How to Balance Female Hormones Naturally: 13 Research-Backed Supplements

Achieving hormonal balance is essential for a woman’s well-being, but it can be a challenge due to fluctuations during various life stages like puberty, pregnancy, and menopause. Thankfully, there are solutions available to restore equilibrium and enhance health. This blog post provides valuable insights into female hormones and presents 13 research-backed supplements that can effectively balance hormones, relieve symptoms, and improve overall wellness.

Understanding Hormonal Imbalance

Hormones play a crucial role in the female body, regulating various physiological processes. Hormone imbalance occurs when there is an excess or deficiency of one or more hormones, leading to symptoms such as:

  • Mood swings and irritability
  • Hot flashes
  • Acne
  • Fatigue and low energy levels
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Excess body and facial hair
  • Changes in blood pressure
  • Vaginal dryness
  • Irregular or painful periods
  • Anxiety
  • Weight gain (especially belly fat)
  • Low libido
  • Breast tenderness and pain
  • Brain fog
  • Brittle hair
  • Dull and dry skin

Certain life stages, such as menopause, pregnancy, and the menstrual cycle, can also affect hormone balance.

The Importance of Balancing Female Hormones

Imbalances may manifest as physical symptoms, emotional turmoil, and long-term health complications. Understanding what could happen if female hormones are not adequately balanced and appreciating the benefits of maintaining hormonal harmony is crucial.

Long-term hormonal imbalances can lead to a range of potential complications that affect various aspects of a woman’s life. These complications may include:

  • Increased risk of osteoporosis due to reduced bone density
  • Development of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and its associated symptoms, such as infertility and insulin resistance
  • Heightened susceptibility to anxiety, depression, and mood disorders
  • Disruptions in normal sleep patterns leading to chronic fatigue and insomnia
  • Greater likelihood of cardiovascular disease and other metabolic conditions
  • Impaired cognitive function often referred to as “brain fog.”
  • Compromised immune system functionality, making it harder for the body to fight off infections

By maintaining a balanced hormonal state, women can reap numerous benefits to their overall well-being, such as:

  • Enhanced emotional stability and resilience against stress
  • Improved sleep quality and increased energy levels throughout the day
  • Optimal reproductive health, with regular menstrual cycles and reduced PMS symptoms
  • Stronger bones, reducing the risk of fractures and osteoporosis
  • Better cognitive function, resulting in sharper focus and mental clarity
  • A stronger immune system, enabling the body to ward off illnesses effectively
  • Healthier skin, hair, and nails, thanks to well-regulated hormone levels

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Who Should and Should Not Take Hormone Balancing Supplements

While hormone-balancing supplements can benefit many women, it’s essential to recognize that not everyone is an ideal candidate. Here’s a brief overview of who may benefit and who should exercise caution or avoid these supplements.

Who Can Benefit

  • Women experiencing symptoms of hormonal imbalance
  • Perimenopausal and menopausal women
  • Women with fertility concerns
  • Individuals with high-stress lifestyles
  • Athletes and fitness enthusiasts

Who Should Exercise Caution Or Avoid

  • Pregnant or breastfeeding women
  • Individuals with hormone-sensitive conditions
  • Those taking hormone replacement therapy (HRT)
  • People with thyroid disorders

Consult a healthcare professional before starting any hormone-balancing supplement regimen, especially if you have pre-existing health conditions or concerns. This ensures that the supplements are safe and appropriate for your unique circumstances.

Best Supplements for Balancing Hormones

The following supplements are backed by research and can help with hormonal balance:

Magnesium

Magnesium is a vital mineral that helps with energy production, nervous system function, blood pressure regulation, and blood sugar control. Recent studies show that pairing magnesium with zinc can benefit various health markers in women with PCOS. [1] Additionally, several studies have found that magnesium can alleviate anxiety symptoms in individuals with anxiety disorders, PMS, and hypertension. [2]

B vitamins (B12, B6, B3)

The various functions of B Vitamins in the body make them highly versatile. Research shows that incorporating amino acid supplements and B vitamins can help alleviate symptoms associated with skin aging and menopause. [3]

Vitamin D3

Vitamin D supplementation can improve PMS symptoms, emphasizing its role in women’s health. [4] It regulates estrogen by acting on the aromatase enzyme that converts androgens to estrogens. Mice lacking a Vitamin D receptor showed lower aromatase activity, but calcium supplementation restored it, suggesting Vitamin D regulates aromatase through calcium metabolism and affects serum estrogen levels. [5]

Zinc

Women with PCOS may benefit from taking zinc supplements, reducing excess hair growth and decreasing triglycerides, blood sugar, and insulin resistance. Supplementing 220 mg of zinc sulfate daily for eight weeks improved the metabolic profiles of women with PCOS. [6] A daily dose of 50 mg of elemental zinc for eight weeks can improve symptoms of alopecia, hirsutism and lower plasma MDA levels [7]. Additionally, zinc supplementation may improve fertility.

