Women experiencing premenstrual symptoms (PMS) and menopausal symptoms can consider nutrients that lower effects of these symptoms and support hormonal balance. A high number of women are all too familiar with the symptoms accompanying PMS, such as moodiness, bloating and breast sensitivity. Whereas women in their late 40s or early 50s can experience menopausal symptoms, including hot flashes, mood swings and breast sensitivity. Gamma-linolenic acid (GLA) is the omega active found in borage oil, blackcurrant oil and evening primrose oil that improve both PMS and menopausal symptoms. Alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) is the omega active found in flax oil that primarily improves menopausal symptoms. Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) are omega actives responsible for supporting prenatal health, found in fish oil and krill oil.
GLA: This omega-6 fatty acid improves mood-related symptoms, lowers breast sensitivity and the risk of osteoporosis.
- Mood-related Symptoms: Although the exact scientific reason behind why women experience mood-related symptoms due to PMS or menopause has yet to be identified, studies show that taking GLA supplements lower mood-related symptoms in women.
- Breast Sensitivity: Studies show that prolactin is the hormone responsible for increasing breast sensitivity in both premenstrual and menopausal women. Supplementing with GLA can lower the effects of prolactin and decrease breast sensitivity in women.
- Osteoporosis: After menopause, the bone breakdown in women outpaces the buildup of new bone. Consuming GLA helps women maintain bone density by increasing both calcium absorption and accumulation in bones.
ALA: Women experience hot flashes due to the dilation and contraction of blood vessels that cause changes in body temperature. ALA lowers these vasomotor properties, reducing the frequency and severity of hot flashes.
DHA: Supplementing with DHA can prevent premature delivery in pregnant women.
EPA: Consuming this omega-3 fatty acid can prevent premature delivery in pregnant women.