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Hot flushes from tamoxifen? Guarana helps

Hot flushes from tamoxifen? Guarana helps
If the amount of steroid hormones in your brain suddenly decreases - for example because you're taking an anti-oestrogen like tamoxifen - you can start to get hot flushes. Chemical athletes, cancer patients and women in the menopause often experience these. Brazilian doctors discovered that supplementation with a mere 100 mg guarana extract daily can prevent hot flushes.

The doctors did an experiment with 15 women, all of whom had undergone treatment for breast cancer and were on tamoxifen. The women had at least two hot flushes a day. That's normal. Studies have shown that about seventy percent of women using tamoxifen are troubled by hot flushes.

The doctors gave the women a pill containing 50 mg guarana extract twice a day for a period of six weeks. The product was manufactured by the Brazilian company Pharma Nostra [] and consisted of 8 percent caffeine and 1.5 percent tannin.

There was no control group.

During the six weeks that the experiment lasted the subjects experienced fewer hot flushes and their intensity decreased too. Both effects were statistically significant.

Two-thirds of the women reported a halving of the number of hot flushes they had.

Hot flushes from tamoxifen? Guarana helps

No serious side effects were observed.

The researchers are not sure exactly how guarana Latin name Paullinia cupana works, but are encouraged by the results of their small study. "The thermogenic and/or anti-inflammatory properties of Paullinia cupana, the potential changes this plant could induce in the central nervous system catecholamines levels might provide perspectives for investigations in the future", they wrote.

"Paullinia cupana seemed to be safe, with no instances of discontinuation of therapy because of side effects. This promising agent should be studied further."

Einstein (Sao Paulo). 2013 Dec;11(4):435-8.

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Anti-Oestrogenic Compounds