Women’s Health: A Guide to Nutrition and Supplements for Menopause Support‡
If you have entered the menopause stage, here are some tips on dealing with physical and emotional changes while ensuring you are supporting your health and overall well-being. In this blog, you’ll learn how nutrients and supplements for menopause support can help you at this particular stage in your life.‡
Times of Change & Empowerment
Women are natural nurturers, doers and all-around caregivers. From motherhood to grandmotherhood, we always share our love and care for our families and those around us.
Sometimes, it seems as if life is on a fast track and before we know it, we are entering a new venture or stage of our lives. Whether it’s a new job, retirement, or changes within us that we are dealing with, we often need some support.
Menopause is one of those times. I hope the tips I share with you today will help you understand how proper nutrition and supplements for menopause can help you succeed during this stage of change.
As a Registered Dietitian, I have spoken to several hundred women over the years and have provided nutrition counseling and health coaching to women during every stage of life. I worked closely with young women in their teens, athletes and college-aged women. I have also worked with prenatal moms and coached them postnatally through their breastfeeding and formula-feeding journey. I continue to have the privilege of being a part of the health journey of many women of all ages and stages of life, including perimenopausal, menopausal and postmenopausal women, as well as our beloved seniors.
But since our focus is menopause, let me share with you how optimal nutrition, daily activity and supplements for menopause support can help guide you through this newfound change in life.
In fact, the most common concern that women have asked is, “How can I deal with these hormone changes?”
Let’s dig in to see how we address some of these common concerns.
Changes in hormones, like the decrease in estrogen, may contribute to the changes in your emotions—for example, mood swings — when you feel cranky or moody and feel just fine later. But there are physical changes that are also part of the menopausal puzzle. Hormonal changes may lead to increased fatigue and body temperature changes, like sweating and hot flashes. These symptoms may even wake you at night, disrupting your sleep. So, how do you grab hold of heading off these not-so-comfortable feelings?
Well, there are many natural ways to support you during this time. Some herbal extracts provide multifaceted support for the body during the hormonal changes that occur during menopause. Some studies suggest that sage extract helps support menopausal comfort, including hot flashes and night sweating.1 Sage extract can be found in supplements for menopause support like Pure Encapsulations® PhytoBalance II‡
This formula also contains phytoestrogens, natural substances in plants exhibiting estrogen-like activity.2 Some phytoestrogen-containing foods include soy, broccoli, dried beans, seeds, cauliflower, and some fruits.3
Other herbs and nutrients that support a woman’s hormonal changes during menopause include:
- Chaste tree moderates the secretion of the hormone prolactin, possibly by enhancing the inhibitory actions of dopamine in prolactin-secreting cells.
- Grape seed extract is included to support cardiovascular and cognitive health. Research suggests that proanthocyanidins (rich antioxidants) from grape seed promote menopausal comfort and support vascular integrity.4‡
- Black Cohosh helps maintain healthy levels of luteinizing hormone, allowing for optimal comfort and physical well-being.5 This herb also exhibits mild estrogenic activity by binding to estrogen receptors.6‡
MenoVive is another dietary supplement for menopause support that you may want to discuss with your healthcare practitioner. This supplement supports menopausal comfort and relaxation during times of occasional stress.‡ It also promotes breast, uterine, cervical and cognitive health while supporting a healthy estrogen-to-progesterone ratio.‡
With a decrease in estrogen, women are likely to see a decline in bone density.7 Maintaining strong bones requires an adequate intake of nutrients like calcium, vitamin D, vitamin K, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, and other minerals (which we will discuss below). Though our diet is the primary source of nutrient intake, increased nutrient requirements may sometimes require dietary supplements to fill the gaps.‡
How Much Do I Need?
If you are uncertain whether your diet provides the amount of calcium, Vitamin D and other nutrients you need, you should take a few days and record your daily food intake, including the serving sizes of the foods and beverages you consumed. This will give you a good understanding of whether you are hitting the mark or need to increase your servings from a particular food group or if there is a need to supplement your diet.
Most women ask, “How much calcium or vitamin D should I get daily?”
- Often, I share that it depends on the conversation you had with your healthcare practitioner since everyone’s health plan is very individualized.
- I also share with them that the Institutes of Medicine have established a set of standards for vitamin and mineral daily recommendations, often referred to as Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA). These guidelines are based on age, gender and other factors. These listed amounts are sufficient for 97-98% of the United States (US) population.8
- As noted above, the amount of calcium, vitamin D and other necessary bone supporting nutrients will vary. The RDA values for a particular nutrient take into consideration the amount of what comes from dietary sources, beverages, medications and dietary supplementation.
