Best Menopause Supplements UK 2020 Selection
In the UK some women go through the menopause with few symptoms. But there are many options to help us to cope with these annoying afflictions such as mood swings, hot flushes and night sweats. Hormone replacement therapy is one answer, but natural therapies can also be very helpful. You should remember that menopause is not a disease and it won’t last forever. So try some of these best quality menopause supplements as well as top 6 alternative approaches for relief in the meantime.
Our Top Picks in 2020
- A.Vogel: Traditional sage herbal medicinal product-90 tablets, one a day.
- Vitabiotics: Take one original Menopace micronutrient tablet (Red Blister) plus one active botanical tablet (Purple Blister) per day.
- Protea Wellness: 120 Pure vegan capsules. Take 1 capsule twice daily (morning and evening).
- SimplySupplements: Traditional black cohosh root extract herbal remedy. 60 Tablets take one a day.
- Femarelle: 56 Capsules. Take 1 capsule twice daily in the morning and evening.
Table of Contents
- Best Menopause Supplements UK 2020 Selection
- Best Menopause Supplements UK 2020 Quality Ranking
- Top 6 Alternative to menopause supplement
How we choose our best supplement for Menopause
- Quality and efficiency
- Made by the reputed company
- Natural ingredients used
- Suitable for Vegetarians
- Good customer review
- Value for money
Best Menopause Supplements UK 2020 Quality Ranking
Top 6 Alternative to menopause supplement
1. Reduce hot flushes
Most menopausal women, particularly those who are thin, experience some hot flushes. Although not a direct sign of oestrogen deficiency, it’s possible to reduce their frequency and severity by supplementing phytoestrogens, which are plant-derived compounds that are structurally and functionally similar to the body’s own oestrogen. Both red clover and soy have high concentrations of isoflavones, one type of phytoestrogen.
Eating fermented soy products, such as miso, tempeh, natto and tamari, will increase the number of isoflavones in your diet. Although levels are lower in tofu, soya milk and soy yoghurt, they will also provide some isoflavones, while highly processed forms of soy, such as burgers, often have very little. Other foods that contain phytoestrogens are alfalfa, linseeds, lentils, beans, rye and chickpeas.
Natural progesterone cream from which the body can make oestrogen has also proven effective in reducing it. A low-GL diet also helps because hot flushes can be triggered by dips in blood sugar levels.
Regular exercise is also important because women who take more vigorous physical exercise are less likely to suffer from it. Several trials have shown that breathing from the diaphragm – a practice followed in many health systems, such as yoga and t’ai chi – can reduce the frequency by half, and it tends to work best when practised at the start of a flush.
Single herbs or combinations of black cohosh, dong quai, sage and agnus castus can be effective, and can also minimise other symptoms like sweating, anxiety, depression and insomnia. Here is more advice and medication for anxiety.
2. Enhance vaginal lubrication
Oestrogen stimulates secretions and also helps to maintain the elasticity and acidity of vaginal tissue, which together promote health and defend against infections. With less oestrogen, the vaginal lining becomes thinner and more fragile, and women become more prone to dryness as well as vaginal and urinary tract infections.
Supplementing vitamins A, C, E and zinc can keep vaginal membranes healthy and encourage normal mucus production. These nutrients are available in good high-potency multivitamin-mineral supplements which should be taken on a daily basis. The omega-7 fatty acid, found in macadamia nuts and in high concentrations in the plant sea buckthorn, also supports mucous-membrane health, reducing dryness in intimate areas, as well as the eyes, mouth and nasal passages. So does ensure adequate progesterone levels.
3. Consider natural or bio-identical progesterone
Often overlooked is the decline in progesterone, oestrogen’s counterpart, which typically prepares the body for pregnancy but also protects breast tissue and blood vessels and increases bone strength in later years. Using natural progesterone cream, available on prescription, can reduce many of the menopause symptoms, especially hot flushes.
Confusingly, it’s possible to be oestrogen deficient and oestrogen dominant at the same time – where oestrogen is low but there is also very little progesterone, resulting in more oestrogen signals than progesterone. Symptoms of oestrogen dominance and progesterone deficiency overlap and they include mood swings, increased weight around the hips and thighs, loss of libido, breast tenderness, depression and insomnia.
Many of these can show up during the menopause along with the more common hot flushes, vaginal dryness, fatigue and headaches. If you’re experiencing any menopause symptoms, I strongly recommend taking a salivary hormone test to shed light on whether you need to address a progesterone deficiency, oestrogen excess or a combination of the two. A nutritional therapist can arrange such a test and interpret the results for you.
