For some women, supplements can play a major role in improving quality of life during perimenopause and menopause.
However, navigating all the marketing that comes with supplements can be draining. It can be hard to know what’s really helpful and what’s hype.
So, in this guide, I’m going to give you a quick comparison of three menopause supplements: Relizen, Amberen, and Estroven.
While there are many more supplements on the market than can be beneficial during menopause, I’m focusing on these three because they are some of the main players in the realm of menopause supplements.
Before we move forward, please note that this guide isn’t going to tell you which one is better or which you should use.
That is entirely up to you (and your healthcare provider, if you choose to seek their advice). Plus, there is no one supplement that works for every woman!
So, this guide is simply here to give you more insight into how each supplement works and hopefully, make it easier for you to make an informed decision.
NOTE: This article contains some affiliate links and I earn a commission (at no additional cost to you) if you use them to make a purchase.
WHAT IS RELIZEN AND ITS BENEFITS
Relizen is a plant-based supplement designed to alleviate common menopause symptoms like hot flashes, night sweats and more.
The active ingredient in Relizen is a pollen extract from Sweden. To be clear, this is flower pollen, not bee pollen.
Pollen extract is said to be free of phytoestrogens and it does not interact with our natural hormones.
So then, how can it help with menopause symptoms?
Some research on another product that contains pollen extract indicates that pollen extract inhibits the reuptake of serotonin (a neurotransmitter that affects our mood).
The reason why this matters is because serotonin is one of the neurotransmitters that is said to play a role in menopause symptoms like hot flashes (source).
So, basically, pollen extract seems to act like an SSRI (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor). This is a class of prescription drugs that are often prescribed for depression and hot flashes (even though they come with a host of potential side effects – 1, 2).
Now that we’ve covered the basics, here are the two main benefits of Relizen for menopause.
1. Hormone-Free and Soy-Free
Relizen doesn’t contain any phytoestrogens and it doesn’t appear to have any estrogenic effects. So, if you are someone who can’t take hormones (synthetic or natural) or you simply prefer not to, then Relizen is a hormone-free option to look into.
2. May Improve Sleep, Hot Flashes and Other Symptoms
Research suggests that by inhibiting serotonin reuptake, pollen extract may help support other pathways in the body related to sleep, mood and temperature regulation.
Other experts speculate that the antioxidant content of pollen extract may also contribute to its beneficial properties.
In addition, a clinical trial done with Relizen itself showed that improve the frequency and severity of hot flashes, irritability and fatigue in peri and postmenopausal women (source).
So, even though the actual mechanism of action remains unclear, initial studies indicate that products containing pollen extract improve quality of life for women going through menopause (source).
WHAT IS AMBEREN AND ITS BENEFITS
Amberen is another popular supplement brand designed to support women in navigating the often challenging menopause years.
According to the company, their blend of ingredients is designed to support the hypothalamus.
Think of the hypothalamus as the conductor of an orchestra. Its job is to ensure harmony between all the glands of the endocrine system.
The hypothalamus does this by keeping a watchful eye on the endocrine and nervous system (and then sending signals that adjust activity in both systems accordingly).
But here’s the thing: some research indicates that during menopause, there are changes to hypothalamic sensitivity (3, 4, 5).
This can make it harder for the hypothalamus to regulate hormones and nervous system activity, resulting in a host of uncomfortable symptoms.
So, by supporting the hypothalamus, Amberen is said to improve a host of menopause-related symptoms.
When it comes to the ingredients, Amberen stays away from herbs and instead, relies on things like:
- antioxidants called succinates and fumarates (calcium disuccinate, magnesium succinate. zinc difumarate and others)
- amino acids.
Now, here are some of the potential benefits of Amberen.
1. May Relieve Multiple Symptoms
Amberen may prove beneficial for hot flashes, night sweats, mood swings, low energy, sleep disturbances, weight gain and irritability.
By tackling multiple symptoms at once, it can significantly improve quality of life during menopause.
2. Formulas for Perimenopause and Menopause
Whether you’re in perimenopause or you’re officially in menopause (i.e. 12+ months without a period) Amberen has different supplements.
Since there are hormonal and symptomatic differences between these two phases, having a supplement that is adapted to each one can be helpful.
3. Herb-Free Formula
Amberen is formulated without any herbs that are traditionally associated with hormone balance (like black cohosh).
If you’re someone who prefers to avoid these plants, then this is a brand to look into.
NOTE: all Amberen products are not soy-free. The perimenopause supplement uses soy isoflavones.
WHAT IS ESTROVEN AND ITS BENEFITS
Estroven has a range of menopause supplements for specific needs and symptoms.
With this targeted approach, this also means that the ingredients in each supplement are somewhat different.
- Complete Multisymptom Relief: this formula is meant to address all major menopause symptoms (per the wording on the packaging). It’s active ingredient is rhapontic rhubarb extract.
- Sleep Cool: this formula is intended to improve hot flashes, night sweats and occasional sleeplessness. This blend contains calcium, soy, black cohosh and melatonin.
- Stress Relief & Energy Boost: this blend addresses hot flashes, night sweats, low energy, mood swings and every day stress. The main ingredients are black cohosh, magnolia and green tea.
Overall, the Estroven brand relies mainly – but not exclusively – on herbs that are known for supporting female hormones.
Plus, by including soy in some of their formulations, their supplements aim to compensate for the natural drop in estrogen that occurs during menopause.
Now, here’s an overview of Estroven’s main benefits.
1. Broad Symptom Relief
Estroven is designed to provide relief from a variety of menopause symptoms. These can include hot flashes, night sweats, mood swings, and sleep disturbances.
2. Provides Phytoestrogens
Although phytoestrogens are not a guaranteed remedy for menopause symptoms, some women respond well to them.
So, if you’re seeking a supplement that contains plant estrogens, then you’ll want to look into some of Estroven’s formulations.
3. Multiple Formulas
If you are someone who prefers to take a supplement that targets a specific symptom – or set of symptoms – then Estroven’s diverse selection of products could be just what you need.
With specific supplements for weight management, mood, sleep and more, this brand has products to cover some of the most common menopause symptoms.
DIFFERENCES BETWEEN RELIZEN, AMBEREN AND ESTROVEN
|Key ingredient: Pollen extract||Key ingredients: antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, amino acids||Soy isoflavones, black cohosh, and other vitamins and minerals (depending on the specific product)|
|May help: hot flashes, night sweats, fatigue, irritability and PMS-sleep disturbances.||May provide broad symptom relief.||May provide broad symptom relief|
|One formula/product||2 formulas: perimenopause and menopause||Available in multiple formulas for specific symptoms.|
|Some clinical testing||Some clinical testing||None available (based on looking at their website).|
|Soy-free||Soy in one formula||Soy-free|
Supplements like Relizen, Amberen, and Estroven offer different approaches to managing menopause symptoms.
Each product has its own unique blend and mechanism of action that is ultimately geared toward giving relief to common menopause symptoms.
Ultimately, which one you go with comes down to personal preference.
Also, remember, that it’s always wise to consult with your healthcare provider before starting any new supplement regimen.
Not only can supplements interact with prescriptions drugs, but depending your health history, you may find that certain supplements are simply not a safe choice for you.
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