6 Vitamins That Can Keep Hot Flashes and Night Sweats Away

vitamins for hot flashes

If you are over 40, transitioning into menopause or going through menopause, it’s quite likely that hot flashes have started to persistently plague you and slow you down.

According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG)(1), as many as 75% of middle-aged women experience hot flushes and sweating. Hot flashes can be rapid, uncomfortable and are prone to leave you sopping wet with sweat.

So then, what causes this sudden sensation of burning heat? While the exact cause is not fully understood yet, it is widely speculated that declining hormones are the root cause.

Many of the physical and emotional changes related to menopause can, however, be adequately controlled by identifying and supplementing deficiencies of essential vitamins and minerals. So, if hot flashes are putting you off your stroke, here is a list of the best vitamins to alleviate your symptoms of hot flashes and night sweats.

Vitamins for Hot Flashes

1. Pantothenic acid (Vitamin B5)

Vitamin B5
Image:ShutterStock

Why does it work?

B-Vitamins comprise a group of 8 water-soluble vitamins namely B1 (thiamine), B2 (riboflavin), B3 (niacin), B5 (pantothenic acid), B6 (pyridoxine), B7 (biotin), B9 (folate) and B12 (cobalamin).

Each of this small subset of B Vitamins is involved in a host of bodily reactions and has a broad range of benefits for the health of menopausal women.

Vitamin B5, in particular, plays a critical role in the manufacture of red blood cells as well as sex hormones such as estrogen and progesterone which can help reduce the frequency and occurrence of hot flashes.

How to use it?

Vitamin B5 can be obtained from food sources such as bananas, mushrooms, broccoli, avocado, liver, brown rice, lentils, eggs, and soybeans.

How much to use?

The optimal daily dose may range from 25 to 50 milligrams.

[ Read: Get Rid of Hot Flashes Naturally ]

2. Vitamin B6

Why does it work?

Few studies have shown that Vitamin B6 may help to improve hot flashes. Vitamin B6 is involved in the production of serotonin(2). As a neurotransmitter, it is believed that serotonin can directly influence a number of psychological and bodily functions including sexual desire, learning and memory, mood, appetite, sleep, and temperature regulation.

How to use it?

Vitamin B6 is best derived from food sources such as walnuts, seaweed, fish, eggs, poultry, spinach, and beans.

How much to use?

You should target to include at least 1.5 milligrams of this vitamin in your daily diet. If you don’t eat these foods on a regular basis, then you could take a supplement on the advice of your doctor instead.

[ Read: Herbs for Treating Hot Flashes ]

3. Vitamin B9 (Folic acid)

folic acid menu
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Folic acid is a B Vitamin that not just pregnant women need. This vitamin has been found to be effective in treating menopausal hot flashes as well. Folate has a mechanism similar to hormone replacement therapy (HRT); it interferes with monoamine neurotransmitters called norepinephrine and serotonin which helps to reduce the duration, frequency, and severity of hot flashes.

How to use it?

Include foods that are high in folates such as spinach, broccoli, split peas, asparagus, black beans, lentils, kidney beans, and orange juice. Fortified cereals and other grain products such as rice, bread, and pasta are also good sources of folic acid.

How much to use?

The amount of folic acid recommended for women is 400 micrograms.

[ Read: Foods High in Folic Acid ]

4. Vitamin B12

Vitamin B12 is essential for the methylation of a compound called homocysteine. High levels of homocysteine in the body can result in estrogen levels being thrown out of balance, which in turn could make women more vulnerable to hot flashes. The importance of Vitamin B12 should not, therefore, be overlooked.

How to use it?

It is recommended that women over 50 consume Vitamin B12 in its crystalline form. This is because women have a reduced ability to absorb naturally occurring vitamin B12 as they age. Fortified cereals, fortified non-dairy milk, and oral supplements are, therefore, more preferable sources.

How much to use?

The suggested minimum daily dose is 2.4 micrograms.

Asian American women have the fewest hot flashes. This could be linked to their low-fat, soy-rich diet

5. Vitamin E

Vitamin E
Image:ShutterStock

Vitamin E is one of the best-recommended vitamins for hot flashes and night sweats. Although the exact mechanism of action of Vitamin E is still not fully understood, numerous studies have shown that it is highly effective in managing hot flashes. Most studies generally contend that it is the powerful antioxidant properties of Vitamin E that helps to lower inflammation and menopausal hot flashes.

How to use it?

Vitamin E can be derived from food sources such as almonds, sunflower seeds, peanuts, wheat germ oil, walnuts, avocados, and spinach. You can also take soft gel capsules for easier consumption.

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vitamin k foods

How much to use?

The daily recommended dosage of Vitamin E can range from 100 to 400 International Units (IU). According to the Office of Dietary Supplements (ODS)(3), the maximum safe dose for adults is 1,500 IU daily.  When taken in supplement form, however, high doses of Vitamin E can increase the risk of bleeding.

[ Read: Home Remedies for Hot Flashes ]

6. Vitamin C and Bioflavonoids

While Vitamin C is not a direct cure for hot flashes, boosting your intake of this vitamin can provide mild relief due to its strong immune-boosting and antioxidant properties. From strengthening blood vessels, improving circulation, preventing heart disease, supporting immune function and helping to make collagen, this vital vitamin provides important support during menopause.

How to use it?

The best way to get Vitamin C is through food. Berries, papaya, orange juice, kale, kiwis, broccoli, cauliflower, cantaloupe and dark green leafy vegetables are all rich sources of Vitamin C. If you are taking a Vitamin C supplement, make sure that you pick a supplement that has added bioflavonoids in it. Researchers believe that bioflavonoids and Vitamin C work together to relieve hot flashes.

How much to use?

The daily recommended dose of Vitamin C is 75 milligrams.

While it is important to get the right amount of vitamins and minerals, make sure you don’t go overboard as this can have other health consequences. Include nutrient-rich foods as a healthy part of your diet.

If you are using dietary supplements, make sure that you research the manufacturer and scan the label to check for any unwanted ingredients before you buy them. You can always see your General Practitioner (GP) to help you understand what nutritional supplements you need to incorporate into your daily diet.


FAQs

1. Can hot flashes be prevented?

There is no guaranteed treatment to prevent hot flashes. However, symptoms can be eased with simple lifestyle changes such as wearing breathable and lightweight clothing, using cotton sheets to sleep on, using a fan to keep the air circulating, taking cold showers and practicing deep breathing exercises.

2. What are common hot flash triggers?

Common hot flash triggers include alcohol, hot or spicy food, caffeine, smoking, tight clothing, heat, hot showers and saunas, diet pills and stress.

3. Are hot flashes experienced only by women?

No, although it is primarily considered a female problem, men can experience hot flashes too. Hot flashes occur in men when the male sex hormone testosterone drops suddenly and drastically.

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