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The effectiveness of vitamins for hot flashes is not always easy to determine. First, we still don't know what causes hot flashes. There is plenty of speculation (see hot flash remedy), but no certain cause.
Second, hot flashes come and go on their own. They vary in frequency and intensity with no one understanding why. So even if there are studies done, or testimonials taken, there is no way to know at this time, whether the vitamins for hot flashes made the difference, or if the hot flashes would have disappeared anyway.
Still, there are vitamins for hot flashes you can take
Avoid anything that will heat the body, from caffeine and hot or spicy foods, to hot rooms and hot showers.
Hot flashes use up vitamin C, the B vitamins, calcium, potassium and trace minerals, so you will want to increase your intake of these vitamins.
Bioflavonoids with vitamin C may be effective in reducing the intensity and/or frequency of hot flashes. The best way to get both is from a whole food source such as the Amla berry. You can buy Amla-C in powder or capsule form.
Vitamin E is one of the vitamins for hot flashes. Vitamin E has been shown to reduce hot flashes for some women. Dosage is 400-800IU per day. DO NOT TAKE SYNTHETIC vitamin E (dl-alpa tocopherol). Take natural vitamin E, which is D-alpha tocopherol, preferably with mixed tocopherols (may also be listed individually, d-beta, d-gamma, d-delta). You can also get vitamin E in the form of expeller-pressed wheat germ oil.
Side effects from taking too much vitamin E include nausea, headache, diarrhea, abdominal pain.
Precautions for Vitamin E: if you have rheumatic heart disease, high blood pressure (hypertension), iron deficiency anemia or thyroid dysfunction, check with your health care practitioner before starting supplementation with vitamin E.
Cod liver oil
Cod liver oil contains vitamins A and D, and the essential fatty acids EPA and DHA. These nutrients nourish your adrenal glands which take over the production of estrogen and progesterone during menopause. If your adrenal glands aren't working well, this could contribute to hot flashes. For more on how to find good quality cod liver oil, see natural remedies for menopause.
Soy is heavily promoted as a remedy for hot flashes. The speculation is that Japanese women get less hot flashes and eat more soy foods than Americans. Therefore, soy must help.
Many studies have been done, and in fact soy may help with hot flashes. However, the soy that Japanese eat and the soy being promoted to Americans are not the same.
Japanese do not take soy supplements, containing many, many times the dose of isolated compounds of soybeans in them. They add tofu to soups (along with meat) and other dishes. There have been no long-term studies on either the effectiveness or the risk of taking mega doses of soy isolates.
What we do know, is that soy is both highly allergenic (it is one of the top seven foods that people are sensitive or allergic to) and extremely hard to digest.
The soybean contains compounds that interfere with amino acid and mineral absorption. If you are going to take soy, do not take it in supplement form or protein powders. Eat it in it's fermented state (tempeh and miso) and stay away from soy milk, tofu, textured vegetable protein (tvp), and other non-fermented products.
Soy can also interfere with thyroid hormone. If you are concerned about getting soy in your diet because of sensitivities (many people report the disappearance of brain fog after removing soy from their diets) or concern about thyroid issues, take note that soy is added to almost everything these days. It is in many vitamins (check the ingredients listing on the label), bottled salad dressings, bread, mayonnaise, and many other processed foods.
High blood pressure, overweight, and hot flashes
Some studies have shown that women with high blood pressure tend to have more hot flashes. Other studies have shown a correlation between being overweight and having more hot flashes.
The good news is that if you lose weight, your blood pressure will probably go down, and maybe your hot flashes will diminish as well!
For more on healthy diets for menopause, see menopause diets