Menopause: Myths vs. Facts
Myth 22   Vitamins can't hurt, but they aren't going to help either.
FactHormones and vitamins act interdependently, meaning that hormones need vitamins to carry out their functions.

Vitamins and other plant substances play an essential role in maintaining our hormonal health. Vitamin supplements may be all that is necessary to stimulate hormone production.

Vitamin supplements can be important during times of illness, stress, and generally "run-down" health. Supplements add nutrients that our active lives have depleted or that our eating patterns have overlooked. Health foods stores stock supplements and usually have books and pamphlets with helpful information.

Because of our depleted soils and commercial farming practices we may not be getting sufficient vitamins from food to sustain our health.

Vitamin A: Estrogens and Vitamin A are inseparable. Our body cannot make estrogens without Vitamin A being present in the cells. And when estrogens are unavailable, some cells can use Vitamin A instead.

B Vitamins: Studies in animal husbandry found that severe deficiency of B Vitamins stopped reproduction. There is also evidence that vitamin B is vital in maintaining a healthy pregnancy. Based on this research, it is clear that B Vitamins are intimately involved with estrogen and reproduction.

Vitamin C: Progesterone and Vitamin C are interdependent. Cells cannot make progesterone without Vitamin C. Vitamin C is the only vitamin that our body does not make by itself. We get this vitamin from fruits and vegetables.

Vitamin D: The relationship between sunshine and bone strength has been known for hundreds of years. Today, elderly people, especially those in institutions rarely see the sun and often have severe Vitamin D deficiency. Their bones become brittle and break more easily. Our body cannot utilize calcium without Vitamin D's help.

When our skin is exposed to sunlight we can make Vitamin D, which is then stored in our liver. Our livers can store a summer's worth of sunshine and then time-release it out during the winter. Maintaining our Vitamin D only requires about 10 minutes exposure to sunlight each day, preferably to our face, forearms, and scalp.

Some cells can use Vitamin D as a substitute for testosterone when testosterone is unavailable.

Vitamin E: Researches found that estrogens as well as Vitamin E seem to help keep blood vessels open by controlling the high and low density fats that circulate in our blood. As a result of this research, doctors prescribe HRT to produce this effect, but Vitamin E can do the same thing.

Minerals: In order for the above vitamins to be absorbed and used by our body, we need minerals. Our bodies utilize many different minerals; some are needed for vital functions but need only be in trace quantities. We get our minerals from fruits and vegetables that are grown in healthy soil rich in minerals. Soil, like our bodies, can become depleted. Organic farms tend to have healthier soils than commercial farms and, therefore, have higher mineral content and more trace minerals in their foods.

Enter Isoflavones, Another Substance That Helps Hormone Health

In Asia where people eat tofu, drink soy milk, and eat soybeans in many other forms, women don't complain of hot flashes. Researchers have identified a substance in the soybean that they call isoflavone. Isoflavones can act like estrogen and also stimulate estrogen production. Other foods containing isoflavones include: whole grains, flaxseed, berries and nuts.

Caution: Because soybeans are a major crop primarily for animal feed, they are the target of numerous pesticides and genetic altering. When introducing soy into your diet, you may want to be sure to read the label and buy foods made with organically-grown soybeans.

Above is an excerpt from the book, Menopause Myths & Facts: What Every Woman Should Know about Hormone Replacement Therapy, by Lorraine Rothman MS MS, (co-founder of the Los Angeles Feminist Women's Health Center) with Marcia Wexler PhD.

Re-printed here with permission from Lorraine Rothman.

GET THE WHOLE BOOK - Buy it online right here.

Myth 26
Myth 14

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