with the Program on Breast Cancer and Environmental Risk Factors ( BCERF ) at Cornell, the land-grant institution of New York express .
“ Although there is no direct evidence that any herbal medicines can increase or decrease summit cancer risk, some herbs can have estrogen-like actions and frankincense raise business about their long-run use, ” said Barbour Warren, a research companion with BCERF and the co-author of the fact sail “ Herbal Medicines and Breast Cancer Risk, ” which is available complimentary on BCERF ‘s Web site at hypertext transfer protocol : //envirocancer.cornell.edu/ .
“ Some of these substances may prove to have beneficial effects — and, in fact, may become separate of conventional medicine in the future — but for now, the miss of any regulative oversight has set up a market for herb tea supplements, which is such a batch that women should have lots of reservations in taking these supplements, ” Warren said .
He points to not merely a miss of well-designed clinical trials but besides to a miss of any regulations regarding effectiveness or quality control in formulating these supplements and says that women with a high risk of breast cancer should be particularly cautious.

According to Warren, 23 percentage of middle-aged women in the United States use herbal medicines, much to treat premenstrual or menopausal symptoms and premenstrual syndrome, to aid in breastfeeding or to decrease summit cancer risk .
Warren reviewed the literature on herbal supplements and breast cancer risk for his report, which was reviewed by two external experts in the sphere adenine well as the five scientists on the BCERF staff .
“ good because herb tea medicines are ‘natural ‘ products does not mean that they are safer than conventional medicines, ” he said. “ The ingredients in herbal medicines can besides have adverse effects and lead to health problems. yet, there is no focus safety testing of herbal medicines or even reporting organization for adverse effects, so when people do have adverse effects, there ‘s no mechanism to pool that data. ”
Warren said that researchers used to think that estrogen-like compounds from plants, called phytoestrogens, could possibly block the effect of estrogen in the body and possibly reduce front cancer risk. however, recent clinical studies have shown that women on diets eminent in soy phytoestrogens experience greater cell multiplication in the breast. There is concern over this effect since it could be a preliminary gradation in cancer geological formation by leading to the outgrowth of latent cancer cells.

In looking at studies on the function of supplements for menopause, Warren reports that the seven clinical trials using black baneberry were largely flawed but might suggest some potency. however, little attest exists for beneficial effects of loss clover, and no benefit was reported for ginseng, evening primrose anoint or dong quai. In the 16 studies that looked at soy supplements, twice as many studies reported no effect as those that reported a beneficial effect, and although kava kava has been reported to have some profit, reports of serious side effects have led to it being banned for sale in the United States and elsewhere .
For premenstrual syndrome, several studies found some benefit in about half the women studied for evening primrose vegetable oil, but two of the best design studies found no effect ; ginkgo biloba extract was found to have no consequence, while a beneficial response from chaste tree berry extracts was found in about half the women studied. For menstrual annoyance, two clinical trials have examined the japanese herbal preparations toki-shakuyakusan and toki-shakuyakusan with shakuyaku-kanzoto ; neither found a beneficial effect .
“ Some herbal medicines show predict for the treatment of problems with menstruation and menopause and other conditions that affect women, ” said Warren. “ It is inauspicious that their choice and safety are not good controlled. Such an environment has set up a position where there are potentially many accidents waiting to happen. ”

however, he said, if women choose to use herb tea medicines, they should do thus conservatively because the timbre of these medicines varies, and the guard, specially with long-run use, is uncertain. He said that women should choose only high-quality products from reputable sources and to be sure to inform their health-care providers about their herbal medicine use, because many herbal supplements can interact with other treatments .
The mission of the Cornell Program on Breast Cancer and Environmental Risk Factors is to lower the risk and incidence of cancer by promoting methods of sound decision-making at personal and public levels. Its staff of scientists and educators translate basic research into forms that can be used by the public, aesculapian professionals, educators, activists, other scientists, the regulative residential district and policy makers. The plan offers more than 50 fact sheets on topics related to breast cancer risk, a free newsletter and numerous other resources. For more information, see BCERF ‘s Web web site, call ( 607 ) 254-2893 or electronic mail breastcancer @ cornell.edu .

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