Vitamins For Menopause – The Natural Way
Let’s continue the menopause discussion from my last article, which covered the signs of perimenopause. I provided insight on what to expect during the 3 phases of menopause so that you can hopefully prepare for your own menopause or learn how to support someone in your life. Did the information provided make you feel relieved? Or discouraged? I mean, I can see how it can have both effects. Relieved because it confirms that you are not “sick” or have an “illness”. You are instead, experiencing a natural biological stage that effects both your reproductive system and brain. But you may also feel discouraged, because the symptoms can be severe and definitely long-lasting, up to 10-15 years, depending on when perimenopause begins for you. So what now you ask? Well there are supplements for menopause, some of which have been proven to really help with the relief of menopause symptoms. These supplements can provide the right vitamins for menopause, so that the effects of the imbalance of hormones can be mitigated.
Top 5 Supplements For Menopause
A few studies have found evidence that the different types of ginseng can help improve quality of life during menopause.
There are 2 types of Ginseng:
Asian or Korean ginseng called Panax ginseng and American ginseng called Panax quinquefolius.
They both have been proven to have many health benefits, the only difference is that they vary in their concentration.
The two active ingredients in ginseng are: ginsenosides and gintonin. These compounds complement one another to provide health benefits.
Panax ginseng has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for thousands of years to improve quality of life in many ways. A 12-week study with postmenopausal women, where three grams of red ginseng was taken daily, showed a significant improvement of menopausal symptoms.
The women taking red ginseng also had significantly lower total cholesterol and low-density lipoproteins “bad cholesterol”.(1)
Studies continue to show that Ginseng improves overall health because it has:
- anti-infammatory properties
- antioxidant properties
- properties that help with brain function
- properties that help with sexual arousal
- positive effects on the immune system
- an increase on energy levels
- the ability to lower blood sugar levels
For MENOPAUSE specifically, besides all the benefits mentioned, ginseng can help with PMDD.
The maca plant is grown underground and it is a cruciferous vegetable, like broccoli or cauliflower.
It is grown in the Peruvian Andes at an elevation of about 12,000 to 14,000 feet.
Some minerals that maca contains are iron, zinc, iodine, calcium, copper, magnesium and potassium.
Researchers have conducted enormous amounts of studies with maca and it has been clinically proven to help maintain hormonal balance in your hypothalamus, pituitary, pineal gland, adrenal glands, ovaries, and thyroid gland. Results show that maca helps with:
1. Increasing the production of estrogen and progesterone (therefore can also help for menstrual cycle symptoms).
3. Decreasing the stress hormone cortisol.
4. Symptoms of hypothyroidism.
5. Bone density – because it contains calcium and phosphorous.
6. Improving sleep
7, Improving mood and energy
8. Decreasing hot flashes
Now Maca can be found in many regular grocery stores, typically in the whole food area or organic section. You have to be careful with the quaility of the maca being sold.
Personally I would recommend that you order it on-line, from a very well-known triple certifiied physician, Dr. Anna Cabeca, who also has other producs and services to get your through website.
I was fascinated when I learned about her because she reversed her menopause and had a child by changing her lifestyle. In particular, she developed a “twist” on the keto-diet, which works for women over the age of 40, and has been proven the reduce menopause symptoms. Learn more about it here.
You actually have a lot more to gain to visit her website, then to just order maca from Dr. Anna Cabeca. She is currently offering a FREE 10 day on-line class called “Breeze Through Menopause” that comes highly recommended and I myself have written a blog about it.
Another reason for purchasing Dr Anna’s Cabeca’s maca, called “Mighty Maca” is because you can opt for the Mighty Maca Trial – this means you get a 4-day free trial of the product (must pay shipping and handling).
Flaxseed or Linseed Oil
Many studies have shown that flax seed and flax seed oil help some women with menopause symptoms and better quality of life.
In addition, flax seed has been shown to decrease the intensity and frequency of hot flashes. (2)
Flaxseed oil is also known to have the following properties which help with the following associated health issues:
- Healthy proteins that may decrease risk factors of heart disease.
- Has laxative properties that help with IBS, digestive issues, diarrhea and constipation.
Infact, flax seed has a detoxifying effect on the body and it has been shown to help with suppressing appetite and increasing weight loss. (3)
- Phenolic compounds (lignans) which may prevent cancer and even kill cancer cells.
- Minerals, including calcium and magnesium – can help with body density and sleep.
- Omega 3 Fatty acids – which will help with inflammation.
DO NOT use flax seed oil: if you are pregnant, if you are breastfeeding, on children, before having surgery, if you have a bleeding disorder or are taking blood clot medications.
Make sure that when you purchase flax seed oil:
1. It is in an opaque bottle protecting it from sunlight;
2. It is refrigerated after opening.
Bone loss can become a serious problem once hormone levels drop after menopause and it is always best to get your calcium through your food, however not everyone enjoys or eats/drinks enough calcium containing food.
Other than the obvious food such as milk, cheese and yogurt, there are other food you can get your calcium from:
1. Seeds – poppy, sesame and chia seeds.
2. Sardines and canned salmon.
3. Lentils and Beans.
4. Whey Protein
6. Spinach and Kale
7. Tofu and Edamame
As a general rule of thumb, women under 51 need 1,000 milligrams of calcium a day. Women 51 and older need 1,200 milligrams a day.
Remember, in order for your body to absorb the effects of calcium, it also has to have enough Vitamin D.
Soy isoflavones have been studied for preventing menopausal symptoms and premenstrual syndrome because they interact with estrogen receptors in the brain, which can help with memory fog, mood and sleep.
Significant cognitive improvements in postmenopausal women was seen from taking 60mg total of isoflavone supplement per day for12 weeks. (4)
They also seem to help with the reduction of hot flashes. (5)
Soy isoflavones can be found in:
3. fava Beans
It is also available as a supplement in tablet and capsule forms. Doses that showed improvement in some cognitive functions in clinical studies ranged from 60–100 mg/day.
Where To Purchase Good Quality Vitamins
If you want to order all of these vitamins mentioned in this article, at not only a good price but more importantly, that they are VERY good quality, I would highly recommend that you purchase them at Pure Prescriptions. Pure prescriptions only delivers to the USA.
If you are Canadian, like me, the alternative Canadian company that I highly recommend is SVN Canada. If you are also interested in using whey protein, as a possible substitue for calcium, I would also recommend this Whey protein which is very high quality.
Both these companies offer free shipping and have very high rating under the Better Business Bureau. There are several independent reviews that you can find on the internet and they are postive.
Which Vitamins Are Is Right For You?
If you do research on vitamins for menopause or supplements for menopause, you will easily find another 5 or more that are recommended. You need to really be careful because there are studies showing mixed results on many of these supplements, for instance black cohosh. I selected the 5 supplements that I feel, based on my research, have the most clinical studies, proving that they help with menopause symptoms. These 5 also have the added benefits that are pretty much good for the whole family and overall general health.
Like all others foods, vitamins and even exercise , anything in high doses can have a negative impact. Before starting to add supplementation, make sure you are not already consuming these products naturally or see if you can add them naturally to your diet. The vitamins like calcium and flax seed oil are very easily added to your diet naturally.
I hope this article helped and please let me know through your comments below if you have ever tried any of these supplements and/or if you intend to try them:)