Red Clover and Fertility, Flower Extract health benefit
October 28 2016

Red clover is a native plant of Europe, central Asia, and northern Africa. The flower head is the part of the plant used in herbal remedies. Scientists have identified estrogen-like substances called isoflavones and anticoagulant chemicals called coumarins in the flower. Most, but not all, studies show red clover flower extract reduces the severity of hot flashes.

Black cohosh pill is use for menopause symptoms and women’s health and can be combined with red clover.

Review of red clover properties and benefits
Red clover supplements are used to treat symptoms of menopause because of their high content of the mildly estrogenic isoflavones daidzein, genistein, formononetin, and biochanin A. Biochanin A is an isoflavone isolated from red clover, and is commercially available for women suffering from postmenopausal symptoms. It is difficult to know for sure how effective red clover supplements are for the treatment of menopausal symptoms. It appears that red clover has a weak effect and certainly not as noticeable as estrogen therapy. But, red clover does not have the major safety concerns of estrogen.

Red Clover Blossom herb, Nature’s Way, 100 Capsules, 430 mg
Certified Organically Grown
In Europe, Trifolium pratense is widely cultivated and used as a salad herb and as a tonic. The globular heads of reddish-purple flowers have long been prized by herbalists. This red clover herb supplement contains only full blossoms and their accompanying leaves. This herb commonly grows wild in meadows throughout Europe and Asia, and now also grows in North America. The flower at the end of the branched stems is believed to be the source of its medicinal properties.

Supplement Facts
Amount Per capsule
Red Clover 430 mg
(stem, leaf, flower)

Anti-inflammatory, reduce inflammation
Effects of red clover extract on the activation and proliferation of mouse T lymphocytes and the NO secretion of mouse macrophages.
Yao Xue Xue Bao. 2008.
The study investigated the effects of red clover extract on mouse T macrophages and lymphocytes in vitro. Our data suggest that red clover extract  might exhibit anti-inflammatory effect by inhibiting the activation and proliferation of mouse lymphocytes and the NO secretion of mouse macrophages.

Red Clover Flower Research
To investigate the effectiveness and safety of a red clover isoflavone dietary supplement (Promensil) versus placebo on the change in hot flush frequency in postmenopausal women, a randomized, double blind, placebo-controlled trial was done at Vrije University Medical Center in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Women with more than 12 months without periods and experiencing more than five flushes per day were enrolled. All received placebo tablets for 4 weeks and were subsequently randomized to either placebo or 80 mg isoflavones from red clover for a further 12 weeks. Improvement was measured by the decrease in number of hot flushes per day. During the first 4 weeks of placebo the frequency of hot flushes decreased by 16%. During the subsequent double blind phase, a further, statistically significant decrease of 44% was seen in the red clover isoflavone group, whereas no further reduction occurred within the placebo group.
Comments: In this study, treatment with 80 mg red clover isoflavones per day resulted in a significant reduction in hot flushes from baseline. Since long-term hormone replacement with Premarin and synthetic progestins now appears to increase the risk for cancer, heart disease and blood clots, more women are searching for herbal alternatives to treating menopausal and postmenopausal symptoms. The research with red clover is still early and not all studies have shown that it reduces hot flashes in any significant way, but it does seem to have a mild effect.

Fertility and infertility
It’s difficult to say what the role of red clover is in fertility. One study shows excess red clover may reduce fertility while another one says fertility was restored after grazing on red clover. Perhaps the role of red clover depends on the amount of the herb consumer.

Plant oestrogens; the cause of decreased fertility in cows. A case report.
Nord Vet Med. 1984.
During the stall feeding period 1982-1983, it was established that serious fertility disturbances, indicating oestrogenic stimulation, had occurred in a herd of cattle in an area supported by the College of Veterinary Medicine’s ambulatory clinic. Whilst investigating the cause of these disturbances it was proven that the silage administered during this period was prepared almost entirely from pure red clover aftergrowth. The oestrogenic isoflavone content of the silage (liquid chromatograph examination) and the oestrogenic strength (bioassay) were considerably great. When feeding with the fodder was subsequently discontinued the disturbances ceased to occur and the cows became pregnant more easily. On the basis of the aforementioned incidences it was ascertained that plant oestrogens from red clover were almost certainly the cause of the fertility disturbances.

Recovery of normal fertility after grazing on oestrogenic red clover. Aust Vet J. 1966 Jun;42(6):204-6.

Skin health
A study in rodents indicates red clover isoflavones may be beneficial for skin health.

Effects of isoflavones from red clover (Trifolium pratense) on skin changes induced by ovariectomy in rats.
Phytother Res. 2006.
Estrogens have a profound influence on skin. The relative hypoestrogenism that accompanies menopause exacerbates the deleterious effects of both intrinsic and environmental aging. Estrogens improve skin in many ways. Among these, they increase collagen content, skin thickness and improve skin moisture. There is evidence that diets with high levels of phytoestrogenic isoflavones are associated with a low incidence of menopausal symptoms and osteoporosis. Plant extracts such as red clover, which contain high levels of isoflavones, have been used to reduce menopausal symptoms and have been shown to reduce bone loss in healthy women. In this study to investigate the effects of red clover isoflavones on skin aging, the histology of the skin, skin thickness and the amount of total collagen determined by a colorimetric method, were studied in ovariectomized rats after treatment for 14 weeks with a red clover extract standardized to contain 11% isoflavones. In ovariectomized rats the thickness and keratinization of the epidermis were reduced; glands were less in number and vascularity was poor; the distribution and morphology of the collagen bundles and elastic fibers were altered. Whereas the skin of the ovariectomized rats treated with red clover isoflavones (20 and 40 mg of total isoflavones daily for 14 weeks) appeared well organized with a normal epidermis with uniform thickness and regular keratinization; vascularity, collagen and elastic fibers were well developed. The amount of collagen significantly increased in the treated group in comparison with the control group. These findings suggest that red clover isoflavones are effective in reducing skin aging induced by estrogen.

