Many women find taking additional supplements helpful at menopause and there are certainly a wide range to choose from, but which ones are the most effective? Flaxseed is a popular nutritional addition and has numerous health benefits, but will it help with your flushes?
A Mayo Clinic and North Central Cancer Treatment Group (NCCTG) study has shown that flaxseed provides no benefit in easing hot flashes among breast cancer patients and postmenopausal women. They conducted a randomized, placebo-controlled study on 188 women and found no statistically significant difference in mean hot flash scores between women taking flaxseed and those taking a placebo.
Benefits to health from flaxseed
Flaxseed may not help hot flashes, but is a good addition to a healthy diet as it has protective effects, particularly for women.
- breast cancer protector. Flaxseed is particularly rich in lignans, special compounds also found in other seeds, grains and legumes that are converted by beneficial gut flora into two hormone-like substances called enterolactone and enterodiol. These hormone-like agents demonstrate a number of protective effects against breast cancer and are believed to be one reason a vegetarian diet is associated with a lower risk for breast cancer. Studies show that women with breast cancer and women who are omnivores typically excrete much lower levels of lignans in their urine than vegetarian women without breast cancer.
- a very good source of fibre that can lower cholesterol levels in people with atherosclerosis and diabetic heart disease, reduce the exposure of colon cells to cancer-causing chemicals, relieve the constipation or diarrhoea of irritable bowel syndrome sufferers, and help stabilize blood sugar levels in diabetic patients.
- good source of magnesium, which helps to reduce the severity of asthma by keeping airways relaxed and open, lowers high blood pressure and reduces the risk of heart attack and stroke in people with atherosclerosis and diabetic heart disease.
- migraine help as it can help prevent the blood vessel spasm that leads to attacks
- promotes relaxation and restores normal sleep patterns. This latter is particularly relevant for menopausal women as sleep patterns are often disturbed by the fluctuating hormone levels.
So what does help for hot flushes?
The most popular herbal supplements usually contain black cohosh and Wellsprings Menopause Capsules have that and a number of other botanicals and phytoestrogens. Women with flushes also respond well to getting oestrogen dominance under control and that is helped by rebalancing with progesterone. It’s not just physical symptoms of flushes that need help, as the mood swings and distress caused by them will make symptoms worse. The more stressed we are , the worse the symptoms can become so other techniques to help you relax such as meditation, yoga, any form of exercise will all make a difference.