Ashwagandha

Ashwagandha supports anxiety and stress relief and improves sleep quality. It may also offer hormonal benefits, including enhanced sexual function. Research indicates that ashwagandha usage in menopausal women can increase estrogen levels and reduce follicle-stimulating and luteinizing hormones, leading to an improved quality of life. [8]

Rhodiola Rosea

Rhodiola Rosea contains Salidroside, a phytochemical that helps regulate cortisol levels and reduce anxiety. It offers potential benefits for fatigue, stress, anxiety, and depression. The anti-stress properties of Rhodiola come from its ability to reduce cortisol release during high-stress situations. Research also suggests that Rhodiola Rosea may have anti-estrogenic properties. [9][10]

Probiotics

Probiotics are good bacteria that live in our gut and can improve our gut health. Maintaining a healthy gut microbiome is vital for endocrine health, as an imbalance in gut bacteria can affect estrogen levels and hormone regulation. Research shows that changing the composition of gut bacteria can influence metabolism and alleviate diseases affected by estrogen. [11]

Fish Oil (Omega-3 Fatty Acids)

Fish oil’s fatty acids can regulate neurotransmitter production, affecting menopausal symptoms by influencing the hypothalamus’ thermal center. Studies show that soybean and fish oil improved menopausal symptoms without impacting triglycerides, total cholesterol, or TSH [12], and omega-3 supplements alleviated premenstrual symptoms, enhancing women’s quality of life. [13] However, it’s important to note that many fish oils available are rancid, so quality matters greatly.

Selenium

Selenium is a crucial mineral that plays a key role in producing thyroid hormones, antioxidant activity, and immune function in the thyroid. A study revealed that taking selenium supplements for six months lowered thyroid antibody levels and showed a significant increase in serum selenium and selenoproteins at 3 and 6 months. [14] Another study suggested that selenium supplementation might enhance fertility in women who lack adequate selenium levels. [15]

Fenugreek

According to research, Fenugreek benefits patients with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). In a randomized controlled trial, fenugreek improved body weight, number of ovarian cysts, ovary size, menstrual regularity, hormonal dysregulation, and abnormal hair growth in women with PCOS. [16] Another study demonstrated that taking fenugreek extract significantly increased free testosterone, estrogen levels, sexual desire, and arousal compared to a placebo group. [17]

Maca

Maca has been found to boost libido and slightly enhance sexual function. [18] It can also alleviate menopausal symptoms such as anxiety and depression, with one study showing reduced frequency and severity of hot flushes and night sweats. This makes it a desirable alternative to Hormone Replacement Therapy for early-postmenopausal women who prefer natural plant-based remedies. With these benefits, Maca can reduce dependence on hormonal therapy programs. [19][20]

Black Cohosh

Black cohosh is a highly effective supplement for women experiencing menopause symptoms, PMS, period cramps, and irregular periods. It is the preferred choice in North America and has been found to help with hot flashes and night sweats. This supplement is non-estrogenic, contrary to previous beliefs, and has a central effect on the brain through serotonin, dopamine, and opioids. [21]

Chaste Tree (Chaste Berry, Vitex)

Chaste Tree, a flowering plant, often relieves premenstrual syndrome. Research indicates that its active ingredient, Vitex agnus-castus, effectively reduces symptoms like hot flashes, bloating, irritability, sleep disruptions, depression, mood disorders, and cramping. It targets the pituitary gland, increasing luteinizing hormone (LH), stimulating ovulation, and raising progesterone levels. [22]

What are the best supplements for menopause?

Consider exploring a range of supplements known to help reduce menopause symptoms and support overall health: Pueraria Mirifica, Black Cohosh, Maca, Panax Ginseng, DHEA, Valerian, Pycnogenol, Royal Jelly, and Lion’s Mane. These natural options may offer relief and promote balance during the menopausal transition.

The Importance of a Personalized Supplement Regimen

Embracing a personalized supplement regimen for hormonal balance is crucial due to the unique hormonal needs that vary based on age, lifestyle, genetics, and overall health. By seeking the guidance of a healthcare professional, you can create a tailored supplement plan that effectively targets your specific hormone imbalances, ensures safety, and allows for monitoring and adjustments as needed. This individualized approach promotes optimal hormonal balance and overall well-being.

Supplementation as Part of a Comprehensive Treatment Plan

Supplementation should be integrated into a holistic treatment strategy for hormonal health rather than being seen as a cure-all. In addition to supplements, it’s crucial to maintain a nutrient-dense healthy diet (complex carbohydrates, lean proteins, healthy fats), prioritize quality sleep, manage stress effectively, and engage in regular physical activity. Addressing these lifestyle factors can effectively support hormonal balance and promote overall well-being.

