Menopause Symptom Research

Menopause Symptom Research

MenoLabs News | Mon, Oct 05, 2020

Research into menopause is producing new and interesting findings every day and while we still have a long way to go. Access to new information is giving us greater insight into how we can preserve our health during the menopausal transition. This includes research into menopausal symptoms that many women may have experienced unknowingly.

December 10, 2020 Update

Menopause and Brain Health Research

Sex hormones have an impact on virtually every system in the body. Estrogen receptors can be found everywhere in the female body, and the brain is one of the most heavily affected by estrogen levels. Memory lapses, a decreased ability to concentrate, and changes to mood regulation can all be seen during the different stages of menopause. Understanding the relationship between estrogen and cognitive mechanisms like brain metabolism and neuroprotective processes is crucial to identifying the impact of estrogen on things like memory, mood, and concentration. This study looks at the changes to certain cognitive processes between perimenopausal and menopausal women. 

Cognitive Changes with Reproductive Aging, Perimenopause and Menopause

Brain connectivity is used to describe the patterns and processes of information sharing between different parts of the brain and nervous system. Lowered brain connectivity and cognitive impairment (like memory disorders) can occur simultaneously, but not always. For women, the danger of impaired cognitive function and altered brain connectivity is centralized more around memory disorders, diseases like Alzheimer’s, and early-onset dementia. This study is designed to measure the impact of low estrogen levels in postmenopausal women on cognitive functions, and determine how much cognitive impairment is a result of the change to the levels in sex hormones. 

Altered Brain Connectivity in Early Postmenopausal Women with Subjective Cognitive Impairment

Roughly two-thirds of people living with late-onset Alzheimer’s disease are women. Women are at higher risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease and dementia than men of similar ages. The increased risk of Alzheimer’s in women is correlated to the change in hormone levels that interact with crucial neurochemicals that keep the brain active and healthy. This research study looks at a 3-year transition period for women of menopausal age by measuring the changes to the brain through imaging technology and attempts to understand the impacts of the sex hormones on memory and other cognitive functions. 

Increased Alzheimer's risk during the menopause transition: A 3-year longitudinal brain imaging study

Researchers have studied the relationship between the sex hormones and brain health in an attempt to understand how the menopausal transition affects cognitive ability and overall brain health. Yet, the sex hormones alone may not be the only contributing factors to impacting brain health. There may be other neuroprotective factors that the sex hormones influence, like DNA repair. DNA repair is a series of processes in which a cell identifies and corrects damaged DNA molecules that encode for a genome (a series of genes). This study looks at the potential impact of the sex hormones on the DNA repair process in relation to the brain and neuroprotective ability. 

Role of Estrogen and Other Sex Hormones in Brain Aging. Neuroprotection and DNA Repair

The role of sex hormones, primarily estradiol, have an affect on brain health in a number of ways. Yes, sex hormones interact with other neurochemicals to help regulate certain cognitive functions like sleep and memory, but they also help regulate cardiovascular functions that can affect the brain just as significantly. Vasomotor symptoms (VMS), symptoms dealing with the regulation of blood flow, blood pressure, heart rate, body temperature, and so on, can also have an effect on brain health. This study looks at the relationship between the sex hormones and vasomotor functions to better understand overall brain health for women in the menopausal transition. 

Menopause and Brain Health: Hormonal Changes Are Only Part of the Story

December 3, 2020 Update

Menopause and Metabolism Research

When we refer to metabolism, we’re talking about more than metabolizing fats and maintaining weight. Burning and storing fat is only one function of human metabolism. Another function of metabolism is to regulate cellular energy, which can have an impact on how fatigued or alert we feel when our bodies are at rest. This research study looks at the different types of metabolic disorders that can arise or be affected by the menopausal transition for women across different age groups. 

Metabolic disorders in menopause

Metabolic Syndrome, more commonly referred to as insulin resistance, often coincides with specific cardiovascular issues like high blood pressure, high blood sugar, and so on. Many things can influence the development of metabolic syndrome, but the most prevalent are sedentary lifestyles coupled with changes in how the body stores and distributes fact, particularly in women undergoing the menopausal transition. This study looks at the impact of the change in sex hormones and the increase in weight gain, the increased risk of metabolic syndrome, and new weight distribution patterns in menopausal women. 

