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Can You Control Estrogen Levels With Food & Vitamins?

By Shannon Hyland-Tassava

Estrogen is a hormone produced by the body and integral to the maintenance and health of the female reproductive system, says the Mayo Clinic. When estrogen decreases, such as during menopause, it can cause a variety of unpleasant and uncomfortable physical and emotional symptoms, such as hot flashes, night sweats, sleep disruption, mood swings, vaginal dryness and urinary tract infections. Medications such as hormone replacement therapy or oral contraceptives can treat fluctuating estrogen levels and ease unpleasant symptoms. However, if you're interested in natural ways to help your estrogen level, there are foods and supplements you can try.

  1. Try soy products, such as soy milk, tofu, soy cheese, tempeh and soy-based veggie burgers and hot dogs. The Mayo Clinic states that soy contains plant-based compounds called phytoestrogens that are similar to human estrogen and seem to impact the body in similar ways as natural estrogen does. Increasing your intake of soy may increase your estrogen level and ease estrogen-related symptoms, protect your bone density and improve your cholesterol. Soy carries some risk for those prone to hormone-related diseases, however, so speak to your doctor before increasing your soy intake.

  2. Take black cohosh. The National Institutes of Health state that black cohosh is an herbal supplement, often used to treat menopause-related symptoms such as hot flashes. Preliminary evidence regarding black cohosh and estrogen is encouraging, but more research is needed. The Mayo Clinic states that black cohosh is generally considered safe unless you have a liver disorder. However, as always, get your doctor's approval before taking this herbal supplement.

  3. Try red clover supplements. Red clover is a plant that contains hormone-like isoflavones that have been been used to treat hot flashes and other menopausal symptoms related to falling estrogen levels. Research on red clover is limited, however, so consult your doctor for safety and effectiveness considerations.

  4. Warnings

    Always consult your physician before taking any new vitamin or herbal supplement.

    Soy products can be harmful if you are at high risk for certain diseases, including breast, uterine and ovarian cancer. Get your doctor's OK before supplementing your diet with soy.

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