Best menopause supplements 2022 to ease mood swings

·15 min read
 Woman taking menopause supplements
Woman taking menopause supplements

With the best menopause supplements, you can manage your body’s reaction to symptoms and make yourself feel more comfortable in day-to-day life. During a time when hot flashes, mood swings, and low libido can feel like they’re taking over, these supplements can play a role in helping you feel better, with an increase in essential nutrients and vitamins to help you regain your balance.

Taking the best menopause supplements is beneficial due to the fact that it’s not always possible to get the nutrients you need from your diet as you get older. By taking them in capsule form instead, you can boost your levels of vitamins like B6 and B12, similarly to the best vitamins for women over 50. What’s even better about the vitamins in this round-up is that they are tailored to combat menopause symptoms, so that you can see the effects in your everyday life.

Menopausal symptoms arise due to the fact that a woman’s body will produce fewer hormones, such as estrogen and progesterone, during this time in her life. Taking a daily supplement can mimic what estrogen, for example, can do, and therefore help to alleviate uncomfortable symptoms. It’s worth noting that if you’re undertaking HRT (Hormone Replacement Therapy), then you’ll need to check with your doctor which vitamins you can take alongside that treatment.

We have tried and tested the supplements below in order to give you informative advice on which will be best for you. That includes breaking down exactly which nutrients each capsule contains, and what they are best for, factoring in budget and dietary requirements too. You’ll be able to weigh up exactly which pick will be most beneficial to you from the round-up below, including a series of pros and cons of each and even simple features such as how easy these vitamins are to swallow. Keep reading to isolate the best menopause supplement for you.

The best menopause supplements you can buy right now

vitabiotics menopace tablets
vitabiotics menopace tablets

1. Vitabiotics Menopace

The best menopause supplement for most people

Recommended dosage: One tablet daily with a main meal | Suitable for vegans: No

Good value

A good multivitamin

You’re taking another multivitamin

Doesn't contain medicinal herbs

From Vitabiotics’ popular range of affordable multivitamins, Menopace emphasizes some of the nutrients that matter most at this time of life. In fact, it contains a total of 22 nutrients, including vitamin D and magnesium, which are important for keeping bones healthy and strong as estrogen levels fall. It also contains vitamin B6 to help regulate hormonal activity, and B12 for energy release.

Where this product differs from a standard multivitamin is the additional dose of soy isoflavones. These are plant compounds that mimic the effect of estrogen by binding to estrogen receptors in the body, helping to manage symptoms such as hot flushes and night sweats. But be careful supplementing with isoflavones if you’re taking blood-thinning medication, diabetic medication, or HRT, as it may lead to negative interactions. Menopace may also be unsuitable for anyone with an estrogen-sensitive issue such as endometriosis, so make sure you consult a doctor before taking them.

This also isn’t the supplement for you if you’re looking for the benefits of medicinal herbs, such as black cohosh. However, if you’re looking to support a range of different menopause symptoms, this all-round multivitamin provides a combination of the main nutrients you need in one pill. Note, the capsule is on the larger side, but it's got a smooth coating that makes it relatively easy to swallow. The capsules are also packaged individually, in a similar way to OTC medication. This seemed a bit unusual, but actually we found it helped us keep track of whether we'd taken the multivitamin.

If you want a bit of insurance to top up your balanced diet at midlife, Menopace is a great choice. As it’s a multivitamin, though, be careful when taking it alongside other vitamins; more is not necessarily better when you’re dealing with concentrated doses of a nutrient.

thorne meta-balance capsules
thorne meta-balance capsules

2. Thorne Meta-Balance

The best premium menopause supplement

Recommended dosage: Two capsules daily | Suitable for vegans: Yes

May promote skin health

Trusted brand

Premium price tag

Doesn’t contain a broader range of nutrients

Ayurveda is the traditional Indian medical system, working with native plants to bring balance back to the body. This supplement from trusted company Thorne is based on shatavari, an adaptogenic herb considered a tonic for the female reproductive system. Although it’s been in traditional use throughout the ages, like many medicinal herbs, shatavari hasn’t been studied extensively – but one 2018 study did suggest it may help ease hot flushes and night sweats.

This nourishing supplement also contains sage, known to help with vasomotor symptoms, anti-inflammatory turmeric, and B vitamins, important for energy and mood. With all-organic ingredients, it’s suitable for vegans and has fans swearing it’s helped where other products haven’t.

Other ingredients include chaste tree extract, black cohosh, and wild yam. Chaste tree extract has been found to activate the production of progesterone, another hormone that decreases during menopause.

We love the sleek, minimalistic packaging with light purple accents. The capsules themselves are on the smaller side and have a smooth coating, so they are easy to swallow. However, we found it disappointing that the capsules only take up half the container. This seemed a waste of packaging, as the unit could easily be half the size, especially as it is made from plastic, not glass.

