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Female Support

February 2009

Pharmacokinetics and systemic endocrine effects of the phyto-oestrogen 8-prenylnaringenin after single oral doses to postmenopausal women.

AIMS: Pre-clinical data suggest that the racemic phyto-oestrogen 8-prenylnaringenin (8-PN) may have beneficial effects in postmenopausal women and may become an alternative to classical hormone replacement therapy (HRT) treatment regimes. The aim of this study was to investigate the pharmacokinetics, endocrine effects and tolerability of chemically synthesized 8-PN in postmenopausal women. METHODS: The study was performed using a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, dose-escalation design with three groups of eight healthy postmenopausal women. In each group six subjects received 8-PN and two subjects placebo. 8-PN was given orally in doses of 50, 250 or 750 mg. Drug concentrations in serum, urine and faeces were measured up to 48 h and follicle-stimulating hormone/luteinizing hormone (LH) concentrations up to 24 h. RESULTS: All treatments were well tolerated and associated with a low incidence of (drug unrelated) adverse events. Serum concentrations of free 8-PN showed rapid drug absorption and secondary peaks suggestive of marked enterohepatic recirculation. Independent of the treatment group, approximately 30% of the dose was recovered in excreta as free compound or conjugates over the 48-h observation period. The first C(max) and AUC(0-48 h) showed dose linearity with ratios of 1 : 4.5 : 13.6 (C(max)) and 1 : 5.2 : 17.1 (AUC). The750- mg dose decreased LH concentrations by 16.7% (95% confidence interval 0.5, 30.2). CONCLUSION: Single oral doses of up to 750 mg 8-PN were well tolerated by postmenopausal women. The pharmacokinetic profile of 8-PN was characterized by rapid and probably complete enteral absorption, high metabolic stability, pronounced enterohepatic recirculation and tight dose linearity. The decrease in LH serum concentrations found after the highest dose demonstrates the ability of 8-PN to exert systemic endocrine effects in postmenopausal women.

Br J Clin Pharmacol. 2006 Sep;62(3):288-96

Estrogenic activity of 7-hydroxymatairesinol potassium acetate (HMR/lignan) from Norway spruce (Picea abies) knots and of its active metabolite enterolactone in MCF-7 cells.

Lignans are plant polyphenols which may possess anticancer, antioxidant, antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory and immunomodulatory activities. In particular, the lignan 7-hydroxymatairesinol (HMR/lignan, HMR) is a novel precursor of the mammalian lignan enterolactone (EL). In the present study, we investigated the estrogenicity of HMR and of EL in comparison to estradiol (E2), by measuring their effects on growth and apoptotic markers in the human estrogen-sensitive cell line MCF-7. HMR, EL and E2 concentration-dependently increased the percentage of MCF-7 cells in the S phase of the cell cycle, with the following relative potencies: E2 congruent with EL>>HMR, and efficacies: E2>HMR>>EL. Treatment of MCF-7 cells with either HMR, EL or E2 also increased the Bcl-2/Bax mRNA ratio. The effects of HMR and EL were reduced in the presence of the estrogen receptor (ER) antagonist tamoxifene. We conclude that both HMR and its metabolite EL are endowed with estrogenic activity, which is likely to be exerted through the contribution of ER-dependent pathways and to target the same intracellular mechanisms acted upon by E2. The estrogenicity of HMR and EL is however milder than that of E2, as indicated by the lower potencies and efficacies of both lignans. The present results support the notion that dietary supplementation with HMR may result in a mild estrogenic activity, both directly and by providing a suitable source for endogenous EL.

Pharmacol Res. 2007 Aug;56(2):140-7

Risks and benefits of estrogen plus progestin in healthy postmenopausal women: principal results From theWomen’s Health Initiative randomized controlled trial.

