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Is Vitamin C Your Hero Vitamin In Menopause?


apples packed full of vitamin C the hero in menopause

Could the solution to so many of your symptoms be sat on your nearest supermarket shelves? Could adding more zest into your life give you more energy? Are oranges the answer to your anxiety and lemons your sleep? Today I'm going to lift the lid on the marvels of vitamin C, how it's helped me and how, it's going to help you! You'll want to rush out and get started when I convince you that you're overlooking one of the simplest solutions to easing you symptoms AND that if you get the right amount you may NEVER have a hot flush? Really?? Yes, Really!! So today - Is vitamin C your hero vitamin in menopause?


Is vitamin C your hero vitamin in Menopause?


Let's start years earlier, your body is gearing up for the menopause around 10 or so years before it happens. Menopause isn't your body just switching off one day but years of your body subtly changing and these changes lead to symptoms of varying severity depending on lifestyle and dietary factors. Progesterone is the first prominent hormone to decline and as it does your body gets stressed more easily, and this leads to symptoms like anxiety, lower immunity (so more allergies and bugs!), a change in your hair and skin, loss of lustre and more importantly the loss of elasticity and lubrication properties.


Cortisol the stress hormone uses up your available nutrients (vitamins and minerals) to try and do it's job and de-stress you and if you don't have enough then you start to feel more and more grotty. Fatigue, achy joints, brain fog, they're all signs that your body needs more vitamins and hot flushes is at the end of this decline. If you've got to this stage, don't worry, it is reversible, your body is incredibly forgiving when you give it what it needs. It's telling you (symptoms!) but it's not telling you in a way you understand. Luckily I do, and since learning what I'm going to explain today I take my vitamin C religiously now.


Vitamin C supplements have been sat on our shelves for decades and you may pick up the odd bottle when you've had a run of colds in the winter, but me, no I'd never taken a vitamin C supplement in my life and you maybe quite surprised when I explain why I started taking one! Fresh fruit and veg are also laden with vit C and it maybe in more veg than you think, so firstly always start with boosting your diet as much as you can as natural plants are absorbed by our gut more easily than anything synthesised. Which is why if possible always use plant-based supplements, more gentle on the gut than standard ascorbic acid ones. You may have tried vitamin C before and it's given you an upset tum, don't worry I'll explain what you can do instead at the end.


Your skin, muscles, heart, gut, tendons and eyes (especially if you are on a mobile or computer or other tech every day) all need Vitamin C. Each day your body loses 3% of it's vitamin C reserve, more if you exercise. Therefore you need to replenish!


Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that plays a crucial role in maintaining your health and well-being at any time of life but during menopause it does wonderful things. Let's have a look at what it's helping with under the covers!



bowls of pomegranates packed full of vitamin c

Vitamin C in Collagen Production and Skin Elasticity


Let's start with the surface effect and then we'll dive deeper into your body to find out just how wondrous it is.


Collagen, the protein responsible for maintaining your skin's firmness and elasticity decreases with age, leading to wrinkles and sagging skin. Menopausal women experience accelerated collagen loss as oestrogen drops, this is around the time that your periods are starting to ger erratic or stop. Vitamin C plays a vital role in collagen synthesis. It is necessary for the production of pro-collagen, the precursor to collagen, and the cross-linking of collagen fibers.


Research published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition revealed that vitamin C supplementation improved skin elasticity and reduced skin dryness in postmenopausal women, but you can get ahead of the game and start now!


I came across how truly amazing vitamin C was in the summer of 2020. I was already taking it to boost my immunity but then a serious leg injury led to an operation and wound that just would not heal. I was kind of groggy in those early weeks and was also launching an online course for beating menopause symptoms so I wasn't taking too much notice and leaving it to the NHS to heal my wound; it didn't happen. I started researching and came across the link between collagen and vitamin C. I bought the best collagen and vit C I could and within 2 weeks - healed. This was when over 3 months it just hadn't. I'd tried every natural remedy that I was advised and the wound just got more inflammed and wouldn't close up.


The collagen I bought had 5 types in (most are just marine which is 2 types) and the vitamin C I bought was suspended in a gel, this meant it absorbed into my gut lining very quickly. Fantastic results but was about £80 a month for just 2 products! However my sagging jawline firmed up and my facial skin tightened so I wasn't complaining, but I couldn't keep up this financial regime as I realise many of you can't. Don't worry though you don't need to go to these extremes to help yourself.


If you look into the ingredients in Collagen boosters or vegan collagen you'll see vitamin C is the main component. To summarise if you want tighter skin then you'll want vitamin C!