Now menopause support capsules
Now menopause support capsules

3. Now Menopause Support

The best budget menopause supplement

Recommended dosage: Three capsules daily, with or between meals | Suitable for vegans: Yes

Budget friendly

Herbal-based supplement

You want a broader range of nutrients

You're taking HRT

This product, from respected herbal medicines company Now Supplements, is based on a blend of herb extracts – many of which are thought to be beneficial during menopause. One of these is black cohosh, a perennial plant native to North America and traditionally used by Native Americans to help in female health conditions

Recent studies suggest it may have a role in menopause, particularly hot flushes, night sweats, and those pesky mood issues that come and go, such as irritability and restlessness. It also contains red clover, licorice, ginger, and soy isoflavone - the latter are plant compounds that mimic the effects of estrogen. Now Menopause Support is also non-GMO (not genetically modified), Kosher, gluten-free and vegan.

Since this is a herbal blend, it’s safe to take it alongside a multivitamin. However, as black cohosh may have hormone-like actions, this isn’t one to take if you’re on HRT or other hormonal treatments, or if you may be pregnant. While this is one of the most affordable menopause supplements on the market, 90 capsules will only last you a month, so it may be worth stocking up on a few containers.

The capsules themselves have a faint 'herbal' smell about them, but the coated outer layer masks any unusual taste and they are easy to swallow.

Best menopause supplements: Pure Encapsulations Phytobalance
Best menopause supplements: Pure Encapsulations Phytobalance

4. Pure Encapsulations Phytobalance

The best menopause supplement for hot flushes

Recommended dosage: One capsule daily, between meals | Suitable for vegans: Yes

Four month supply

Herbal-based remedy

Premium price tag

Not suitable for those on HRT

Hot flushes are probably one of the most well-known menopause symptoms, and can range from an occasional sensation of a slight temperature increase, to leaving you dripping in sweat.

It’s not known exactly why hot flushes occur, but it’s thought that a drop in reproductive hormones can affect the hypothalamus – an area of the brain that acts as the body’s thermostat. One of the best ways you can support hot flushes naturally is to consider phytoestrogens – these are plant compounds that can help to address hormone imbalances.

These capsules from the well-respected supplement brand Pure Encapsulations, claim to naturally promote healthy estrogen-like activity and may reduce hot flashes. Each capsule contains extracts of black cohosh, sage, licorice, motherwort, chaste tree, and grape – all medicinal herbs that have been linked with a reduction in menopause symptoms.

Nutrafol women's balance capsules
Nutrafol women's balance capsules

5. Nutrafol Women's Balance

The best menopause supplement for hair loss

Recommended dosage: Four capsules, taken once daily with a meal | Suitable for vegans: Yes

May help to reduce hair loss

Suitable for those on HRT

Premium price tag

You want a broader range of nutrients

Hair loss is perhaps one of the lesser-known symptoms of menopause, but one that can cause frustration and anxiety for many women. As menopause begins, estrogen and progesterone decline rapidly. Testosterone also declines, but at a much slower rate. This can result in ‘testosterone dominance’ and overall hair thinning, receding hairline, and unwanted facial hair growth.

Nutrafol’s Women’s Balance is designed for women before, during, and after menopause and claims to use medical-grade, natural ingredients that target the root causes of thinning, such as hormones, aging, and metabolism. Potential benefits may include visibly thicker volume, less shedding, and hair that grows faster and longer.

As well as targeting hair loss, it also claims to improve sleep and mitigate hot flashes. According to the manufacturers, however, you can expect to see results within three to six months, so if you’re looking for immediate relief from menopausal symptoms, this probably isn’t the product for you.

One key benefit of Nutrafol, however, is that it’s safe to take alongside hormone replacement therapy, with the manufacturers reporting no known interactions with estrogen, progesterone, or testosterone replacement therapy. However, it is still advisable to talk to your doctor before making any changes to your supplement routine.

Nutrafol Women's Balance comes in a sleek, black glass jar with white and teal accents. It feels like a really premium product, and we were pleased to find the jar was filled to the brim with capsules – not wasting any space. The capsules themselves are on the larger side, but they are coated which makes them relatively easy to swallow.

How to choose the best menopause supplements for you

From hot flushes to night sweats to mood swings, many women find themselves struggling to live their day-to-day lives with the onslaught of symptoms linked to menopause.

Menopause describes the transitionary period in a woman's life when her reproductive cycle stops and the ovaries stop producing reproductive hormones such as estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone. When these hormone levels change, the body reacts to the classic symptoms of menopause. This is where the best supplements for menopause can help. You may already be taking some supplements such as the best fish oil supplements to support your body's natural functions, but the menopause supplements listed below are specifically designed to tackle the hormonal changes that occur during menopause.

‘Menopause can be a very difficult time for women,’ says Ms Tania Adib, a gynecologist at The Medical Chambers Kensington. When it comes to the best menopause supplements, she recommends hormone replacement therapy, or HRT.

'HRT can be an excellent option for those women who are able to take it. But if you can’t take HRT or choose not to, there are many supplements that can help along with lifestyle changes.’

For example, our best all-rounder, A. Vogel Menopause Support contains soy isoflavones, gentle plant oestrogens many women swear by for balancing symptoms like hot flushes and poor sleep. Meanwhile, MenoHerb Black Cohosh, another of our picks, contains a herb known to help with various common symptoms. Take your pick from the best menopause supplements below.