The Metabolic Syndrome and Menopause

Sleep deprivation impacts more than just energy, alertness, and mental clarity. It impacts the health of the immune system, the brain’s ability to store and retrieve memory, and even impacts metabolic activity. Immunometabolism becomes more difficult to regulate and maintain as women undergo the menopausal transition. Insomnia is a common menopausal symptom that women can experience, and women who suffer from chronic insomnia in their menopausal years are at a higher risk of developing illnesses and suffering from metabolic syndrome (i.e. diabetes and cardiovascular diseases). This study looks at the relationship between sleep and immunometabolism, more specifically how it impacts weight gain and weight distribution for women in menopause. 

Sleep, Health, and Metabolism in Midlife Women and Menopause: Food for Thought

Changes to the body’s metabolism in women can develop increasingly depending on the stage of menopause a woman is in. Metabolic syndrome and related metabolic conditions can present themselves as early as perimenopause, depending on a variety of factors including genetics, family medical history, diet, lifestyle, and so on. However, the presentation of increase metabolic syndrome and other conditions more commonly appear in postmenopausal women. This study aims to look at the progression of metabolic syndrome across women in different stages of the menopausal transition. 

Progression of Metabolic Syndrome Severity During the Menopausal Transition

Menopause’s impact on weight gain and weight distribution can cause a variety of issues for women as they progress through the transition. Fat starts to become regularly distributed in the abdominal cavity, surrounding the vital organs. This can cause a variety of health problems and increase the risk of cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, and obesity. This review looks at the pathophysiology of weight management in menopausal women and the impact of certain lifestyle changes, among others, to help women better manage weight gain and weight distribution as they go through the different stages of menopause. 

Weight Management Module for Perimenopausal Women: A Practical Guide for Gynecologists

November 19, 2020 Update

Menopause and Muscle Health Research

As women go through the menopausal transition, the changes to the sex hormones cause the body to lose muscle mass and decrease the production of muscle tissue cells. There are estrogen receptors throughout the female body, and the changes to estrogen levels can make it difficult for estrogen molecules to bind to estrogen receptors. This study looks at the impacts of the menopausal transition and status of physical activity on the loss of lean muscle mass in women of varying ages. 

Role of Menopausal Transition and Physical Activity in Loss of Lean and Muscle Mass: A Follow-Up Study in Middle-Aged Finnish Women

Estrogen impacts both the muscular system and the skeletal system. The changes to estrogen impact how these systems operate together. Bones begin to lose density, muscle mass begins to decrease, and changes to the ligaments and tendons are marked by the drop in estrogen. Because of these changes, women are at higher risk of suffering from injuries and overall musculoskeletal performance. This research study looks at the relationship between estrogen and the musculoskeletal issues that arise, particularly where everyday responses are concerned and how those changes increase the risk of certain types of injuries. 

Effect of Estrogen on Musculoskeletal Performance and Injury Risk

The protein structures of both the muscular and the skeletal system are heavily affected by changes in the sex hormones during the menopausal transition. Estrogen receptors regulate the production and synthesis of proteins that are created in these two systems. When estrogen fluctuates or depletes, the production of these proteins becomes disrupted. This study looks at the effects of estrogenic regulation on the muscles and the skeleton in premenopausal and postmenopausal women to determine the primary differences in women of those respective age groups. 

Estrogenic regulation of skeletal muscle proteome: a study of premenopausal women and postmenopausal MZ cotwins discordant for hormonal therapy

Indications of improved blood glucose levels and insulin rates in the body can be measured by taking samples from skeletal muscle samples. This research study looks at the impacts of specific estrogen receptors and their effects on glucose disposal rates within the body when estradiol, a certain type of estrogen, is introduced to the body in early postmenopausal women and women later into their postmenopausal stage. 

