Vitamins & Minerals

Liz Wilson, BSc, MBBS Susan Reed, RGN, BSc
12new does not recommend specific supplements or brands. Please speak to your doctor or health professional before beginning any new course of treatment.

This helpsheet runs through some common nutrients and how they specifically apply to women going through early menopause. Since deficiency in one or more of these nutrients is highly prevalent, we also offer some information on sources and dosage.

Maintaining a nutritious diet is an essential strategy we have at our disposal to combat both the symptoms and long-term health risks associated with an early menopause. In an ideal world we’d get all of these nutrients from dietary sources, but in cases where that isn’t possible, supplements are a viable alternative.

Stressed woman holding pills in handDoctors will correctly tell you it’s best to get your vitamins from food sources themselves. Healthy, whole foods are packed with a range of nutrients that isolated vitamin supplements cannot rival.

Remember, taking supplements doesn’t mean you shouldn’t make every effort to eat healthily. But it can help ensure that you’re giving your body what it needs in instances of deficiency. Women who’ve experienced an early menopause face an increased risk of osteoporosis and heart disease (1) — further emphasizing the need for healthy dietary and lifestyle habits.

Here’s a rundown of the nutrients that may require consideration:

Vitamin A

  • Has an important role to play in maintaining eye, skin, and tissue health.


Blonde woman holding bunch of spinach leavesLiver, cod liver oil or other fish liver oils; egg yolks; spinach and other dark green leafy vegetables; cheese and fortified milk products.

Recommended intake (RDA)

The Institute of Medicine’s current recommended daily intake (RDI) for women is 2,333 IUs. Some individuals consume larger quantities but there are important risks to consider before exceeding the RDI (2).

Excess vitamin A is toxic so check with your doctor before taking any supplements, particularly if you have kidney problems.

Beta-carotene supplementation is a viable alternative. This is because the body only converts as much beta-carotene to vitamin A as it requires.

B Vitamins

  • Help support your adrenal gland function (3).
  • Vitamin B6 may help tackle bloating due to water retention — a common problem for women taking certain forms of HRT (4).
  • B vitamins may also help you to deal with the emotional symptoms that crop up during premature menopause — such as anxiety and irritability (3).

Note: HRT may cause a deficiency of certain B vitamins, including B2, B6, B12 and biotin. So if you’re on HRT, you may want to consider B vitamin supplements (5).


An assortment of colorful legumesThe different Bs are usually found in the same foods, including beans, whole grains, liver, brewer’s yeast, egg yolks and more.


B vitamins work in conjunction to perform a range of vital tasks. Depending on your circumstances, you may be more suited to taking individual B vitamins or an entire B-complex.

Interestingly, sufficient intake of folic acid (vitamin B9) has been linked with significantly reduced incidence of menopausal symptoms, including hot flashes, in placebo-controlled studies (6). 

Many consumers opt to supplement with methylfolate as an alternative to folic acid in light of research indicating better tolerance by the body (7).

Vitamin C

  • May help cut down on hot flashes — particularly when taken in combination with citrus bioflavanoids (8).
  • Has an important role in adrenal gland function (9).
  • Helps to maintain collagen levels — which tend to drop when you are in menopause. This is helpful for your skin and for your bones (10).
  • As for your heart health, vitamin C helps may help decrease the rate of LDL (sometimes referred to as “bad cholesterol”) oxidation and may help decrease blood pressure (11, 12).
  • Finally, on the anti-stress front — vitamin C may have a role to play in reducing anxiety (13).


Citrus fruits and other fruits such as melon (cantaloupe and honeydew) and strawberries; cruciferous vegetables , such as broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, cabbage; dark green leafy vegetables such as spinach, collard greens.

Recommended intake (RDA)

The RDA is 75mg for women generally, but some menopausal women utilize larger doses (14). Remember, as with any other course of treatment, a supplement regimen should be carefully planned with your doctor. By working with your doctor, you can receive personalized testing to determine which supplements, and at what doses, are right for you.

Citrus Bioflavonoids

  • In a recent study published in the “Menopause” journal, a supplement containing phytosterols, glucosinolates and citrus bioflavonoids outperformed combination HRT (estrogen and progestogen) in lowering “global, physical, and psychosocial menopausal symptoms (in the short term)”. Note: the participants in this trial were both postmenopausal and symptomatic (15).
  • Partially peeled tangerine orange

  • Highly preliminary evidence suggests citrus bioflavonoids may help alleviate hot flashes when taken in a dosage of 1200mg / day alongside 1200mg / day of vitamin C (16).


