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Supplements For A Healthy Menopause And Life

Written by: Lorraine Miano, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.

 

Many peri and postmenopausal women ask me, as a health and hormone coach, which supplements I recommend for their optimal health.


Eating a healthy diet that includes the essentials we need should be at the top of our list. However, there are several supplements that can benefit all women and some specific ones for women experiencing certain symptoms of hormone imbalance or other health concerns.

To make it simple, I’ll start with the supplements that most women would benefit from on their daily menopausal health journey.


Please Note: The information provided is for educational purposes only and does not take the place of medical advice. If you have a medical question regarding Perimenopause or Menopause, please speak with your doctor. Talk with your doctor before taking any supplements.


Fish Oil: Omega 3 Fatty Acids


What is Omega-3?


Omega-3 fatty acids are a group of polyunsaturated fatty acids that are essential to human health for certain vital functions and benefits. Alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) is essential for eye, nerve, and membrane development. Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) are important for the production of prostaglandins, a hormone-like substance, that usually helps to regulate blood pressure, inflammation, neurological functions, hormone production, etc. in the human body.


The strongest health benefit of omega-3 for women is related to heart health by maintaining a regular heart rhythm, reducing blood pressure, lowering blood fat levels, and slowing down the rate at which our arteries get clogged up.


A recent study of the effect of Omega 3 Fatty Acids on major depressive disorder (MDD) and Hot Flashes (VMS) in Perimenopausal and menopausal women showed significant improvement of symptoms. As stated in the published report: “In this open trial, we found promising evidence that omega-3 fatty acids may be efficacious for the treatment of MDD and hot flashes.” Also stated, “More data are needed to inform the treatment of women who experience MDD and hot flashes during the menopausal transition. Given the significant number of perimenopausal and postmenopausal women who experience MDD, the potential risks of hormone therapy and antidepressants, and the broad acceptability of CAM therapies, omega-3 fatty acids are an important potential treatment alternative. These preliminary data support further study of omega-3 fatty acids for MDD and VMS during the menopausal transition”


Omega-3 is essential for our body to function, but is not made by the body. So, you should be eating foods that are rich in omega-3 such as fish like salmon, mackerel, herring, sardines, tuna, scallops, and krill. Nuts including walnuts and Brazil nuts. Plants such as flaxseeds or flaxseed oil, algae, cauliflower, collard greens, and hummus. These are all great ways to get those healthy fats. If you are not a fan of these foods, or may not be eating enough of them on a regular basis, then an Omega-3 supplement may be for you.


Vitamin B Complex


Vitamin B refers to eight different vitamins. All B vitamins play a role in converting food into energy in the body. Each vitamin also has a unique role in a person’s health.


The eight B vitamins are:

  • B-1 (thiamine)

  • B-2 (riboflavin)

  • B-3 (niacin)

  • B-5 (pantothenic acid)

  • B-6 (pyridoxine)

  • B-7 (biotin)

  • B-9 (folic acid)

  • B-12 (cobalamin)

Vitamin B Complex is a supplement with all of the essential B vitamins included and may be one of the most important supplements for menopausal women. They are critically important for maintaining energy levels as they help the body use fat, carbohydrates, and protein for fuel, as well as assist in maintaining the function of the nervous system.


Low levels of B-complex vitamins have been linked to increased anxiety and irritability while decreasing the ability to handle stress. During menopause, stress levels are commonly elevated, so by increasing the dietary intake of Vitamin B, you may be able to lower your stress levels.


Other benefits of Vitamin B Complex include healthy adrenal function, nervous system support, and help with mood swings.


Many women will get their Vitamin B intake from their varied and healthy diets, while others may take a supplement.


Vitamin D3


Did you know that Vitamin D acts much the same as a hormone in our bodies? Just like hormones it plays an important role in many bodily functions including our immune system, maintaining healthy bones by helping us absorb calcium, reduces inflammation and in our muscle movement by sending messages from the brain to the body and back again.


Vitamin D deficiency can lead to several health conditions including cancer, infectious diseases, cardiovascular disease, and auto-immune diseases. An essential nutrient for good bone and muscle health, Vitamin D supports muscle cell functions and helps to absorb calcium. Vitamin D can regulate the growth and function of immune cells, which are critical for a healthy immune system.


Vitamin D is especially important to women during midlife, as it plays a role in moderating several symptoms and concerns of perimenopause and menopause. Recent studies link menopausal symptoms to Vitamin D deficiency. Declining estrogen levels can contribute to the symptoms of Vitamin D deficiency, as estrogen is responsible for increasing the activity of the enzyme responsible for activating Vitamin D. Some of these symptoms include fatigue, mood swings, brain fog, insomnia, depression, and weight gain. Menopausal women are at higher risk of osteoporosis, so you’ll need Vitamin D3 (and K2, see below) for the calcium to be able to get to your bones.


