Without a doubt, hot flashes during menopause are some of the most disturbing discomforts. Luckily, modern science continues to explore safe and natural ways to battle them along with other menopause symptoms.
This Canadian study took a look at whether supplementation with omega-3 fatty acids could have positive effects on hot flashes among middle-aged women.
Researchers studied the effects of omega-3 fatty acids on 120 postmenopausal women with hot flashes and moderate to severe psychological distress. They were between the ages of 40 and 55.
For eight consecutive weeks, half of women were taking three daily capsules with omega-3 fatty acids (more specifically, E-EPA omega-3 fatty acids: 350 mg of eicosapantaenoic acid, EPA, and 50 mg of docosahexaenoic acid, DHA, in the form of ethyl esters), while the other half were taking matching placebo capsules with sunflower oil.
Hot flash frequency and severity were measured before and after the trial. Using Menopause-specific Quality of Life questionnaires, researchers also evaluated women's quality of life scores.
Contrary to women in the placebo group, those in the omega-3 group showed significantly decreased hot flash severity and frequency.
The average number of hot flashes in both groups at the beginning of the study was 2.8 per day. Their frequency declined by a mean of 1.58 per day in the omega-3 group, in comparison to a mean of 0.50 per day in the placebo.
In addition, quality of life scores were substantially improved in both groups.
What Does It Mean?
As shown by the results of this trial, supplementation with E-EPA omega-3 fatty acids can reduce hot flash frequency and severity. These findings add to those of previous studies showing the benefits of consuming polyunsaturated fatty acids - such as omega-3 fatty acids - on hot flashes.
More studies are needed to confirm and better understand how omegas benefit women with hot flashes and, potentially, other menopause symptoms.
- Menopause. (2009). Effects of ethyl-eicosapentaenoic acid omega-3 fatty acid supplementation on hot flashes and quality of life among middle-aged women: a double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized clinical trial. Retrieved January 20, 2021 from https://journals.lww.com/menopausejournal/Abstract/2009/16020/Effects_of_ethyl_eicosapentaenoic_acid_omega_3.22.aspx
- Maturitas. (2005). Polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) might reduce hot flushes: an indication from two controlled trials on soy isoflavones alone and with a PUFA supplement. Retrieved January 20, 2021 from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/15917152/