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Alison Beaver

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ask: Seeking information on Amberen for relieving menopause symptoms?

By Pat Elliott HERWriter Guide
 
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Dr. Andrew Weil recently posted information on his website about Amberen that's worth sharing.

Question: I have been hearing a lot about a product called Amberen for relieving symptoms of menopause, including irritability, weight gain and an inability to focus. But I am worried about the long-term effects. What can you tell me about this supplement?

Answer (Published 3/25/2010)

I'm unfamiliar with the product, so I asked Tieraona Low Dog, M.D., director of the Fellowship at the Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine, and an authority on dietary supplements, what she knows about it. She told me that Amberen contains monosodium L-glutamate (MSG), glycine, ammonium succinate, calcium disuccinate, magnesium disuccinate hydrate, zinc difumerate and tocopherol acetate (a form of vitamin E). Dr. Low Dog said that she doesn't know of any long-term side effects from these ingredients, although MSG can cause headaches and other side effects when consumed as a food additive.

Dr. Low Dog checked the pricing on Amberen and concluded that it is "pretty expensive stuff." She also saw "no evidence of effectiveness" and no reason to take a daily dose of MSG. I recommend the following supplements and nutritional approaches for menopausal symptoms:

* Soy foods. The isoflavones these foods contain help balance hormone levels and have some estrogenic activity. Choose whole soy foods such as tofu, soy milk, roasted soy nuts, edamame, or tempeh rather than supplements, concentrated isoflavones, or soy isolates.
* Flaxseed. The lignins in flaxseed are important modulators of hormone metabolism. Grind flaxseeds in a coffee grinder and sprinkle one to two tablespoons daily on salads, cereal or potatoes or when baking, add them to breads and muffins. (Lignans are not usually present in flaxseed oil).
* Dong quai. Dong quai (Angelica sinensis) can support and maintain the natural balance of female hormones. Don't take it if you're experiencing heavy bleeding.
* Black cohosh (Cumicifuga racemosa). One of the best-studied traditional herbs for menopause, black cohosh can help alleviate hot flashes, although it doesn't work for everyone.
* Vitamin E. A daily dose of 400 IUs of natural vitamin E (as mixed tocopherols and tocotrienols) may help alleviate hot flashes.
* B vitamins. These water-soluble vitamins may lessen the stress of menopausal symptoms.
* Evening primrose oil or black currant oil. These are sources of gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), an essential fatty acid that can influence prostaglandin synthesis and help moderate menopausal symptoms. Start with 500 mg twice a day, and then use once a day for maintenance.

As far as menopausal weight gain is concerned, part of this problem is due to the fact that as we get older, we need fewer calories because there's a shift from lean muscle mass to fat and a consequent slowdown in metabolism. To avoid gaining weight at this time of life, you must reduce your food intake by about 200 calories per day.
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Beyond that, ample evidence suggests that regular exercise prevents menopausal weight gain. Regular physical activity may also help reduce hot flashes, counter depression, sharpen your thinking, and promote good sleep.

Andrew Weil, M.D.

http://www.drweil.com/drw/u/QAA400709/Amberen-A-New-Treatment-for-Menopa...

Add a Comment11 Comments

EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous

Hello,
My name is Ester and I have been going through symptoms of menopause for quite some time. Although I have been having these type of symptoms, I have not been told that I need any hormonal therapy. I was going to try Amberen, and now I am going to work more on my diet, exercise and vitamins. Thank you for the information in this article. It is very helpful to me.

PS: I am pretty sure the second to last paragraph of the article is meant to have "2,000" calorie daily food intake, not "200", right?

August 17, 2012 - 4:45am
Susan Cody HERWriter Guide (reply to Anonymous)

Hi Ester

We're glad this article helped you!

The article suggests reducing your caloric intake by 200 calories a day at this stage in life to avoid possible weight gain that often comes with getting older due to the slowing of our metabolisms and other factors like hormone shifts and perhaps not exercising as hard as we once did. Meaning ditch the daily cookie with coffee! Women after 40 need to watch their diets more carefully than they did when they were younger.

