Menopause is one of the most significant changes a woman will experience in her lifetime, and with it comes a spectrum of life-changing physical and emotional symptoms. But are menopause supplements just a pretty placebo, or are they really worth the investment?
From all-inclusive wellness retreats to a bathroom cabinet full of gimmicks no better than magic beans, any woman in the throws of menopause would likely consider trying anything to alleviate their symptoms. But while we’re certainly living in an age of scientific advancement, we’re still waiting for an overnight quick-fix to hit the shelves.
Luckily, plenty of other pretty magic options exist. With entire stores dedicated to supplement powders, pills and liquids, the possibilities seem endless. But when it comes to menopause, are targeted supplements really worth the investment, or should we simply suffer through the symptoms?
Combining their lived experience, and nutritional expertise, here’s what two experts really think about menopause supplements, and what we should be looking out for to weed out the most effective products.
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Are menopause supplements worth it, or just a cash grab?
With so many menopause-related products on offer these days, registered nutritionist and partner of Eir Women, Kristen Beck, weighs in on what to look out for when you’re scanning the supplements aisle.
“The biggest trap is supplements that pack in a very long list of ingredients, but at such tiny doses of active ingredients, they are essentially useless,” Beck says.
According to the nutritionist, most targeted supplements on offer mainly focus on symptoms only, such as hot flushes, weight gain and mood swings, without addressing the underlying causes. When comparing products, Beck says it’s helpful to look out for anything that effectively targets things like blood sugar balance, sleep patterns, nervous system and adrenal glands.
“Just trying to treat menopausal symptoms is shortsighted and doesn’t take into account the massive mental and emotional load, disturbed sleep, and the negative societal messaging around aging and menopause that women in their forties and fifties deal with every day,” she says.
Another brand that’s determined to offer women a natural and effective way to cope with their menopause symptoms, is The Menopause Co. Founded by Sarah Green, the curated range offers tailored supplement subscriptions to suit the individual needs of any perimenopausal or menopausal woman, using natural ingredients to promote long-term results.
“It was an eye-opener to discover how many supplements on the market contain bulking agents, fillers, and poor-quality ingredients, and sadly many women are wasting their money on products that really won’t have any impact at all,” explains Green.
“That’s why we’ve researched and selected ingredients that are evidence-based, supported by either clinical science or a strong tradition of medical use, and shown to be highly effective for targeting each individual symptom.”
When it comes to ‘fixing’ menopause symptoms, Green says her personal experience taught her that no one-size-fits-all approach exists. Determined to ensure other women feel supported during this life-altering period, her range is designed to promote customised combinations of symptom-specific supplements for results they can actually feel.
Supplements aren’t the sole solution
While both Green and Beck endorse the importance of high-quality ingredients when it comes to alleviating menopause symptoms, supplements can only do so much to curb the effects of the significant natural process.
According to Beck, the hormonal changes coupled with our natural aging process mean that our dietary requirements change, and with it, our bodies‘ ability to metabolise. As a result, many women embark on strict, restrictive diets to avoid weight gain.
“What we need to do instead is focus on great diet quality full of fruits, vegetables, legumes, fish, lean meats, dairy, nuts and seeds,” Beck says. “Research shows that women who eat small, nutritious meals more regularly throughout the day are less likely to gain weight around menopause, balance mood, experience less hot flashes and enjoy better quality sleep.”
And while a curated supplement prescription could do wonders for your symptoms, Green says open conversations about menopause experiences are also key to breaking down the taboo that still exists today.
“It will happen to every woman, so why should we be ashamed to talk about it?” says Green. “Menopause is a permanent phase of life and one to be enjoyed to the fullest.”
To explore the benefits of a menopause supplement subscription, or target a specific system’s symptoms, find out more about Beck and Green’s product ranges below.
For a bit of everything:
The Menopause Co. Foundation $69 from themenopauseco.com
For lightness and detoxification:
Eir Women Zipped, $69 from eirwomen.com.au
For a healthy libido:
The Menopause Co. Libido, $69 from themenopauseco.com
For a good night’s sleep:
Eir Women Reboot, $59 from eirwomen.com.au