Menopause supplements to help manage side effects

We spoke to Dr. Sarah Brewer to find out what supplements are available and if they actually help.

menopause supplements

by Ellen Kinsey |
Updated on

If you're currently experiencing menopause or even perimenopause and you're looking for ways to tackle some of the side effects, have you thought about trying menopause supplements? To give you a helping hand, we've delved into the best supplements available on the market. We discuss diet, as well as menopause supplements, oil, and more with help from Dr. Sarah Brewer, former GP, and the brand Healthspan's Medical Director. However, it's still important to consult a healthcare professional before starting any new supplement regimen to ensure it's appropriate for you or any medication you may be on.

So how does menopause affect the body? Dr. Sarah explains that menopause occurs when the ovaries run out of egg follicles which, as well as producing eggs, also secrete oestrogen and progesterone hormones. “As receptors for these hormones are found throughout the body, falling levels of hormones can cause a wide range of side effects in addition to hot flushes and night sweats. You may also notice mood swings, changes in libido, and a tendency towards skin, hair, and intimate dryness.”

The best menopause supplements at a glance:

Best supplement for hot flushes: Health Span Soy Isoflavones Supplements - By now on Healthspan
Best menopause multivitamin: JS Health Menopause Formula - Buy now on JS Health
Best Vitamin D supplement: Nutri Advanced Vitamin D3 with K2 Liquid Drops - Buy now on Amazon UK
Best supplement for before and after menopause: Vitabiotics Menopace Tablets - Buy now on Amazon UK

“In the skin, oestrogen boosts the production of collagen and promotes skin thickness, elasticity, and hydration. As oestrogen levels fall, skin becomes thinner with dryness, itching, slackness, and wrinkling. These effects are hastened by the damaging effects of sunlight,” says Dr. Sarah. "At the same time, lower oestrogen levels increase the risk of long-term health issues such as high blood pressure, rising cholesterol levels and bone health issues such as thinning bones, as well as problems with vaginal discomfort and bladder weakness.”

If you are looking for the best supplements for perimenopause or menopause that contain many beneficial ingredients, here is Dr Sarah's recommendations and our top picks of the best supplements on the market for symptom relief

Disclaimer: Always talk to your GP before starting a new supplement regime.

Best supplements for menopause

Best supplement for hot flushes

Isoflavones are plant hormones that have a weak oestrogen-like action in the body. Isoflavone supplements can reduce the frequency of hot flushes by 20 per cent. Plus, it can reduce their levels of severity by 26 per cent within 6 to 12 weeks. “I also recommend eating live bio yoghurt or taking a probiotic supplement, as the balance of bacteria within the intestines affects how well plant hormones are activated, and whether the isoflavones found in soy (daidzein) is converted into a more beneficial oestrogen called equol,” explains Dr. Sarah.

Customer review: "Help with menopausal symptoms. Sweating has stopped and I feel so much brighter."

Pros

  • Contains B6
  • Helps with hot flushes

Cons

  • Only contains soy isoflavones

Bes menopause supplements for pain and symptom relief

"This is licensed as a traditional herbal medicine used to relieve symptoms of menopause. It is believed to have a direct action on the brain, lowering levels of LH (luteinising hormone) to help normalize oestrogen-progesterone balance,” Dr. Sarah says. “It also has an effect on dilation of blood vessels, and helps to relieve hot flushes, night sweats, low libido, anxiety, and mood swings as well as improving sleep quality.

Customer review: "Fantastic menopause relief."

Pros

  • Natural remedy with pain-relieving properties
  • Pure Black Cohosh

Cons

  • Each film-coated tablet contains 142mg of lactose so not suitable for all dietary requirements

Best menopause supplement for night sweats

Sage leaf is a traditional herbal remedy for sweating and can also relieve menopausal hot flushes. “A study involving 69 menopausal women who’d experienced symptoms for at least a year, and who had at least five flushes a day, showed that sage leaf extracts reduced the frequency of mild hot flushes by 46 per cent, moderate flushes by 62 per cent, severe flushes by 79 per cent and stopped very severe flushes altogether,” says Dr. Sarah. “The intensity of flushes overall was halved within four weeks and reduced by 64 per cent within 8 weeks.”

Customer review: "Bought as I read good reviews about reducing night sweats and hot flushes during menopause. I have been taking now for about 3 weeks and it has reduced by about 75% so now sleeping better so I recommend giving this a try."

