Nutrition has a big impact on the healthy functioning of hormones throughout a woman’s life and is particularly important during menopause. As the body uses a wide variety of minerals and vitamins to create the steroid hormones, therefore a balance combination supplement is essential.
Supplements are critical
In some cases, rarely undesirable for others (for whatever reasons) but it is always up to one to decide. We certainly won’t say that vitamins or certain food will solve all your menopause problems or help you live forever.
On the other hand, there are thousands to millions of women for whom are taking nutritional supplementation has solved their menopausal and other problems.
More and more researchers and nutritionists are taking supplements themselves.
In order to have optimal health and to correct an illness or long-standing deficiency, we may need higher amounts of vitamins and minerals than even the best diet can supply. Scientific evidence is growing that certain supplements can give us added protection and stronger health.
Most of the positive studies using supplements (rather than food) involve the antioxidant nutrients which protect our cells from free radical damage.
Studies suggest that doses in excess of the RDA for the antioxidant nutrients vitamins E, C, and A and beta-carotene, and the minerals zinc and selenium are particularly useful to reduce the risk of many diseases and conditions, including premature aging and death, cardiovascular disease, many types of cancer, diabetes, cataracts, and other degenerative eye problems, arthritis, and possibly osteoporosis.
There’s even some evidence that supplements can reverse these diseases or help slow the progression once they are established.
In one large study, 50 mg supplements of beta-carotene taken every other day cut the incidence of heart attacks, strokes, and deaths related to heart disease in half. Another study showed that vitamin C supplements enhanced immunity in elderly adults, as did 800 IU of vitamin E. Still other studies show that calcium, magnesium, zinc, and vitamin D supplements help stave off osteoporosis.
In some studies, nutritional supplements actually helped reverse osteoporosis while prescription estrogen-only halts the progression. And 400-800 IU of vitamin E has been shown to reduce hot flashes; because vitamin E is found only in vegetable oils, this amount is impossible to get from a healthy low-fat diet and is difficult to get even in a high-fat diet.
Calcium For Menopause
Osteoporosis is more common and more serious than most people believe. The United States has one of the highest rates of osteoporosis in the world, followed by Western societies such as Finland, Norway, Sweden, and England.
About 7 to 8 million people in America, of which 80 percent of them are women, have this bone-weakening condition and another 17 million were at risk for this condition due to low bone density. Approximately 1.5 million women are fractured each year. Fractures due to this condition cost at least $18 billion a year in healthcare, pain, and suffering. 30 percent a raise from spinal fractures, 25 percent suffers hip fractures, and 20 percent of those women suffering such fractures die from conditions related to the fracture or the surgery.
Calcium is one supplement menopause women should not miss.
It is important for proper bone formation and preventing osteoporosis. Additionally, calcium plays a vital role in cardiovascular health, blood clotting, muscle function, and nerve function. To be most effective, calcium supplementation must include vitamin D. When calcium is taken with vitamin D, the benefit is so significant that all women should use it as their primary defense against osteoporosis.
This mineral also acts as an important messenger inside the cells of the body, particularly in making cholesterol available to enter the steroidogenic pathway. It’s important to note that the heavy metal cadmium may interfere with calcium’s ability to increase steroid production, which could result in a decreased ability to convert cholesterol to pregnenolone. This is one of many ways in which cadmium can be toxic.
Certain blood pressure and heart medications are known as calcium-channel blockers (verapamil, diltiazem, and prenylamine) may also inhibit the making of steroid hormones, by interfering with calcium at the level of the cell. The body has a mechanism to maintain healthy and stable levels of calcium in the blood, including using calcium from the bones if needed. Common dogma is that this stable calcium level will shield the cells from the effects of low calcium.
The fact that widely prescribed medications and cadmium can affect calcium metabolism enough to inhibit steroidogenesis reveals just how delicate the balance can be. Some reported data suggest that blood calcium levels (extracellular levels) can affect steroidogenesis. An ideal daily dose is at least 1g of elemental calcium and is best balanced with magnesium.
One study, in particular, showed that the movement of calcium across the cell membrane is an important and common step in the stimulation of progesterone production. Therefore, even a very mild calcium deficiency cannot be dismissed as insignificant.
Women taking calcium-channel blockers should monitor their hormone levels.
The three key elements for (menopausal women) keeping bones healthy and strong, according to the National Osteoporosis Foundation, are:
- Eating a balanced diet rich in calcium, 1000 mg a day for premenopausal women and up to 1500 mg after menopause if not taking hormone replacement.
- Engaging in weight-bearing exercise two to three times weekly, for at least 20 minutes at a time. These activities include walking, jogging, dancing, aerobics, and racquet sports.
- Changing any adverse lifestyle habits that can affect your bone health. The habits most deleterious to your bones are smoking cigarettes (which are unhealthy for many additional reasons) and drinking alcohol. Both smoking and alcohol can actually deplete the calcium in your system, and your body will then extract calcium from your bones. Many experts also add caffeine to the list, because it, too, can increase the amount of calcium excreted in the urine (an indication it’s not being absorbed into your system).
If you don’t know how to begin assessing your bone health, start by talking with your doctor about osteoporosis.