Conclusion

In conclusion, achieving optimal hormone health requires a comprehensive approach that includes personalized supplementation and attention to lifestyle factors such as a hormone-balancing diet, sleep, stress management, and movement. While supplements can provide targeted support, it’s crucial to integrate them into a holistic treatment strategy for optimal results.

Remember to consult a healthcare professional before starting any supplement regimen to ensure its safety and effectiveness based on your unique needs and circumstances. By taking these steps, you can effectively promote hormonal balance and enhance overall well-being.

REFERENCES

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[6] Foroozanfard F, Jamilian M, Jafari Z, Khassaf A, Hosseini A, Khorammian H, Asemi Z. Effects of zinc supplementation on markers of insulin resistance and lipid profiles in women with polycystic ovary syndrome: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Exp Clin Endocrinol Diabetes. 2015 Apr;123(4):215-20. doi: 10.1055/s-0035-1548790. Epub 2015 Apr 13. PMID: 25868059.

[7] Jamilian M, Foroozanfard F, Bahmani F, Talaee R, Monavari M, Asemi Z. Effects of Zinc Supplementation on Endocrine Outcomes in Women with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome: a Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Trial. Biol Trace Elem Res. 2016 Apr;170(2):271-8. doi: 10.1007/s12011-015-0480-7. Epub 2015 Aug 28. PMID: 26315303.

[8] Gopal S, Ajgaonkar A, Kanchi P, Kaundinya A, Thakare V, Chauhan S, Langade D. Effect of an ashwagandha (Withania Somnifera) root extract on climacteric symptoms in women during perimenopause: A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study. J Obstet Gynaecol Res. 2021 Dec;47(12):4414-4425. doi: 10.1111/jog.15030. Epub 2021 Sep 22. PMID: 34553463.

[9] Payman Hanifi Moghaddam, Leen J. Blok, F. Heidy Van Wijk, Helenius J. Kloosterboer, Curt W. Burger; Effects of tibolone treatment on human endometrial cell lines and tissues. Cancer Res 1 April 2004; 64 (7_Supplement): 663.

[10] Ivanova Stojcheva E, Quintela JC. The Effectiveness of Rhodiola rosea L. Preparations in Alleviating Various Aspects of Life-Stress Symptoms and Stress-Induced Conditions-Encouraging Clinical Evidence. Molecules. 2022 Jun 17;27(12):3902. doi: 10.3390/molecules27123902. PMID: 35745023; PMCID: PMC9228580.

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[12] Purzand B, Rokhgireh S, Shabani Zanjani M, Eshraghi N, Mohamadianamiri M, Esmailzadeh A, Alkatout I, Gitas G, Allahqoli L. The comparison of the effect of soybean and fish oil on supplementation on menopausal symptoms in postmenopausal women: A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Complement Ther Clin Pract. 2020 Nov;41:101239. doi: 10.1016/j.ctcp.2020.101239. Epub 2020 Sep 18. PMID: 32979708.

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[14] Hu Y, Feng W, Chen H, Shi H, Jiang L, Zheng X, Liu X, Zhang W, Ge Y, Liu Y, Cui D. Effect of selenium on thyroid autoimmunity and regulatory T cells in patients with Hashimoto’s thyroiditis: A prospective randomized-controlled trial. Clin Transl Sci. 2021 Jul;14(4):1390-1402. doi: 10.1111/cts.12993. Epub 2021 Apr 9. PMID: 33650299; PMCID: PMC8301566.

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[18] Gonzales GF, Córdova A, Vega K, Chung A, Villena A, Góñez C, Castillo S. Effect of Lepidium meyenii (MACA) on sexual desire and its absent relationship with serum testosterone levels in adult healthy men. Andrologia. 2002 Dec;34(6):367-72. doi: 10.1046/j.1439-0272.2002.00519.x. PMID: 12472620.

[19] Meissner HO, Mscisz A, Reich-Bilinska H, Kapczynski W, Mrozikiewicz P, Bobkiewicz-Kozlowska T, Kedzia B, Lowicka A, Barchia I. Hormone-Balancing Effect of Pre-Gelatinized Organic Maca (Lepidium peruvianum Chacon): (II) Physiological and Symptomatic Responses of Early-Postmenopausal Women to Standardized doses of Maca in Double Blind, Randomized, Placebo-Controlled, Multi-Centre Clinical Study. Int J Biomed Sci. 2006 Dec;2(4):360-74. PMID: 23675005; PMCID: PMC3614647.

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Dr. Linnea Passaler

Dr. Linnea Passaler

Dr. Linnea Passaler has dedicated 20+ years to serving patients, first to a small number of individuals as a successful surgeon and then to thousands of people worldwide as the CEO of a digital health startup. After overcoming her own struggles with a dysregulated nervous system, she created Heal Your Nervous System (HYNS) to empower others in their healing journey. Her combination of neuroscience and somatic work helps those struggling with overwhelm, trauma, burnout, and anxiety to heal their dysregulated nervous systems and thrive.