Probiotics in Menopause – Studies Show Promising Results
Women in menopause often have a lot of symptoms, some less and some more severe than others. Think mood swings, hot flashes, night sweats, thinning hair, low sex drive, bone loss, brain fog, skin problems, and so on. Some women choose to ignore their symptoms, while others go to the doctor who advises them to start Hormone Radiation Therapy (HRT). But, hormonal treatments are not always safe, which is why we want to talk about how studies show favorable results for using probiotics in menopause.
Menopause is the end of the woman’s fertile period. As your body stops creating fertile eggs, many changes happen to it. For some women, this period is mild without much going on, while for others, it can bring several problems. Your body’s hormonal balance also changes; namely, we see a decline in estrogen, testosterone, and progesterone.
Estrogen plays many roles in the body, helping repair tissues and having a protective effect. It declines as you age, but something needs to fill in for it so your body can be healthy. Probiotics can help if you have symptoms of menopause-related to low estrogen levels in the body. But what exactly are they and how do they work?
What Are Probiotics?
We have so many different bacteria living in our digestive tract. Each of these bacteria has its own job for keeping you alive and healthy. Some of them help you remove toxins from your body, others support your immune system, and some also help with digestion. But, it is good to know that there are also bacteria that help your hormonal balance. So, let’s talk about all of these in more detail.
Probiotics are live bacteria that are good for your digestive system, immunity, and overall health. The most common types of these are Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium species. You might have heard about live yogurt or fermented foods. And those indeed have probiotic bacteria that help your body work better.
How do they work? No one really knows for sure. But, it was found that your brain and your gut are connected with what is called the gut-brain axis. This path sends signals from the brain to the gut, and vice versa. In menopause, it is also worth talking about the “estrogen-gut microbiome axis” (1). This study has shown that improving gut microflora has a positive effect on estrogen-related disorders. As a result, gut health affects the health of all areas of your body, not just your digestive tract.
Why Is Your Flora Out of Balance?
Many things can lower the number of good bacteria we have in our digestive systems. The stress of modern life, certain pills like antibiotics, smoking, consuming alcohol, caffeine, and low hormone levels in menopause can all upset the balance of friendly bacteria. But, if you take steps to improve your health, you can learn to keep your bacterial balance in check.
Bacterial flora in your gut and vagina changes in menopause because of lower estrogen levels. A study has found a connection between gut health and weight gain, bone loss, and risk for breast cancer (2). Healthy gut flora can help in the metabolism of soy products, which have elements similar to estrogen and promote the growth of good bacteria. As a result, the effect on weight gain is positive. Also, fermented milk with probiotics was found to increase calcium levels and prevent bone loss in women.
So as you can see, the microflora in your gut and vagina has fewer good bacteria than in your premenopausal age. But, this should not scare you since you can always get probiotics from foods and supplements to fix the balance and help your body work at its best. Let us look in more detail on how using probiotics in menopause works to heal your symptoms and improve your overall well being.
How Using Probiotics in Menopause Can Help
Probiotics are not studied enough. There is already so much info out there on their benefits for women in menopause, but doctors can still offer other methods to heal women’s symptoms. You can always speak to your doctor about the options and choose what is best for your health. What differs probiotics from HRT or other hormonal remedies is that they have no side effects. HRT comes with a lot of risks, among which an increased risk of breast cancer is of most concern.
You can find relief even from severe symptoms of menopause like vaginal infections by using probiotics. A study by Kim and Park (3) talks about the benefits of probiotics in reducing symptoms of vaginal infections and preventing them in the first place. A healthy microflora in your vagina helps protect it from harmful bacteria and microbes.
The vaginal microbiome has an essential role in your overall health, and probiotics can affect it in a good way (4). They were also seen to help with hair problems, UTIs, hot flashes, night sweats, and mood swings. More studies are needed to see the full spectrum of benefits probiotics can offer for women’s health. But it is already clear that they do favorable work for your body and not against it.
Where to Get Probiotics for Your Menopause Symptoms
Probiotics are supremely easy to find these days. If you eat a healthy diet, you might have heard about live bacteria in fermented foods or some types of yogurt. Eat more foods like sauerkraut, tempeh, miso, natto, pickles, and live yogurt to get probiotics from food. And if you do not feel like these are enough, try taking a probiotic supplement.
We at MenoLabs know the needs of women in menopause. That is why our line of probiotic supplements is created to support your health as you age. Take 5-20 billion CFUs per dose of a probiotic for best results. Use them as your sole treatment or additional therapy for your hot flashes, weight gain, mood swings, thinning hair, skin problems, and other symptoms of menopause.
(1) JM Baker, L Al-Nakkash, and MM Herbst-Kralovetz. “Estrogen-gut microbiome axis: Physiological and clinical implications.”
(2) Angelica Vieira, Paula Castelo, Daniel Ribeiro, and Caroline Ferreira. “Influence of Oral and Gut Microbiota in the Health of Menopausal Women.”
(3) Jun-Mo Kim and Yoo Jin Park. “Probiotics in the Prevention and Treatment of Postmenopausal Vaginal Infections: Review Article.”
(4) Bhagavathi Sundaram Sivamaruthi, Periyanaina Kesika, and Chaiyavat Chaiyasut. “Influence of probiotic supplementation on climacteric symptoms in menopausal women-A mini review.”