For women searching for safer alternatives to hormone replacement therapy for easing symptoms of menopause, supplements are often recommended for reducing the physical and emotional discomforts. The vitamins, minerals and other nutrients that might be missing in the diet of menopausal women are replaced with supplements.
Top Menopause Supplements
Flaxseed is a popular menopause supplement with estrogenic property. It contains estrogen-like compounds called lignans, which helps in relieving night sweats and hot flashes by correcting imbalance in the female hormones.
Flaxseed supplement may even decrease breast pain and reduce the risk of osteoporosis and breast cancer. The menopausal symptoms can be diminished by taking about 40 mg of flaxseed each day. Flaxseed supplements are considered safe for most women.
Black cohosh, one of the most popular menopause supplements, is taken to ease hot flashes and night sweats. Preliminary evidences support the effectiveness of the herb in improving the vasomotor symptoms of menopause.
Scientists have identified an estrogen-like compound called fukinolic acid in black cohosh, which they believe is responsible for the estrogenic property of the herb. Black cohosh supplement can be ingested for up to six months. Long-term effect of the herb is unknown. Women suffering from liver problems should avoid black cohosh.
Severity and frequency of hot flashes and night sweats can be decreased by red clover. Red clover is a source of phytoestrogens called isoflavones.
When ingested, these plant compounds mimic human estrogen. Supplements containing red clover are likely to be safe when taken in small doses. However, they might interact with other estrogen pills and supplements.
Deficiency in the female hormones not only causes hot flashes and vaginal dryness, but they even accelerate loss of bone density. Menopausal women must consume sufficient calcium to combat osteoporosis.
If you are not getting enough calcium through your regular diet, which is more likely to occur in vegans, calcium supplements can supply your bones this essential mineral.
Vitamin D deficiency is common among older women. Shortage of this important nutrient impairs calcium absorption in the bones.
Vitamin D supplements can help to replenish the vitamin D reserve in the body. Some women may need about 600 IU of vitamin D daily during menopause.
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Anxiety and mood swings are common emotional symptoms of menopause. Supplements containing ginseng can act as natural mood boosters. Ginseng is recommended for treating sleeping difficulties during menopause.
St. John’s Wort
Mood swings can also be controlled with St. John’s wort. Some menopause supplements combine black cohosh with St. John’s wort. St. John’s wort contains hypericin and hyperforin. In the nervous system, these compounds act as chemical messengers.
DHEA is a hormone that occurs naturally in the human body. Some of the bothersome symptoms of menopause are attributed to drop in DHEA production. Few studies suggest that DHEA supplements may reduce hot flashes and depression.
While small doses of DHEA are possibly safe when used for a brief period, large doses above 100 mg can cause serious side effects. DHEA is not recommended for women with hormone-sensitive cancers.