Journal / Menopause

5 Reasons Why Vitamins for Menopause Are Important

Nancy L. Belcher

Medically reviewed by Nancy L. Belcher Ph.D, MPA

Written by Winona Editorial Team

Last updated November 25, 2021

5 Reasons Why Vitamins for Menopause Are Important

Menopause Symptoms and Why They Occur

We are exploring 5 reasons how vitamins for menopause are important, by presenting the results of the latest studies about over-the-counter supplements and hormone replacement therapy (HRT). We will also review the direct correlation between the levels of vitamins and their influence on a woman’s body and her quality of life.1 For example, we know that proper supplementation and hormone replacement therapy can serve as hot flash medicine and in the prevention of breast cancer.  

As women age, they can embrace the fact that their bodies are evolving and provide the vitamins and supplements their bodies need as hot flash remedies, mood enhancers, anti-aging solutions, vaginal estrogen therapy, and general menopause medicine. There are many supplements for menopause that can help ease the symptoms.

Starting in their 30s or 40s, women will produce less of the hormones estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone. This stage is called perimenopause. Eventually, with the continued drop of these hormones, menstrual periods will stop entirely, and menopause will officially begin after a full year without a period. Menopause typically happens around the age of 50. However, perimenopause should not be ignored. Many of the most vexing symptoms of the menopausal cycle occur during perimenopause (ages 40-50). 

Dropping levels of the hormones estrogen, progesterone and testosterone have wide-ranging, and often profound effects on everything from the blood vessels to skin, hair, and even brain function. Menopause can last over fifteen years, so identifying a way to ease the symptoms is critical. As hormone levels fall, women often experience hot flashes, insomnia, night sweats, vaginal dryness, and changing moods to name just a few.  But what they might miss is the fact that the drop in hormones can also be putting them at risk for osteoporosis, heart disease, cancers, stroke, diabetes, and arthritis if the deficiency in hormones is not treated.2-5

How Do Vitamins and Supplements Help with Menopause?

#1: Vitamin B 

The role of vitamin B cannot be overestimated. In the face of the increasing frequency of age-related diseases of the heart, cardiovascular system, disorders of brain functioning, nervous system, and bone health,  B vitamins should be included in the proper care of a woman over the age of 40. Having enough of the B vitamins in your diet and in your supplements may help prevent brain fog, stroke, bone loss, depression, cardiovascular disease, dementia; all of which can begin at perimenopause. 

Let’s look at the specific roles B vitamins play in maintaining the functions of the nervous system  – especially B6,  B9, and B12.1 

  • B-6 is critical in brain function and in the creation of the chemical “serotonin” that transmits brain signals. With menopause, serotonin levels drop. These changes can lead to low energy, mood swings , and depression – which are more and more common as women age.

  • B-9, also known as folic acid, is talked about a lot when women are pregnant because of its role in preventing spina bifida in the growing fetus. We see that insufficient B vitamins can play a role in cognitive declines resulting in dementia or Alzheimer’s.

  • B-12 is a critical vitamin that plays a role in bone health, metabolism

    , production of red blood cells , and DNA synthesis. If you don’t have enough B-12 in your diet or supplements, you may experience symptoms such as fatigue, depression, and dementia. If the deficiency is really bad, it can lead to anemia.

  • The combination of the B vitamins. B vitamins play a key role in the prevention of heart problems, cardiovascular diseases, strokes

    ,the ability to think clearly, reason , and even remember. B vitamins are involved in metabolism specifically, the energy-producing metabolic pathways for carbohydrates, fats, and proteins.

     

Even when adjusting your diet to include nutrient-rich foods, the most common cause of the deficiency of vitamin B is still an inadequate intake so supplements are usually needed. Another reason for insufficient B vitamins is that women simply need more of the B vitamins as they age. They may have trouble absorbing vitamin B because of intestinal malfunctions, the use of medicine that might interfere with B vitamins, and even alcohol abuse.1 

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#2: Vitamin C

Well-known for its crucial role in the production of collagen, Vitamin C is an essential part of the structure and appearance of the skin. Vitamin C has also been shown to enhance the immune response and improve bone density and cognitive reasoning

How much vitamin C you take is directly related to your bone health and how your brain functions (cognitive health).1 Things as specific as verbal recall, naming, and repetition scores were significantly improved in women taking supplemental vitamin C.1

#3: Vitamin D

Low levels of vitamin D result in bone and joint pain, and fractures. Not only is vitamin D helpful for bone health, but it also reduces the risk of heart attackshigh blood pressure, strokes, asthma, allergies, and possibly breast cancer.2  

We are able to make vitamin D within our own bodies. We store inactive vitamin D in our skin, and with exposure to the sun, the inactive form is converted into active form. The problem is that we often don’t get enough sun. About 75% of people are vitamin D deficient. Supplements can help ensure you are getting the appropriate amount of vitamin C needed to prevent disease and cancer.

Researcher shows improved overall quality of life with the use of vitamin D due to its ability to prevent osteoporosis, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, cancer, infections, and neurodegenerative diseases.1 Multiple recent studies have shown that women with higher serum vitamin D levels were less likely to report problems with mobility, usual activities, depression, and anxiety.1 Studies have shown that by supplementing Vitamin D you can significantly reduce overall mortality among menopausal women.1

#4: Vitamin E

You may have heard about vitamin E’s role as an antioxidant and its anti-inflammation abilities. As an antioxidant, it helps fight cell-damaging free radicals in the body. Vitamin E may also help reduce inflammation in the body and is recommended for many ailments. Research has shown that vitamin E can ease stress, reduce the risk of depression and weight gain so often associated with aging. 

