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Red Clover

Plant Part Used

Flowering tops/heads

Introduction

Red clover has been used traditionally as a medicinal agent by Oriental, European, and Native American cultures to relieve coughing, asthma, and as a treatment for various skin disorders. Much recent research has focused on the estrogen-like components of red clover. Scientists refer to these compounds as isoflavones, which belong to a group of compounds known as phytoestrogens. These plant substances behave like estrogen in the body, possibly benefiting the user in the support of menopause and related symptoms. (1)

Interactions and Depletions

Interactions

Dosage Info

Dosage Range

500mg (standardized extract) daily.

Fluid extract (1:1w/v): 10-30 drops, 3 times daily.

Most Common Dosage

500mg (standardized extract) daily.

Fluid extract (1:1w/v):15 drops, 3 times daily

Standardization

[span class=doc]Standardization represents the complete body of information and controls that serve to enhance the batch to batch consistency of a botanical product, including but not limited to the presence of a marker compound at a defined level or within a defined range.[/span]

The most current available medical and scientific literature indicates that this dietary supplement should be standardized to 40mg total isoflavones per dose, comprised of the isoflavones genistein (4mg), daidzein (3.5mg), biochanin A (24.5mg), and formononetin (8mg).

Reported Uses

Red clover contains substances that can exert an estrogen-like effect in the body. Red clover may also be able to effect the production of estrogen and other hormones in the body. (2) , (3) , (4) These effects may help the body maintain a more favorable hormone balance.

Red clover’s isoflavones may also function as important antioxidants, limiting free radical damage to the intestines and the skin. (5) , (6) Though debated, they may also limit oxidation of cholesterol, which may significantly decrease the risk of cardiovascular disease. (7) , (8) , (9) Red clover may also support healthy blood flow while dilating the blood vessels and inhibiting a number of other factors that can harm the cardiovascular system. (10) , (11) , (12) , (13) , (14)

Studies also suggest that red clover may support the prevention of many types of cancer. Scientists think it may support the healthy growth of cells and inhibit cell mutations that can lead to tumor growth. (15) , (16) Other studies have suggested that red clover may generally inhibit the development of skin cancer, leukemia, breast cancer, gastrointestinal cancers, prostate cancer and more.

Red clover may play a role in improving and maintaining calcium levels in the bones, thereby potentially improving bone density and bone health. (17) , (18) , (19)

Toxicities & Precautions

Introduction

[span class=alert]Be sure to tell your pharmacist, doctor, or other health care providers about any dietary supplements you are taking. There may be a potential for interactions or side effects.[/span]

General

This dietary supplement is considered safe when used in accordance with proper dosing guidelines.

If you are planning to have any type of surgery or dental work, stop using this dietary supplement for at least 14 days prior to the procedure.

Health Conditions

Scientific studies have reported that certain ingredients contained in this dietary supplement act similar to the body's natural hormone estrogen. (20) If you have or are susceptible to hormonally related cancers, such as breast, ovarian and prostate, talk to your doctor before taking this dietary supplement or others that contain isoflavones.

Pregnancy/ Breast Feeding

This dietary supplement should not be used by pregnant women.

This dietary supplement should not be used if you are breast-feeding an infant.

Age Limitations

To date, the medical literature has not reported any adverse effects specifically related to the use of this dietary supplement in children. Since young children may have undiagnosed allergies or medical conditions, this dietary supplement should not be used in children under 10 years of age unless recommended by a physician.

