Best Menopause Supplements: What Works & What Doesn't

Menopause might be a natural process—but it still can be frustrating. Around 70% of women experience unpleasant symptoms such as hot flashes, brain fog, night sweats, urinary tract infections, and mood swings. Unsurprisingly, a lot of women are looking for ways to make peri-menopause and menopause smoother.

Many consider Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) the gold standard for managing menopausal symptoms. However, due to concerns about potential risks, including breast cancer and cardiovascular issues, many women are turning to natural compounds and supplements.

Among the most studied and commonly used supplements are black cohosh, a plant native to North America, ginseng, red clover, and evening primrose. Besides these, most menopause supplements include Vitamin A, Vitamin B, Vitamin D, Vitamin E, omega-3, and omega-6.

But do menopause supplements actually work? What do we know about them? What works and what doesn’t?

Best Menopause Supplements: What Works and What Doesn't

Research Findings

According to a research paper, while HRT is the medical tool for menopause symptoms, many women prefer more natural and botanical supplements as they fear its side effects.

According to the research paper, around 70% of women affected by menopause symptoms opt for natural compounds although very few can actually point to the benefits of each botanical supplement. Interestingly, neither did two-thirds of interviewed clinicians have any clear knowledge and experience of botanical and natural supplements.

The research paper found that women failed to mention the supplements they take to their health provider, thinking that since the supplements are natural, they can’t hurt. Accordingly, health providers who were unaware of what women were taking didn’t have a scientific understanding of whether these work to alleviate symptoms and facilitate the transition to menopause.

Making Your Own Capsules

You may prefer to take control of your health regimen and create your own capsules with menopause supplements. This way, you can customize your supplements, tailor the dosage, and combine the ingredients in a way that meets your specific needs. This personalization lets you address specific symptoms effectively, whether it’s hot flashes, mood swings, or sleep disturbances.

If this is you, here’s a step-by-step guide to get you started.

The first step is to get high-quality raw materials. Choose supplements from our list below according to your needs, as they are known for their effectiveness in managing menopause symptoms. 

Next, select the appropriate capsule size and type from Capsuline. We offer a range of sizes and materials, including gelatin and vegetarian options, to suit different dietary preferences and supplement volumes. Our vertically integrated supply chain ensures consistent quality and traceability of our products, all manufactured in cGMP-certified facilities in North and South America.

Once you have your ingredients and capsules, you’ll need to blend your supplements. Use a digital scale to measure each ingredient precisely and mix them thoroughly for an even distribution of the active compounds in every capsule.

You can fill the capsules either manually or with a capsule-filling machine. For small batches, the easiest way is to use a capsule holder and tamper. Simply place the capsule halves in the holder, fill them with your supplement blend, and then press the halves together. For larger quantities, a capsule-filling machine can save you time and ensure uniformity.

After filling, store your capsules in a cool, dry place to maintain their potency. Airtight containers can help protect them from moisture and contaminants.

Menopause Supplements

Menopause Supplements

Despite the disheartening results of the above study, a lot of supplements have been studied extensively. Here are those that research suggests may help alleviate menopause symptoms.

Vitamin A

Vitamin A seems to help with bone health. During menopause, bones tend to become softer and more brittle, which is why menopausal women often suffer from osteoporosis.

As with everything in life, dosage is key. Too much Vitamin A can have the opposite effect and cause bone fractures. A standard dose of Vitamin A from beta-carotene, however, can help protect bones and maintain their strength. 

Vitamin B-6

Vitamin B-6 helps the brain maintain its serotonin level. Dubbed the ‘happy hormone’, serotonin seems to contribute to a feeling of happiness. Women around menopause often experience dropping serotonin levels, which could explain mood swings and feelings of depression and sadness.

Vitamin B-6 in normal doses may help women balance their mood swings and manage them more efficiently. However, too much Vitamin B-6 may cause nerve damage.

Vitamin B-12

Vitamin B-12 is necessary for brain function and bone health. Depression, fatigue, and constipation can be signs of Vitamin B-12 deficiency, which often happens during menopause.

Women around menopause can take a Vitamin B-12 supplement as sometimes the body at this age can metabolize Vitamin B-12 more slowly or inadequately.

Menopause Supplements: B12 Vitamins

Vitamin D

Humans take most of their Vitamin D through sun exposure. As we grow older, however, we often sit less in the sun. Accordingly, it is thought that 70% of peri-menopause women have Vitamin D deficiency. The lack of Vitamin D is associated with frail bones and a lower immune system.

Some foods contain Vitamin D, but it can be difficult to get the amount your body needs. If you don’t sit in the sun, then a Vitamin D supplement could support your bone health, especially at a time when bones tend to become frailer.

Calcium

Calcium builds strong bones. Peri-menopause and menopause increase bone loss. As a result, 10% of women of menopause age experience osteoporosis. Supplements with calcium may help maintain bone strength and stop bone density decrease.