Time since menopause and skeletal muscle estrogen receptors, PGC-1α, and AMPK

The introduction of hormones, synthetic or bio-identical, has been used to help treat menopausal and postmenopausal symptoms in women for many years. The effects of these hormones can help improve the regulation of certain functions, more specifically in postmenopausal women. This research study looks at the effects of hormone replacement therapy (HRT) on muscle mass in postmenopausal women, with the intent to understand if significant enough improvements are made to the structure of proteins that help improve muscle mass. 

Association Between Hormone Therapy and Muscle Mass in Postmenopausal Women

November 11, 2020 Update

Menopause and Breast Health Research

Estrogen’s impact on breast development is significant in both its benefits and its risks. Estrogen helps promote the development of breast tissues as girls go through puberty, and progesterone helps inhibit the overgrowth of breast tissues, which prevents breast cancer. During pregnancy, the drop in estrogen and progesterone causes the breasts to create and store milk more effectively. Then, after nursing, the levels of estrogen and progesterone start to increase again. However, during menopause, those hormone levels can fluctuate, and make estrogen levels higher than progesterone levels. This imbalance of hormones can increase the risk of breast cancer. This research study examines the impact of estrogen on the mammary glands and its correlation to the risk of breast cancer. 

Estrogen Effects on the Mammary Gland in Early and Late Life and Breast Cancer Risk

The imbalance between sex hormones is one of the major contributing factors to the increased risk of breast cancer in menopausal and postmenopausal women. Lowering the risk and preventing the development of breast cancer in older women, starts during their younger years. Many preventative methods include limiting alcohol consumption, avoid smoking, and being physically active, but what other methods may be beneficial? This research study takes a look at the possible relationship between the properties of coffee and its impact on breast tissues. 

Coffee Intake Decreases Risk of Postmenopausal Breast Cancer: A Dose-Response Meta-Analysis on Prospective Cohort Studies

Mastalgia is a condition in which pain arises in the breast tissues. It can affect both men and women. Mastalgia is one of the most common breast symptoms in women. In fact, it can present itself in 70% of women for a considerable portion of their lifetimes. A more specific form of mastalgia, cystic mastalgia, is more closely related to the menstrual cycle in women. Cystic mastalgia is more often produced by the increase of sex hormone levels during the luteal phase of the menstrual cycle. This study takes a look at the factors affecting mastalgia, especially cystic mastalgia in women ages 45-55 and how they may impact the risk of breast cancer. 

Factors Affecting Mastalgia

As women age the risk of developing certain cancers, like breast cancer, increases. The menopausal transition can cause a variety of effects on women’s overall health, their risk of developing breast cancer, and even their recovery from breast cancer treatments like operations and chemo-therapy. This research study takes a look at the impact of different menopausal stages on symptoms of women prior to and after breast cancer surgery. 

Influence of Menopausal Status on the Symptom Experience of Women Prior to Breast Cancer Surgery

Researchers have been looking into the potential relationship between hormone replacement therapy (HRT) and breast cancer risk. Hormone replacement therapy can increase the risk of breast cancer based on a variety of contributing factors including, individual genetics, family medical history, HRT dosage, individual hormonal makeup, and menopause status. This research study aims to determine the amount of increased risk of breast cancer is presented in patients depending on all of these factors. 

Menopausal hormone therapy and breast cancer: what is the true size of the increased risk?

November 5, 2020 Update

Menopause and Digestive Health Research

Certain conditions involving inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract are somewhat common in perimenopausal, menopausal, and even postmenopausal women. Inflammatory conditions of this kind can often lead to increased issues with indigestion, heartburn, ulcers, and other complications. One of the possible contributing factors to this increase in gastrointestinal inflammation is oral contraceptives. Oral forms of estrogen have been shown to modify intestinal permeability, which is a critical process in the body and often an indicator of the development of inflammatory bowel disease. This research study aims to look at the impact of oral contraceptives and menopausal hormone therapy on the development of inflammatory bowel disease and what future preventative methods or alternative hormone treatment methods could help lower this risk. 