Pros

  • Goof for hot flushes and night sweats
  • Herbal remedy

Cons

  • Only contains sage leaf

Best vitamin D supplement for menopause

Vitamin D3 is the most effective form of supplemental vitamin D since our skin naturally produces it in response to sunlight. Nutri Advanced's Vitamin D3 with K2 Liquid Drops combines essential Vitamin D3, which supports bone health and immune function, with Vitamin K2 for maintaining healthy bones. Many women tend to suffer from low Vitamin D levels, which are known to cause symptoms such as fatigue and low mood and can also be a factor in weight gain, so it’s essential that women boost their Vitamin D.These orange-flavoured drops can be taken directly or mixed with water.

Our review: "I have been on quite the health journey and have seen many naturopaths. The most common consensus I have had from the consultations is that drops are the best way to absorb vitamin D and that the supplement should contain a D3 K2 combination. I was recommended this product by Nutri Advanced three years ago and have never looked back. I believe it has really increased my energy levels and strengthened my immune system."

Pros

  • Liquid form transports well around the body.
  • Includes Vitamin D3 and K2 to ensure the best results
  • Excellent value and long-lasting

Cons

  • Some may prefer to take capsules

Best menopause supplement for joints, skin and nails

It’s a fact that collagen levels in the body naturally decline as we age. Unfortunately, for women, this only gets worse in midlife. The perimenopause and menopause can have a detrimental impact on collagen levels as a reduction in oestrogen can decrease our natural collagen levels. Not only does this mean our skin will lose elasticity but it’s bad news for our joints too. The good news is that there is something you can do about this.
Taking a collagen supplement is a really easy way to combat this. The award-winning collagen blends from Ancient +Brave are crafted with perimenopausal women in mind. This one is made using grass-fed bovine collagen powder but if you don't eat meat or beef, then they also have a Marine Collagen powder too.

Our Digital Editor Claire Tapley has been taking this supplement for over a year now and can’t rate it highly enough.

“I’m at the early stages of perimenopause and I’ve been so impressed with the difference this supplement has made. Before taking it, I used to wake up most mornings with an aching lower back. After just three weeks of taking this supplement this pain disappeared completely! I recently went on holiday for two weeks and forgot to take this product with me and I noticed the back pain returned. As soon as I got home and started taking my collagen again and the discomfort totally disappeared.

As well as being great for my joints I‘ve also noticed it gives my skin a real, healthy glow. My hair is thicker and falls out less and my skin, which was often quite dry, now appears much softer and plumper.

What I love about this product is how easy it is to incorporate into your diet. It’s completely tasteless so I either pop a spoonful into my coffee in the morning or mix it into my yogurt for breakfast. I’ve actually found that adding this to my breakfast helps me feel fuller for longer too as there is a high level of protein in collagen that will keep you feeling satiated after a meal.

I’ve recommended this product to so many of my friends and family and they have all reported similar positive effects.”

Pros

  • Clean ingredients made from grass-fed bovine collagen powder
  • Tasteless and odourless
  • The cows have been raised naturally without hormones, antibiotics, chemicals, or GMOs. 
  • 5000mg per Serving
  • In powder form, so great if you don't like swallowing pills
  • Can make you feel fuller for longer

Cons

  • Not suitable for vegetarians or vegans.

Best menopause multivitamin

JSHealth have launched a Menopause+ supplement, that is a blend of herbs and nutrients (Sage, Chaste Tree, Ziziphus and Vitamin B6). Created with a team of leading experts and backed by science, alongside founder, and clinical nutritionist Jessica Sepel. The supplements were specially formulated to support women experiencing symptoms of menopause, including reducing excessive sweating, relieving symptoms of premenstrual tension, and supporting energy production, while regulating energy levels. 

Our review: "I rely on the extra supplements to support the changes I've experienced during menopause and found that more than a month of taking the JSHealth Menopause+ supplement that I felt much more energised in the mornings whereas normally I would feel sluggish. The only downside for me is that it doesn't include magnesium which other menopause supplements have, so I still needed to take that additionally to help manage symptoms."

Pros

  • Contains Sage, Black Cohosh, Ziziphus and more
  • Vitamin B6 contributes to the regulation of hormonal activity.

