Objective – To assess the effect of the dry root extract of C. racemosa on glycemia and lipid profile in postmenopausal women.
Setting – Gynecological Endocrinology and Menopause Unit, Gynecological Clinic, Faculty of Medicine, University of São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil.
Design – Comparative, randomized, double-blind, and placebo-controlled study.
Method – The women were randomized to receive per os continuous dry root extract of C. racemosa (80 mg/day) or placebo during 180 days. After the treatment each woman (Cimicifuga group n=33, and Placebo group n=28) received per os medroxyprogesterone acetate (10 mg/day), except in case of hysterectomy.
Main outcome measures – Fasting blood samples were analyzed at visits 1 (basal), 2 (at 90 days), and 3 (at 180 days) for total cholesterol, HDL and LDL-cholesterol, triglycerides, and glycemia.
Results – There were no significant differences between the 2 groups for total cholesterol, LDL-cholesterol, and glycemia. There was a small but significant decrease (2.7 mg/dL) for HDL-cholesterol in the Cimicifuga group (p=0.03) but not in the Placebo group (p=0.31). There was a progressive mean increase of triglycerides (14.0 mg/dL) from visit 2 to visit 3 in the Cimicifuga group (p=0.03) but not in the Placebo group.
Conclusions – The dry root extract of C. racemosa apparently induces an increase of triglycerides and a decrease of HDL-cholesterol in postmenopausal women, effects that could be compatible with co-estrogenic and antiestrogenic activities, respectively, on the lipid profile.