Supplements to Balance Hormones During Menopause

Elderly Woman Sitting In A Purple Shirt Smiling

Reaching the milestone of menopause can come with various symptoms that affect your life, often in ways you might not have expected. As a functional medicine doctor, I often consult women who are in this season of life and are seeking a natural way to help their bodies find a new balance. 

I wanted to talk about some of my favorite supplements that can help those going through menopause to balance their hormones and find relief from some of the most common issues experienced in menopause.


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Korean Ginseng

This potent form of ginseng helps fight off hot flashes and other menopausal symptoms, as well as increasing quality of life in menopausal women. (1) Another study found that Korean ginseng in particular helps sexual function during menopause. (2) It contains phytoestrogens, which are plant-based estrogens that have a similar structure and function to human estrogen, and has also been shown to provide support for the psychological upheaval that may occur post-menopause. (3) 


Isoflavones are a phytoestrogen, which mimics or modulates the effects of estrogen when taken into the body. The result? More balanced hormone levels, which is vital during menopause. Studies show that this compound may (4)

  • Modulate hot flashes
  • Reduce bone mineral density loss
  • Have a positive effect on systolic blood pressure
  • Improve glycemic control

Though isoflavones are commonly found in soybeans, I would warn you: many people have soy sensitivities, even if they aren’t aware of it. I would caution you against eating a ton of soybeans because it can also lead to estrogen dominance. You may experience a host of other responses from your body that aren’t positive. Look for isoflavones that are non-soy-derived to be safe. 


Resveratrol is an antioxidant that science shows could help with inflammation. (5) When it comes to menopause, studies show that it can help with many common menopause symptoms. (6). But the benefits go far beyond that, too–it’s been shown to enhance mood and cognition in postmenopausal women and even help improve bone mineral density. (7,8) I would advise you to look for a supplement that is trans-resveratrol, which is more bioavailable than regular resveratrol. 

Black Cohosh

If you’ve been doing any research on natural ways to support menopause, you’ve probably read plenty about black cohosh. This herb grows all over North America and is actually a member of the buttercup family. It has been found to reduce hot flashes in severity and number. (9) You can take black cohosh as a capsule, or you can apply it in the form of a tincture. 

N-acetyl-cysteine (NAC) 

NAC has been found to improve immune function in postmenopausal women. (10) It may also significantly increase the levels of glutathione in your body, which supports a host of benefits, such as increasing antioxidant activity and breaking down toxins. 

B Vitamins

This group of vitamins plays an essential role in nervous system health, amongst other factors. (11) Moreover, numerous studies have associated low vitamin B12 intake with cognitive dysfunction and decline, as well as giving support to its ability to decrease stress. (12,13,14) Consider, too, that menopause can cause a great deal of stress, which B vitamins can help relieve, according to research. (12)

Milk Thistle

Silymarin is an extract in milk thistle that’s been found to significantly decrease hot flashes in both frequency and duration. (15) That’s not the only way it can help, though. Your liver is responsible for breaking down excess estrogen in the body. It can’t do so, however, when it’s overloaded with toxins and inflammation. Milk thistle can help the liver cells to be restored, (16) increasing their function so that the liver can break down any excess estrogen present. 


When you have an imbalance in estrogen, you may also want to look at a supplement called diindolylmethane, or DIM. It has been found to block androgen hormones that may be the cause of thinning hair and mood swings. (17) You can find DIM in broccoli, kale, and other cruciferous veggies. It’s also been found to enhance estrogen metabolism, which is helpful for the hormone balance you want to keep during menopause. (18)


Inositol is a natural compound found in different types of foods, such as fresh fruits, nuts, and beans. It has been found to be highly beneficial in various ways. First and foremost, research shows inositol may be helpful for postmenopausal women who have metabolic syndromes. (19) 

Other studies have shown that people who experience anxiety, depression, and compulsive disorders have lower inositol levels in their brains and may benefit from supplementation. (20,21) Because menopause can often cause symptoms like anxiety and depression, this is a great supplement to look into taking. 