Cons

  • Best value with a subscription

Best menopause supplement for skin

Evening primrose oil supplements supply an essential fatty acid, GLA, that improves skin quality, smoothness, and lustre. "This helps to reduce dryness and itching and plumps out wrinkles. It also reduces age-related mottling and age spots, suppressing the over-production of melanin pigment in older women," says Dr. Sarah.
**
Customer review:** "Have taken them for years now seem to do what they were recommended for."

Pros

  • Added natural source of vitamin E
  • Supports women's health and protects cells from oxidative stress

Cons

  • May be cheaper bought in supermarkets

Best omega supplement for menopause

"For vaginal dryness, I recommend Sea buckthorn oil supplements and using a moisturising gel containing hyaluronate, aloe vera, black cohosh, and sage," says Dr. Sarah. Health & Her Omega+ is suitable for all women of all ages, at every stage of female health (apart from if you’re pregnant or breastfeeding).

Pros

  • Vegan, Gluten-Free, Non-GMO, with no added preservatives or artificial colours
  • 90 soft gel capsules or a 30-day supply 
  • Supports brain, vision, heart and cholesterol levels

Cons

  • Best value is when you buy a subscription

Best CBD for menopause symptoms

“If falling oestrogen levels are affecting your quality of life, ability to sleep, or associated with anxiety or difficulty relaxing, cannabidiol (CBD) oil can help,” recommends Dr. Sarah. “CBD is extracted from hemp plants and is one of the most effective natural substances for aiding relaxation and promoting general feelings of wellbeing. Like oestrogen, CBD enhances the effects of other brain chemicals, such as serotonin, and is especially helpful at this time of life to help reduce menopausal symptoms.”

Customer review: "When I struggle with periods of heightened anxiety these are my go to as a steadier to help me rationalise and focus. I find it takes a few days to get into my system and really helps with sleep too. I also find it helps with joint pain I experienced following a car accident."

Pros

  • Good for anxiety
  • Liquid forms are easy to use

Cons

  • CBD Oil has a distinctive taste. If you are not keen on this, then just take with a few sips of water

Best menopause supplement for fatigue

The A.Vogel Menopause Support supplement is made from a unique formulation made from soy isoflavones, magnesium, and hibiscus. Magnesium contributes to the reduction of tiredness and fatigue and helps support the nervous system. This supplement is GMO-free and suitable for vegans; however, it is not ideal for those with a soybean intolerance or allergy.

Pros

  • 50mg of bioavailable phytoestrogenic soy isoflavones for symptom support
  • Contains hibiscus extract and vervain
  • Clean natural ingredients

Cons

  • Can be used with HRT, but not suitable to use with hormonal contraceptives
  • Not ideal for those with a soybean intolerance or allergy.

Best supplement for perimenopause

Natures Aid PremEeze Agnus Castus
Price: $19.56

This supplement is to relieve premenstrual symptoms and is ideal for premenopausal women with a heavy flow. This supplement contains Agnus Castus, which was first used for female health by Hippocrates, the father of modern medicine. This herbal medicinal product claims to help with symptoms such as mood swings, irritability, breast tenderness, cramps or bloating.

Customer review: "I've only took this for one month, I've suffered bad with my moods with periods for long time. I just had to get something, I can honestly say already I can see a difference in my moods. I worked out lots always have done, but before my period due I feel like there is a cloud over my head or feel like totally different person I hate it. But this is helping my moods alot already, so if you want to try it I would give it go. It might not work for everyone, but for me it is so far so good. I'm happy!!"

Pros

  • Contains pure agnus castus
  • Supports mood swings, breast tenderness, bloating and menstrual cramps
  • Good premenstrual symptom support too

Cons

  • Only suitable for adults

Best supplement for before and after menopause

Vitabiotics Menopace Tablets

Rrp: $13.67

Price: $9.50

Vitabiotics Menopace claims to be the UK's number 1 vitamin company and Menopace the leading Menopause supplement brand in the UK. Menopace contains vitamin B6, which contributes to the regulation of hormonal activity. It also includes vitamin C, which contributes to healthy collagen formation for the normal function of skin, teeth, cartilage, bones, and blood vessels. Additionally, it also comes highly recommended in reviews by other women who claim it stopped my night flushes and mood changes.

