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DIETARY AND SUPPLEMENT RECOMMENDATIONS FOR MENOPAUSE AND BONE HEALTH

Published February 17th, 2008 in Hormones for His & Her Health

DIETARY AND SUPPLEMENT RECOMMENDATIONS FOR MENOPAUSE AND BONE HEALTH

By Tammera J. Karr, MSHN, CNC, CNW
The increased use of soy foods is subject to soy intolerances and thyroid health and function. If soy is not an option because of these concerns there are still plenty of foods to help with estrogen dominance and to ease the transition into this new exciting faze of life.

A soy-based diet (currently in question) appears to be beneficial in the preservation of bone health. Soy protein is thought to not cause calcium excretion at the higher rates of animal-based proteins.  Soy foods such as tofu and tempeh are rich sources of calcium and phytoestrogens. In 1992 a study suggested that soy isoflavones found in soybeans have a direct benefit to bone health.

The increased use of soy foods is subject to soy intolerances and thyroid health and function. If soy is not an option because of these concerns there are still plenty of foods to help with estrogen dominance and to ease the transition into this new exciting faze of life.

Calcium rich foods should be increased in your diet along with additional high quality supplements, calcium by itself is not usable for bone health and is dependent on other minerals and vitamins for utilization.

The nutritional value of foods varies and cannot be relied on for optimum replacement therapies. However, they contain many unacknowledged vital cofactors that increase the absorption of much needed nutrients. It is highly recommended that you use organic produce and fruits and a vegetable / fruit wash to reduce xenoestrogens present in herbicides and pesticides. Xenoestrogens are responsible for many hormone related cancers and illnesses.

Vitamin D is crucial for calcium absorption by the body. Without vitamin D the small intestine cannot absorb calcium adequately no matter how much you take. Thirty percent (the numbers are thought to be much higher) of per- and post-menopausal women with bone deterioration are found to be deficient in vitamin D.

Sunshine is the most effortless way to promote vitamin D production. Thirty minutes daily of direct sun exposure not only promotes vitamin D production but hypothimus hormone production in the brain.

Good dietary sources of vitamin D are:

Low levels of vitamin K are linked with bone loss and hip fractures. Vitamin K is present in dark green leafy foods like parsley, kale, beet greens, collard greens, dark lettuces like oak leaf, red leaf and romaine.

Daily nutritional support for prevention of osteoporosis:

Foods and herbs that help reduce estrogen dominance symptoms are black currant oil, flaxseed, black cohosh, bioflavonoids, fenugreek, gotu kola, sarsaparilla, licorice root, wild jam, dandelion leaf, alfalfa or borage. Ginseng is a potent and popular herb and vitex or Chasttree oil. Chastberry has been used for centuries in Europe to help relieve symptoms involved with life transitions.

Eliminate trigger foods such as caffeine, sugar, alcohol and convenience foods. Reduce complex carbohydrates such as white flour, sugar, rice, pastas, breads and potatoes.

Progesterone, especially in natural forms, is necessary for support of the thyroid, balancing of other hormones, like estrogens, testosterone, cortisol, the stress hormones and blood sugar, cholesterol regulation.

Do not confuse synthetic progestin with natural progesterone. They are utilized by the body in different ways and have marked adverse effects on the other hormones like testosterone and DHEA when used instead of natural cream replacement. Progesterone has been shown in studies to increase bone density by a minimum of 15 percent within the first year.

It is recommended that you use a natural progesterone cream of 25 mg two times daily of a pea-sized drop (1/4 teaspoon) applied to soft tissues. It may take 3 to 4 months before imbalances are stabilized.

It is recommended that you increase your consumption of essential fatty acids (EFA’s). Foods rich in EFA’s are cold water fish, avocados, flax seed, borage, black currant, evening primrose. EFA’s are responsible for keeping cell walls soft and permeable so that easy utilization of nutrients can occur.

Ways to insure phytoestrogens are present ion your diet are to eat a salad made from mixed dark greens daily, increase steamed broccoli and Brussels sprouts consumption, incorporate more beans into your diet as well as grapes, apples, berries, cherries, bell peppers, cabbage, cauliflower,  cucumbers, dandelion, garlic, squash, tomatoes and yams.

It is important to use high quality supplements in connection with dietary and lifestyle changes to insure optimum nutrient absorption. Nutrient content of foods vary greatly and cannot be relied upon for complete nutritional balance and usage.

Resources:

“Eat Well for a Healthy Menopause”

“Balance Hormones Naturally”

“The Hormone Connection”

“What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Menopause”

“Menopause Without Medicine”

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