- Phytoestrogens are plant-based compounds that mimic estrogen in the body.
- Phytoestrogens can be effective in reducing the frequency and intensity of hot flashes in menopausal women.
If you’re a woman in your late forties or early fifties, you may be experiencing symptoms of menopause or perimenopause. Although it is a natural stage of life, hot flashes, joint discomfort, dry skin, and mood changes can make you desperate for relief.
Phytoestrogens are compounds that naturally occur in plants, and have been known to support common signs of menopause. Let’s take a closer look at what the science says about phytoestrogens and menopause.
What are phytoestrogens?
Phytoestrogens are plant-based compounds that mimic estrogen in the body. “Phyto-” is a Greek word meaning “plant” and estrogen is a female hormone that regulates functions in both women and men. There are four main groups of phytoestrogens: isoflavonoids, flavonoids, stilbenes, and lignans.1 Flavonoids and lignans are the most commonly occurring.
Phytoestrogen vs. estrogen
Because phytoestrogens and estrogen have a similar chemical structure, when you eat phytoestrogens your body may respond as if estrogen is present.
Phytoestrogens can attach to estrogen receptors in your cells, potentially affecting the function of estrogen throughout the body.2 However, not all phytoestrogens function the same way.
Phytoestrogens have been shown to have both estrogenic and antiestrogenic effects. This means that, while some phytoestrogens have estrogen-like effects and increase estrogen levels in your body, others block its effects and decrease estrogen levels.3
Phytoestrogens are complicated, to say the least, which makes them a controversial topic in nutrition science.
If you eat fruits, veggies, legumes, and some grains, you get phytoestrogens from your diet. However, some foods contain higher levels of phytoestrogens than others.
Can phytoestrogens help with signs of menopause?
Menopause is the end of a woman’s reproductive cycle and is defined as twelve complete months without menstrual bleeding.
During menopause, the body goes through major hormonal changes, decreasing the amount of hormones it makes – mainly estrogen and progesterone. When this decrease in estrogen occurs, the menstrual cycle (period) starts to change or become irregular before it eventually stops.
This decrease in estrogen also triggers the uncomfortable symptoms of hot flashes, night sweats, sleep disturbances, and vaginal dryness. Scientists are very interested in the use of phytoestrogens to treat common menopausal symptoms.
Overall, the research shows that phytoestrogens are effective in reducing the frequency and intensity of hot flashes in menopausal women.4 Certain phytoestrogens have also been shown to decrease vaginal atrophy, improve sleep and cognition, and positively affect bone health.5
Did you know?
Part of the reason scientists are interested in phytoestrogens for menopause is because typical menopausal symptoms are much less frequently experienced by Asian women than by women in America or Europe, which may be in part due to typical, traditional Asian diets being rich in phytoestrogens.6 7
Best menopause relief supplement from Solgar
Taking a supplement, such as Solgar® Menopause Relief, is one of the easiest ways to get relief from common signs of menopause.
Solgar® Menopause Relief combines two clinically-studied ingredients: Siberian Rhubarb (ERr-731®) and affron™ Saffron – and helps relieve a full range of the most common signs of menopause such as:
- Hot flashes*
- Night sweats*
- Mood swings*
- Sleep disturbances*
- Joint & muscle discomfort*
- Vaginal dryness*
- Urinary difficulties*
- Decreased sexual desire & satisfaction*
affron™ Saffron helps to maintain a positive mood and support emotional wellbeing.*
More than 90% of women showed improvements in common menopausal symptoms*, and results were seen in as little as 28 days.†^
Other ways to deal with common signs of menopause
1. Care for your dry skin
Menopause can bring noticeable changes to your skin. Once your estrogen levels begin to decline, your body’s ability to produce oil slows down, leaving the skin dry and itchy.
Here are some easy ways to treat dry, itchy skin:
- Wear sunscreen every day: apply SPF 30 or higher each day to help protect the skin from harmful UV rays.
