Gwyneth Paltrow wants to change the way women think and talk about the menopause

Posted on 4th November 2018


We very much welcome the idea that a really big player, “A-list Celeb” and life-style guru is bringing attention to the menopause! Many a woman suffer in silence and being able to share experiences and recognise that even the beautiful and monied Gwyneth Paltrow also goes through the menopause must be most empowering to women. In keeping with her enterprising nature, she offers solutions through GOOP, her life-style website: she offers a multi-vitamin, omegas and the phyto-oestrogens black-cohosh and motherwort. We are delighted with Ms Paltrow for raising the menopause topic but are much less happy with her suggested solutions! The nutraceutical industry makes a multi-billion-dollar profit from selling vitamin supplements that all basic science research has shown to confer little if any value. Research to date has failed to show any significant benefits (with regard to symptom relief) from black cohosh, which has actually been shown to potentially cause liver injury. Motherwort has been associated with abnormal uterine bleeding. No doubt some women will experience some benefits when they initially start to take Ms Paltrow’s concoction, but in the majority, this will turn out to be a placebo effect that will last at best only a few months. Influential people like Ms Paltrow have a moral obligation to help guide the public in the right direction: not everything that is “natural” is effective and/or safe, and not everything that is officially “medicinal” should be frowned upon. In the UK NICE have recognised that for the average woman, the benefits of conventional HRT far outweigh the risks, and the efficacy of HRT with regard to symptom relief AND as a preventative measure (osteoporosis and perhaps even dementia) are beyond dispute. Our beef is that while promoting her wares Ms Paltrow should also acknowledge the availability and benefits of conventional therapies: the vast majority of women who could benefit from HRT avoid it because of fear of breast cancer (note the precipitate fall in the use of HRT following the 2002/3 WHI publications), but the perspective on breast cancer risk have changed dramatically in recent years - and people like Ms Paltrow should help spread the new message, while still selling their concoctions - thereby giving women real choice!”

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