GABA (Gamma-Aminobutyric Acid)

GABA is a neurotransmitter, responsible for sending messages through your nervous system. Women who are pre- and post-menopause have been shown to have lower levels of GABA in their cortex, further declining as they become postmenopausal. (22) There are a lot of benefits to GABA, which I’ve written about in my article, A Functional Medicine Guide GABA + How To Optimize This Essential Neurotransmitter


Taurine is a form of amino acid that can be found in meat and fish. It supports the function of your cardiovascular system, muscles, retinas, and nervous system. Taurine has been found to be beneficial in treating several issues, such as 

  • Bone-related disorders
  • Neurodegenerative diseases
  • Obesity

Plus, the research shows it can boost your immune system, and play a role in fighting anxiety and depression. (23) Since mood changes can accompany menopause, taurine is a good option for women who are in this stage of life. And in a study of women aged 55-70, taurine supplementation was found to be a viable strategy to control oxidative stress that occurs during the aging process. (24)


L-theanine is an amino acid that can be found in green and black tea. It’s known for its calming effects, which means you may get a feeling of relaxation from taking it. That’s particularly helpful for those who experience sleeping troubles during menopause, which is common, and studies support this idea. (25) It is also widely considered to be anti-anxiety, another common concern for many who go through menopause. Furthermore, L-theanine has shown promising results in improving memory and attention. (26)


Magnesium is an essential mineral that far too many people are deficient in–estimates go from 50-90% of the population! There are several different types of magnesium to choose from, all with different benefits. Magnesium is involved in hundreds of functions in your body, from cognition to memory, learning to stress management, and sleep to mood. It’s a supplement that I consistently recommend to just about anyone, including menopausal women. 


Ashwagandha is a popular adaptogen for good reason–it has a huge range of benefits. It comes from the root of a berry plant and has been used for thousands of years. The reasons to take it during menopause include

  • Reduced stress (27)
  • Increased immunity (28)
  • Improved thyroid hormone levels (29)
  • Decreased anxiety (27)
  • Improved insulin sensitivity (30)
  • Increased antioxidant activity (31)

READ MORE: All About Ashwagandha: The Wellness World’s Most-Loved Adaptogen

How Can You Get Everything You Need? 

Menopausal women can benefit from a wide range of supplements. Buying them one by one would mean you might need to take so many each day that it doesn’t feel sustainable–plus, you can’t always count on quality, transparency, and third-party testing from over-the-counter vitamins. 

Identifying this gap was what made me create my new collection, Hormone Health Stack (Menopausal). It contains four separate supplements: 

These four supplements will give you every single nutrient discussed in this article, and then some. It’s curated by me to include everything that will help bring your hormones into balance to cut down on symptoms like hot flashes, keep you focused yet relaxed, and help you overcome stress and get the quality sleep you need.

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Dr. Will Cole's Personal Picks

