Saturday, July 12, 2008

Which Menopause Supplements Are Best? Discover an Array of Natural

Picking the right menopause supplements has become an important issue for many women beginning and transitioning through this stage of life.

Natural herbs for menopause are seeing a sharp rise in demand as the numerous risks associated with Hormone Replacement Therapy have become well known, such as an alarming increased risk of breast cancer.

The first thing to note when purchasing menopause supplements is to make sure the company producing them uses what are known as standarized extracts. These tend to be made with not only the highest quality herbs, but it's also a process that ensures you are getting the same amount of ingredients from one capsule to the next.

This is a major problem for many non standarized supplements, which is why you may have read in the media that many supplements do not even contain what's stated on the label -- sometimes it's a lot higher, and sometimes it's a lot lower. You don't want either in a supplement you take, since too much can trigger side effects, and too little will give you no results.

Among the most popular natural herbs for menopause include:

  • black cohosh
  • wild yam
  • dong quai
  • red clover
  • Chasteberry

Many experts believe black cohosh's effectiveness comes from its ability to decrease the levels of a hormone that is produced by the body in high levels during menopause.

The increase of this hormone, which is called luteinizing hormone, is believed to be responsible for numerous unpleasant effects associated with menopause, such as hot flashes.

Red clover extract, although not as widely known as black cohosh, may help mitigate the symptoms of menopause because it contains isoflavones....which are similar to estrogens (the female hormone). Interestingly, the effect seems to differ based on what stage of menopause women are in.

In pre-menopausal women with normal endogenous estrogen levels, isoflavones may have an anti-estrogen effect. In post-menopausal women with low endogenous estrogens, isoflavones are likely to act as weak estrogens.

Chasteberry is used a great deal in Europe in menopause supplements because it contains estrogen- and progesterone-like compounds as well. It may also have a function in regulating luteinizing hormone as black cohosh does.

Dong quai is another of the natural herbs for menopause. Although it has been used for centuries, its effectiveness is less proven than black cohosh. It has a history of use in Native American culture and is believe to have mild estrogenic effects.

Wild Yam is touted as a natural alternative for estrogen replacement therapy. Studies have shown that it may help postmenopausal vaginal dryness and premenstrual syndrome.

When choosing menopause supplements, you need not choose a formula with all of these ingredients, but it should definitely contain some of them, and especially black cohosh.

And, all of the herbs for menopause in the formula should be of standardized extracts.

Katie Smith is an editor of the informative Visit us to learn about our recommended product containing natural herbs for menopause.

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