Creating a Smoother Transition into your Later Life
Menopause is signaled 12 months after a woman’s last menstrual period. Gradually, hormone levels, including estrogen and progesterone, decline as a woman becomes closer to and reaches menopause.
Menopause usually occurs anytime in a woman’s mid-40s to mid-50s. According to the U.S. Office on Woman’s Health, in the United States, the average age of menopause is 52.
Hormones play a significant role in several areas of your health. When hormone levels change, it can lead to side effects.
The decline in hormones that develops with menopause can lead to various symptoms, such as:
- Hot flashes.
- Night sweats.
- Mood swings.
- Joint pain.
- Vaginal dryness.
- Weight gain.
The specific symptoms and their severity vary greatly. How a woman decides to deal with menopausal symptoms also varies. Some women may turn to menopausal supplements to ease symptoms.
Best Menopause Supplements
It is helpful to understand not every supplement will work for all women. Menopause treatment is not a one size fits all. Also, the dose may vary depending on the severity of the symptoms.
Most of the research surrounding menopause supplements is related to how well they treat hot flashes. Some supplements may also treat night sweats and mood swings.
Below are some of the best supplements to take for menopause.
The Top 8 Menopause Supplements
The loss of estrogen that occurs with menopause may speed up bone loss. Bone loss increases your risk of fractures. If you do not get enough foods high in calcium in your diet, taking a calcium supplement may help reduce your risk of bone loss.
2. Black Cohosh
Black cohosh is derived from a perennial plant. It has been used for hundreds of years to treat a variety of conditions, including menopause. Although research remains mixed, some studies indicate black cohosh may reduce the frequency and severity of hot flashes and night sweats.
According to the National Institute of Health Office of Dietary Supplements, clinical studies on the use of black cohosh for menopause symptoms showed it is usually well tolerated with only mild side effects.
3. Red Clover
Red clover is made from a leaf extract. It is a good source of isoflavones. Isoflavones are a plant-based compound that may weakly mimic estrogen. By mimicking estrogen, red clover may reduce some of the common menopause symptoms, including hot flashes.
4. Evening Primrose Oil
Evening primrose oil comes from the seeds of a plant found in North America. It may help decrease symptoms of menopause, including night sweats. According to a study published in the Journal of Menopausal Medicine, when compared with the control group, the study participants that took 1000 mg of evening primrose twice a day reported a reduction in night sweats.
Ginseng is an herb made from the root of a plant native to the far east. It is thought to have anti-inflammatory properties and a calming effect. According to the North American Menopause Society, ginseng supplements may help decrease certain menopausal side effects, including sleep problems and mood disturbances.
Flaxseed contains phytoestrogens, which are compounds that may have certain estrogen-like effects on the body. Flaxseed supplements may help decrease hot flashes. In addition, flaxseed may play a role in decreasing cholesterol levels, which makes them a good supplement to consider for overall health benefits.
7. Valerian Root
Valerian root is an herb found in Europe and parts of Asia. It has been used to promote a sedative effect. As with most of the above supplements, valerian root may help decrease hot flashes. Because of its calming effect, it may also help improve sleep and promote relaxation.
Various studies have been completed on the effectiveness of valerian root on hot flashes. Many of the studies show an improvement in the severity of hot flashes after taking the supplement. For example, a study published in Women’s Health found that after two months of use, valerian root significantly reduced hot flashes.
8. Licorice Root
Licorice root is a supplement that also contains phytoestrogens. This compound may activate the estrogen receptors in the body. The theory is by activating estrogen receptors, the supplement may boost estrogen levels in the body, which reduces menopausal symptoms, such as hot flashes and night sweats.
Keep in mind, the FDA does not regulate supplements the same way they oversee medications. Although most of the supplements listed above are well-tolerated, they can interact with medications currently taken. The recommended dose may also be trial and error to reduce symptoms.
Certain supplements, if taken in large doses, may have uncommon adverse effects on the liver. Talking with a healthcare provider before starting a new supplement is important.
Take a look at some of the best collagen supplements for women.
- Black Cohosh - Health Professional Fact Sheet (nih.gov)
- Best Supplements for Menopause – Cleveland Clinic
- The Effect of Evening Primrose Oil Capsule on Hot Flashes and Night Sweats in Postmenopausal Women: A Single-Blind Randomized Controlled Trial - PMC (nih.gov)
- Herbal Remedies for Menopause, Menopause Information & Articles | The North American Menopause Society, NAMS