Dietary Supplements: Omega-3s and Hot Flashes

The omega-3 fats DHA and EPA don’t appear to curb hot flashes in menopausal women, as earlier studies had suggested.

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Researchers gave 355 women either a placebo or 1,800 mg of omega-3 fats including EPA (1,275 mg) and DHA (300 mg), the two key fats in fish oil. All the women had reported at least 14 hot flashes or night sweats—many bothersome or severe—per week.

The average number of hot flashes was 7.6 per day when the study began. After 12 weeks, the number dropped by about 2.5 per day in both groups. And those taking the omega-3s reported no better sleep or mood than those taking the placebo.

What to do: Don’t rely on omega-3 fats to curb hot flashes. And keep in mind that any supplement, like a placebo, may make you feel better simply because you expect it to.

Source: Menopause 2013. doi:10.1097/gme.0b013e31829e40b8.

 

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