Skip to content

    Menopause Health Center

    Font Size
    A
    A
    A

    Flaxseed May Be No Help for Hot Flashes

    Study Shows Ground Flaxseed Is No Better Than Placebo in Easing Hot Flashes
    By
    WebMD Health News
    Reviewed by Laura J. Martin, MD

    June 7, 2011 -- Flaxseed may be no help in fighting hot flashes, according to a new study.

    Some preliminary reports had suggested the plant-based estrogen-like compounds called phytoestrogens in flaxseed might be effective in cooling hot flashes in women.

    But this study showed no difference in the number of hot flashes reported by women taking flaxseed vs. those taking a dummy treatment.

    "Hot flashes are a common symptom during the menopause transition or following breast cancer treatment," says researcher Sandhya Pruthi, MD, of Mayo Clinic's Breast Diagnostic Clinic, in a news release. "While our preliminary data from our 2007 pilot study showed a reduction in hot flashes associated with the consumption of ground flaxseed, our new study did not result in a significant decrease in hot flashes with eating flaxseed compared to placebo."

    Flaxseed vs. Placebo

    The study, presented at the American Society of Clinical Oncology Meeting in Chicago, looked at the effects of flaxseed on hot flash frequency in 188 postmenopausal women and breast cancer patients.

    The women were randomly divided into two groups. One group ate a bar containing 410 milligrams of phytoestrogens from ground flaxseed and the other ate a placebo bar for six weeks. Both groups kept a diary of their hot flashes for one week before treatment and throughout the study.

    The results showed that in both groups, about a third of the women reported a 50% reduction in hot flashes, and there was no significant difference between the two groups in hot flashes.

    Both groups reported side effects related to the fiber content in the bars, such as gas, diarrhea, and nausea.

    Today on WebMD

    woman walking outdoors
    How to handle headaches, night sweats, and more.
    mature woman holding fan in face
    Symptoms and treatments.
     
    woman hiding face behind hands
    11 ways to keep skin bright and healthy.
    insomnia
    Is it menopause or something else?
     
    senior couple
    Video
    mature woman shopping for produce
    Article
     
    Alcohol Disrupting Your Sleep
    Article
    mature couple on boat
    Article
     
    mature woman tugging on her loose skin
    Slideshow
    senior woman wearing green hat
    Article
     
    estrogen gene
    Quiz
    supplements
    Article
     

    WebMD Special Sections