I’ve read lots of articles about supplements that help with menopause symptoms, such as red clover, Black Cohosh, Sage and soya products. Which are the best and can any of them be taken together?
There are a variety of supplements to choose from. Some but not all menopause supplements are standardised, which means they are made to pharmaceutical standards and some have been through clinical trials showing them to be both effective and safe. I tend to only recommend these as we can be certain that they contain what it says on the label. Some of the science-based supplements contain phytoestrogens, mimicking oestrogen, satisfying the needs of the oestrogen receptors in our cells. These include the red clover rich supplement Promensil. Other supplements like Femmenessence Macapause, which is made from organic Peruvian Maca root has been shown to successfully influence the hormone producing glands in the body. Black Cohosh, MenoHerb, is good for some women, particularly those who can’t tolerate soy very well and there is a little research on sage and hot flushes. You can choose to take an isoflavone rich supplement in conjunction with Femmenessence Macapause for example but not at the same time of day.
I’ve been treated for breast cancer in the past, so should I be concerned about consuming phytoestrogens?
Genistein and daidzein, two key isoflavones found in soya products, are thought to block
the uptake of oestrogen in a similar way to the drug Tamoxifen, which is often administered to breast cancer sufferers. Research has shown these prevent the growth of cancer cells by inhibiting the activity of oncogenes, the genes that promote cancer, and other cancer-causing enzymes. Asian diets rich in isoflavones seem to have protective qualities. Far fewer women die of breast cancer in Korea, for example, than Western countries. But it is advisable to check with your doctor.
Firstly, a big thank you to @Maryon_Stewart and all of the Community members that posted their messages and contributed to the discussion tonight! We've sadly ran out of time tonight but we'll be back with more AMA's in the near future !