Tag Archives | menopause research

Drink Wine, Lose Weight

To Your Health © lynette sheppard

To Your Health © lynette sheppard

I love a glass (or two) of wine in the evening. But I’ve felt a little guilty – I mean all those extra calories. I was sure they flew right to my hips, thighs, and buttocks. At 125 calories a glass, it adds up. I already have sufficient padding, thank you very much.

Now I’ve consoled myself (read rationalized) that  the health benefits of wine balanced out the caloric devilment.  I loved that wine decreased my risk of heart disease, provided antioxidant anti-aging resveratrol, not to mention offering  significant psychological benefits of mellowing me out after a stressful day. But never in my wildest dreams did I conceive of wine as a weight loss adjunct.

Oh happy day! Three recent studies show that regular wine intake can prevent obesity and may even help women lose weight.

Harvard University studied 20,000 women over 13 years and found that those who drank two glasses of wine per day were 70% less likely to develop obesity than their non-imbibing counterparts.

A University College Medical School of London study of 43,500 female participants over eight years  found that those who drank a couple of glasses on a daily basis were 24% less likely to put on weight compared to those who abstained from alcohol.

Finally, our own CDC conducted a study on wine intake.  Of the sample size of 7,230 people, the drinkers gained less weight than non-drinkers. Conclusion: alcohol intake does not increase the risk of obesity.
And if that isn’t enough incentive to drink your wine, another study found that red wine increases HDL – the good cholesterol in your body AND can improve type-2 diabetes thanks to its ability to metabolize simple sugars into energy.

Why does this work especially well for women? Apparently, enzymes required to break down and use wine are present in lesser quantities in women than men. So we may actually use more calories to metabolize the wine than we are taking in.

OK, ladies. Join me in a toast to science, wine, and weight loss tonight!

 

 

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Menopause Medley

painted aspens 1 © lynette sheppard

painted aspens 1 © lynette sheppard

This week we offer a medley of natural, simple helps for menopause symptoms. (And good advice for us post-menopausal goddesses too.)

Exercise for Hot Flashes

Strenuous exercise may reduce hot flashes. That’s right, two new studies published in the Menopause journal and the Journal of Physiology found that jogging or bicycling 30 – 45 minutes 3-5 times per week resulted in as much as 60% fewer hot flashes. That’s good news. Still, it might be worthwhile to train carefully and slowly increase your exercise tolerance to avoid injury. I’ve done brisk walking for years and recently decided to add a little jogging to my regimen. I ended up injuring my hip, which took a few months to heal.

My preference is always for low impact, aerobic exercise. Swimming might be a great option – you can get moderately strenuous workouts while in a cooling environment. (I’ve never had a hot flash in a pool or the ocean, just sayin’).

Superfood Bars for Women 40+

Bar and Girl Naturals have created some yummy  mini bars that help regulate hormones while providing nutritional support. Their bars contain maca root (which I profiled a couple of weeks ago). They also contain turmeric, flaxseed, nuts, and coconut oil. Check them out in the Menopause Marketplace.

Chocolate for Health

Dark chocolate is probably a major food group for menopausal women. Serotonin in chocolate flavenoids helps with irritability and mood swings. (Remember those major cravings just before your period? You were in dire need of serotonin.)

There is evidence that chocolate is beneficial to cardiovascular health. Those little flavenoids exert a protective effect on your heart and blood vessels.

The antioxidants can protect against free radical damage to your skin.

And last, but certainly not least, chocolate improves focus and brain function.

Eating a bar per week of dark chocolate is a necessary adjunct to a menopausal woman’s treatment plan. Yum.

Humor by PerimenopART

Kirsty Collett, a menopause goddess sister from New Zealand has created some wonderful cartoon musings on the menopausal condition. They are hilarious – and so true! Here’s a sample that she sent me:

© Kirsty Collett

© Kirsty Collett

 

Laughter and sisterhood may be even more important to surviving the Change than chocolate, exercise, or superfood bars. Luckily, we don’t have to choose just one. You can follow Kirsty on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/PerimenopART?__mref=message_bubble

 

 

 

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How Do We Inform Ourselves About Menopause?

