Park, H., Parker, G. L., Boardman, C. H., Morris, M. M., & Smith, T. J. (2011). A pilot phase II trial of magnesium supplements to reduce menopausal hot flashes in breast cancer patients. Supportive Care in Cancer, 19(6), 859-863.doi:10.1007/s00520-011-1099-7
The study tested whether magnesium would diminish bothersome hot flashes in breast cancer patients
Patients were assessed at baseline for all variables. They recieved magnesium 400 mg daily for 2 weeks. If symptom relief on hot flashes was seen, they stayed with same dose for 2 weeks more. If not, they increased to 400 mg twice daily for 2 weeks.
Twenty-nine women with a mean age of 53.5 years were enrolled. All were breast cancer patients with ECOG Performance status 0-1 & 2. Patients were excluded if they:
This was an observational study.
Instruments and assessments included.
Hot flash frequency and score were reduced with magnesium. The average weekly hot flash score decreased by 50.4% from 109.8 (SE, 40.9) to 47.8 (SE, 13.8), p value 0.02. Magnesium does not have effect on overall quality of life. Fatigue and distress due to hot flashes showed modest benefit. Minor side-effects included migraine, headache, and nausea.
The findings suggest that oral magnesium supplementation is effective in reducing the severity and frequency of hot flashes in women after treatment for breast cancer
This study used a small sample <30. The study design was not controlled or randomized. There was possible variance in grading side-effects or toxicity. Magnesium should be tested in a larger population
Magnesium may safely decrease hot flashes, with few side effects and low cost. Further research in use of magnesium supplements is warranted.