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Black cohosh alternative

This article was originally published in The Tan Sheet

Executive Summary

Acatris is positioning its flax lignans ingredient, LinumLife EXTRA, as an alternative to black cohosh for women looking to relieve menopausal symptoms, the firm announces Aug. 24. "Lignans have a balancing effect on hormones because they are phytoestrogens, a plant compound similar to estrogen," a release states. LinumLife EXTRA, which launched earlier this year, can be formulated into one-per-day capsules or tablets; a 250 mg dose of the ingredient provides 50 mg of lignans, Acatris states. Black cohosh has come under review recently from Health Canada and the UK's Medicines & Healthcare products Regulatory Agency regarding safety concerns about the herb's potentially damaging effect on liver function (1"The Tan Sheet," Aug. 28, 2006, In Brief and 2"The Tan Sheet," July 24, 2006, p. 14)...

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Black cohosh safety/efficacy review

Health Canada is taking a "precautionary approach" and reviewing black cohosh safety and efficacy, even though "case reports of liver damage are rare, and the link between black cohosh and liver toxicity is unclear," the regulator states in an Aug. 18 release, which additionally notes that "the quality of the black cohosh products involved in these cases is not known." The review follows on the heels of the UK's Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency's recent decision to add warnings to black cohosh products about the risk of liver disorders (1"The Tan Sheet," July 24, 2006, p. 14). Australia's Therapeutics Goods Association mandated a warning label on products containing the herb in February. Health Canada advises consumers to exercise caution in the use of black cohosh until the review is completed. Additionally, consumers should discontinue use if they have unusual fatigue, weakness, loss of appetite, or if they develop symptoms suggestive of liver injury such as yellowing of the skin, Health Canada states...

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