The usual solution is to supplement natural progesterone, provided as a skin cream, which can be prescribed by your doctor. Oestrogen can be made from progesterone, as can testosterone (important for sex drive) and stress hormones, so progesterone is the most versatile of hormones. Natural progesterone is not associated with any increase in cancer, unlike synthetic progestins used in conventional HRT. For more information contact the Natural Progesterone Information Service.
4. Manage stress and maintain your sex drive
Although vaginal dryness is an obvious cause for loss of interest in the drive, you should also consider a hormonal involvement, such as a deficiency in testosterone, which determines sex drive in both men and women. Testosterone and the stress hormone cortisol are both made from progesterone. If you’re constantly stressed, the adrenal glands produce more cortisol at the expense of testosterone. In addition, producing lots of cortisol will rapidly deplete your progesterone levels, which has the knock-on effect of reducing thyroid gland function, a common symptom of which is low interest in sex.
Regular physical exercise is a great stress buster and can increase sex drive. Short-duration, intense exercise for about 20 minutes is especially beneficial; however, you’ll most likely find that managing stress is key to minimising many menopausal symptoms.
5. Follow a low-GL diet, plus exercise, to avoid weight gain
Many menopausal women find they’re more prone to put on weight. Once again, stress doesn’t help. One consequence of raised cortisol is that triglycerides are removed from storage and deposited in visceral fat stores in the abdomen – that’s why stress causes an increase in body weight around your middle. Another effect is that cortisol increases your blood glucose levels but at the same time it makes your cells less sensitive to insulin. This prevents glucose from entering the body’s cells, leaving them under-fuelled – a state that can lead to hunger signals, overeating and weight gain.
There’s also a greater tendency to store fat around the middle because adipose tissue is metabolically active and becomes one of the major sources of oestrogen following the menopause; the other source is your adrenal glands.
To correct this, first, follow a low-GL diet to balance your blood glucose. By eating beans (pulses) and whole grains, you’ll get more chromium from your diet – a mineral that is essential for promoting insulin sensitivity. You’ll also be reducing stimulants, such as sugar and caffeine, which will reduce cortisol. Raised cortisol levels at night stop you sleeping, so the diet will help if you’re prone to insomnia.
Whether you need to lose weight or not, take regular exercise. It will encourage weight maintenance if you are a healthy weight. Ideally, include both aerobic and resistance exercises (such as skipping, dancing and walking, and using weights), because weight-bearing exercises drive the movement of calcium into the bones. This will reduce the rate of bone thinning and the risk of osteoporosis, which increases following the menopause.
Take antioxidants, essential fats and St John’s wort, which also helps to improve mood.
There’s a strong link between oestrogen, which declines at the menopause, and mood and mind. Oestrogen helps to: raise levels of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine; stimulate the receptors for serotonin and noradrenaline in the brain, which improve your mood and motivation; slow the processes which break down these neurotransmitters so that you feel better for longer, and improve blood flow and nutrient supply to the brain. Serotonin, noradrenaline and acetylcholine are important neurotransmitters involved in memory, so it’s no surprise that memory lapses can increase as oestrogen declines.
Oestrogen also helps to protect bone health. The drop in bone density is caused by falling levels of the female hormone oestrogen.
Eating fish, organ meats and, especially, whole eggs will supply choline, a vital nutrient used in acetylcholine synthesis. Dietary antioxidants can also support neural function. Compounds with memory-boosting potential include turmeric, green tea, blueberries and resveratrol – an antioxidant found in red grapes.
The foods we eat also play a part in the mood because nutrient deficiencies can cause depression. The essential omega-3 fats are particularly important for hormone balance, so include oily fish, nuts and seeds (such as walnuts, pecan nuts, pumpkin and chia seeds), and their cold-pressed oils, in your diet at least three times a week. You can also take omega 3 supplements.
St John’s wort, a herb renowned for its antidepressant effects, has been effective for women experiencing menopause-related depression, irritability and fatigue. When taken in combination with black cohosh, it may also relieve other menopausal symptoms, including decreased libido, palpitations, headaches and lack of concentration.
Bio-identical hormonal creams should be used only under the supervision of a medical doctor familiar with their use. Both natural oestrogen creams, such as Ovestin, and progesterone cream can be used to correct hormone deficiencies. Natural progesterone is prescribable as Projuven and preferable for women who are advised against using oestrogen therapy because of a history of breast, ovarian or uterine cancer.
There are no known serious adverse effects from black cohosh or agnus castus. My one concern would be that if you are taking liver-toxic drugs or have a damaged liver, then black cohosh would not be recommended. Dong quai may thin the blood, and it is, therefore, contra-indicated for women on blood-thinning drugs such as warfarin.