By Holli Ryan RD, LD/N and Life Extension Staff
Menopause is a certainty for women. But suffering from unpleasant menopausal symptoms doesn’t have to be. Thanks to a special extract of the Siberian rhubarb plant, menopausal discomfort has met its match.
You’re probably thinking … wait, what is Siberian rhubarb? That is, unless you’re from Germany. That’s because it’s still relatively unknown in the United States but has been used successfully to manage the symptoms of menopause in Germany since 1993. However, it is starting to gain momentum in the U.S. thanks to the stellar results from clinical research studies.
The unique extract from Siberian rhubarb root (botanically named Rheum rhaponticum L.) is a clinically effective and convenient, plant-based compound that relieves menopause-related discomforts, and perimenopausal and postmenopausal women are taking note.
|Siberian rhubarb plant|
What Are the Symptoms of Menopause?
In the most recent season of the popular prison-based Netflix show Orange Is the New Black (spoiler alert!), one of the inmates recognized menopause as having the same symptoms as being incarcerated.
Menopause is characterized by symptoms such as hot flashes, night sweats, mood swings, sleep disturbances, vaginal dryness, and more. A standardized assessment tool that researchers and doctors use, called the Menopause Rating Scale, identifies 11 separate symptoms of menopause.1
Siberian rhubarb extract has been shown to reduce all 11 menopause symptoms by as much as 83% in human studies!2
What about Hormone Restoration?
A sharp drop in estrogen levels contributes to menopausal symptoms. One option for women seeking to alleviate those symptoms is to use prescription hormone replacement therapy, including estrogen, to restore youthful hormone levels.
There are two hormone replacement approaches. Conventional Hormone Restoration Therapy (HRT) and Bioidentical Hormone Restoration Therapy (BHRT). Life Extension® has long advocated for the benefits of BHRT over conventional methods.
While BHRT is generally safe and effective, Siberian rhubarb extract may be an appealing alternative for women seeking menopause support without the use of hormones. Especially an alternative that, once again, provides relief for all 11 symptoms on the Menopause Rating Scale! Results like that are worth saying twice. So if you’re looking for the best over-the-counter option for menopause relief, consider it found.
Siberian rhubarb extract reduced the number and severity of hot flashes to a similar extent as expected with conventional hormone replacement therapy, though no direct comparison studies have been conducted.3 Studies also showed that Siberian rhubarb improved depressive mood-related symptoms.2,4,5
Mechanism of Action: How Does it Work?
Two compounds found in Siberian rhubarb called rhaponticin and desoxyrhaponticin are responsible for the beneficial effects.
These rhubarb compounds bind primarily to estrogen receptor beta (ER–beta).6 Activation of ER–beta confers favorable health effects in some tissues under some circumstances.7
Clinical studies, together examining more than 400 peri- and postmenopausal women, evaluated the effects of a 4 mg daily dose of Siberian rhubarb extract.2-5 The studies used standardized assessment tools like the Menopause Rating Scale and showed that Siberian rhubarb extract consistently reduced symptom severity by up to 83%.
During the time these studies were being carried out, 6.7 million doses were sold in Germany each year.8
When Can I Expect Results?
Safe and effective? Yes. Will it work instantly? No. As is the case with many herbal supplements, it will take some time for the potential benefits to become apparent. In one study, some effects were seen as early as four weeks, with the best effects seen after 12 weeks. 3 At week 12, the treatment group experienced a 54% improvement in the severity of menopause symptoms compared to baseline. Additional studies looked at long-term effects at the six-month mark and over two years and found that benefits continued with use. Life Extension® suggests following the study duration for best results. Feel free to give us a call for more info. Call our Wellness Specialists — at no charge! — at 1-800-226-2370. If you end up purchasing any products during your call, mention code SHIPFREE for free shipping!*
*Offer valid beginning on 9/3/18 for a limited time.
About the author: Holli (Lapes) Ryan RD, LD/N is a Social Media Content Specialist at Life Extension. She is a Registered and Licensed Dietitian Nutritionist residing in the South Florida area. Holli believes that quality dietary supplements are an essential tool that have a variety of applications from maintaining good health to managing chronic disease.
- Heinemann K, Ruebig A, Potthoff P, et al. The Menopause Rating Scale (MRS) scale: A methodological review. Health Qual Life Outcomes. 2004;2:45-45.
- Hasper I, Ventskovskiy BM, Rettenberger R, Heger PW, Riley DS, Kaszkin-Bettag M. Long-term efficacy and safety of the special extract ERr 731 of Rheum rhaponticum in perimenopausal women with menopausal symptoms. Menopause. Jan-Feb 2009;16(1):117-131.
- Heger M, Ventskovskiy BM, Borzenko I, et al. Efficacy and safety of a special extract of Rheum rhaponticum (ERr 731) in perimenopausal women with climacteric complaints: a 12-week randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Menopause. Sep-Oct 2006;13(5):744-759.
- Kaszkin-Bettag M, Beck S, Richardson A, Heger PW, Beer AM. Efficacy of the special extract ERr 731 from rhapontic rhubarb for menopausal complaints: a 6-month open observational study. Altern Ther Health Med. Nov-Dec 2008;14(6):32-38.
- Kaszkin-Bettag M, Ventskovskiy BM, Solskyy S, et al. Confirmation of the efficacy of ERr 731 in perimenopausal women with menopausal symptoms. Altern Ther Health Med. Jan-Feb 2009;15(1):24-34.
- Wober J, Moller F, Richter T, et al. Activation of estrogen receptor-beta by a special extract of Rheum rhaponticum (ERr 731), its aglycones and structurally related compounds. J Steroid Biochem Mol Biol. Nov-Dec 2007;107(3-5):191-201.
- Paterni I, Granchi C, Katzenellenbogen JA, Minutolo F. Estrogen Receptors Alpha (ERα) and Beta (ERβ): Subtype-Selective Ligands and Clinical Potential. Steroids. Nov 2014;90:13-29.
- Chang JL, Montalto MB, Heger PW, Thiemann E, Rettenberger R, Wacker J. Rheum rhaponticum Extract (ERr 731): Postmarketing Data on Safety Surveillance and Consumer Complaints. Integr Med (Encinitas). Jun 2016;15(3):34-39.