The majority of hot-flash reduction that occurs following vitamin E initiation is the result of a placebo-effect. In other words, the researchers believe that most of the beneficial effect of vitamin E arose not from the vitamin but from patient's expectations, and possibly from the natural decrease in intensity of the flashes over time.
Journal of Clinical Oncology (1998;16:495-500)
COMMENT: An interesting study which attempts to discredit one of the most valuable nutritional supplements. I am not certain why this study was done. Most of the recommendations I am familiar with do not recommend vitamin E for menopausal hot flashes. It is useful for other gynecological disorders though such as fibrocystic breast disease (along with elimination of caffeine and the use of natural progesterone). Additionally there are far more effective natural treatments for the hot flashes of menopause. The herb black cohosh is particularly effective. Naturally progesterone is also the most important post menopausal supplement and frequently will relieve the hot flashes. It is very unusual when the black cohosh (a phytoestrogen) and the natural progesterone are not effective. If the hot flashes are debilitating then one could use small doses of natural human, not synthetic or horse, estrogen.