Found in the pith — the white inner peel — of citrus fruits as well as in blackcurrants.

Recommended intake (RDA)

No recommended lower and upper boundaries exist for citrus bioflavonoids dosage. However, the most typical “therapeutic” dose is 500mg, taken twice daily (17). 

Vitamin D

  • A necessity for healthy bones.
  • Helps your bones utilize their “building blocks” i.e. calcium and phosphorous.


Fatty fish (salmon, sardines, herring); fortified milk and other dairy products; egg yolks; fortified cereals and breads.

Recommended intake (RDA)

The standard RDA of vitamin D is 600 IU for adults and 800 IU for adults over the age of 70. However, each individual’s requirements are different and testing can help elucidate your current vitamin D status.

Supplementary vitamin D is warranted in cases of deficiency but taking supplements if your levels are already within the optimal range is of questionable benefit.

Maintaining healthy vitamin D levels is of particular importance in menopausal individuals, as deficiency may play a role in poorer outcomes and greater symptom intensity.

Vitamin E

  • Can help prevent and treat vaginal atrophy in menopause — especially when used topically (by using the soft-gel capsule as a vaginal suppository) (18).
  • May help diminish PMS symptoms like anxiety (19).
  • Has an important role in maintaining normal thyroid functioning (20).


Aerial view of a bowl of almondsEggs, wheat germ and whole grains, nuts (such as almonds and walnuts), legumes (such as peanuts).

Recommended intake (RDA)

The RDA of vitamin E is approximately 22 IU / day. However, higher doses are often used in the presence of menopausal symptoms (21).

Generally, trials investigating the usefulness of vitamin E in addressing menopause symptoms have used dosages in the range of 100-800 IU / day. The amount is typically administered in two or more doses over the course of the day (21).

Note: vitamin E supplementation isn’t safe for everyone. If you have certain health conditions or take certain prescription medicines, vitamin E can be harmful. As always, check with your doctor before embarking on a course of any new supplement.


  • Adequate, but not excessive, levels of calcium are important in maintaining bone health in postmenopausal women (22).
  • Also may help lower blood pressure to a small degree, the risk of which may be elevated in women on certain forms of HRT (23, 24).


Dairy products; sardines; dark green, leafy vegetables; seeds; nuts.

Recommended intake (RDA)

1200mg / day


  • Works to help fight osteoporosis by preventing bone loss (25).


A red apple and fresh pearFruits, including apples and pears; green and dark yellow vegetables including broccoli and carrots; nuts including almonds and hazelnuts.

Recommended intake (RDA)

Trials investigating boron’s effect on bone health show benefits at an intake of approximately 3mg each day


  • Important role in maintaining bone health (26).
  • Insufficient magnesium intake has been linked with worsened underlying menopause symptoms (27).
  • Vital for normal cardiovascular functioning (28).
  • Also may help fight migraines in some individuals (27).


Whole grains; dark green leafy vegetables; nuts; milk and dairy products; meat and fish; dried cooked beans, especially soy beans.

Recommended intake (RDA)

300-400mg / day


  • Can help some women cope with water retention and bloating (29).
  • Plays a role in normal cardiovascular functioning (30).

Individual peeled banana


Bananas, potatoes, nuts, citrus fruits.

Recommended intake (RDA)

This is a mineral that you generally get enough of through eating a balanced diet. 1600 – 2000mg per day is considered an “adequate” intake for adults. Other sources quote the DV for potassium as high as 4700mg / day.


  • Important for normal thyroid function, so if you’re in premature menopause due to an autoimmune disorder, adequate iodine may be very important in supporting thyroid health.
  • Iodine intake may be linked with the severity of menopausal symptoms including hot flashes (31).
  • Several studies have indicated that iodine may also be involved in keeping breast tissue healthy and in preventing breast diseases (32).


Fish, iodized salt, seaweed, shellfish, kelp tablets.

Recommended intake (RDA)

150 μg/day

Also see our helpsheet: What Does The Science Say About Natural Remedies?

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