We can’t avoid menopause – it is the natural end of women’s reproductive period (marked by the end of periods, stopping ovulating and the ovaries stopping secreting sex hormones), but we can limit the long-term negative effects (weight gain, osteoporosis, etc.).
And we can certainly take actions to improve perimenopause (the transition period before menopause), commonly incorrectly referred to as premenopause.
This phase, which lasts 2-7 years, marks the beginning of the hormonal drop-off with its irregular menstrual cycle and various other unpleasant symptoms: hot flashes, irritability, mood swings, fall in libido and weight gain, etc. These symptoms are very inconvenient and can affect sleep, interfere with daily activities and cause severe fatigue, considerably affecting the quality of life of those affected (NAMS 2004).
The impact of perimenopause can be limited by taking a hormone replacement treatment that compensates for the insufficient secretion of estrogen by the ovaries. However, this is linked to increased risk of breast cancer and cardiovascular disease (see WHO publication).
So what alternative can we choose to take effective and natural action against the various problems of perimenopause and menopause?
Choose phytovitality for effective and natural action on all these symptoms:
1/ Regulate mood, boost libido and improve sleep with hops
Hops, Humulus lupulus, is a herbaceous climbing plant that in the wild grows in wooded areas. In Europe, the use of Hops to make beer goes back to the 7th century. It is generally recognized by the health authorities for its sedative effects, for improving digestion and treating irritable moods.
But, the Hop plant is above all a potent phytoestrogen that combats a number of different symptoms of menopause. Back when Hops were harvested by hand, female harvesters found themselves unexpectedly indisposed even if it wasn’t the normal time for them to have their period. Having noticed this, University of Ghent researchers managed to isolate one of these active ingredients, 8-prenylnaringenin or 8PN, a derivative of the flavonoids family. It produces the same effects on the body as estrogen sex hormones.
By rebalancing the levels of estrogen in the body, 8-prenylnaringenin:
- effectively controls hot flashes,
- stimulates women’s libido,
- facilitates falling asleep thanks to its strong sedative and hypnotic properties. Incidentally, brewery workers sometimes suffered from an uncontrollable desire to sleep. The researchers discovered that Hops act on the neurotransmitter GABA, which regulates the central nervous system. In doing so, it also controls anxiety.
- These same substances can halt the development of a large number of microorganisms such as bacteria and microscopic fungus, treat rosacea caused by hormonal imbalances and affect skin tone.
To boost the efficacy of Hops, it is recommended to combine it with a Soy extract, another powerful phytoestrogen.
2/ Prevent hot flashes and the long-terms effects of Menopause : Soy
Soy is originally from South-East Asia where it has been eaten for thousands of years and used in traditional medicine for its sedative, carminative and fever-reducing qualities.
It has been found that the vasomotor symptoms of menopause (hot flashes, night sweats, problems sleeping and also mood swings and irritability, etc) affect 80% of Western women but only 5-10% of Japanese women, who eat a lot of Soy.
Soy contains powerful phytoestrogens, such as genistein, daizein and glycitein:
- A number of studies have reached the conclusion that simply taking a Soy isoflavones supplement is significantly more effective than a placebo in reducing the frequence and severity of hot flashes. In addition, depending on the composition of our intestinal flora, daizein may or may not transform into equol, a substance that is even more effective on hot flashes and depression.
- Studies also suggest that regular intake of isoflavones can lead to weight loss, particularly if weight gain is linked to menopause. One such study was carried out on 208 menopausal women for one month. Researchers concluded that there is an inverse correlation between genistein intake and weight, body mass index, waist measurement and body fat.
- They act on postmenopausal osteoporosis. Bone loss during the first five years of menopause is between 3 and 5% of the total mass per year, then slows to 1-2% per year. The link between Soy isoflavones and bone tissue has been the subject of a number of studies in the past 10 years. In vitro studies suggest that isoflavones have a two-phase effect: on the creation of new bone and on bone resorption. Therefore, the publications state that Soy isoflavones can prevent osteoporosis, increase bone mineral density and reduce the risk of fracture in menopausal women.
