• Diet & Nutrition

8 Menopause Supplements With Clout

Strong, healthy woman in her fifties

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  • Diet & Nutrition

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Bloating, low energy, night sweats, hot flashes, dry skin, mood changes, a lower libido, poor memory, vaginal dryness and sleep problems. The list of potential menopause symptoms you'll experience when hormonal changes manifest is pretty extensive.

You have a few options which can have a significant effect on symptoms which include hormone replacement therapy, diet changes, and menopause supplements. 

We will all have our own unique mix of symptoms based on our hormone levels, our genes, whether you have a balanced diet and your lifestyle. Let's look at 8 of the tried and tested ones!

healthy middle aged woman

Why would you need menopause supplements?

Many women find menopause difficult with symptoms making daily life really difficult. A balanced diet, regular exercise and plenty of relaxation and sleep should make the transition manageable. Unfortunately, modern life doesn't make achieving this balance easy.

Supplements can help to support specific symptoms, fill in nutritional gaps, improve digestion, health and boost immunity.

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1.Iron for Fatigue

Life tends to be busy for women in their 40's and 50's juggling careers, families, parents and relationships. One of the most complained about symptoms of menopause is fatigue. Even before periods stop a woman can start to feel more tired than normal.

Changes in hormone levels can lead to feeling a lot more tired than normal. Red meat, liver, beans and dark leafy vegetables are all good sources of iron. If your diet is includes these but fatigue is still a problem along with pale skin, brittle hair and nails then it may be worth talking to your doctor.

Iron levels can be measured using a blood test and iron supplements prescribed to increase your levels. Don't supplement with iron unless you know for sure there is a problem as it can be harmful to your health.

Brain fog review

2. Calcium, Zinc, Vitamin D : Bone Health

50 % of women over the age of 50 and in menopause will break a bone due to osteoporosis. When oestrogen levels drop bone renewal slows down meaning new bone is replaced much slower than bones break down which leads to weak bones. 

Calcium and Vitamin D are important menopause vitamins. For women who experience early menopause, osteoporosis is a real concern as their levels of oestrogen are lower for longer.

Calcium and Vitamin D help to support bone health. This dynamic duo work together in a symbiotic way. Calcium helps to strengthen bones and Vitamin D helps you absorb calcium. Zinc is Vitamin D's wingman, making sure your calcium absorption is optimal. 

Weight bearing and body weight exercises can also help to strengthen and build up bones. Squats, push ups, kettlebells can all put a good kinds of stress on your bones which supports new growth - your choice which suits you!

3. Herbal supplements : Hot flushes and night sweats

Hot flushes and night sweats are one of the most common menopausal symptoms and also one of the most stressful and embarrassing ones for women. There is just no hiding them when they happen and a cold drink won't cut it. Night sweats can ruin your sleep and your bedding.

It is thought that the decline of oestrogen affects the the balance of the body's internal thermometer - the hypothalamus which can become super sensitive to even slight changes in temperature. Caffeine and alcohol are known to exacerbate hot flashes.

Sage leaves, black cohosh, liquorice root and red clover are associated with alleviating hot flushes. Flaxseeds have also been noted for relieving hot flushes due to isoflavones which mimic natural oestrogen levels. NOTE : Women who have had breast cancer shouldn't use Red Clover or supplements which include Red Clover. Consult your doctor.

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4. Magnesium for sleep and tension relief

Magnesium supports the nervous system, the digestive system, nerves and muscles. Many women in menopause experience mood swings but low levels can result in heightened anxiety, lower moods and sleep may be harder to come by.

Studies suggest that magnesium can help sleep disruption with participants sleeping longer, with less time awake while in bed.

This supplement has also been associated with lowering blood pressure. A review published in the Journal of Clinical Hypertension, magnesium supplements of 500 mg to 1000 mg daily may reduce blood pressure by as much as 5.6/2.8 mm Hg. Researchers found those on it had significantly lower blood pressure after three months of treatment, compared to those who didn’t.

5. Adaptogens for stress and anxiety

Natural herbal adaptogens such as Ashwagandha can help the body to adapt to stressful situations better, which can keep cortisol levels from spiking

Ashwagandha, an ancient herb used in Ayurvedic medicine for centuries, supports the central nervous system and can also help to keep your mood more balanced because they help to dampen your reaction to stressors.

Herbal adaptogens can be quite potent so consult your doctor if you're on medication.

6. Gingko Biloba for brain fog

Brain fog will affect up to 70% of women according to the Fawcett Society Landmark Study. Forgetting words, finding it hard to retain information, lack of focus and memory lapses can make life really difficult. Especially at work. 

We lose 1 in 10 menopausal women over 50 in the workplace due to brain fog induced loss of confidence. The brain is as dependent on your oestrogen supply as your body.

Ginkgo is one of the oldest living trees and the leaves have been used in Chinese medicine for centuries. It is associated with supporting healthy cognitive function, mental performance and improving blood flow to the brain.

7. Omega 3 - Heart health and joint pain

Heart health is a big one for women over 40. Twice as many women die each year of coronary heart disease than breast cancer. Before menopause, women have a lower risk of CHD than men but after menopause the risk dramatically increases.

Oestrogen helps to keep blood vessels free from fatty plaque deposits and cells that line the arteries flexible so they can transport oxygen. When oestrogen levels drop that can increase cholesterol, narrow arteries and increase blood pressure. 

Exercise is really important. Even if it's just 30 minutes brisk walking a day. Use this FREE NHS App to log your walks - it even has a pace measurer and will sprinkle your phone with confetti every time you log ten minutes worth of effort!

Omega-3 fats also can help to reduce inflammation, which can help to alleviate joint pain and stiffness associated with a drop in oestrogen levels.

8. Prebiotic Fibre - Gut Health and Natural Hormone Regulation

Studies show that women in menopause experience changes to their gut microbiome. They have a less diverse gut microbiome than pre menopause women. We are starting to learn that the gut, like your hormones, help to keep the body working well.

The gut has a specific collection of bacteria known as the estrobolome which helps to distribute oestrogen around the body which then in turn balance weight, mood and energy levels. The estrobolone is also dependent on oestrogen to thrive. Fibre is key for gut health and you should be aiming for 30g a day. The average adult consumption is 20g.

Prebiotic fibre is food for good bacteria in the gut such as bifidobacteria ( (y-shaped bacteria that secrete B vitamins). If we increase the good gut bacteria then the gut can help to maximise nutrient absorption, improve digestion, increase vitamin levels and boost immunity.

There is also research to suggest that prebiotic fibre can boost brain health. Researchers at TwinsUK, the UK’s largest adult twin registry based at King’s College London found that a daily prebiotic fibre supplement boosted brain function in over 60s in just 12 weeks.

On the Alzheimers Research UK website analysis shows that even after the pandemic dementia is still the leading cause of death for women. Women over 60 have nearly double the risk of developing Alzheimers disease than men so prebiotic fibre is something that you need to consider.

Key Takeaways

Women's health can undergo quite a few challenges when menopause symptoms start to emerge and you may need more support, even if you're on hormone replacement therapy. The best menopause supplements for you will depend on your individual circumstances. 

A balanced diet will help to ensure you're getting quality nutrients. Vitamins and minerals like Vitamin D, Calcium, Zinc and Magnesium are important for bone renewal. Prebiotic fibre and Omega 3 can help to increase gut microbiome and protect your heart.