Most of us care about how our skin looks I'm the same so if for no other reason than how you look take vitamin C


Vitamin C and Vaginal Dryness


Remember this is skin too! The loss of collagen causes the vaginal walls to become thinner, less elastic and lose the ability to retain lubrication. To turn around VD and urinary incontinence and if sex is painful then you'll want to add high doses of vitamin C and E into your life as well as a good all round multivitamin.




savvy supplements to relieve menopause symptoms naturally
Click image to check out supplements guides

Vitamin C and Arterial Stiffness


Moving deeper into how your body is working and vitamin C helps reduce arterial stiffness which is a major concern for menopausal women and you don't even realise it; as hormonal changes can affect blood vessel health. This condition is linked to an increased risk of cardiovascular problems. Vitamin C is known for its ability to enhance endothelial function, which is vital for maintaining blood vessel health. Studies have shown that adequate vitamin C intake can reduce arterial stiffness, potentially lowering the risk of heart disease in menopausal women. Arterial stiffness is one of the elements that makes hot flushes noticeable; more on that below.


Research published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition demonstrated that higher vitamin C intake is associated with improved arterial stiffness, particularly in postmenopausal women. This suggests that incorporating more vitamin C-rich foods into the diet and supplements where applicable is not only good during the peri and menopause years but also heart health in the years to follow.



Vitamin C and Immune System Support


As your body is more susceptible to stress throughout the perimenopause so you are more susceptible to getting bugs and allergies. Maintaining a strong immune system becomes increasingly important as hormonal fluctuations can impact immune function. Vitamin C is well-known for its immune-boosting properties. It supports the production and function of white blood cells, which play a vital role in fighting off infections.


A study published in the journal Nutrients found that vitamin C supplementation improved various immune parameters in postmenopausal women. Vitamin C isn't just good for you but your whole family, if you get ill you can take around 1000mg every couple of hours to help you feel better. Take it daily though and you're less likely to catch those bugs in the first place!


Alongside vitamin C I recommend a good probiotic Microbz Biolive Women to help boost your immunity and with added herbs promotes good uterine and vaginal health as well as regulates periods that get heavier during perimenopause.




Hot Flushes and Vitamin C


Hot flushes, characterized by sudden, intense heat and sweating, are a common and often uncomfortable symptom of menopause, they were also one symptom I didn't know how to exactly help women resolve, until women started reported that their flushes were decreasing; it was because I was putting them on vitamin C with bioflavonoids. They were noticing a distinct reduction in less than 4 weeks!


According to a study published in the journal Menopause, vitamin C supplementation reduced the frequency and severity of hot flushes in menopausal women.


Hot flushes are a culmination of all the symptoms that have come beforehand - less able to deal with stress, a reduction in nutrition, the decline of oestrogen reducing the collagen and so loss of elasticity. The more I come across women with hot flushes and I create their lifestyle and supplement plan the more effective the results. Hot flushes need to be tackled on 2 levels, relief of the immediate misery and the longterm health support to ensure you don't get flushes, you're combatting the stress levels in your body and you're on the path to reducing heart health issues.



washing citrus fruits packed with vitamin c

Why do I need vitamin C as an antioxidant?


You hear about inflammation, anti-inflammatories, oxidation, free-radicals and more, but what does it truly mean to you? This kind of low level inflammation is going on inside of your body, it's different to the type of injuries that you may take NSAids for. Inflammation in your body can make your gut intolerant to many foods, it can be stuffing up your brain causing brain fog, and it can be blocking your liver so it struggles to clean your blood, causing night sweats, sluggishness andlack of motivation, not to mention irritability through to outrage. The inflammation is caused by oxidation, too much free oxygen running around in your body looking to get up to know good, hence an antioxidant is good!


Foods like vegetables and some fruits like berries through to blackcurrants are high in vitamin C and are also said to be antioxidant foods. The foods that cause your inflammation are processed and sugary. I'm not saying to not eat these types of food, but I am saying think about whether you really really want them and eat your fresh stuff too!


By reducing oxidative stress, vitamin C can support adrenal gland health and their ability to produce hormones, including progesterone. As I said above the ability to deal with stress declines in the perimenopause and the higher your cortisol levels will be at the expense of your progesterone. Boosting vitamin C will indirectly help combat stress and increase progesterone which in turn will balance out oestrogen dominance, leading to a relief of symptoms caused by this imbalance!


