- Hop-based nutritional aids can help menopausal women alleviate discomforting symptoms with no risk of interaction with other medication types.
- Despite concerns of potential drug interactions due to the long-lasting presence of hop compounds in the human system, recent studies show no evidence of enzyme obstruction.
- Hop supplements are safe for use according to the guidelines by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, as they did not result in any “clinically significant pharmacokinetic interactions”.
- While further testing might give more confirmatory evidence, existing studies are a positive indicator for women who rely on hop supplements for relief from their menopause symptoms.
A recent study provides calming news for menopausal women using hop-based nutritional aids to alleviate the discomforting symptoms. The research suggests that these supplements pose no risk of interaction with other medication types.
Understanding Hop-Based Supplements
Hops are flowers produced by hop plants, known for their contribution to the bitter flavor of beer. They are packed with phytoestrogens which mimic the function of female sex hormones. For several women unable to use hormone replacement therapy, these hop supplements offer relief from menopause-related issues including, but not limited to, night sweats and hot flashes.
Potential Drug Interactions Concern
Despite the benefits, there have been worries regarding possible drug interactions. “Lab studies have suggested that hop compounds may obstruct or neutralize certain drug-metabolizing enzymes,” explained Richard van Breemen, study researcher and director of the Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University.
There are more concerns due to the long-lasting presence of hop compounds in the human system, possibly exceeding 20 hours post-consumption. This could result in these supplements remaining in the bloodstream when other drugs are ingested.
Testing Hops and Other Drugs
To investigate the possibility of hops interacting with other drugs, researchers collaborated with 16 women of menopausal age. They were provided with a mixture of four drugs including caffeine, alprazolam (Xanax), dextromethorphan (an over-the-counter cough suppressant), and tolbutamide used for managing type 2 diabetes.
“Each drug trial was conducted twice. The first trial was to observe how these women metabolized the drugs usually. Then, we redid the trials with hops after the participants ingested a hops extract two times a day for a fortnight. Remarkably, no enzyme obstructing was detected,” shared van Breemen.
Good News for Menopausal Women
Following the guidelines by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the researchers pointed out that the hop supplements did not result in any “clinically significant pharmacokinetic interactions,” as expressed by Luying Chen, Ph.D. student and study co-author in van Breemen’s lab.
Hence, it can be stated that hop dietary supplements are not anticipated to generate harmful drug interactions, at least related to the enzymes investigated during this research,” Chen added. However, further studies are required to confirm these findings. But for women who use hops for menopausal symptom relief, this is indeed good news.
The study was published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry recently.
Finding More Information
For further details on menopause, refer to this source, maintained by the U.S. National Institute on Aging.