Bone Supplementation for Menopausal Needs
The amount of calcium in supplements will vary. Most calcium supplements contain about 500 mg. of calcium per serving. Bone support supplements like OsteoBalance‡ provide 514mg of calcium per serving from calcium citrate/malate and calcium malate. In a two-year, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial, calcium citrate/malate has shown excellent bioavailability and provided support for bone mass in postmenopausal women with low dietary calcium intake.9‡
In addition to calcium, OsteoBalance‡ provides a comprehensive profile of important bone-building nutrients.‡
- One study indicated that supplementing calcium with trace minerals zinc, copper and manganese with calcium citrate/malate helped to promote healthy bone metabolism in postmenopausal subjects.10‡
- Magnesium also supports healthy bone mineral density.11‡
- Boron also plays an important role in bone health by reducing the loss of urinary calcium and magnesium.12
- Don’t forget vitamin D3, which helps enhance the body’s absorption of calcium and reduces urinary calcium loss.13‡
Changes Not Challenges-Maintaining Good Health
Let’s look at some changes women have noticed during menopause and post-menopause and want some answers:
“Why is it so difficult for me to lose weight now?”
With menopause and post-menopause, we know that the shift in hormones (good ol’ estrogen again) can lead to an increase in weight. This weight is usually found around the thoracic area or mid-section and may be associated with your cardiometabolic health. This means that there may also be a need for glucose support.
Eating a healthy diet focusing on whole fiber-rich foods, like fruits and vegetables, nuts, seeds and lean protein is important. Limiting sugary beverages and other sweets helps decrease your caloric intake, as well as helps to support your glucose health.
Also, coupling a healthy diet with another supplement, like XanthiTrim, helps maintain a healthy weight while promoting a healthy metabolic rate, including resting energy expenditure. It is important to note that this formula supports healthy fat metabolism and utilization.‡
Let’s not forget that regular exercise or engaging in physical activity daily is important to support cardiometabolic health and your daily emotional well-being.
Hair and Skin
“Oh, my goodness! My hair is so thin now. It doesn’t seem to be growing much.”
“My skin doesn’t look as youthful as it once did. Is there anything that can support healthy skin?”
Don’t fret. If you notice that your hair is thinner, know you are not alone. Research shows that hair loss is another physical change that women experience during menopause. Specifically, it’s related to a lowered production of estrogen and progesterone.14
Supplementing your diet with a clinically researched biotin complex that supports healthy hair and skin would be a great addition to your daily regime, like Pure Encapsulations® Biotin Complex Hair & Skin.‡ This formula contains a unique biotin complex called Lustriva® complex to support hair and skin health.
- It contains biotin, a B vitamin that plays an important role in maintaining skin health, and silica, a mineral cofactor that plays a role in collagen integrity.‡
- And guess what? The biotin in Lustriva is 40 times more soluble than standard biotin, which helps with absorption.
- In a study of healthy women (35-58 years old) with self-reported thinning hair, supplementing with Lustriva® for 12 weeks supported the growth of fuller, thicker hair.‡
Regarding skin health, Lustriva® also improves skin texture and supports skin appearance. In fact, Lustriva® reduced fine lines and skin roughness in 12 weeks compared to baseline.15‡
Empowering the Change
So, as you can see, taking the approach to the changes that come your way, either as you anticipate menopause, are amid menopause, or are post-menopausal, requires you to stay open to taking control of some lifestyle changes. Embrace the transition and know that optimal nutrition and staying physically active will support the physical changes you will embark on and the emotional changes that come with it.
Remember that change doesn't have to be difficult; we have you covered in menopausal health. Our Menopause Support Daily Pure Pack may offer comfort for occasional hot flashes and support your emotional well-being. This comprehensive pack is also designed to address common symptoms with:‡
- MenoVive, our unique formula, to support mood, cognitive health and cardiovascular function‡
- Calcium and magnesium to support bone mass‡
This is a time to feel empowered to take control of your health by being proactive, understanding changes at this stage and how you can support your health. Ensure regular visits with your healthcare practitioner, discuss supplements for menopause support and enjoy this new lease on living healthy.
- Ebrahimi A, Tayebi N, Fatemeh A, Akbarzadeh M. J Family Med Prim Care. 2020 Jun 30;9(6):2638-2649.
- Liu J, et al. J Agric Food Chem. 2001. 49; 2472−2479.
- Foods high in estrogen: Benefits, examples, and side effects (medicalnewstoday.com)
- Park E, et al. Br J Nutr. 2016 Jan;115(2):226-38.
- Jarry H, et al. Planta Medica. 1985. 51(4); 316- 319. Pockaj BA, et al.. 2004;22(4):515- 21.
- Wuttke W, et al. Menopause. 2006 Mar-Apr;13(2):185-96.
- (Institute of Medicine. Dietary Reference Intakes for Calcium and Vitamin D. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press; 2011.).
- Calcium - Health Professional Fact Sheet (nih.gov)
- Dawson-Hughes B, et al. N Engl J Med. 1990 Sep 27;323(13):878-83.
- Benevolenskaia LI, et al. Ter Arkh. 2004;76(11):88-93.
- Stendig-Lindberg G, et al. Magnes Res. 1993;6(2):155-63.
- Strause L, et al. J Nutr. 1994 Jul;124(7):1060-4.
- Aloia JF, et al. Am J Clin Nutr. 2014 Mar;99(3):624-31
- . Hair Loss and Menopause: How to Prevent It (healthline.com)
- Kalman DS, Hewlings SJ. J Clin Exp Dermatol Res. 2021;12(1).