Christmas bouganvill

That is the question that Jamie Cooper is trying to answer in her doctoral research study at University of South Florida. She is asking for participation in her online survey questionnaire.  She’d like women aged 35 -55 to share their experiences with her; your answers will be confidential and anonymous.

Jamie hopes to help improve the lives of women at midlife now and in the future. Now that’s some research we can get behind. Women sharing wisdom – that’s what we are all about. Here’s the link:

http:tinyurl.com/menopausestudy

If you have questions for Jamie, you can email her at jc2@usf.edu.

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Is It True That Tomato Juice Can Ease Menopause?

 

shutterstock_94720522

Enjoy this thought provoking guest blog post by health writer Evlin Simon. I’m off to the store to buy tomato juice?

Is It True That Tomato Juice Can Ease Menopause?

Menopause brings multiple changes to our bodies. While it is a natural stage a woman will undergo, menopause symptoms are unpleasant. It brings hot flushes to the body and irritability. With the right nutritional intake and lifestyle change, menopause can be treated. Women have to undergo this stage in life when they grow older, but they don’t have to suffer the symptoms that come along with it.

You can treat menopause symptoms with tomatoes. Yes, this delicious treat is a very effective menopause treatment. To get the benefits, it would be best to drink its juice than to eat it whole. Drink a glass of tomato juice a day to combat menopause symptoms. According to research conducted at Tokyo Medical University, drinking 200ml of tomato juice twice every day for eight weeks can treat menopause symptoms, lower cholesterol, and manage anxiety.

How the Study Was Done

In the study, 93 women ages 40 to 60 were made to drink tomato juice. By the end of the study, their anxiety, irritability, hot flashes, and other menopausal symptoms halved. The study tracked the women’s cholesterol level, blood pressure, and heart rate. After drinking tomato juice for four weeks, the women who had triglyceride levels higher than 150mg/dL saw a significant decrease to only 70 mg/dL. Their menopausal symptoms dropped to a very low 16%.

Reasons for the Benefits

One of the major reasons why tomatoes can greatly benefit women suffering menopausal symptoms is its high content of bioactive components. One of these is 13-oxo-ODA, a fatty acid that prevents metabolic syndrome. Tomatoes also have esculeoside A, which supports the heart health. Tomatoes have a high content of lycopene, which reduces menopausal stress. The heat activation during the canning process of the tomato juice gives it plenty of antioxidants, which is very beneficial to a person’s health.

According to Los Angeles-based obstetrician and gynecologist Steven A. Rabin, MD, the neurotransmitter gamma-aminobutyric acid, or GABA, is another substance abundant in tomato juice. It helps relieve hot flashes, reduces stress, and treats other menopausal symptoms.

If you buy tomato juice in the market, you might not see these nutritional values on the label. It would be best to buy the unsalted tomato juice, according to one of the leading authors of the study, Masakazu Terauchi Ph.D. It would also be a great idea to add tomato juice to your diet. There will be no side effects to it, and it won’t taste bad.

Tomato has its own type of Estrogen

There has been research in the past about how tomato juice can help relieve menopausal symptoms. Tomato juice has gamma-aminobutyric acid, which has the same effects as estrogen. Taking hormone supplements is one of the most common ways women treat menopausal symptoms. Tomato juice is like a  hormone replacement therapy that helps bring back the lost estrogen that occurs during and after menopause.

Over-the-counter estrogen supplements may help relieve menopausal symptoms, but there may be dangers associated with it. Studies in the past suggest that taking prescription estrogen can lead to higher risk of stroke, heart disease, blood clots, and even breast cancer. Artificial hormone supplements may not be a very good idea, especially as you are growing older.