Risk of Inflammatory Bowel Disease with Oral Contraceptives and Menopausal Hormone Therapy: Current Evidence and Future Directions

Metabolic health and related conditions like type 2 diabetes or cardiovascular diseases are directly impacted by the depletion of estrogen during the menopausal transition. Estrogen’s impact on metabolism extends far beyond regulating stored fats. It also impacts metabolic energy, fatigue, and blood glucose levels. This research study looks at the impact of dietary changes to help improve metabolic regulation, particularly in managing abnormal lipid metabolism in postmenopausal women. 

Menopause-Associated Lipid Metabolic Disorders and Foods Beneficial for Postmenopausal Women

As women go through the menopausal transition, the changes to sex hormones causes intestinal (gut) permeability to increase. Intestinal permeability is a condition in which the lining of the gut wall loses its structural integrity, which allows more material to pass through the intestines and into the bloodstream. Now, this may seem like a good thing if those materials are strictly nutrients. However, poor gut health with increased gut permeability can actually increase the amount of bad bacteria and other toxins to pass through your intestines and into your bloodstream. This research study looks at the relationship between increased gut permeability, increased inflammatory conditions (particularly in the bowels), and decreased bone density in women undergoing the menopausal transition. 

Gut permeability, inflammation, and bone density across the menopause transition

Microscopic colitis is a condition in which the large intestine (particularly the colon) undergoes an increase of inflammation, and it noticeably affects postmenopausal women. While it seems to affect postmenopausal women especially, the relationship between sex hormones and microscopic colitis is not entirely understood. This research study looks at data collected from nearly 230,000 participants to better understand the relationship between hormones and hormone use (HRT) and the development of microscopic colitis. 

Identification of Menopausal and Reproductive Risk Factors for Microscopic Colitis – Results From the Nurses’ Health Study

Studies have shown that Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), on average, is more common in women than men. One of the most common gastrointestinal conditions is IBS, and understanding the relationship between sex-gender differences and their effects on the development of IBS is becoming an increasingly important health issue. Not only do sex-gender differences have an impact on the development of conditions like IBS, but they also have an impact on treatment methods. This research study takes a close look at sex-gender differences and how those differences affect the risk of IBS and IBS treatment methods. 

Sex-Gender Differences in Irritable Bowel Syndrome

October 29, 2020 Update

Menopause and Skin Health Research

Estrogen impacts the skin in a number of ways. Estrogen helps promote the production of collagen, a necessary protein that gives skin its structure. When estrogen decreases during the menopausal transition, collagen cannot be produced as effectively and are often produced at a weaker structural level. This can cause a number of changes to the skin, like an increase in skin dryness, more wrinkles, and loose skin. This research study looks at the effects of phytoestrogens to help promote collagen production, improve skin’s water retention, and lower oxidative stress that skin undergoes from things like UV rays. 

Recent advances in the anti‐aging effects of phytoestrogens on collagen, water content, and oxidative stress

Maintaining skin’s health during menopause starts in the gut. Skin needs certain nutrients in order to maintain its structure and immune response. These nutrients include things like Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Zinc, Vitamin E, and several forms of Vitamin B. However, the gut has difficulty extracting these nutrients from food as we age. Feeding our gut bacteria additional food sources can help slow down digestion and better extract nutrients to deliver to the skin. This research study looks at the impact of the phytoestrogen, genistein, on the dietary management of nutrient extraction that can help improve skin’s health. 

Dietary Management of Skin Health: The Role of Genistein

Lowered levels of estrogen result in a lowered bonding rate of estrogen receptors that regulate a variety of functions. Estrogen receptors within the skin help regulate the production of collagen and maintain the skin’s immune response, helping it to avoid oxidative stress. This research study looks at the possible applications of topical therapies, specifically designed to help replace and/or improve the estrogen deficiencies within the skin and help improve bonding rates to estrogen receptors. 

