By Dr. TRACY MOUNTFORD, MBBS MBCAM
Another fantastic episode of The Wonderbirds where the nest was joined by Nutritionist Rebecca Traylen from Forever Young Health who was keen to give her advice and insight on menopause supplements for women 40+.
Rebecca begins by explaining how important the digestive system really is. Women are more often than not following diets or trying to lose weight and in turn suffering with weight fluctuation. Rebecca says that unless you get your digestive system right you will never sustain the weight loss.
Over the last few years it has been discovered just how important your digestive system really is. It’s linked to your skin, mood, immunity and weight loss. Rebecca says that it’s really important to sort that out, eat the right kind of foods and if possible, supplement with friendly bacteria prebiotics to get your gut happy. Rebecca explains that she recommends taking prebiotics throughout life but especially as we age. As women get older, they can experience digestive issues such as bloating and constipation but using prebiotics which is live bacteria can really help.
Tracy then brings up the topic of Vitamin D supplements. Rebecca explains that Vitamin D is often a neglected vitamin but it’s so important. During the summer we can absorb it through our skin, but people are now more conscious about sun damage and covering up, wearing sunscreen also stops the sun from being able to penetrate the skin to make Vitamin D. Rebecca does say that you can get it through dietary sources however they’re not very high amounts, so it is recommended you take Vitamin D not just in the winter but throughout the year. As we get older our skin cannot make Vitamin D so taking it throughout the year will help prevent your Vitamin D levels from getting too low. It is also really recommended for menopausal woman as they often suffer with osteoporosis due to their calcium levels being lower. This can be regulated by Vitamin D, so it all has a part to play.
Sherrie then asks whether or not you can take prebiotics if you are allergic to seafood as it contains fish oil powder. Rebecca explains that you should always discuss this with your GP but there are vegan alternatives for those who are unable to take supplements containing fish oil.
They then move onto the topic of Phytoestrogen supplement Isovon and whether or not you can start taking it once you’ve gone through the menopause, which Rebecca explains yes you can. They control so much more than just the immediate symptoms such as hot flushes and night sweats. It’s so much more to do with your estrogen levels, it’s controlling where you hold your weight. Before menopause women hold their weight on their hips and thighs and after it shifts to their abdomen which is a risk factor of heart disease. Estrogen also controls the rate at which our bones break down which is why when we have lower levels, we are more at risk of osteoporosis and fractures. This is why it is really important to keep supplementing with Phytoestrogens either through Isovon or through your diet such as soymilk, soybeans, flaxseed etc.