Why bother with prescription supplements, when you can choose to take in tomato juice? Since tomato juice can give you the natural estrogen hormone benefits you need, it would be ideal to choose it over supplements. Fight menopause naturally with tomato juice.

Other Tomato Benefits

Besides relieving women of menopausal symptoms, the tomato has many other benefits to your health. If you include tomatoes in your lifestyle, here are some of the advantages you can get:

  • Reduces cardiovascular disease and coronary heart disease
  • Rich in vitamin A, vitamin K, B vitamins, vitamin C, iron, magnesium, potassium, zinc, and phosphorous
  • Treats damages caused by smoking
  • Naturally enhances flavours
  • Rich in phytonutrients like flavonones, flavonols, carotenoids, hydroxycinnamic acids, glycosides, and fatty acids derivatives
  • Filled with phenolic compounds
  • Improves digestion and prevents constipation
  • Prevents kidney and gall bladder stones
  • Keeps hair, skin, and bone healthy
  • Strengthens immune system
  • Increases fat burning capacity
  • Restores biochemical balance among people suffering from diabetes
  • Reduces risk for prostate cancer
  • Reduces risk for breast cancer

References:
https://www.consumerhealthdigest.com/health-center/
http://theheartysoul.com/natural-menopause-treatment/

Evlin Symon

Author Bio:
Evlin Symon is an experienced health writer who has been at this for more than 5 Years. She is an expert in health, fitness, weight loss, nutition and beauty. When she is not writing she can be usually found hitting the Gym. Connect with her on Facebook and Google+ .

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Menopause Supplements and Licorice

Candy Dish © lynette sheppard

Candy Dish © lynette sheppard

This informative guest post comes to us from our friends at menopausesupplement.com. Licorice may just relieve our hot flashes – just think, we might be cool without hormones or the latest trend of prescribing antidepressant drugs. (Talk about using an elephant gun to kill a fly – antidepressants purely for hot flashes? Really?) Read on for enlightening info including how licorice has effects similar to SSRI antidepressant drugs – without the big dog side effects.

Menopause Supplements and Licorice

When faced with menopause symptoms, many women turn to menopause supplements because of the health risks associated with hormone replacement therapy. The most common herbal remedy for menopause is black cohosh. While some women have experienced success with black cohosh, many have been left disappointed and forced to take more drastic action for their menopause symptoms. What many women do not know is that licorice is a viable alternative and research is continually showing what a great menopause supplement it can be.

A recent study conducted with 90 women showed that licorice root is effective in reducing the frequency and severity of hot flashes. In fact, licorice showed approximately a 90% reduction of severe hot flashes while the placebo only showed less than a 10% difference. After 8 weeks the test group stopped taking licorice which resulted in hot flashes going back to their original levels, confirming that licorice is effective.

No one knows for sure why licorice is effective for hot flashes but it may be a combination of two interesting properties of licorice. First of all, licorice has similar properties to a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI).  A SSRI influences a neurotransmitter called serotonin which is thought to have a role in affecting body heat and thereby reducing hot flashes. Additionally SSRIs are generally used for their role in elevating mood and may be beneficial for women going through mild or moderate menopause mood symptoms*.

Another reason licorice may be so good at alleviating menopause symptoms is that it is a phytoestrogen which means that it mimics the effects of estrogen in the body.  Menopause symptoms are closely connected to diminishing estradiol (a type of estrogen). It was previously known that that glabridin, a molecule in licorice, functions like estradiol.  In one of the pioneering studies on glabridin, glabridin was proven to be a phytoestrogen that actually binds to estrogen receptors in the body. According to the study, “The stimulatory effects of 2.5–25 μg/animal glabridin were similar to those of 5 mg/animal estradiol.” So it makes sense that a natural substance that shares the same structure as estradiol, and is confirmed to operate similar to estradiol in the body, will have beneficial effects with respect to relieving menopause symptoms.