Estrogen-deficient skin: The role of topical therapy

Dry skin and wrinkles aren’t the only changes your skin can experience during the menopausal transition. Menopausal acne is a common problem that women face. As your estrogen levels decrease, your body increases the amount of sebum secreted from your skin. Sebum is the oily substance that your skin naturally secretes. It helps your skin retain its moisture. So when estrogen decreases, your body starts to produce more sebum. This increases the amount of oil that buildup in your pores and can attract other bacteria to buildup, causing acne. This research study aims to look at the different challenges in menopausal acne and potential solutions that could help maintain regular skin health. 

Menopausal Acne – Challenges And Solutions

Melatonin, traditionally associated as a sleep-inducing chemical, also possesses beneficial properties that help the skin. Melatonin helps activate the synthesis of antioxidant enzymes, enzymes that help lower oxidative stress, and maintain the skin’s immune response. This research study looks at the exact relationship between melatonin and the skin, as well as what future treatments using melatonin could do to help protect the skin from more serious conditions.  

Protective Effects of Melatonin on the Skin: Future Perspectives

October 15, 2020 Update

Menopause and Insomnia Research

Chronic postmenopausal insomnia is one of the leading contributing factors to cognitive-behavioral conditions, especially memory-loss conditions like dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. Chronic insomnia among postmenopausal women is quite common, and the increase of poor sleep quality in women of this age group can have serious health consequences. This study measures the impact of several different treatment methods on sleep quality and insomnia in postmenopausal women. 

Treating chronic insomnia in postmenopausal women: a randomized clinical trial comparing cognitive-behavioral therapy for insomnia, sleep restriction therapy, and sleep hygiene education

Adequate sleep and sleep regulation impacts the health of every system in the body, especially the immune system. Insomnia and other sleep deprivation disorders are one of the most significant contributing factors to the development of cardiovascular disease, Alzheimer’s, and poor immune health. Insomnia can affect women of premenopausal ages and have long-lasting effects on their overall health. This study aims to measure the impact of insomnia on women’s health, especially immunity, through all stages of menopause. 

Sleep problems during the menopausal transition: prevalence, impact, and management challenges

Estrogen’s impact on the body goes beyond the regulation of the sex organs and the blood vessels. Estrogen helps regulate the production and release of sleep-inducing neurotransmitters like melatonin and serotonin. During the menopausal transition, the decrease of estrogen also decreases the production of these necessary sleep hormones, leading to the development of sleep deprivation disorders like insomnia. This study measures the effects of estrogen depletion on melatonin production and the subsequent impact on cellular activity within the brain, particularly where memory and motor functions are concerned. 

Sleep, Melatonin, and the Menopausal Transition: What Are the Links?

Hot flashes are one of the greatest contributing factors to sleep deprivation conditions. Women who experience hot flashes during the night report more discomfort when falling asleep and more difficulty staying asleep, as changes to body temperature and profuse sweating make sleeping environments uncomfortable. Menopause’s impact on body temperature regulation can often result in the increase of hot flashes over the course of the menopausal transition. This study looks at the effects of both pharmacologic and nonpharmacologic treatment methods on hot flashes and vasomotor functions as means to improve sleep quality. 

Effects of Pharmacologic and Nonpharmacologic Interventions on Insomnia Symptoms and Self-reported Sleep Quality in Women With Hot Flashes

Hot flashes are one of the greatest causes of insomnia and sleep deprivation in menopausal and postmenopausal women. The decrease in vasomotor functions has led to an increased risk of poor sleep quality and poor cognitive function. Treatment methods for insomnia during the menopausal transition encompass a variety of tactics, everything from cognitive-behavioral adjustments to natural supplements. This study measures the impact of Angus Castus, magnolia extracts, soy isoflavones, and specific lactobacilli strains on vasomotor functions as a way to treat hot flashes and improve sleep quality. 

Adding Agnus Castus and Magnolia to Soy Isoflavones Relieves Sleep Disturbances Besides Postmenopausal Vasomotor Symptoms-Long Term Safety and Effectiveness

Menopause and Immune Health Research

The menopausal transition has a significant impact on the body as a whole due to the changes it makes to the body’s immune system. Estrogen helps regulate the immune system’s response to all potential threats bacteria, viruses, and even degenerative conditions. Estrogen’s impact on brain function extends beyond directing brain activity, it also helps regulate the brain’s immunity and resistance to illness. This study looks at the impact of estrogen in age-associated neurodegenerative diseases in both perimenopause and postmenopausal women. 

