Doctors were interested in the effects of proanthocyanidins—a kind of antioxidant polyphenol in grape seeds—on menopausal symptoms, body composition, and measures of heart health in women. In this study, 91 women aged 40 to 60 who had at least one menopausal symptom took a placebo, 100 mg of grape seed proanthocyanidin extract, or 200 mg of grape seed extract per day.
After four weeks, while there was no change for placebo, women taking either dose of grape seed extract had significantly lower systolic and diastolic blood pressure. After eight weeks, while the placebo group had not improved, women in both grape seed groups reported having fewer hot flashes, less anxiety, and less insomnia. The women taking either dose of grape seed extract also had increased muscle mass.
Discussing the findings, doctors said proanthocyanidins from grape seed have many times the antioxidant power of vitamins C or E, and that this study showed grape seed extract safely reduced menopausal symptoms in women while improving body composition and heart health.
Reference: Menopause; September, 2014, Vol. 21, No. 9, 990-6
ADDITIONAL COMMENTS FROM SAM FORBES, CN.
Proanthocyanidins are powerful antioxidants that belong to a class of plant chemicals called flavonoids, also called bioflavonoids, and are found in nearly all species of fruit, vegetables, and many medicinal herbs. Interestingly, grape seed extract can act as an aromatase inhibitor, (a substance that prevents the enzyme aromatase from converting testosterone to estrogen), which may protect against breast cancer but wouldn't normally be considered a remedy for menopause. However, there may be other mechanisms in grape seed extract that help with menopause symptoms. This is good news for women who suffer from menopause symptoms, but want to avoid herbs that contain phyto-estrogens. Other advantages for adding grape seed extract to your regimen would be increased circulatory blood flow, maintain healthy blood pressure, blood vessel health, brain health, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory. The supplement called Pycnogenol, from French Maritime Pine Bark Extract, has very similar actions as grape seed extract and can be used interchangeably.
Here are a few of the grape seed extract products we carry:
OPC 95 by Jarrow, 90 Capsules, Product Code 24334
Grape Seed Extract 150 BP, by Healthy Origins, 60 Capsules, Product Code 59368
Grape Seed Extract 250 MG, by Seagate, 90 Capsules, Product Code
Menopause symptoms can be a difficult to manage sometimes, so you may want to familiarize yourself with other products that can also help.
- Black Cohosh. One of the most widely used herbs for alleviating menopause symptoms.
- Chaste Tree Berry, also known as Vitex, or agnus castus. A very useful herb for
regulating menstrual cycles and perimenopause symptoms.
- Maca. Helps with libido.
- Soy Isoflavones. To help alleviate symptoms and supports bone health.
- Estrovera by Metagenics. Recommended by our nutritionists and pharmacists, it contains ERr 731? an herbal extract of Siberian rhubarb.
- Pueraria Mirifica also called Thai Kudzu. Effective for many menopause symptoms.
Willner Chemists Phyto-Tech Black Cohosh 500 MG, 90 Vcaps, Product Code 60120
Willner Chemists Phyto-Tech Chaste Tree Berry 1:2, 1 oz Liquid, Product Code 56989
Willner Chemists Phyto-Tech Maca 1:2, 1 oz Liquid, Product Code 57076
Estrovera by Metagenics, 30 Tablets, Product Code 64104.
PM Phytogen Complex (Pueraria Mirifica) by Solgar, 60 Tablets, Code 52979
There are many menopause products that contain combinations of herbs that work quite well. Here are a few:
Womens Balance by Gaia Herbs, 60 Softgels, Product Code 38161
Hot Flash by Source Naturals, 90 Tablets, 90 Tablets, Product Code 29311
Willner Chemists Phyto-Tech Menopause Complex, 1 oz, Product
EstroG-100 by Doctor’s Best
Women who are post menopausal should be aware of is bone loss or osteoporosis.
Declining estrogen levels slow down bone regeneration and put you at risk. It would be wise to take a comprehensive bone formula that contains all of the nutrients that support and protect bone. Here are some examples:
Bone Up by Jarrow, 240 Capsules, Product Code 23115
Grow Bone by Garden of Life, Kit, Product Code 57655
Bone Restore w/K2 by LifeExtention, 120 Capsules, Product Code 62932
ADDITIONAL COMMENTS BY DON GOLDBERG, RPH.
While this study and the comments by Sam Forbes highlight the effects of proanthocyanidins on menopause, I think there is another important message that merits comment.
Proantocyanidins (or polyphenols, flavonoids, etc) are powerful, natural antioxidants found in plants. Another name for these substances is “phytoantioxidants.” The health benefits of these substances are far reaching and varied. The study mentioned here focused on menopausal symptoms, blood pressure and body composition. Sam mentioned numerous other benefits. These other benefits can range from cardiovascular and anti-inflammatory to anti-cancer and anti-aging.
For this reason, I have always recommended that a “phytoantioxidant” supplement be included in any good, comprehensive supplement regimen. Most quality multivitamin supplements include the vitamin and mineral antioxidants—vitamin C, vitamin E, Selenium, etc—but, as mentioned above, phytoantioxidants are more powerful and add an additional dimension.
This is the reason we added the two products, Antiox Phyto Complex II Capsules and Antiox Phyto Blend Drops into our Willner Chemists PhytoTech line. Either product, or both, can be incorporated into your daily supplement program. The drops are convenient, easily added to juice, water or even your favorite evening cocktail. The capsules are a bit stronger, and can be taken once or twice daily along with your other supplements.
In addition to the phytoantioxidants from Grape Skin and Grape Seed extracts, Antiox Phyto Complex II contains phytoantioxidants from Acai Berry, Mangosteen, Gogi Berry, Pomegranate and Green Tea Leaf.