Overall, licorice-based supplements have been clinically studied and found to greatly reduce common menopause symptoms by naturally replace the bodily substances that are diminished during menopause.

While it may be tempting to attack the candy aisle at the grocery store, you should know that licorice candy is not really licorice and furthermore taking licorice for an extended period of time can be bad for your health. There is a menopause supplement based on a licorice extract called MenoSupp that is specially formulated for safe daily consumption. You can learn more about licorice and MenoSupp at: www.menopausesupplement.com.

1. Lida Menatia, Khosheh Khaleghinezhadb, Mitra Tadayonic & Amir Siahpooshd. (2013). “Evaluation of Contextual and Demographic Factors on Licorice Effecting on Reducing Hot Flashes in Postmenopause women.” Health Care for Women International, 00:1-13 (2013).

2.  Ofir R., Tamir S., Khatib S., Vaya J., Inhibition of Serotonin Re-uptake by Licorice Constituents. Journal of Molecular Neuroscience. 2003 Apr 20 .(2):135-140

3. Snait Tamir, Mark Eizenberg, Dalia Somjen, Sarit Izrael, Jacob Vaya. “Estrogen-like activity of glabrene and other constituents isolated from licorice root.” Journal of Steroid Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, 78 (2001) 291-298.

 

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Hot News Flashes

Tangled Agave © lynette sheppard

Tangled Agave © lynette sheppard

Whew, things are heating up In Menopause Land. There is lots going on in the land of the Big M. Check out these news flashes.

Research
First off, there’s a relevant new research study regarding body image, sexual health, and aging that I urge all Menopause Goddesses to participate in. Rose Bouaziz, a doctoral student in psychology at the University of Ottawa, is looking at how mature women relate to their body and how it affects their sexual health.  Through this study, she hopes to help women who are struggling with body image and sexual issues, especially as they go through menopause.

Here’s the link to the survey:   http://fluidsurveys.com/s/MirrorMirror/.
It takes 15-20 minutes and is completely anonymous. Even if this is not an issue for you, all we learn can help other women as they travel through this transition.

Urinary Leakage
Do you know anyone (friends, family, patients), that suffer from some form of urinary leakage as a result of menopause (or pregnancy or childbirth?) A group of women are looking for innovative solutions for women with leakage.  They are currently looking for women to give feedback on their solutions. If you know anyone that might be interested, please send them this link that provides a page for them to sign up:
http://www.undertheresolutions.com/

panties
Here’s a note from their site:
PARTNER WITH US TO DEVELOP PRODUCTS

We’re women, we’re scientists and and we’re innovators—and, like most women, we have occasional bladder leaks. We’re on a mission to make sure that all women with light bladder leaks never have to wear a pad again. We have some ideas and prototypes and need your help to design and test them—about 6 hours a month—and we’ll compensate you for your time.

I checked it out, ladies. It definitely looks worthwhile.

Jewelry to Cool Hot Flashes
While I have hinted to Dewitt that silver earrings and other such presents might make menopause more bearable, I really had no hope that I’d be cooler, just better adorned.

But now, drum roll, there is actually jewelry made to cool us. Literally. Constance Sherman, the Chief Cooling Officer of Hot Girls Pearls alerted me to their super cool products. Their pearls are filled with non toxic cooling gel. Just throw them in the freezer. When the world heats up, cool off with pearls. Check them out here:  Hot Girl’s Pearls.

hot girls pearls

hot girls pearls

I love their tagline:  Global Cooling. One Woman at a Time.

Okay, lots more in the pipeline – stay tuned for the next hot news flashes. And in the meantime, stay cool.

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Menopause: From the Sublime to the Ridiculous!

Comedy © lynette sheppard

Comedy © lynette sheppard

My new favorite Menopause music video is by Kyla Burge. Her husband Brian Burge is the driving force behind the Blow Me Cool fans that Menopause Goddess Blog readers (and yours truly) just love! Enjoy this take-no-prisoners tune as Kyla tells it like it is:

You can find the Blow Me Cool fan in the Menopause Marketplace: click here.

