Debasis Bagchi, PhD, FACN
Menopause, with its bothersome symptoms that include hot flashes, night sweats, mood swings and decreasing bone density, has become the hot topic of conversation for baby-boomer women in boardrooms and living rooms across North America. Itâ??s even fodder for humor with celebrities from Gloria Steinem to Oprah Winfrey..
Menopause, with its bothersome symptoms that include hot flashes, night sweats, mood swings and decreasing bone density, has become the hot topic of conversation for baby-boomer women in boardrooms and living rooms across North America.
It’s even fodder for humor with celebrities from Gloria Steinem to Oprah Winfrey. Actress Cybill Shepherd refers to her hot flashes as ‘power surges,’ an expression that along with ‘menopausal moments’ of forgetfulness, have become part of today’s lexicon.
A subject that was rarely discussed by their mothers or grandmothers, the challenges of menopause are being met by baby-boomer women head-on. An increasing number of women are choosing to do so naturally.
No doubt part of the reason for this growing concern about menopause is increased life expectancy. Although the average age at onset of menopause has not changed (usually between the ages of 45 and 54), just a couple generations ago that was much closer to the end of life. Given life expectancies today, women can expect to live fully one-third of their life span after the onset of menopause. Vital and active, today’s menopausal women aren’t willing to accept a reduction in quality of life at what has become a relatively young age.
The symptoms and changes brought about by menopause, caused by decreasing levels of estrogen, have until recently been almost exclusively treated with conventional estrogen replacement therapy (ERT). However, many synthetic hormones, especially diethylstilbesterol (DES), have been shown to cause serious side effects including stroke and gallbladder disease as well as breast and uterine cancer. These side effects have made the choice to undergo traditional ERT a difficult one for many women, particularly those with a family history of cancer and heart disease.
A Natural Change
Fortunately, natural estrogens derived from plant sources, called ‘phytoestrogens,’ have come to the fore in recent years as a safer and more natural method to help correct estrogen deficiency and maintain normal estrogenic activities. The first to arrive on the scene were isoflavones from soy or red clover extracts. This discovery came from the recognition that problems associated with estrogen deficiency were far more pronounced in North American, Western European and Australian women than among those from Asia, Central America and the Mediterranean. The cause was traced to the latter groups diets, which are naturally high in isoflavones.
Now, new research has taken this natural approach to the next level with the discovery of the phytoestrogenic properties of Protykin. Developed by InterHealth Nutraceuticals, Protykin is a far more powerful phytoestrogen than either soy or red clover. One scientific study found that the active ingredient in Protykin, called ‘trans-resveratrol,’ increased bone mineral content and density in postmenopausal women receiving just 100 micrograms per day–1/400th the dosage of phytoestrogen soy isoflavones typically recommended.
Similar in chemical structure to the oft-prescribed synthetic hormone, DES, yet free of its serious side effects, Protykin trans-resveratrol works by binding to Human Estrogen Receptors and enhancing estrogenic activity in the body. Increased estrogen activity, in turn, reduces hot flashes, balances mood swings, maintains healthy bone density and proper brain function and heads off the effects of premature aging. Protykin is available in major brands of menopausal and other women’s dietary supplement formulas.
A natural substance found in grapes and other plant foods, Protykin trans-resveratrol is extracted from the root of the Chinese medicinal herb Polygonum cuspidatum. It contains more than 1,000 times the amount of natural resveratrol available in wine or grape-derived products and is the most concentrated natural source of trans-resveratrol available on the market today.
Protykin trans-resveratrol also has significant value that goes far beyond estrogen regulation. It’s also a powerful weapon in the fight against free radicals, heart disease and cancer. A potent antioxidant, Protykin trans-resveratrol scavenges free radicals within the body that cause ‘oxidation,’ a process that can be likened to the way oxygen causes metal to rust or an apple to turn brown. Such oxidation is a root cause of many chronic and degenerative diseases, including heart disease, cancer, rheumatoid arthritis, as well as the aging process itself.
Protykin trans-resveratrol has also been shown to inhibit cellular events associated with the initiation, promotion and progression of cancer. Finally, research has demonstrated its ability to reduce cholesterol levels and inhibit platelet aggregation, two important elements in the protection against heart disease.
Easing the physical transitions caused by menopause, coupled with significant help in protecting against serious ailments like cancer and heart disease, make Protykin an appealing alternative. Backed by solid scientific research, Protykin trans-resveratrol, as part of a healthy diet and active lifestyle, promises to be a potent weapon for women in their quest to increase the quality of life during their menopausal years and enhance their general health.