Breast Tissue, breast cancer
Red-clover-derived isoflavones and mammographic breast density: a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial
Breast Cancer Res. 2004.
Isoflavones are hypothesized to protect against breast cancer, but it is not clear whether they act as estrogens or anti-oestrogens in breast tissue. Our aim was to determine the effects of taking a red clover derived isoflavone supplement daily for 1 year on mammographic breast density. Effects on estradiol, follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), luteinizing hormone (LH), lymphocyte tyrosine kinase activity and menopausal symptoms were also assessed. A total of 205 women (age range 49-65 years) with Wolfe P2 or DY mammographic breast patterns were randomly assigned to receive either a red clover derived isoflavone tablet (26 mg biochanin A, 16 mg formononetin, 1 mg genistein and 0.5 mg daidzein) or placebo. Change in mammographic breast density, serum oestradiol, FSH, LH, menopausal symptoms and lymphocyte tyrosine kinase activity from baseline to 12 months were assessed. A total of 177 women completed the trial. Mammographic breast density decreased in both groups but the difference between the treatment and placebo was not statistically significant. There was a significant interaction between treatment group and oestrogen receptor (ESR1) PvuII polymorphism for the change in estimated percentage breast density: TT isoflavone 1.4 and TT placebo -9.6; CT isoflavone -5.2 and CT placebo -2.8; and CC isoflavone -3.4 and CC placebo -1.1. There were no statistically significant treatment effects on oestradiol, FSH, or LH (assessed only in postmenopausal women). Baseline levels of menopausal symptoms were low, and there were no statistically significant treatment effects on frequency of hot flushes or other menopausal symptoms. In contrast to studies showing that conventional hormone replacement therapies increase mammographic breast density, the isoflavone supplement did not increase mammographic breast density in this population of women. Furthermore, there were no effects on oestradiol, gonadotrophins, lymphocyte tyrosine kinase activity, or menopausal symptoms.

Combining with tamoxifen or radiation therapy
Q. I’ve been diagnosed with Ductal carcinoma in situ DCIS early early stage of breast cancer.  I’ve signed up to remove 200% and continue in good health. I’ve been taking Premarin in decreased doses for 30 years.  I had been on .3mg Premarin until this week when the surgeon said get off ESTROGEN. So, I’m not taking Premarin anymore and I have purchased red clover. Do you have information relating to red clover and radiation, tamoxifen? My searches for information regarding red clover and tamoxifen show NOTHING concrete.  Why is everyone afraid of herbs?
A. Unfortunately, human research with red clover is quite limited and we are not aware of studies that have looked into the combination of red clover, tamoxifen, and radiation therapy.

Brain cell protection
Protective effect of isoflavones from Trifolium pratense red clover on dopaminergic neurons.
Neurosci Res. 2008.
In the present study, protective effect of five isoflavones (formononetin, daidzein, pratensein, calycosin and irilone) from red clover herb on lipopolysaccharide-induced dopaminergic neurodegeneration was studied for the first time. The results showed that all five isoflavones attenuated LPS-induced decrease in dopamine uptake and the number of dopaminergic neurons in a dose-dependent manner in rat mesencephalic neuron-glia cultures. Moreover, they also significantly inhibited LPS-induced activation of microglia and production of tumor necrosis factor-alpha, nitric oxide and superoxide in mesencephalic neuron-glia cultures and microglia-enriched cultures. In addition, the rank order of protective potency of five isoflavones was: pratensein > daidzein > calycosin > formononetin > irilone. This study suggested that all five isoflavones protected dopaminergic neurons against LPS-induced injury through inhibition of microglia activation and proinflammatory factors generation.

HRT, hormone replacement therapy
Can you tell me whether it is possible to take Red Clover tablets at the same time as HRT? I have been taking HRT for some years and would like to try substituting Red Clover but as I experience a lot of sleep disruption and have
to get up to go to work the next day, I am loath to give it a go for the 6 weeks to 4 months that I’ve read it needs to be taken before the benefits take effect.
There are many factors that influence drug-herb-hormone interactions including dosage of the hormones and the herbs, other medicines or supplements used at the same time, a person’s overall health, and several other variables. Not enough research has been done to determine the general interactions between hormone replacement therapy and red clover supplement use.

I browsed through the information on red clover and kudzu, and noticed at the store that at least red clover — possibly both — are sold as dietary supplements in bottles. I am always wary of taking any food as a supplement because I believe all foods should be able to be eaten in their natural form. Anyhow, I’m wondering if red clover and kudzu are used in the Japanese / Chinese / Korean / Asian/whatever diets? I don’t want to take a supplement and have to worry about phytoestrogen / isoflavone levels and whether I’m taking too much.
We have not studied these diets in detail to know whether kudzu and red clover are common plants eaten.

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