In other news on the Menopause front, two research studies have come to light recently. (Though personally, I wonder if they should have been left in the dark. Or at least, unfunded.)

First, we have a groundbreaking (NOT) study showing that Menopause causes memory lapses. Apparently, they couldn’t take our word for it. A controlled study determined that it is just as women have reported: Menopause causes sucky memory. Read more here: Menopause Memory Study.

Last, and almost certainly least, we have research delving into the question “Why” does Menopause happen. It was thought to be a result of outliving our reproductive usefulness, but now would appear that it is the fault of Men. Yep, we knew we’d be able to pin it on them someday. That day is here.

Turns out that this study found that women go through Menopause because Men start preferring younger women at some point. This research gets my vote for most useless information on the Pause yet. Not sure what they suggest we do about this nor how they determined the cause and effect here. Tell you what. You can read more here: Men Cause Menopause.

I’ll say this much – with studies like these and smart, funny women like Kyla Burge – we won’t have to worry about losing our sense of humor anytime soon. That and girlfriends will get us through. Maybe we’ll have a few more laugh lines, but that’s fine with us.

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Best Health Blog Vote, Rejuvenair Fan Sale, and Meno Movies

Amaryllis © lynette sheppard

Amaryllis © lynette sheppard

Wow. Menopause Goddess Blog has been nominated by Healthline for Best Health Blog of 2012. That is why you’ll find a large red button that says Vote For Me on the right column of this site. I know, I know, you are as tired of elections as I am, but it’s for a good cause! Namely, the more exposure we have, the more women have a place to get wisdom from their sister goddesses. Oh yes, there’s a cash prize too, which would be appreciated to defray website costs, but that’s not the biggest reason. So please, vote. And share it with your friends.

Speaking of Healthline, they recently put together a collection of the best online videos relating to Menopause. You’ve got to see these: Best Menopause Videos. Good for a laugh, a ponder, and maybe even a a good cry. These folks “get it”.

To celebrate the New Year, Dr. Klein is offering her Rejuvenair fan for only 29.99. (List price is 49.99, so if you want one, get it now.) No coupon or special code is needed – just visit their website at rejuvenairfan.com.

And a team of MBA students at Washington University in St. Louis are studying the education level of women regarding Menopause (great idea, if you ask me.) They  have created a survey to gather data from real women regarding their experiences and would love if we would participate. (And it could be of so much help to pre and peri Menopause Goddesses.) Ideally, we’d share the survey with pre-menopausal women to see if the level of education is better than when we started the Pause.  Here’s the link:  http://olinbusiness.qualtrics.com/SE/?SID=SV_2ttGBQw7Q9Ux54x

And they’ve promised to share the results of the final study with us.

And if you like Menopause Goddess Blog, cast your vote for us. Women sharing wisdom – that’s what we’re all about. That and laughter and girlfriends and chocolate.

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Research Participation, Hair Loss, and HRT Update: A Menopause Grab Bag

red maple leaves, Zion NP © lynette sheppard


Greetings, Goddesses (and those who love them). My apologies for not posting for a couple of weeks. The short story on why? Hula conference, food poisoning, the flu.
I’m bouncing back now; well more like crawling back but things are looking up. I’m recuperating in one of the most beautiful places on our little green planet: Zion National Park, Utah.

In deference to the backlog of important topics I’ve been meaning to post, here are three in one – a veritable grab bag of meno missives.

