Magnesium May Minimize Hot Flashes
Important food sources of magnesium include nuts, halibut, spinach, legumes, and whole grains
Finding safe and effective ways to ease hot flashes can be a challenge for many women, but a new study in Support Care Cancer reports that supplemental magnesium helped relieve the severity and number of hot flashes in women with breast cancer.
Hot flash relief with Mg
Hot flashes can cause great discomfort and disrupt sleep and daytime activities. They are particularly common in women who have taken chemotherapy for breast cancer, and there is a lack of safe and effective options to relieve hot flashes.
In this pilot study, 29 women (average age 54 years), who had breast cancer and at least 14 hot flashes a week, received one 400 mg tablet of magnesium oxide (250 mg of elemental magnesium) per day for four weeks. If after two weeks of taking magnesium the women still did not have adequate hot flash relief, they raised the dose to 400 mg of magnesium oxide twice a day. Women filled out questionnaires about the frequency and severity of their hot flashes before and after taking magnesium.
The study authors comment, "Magnesium appears to be a safe and inexpensive therapy for those with bothersome hot flashes. The greater than 50% reduction in symptoms suggests that oral magnesium is likely more effective than placebo . . ." The authors add that they will now conduct a randomized, placebo-controlled trial to confirm these findings.
Magnesium facts and tips
(Support Care Cancer 2011;19:859-63)
Jane Hart, MD, board-certified in internal medicine, serves in a variety of professional roles including consultant, journalist, and educator. Dr. Hart, a Clinical Instructor at Case Medical School in Cleveland, Ohio, writes extensively about health and wellness and a variety of other topics for nationally recognized organizations, websites, and print publications. Sought out for her expertise in the areas of integrative and preventive medicine, she is frequently quoted by national and local media. Dr. Hart is a professional lecturer for healthcare professionals, consumers, and youth and is a regular corporate speaker.