Be sure to have your Vitamin D levels checked so you will know whether you need more sunshine (sunscreen blocks about 90% of our Vitamin D), or a Vitamin D3 supplement. Preventing osteoporosis is of the utmost importance at this stage of the game.


Vitamin K-2


Surprisingly, most people have never heard of Vitamin K2. As a matter of fact, it is rarely found in the Western diet, and gets very little attention.


According to Healthline.com, Vitamin K2 just may be the missing link between diet and several chronic diseases.


Vitamin K2 was originally discovered in 1929 as an essential nutrient for blood coagulation (blood clotting). It was reported in a German scientific journal as Koagulationsvitamin. This is where the “K” came from.


This is an essential vitamin to be taking along with your Vitamin D3, for its ability to regulate calcium deposition. What this means is, it promotes the calcification of bones, thus preventing osteoporosis, while preventing the calcification of blood vessels and the kidneys. Calcium build-up in the arteries around your heart is a huge risk factor for heart disease (the 1 killer of women), so supplementing with Vitamin K2 may help prevent this life-threatening condition.


Magnesium


Why you need Magnesium as a menopausal woman:


As an important mineral in the human body, magnesium influences mood regulation, supports healthy bones and hormone levels, as well as being involved in hundreds of biochemical reactions throughout the body. It is a mineral that helps keep a woman’s body functioning properly by supporting energy production, muscle function, and the maintenance of healthy bones and teeth.


Approximately 60% of your magnesium is stored in your bone and therefore is crucial in preventing osteoporosis. Did you know that osteoporosis can affect up to 30% or more of menopausal women and increases with age?


I personally take magnesium daily as it helps me with sleep. Magnesium may help promote sleep by regulating the body’s circadian rhythms (the body’s natural clock) and increasing relaxation.


Magnesium also plays a key role in brain function, stress response, and mood regulation, which may affect the progression and onset of depression and anxiety.


Did you know that heart disease is the leading cause of death in post-menopausal women? And that lower levels of magnesium are linked to poor heart health? In one study of 3,713 post-menopausal women, high magnesium levels were associated with lower inflammatory markers related to heart disease, which indicated better heart health.


Post-menopausal women are at a higher risk for magnesium deficiency, so be sure to monitor this mineral for your heart health. Check with your healthcare provider before beginning Magnesium supplementation.


Gut Probiotic


Fluctuating estrogen during perimenopause can lead to disruption of the microbiomes of our gut and vagina, leading to multiple menopause symptoms. Studies have shown that both the gut and vaginal microbiomes are affected by the level of female hormones in the body. Probiotics provide the body with healthy bacteria that live not only in the intestines, but the mouth and genital areas as well. By restoring the gut microbiome, you may just reduce those menopausal symptoms.


Vitamin C


The importance of Vitamin C during menopause:

  • Needed for growth and repair throughout the body.

  • It is wound healing and promotes immune function.

  • Important in the prevention of heart disease.

  • Helps with making collagen, which is essential for making the connective tissue that keeps us nice and stable.

  • Needed to produce ATP: (Adenosine triphosphate), which is an energy-carrying molecule found in the cells of all living things. ATP captures chemical energy obtained from the breakdown of food molecules and releases it to fuel other cellular processes. This is what keeps us going and can prevent fatigue.

As a recap, here are the essential supplements you may want to consider for your optimal menopausal health:


*Please check with your healthcare provider before beginning any supplementation.

  • Omega 3 Fish Oil

  • Vitamin B Complex

  • Vitamin D3

  • Vitamin K-2

  • Magnesium

  • Probiotic

  • Vitamin C

One of my passions as a health and hormone coach is to curate safe and holistic products for my Magical Ladies. You can find some of my top picks for supplements in my Menopause Market on my website. Click here: MENOPAUSE MARKET. As well, if you’d like some of my brand recommendations, please email me at Lorraine@TheMagicOfMenopause.com, and I’ll fill you in!


Here’s to your Magical health and life!


For more info, follow me on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and visit my website!


 

Lorraine Miano, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

As a certified health and hormone coach as well as a post-menopausal woman herself, Lorraine Miano discovered her passion for offering menopause advocacy, support, and resources to women in all phases of menopause through health coaching, proper nutrition, and preventive lifestyle choices. She received her certifications as a Health Coach and hormone health expert from The Institute for Integrative Nutrition.


Lorraine has been able to help even more women by writing and publishing her first book, The Magic of Menopause: A Holistic Guide to Get Your Happy Back! The book helps guide women through the struggles they face as they begin menopause and helps tackle the daily changes such as balancing hormones holistically, getting a better night’s sleep, and reducing or eliminating hot flashes, to name a few. It has been named one of the Top Ten Books on Menopause by The London Evening Standard and has reached 1 on Amazon’s Best Seller’s List.


Lorraine loves to encourage women with her mantra, “Menopause is NOT an ending! IT IS a new beginning!”

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