First, there is a call for participation in a UCLA study on attitudes toward disgusting situations. It seems that there may be changes in what we find disgusting or not when we go through menopause. Professor Daniel Fessler of UCLA and Dr. Katinka Quintelier of Ghent University are co-conductors of this research. I took the survey myself – pretty interesting. Click on the link below or paste it into your browser – all results are completely anonymous. http://menodis2011-2012.questionpro.com

On the hair loss front – a particularly diabolical manifestation of the Change, there is new hope out for menopausal women afflicted. Avacor has been approved for hair regrowth in hormonal thinning. (Active ingredient in the serum is minoxidil aka Rogaine.) They have had significant success, although like everything, it won’t work for all women. So I have offered to be a guinea pig yet again and have begun a three month program. It usually takes two months to show any effect, so don’t expect to hear too much too soon. Hope springeth eternal – I’ve taken my before pictures and hope to see a difference in eight weeks or so. I’ll keep you posted.

I will say this: one of the products in their starter kit is called “Boost”. It is a hair thickener styling product and it is as good or better as any of my previous favorites. I highly recommend this even if you don’t need to regrow hair. It’s a great volumizer and doesn’t weigh my hair down in the process. Yes, you can buy this product separately. If you want to take this journey along with me, they can start you out with a free 3 month trial supply of the full set of products. Check out their website at avacor.com

Last but not least, I wanted to report on my HRT cessation (and my physician’s). We both feel just fine – yes, we do have a hot flash every now and then but they are short lived and not too incendiary. I must report the side effect of a little smugness on both our parts, but thankfully this is not serious.
For those of you who are attempting to titrate down your HRT, go slowly and be gentle with yourself. With the patch, I was cutting it into tinier and tinier pieces until I was wearing just a miniscule pie shaped wedge that likely had almost no hormone in it. Still, the placebo effect is powerful juju and I availed myself of it for quite a while. Now I’m happy and hormone free. Except for any hormones that my own body might produce on its own. I’ll take all of those I can get.Now, I’m going out to sit on the patio and look at red rocks. Take the survey, grow some hair, be gentle with yourself in all ways. Oh, and eat some chocolate. Just sayin’…

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Eat Prunes For Postmenopausal Bone Health

Aspen Summer Trees © lynette sheppard

“Ick! I’m not eating those!” I told my grandmother. “I’ll eat them,” crowed  my little brother, human garbage receptacle and eternal suckup. “They’re just giant raisins.” When we were kids visiting Grandma, she always served us prunes for breakfast. She claimed they were “good for us.”

Turns out Grandma is the one who should have been eating them. Recent research reveals that prunes (or as they are now more politically correctly named “dried plums”) prevent osteoporosis and promote healthy bones.

A group of researchers from Florida State and Oklahoma State University conducted a study using two groups of postmenopausal women. Over a 12-month period, the first group of 55 women, was instructed to consume 100 grams of dried plums (about 10 prunes) each day, while the second  control group of 45 women — was told to consume 100 grams of dried apples. All of the study’s participants also received daily doses of calcium (500 milligrams) and vitamin D (400 international units).
The group that consumed dried plums had significantly higher bone mineral density in the ulna (one of two long bones in the forearm) and spine, when compared with the control group that ate dried apples. This, according to researchers, was due in part to the ability of dried plums to suppress the rate of bone resorption, or the breakdown of bone, which tends to exceed the rate of new bone growth as people age.
“Over my career, I have tested numerous fruits, including figs, dates, strawberries and raisins, and none of them come anywhere close to having the effect on bone density that dried plums, or prunes, have,” said Bahram H. Arjmandi, Florida State’s Margaret A. Sitton Professor and chairman of the Department of Nutrition, Food and Exercise Sciences in the College of Human Sciences. “All fruits and vegetables have a positive effect on nutrition, but in terms of bone health, this particular food is exceptional.”

“Women can lose up to 20% of their bone density in the 5 to 7 years after menopause, according to the National Osteoporosis Foundation. And here might be a remedy without side effects save a little more regularity? I’m game.

So I’m off to the grocery store to buy a bunch of prunes…er dried plums. I think I could grow to like them. If not, I can always ship them off to lil bro.

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