Blog RSS
Dr. Tori Hudson, Portland, Oregon, Blog Healthline Blog

526277472Pomegranate seeds have been used traditionally in Mediterranean countries and in ancient Ayurveda for a variety of disorders including infertility, insufficient breast milk, hypermenorrhea, and genital pain. Pomegranate seed oil (PSO) mainly contains unsaturated fatty acids such as γ-linoleic acid (Gamma linolenic acid, or GLA) and linolenic acid and phytoestrogens (campesterol, stigmasterol and beta-sitosterol). These phytoestrogens have led some to assert that it could be an effective option for menopause symptoms such as hot flushes, night sweats, sleep problems, libido and mood.

The current study used PSO from Turkey, with 500 mg/capsule of pure PSO, with a dose of 1 capsule twice per day (1,000mg) for 8 weeks. Women from two German sites were recruited and then started one month of no treatment and then two months of treatment with PSO. Women were 45-55 and had menopause symptoms for more than 3 months but a mean duration of 46 months. Seventy-eight women participated in the study.

The primary outcome was the intensity of sweating and hot flushes as indicated on the German version of the menopausal rating scale (MRS). A secondary issue was to measure the 17-beta estradiol after 8 weeks of treatment and compare it to baseline.

Results: The MRS was scored at baseline, after 4 weeks without treatment, after 4 weeks of treatment and post treatment. Most MRS symptoms were significantly reduced with the greatest improvements seen in hot flushes, sleeping problems, depression, exhaustion and irritability. Hot flushes changed from a score of 2.32 before treatment to 1.41 after. Surprisingly, dry vagina symptoms also significantly improved from 1.32 down to 0.85. No significant changes were seen for joint and muscle complaints, anxiety or urinary symptoms. The levels of 17beta estradiol were measured at the second baseline and postintervention. While there was only complete data for 37 women, it was concluded that estrogen levels were not affected significantly by the PSO.

Commentary: Pomegranate seed oil has been on the market for some time, but it has not really seen strong use by menopausal women for menopause symptoms. While the potential of PSO for common menopause symptoms such as hot flashes and night sweats, sleep problems, fatigue and mood changes is important, I find that the added value of this study is particularly in the area of improvement in vaginal dryness. There are very few and only small studies on oral botanical options for vaginal dryness; more compelling solutions have been vaginal delivery of estrogen products, with a small amount of data on hops vaginal gel, fennel cream, vitamin E suppositories and a very few others. Oral PSO may be a new solution for many, for this very common problem.

Reference: Huber R, Gminski R, Tang T, et al. Pomegranate (Punica granatum) seed oil for treating menopausal symptoms: An individually controlled cohort study. Alternative Therapies. 2017p23(2):28-34.

Comments are closed.