Is is possible for a person who eats high antioxidants consistently to ‘trick’ their body into thinking that it is younger than it really is? I did a lot of research and was able to find some information but more importantly I want to explain why I was so interested in this topic and it just might help other women out there. You really do have a choice, it is up to you.
Not that long ago I saw my OBGYN for my regular check up where I stunned him again with my exceptional blood work, blood pressure (90/60) weight loss (22lbs) and over all wellness. What caught him by surprise during my visit were my answers to his questions regarding ‘menopause’. I am not experiencing any symptoms and really didn’t even know if I was in menopause. He ordered more blood tests to look at the hormone levels. One week later I received a phone call from him saying that he was proud to announce that I was indeed at the peak of menopause and began asking me exactly what I was doing since he really had never seen anyone like me walk into his office. The only change I had made in my life that he knew about was that I was eating raw organic chocolate dietary supplement every single day. It was now my turn to ask some questions and I wanted to know if I was off the beaten path and so ‘different’, then what was ‘normal’ in his world, what was he seeing every day. He explained that most women are banging on his door looking for some form of Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) to relieve menopause symptoms. I asked him what he knew about ‘nutrition therapy’ and tried to find a logical explanation for what I was going through or ‘lack’ there of. He quickly said he didn’t have any idea from the nutrition perspective but suggested that I just keep doing what I was doing.
This news from my doctor set me off to learn a bit more about what causes women to experience such horrible symptoms and how to alleviate them. I learned quite a bit and am going to share with you to hopefully help someone make some changes that may help to alleviate their menopause symptoms. I started out by reading a book by Dr. Neal Barnard called Eat Right, Live Longer: Using the Natural Power of Foods to Age-Proof Your Body. I found this book to have exceptionally well documented information about free radicals, oxidative stress, the Western diet and women who experience severe PMS or menopausal symptoms. In his book he also discusses plant based foods, which are high in antioxidants, to aid the body vs. synthetic supplements. For example, did you know that the synthetic supplement Premarin is primarily made from horse urine? Mares are impregnated and around the fourth month of pregnancy these horses are confined where a urine collection system is connected to them. Once the urine has been collected they ship it off to a lab. Horse urine contains two hormones that are found in humans ‘estradiol and estrone’ but it also contains another hormone only found in horses ‘equilin’. He also states, “Premarin simply means ‘Pregnant Mares’ Urine’ and is described as a ‘natural’ supplement. Estrogen supplements can have serious side effects. They are particularly risky for women with clotting disorders, undiagnosed vaginal bleeding, liver disease, a past history of breast cancer or a strong history of breast cancer. They [Estrogen supplements] also increase the risk of uterine and breast cancer making existing cancers much more aggressive. The risk of uterine cancer is increased four to eight fold and the longer you use them the higher the risk gets.”
Do women all over the world experience menopausal symptoms? No! As a matter of fact in Japan there isn’t even a word for ‘Hot Flashes’ and when they enter into menopause their symptoms are almost non-existent. In American and other Western countries that term is common and other women know exactly what that means. Dr. Barnard tells us in his book that diet is a great contributor to how much or how severe your symptoms can be. In Japan the diet is mostly rice and fish based that is low in fat and higher in fiber. Women that consume foods from the Western diet consume far greater amount of fats and smaller amounts of fiber. By the time these women enter into menopause they have pumped up their estrogen production levels which comes to a screeching halt since the ovaries stop producing estrogen. The result is intense uncomfortable symptoms that send them running to a doctor for help. He is a strong advocate for a plant based diet that is low in fat and high in fiber which he prescribes to helping women breeze through menopause.
There is also great evidence that the use of Vitamin E helps reduce hot flashes. But don’t run to the store and buy Vitamin E, let your doctor guide you because too much Vitamin E is extremely toxic for the body. In addition to supplements there is also emphasis being paid to the Mediterranean Diet for pre-menopausal women and this coincides with what Dr. Neal Barnard shares in his book. Once a woman goes through menopause her risk of developing cardiovascular disease is much greater. Post menopausal women really need to take heed and modify their diets to take care of their heart because heart disease is not just a mans disease. So many chemical changes are taking place in the body and inflammation plays a key role in heart disease. What causes inflammation? You can read more about the causes of inflammation that will educate and help you to take positive steps to control your health and your quality of life.
Do you have a story about menopause?
Source and References:
Vitamin E helps women in menopause.
In the USA
Menopause: a review on the role of oxygen stress and favorable effects of dietary antioxidants.