To Elevate Your Wellness

  1. Kim, M. S., Lim, H. J., Yang, H. J., Lee, M. S., Shin, B. C., & Ernst, E. (2013). Ginseng for managing menopause symptoms: a systematic review of randomized clinical trials. Journal of Ginseng Research, 37(1), 30.
  2. Lee, H. W., Choi, J., Lee, Y., Kil, K. J., & Lee, M. S. (2016). Ginseng for managing menopausal woman's health: A systematic review of double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trials. Medicine, 95(38), e4914.
  3. Tode, T., Kikuchi, Y., Hirata, J., Kita, T., Nakata, H., & Nagata, I. (1999). Effect of Korean red ginseng on psychological functions in patients with severe climacteric syndromes. International Journal of Gynecology & Obstetrics, 67(3), 169-174.
  4. Chen, L. R., Ko, N. Y., & Chen, K. H. (2019). Isoflavone supplements for menopausal women: a systematic review. Nutrients, 11(11), 2649.
  5. Koushki, M., Dashatan, N. A., & Meshkani, R. (2018). Effect of resveratrol supplementation on inflammatory markers: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Clinical therapeutics, 40(7), 1180-1192.
  6. Evans, H. M., Howe, P. R. C., & Wong, R. H. X. (2016). Clinical evaluation of effects of chronic resveratrol supplementation on cerebrovascular function, cognition, mood, physical function and general well-being in postmenopausal women—rationale and study design. Nutrients, 8(3), 150.
  7. Wong, R. H., Thaung Zaw, J. J., Xian, C. J., & Howe, P. R. (2020). Regular supplementation with resveratrol improves bone mineral density in postmenopausal women: a randomized, placebo‐controlled trial. Journal of Bone and Mineral Research, 35(11), 2121-2131.
  8. Zaw, J. J. T., Howe, P. R., & Wong, R. H. (2021). Long-term resveratrol supplementation improves pain perception, menopausal symptoms, and overall well-being in postmenopausal women: findings from a 24-month randomized, controlled, crossover trial. Menopause, 28(1), 40-49.
  9. Shahnazi, M., Nahaee, J., Mohammad-Alizadeh-Charandabi, S., & Bayatipayan, S. (2013). Effect of black cohosh (cimicifuga racemosa) on vasomotor symptoms in postmenopausal women: a randomized clinical trial. Journal of caring sciences, 2(2), 105.
  10. Arranz, L., Fernández, C., Rodríguez, A., Ribera, J. M., & De la Fuente, M. (2008). The glutathione precursor N-acetylcysteine improves immune function in postmenopausal women. Free Radical Biology and Medicine, 45(9), 1252-1262.
  11. Milart, P., Woźniakowska, E., & Wrona, W. (2018). Selected vitamins and quality of life in menopausal women. Menopause Review/Przegląd Menopauzalny, 17(4), 180-184.
  12. Moorthy, D., Peter, I., Scott, T. M., Parnell, L. D., Lai, C. Q., Crott, J. W., ... & Troen, A. M. (2012). Status of vitamins B-12 and B-6 but not of folate, homocysteine, and the methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase C677T polymorphism are associated with impaired cognition and depression in adults. The Journal of nutrition, 142(8), 1554-1560.
  13. Morris, M. S., Selhub, J., & Jacques, P. F. (2012). Vitamin B‐12 and folate status in relation to decline in scores on the Mini‐Mental State Examination in the Framingham Heart Study. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, 60(8), 1457-1464.
  14. Young, L. M., Pipingas, A., White, D. J., Gauci, S., & Scholey, A. (2019). A systematic review and meta-analysis of B vitamin supplementation on depressive symptoms, anxiety, and stress: Effects on healthy and ‘at-risk’individuals. Nutrients, 11(9), 2232.
  15. Saberi, Z., Gorji, N., Memariani, Z., Moeini, R., Shirafkan, H., & Amiri, M. (2020). Evaluation of the effect of Silybum marianum extract on menopausal symptoms: A randomized, double‐blind placebo‐controlled trial. Phytotherapy research, 34(12), 3359-3366.
  16. Abenavoli, L., Capasso, R., Milic, N., & Capasso, F. (2010). Milk thistle in liver diseases: past, present, future. Phytotherapy research, 24(10), 1423-1432.
  17. Hwang, C., Sethi, S., Heilbrun, L. K., Gupta, N. S., Chitale, D. A., Sakr, W. A., ... & Heath, E. I. (2016). Anti-androgenic activity of absorption-enhanced 3, 3’-diindolylmethane in prostatectomy patients. American journal of translational research, 8(1), 166.
