Q:

What is an effective over-the-counter estrogen supplement?

A:

The best type of hormone replacement therapy depends on a woman's health, symptoms and personal preference, states WebMD. Estrogen therapy comes in many different forms, and Women's Health Magazine suggests that women discuss this complicated decision with their doctors. The treatment choice depends on individual symptoms.

Over-the-counter dietary supplements are not thoroughly studied in the clinical setting, warns EveryDay Health, and possible side effects and interactions with other drugs are not well-known. Herbs and supplements are not strictly regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and are not required to be tested for effectiveness, purity or safety. Dietary supplements should only be taken under the supervision of a health care provider.

One of the best-researched foods for menopausal symptoms is flaxseed, according to Ann Louise Gittleman, MS, CNS, via MedicineNet. Flaxseeds offer a high content of essential fatty acids and large quantities of a natural hormone-balancing substance known as lignins, which possess both anti-estrogen and estrogenic properties. They are as effective as traditional hormone replacement therapy in lessening hot flashes, sweating and other menopausal symptoms, states Gittleman.

Although black cohosh and soy are promoted as treatments for hot flashes, studies show black cohosh is no more effective than a placebo, and the plant estrogens in soy may increase the risk of breast cancer, claims Women's Health Magazine.

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