TOP TIP: Every morning try 1/2 a lemon (or lime) squeezed into a glass of warm water. This binds to and flushes out the toxins that were cleansed from your system over night, this reduces the load on your liver the following night. Stop the toxins from being reabsorbed.


Many women have an issue eating fruit and veg and so taking a vitamin C supplement becomes way more important for them.


lime juice in water, vitamin C for menopause


Vitamin C is the secret hero to your menopause symptoms!


To harness the benefits of vitamin C, you can start today with your next shopping trip. It's in as many veg as fruit, and seeds too!


  • Citrus fruits

  • Peppers

  • Strawberries

  • Blackcurrants, Acerola cherries

  • Broccoli, Kale

  • Pumpkin, Butternut Squash

  • Melon, Pomegranate

  • Kiwis, Lychees

  • Chesnuts, Hazelnuts

  • Chia seeds, Pumpkin seeds

In fact as I write this we're heading into Autumn the season of rich yellow and orange coloured fruit and veg, they are packed with carotenoids, good for your skin, good for your immunity, packed with vitamin C.


The different types of Vitamin C supplement you can take in Menopause


Supplements wise there are a selection to choose from, really depending on how delicate you gut is and whether you want organic. Bioflavonoids are found in all vitamin C fruits, they are antioxidants but also they have been shown to exhibit anti-inflammatory, antithrombogenic, antidiabetic, anticancer and neuroprotective properties. I took them seriously a few years back when a Naturopathic Dr, who was originally a medical science doctor stated these were key to reducing hot flushes but that the big companies don't want you to know that!


Standard Ascorbic acid with bioflavonoids - this gets your the highest dose (1000mg) but may irritate your gut.


Foodstate Orange (also with bioflavonoids) - low acidity so won't affect a delicate gut and is the most foodlike and also a solid tablet rather than capsule if you have a preference; 250mg.


Acerola Cherry - a nutritious alternative to orange, packed with bioflavonoids too; pretty large capsules though for only a 200mg dose.


Organic Amla fruit - if you want to ensure you're getting good quality (not that the others aren't!) but most importantly these are the smallest capsules if you struggle to take larger ones to get a 200mg dose.


I'm a registered Cytoplan supplement practitioner and can advise you which supplements are right for you and you get a decent discount too, just book in a chat here to get started.


Lipisomal vitamin C -suspended in a fat gel, the best for super high, fast results as the fat stops the vitamin being wee'd out too quickly!


apples are packed with quercetin and vitamin c have with nuts


Put Vitamin C at the heart of your Menopause


Vitamin C is one of the most powerful anti-inflammatory nutrients available … and you don’t need to go to expensive supplements you can start with lemons and oranges in your life and If you can’t tolerate these, then have apples are great! The Quercetin in apples is also an immune-system enhancer.


As with all the things I suggest in isolation they are not going to do the entire job, along with vitamin C you should be on a good multivitamin, additional magnesium and some other critical nutrients, especially if you're struggling with sleep, anxiety, brain fog, aching joints and gut health issues.


As with any dietary changes or supplement use you should seek advice, especially if you are on blood thinners or medications with contraindications. You can contact me to talk about what is right for you if you'd like to seek advice. I also have a handy supplements download here.



Getting the right help with your menopause, naturally


Are you tired of trying new options only for them not to work? Or maybe HRT has made you worse?


I help women everyday relieve their symptoms naturally and effectively and not only for now, but for their health and longevity. The problem with putting up with symptoms is that the body has to compensate over time. You can't see what's going on but symptoms are a very strong indication that systems in your body like your liver, adrenals, heart and brain are struggling. If you don't address these symptoms then you're looking at setting long term health patterns in place that may reduce your quality of life.


Book a free chat or consultation, check out the options here.



Andrea Marsh, Shiatsu and Chinese Medicine Practitioner, Natural Menopause Specialst
Andrea Marsh, Shiatsu and Chinese Medicine Practitioner, Natural Menopause Specialst

Meet Andrea


Andrea is a shiatsu and chinese medicine practitioner who uses the principles of chinese medicine in a completely practical way to help you resolve your symptoms naturally and effectively. If you live locally you can book in for wonderfully relaxing Shiatsu for Menopause, otherwise Andrea does online indepth consultations where you'll leave with an actionable plan to follow. Andrea is also passionate about doing workplace talks.



Additional references from The New Natural Alternatives to HRT by Dr Marilyn Glenville PhD, and My Menopause Transformation with Dr Wendy Sweet.



KNOWLEDGE . PAUSE . FLOURISH




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