Wednesday Bubble: An ‘Evolutionary’ not ‘Revolutionary’ Rx for Hot Flashes?

Posted by on Jun 23, 2010 in menopause, new approaches | 2 comments

This week’s bubble brought to you by the manufacturers of Amberen™, a new menopausal treatment that bills itself as revolutionary not evolutionary. What they mean by this is that Amberen, a novel, non-hormal treatment for menopausal symptoms, does not represent an evolution of the same herbs (e.g. black cohosh, chaste berry) used by other manufacturers but a revolutionary new approach and strategy to addressing troublesome symptoms during menopause. Personally, I believe that anything that isn’t HRT based is evolutionary, however that aside, this week’s bubble is pretty darn solid and early data, pretty encouraging!

What is Amberen?

Amberen is a food supplement mostly composed of an enzyme known as succinate that is involved in metabolism. Dramatic swings in estrogen that result during menopause significantly affect the sensitive functioning of the  hypothalamic-pituitary-ovary (HPO) axis (part of the neuroendocrine system that regulates many processes in the body, including interactions between the glands and hormones).  According to published research, very small doses of succinate help to restore the way that the aging HPO axis functions, thereby promoting hormonal balance. In turn, this appears to boost estradiol levels and alleviate menopausal symptoms.

In small clinical studies, Amberen appeared to act as hormones in the body, resulting in self-reported reductions in the frequency of hot flashes, declines in insomnia and headache, and improvements in mood, anxiety and impaired sexual desire. Honestly, it sounds a bit too good to be true, so I am not entirely convinced. However, the researchers are quoted as saying that this approach to jump-starting HPO sensitivity could open the way for safer treatments for a variety of conditions, and not just menopause.

Amberen is not for everyone as it is not inexpensive, requiring at least a $90 commitment upfront (although there is an offer on the website for a 30 day free trial, a further dive shows that it takes at least 90 days to realize its full effects). However a three month on, three month off dosing schedule might be more convenient for women who have trouble remembering to take pills regularly.

Importantly, I did not see any reported details on side effects in the clinical studies I looked at, although the website cautions against women using Amberen if they have any thyroid or high blood pressure issues. I”d like to see more information on that as well.

Like any treatment for menopause, it’s essential to speak to your healthcare professional before diving in and trying Amberen. Personally, I’d like to see larger studies and specific information on side effects before making any real commitment to the product. However, I am intrigued by Amberen’s potential and certainly by this new approach to treatment, a seemingly viable and effective alternative to hormone replacement.

Have you tried Amberen? What do you think?

[Disclosure – I was approached by Amberen’s PR agency to see if I’d be interested in the product. After requesting and reviewing the clinical studies, I decided to write about it. I was not compensated for this piece nor was I sent or accepted any product.]


  1. 9-14-2010

    I’m new to Amberen and purchased it last week in hopes of relief of all the symptoms I won’t list AGAIN. But it caused very high pulse rate and I felt like I was losing a lot of fluid through even heavier sweats. I am the kind of gal who likes to have her hair and makeup stay where it’s supposed to be. I think it would definitely cause a weight reduction as this feels a lot like the old ephedrine highs we got in the 90’s when it was legal and the “Metabolite” supplement was on the market. I lost gobs of weight, but also had a stroke and heart attack, never really knowing that the ingredients in the Metabolite were causing the high metabolic rate.
    I think I’m going to go back on HRT. At least I know up front what to expect.

  2. 6-22-2012

    I have been off HRT for about a month and was having a real hard time with hot flashes and night sweats. I’ve been using Amberen for about two weeks. I’ve noticed an improvement during the last week when I changed the dosage from 1 dose per day to 2. The label says this is a recommended strategy for people who need additional help.

    The jury is still out but I am very happy to see some improvement.


  1. Dietary Supplement relieves hot flushes/flashes | Simply Hormones Podcast - [...] just corroborates what I’ve been saying all along – CHANGE THE WAY U EAT! and other drugs prescribed…

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