Transitions in metabolic and immune systems from pre-menopause to post-menopause: implications for age-associated neurodegenerative diseases

Estrogen’s impact on the body’s immune response is so significant, that many researchers have looked into finding ways to mimic the hormone’s many regulatory functions. While synthetic hormones have been uses as a primary alternative, for years, researchers have been looking into the effectiveness of natural compounds like phytoestrogens as a menopausal treatment alternative. This study looks into the effects of phytoestrogens derived from plants on the immune system’s inflammatory response. 

Phytoestrogens and Their Health Effect

The immune response differs between men and women, and this is due, in part, to the differences in sex hormones. The body depends on interactions between hormones to help maintain various functions like sleep, mood, digestion, and even cellular activity. This study looks at the comparative differences of the sex hormones’ impact on the development and activity of immune cells, primarily T-cells in relation to the immune health of other areas of the body, like the brain and the gut microbiome. 

Sex Hormones Determine Immune Response

Cytokines are proteins responsible for facilitating signals sent from cell to cell. These proteins are vital to the immune system, as they regulate the signals sent between immune-fighting cells, like T-cells, and other cells (like tissue cells or platelets). Estrogen’s impact on the production of cytokines directly affects the immune system, specifically, it’s the ability to send signals to immune cells to help fight against infections. This study looks at the relationship between estrogen and cytokines specifically in the healing process of bone fractures. 

Influence of Menopause on Inflammatory Cytokines during Murine and Human Bone Fracture Healing

It’s estimated that around 78 percent of people living with an autoimmune disorder are women. Autoimmune disorders are conditions in which the body’s immune system attacks healthy cells. Autoimmune conditions can leave women more vulnerable to degenerative diseases in menopause. This study focuses on finding a connection between women with autoimmune conditions and early menopause, menopause that occurs before the age of 45, and the impacts of both an autoimmune disease and menopause on the body’s inflammatory response and other immune system functions.  

A prospective study of inflammatory biomarker levels and risk of early menopause

Menopause and Cardiovascular Health Research 

Blood circulation and body temperature regulation are greatly impacted by menopause. Vasomotor function, the widening, and narrowing of the blood vessels are what cause menopausal hot flashes. Estrogen helps regulate the width of the blood vessels and as estrogen decreases, the blood vessels become wider or narrower in response to certain triggers like changes in outside temperature, caffeine consumption, alcohol consumption, and so on. This study measures the vasomotor response across different stages of menopause. 

Vasomotor Symptoms Across the Menopause Transition: Differences Among Women

Coronary heart disease is one of the many cardiovascular diseases that women of menopausal and postmenopausal ages are at risk of developing. The presentation of certain menopausal symptoms could be an indicator of the development of cardiovascular diseases in women at different stages of the menopausal transition. This study aims to understand whether or not the presentation of certain menopausal symptoms are an indicator of coronary heart disease or have an impact on the development of additional heart conditions. 

Menopausal symptoms and risk of coronary heart disease in middle-aged women: A nationwide population-based cohort study

Estrogen helps regulate the function of blood vessels throughout the body. When estrogen decreases, it accelerates vascular aging, making blood vessels stiffen and causes cellular dysfunction in the endothelial cells (the cells that line the interior surface of the blood vessels). This increase in vascular dysfunction can impact other menopausal symptoms as well as increase the risk of cardiovascular disease. This study looks at the impact of menopause on vascular dysfunction and aging in relation to mental health issues like depression and overall quality of life. 

Vascular dysfunction across the stages of the menopause transition is associated with menopausal symptoms and quality of life

Hypertension, or abnormally high blood pressure, affects many postmenopausal women. This is due to the loss of estrogen, as it helps regulate vasomotor functions (the widening and narrowing of blood vessels). Hypertension can be exacerbated by certain triggers like alcohol, caffeine, and especially, stress. This research study measures the effects of cardiovascular exercise training on hypertension in postmenopausal women. 