Phytoestrogens

Phytoestrogens are hormones derived from plants that mimic the effects of human estrogens. Specifically, they are plant estrogens found in soy, some beans, nuts, fruits, and vegetables. During menopause, estrogens naturally decrease; it is thought that phytoestrogens may help maintain estrogen levels.

The evidence for this claim is mixed. Phytoestrogens like soy appear to diminish hot flashes but didn’t have a particular effect on other menopause symptoms. These findings seem to be supported by other research papers.

Isoflavones, a type of phytoestrogen found abundantly in soy products, have been extensively studied for their effects on hot flashes. Some studies suggest that isoflavones may help reduce the frequency and severity of hot flashes, although results are not universally consistent across all studies. This variability in response may be due to individual differences in how women metabolize these compounds.

Menopause Supplements: Calcium

Omega-3s

Omega-3s are often assumed to interact with brain neurotransmitters and help with depression. Research, however, has failed to find any clear evidence that omega-3s can help with depression and boost menopausal women’s health or mood.

Black cohosh

Many menopause supplements contain black cohosh to fight peri-menopausal symptoms. Black cohosh is a Latin American plant that has been traditionally used for ‘women’s issues’. Natives have been taking black cohosh for centuries to counter-balance mood swings, depression, and hot flashes.

Recent studies and trials support this, suggesting that black cohosh may help with hot flashes and mood swings. Some trials also found that black cohosh improved sleep quality and decreased sweating.

Opinions, however, are divided on black cohosh. Some women swear by it, while others don’t experience its beneficial effects. In high doses, it can affect liver health, so it’s best to only take it for a little time. Evaluate whether you are benefiting from fewer hot flashes and night sweats to assess if you want to continue taking it.

Red clover

Findings regarding red clover are mixed. Some research shows no improvements while others show a decrease in hot flashes and better bone density retention compared to placebo groups. More research seems necessary to identify the right dosage. For example, a recent study showed that red clover could be effective with menopause symptoms but in medium and high dosages.

Menopause Supplements: Red Clover

Magnesium

Many menopausal women experience problems with sleep, waking up in the middle of the night or finding it hard to fall asleep.

Magnesium has a calming effect on the nervous system and can help regulate the production of melatonin, a hormone that controls sleep-wake cycles and helps the human body follow its natural circadian rhythm.

Magnesium can boost relaxation and improve sleep quality, which in turn can help reduce the fatigue and irritability often associated with poor sleep.

Magnesium is also involved in the synthesis of neurotransmitters such as serotonin, the ‘happy hormone’ mentioned above. Adequate magnesium levels may thus help balance mood and reduce feelings of anxiety and depression.

Ginseng, valerian root, and St. John’s Wort

Herbal supplements like ginseng, St. John's Wort, and valerian root are also used to manage menopause symptoms.

Ginseng may help with mood swings and fatigue, St. John's Wort is often taken for depression and anxiety, and valerian root may aid in sleep. However, these supplements can interact with medications and may not be suitable for everyone. Women should thus talk with their healthcare providers before taking them.

Evening primrose oil

Evening primrose oil is often taken to relieve women of menopause symptoms. It contains gamma-linolenic acid, which may have anti-inflammatory properties. However, findings are ambivalent as there is no clear indication that it can consistently help.

It would appear that evening primrose oil doesn’t significantly decrease the frequency and intensity of hot flashes. It also didn’t improve bone density. Some women may also experience side effects like gastrointestinal upset when they take evening primrose oil.

Menopause Supplements: ginseng

Finding the Right Supplement for Menopause

Menopause symptoms affect almost all women to varying degrees. Some experience intense symptoms daily; others less so. Some supplements work for some women; others don’t.

The majority of findings point to women needing calcium to stop bone density decrease. If you are lactose-intolerant or not eating enough dairy products and dark green vegetables, you might need an extra boost of calcium.

Vitamin D is another necessary supplement, particularly if you don’t go outdoors. The ‘sunshine’ vitamin is metabolized by exposure to sunlight and works hand-in-hand with calcium to maximize bone density and strength.

As for the rest, findings are still inconsistent. They have helped millions of women deal with menopause symptoms but may not be for everyone: factors such as gut microbiota composition, dietary habits, weight, and overall health can influence how well phytoestrogens work for a particular woman.

Finding the Right Supplement for Menopause

Learn More

Interested in menopausal supplements, either as a nutraceutical manufacturer or enthusiast? Capsuline offers a vertically integrated supply chain model to ensure reliable long-term supply, complete traceability, and superior quality of raw materials. We manufacture all our capsules in cGMP-certified facilities, based in North and South America. 

We offer both gelatin and vegetarian capsules. Give us a call at 866.536.2277 or drop us an email; we’ll be happy to discuss your encapsulation needs. And if you are ready to purchase, contact Capsuline for the best selection of empty capsules in the industry!


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