  18. Rajoria, S., Suriano, R., Parmar, P. S., Wilson, Y. L., Megwalu, U., Moscatello, A., ... & Tiwari, R. K. (2011). 3, 3′-Diindolylmethane modulates estrogen metabolism in patients with thyroid proliferative disease: a pilot study. Thyroid, 21(3), 299-304.
  19. Kalra, S., & Kalra, B. (2018). Inositols in midlife. Journal of Mid-life Health, 9(1), 36-38.
  20. Barkai, A. I., Dunner, D. L., Gross, H. A., Mayo, P., & Fieve, R. R. (1978). Reduced myo-inositol levels in cerebrospinal fluid from patients with affective disorder. Biological psychiatry.
  21. Levine, J. (1997). Controlled trials of inositol in psychiatry. European neuropsychopharmacology, 7(2), 147-155.
  22. Wang, Z., Zhang, A., Zhao, B., Gan, J., Wang, G., Gao, F., ... & Edden, R. A. (2016). GABA+ levels in postmenopausal women with mild-to-moderate depression: a preliminary study. Medicine, 95(39), e4918.
  23. Srivastava, R. N., Ara, Z., Waliullah, S., Singh, A., Raj, S., Mahdi, A. A., ... & Roy, R. (2022). Taurine is a future biomolecule for potential health benefits: A review. Journal of Metabolomics and Systems Biology, 5(1), 1-13.
  24. Abud, G. F., De Carvalho, F. G., Batitucci, G., Travieso, S. G., Junior, C. R. B., Junior, F. B., ... & de Freitas, E. C. (2022). Taurine as a possible antiaging therapy: a controlled clinical trial on taurine antioxidant activity in women ages 55 to 70. Nutrition, 101, 111706.
  25. Kim, S., Jo, K., Hong, K. B., Han, S. H., & Suh, H. J. (2019). GABA and l-theanine mixture decreases sleep latency and improves NREM sleep. Pharmaceutical biology, 57(1), 64-72.
  26. Park, S. K., Jung, I. C., Lee, W. K., Lee, Y. S., Park, H. K., Go, H. J., ... & Rho, S. S. (2011). A combination of green tea extract and l-theanine improves memory and attention in subjects with mild cognitive impairment: a double-blind placebo-controlled study. Journal of medicinal food, 14(4), 334-343.
  27. Chandrasekhar, K., Kapoor, J., & Anishetty, S. (2012). A prospective, randomized double-blind, placebo-controlled study of safety and efficacy of a high-concentration full-spectrum extract of ashwagandha root in reducing stress and anxiety in adults. Indian journal of psychological medicine, 34(3), 255-262.
  28. Tiwari, R., Chakraborty, S., Saminathan, M., Dhama, K., & Singh, S. V. (2014). Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera): Role in safeguarding health, immunomodulatory effects, combating infections and therapeutic applications: A review. Journal of Biological Sciences, 14(2), 77.
  29. Sharma, A. K., Basu, I., & Singh, S. (2018). Efficacy and safety of ashwagandha root extract in subclinical hypothyroid patients: a double-blind, randomized placebo-controlled trial. The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, 24(3), 243-248.
  30. Anwer, T., Sharma, M., Pillai, K. K., & Iqbal, M. (2008). Effect of Withania somnifera on insulin sensitivity in non‐insulin‐dependent diabetes mellitus rats. Basic & clinical pharmacology & toxicology, 102(6), 498-503.
  31. Bhattacharya, S. K., Satyan, K. S., & Ghosal, S. (1997). Antioxidant activity of glycowithanolides from Withania somnifera. Indian journal of experimental biology, 35(3), 236-239.

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Dr. Will Cole, DNM, IFMCP, DC is a leading functional medicine expert who consults people around the globe, starting one of the first functional medicine telehealth centers in the world. Named one of the top 50 functional and integrative doctors in the nation, Dr. Will Cole provides a functional medicine approach for thyroid issues, autoimmune conditions, hormonal imbalances, digestive disorders, and brain problems. He is the host of the popular The Art Of Being Well podcast and the New York Times bestselling author of Intuitive Fasting, Ketotarian, The Inflammation Spectrum and the brand new book Gut Feelings: Healing the Shame-Fueled Relationship Between What You Eat and How You Feel.

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Gut Feelings

Healing The Shame-Fueled Relationship
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