Cardiovascular Benefits of Exercise Training in Postmenopausal Hypertension

Polycystic ovarian syndrome is one of the most common endocrine disorders in women of reproductive ages, so how does menopause affect this condition, and more importantly what additional health concerns can arise from it? Cardiovascular diseases like coronary heart disease and hypertension could be significantly impacted by menopause in women with preexisting polycystic ovarian syndrome. This study looks at the impacts of menopause and blood pressure in postmenopausal women with polycystic ovarian syndrome. 

Blood pressure in postmenopausal women with a history of polycystic ovary syndrome

October 5, 2020 Update

Menopause Symptoms and Probiotics Research

Probiotics are bacterial strains that populate the gut capable of helping extract nutrients from food, balancing hormone production, and maintaining the health of multiple systems in the body. Research into the multiple effects of probiotics has sparked mainstream interest in its potential health benefits to boosting the immune system, aiding in weight maintenance, and alleviating menopausal symptoms. This study focuses on the effects of dietary prebiotic substances paired with probiotic strains on the human body, particularly concerning metabolism, immune response, and stimulation of cellular activity. 

Effects of prebiotic dietary fibers and probiotics on human health: With special focus on recent advancement in their encapsulated formulations

As women age, the risk of developing breast cancer increases. This is due to the fact that the body is exposed to estrogen for long periods of time. Estrogen is responsible for increasing breast tissue production during puberty and long into adulthood, especially during pregnancy. While estrogen levels do drop during menopause, estrogen levels still often remain higher than progesterone levels in the body. Progesterone helps counteract the effects of estrogen and inhibits the overgrowth of breast tissues. This imbalance increases the risk of breast cancer. 

The following study measures the potential effects of probiotics in the treatment of breast cancer, and the preventative effects it may have in lowering the risk of developing breast cancer in menopausal and postmenopausal women. 

Potential effect of probiotics in the treatment of breast cancer

Menopause’s effect on metabolism and insulin sensitivity changes dramatically. As women age and transition from the height of menopause to the postmenopausal stages, it becomes difficult for the body to regulate body fat storage and blood glucose levels. As a result, women are at an increased risk of developing conditions like type 2 diabetes, becoming obese, and suffering from high blood pressure. This study looks at the metabolic effects of probiotics and the potential impacts it may have on managing weight, preventing obesity, and lowering the risk of conditions like type 2 diabetes. 

A Review on Role of Microbiome in Obesity and Antiobesity Properties of Probiotic Supplements

Women can experience a few dozen symptoms at any point in their menopausal journey. Menopausal symptoms don’t always present themselves in similar ways or at similar stages among women. Hot flashes, mood swings, changes to the skin, shifts in weight, allergies, lowered immune response, are just a few of the menopausal symptoms that women can experience. All of which can be impacted by the health of the microbiome. This study takes a closer look at the effects of certain probiotics strains on alleviating menopausal symptoms. 

The Effect of Lactobacillus acidophilus YT1 (MENOLACTO) on Improving Menopausal Symptoms: A Randomized, Double-Blinded, Placebo-Controlled Clinical Trial

The first waves of menopausal symptoms begin in perimenopause, the stage when women still menstruate but begin to experience more erratic periods. Some of the most common symptoms that perimenopausal women experience are related to mood and mental health. Women in perimenopause may experience mood swings more frequently, increased irritability, anxiety, and depressive episodes. This study focuses on the use of co-supplementation of Vitamin D and probiotics to help impact mental health, hormone levels, and inflammatory responses in pre/perimenopausal women, particularly those with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). 

Vitamin D and probiotic co-supplementation affects mental health, hormonal, inflammatory and oxidative stress parameters in women with polycystic ovary syndrome

Menopause and Bone Health Research

As women go through the menopausal transition, bone density begins to decrease as a result of the lowering levels of estrogen in the body. Increasing the body’s ability to produce and form new bone tissue cells is essential to maintaining bone health. The use of supplementary sources of calcium has only been able to provide women a fraction of the materials needed to help maintain regular bone tissue growth. This study measures the effects of gut microbiota on the body’s natural metabolism and how that might influence the metabolism and production of bone tissues in menopausal women. 

