Balance and the Menopause - Can it really help?

Balance and the Menopause - Can it really help?
From hot flushes, insomnia, and fatigue to itchy skin, mood swings and anxiety, women can experience a wide range of menopause symptoms. In fact, GenM, authors of the pioneering Menopause Invisibility Report identify 48 different symptoms associated with menopause. Pura’s newest collagen formulation, balance, is designed to ease the discomfort of menopause and help you stay active and energised throughout. So, can it really help? Here we dive into some of the most common menopausal symptoms and discover how balance can help. Hot flushes Hot flushes and hot sweats are the most commonly reported menopause symptom in Europe and North America, with around 70% of women experiencing hot flushes at some point during menopause. Interestingly, rates of hot flushes are much lower in many East Asian cultures because of the use of traditional soy foods in the diet. Soy is one of the richest sources of phytoestrogens. These are plant-based compounds that have an almost identical structure to human oestrogen. They are nowhere near as potent as human oestrogen but can help to modulate the effects of fluctuating hormones during perimenopause and menopause. During the early stages of perimenopause when progesterone is low and oestrogen is relatively high, phytoestrogens can latch onto hormone receptors and block some of the oestrogen. Later on, when oestrogen starts to drop, phytoestrogens can provide a welcome boost. Soy isoflavones (the phytoestrogen compounds found in soy) have been shown to help ease hot flushes and hot sweats caused by menopause. Pura’s balance formula contains a winning combination of soy isoflavones and sage leaf extract. Sage leaf has been used by herbalists for hundreds of years to help manage hot sweats and flushes. It works by supporting the hypothalamus in the brain to regulate body temperature properly. Anxiety and mood swings Balance contains a number of ingredients proven to support mental wellbeing during menopause:
  • Ashwagandha also known as Indian Ginseng, ashwagandha is an adaptogenic herb with a long history of use in Ayurvedic medicine. We use KSM-66® ashwagandha in balance, as this is the most clinically studied extract available. Studies show ashwagandha can effectively reduce markers of depression and anxiety, while supporting resilience to stress.
  • Maca root is another adaptogenic herb that helps the body cope with physical, mental, and emotional stress. Grown in the Andes, maca has been prized for centuries for its unique blend of vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals that support women’s health. Research shows that maca can alleviate symptoms of depression and anxiety.
  • Magnesium is often called the “anti-stress” mineral because of its role in the production of mood chemicals like serotonin and dopamine. It also helps to relax smooth muscles; if leg cramps and muscle spasms are keeping you awake at night, you may need extra magnesium. We use magnesium citrate in balance - one of the most bioavailable forms of this mineral.
  • Vitamin B6, folate, and B12 play important roles in the production of neurotransmitters that have a calming effect in the brain, helping to alleviate symptoms of anxiety and depression.
  • Vitamin C is an important teammate to the B-vitamins when it comes to managing anxiety and low mood, and studies show it can improve mood. Our requirement for vitamin C increases when we are under stress – and menopause can certainly be stressful! Meeting this extra demand can be difficult through foods alone, which is why a good quality supplement is essential.
Tiredness and Fatigue Whether it’s general fatigue or exhaustion from night after night of disturbed sleep, perimenopause and menopause can seriously affect energy levels. The B-vitamins, magnesium, and vitamin C in balance are key nutrients for cellular energy production, whilst ashwagandha and maca support energy levels and help your body build resilience to stress. Brain fog and poor concentration One research review suggests that 62-67% of women report symptoms of brain fog and issues affecting memory, concentration, and planning during menopause. These symptoms can have a detrimental effect on confidence and self-esteem, particularly in the workplace. Balance is well placed to support mental clarity and brain function. Vitamins B6, B12, and folate support brain cell communication, and KSM-66® ashwagandha has been shown to specifically improve:
  • Working memory
  • Information processing speed
  • Attention and focus
  • General memory and executive function
Vaginal symptoms The vaginal lining is particularly sensitive to oestrogen. When oestrogen levels drop during menopause the lining of the vagina gets thinner and natural lubrication levels decline. This can lead to soreness, pain, and a lot of discomfort during sex. Many women also notice bladder changes too, needing to pee more frequently and becoming more prone to urinary tract infections. Study results are mixed, (often because of trial methods) but some do show that soy isoflavones may have a beneficial effect on vaginal dryness thanks to their phytoestrogen activity. If your sex life has plummeted during menopause, KSM-66 Ashwagandha is on hand to help. Research shows that supplementing with KSM-66 can improve sexual arousal and lubrication in just eight weeks. Bone Health Oestrogen has a protective effect on bone structure. Women lose bone mass rapidly in the first few years after menopause, leaving them at greater risk from bone fractures and osteoporosis than men. Poor bone health is an even higher risk if menopause begins before the age of 45, or if a woman has had her ovaries removed. The FORTIBONE® Hydrolysed Bioactive Collagen Peptides® in balance target bone-building cells called osteoblasts. The peptides also support the production and stability of collagen within the bone matrix. This helps increase bone density and reduce bone breakdown. Soy isoflavones support bone health too. A meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials found that soy isoflavones reduce bone resorption and enhance bone formation in menopausal women. At what point during menopause should I start to take balance? Balance can be taken at any stage of the menopause transition, whenever you need symptom relief. This includes perimenopause and post-menopause. How to take balance Balance has a delicious raspberry and mint flavour that mixes into warm or cool still water for a refreshing drink any time of day. Simply add a scoop of powder, mix well, and drink. You can whizz it into smoothies or yoghurt and balance can be used alongside Flex+ or Glow+ for comprehensive collagen support. Discover more about the benefits of collagen during perimenopause and menopause in our blogs, ‘How Can Collagen Help Ease Menopause Symptoms” and “Can Menopause Affect Mental Health”. And you can find balance and all our other collagen formulations over in the Pura shop.