Combining Soy and Hops, two naturally effective phytoestrogens, is therefore an effective way of combating the main inconveniences of perimenopause and menopause, without any side effects.
3/ Stimulating vitality : Acerola
Acerola is a tree that produces fruit called Barbados cherry or West Indian cherry. Its fruit has one of the highest contents of vitamin B6 (pyridoxine), B1 (thiamine), B2 (riboflavin), vitamin A (retinol) and, above all, vitamin C (ascorbic acid). It contains 1,745 mg / 100 g of vitamin C – almost 40 times more than fruits renowned for containing vitamin C, such as orange, lemon and kiwi.
All these active ingredients give the fruit a number of properties:
- Vitamin C contributes to estrogen production. By helping the adrenal glands to function properly, vitamin C creates a healthy environment for the production and maintenance of normal estrogen hormones.
- A restructuring agent, it helps combat osteoporosis as it contributes to producing collagen and therefore to strengthening the structure and resistance of the bones, cartilage, vessels and skin.
- Toning and mineral-replacing, Acerola is recommended for restoring vitality to weakened organisms, particularly during perimenopause and menopause.
- An antioxydant, Acerola contributes to minimizing the harmful effects of free radicals, which are responsible for cellular aging.
- In addition, vitamin C combined with bioflavonoids can increase the strength of the capillaries and reduce bleeding.
Acerola helps regulate the production of estrogens, tones the body and increases the antioxidant effects of Soy.
4/ Control weight gain : Fucus
Fucus is a brown seaweed that is prolific in the Baltic Sea, the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean. It has always been used for its properties that encourage weight loss and stimulate lymph circulation.
The thallus (part of plant without leaves, roots or stalks) of Fucus is essentially rich in minerals, macro and oligo-elements (magnesium, calcium, potassium, copper, chrome, zinc, selenium, manganese, iron and iodine), vitamins (C, B, E and K) and fibers (alginates and fucanes).
These soluble fibers give it a gentle laxative effect by helping stools pass through the digestive tract.
Above all, Fucus is a natural appetite suppressant. Once in the stomach, the mucilages in the thallus rehydrate, increasing in volume, and create a feeling of fullness.
It also contains fucoxanthine, a brown pigment that a team of Japanese researchers from the University of Hokkaido in Japan studied for its various weight-loss properties. They found that it increases the metabolism and stimulates oxydation, as well as breaking down fats.
In addition to this, Fucus has a high iodine content, a substance that acts to help stimulate the secretion of thyroid hormone that balances the metabolism of fats.
Although it suppresses the appetite and helps control eating, it does this without creating deficiencies thanks to its concentration if oligo-elements and vitamins that cover the body’s essential needs.
At the same time, Fucus is an excellent stimulant for the body and fights fatigue and depression, thanks to its polysaccharides – recognized for their power in modulating inflammation and immune response (antibiotic power, natural reinforcement of the body’s defenses).
The various properties of Fucus make it the main ally for encouraging weight loss, without creating deficiencies, whilst maintaining tone and vitality.
A synergic approach for effective and overall action !
Each of the plants described above has active ingredients with specific properties. They may seem to have similar properties, but the important thing to remember is that only a complex with all these active ingredients will act effectively to address all the issues linked to perimenopause and menopause.
Caution: taking plant extract complexes can be potentially dangerous and, as the natural products offered on the market can vary significantly, it’s essential to check the origin, dose and concentration of the principal active ingredients contained in products. In addition, although a number of complexes containing dry extracts from one or all of the plants I have just mentioned are available, few offer a careful combination to give maximum effects with a synergic action. The synergy between the active ingredients gives additional information to the body, it says where and when the active ingredients need to act, without interacting!
The result of the latest pharmaceutical innovations, it is presented in a special microgranular form
The microgranules have a biocompatible neutral core (patented), and a semi-permeable membrane that protects and releases 96% of the active ingredients (no contamination by dust and moisture, no risk of sticky clumping in a wet environment).
The microgranules also provide greater protection in the stomach, thus eliminating any side effects
They ensure improved compliance due to the reduced dosage, and greater comfort due to masking the taste and odour of plant extracts
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