Pueraria mirifica and dyslipidemia

Pueraria mirifica and dyslipidemia

HighBeam Research

Title: Pueraria mirifica and dyslipidemia.(Report)

Date: June 22, 2009 Publication: Australian Journal of Medical Herbalism Author: Finney-Brown, Tessa

Okamura S, Sawada Y, Satoh T, Sakamoto H, Saito Y, Sumino H et al. 2008. Pueraria mirifica phytoestrogens improve dyslipidemia in postmenopausal women probably by activating oestrogen receptor subtypes. Tohoku J Exp Med 216;341-51. Dyslipidemia is an important concern in menopause, as women lose the protective benefits of estrogen resulting in a dramatic increase in atherogenic progression and heightened risk of cardiovascular disease. Population studies have shown that two markers in particular are inversely correlated with CVD risk: plasma high density lipoprotein (HDL) and apolipoprotein (apo) A-1. The herb Pueraria mirifica (PM) is considered a rejuvenating adaptogen in Thai folk medicine and is rich in phytoestrogens. In previous clinical studies it has displayed the ability to reduce perimenopausal symptoms. The herb has since been administered to menopausal women in a Japanese (randomised, placebo controlled double blind) trial to determine its effects on lipid metabolism.

The twenty three participants were administered either tablets containing 25 mg of PM root powder or an identical placebo. Two of these were taken morning and afternoon for two months with lab data being collected at baseline, after one month, two months and then one month after cessation. The women in the active group experienced significant rises in HDL (34%) and apo A-1 (40%), and a similarly significant drop in low density lipoprotein (LDL) (17%) concentrations while on the treatment. They showed drops in plasma follicle stimulating hormone concentrations suggesting that the effects on lipid profile were caused by an increase in estrogens. Post treatment all measures returned close to baseline levels. The women in the placebo group exhibited no positive changes in measures.

The scientists investigated the molecular mechanism of PM phytoestrogens in vivo. Miroestrol, the main estrogenic constituent, proved to be a potent activator of ER-[alpha] and ER-[beta] transactivation, while the other phytoestrogens revealed preferential activation of ER-[beta] transactivation. As the effects of HRT on HDL levels are known to be mediated by ER-a, miroestrol may be the most active constituent in altering blood lipid levels.

Overall the changes in lipid profiles were equivalent to those reported in studies of statin therapy. Such significant results suggest a potential place for this herb in treatment of menopausal and postmenopausal women with lipid profiles that may predispose them to CVD.

COPYRIGHT 2008 National Herbalists Association of Australia

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