What is female menopause syndrome?
Female menopause refers to the transitional period when women gradually decline from a state of vigorous reproductive function to a complete loss of reproductive function, including three stages: premenopause, menopause, and late menopause. The menopausal syndrome is more common in the age group of 40 to 60. About 85% of menopausal women will experience symptoms such as menstrual disorders, hot flashes, pain in the back and limbs, emotional instability, and irritability.
In a survey of menopausal women in Japan, 68.9% of the respondents said they were easily fatigued, 62.7% said shoulder pain, low back pain, and hand & foot discomfort, and 50.8% said they did not sleep well. More than half of the respondents said they did nothing about these symptoms, 22.8% took dietary supplements, 17.3% used Chinese medicine, and less than 10% went to the hospital for treatment. This shows that most menopausal women are not aware of the need for healthy food or medication to relieve menopausal syndrome.
Main manifestations of menopausal syndrome
1. Menstrual disorders
Menstrual disorders are a common symptom of the menopausal transition and their manifestations depend on fluctuating changes in the functional status of the ovaries. Owing to rare ovulation or anovulation, it is manifested as an irregular menstrual cycle, long duration of the menstrual period, and increased or decreased menstrual flow. Menstruation gradually stops, the reproductive ability is lost, and reproductive organs atrophy.
2. Hot flashes
Vasodilatory symptoms are caused by unstable vasodilatory function due to lowered estrogen, with hot flashes as the main manifestation. It is characterized by recurrent brief flashes of redness of the skin on the face, neck, and chest, accompanied by fever and subsequent sweating.
3. Psychiatric and neurological symptoms
Menopausal women exhibit emotional symptoms such as poor concentration, memory loss, mood swings, such as irritability, anxiety, or depression, and inability to control themselves.
4. Autonomic dysregulation
Symptoms of autonomic dysfunction such as palpitations, vertigo, headache, insomnia, tinnitus, etc. are often present.
Postmenopausal women suffer from osteoporosis due to increased bone resorption caused by the lack of estrogen in women, resulting in rapid bone loss. This can lead to atrophy, soreness, dysfunction, and fractures in the bone joints (wrist, elbow, shoulder, hip, and lumbar), ligaments, and muscles of the musculoskeletal system.
6. Immune system problems
The menopausal syndrome can lead to disorders of the vegetative nervous system, which in turn can affect the dysfunction of the immune system, making it susceptible to various intractable diseases.
Some serious menopausal symptoms need to be treated with medication. While for most menopausal people, only dietary supplements are needed to provide some relief. At present, there are already many functional foods specifically for menopausal syndrome in Europe, America, Japan, and other countries, covering dietary supplements, beverages, candies, etc.
Functional ingredients that can relieve menopausal syndrome
1. Soy isoflavones
Soy isoflavones are flavonoids, which are secondary metabolites of the soybean growth process. It is an active substance extracted from plants, similar in structure to estrogen. It has effects on hormone secretion, protein synthesis, growth factor activity, and metabolic biological activity, which can delay female aging and improve menopausal symptoms, such as the prevention of high blood lipids, osteoporosis, and breast cancer.
Although it exists in hundreds of plants such as beans, grains, fruits, and vegetables, soy isoflavones in dietary supplements are more targeted to supplement this element, so as to play a better preventive role.
Equol is a metabolite excreted from soybean isoflavones after being decomposed and digested by intestinal bacteria, also known as “super isoflavones”. Like soy isoflavones, it exerts estrogen-like effects in the body and has the ability to improve menopausal symptoms and promote collagen production.
The level of equol production rate is ultimately related to the level of uric acid, triglycerides, blood sugar, and bone density in the body. The latest research shows that equol is a direct contributor to improving women’s menopausal symptoms. According to research, only 1 out of 5 young women can convert isoflavones into equol. That’s why many people supplement a lot of soy foods, but it doesn’t work.
3. Kudzu root extract
Kudzu root extract is mainly from the dried root of Pueraria Mirifica, which is refined and presented as a brown or white powder. It contains a variety of flavonoids, including the active ingredient Puerarin, which is rich in isoflavones with a molecular structure very similar to that of estrogen in women and is known as “phytoestrogen” in the medical field. Moderate intake can actively adjust the body’s blood microcirculation, play a role in removing spots, and anti-aging. Chinese medicine believes that regular consumption of Pueraria Mirifica powder can regulate human body functions, improve the body’s ability to resist disease, anti-aging, and prolong life. It is especially useful for middle-aged women and menopausal women to maintain their beauty and health.
4. Black Cohosh Extract
The main active ingredient of black cohosh is terpene glycoside. Black cohosh can produce estrogen-like effects and regulate endocrine balance, thereby helping to relieve menopausal symptoms such as insomnia, hot flashes, back pain, and emotional loss.
5. Royal Jelly
Royal jelly has significant preventive and therapeutic effects on the menopausal syndrome. Since royal jelly promotes tissue regeneration and delays the decline of endocrine glands, it can regulate endocrine function. Many people get the following effects after taking royal jelly: first, delaying the onset of menopause; second, alleviating menopausal syndrome; and third, strengthening or restoring sexual function.
Oryzanol is an odorless white crystalline powder but has a distinctive fragrance. It is mainly the combined fat of ferulic acid and phytosterol, which is extracted from rice bran oil, germ oil, and other grain oils. Clinically, it is mainly used to regulate endocrine and neurasthenia. It has the functions of anti-oxidation, anti-aging, degrading liver lipids, degrading serum, reducing the probability of gallstone formation, and inhibiting the absorption rate of cholesterol.
7. Pomegranate extract
Pomegranate contains estrone and estradiol, one of the most powerful estrogens, which can maintain female function hormones, delay ovarian function decline, and increase estrogen levels.
8. Maca Extract
Maca itself does not contain estrogen. It regulates the functions of the adrenal gland, pancreas, and ovary through a variety of alkaloids, and balances the hormone level in the body. Maca extract is rich in taurine and protein, which can regulate and repair physiological functions and improve qi and blood. Thus, it relieves menopausal symptoms without the various side effects that occur with estrogen therapy.