CONTEXT: Despite decades of accumulated observational evidence, the balance of risks and benefits for hormone use in healthy postmenopausal women remains uncertain. OBJECTIVE: To assess the major health benefits and risks of the most commonly used combined hormone preparation in the United States. DESIGN: Estrogen plus progestin component of the Women’s Health Initiative, a randomized controlled primary prevention trial (planned duration, 8.5 years) in which 16608 postmenopausal women aged 50-79 years with an intact uterus at baseline were recruited by 40 US clinical centers in 1993-1998. INTERVENTIONS: Participants received conjugated equine estrogens, 0.625 mg/d, plus medroxyprogesterone acetate, 2.5 mg/d, in 1 tablet (n = 8506) or placebo (n = 8102). MAIN OUTCOMES MEASURES: The primary outcome was coronary heart disease (CHD) (nonfatal myocardial infarction and CHD death), with invasive breast cancer as the primary adverse outcome. A global index summarizing the balance of risks and benefits included the 2 primary outcomes plus stroke, pulmonary embolism (PE), endometrial cancer, colorectal cancer, hip fracture, and death due to other causes. RESULTS: On May 31, 2002, after a mean of 5.2 years of follow-up, the data and safety monitoring board recommended stopping the trial of estrogen plus progestin vs placebo because the test statistic for invasive breast cancer exceeded the stopping boundary for this adverse effect and the global index statistic supported risks exceeding benefits. This report includes data on the major clinical outcomes through April 30, 2002. Estimated hazard ratios (HRs) (nominal 95% confidence intervals [CIs]) were as follows: CHD, 1.29 (1.02-1.63) with 286 cases; breast cancer, 1.26 (1.00-1.59) with 290 cases; stroke, 1.41 (1.07-1.85) with 212 cases; PE, 2.13 (1.39-3.25) with 101 cases; colorectal cancer, 0.63 (0.43-0.92) with 112 cases; endometrial cancer, 0.83 (0.47-1.47) with 47 cases; hip fracture, 0.66 (0.45-0.98) with 106 cases; and death due to other causes, 0.92 (0.74-1.14) with 331 cases. Corresponding HRs (nominal 95% CIs) for composite outcomes were 1.22 (1.09-1.36) for total cardiovascular disease (arterial and venous disease), 1.03 (0.90-1.17) for total cancer, 0.76 (0.69-0.85) for combined fractures, 0.98 (0.82-1.18) for total mortality, and 1.15 (1.03-1.28) for the global index. Absolute excess risks per 10 000 person-years attributable to estrogen plus progestin were 7 more CHD events, 8 more strokes, 8 more PEs, and 8 more invasive breast cancers, while absolute risk reductions per 10 000 person-years were 6 fewer colorectal cancers and 5 fewer hip fractures. The absolute excess risk of events included in the global index was 19 per 10,000 person-years. CONCLUSIONS: Overall health risks exceeded benefits from use of combined estrogen plus progestin for an average 5.2-year follow-up among healthy postmenopausal US women. All-cause mortality was not affected during the trial. The risk-benefit profile found in this trial is not consistent with the requirements for a viable intervention for primary prevention of chronic diseases, and the results indicate that this regimen should not be initiated or continued for primary prevention of CHD.

JAMA. 2002 Jul 17;288(3):321-33

Prenylflavonoids: a new class of non-steroidal phytoestrogen (Part 1). Isolation of 8-isopentenylnaringenin and an initial study on its structure-activity relationship.

Bioassay-guided fractionation of a methanolic extract of a Thai crude drug, derived from heartwood of Anaxagorea luzonensis A. Gray (Annonaceae), resulted in the isolation of 8-isopentenylnaringenin (1) as an estrogen agonist with a activity of about an order of magnitude greater than genistein. Various flavonoids possessing isopentenyl side chains in the A-ring have been prepared and evaluated for their ability to bind estrogen receptor. In addition, enantiomers of 1 were separated and the respective enantiomers were assayed. These studies have demonstrated that the presence of an 8-isopentenyl group is an important factor for binding. Flavones, flavanones and flavonols having an isopentenyl substituent at C-8 exhibited an appreciable affinity for estrogen receptor. Conversely, isoflavones possessing an 8-isopentenyl substituent at C-8 did not show this activity. Movement of the isopentenyl group from position 8 to 6 resulted in loss of the activity. No significant difference was observed between 2(S)- and 2(R)-enantiomers of 1 in their binding affinity. Prenylflavonoids are reported to possess a wide range of biological activities; however, estrogenic activity has not been described.

Planta Med. 1998 Aug;64(6):511-5