Best,

Susan

August 23, 2012 - 12:11pm
colleenw

I too used to suffer from migraines - especially pre-menopause. In the last 5 years though they have gradually disappeared. I asked about the MSG when I was considering buying Amberen. I was told it has trace amounts in it. I can tell you that even though I rarely get migraines anymore, I do get headaches quite often. Since taking Amberen though my headaches are reduced! I'm wondering since Amberen 'balances' the body, this has helped my headaches as well. In fact, I hadn't considered headaches as part of my website but I should definitely add that into my discussion of symptoms. I'd be super hesitant too but if you suffer from migraines anyway, you might consider trying Amberen as it might actually help you. I feel so much better since taking Amberen that I would think it's worth the risk. You could also call Amberen's nurses line & talk to them about it - they are very good & quite helpful. Good luck!

June 25, 2011 - 3:31pm
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to colleenw)

I have also taken this product, and found it helpful. While it didn't totally obliterate the flashes, it did decrease them substantially. I had to take the double dose. The inital dose was not enough to help with the flashes. I did have a blood test after being on it for about a month, as I began spotting. It revealed that my estradiol levels had increased to perimenopausal levels after not having had a period in over a year. While this may be a quirk, it did happen after being on the product for about 6 weeks. I just finished a second round of it, and the flashes are at the same, lower level that they were at while I was taking it. Is it due to my having moved on in my journey through menopause, or is it due to the effects (placebo or otherwise) of the product? Who cares. It helped, and it's the only thing that has. I've tried the cohosh, primrose, soy, accupuncture (helpful, but expensive), and the dreaded effexor (that, in my opinion ought to be banned!). None of them helped me like the amberen has. So Dr. Weil and all the rest of them should take a second look at this. They may not understand how it works, but it does.

June 25, 2011 - 6:10pm
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Anonymous)

I just want to ask how long of a time do I have to take amberen ,, this is my first month .. Had a cycle after not haven one for several months , but it works,

June 3, 2014 - 11:16am
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous

I would like to try Amberen, especially after all the good reviews but I have a problem with the msg. I suffer from migraine headaches and I know that both msg and black cohosh are triggers for my migraine so that makes me super hesitant. If there are other women who are in the same boat as I am, and who has tried Amberen, please post something here so I can know your experience. Thanks...

June 24, 2011 - 4:31am
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous

I'm back again! Almost a month without takina Amberen & NO symptoms have returned!! I feel great & can hardly believe it. All those years I felt horrible & they are gone. I'm now in Fiji and it is HOT but I haven't had a hot flash since I've been here. It's so cool! Amazing really. Read about my experiences if you've got the chance. Search for Put the Pause in Menopause. No kidding, see how you can put a pause in menopause too. I hope I can help other women.

June 24, 2011 - 2:04am
colleenw

hi Ladies -
I am 51 & started menopause about 45. I felt like HRT was not an option for me. I wanted to go all natural. Nothing really helped long term. BUT I started Amberen 3 months ago. Has anyone heard of Amberen?? My hot flashes & night sweats were horrible. So was my energy level. Three days into taking Amberen I was dramatically feeling better. My hot flashes were reduced and I started sleeping thru the night. Oh how great it was to get a good nights sleep!
Nearly all my menopause symptoms are gone. Do I still have hot flashes or night sweats? Yeah, but instead of 25-30 hot flashes a day I may have one every couple of days! No kidding. I sleep the entire night thru. I've lost 12lbs. My energy level is way up and so is libido.
In those three months I was so excited about how much better I was feeling. An idea started formulating in my mind about helping other women. I decided to take some action. At 51 I had no idea how to build a website but decided to go for it anyway. I've now finished & published as of last week! It's my story about Amberen and how I was dealing with menopause before taking Amberen. My website is Put The Pause in Menopause.
Please check it out for the full story. I can highly recommend Amberen! I'd be glad to answer any questions. All I can say is that you have nothing to lose and everything to gain. They also have a risk free trial. It's no nonsense and none of the automatic enrollment shinanigans either. And no, I'm not affililated with the company - I just want to HELP OTHER WOMEN!
Colleen
check it out - Put The Pause in Menopause

June 4, 2011 - 7:37pm
Bellows

Gotta tell you all. I've been on it for a month and a half. I have no bad reactions to msg. Never have. But I was having about 20 flashes a day, and sweating all night long. I am flash free for the first time in 4 years. I tried all the herbals, the effexor, accupuncture. NOTHING has worked to stop them. I'm going out to buy winter pajamas this week. There are no hormones in this stuff. Both my gynecologist and my breast surgeon at Yale have no bad things to say about it, as it is non-hormonal. The quality of my life has improved a thousand fold since I started it.

November 6, 2010 - 8:19pm
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous

thank you veryyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy much

June 11, 2010 - 12:38am
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