Microbial osteoporosis: The interplay between the gut microbiota and bones via host metabolism and immunity

The primary form of estrogen that regulates the production of bone tissues is estradiol. As women transition into menopause, levels of estradiol decrease, making it more difficult for this form of estrogen to bind onto estrogen receptors that are responsible for calcium deposition and bone tissue production. Finding ways to stabilize that decline of estrogen or mimic the regulatory roles of estradiol are the key to slowing the rate of bone density loss in women and lowering the risk of postmenopausal osteoporosis. This study looks at the effects of isoflavones of similar structures to estradiol and how these isoflavones impact bone mineral density (BMD), in postmenopausal women.

Effects of isoflavone interventions on bone mineral density in postmenopausal women: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials

Estrogen is critical to the development of bone tissues in women and men. However, as women go through the menopausal transition, the depletion of estrogen causes rapid changes to overall one density, causing women to lose bone density and increasing the risk of certain conditions like osteoporosis and rheumatoid arthritis. This research study measures the effects of estrogen on bone resorption, or the loss of bone tissues, across women of different ethnicities and stages of menopause. 

Bone Health During the Menopause Transition and Beyond

Calcium is one of the necessary compounds required to make bone tissues. As girls progress into puberty and then into adulthood, estrogen helps regulate the deposition of calcium into the bones. This fortifies bones by increasing bone density. However, during the menopausal transition, the decline of estrogen levels slows the rate of calcium deposition to the bones. This causes bones to become more porous and to lose density. This leaves women at higher risk of fracturing bones due to menopausal and postmenopausal osteoporosis. This research study measures the effectiveness of using calcium supplements to help aid in the increase of the production of bone tissues and finds that supplementary calcium alone, is not enough to lessen the risk of bone fractures. 

Calcium Supplement Use Is Associated With Less Bone Mineral Density Loss, But Does Not Lessen the Risk of Bone Fracture Across the Menopause Transition: Data From the Study of Women's Health Across the Nation

Bone Mineral Density (BMD) decreases as women go through the menopausal transition. After menopause has ended, women of postmenopausal age are more likely to suffer from bone fractures, especially in areas like the hips, knees, and ankles. Helping slow the rate of bone density loss in women of mid-life ages is key to decreasing the chances of severe bone fractures. Previous methods including calcium supplements have been shown to be only somewhat effective in maintaining existing bone tissues, rather than helping the body to build more tissues. This study is designed to measure the effects of exercise training on the production of new bone tissues. Exercise training focused on muscle building can help encourage the growth of new bone tissues in postmenopausal women. 

Effect of Exercise Training on Bone Mineral Density in Post-menopausal Women: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Intervention Studies

Women gradually begin to lose bone density to some degree starting around their mid-30s. This process is exacerbated in menopause due to the sharp decrease of estrogen. This process may be influenced by more than the body’s ability to bind estrogen onto estrogen receptors. This process may also be influenced, and perhaps compounded, by the “reprogramming” of monocytes. Monocytes are a large type of white blood cell that influence the body’s immune system adaptability. This study focuses on the influence of these monocytes and how they are “reprogrammed” in response to menopause’s effects on bone tissue formations and the increase of aggressive osteoclast activity. 

Aging and menopause reprogram osteoclast precursors for aggressive bone resorption

Stay Updated on Menopause Research

More and more people are taking research into menopause and menopausal health with the seriousness it deserves. Research is constantly being updated to encompass more menopausal symptoms that may seem uncommon. Research is being specified to include other areas of health that are affected by menopause and we want to reflect the changing environment in a way that’s understandable to you. 

MenoLabs will continue to write and updates posts like these based on the latest, verified, credible research from around the world so that you have the best information at your fingertips to refer to. Now you can better understand how you can improve and maintain your health. 

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