'Diet and lifestyle changes can really help improve menopause symptoms,’ says nutritional therapist Ali Cullen, who specializes in helping women at this time. ‘There are plenty of herbs and nutritional supplements that can help too, so it’s finding what’s right for you.’

Different supplements contain ingredients shown to help with different symptoms. So the key is to think about the symptoms that bother you most and try to match those up with a supplement that’s likely to help.

Vasomotor symptoms

Vasomotor symptoms – AKA hot flushes and night sweats – affect between 60 and 85 per cent of women to some degree and frequency, according to Menopause Matters. If you’re one of them, you may want to reach for a supplement containing black cohosh, which some trials suggest may reduce hot flushes by 25 per cent.  A 2018 study also found that soy isoflavones can help.

Vaginal dryness

If vaginal dryness is an issue, sea buckthorn oil - also known as omega 7 - has been shown to ease it, according to a study published in midlife health journal Maturitas.

Mood swings

A review of studies published in the journal Menopause found black cohosh and St John’s wort could balance menopausal mood swings.

And if you just want to make sure you’re giving your body general support while it’s going through this big change, a good multivitamin slanted towards this time of life might be all you need.

Here’s a caveat, though: while menopause gives lots of women the opportunity to take charge of their wellbeing. If you’re really struggling with symptoms - whether it’s anxiety, insomnia, or hot flushes - don’t plow on alone. Menopause can be challenging for a range of physical, emotional, and social reasons, and you may need extra support from your doctor. And it’s always worth mentioning you should speak to your doctor before you take any supplement, to make sure it’s safe for you.

For more advice, take a look at our features on menopausal weight gain, find out how to lower your cholesterol, and how to lower blood sugar levels.

What are the signs of menopause?

Menopause officially occurs 12 months after the last period. However, the menopause transition, known as perimenopause, occurs when the cycle begins to slow down and the body prepares for menopause. This period can begin up to 10 years before menopause -- usually between the ages of 45 and 55. In other words,  menopause symptoms can affect women for over a decade in some cases.

Wondering if you're experiencing the first signs of perimenopause? Here are some of the signs to look out for.

  • Irregular periods

  • Vaginal dryness

  • Hot flushes

  • Night sweats

  • Sleep disruption

  • Mood swings

As one 2008 study in the journal Obstetrics & Gynecology showed, changes in period frequency can vary, but typically, periods cycles are shorter than 21 days in the early menopause transition, before they become longer than 36 days later in the transition.

According to Harvard Medical School, vaginal dryness can affect 50% of women after menopause. According to a 2019 study, hot flushes affect roughly 85% of women during menopause, and they tend to become worse as perimenopause goes on. As a 2005 study showed, between a quarter and a half of women experience sleep disturbances during menopause.

Not a lot is known about how menopause leads to changes in mood, but experts believe it is linked to hormonal changes and physical symptoms of menopause. But, according to Harvard Medical School, women with a history of "mood issues" are more likely to experience depression or anxiety during menopause.

What the experts say

Tania Adib, a gynecologist at The Medical Chambers Kensington, says that menopause can be a very difficult time for women. She often recommends hormone replacement therapy, also known as HRT, to help with symptoms.

“HRT can be an excellent option for those women who are able to take it,” she says. “But if you can’t take HRT or choose not to, there are many supplements that can help along with lifestyle changes.”

Nutritional therapist Ali Cullen also adds that diet and lifestyle changes can really help to improve menopause symptoms. Check out our menopause diet plan for inspiration.

“There are plenty of herbs and nutritional supplements that can help too, so it’s finding what’s right for you,” she says.

How we test

Each of the products included in this guide have been tested by the Fit&Well team. Supplements will affect each and every person slightly differently so we’ve been using these vitamins to give you a better idea of what they contain, and anything you need to be aware of before taking them. Below are the criteria we tested each product for.

Ingredients

It’s super important to us that you know exactly what we tested and why and our first starting point is always to find out exactly what ingredients are in a menopause supplement. We then compare how these ingredients relate to nutrient reference values for women over menopausal age.

Recommended dosage

We made sure to note how much of each supplement you are required to take and how much often. This gave us a clear indication of whether a product offered good value for money or not.

Suitability 

Not all vitamins and supplements will be suitable for everyone which is why we take note of whether a menopause supplement is suitable for vegans or those taking hormone replacement therapy (HRT).

Cost and value for money 

Getting the nutrients you need shouldn’t have to cost any more than necessary so we compared pricing across all the menopause supplements we tested to see whether the more expensive capsules were worth the money and if the cheaper supplements still contain everything you need.

Easiness to swallow & taste

For some, taking capsules or tablets can be very challenging so we test each and every menopause supplement by taking them ourselves and observing how easy they are to swallow.

The taste, while subjective, is another important factor we test. We try each capsule and note down whether they taste like the intended flavor or anything else you may need to know about after tastes too.

Features

When we test menopause supplements, we note anything that makes one supplement stand out over the others. We ask if any of the supplements claim to do something that others don’t, and we also consider the overall aesthetics of the product.