#5: Other Supplements for Menopause

Women over the age of 40 have to be proactive about regularly taking key vitamins and minerals. In addition to the vitamins previously discussed, you may want to add the following to your vitamin regimen to enhance your nutritional balance:

  • Vitamin A is an antioxidant essential for maintaining immune function. Vitamin A plays a critical role in bone health and may help boost overall health.

  • Calcium is vital for bone health and is especially important during menopause when the decrease in estrogen makes women more prone to the weakening of their bones, or osteoporosis. While the best source of calcium is through diet, calcium supplements are important. 

  • Vitamins K has been shown to have an anti-inflammatory role and impacts how our bodies age. Vitamin K is crucial in the prevention of many chronic aging diseases like cardiovascular disease, and osteoarthritis, which are leading causes of disability and mortality in aging women.

  • Magnesium (Mg) is a mineral that’s critical to how your body performs and feels. Mg influences mood, supports healthy bones and hormone levels and is involved in hundreds of biochemical reactions throughout your body. Mg can reduce common symptoms of menopause, such as difficulty sleeping, depression, anxiety, and heart disease risk.

  • Probiotics are said to help reduce menopausal symptoms such as hot flashes, but there is not scientific data that we can rely on. Probiotics may help absorptions of vitamins and minerals.

  • Turmeric is a spice that comes from the turmeric plant, but the root of turmeric is also used widely to make medicine. It contains the chemical “curcumin” which might help with inflammation. It is commonly used for depression, high cholesterol, heartburn, memory, and itching – but like probiotics, there is no good scientific evidence to support these uses.

Environmental Factors Affecting Your Quality of Life 

Environmental factors affecting your quality of life at the time of menopause may adversely influence your ability to absorb vitamins, and you will need to supplement. Some factors that may have a dramatic impact on your ability to absorb vitamins include increased illness or morbidity, changes, and problems in family life, differences in appetite and eating habits.

A balanced supply of the selected vitamins might contribute to improving your quality of life. There is a direct correlation between vitamin concentrations and the incidence of diseases and menopausal symptoms, which certainly can affect your quality of life.1

Whether you are experiencing severe or minor symptoms, the benefits of supplements for menopause symptoms are well proven. Vitamin supplements can help ease the nagging, and sometimes exhausting, side-effects of menopause including vaginal dryness, hot flashes, and weight gain. 

While there are some dietary supplements that other companies sell to reduce menopause symptoms, Winona does not suggest specific ones such as Black Cohosh due to the liver problems that can occur. Botanicals and herbs may have side effects, poor oversight, and can change how other medications work, so ask your doctor before trying.

One thing that most people don’t understand is how important it is to know WHERE vitamins and supplements are coming from. Unlike prescription medications, supplements are NOT regulated by the FDA, which means that you may not really know what you are taking. 

Summary

Specific vitamins for menopause, and hormone replacement therapy (HRT), prevent disease development for many women. Estrogen and vitamins are used regularly as hot flash medicine, and the role that HRT plays in breast cancer prevention has been well studied. We know that hormones can be used to prevent breast cancer and that it is safe to use hormone replacement therapy at menopause. HRT replaces the hormones that are decreasing. Winona has created prescription and over-the-counter menopause treatment for your convenience. 

HRT is the most studied, and effective form of treatment to date for hot flashes and night sweats. Scientists have yet to identify a more effective remedy for menopause symptoms than estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone replacement treatment to improve the profound mind-body shifts that occur during menopause.1 

Because a woman’s nutrient needs change with age, it is important that they choose supplements that are tailored to their age. But the process of deciding which vitamins and supplements to take can be overwhelming. Winona has created its own multivitamins that are specially designed to ease menopausal symptoms, and support healthy aging.

Winona sells medically supervised prescription medications as well as non-prescription products that can help manage and alleviate many menopause symptoms. Winona provides safe, regulated estrogen cream, progesterone cream, estradiol, and vitamin supplements that women can depend on. 

Winona’s supplements are specially designed to ease menopausal symptoms and support healthy aging.  Adding vitamin supplements during menopause can help reduce symptoms associated with decreased hormone levels and improve overall health. Winona recommends never exceeding the Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) for any vitamins. Over-the-counter medications and prescription drugs may interact with vitamins. If you take medications, ask your doctor about potential interactions before taking vitamins.

“This article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. The information contained herein is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Always talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of any treatment.”

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References: 

  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6372850/

  2. https://www.prevention.com/health/a20492228/post-menopause-supplements/

  3. https://www.healthline.com/health/menopause/vitamins-for-menopause

  4. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/317864

  5. https://www.mdanderson.org/publications/focused-on-health/how-does-obesity-cause-cancer.h27Z1591413.html

  6. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5026413/

  7. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/magnesium-for-menopause

  8. https://sixtyandme.com/the-truth-about-the-benefits-of-probiotics-after-menopause/

  9. https://www.webmd.com/vitamins/ai/ingredientmono-662/turmeric