Menopause is a time of change, hormonal, physical, and even mental. Understanding this time period and how it affects your nutritional status is the key to maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Key changes after menopause include a higher risk for osteoporosis and heart disease.
Supplements for Menopause
Here, you’ll find key supplements to add to support bone health and a healthy lifestyle during and after menopause. Be sure to talk to your doctor before starting a supplement regimen.
Vitamin D is a powerhouse vitamin. It is involved in hormone control, bone health, skin health to name a few. As you go through menopause, changes in hormone balances affect bone health. Adding a vitamin D supplement to your daily routine can help maintain bone health by maintaining the calcium: vitamin D: PTH balance. If this balance shifts, your body can actually pull calcium from your bones in an effort to balance the scale — scary, I know! Look for vitamin D-3 with 2,000-5,000 IU.
This vitamin is more than a cold-buster, vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that can minimize cellular damage and even relieve hot flashes! Vitamin C can also work with vitamin D and prevent bone loss and reduce fatigue. Vitamin C reduces the environmental and oxidative stress on our cells, which may translate to less fatigue overall. As a bonus, Vitamin C works to maintain skin elasticity, keeping you glowing as you age. While most research is anecdotal, trying a vitamin C supplement before bed is worth a try if you are suffering from hot flashes!
Zinc is important for wound healing, hormone balance, and immunity. Zinc also supports healthy bone density, so adding a supplement during menopause will likely decrease your risk for osteoporosis. In some studies, bone strengthening effects were seen in hips and spine after a year of supplementation! Zinc can cause nausea when taken on an empty stomach, so be sure to eat before taking zinc. Check out ELEMENTS Zinc for a bone-boosting dose!
CoQ10 is an underrated enzyme that supports mitochondrial health. CoQ10 plays a direct role in ATP synthesis (read: energy production) and can help beat cellular damage and fatigue! This enzyme is also involved in stopping arterial plaque formation from LDL cholesterol. Cholesterol-reducing drugs actually lower your body’s store of CoQ10. Adding this supplement can boost heart health, decrease fatigue, and help your cells function at their best. You may see CoQ10 called ubidecarenone, look for 400-600 mg tablets to keep the pep in your step.
These potent fatty acids reduce inflammation and the risk of heart disease, making them great additions to your daily routine to combat menopausal changes. Omega 3 fatty acids stop the inflammatory pathway and can raise HDL (good cholesterol). Some research suggests adding omega 3s to your diet improves mood and decreases hot flashes.
Additional Reading: Nutrition and Remedies for Menopause
Caroline is a Clinical Registered Dietitian for MedStar Health and Hospital Systems in Baltimore, Maryland. She completed her Masters Degree in Dietetics from San Jose State University and moved back to Charm City to be with her fiancee. When she’s not providing medical nutrition therapy to her patients, Caroline enjoys cooking, waterfront walks and crab-anything (crab pizza is the best!).