- Lotion up: apply a moisturizer at least twice a day to help lock in the hydration.
Take a skincare supplement
Solgar® Evening Primrose Oil has been used for centuries to promote women’s health.* It can also nutritionally support healthy skin and can help with occasional dry skin.* It is made from cold-pressed seeds of the evening primrose plant, which is a natural source of the unsaturated fatty acids GLA (gamma-linoleic acid), a type of omega-6 fatty acid.
Solgar® Collagen Hyaluronic Acid Complex Tablets helps boost skin collagen in just 12 weeks while increasing skin elasticity and softening the appearance of wrinkles.*‡ It also helps maintain healthy, youthful skin and support joint health with chondroitin and vitamin C for collagen formation.* Each serving of this gluten-free and non-GMO supplement contains 120 mg of hyaluronic acid, 100 mg of vitamin C, and 1200 mg of collagen! Solgar®’s collagen source is hormone and antibiotic-free.
Solgar® Skin, Nails, and Hair is specially formulated to help you support youthful, vibrant skin, shiny hair, and healthy nails.* Plus, it contains vitamin C and zinc that support a healthy immune system, bones, and cartilage.*
And, this supplement is vegan, non-GMO, gluten-free, dairy-free, kosher, and halal!
You can also support your hair, skin and nails with Solgar®’s delicious Skin, Nails, and Hair Jelly Beans!
2. Avoid hot flash triggers
Hot flashes are one of the most common symptoms of menopause and can sometimes last for years.
If hot flashes or night sweats keep you up at night, try drinking small amounts of cold water before bed, layering your bed sheets, or keeping your room at a cooler temperature.
Try avoiding alcohol, spicy foods, and caffeine, as these may trigger hot flashes or make them worse. Women who smoke have also been found to be 1.6x more likely to experience hot flashes than women who don’t smoke, so quitting smoking is the best option for all areas of your health – including menopause.8
3. Prioritize your mental health
The years surrounding menopause bring many changes to your body, but they can also make an impact on your mind as well – especially your mental health. Women who have struggled with anxiety in the past may see a resurgence of symptoms.9
When dealing with the mental health effects of menopause:
- Reach out to others: don’t struggle alone.
- Make lifestyle changes that support a positive mood, such as getting adequate sleep, exercising regularly, and controlling stress.
- Monitor your mood, and reach out to a professional if you feel like you need additional help.
4. Take a phytoestrogen supplement
Besides eating phytoestrogen-rich foods, taking a phytoestrogen supplement is another great way to support your estrogen levels during menopause.
Solgar PM Phytogen Complex™ includes Thai Kudzu extract (Pueraria mirifica), which grows only in two provinces in Thailand, has a long history of traditional use for promoting vitality.†* Modern research has discovered that this particular species of Thai Kudzu contains a complex of phytoestrogens, including miroestrol. This unique supplement also includes B-vitamins to support energy metabolism.*
Don’t let menopause slow you down
Bodily changes as you age may be inevitable, but they shouldn’t have to stop you from feeling like your most confident self. Understanding how phytoestrogen can support your wellness during menopause and taking care of your body in other ways can help this stage of life be as fun and fulfilling as any.
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*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
The information provided on this site is intended for your general knowledge only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice or treatment for specific medical conditions. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. The information on this website is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Never disregard medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on the Solgar® site.
†As studied on Siberian Rhubarb and measured by the Menopause Rating Scale II; individual variations in symptoms or severity of symptoms experienced during menopause may exist.
^ In clinical studies on Siberian rhubarb after 12 weeks of continued use. Individual results may vary.
‡In a double-blind, placebo-controlled human clinical study (Schwartz, 2019), 1g/d BioCell Collagen supplementation for 12 weeks significantly reduced numbers of facial lines and wrinkles by clinical expert, significantly increased skin elasticity and collagen content by instrument measure, compared to those in the placebo.