Women: Nutrients improve pregnancy and perimenopause
Pre- and probiotics reduced nausea in pregnancy
Elevated levels of estrogen and progesterone in pregnancy alter the microbiome, and may cause nausea, vomiting, and other gut symptoms in 85 percent of expectant mothers. In this study, 32 pregnant women took 200 mg of inulin plus a combination of 10 probiotics in 10 billion colony-forming-units per day, for six days, then stopping for two days.
The women answered questionnaires each 24 hours during treatment, reporting significant improvements in daily nausea, vomiting, constipation, and overall quality of life.
Probiotics produce free bile acids, which promote healthy digestion and metabolism, levels of which were initially low, and directly linked to high vomiting scores. Doctors said, “Regulating bile acid may explain the benefits of probiotics in gastrointestinal function during early pregnancy.”
Reference: Nutrients; 2021, Vol. 13, No. 11, 3931
Ashwagandha improved perimenopause symptoms
As women approach menopause, symptoms such as hot flashes and night sweats, along with changes in mood and anxiety, can develop. In this study, 91 perimenopausal women, aged 45 to 55, took a placebo or 300 mg of ashwagandha twice per day.
After eight weeks, women taking ashwagandha reported greater improvements compared to placebo in symptoms on the standard menopause rating scale, including sleep problems, depressed mood, irritability, anxiety, fatigue, and bladder, joint and muscle discomfort. The number of hot flashes per week also declined, and estradiol levels were restored to normal in women taking the ashwagandha.
Doctors said ashwagandha was safe and effective in reducing mild to moderate symptoms in perimenopause, and recommend it as a treatment option.
Reference: Obstetrics and Gynaecology Research; 2021, Vol. 47, No. 12, 4414-25