Green Tea and Hot Flashes
Good or Bad for PMS Symptoms?

Three studies about green tea and hot flashes suggest why tea may be both good and bad for postmenopausal symptoms (PMS).

According to folk wisdom, women should avoid drinking tea when having a period, expecting a baby, breastfeeding and undergoing menopause.

But the scientific evidence to date is mixed.

A 2005 American study found that green tea reduces estrogens in postmenopausal women and might aggravate hot flashes.

However, another 2003 study suggests that green tea, when taken with other herbs, may alleviate hot flashes.

Perhaps the most important hormone to a woman, estrogens, is associated with all important stages of her life.

The increase in estrogens marks the start of a young woman's puberty. For the next 25 years, it remains relatively constant. After that, as the woman ages, the body produces less estrogens.

To compensate for the loss of estrogens, the body produces two other hormones: Ovule Stimulating Hormone (FSH) and the Luetinisante Hormone (LH). 

Green Tea and Hot Flashes Study #1

A 2005 study conducted by the University of Southern California Keck School of Medicine found that green tea reduces estrogen.

130 postmenopausal Chinese woman in Singapore took part in the study.

Researchers found that green tea drinkers have 13% less estrogens compared to non tea drinkers.

Intriguingly, black tea drinkers have 19% more estrogens.

Scientists still do not understand the implications of the lower estrogens level for green tea drinkers.

Previous studies have found that green tea reduces breast cancer risks. Black tea does not have the same benefits.

It remained to be explained why green tea reduces breast cancer risk but black tea doesn't, and if lower estrogens level reduces breast cancer risk.

The researchers adjusted their analysis for age, body mass index, intake of soy and other variables. They regarded the difference in estrogens level as significant in the preliminary study.

Green Tea and Hot Flashes Study #2

While green tea may not alleviate postmenopausal symptoms when used in isolation, it does wonders in combination with other herbs.

Another 2003  pilot study conducted by Enzymatic Therapy Inc found that a herbal blend may relieve postmenopausal symptoms such as hot flashes and sleep disturbance.

Over a period of 2 months, women aged from 45 to 65 years took 2 capsules daily, once in the morning and once in the evening.

The morning capsule contains panax ginseng, black cohosh, soy and green tea extracts. The evening capsule contains black cohosh, soy, kava, hops and valerian extracts

The researchers found that as early as the second week, hot flashes reduced by 47%. After 2 months, anxiety, depression, sleeping quality measures improved by 18% to 56%.

Theanine Supplement

Finally, another 2001 study by the Institute of Traditional Medicine discovered that consuming 200 milligrams of theanine daily helps alleviate PMS symptoms.

The study concluded that the supplement is especially helpful on relaxing the mind.

Theanine Health Benefits - 7 Reasons Why It Is More Than A Relaxant

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Sun J.. Enzymatic Therapy, Inc., Green Bay, WI 54311, USA. Morning/evening menopausal formula relieves menopausal symptoms: a pilot study. Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine. 2003 Jun;9(3):403-9.

Anna H. Wu 1, Kazuko Arakawa 1, Frank Z. Stanczyk 2, David Van Den Berg 3, Woon-Puay Koh 4 and Mimi C. Yu 1. Tea and circulating estrogen levels in postmenopausal Chinese women in Singapore. Oxford Journals Life Sciences Carcinogenesis Volume 26, Number 5 Pp. 976-980.

Yokogoshi H, et al. (2001). Institute for Traditional Medicine ( Theanine effects on premenstrual syndrome. Amino Acid Supplements IV: Theanine. Subhuti D. Referencing: Proceedings of the Nogei Kagaku Kai, Bioscience, Biotechnology, and Biochemistry. 2001;75:166.

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