This summary table contains detailed information about research studies. Summary tables offer an informative look at the science behind many breast cancer guidelines and recommendations. However, they should be viewed with some caution. In order to read and interpret research tables successfully, it is important to understand some key concepts. Learn how to read a research table.
Introduction: Although menopausal hormone therapy (postmenopausal hormones) containing estrogen and progestin may ease menopausal symptoms, long-term use increases the risk of breast cancer (see Table 8) . For this reason, many women seek other ways to reduce hot flashes and other symptoms.
Taking dietary and herbal supplements has been suggested as a way to relieve menopausal symptoms. However, findings from most randomized controlled trials and one meta-analysis have not shown a benefit.
Learn more about flaxseed, omega-3 fatty acids and other dietary supplements in the Integrative and Complementary Therapies section.
Learn about the strengths and weaknesses of different types of studies.
Study selection criteria: Randomized controlled trials with at least 60 participants and meta-analyses.
Table note: Relative risk above 1 indicates increased risk. Relative risk below 1 indicates decreased risk.
Study Population(number of participants)
Type of Supplement
Supplements Reduced Hot Flashes More Than Placebo?
Randomized controlled trials
Tice et al. 
Red clover extract
Pruthi et al. 
146 breast cancer survivors and cancer-free women
Lucas et al. 
Omega-3 fatty acid capsule
Lipovac et al. 
109 cancer-free women
Red clover capsule
Colli et al. 
75 cancer-free women
Flaxseed capsule or ground flaxseeds
Lewis et al. 
Cochrane review 
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