References

  1. View Abstract: Beck V, Unterrieder E, Krenn L, Kubelka W, Jungbauer A. Comparison of hormonal activity (estrogen, androgen and progestin) of standardized plant extracts for large scale use in hormone replacement therapy. J Steroid Biochem Mol Biol. Feb2003;84(2-3):259-68.
  2. View Abstract: Keung WM. Dietary estrogenic isoflavones are potent inhibitors of beta-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase of P. testosteronii. Biochem Biophys Res Commun. Oct1995;215(3):1137-44.
  3. View Abstract: Wang C, et al. Lignans and flavonoids inhibit aromatase enzyme in human preadipocytes. J Steroid Biochem Mol Biol. Aug1994;50(3-4):205-12.
  4. View Abstract: Evans BA, et al. Inhibition of 5 alpha-reductase in genital skin fibroblasts and prostate tissue by dietary lignans and isoflavonoids. J Endocrinol. Nov1995;147(2):295-302.
  5. Pratt DE. Antioxidants indigenous to foods. Toxicol Ind Health. Jan1993;9(1-2):63-75.
  6. View Abstract: Vedavanam K, et al. Antioxidant action and potential antidiabetic properties of an isoflavonoid-containing soyabean phytochemical extract (SPE). Phytother Res. Nov1999;13(7):601-8.
  7. View Abstract: Tikkanen MJ, et al. Dietary soy-derived isoflavone phytoestrogens. Could they have a role in coronary heart disease prevention? Biochem Pharmacol. Jul2000;60(1):1-5.
  8. View Abstract: Howes JB, Sullivan D, Lai N, et al. The Effects of Dietary Supplementation with Isoflavones from Red Clover on the Lipoprotein Profiles of Post Menopausal Women with Mild to Moderate Hypercholesterolaemia. Atherosclerosis. Sep2000;152(1):143-7.
  9. View Abstract: Nestel P, Cehun M, Chronopoulos A, DaSilva L, Teede H, McGrath B. A biochanin-enriched isoflavone from red clover lowers LDL cholesterol in men. Eur J Clin Nutr. Mar2004;58(3):403-8.
  10. View Abstract: Anthony MS, et al. Effects of soy isoflavones on atherosclerosis: potential mechanisms. Am J Clin Nutr. Dec1998;68(6 Suppl):1390S-1393S.
  11. View Abstract: Deodato B, et al. Cardioprotection by the phytoestrogen genistein in experimental myocardial ischaemia-reperfusion injury. Br J Pharmacol. Dec1999;128(8):1683-90.
  12. View Abstract: Lale A, et al. Ability of different flavonoids to inhibit the procoagulant activity of adherent human monocytes. J Nat Prod. Mar1996;59(3):273-6.
  13. View Abstract: Krol W, et al. Inhibition of nitric oxide (NO.) production in murine macrophages by flavones. Biochem Pharmacol. Sep1995;50(7):1031-5.
  14. View Abstract: Nestel PJ, Pomeroy S, Kay S, Komesaroff P, Behrsing J, Cameron JD, West L. Isoflavones from red clover improve systemic arterial compliance but not plasma lipids in menopausal women. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. Mar1999;84(3):895-8.
  15. View Abstract: Kulling SE, et al. The phytoestrogens coumoestrol and genistein induce structural chromosomal aberrations in cultured human peripheral blood lymphocytes. Arch Toxicol. Feb1999;73(1):50-4.
  16. View Abstract: Uckun FM, et al. Treatment of therapy-refractory B-lineage acute lymphoblastic leukemia with an apoptosis-inducing CD19-directed tyrosine kinase inhibitor. Clin Cancer Res. Dec1999;5(12):3906-13.
  17. View Abstract: Ishimi Y, et al. Selective effects of genistein, a soybean isoflavone, on B-lymphopoiesis and bone loss caused by estrogen deficiency. Endocrinology. Apr1999;140(4):1893-900.
  18. Baber R, et al. The effect of an isoflavone dietary supplement (P-081) on serum lipids, forearm bone density and endometrial thickness in post-menopausal women. NYC: Abstract from NAMS 10th Annual Meeting; Sep1999.
  19. View Abstract: Atkinson C. The effects of phytoestrogen isoflavones on bone density in women: a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial. Am J Clin Nutr. Feb2004;79(2):326-33.
  20. View Abstract: Zava DT. Estrogen and progestin bioactivity of foods, herbs, and spices. Proc Soc Exp Biol Med. Mar1998;217(3): 369-78.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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