Customer review: "A friend recommended these to me to help with hot flushes during perimenopause. My flushes were fierce; particularly at night - so I was willing to give anything a go."

Pros

  • High-rated and bestseller
  • Multivitamins with symptom support
  • Contains collagen
  • Excellent value

Cons

  • Some recommend giving it 30 days before you see the benefits

Best mushroom powder for menopause symptoms

For women and people with ovaries, this Pretty Pea blend complements the monthly changes that come with menstruation and menopause. It's one of many menopause supplements that Pretty Pea makes. Here, with the power of mushrooms, you can boost your immune system. This supplement contains a plethora of medicinal mushrooms (Chaga, Lions Mane, Reishi, Shiitake and Maitake) to support everything from mental well-being to cognitive function. As well as healthy digestion, not to mention wellness and vitality.

Our review: "This Pretty Pea Mushroom Blend has really helped me regain agency over my tiredness and fatigue. Though they can be a little tricky to swallow sometimes, these capsules are part of my daily routine. They offer me relief and I've been feeling generally healthier since taking them."

Pros

  • Made from medicinal mushrooms to support wellbeing
  • Certified organic by the Soil Association
  • Boosting your immune system

Cons

  • Some may not like the taste

Best menopause supplement for energy boosting properties

According to Webmd.com, NADH stands for "nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD) + hydrogen (H)." This chemical occurs naturally in the body and plays a role in the chemical process that generates energy. People use NADH supplements as medicine." NAD is known to help with menopausal symptoms and slow the ageing process. Plus, it is known to help with memory, alertness, as well as treating Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. Due to its energy-producing properties, it is also used for improving your performance when exercising and treating chronic fatigue syndrome.

Our review: "I have been taking the TRU NIAGEN NAD+ supplements for a month now, and since taking them, my energy levels have improved. Usually, I take them first thing in the morning. Or, if I plan to work out, I take them before exercise. I often feel lethargic and fatigued due to digestive and gut health issues. But taking these supplements with a healthy balanced diet has really helped boost my energy levels and concentration. If you are looking to find ways to increase your energy alongside a healthy diet, these supplements help with psychological function, reduce tiredness and help to maintain the normal functioning of your nervous system."

Pros

  • Helps with memory
  • NAD is a potent potential tool for slowing down dementia's effects
  • Great for energy

Cons

  • Can be pricey to upkeep

Do menopause supplements work?

It looks like the jury is out on this one. “A review of treatment effects from the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence guideline on menopause concluded that isoflavones and black cohosh are more effective than placebo in treating hot flushes, but not better than prescribed HRT, which is as expected,” says Dr. Sarah.

“They are a suitable alternative for women who are unable or unwilling to use prescribed HRT. Guidelines for UK doctors advise explaining to women who want to use complementary therapies, such as isoflavones and black cohosh, that the quality, purity, and constituents of these products may be unknown and that different preparations may vary.”

That’s why it’s important to select a product made to a pharmaceutical standard known as GMP (Good Manufacturing Practice) “This means the identity, purity, and dose is checked at every stage of production,” explains Dr. Sarah.

What are the most effective supplements to alleviate symptoms?

Boosting Vitamin D becomes essential for women to alleviate these symptoms. In addition, magnesium, known as nature's calming agent, can provide relief, helping to ease anxiety and improve sleep quality. To counteract the effects of low serotonin levels, a vitamin B-6 supplement during and after menopause can be beneficial. Furthermore, for vegans and vegetarian individuals, finding the best B12 supplement is crucial for maintaining energy levels and mood stability. If you experience hair thinning finding the  best supplements for hair growth could be beneficial too.

woman taking supplements

Are there risks to taking supplements?

If you are taking any prescribed medication, check with your doctor or a pharmacist before taking supplements. “If you have a history of a hormone-dependent condition such as endometriosis or breast cancer, then seek advice before taking oestrogenic supplements, too," says Dr. Sarah.

Should I choose supplements or medication?

“There are plenty of natural remedies to help you navigate this time of life. But if you are struggling, do see your GP. Prescribed HRT can quickly control symptoms if you are willing and able to use it,” recommends Dr. Sarah.

This article contains expert advice from Dr. Sarah Brewer, former GP, and Healthspan Medical Director.

Ellen Kinsey is a senior health and wellness product writer for Yours, specialising in natural health and beauty. She lives and breathes all things food, travel and wellness.

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