In a recent survey conducted by Metagenics, 90% of respondents reported a reduction in hot flashes after adding Estrovera, a plant-based and hormone-free ingredient, to their routine at the onset of menopause symptoms.
The supplement company, which also serves the practitioner channel, surveyed 424 women. Just over 70% said they experienced less sleep disruption and 95% reported mood improvements while taking the supplement for at least 90 days.
The survey findings will be shared this week as a poster presentation at The Menopause Society’s Annual Meeting by lead author Nilima Desai, MPH, RD, director of medical marketing and education for Metagenics. The results build upon a two-year safety study conducted by Metagenics and are bolstered by feedback received from health care practitioners.
“I wouldn't say that I was surprised,” Desai said of the survey results. “It was just really nice to see that what we saw in the clinical trials was actually translated in real life.”
Estrovera contains a proprietary standardized extract called ERr 731, sourced from rhapontic rhubarb which acts as a selective estrogen receptor modulator. It enables symptom relief without elevating estrogen levels, Desai said.
According to a review by the Metagenics Institute, an educational resource for nutrition and personalized medicine sponsored by Metagenics, 228 peri- and post-menopausal women taking one tablet daily of ERr 731 over the course of a six-month study found significant relief in menopause symptoms.
The extract of ERr 731 was commercially registered in Germany in July 1993 and has been used there for over three decades. From 1993 to June 2014, approximately 140 million daily doses of the extract were placed on the German market. During that period, 124 predominantly nonserious adverse events (AEs) were documented. From January 2009 to June 2014, about 13 million tablets of the supplement were sold in North America. Seventy-nine physical complaints from consumers were recorded, including gastrointestinal symptoms and failure to work as suggested.
“Thus, the incidence of AEs can be considered to be very low. However, the limitation of underreporting cannot be overlooked and, thus, data should be interpreted with caution,” the authors wrote.
Women most commonly report hot flashes as primary menopause symptoms, though a range of vasomotor disturbances including night sweats, sleep disruptions, genitourinary symptoms, vaginal dryness, and even recurrent UTIs can occur.
These symptoms may be severe, and they seem to plague women of color more, lasting longer and starting earlier in this population. However, many of these women prefer not to use hormone therapy, Desai said.
Desai said there is room in the market for a plant-based, non-hormonal ingredient that provides similar results to Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) in terms of reducing some of the vasomotor symptoms.
Another study reviewed by the Metagenics Institute found use of ERr 731 led to decreases in hot flashes and were comparable to those who used an ultralow dose of HRT. Moreover, those with severe hot flashes received the greatest benefit from the intervention.
“You feel validated, and you feel great about working for a company that actually believes in what it’s doing and in spending the time and the money to conduct clinical trials,” Desai said. “Because when you look at nutraceutical companies, you're not going to find a lot of companies that actually have such a robust R&D department that spend millions of dollars on doing this [kind of research].”