New research has revealed a strong connection between use of hormone replacement therapy (HRT) and an increased incidence of breast cancer. And it turns out that men have hot flashes too! But there ARE alternatives to HRT.

Breast cancer rates began to go down in 2002-2003, which coincided with the plummeting use of HRT in mid-2002, after results of the Women’s Health Initiative study were announced, revealing that HRT was dangerous in many different ways. The incidence of breast cancer in 2004 leveled maintained the same low level, which is the lowest rate since about 1987. Researcher Donald Berry says, “This kind of study can’t prove causality, but the data present a very compelling link between hormone replacement therapy and breast cancer.”

In, Charles Q. Choi reports that men experience the same kind of hot flashes as menopausal women?but only if they undergo chemical castration. Scientists are hoping that this discovery will help them figure out how to solve the problem for women.

Instead of HRT, the natural herb black cohosh is commonly used by women to treat menopausal symptoms such as hot flashes, but the medical community has scoffed and said it is just a placebo?until now.

Pharmacologist Z. Jim Wang has discovered that black cohosh may act on human opiate receptors, which play a role in regulating a body’s temperature. Opiate receptors are chemical sensors that respond to opiates like morphine and endorphins. Black cohosh is a member of the buttercup family and is native to North America. It has been used by Native Americans to treat malaise, gynecological disorders, kidney ailments, malaria, rheumatism and sore throat, as well as colds, cough, constipation, hives and backaches, and to induce lactation.

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