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Fish oil improves physical form, circulation, and mood in menopause

Fish oil improves physical form, circulation, and mood in menopauseMenopause is typically linked to hormonal changes that increase the risk of aching joints, overweight, cardiovascular disease, muscle weakness, and metabolic disturbances. According to a study published in Nutrients, however, high-dosed supplementation with fish oil for eight weeks has a positive effect on blood pressure, muscle strength, chronic inflammation, and oxidative stress, which can otherwise set the stage for atherosclerosis, joint pain, and number of chronic ailments. Earlier research has also demonstrated that fish oil supplements help against dry mucous membranes and depression that are often caused by brain inflammation.

The hormonal changes seen during menopause are caused by the fact that the ovaries no longer produce eggs and sex hormones, especially progesterone and estradiol that are of vital importance to fertility. The adrenal glands still make limited quantities of progesterone and estradiol plus estriol that is important for mucous membranes, skin, mood, and bones, regardless of gender and age. Many are completely unaware of progesterone’s importance for our general health, and they are also unfamiliar with the vital difference between the three types of estrogen.
Progesterone and sex hormones (estrogens and testosterone) belong to the group of steroid hormones that are all synthesized from cholesterol and can be converted into other forms by way of enzyme processes.
During menopause, many women experience an imbalance between progesterone and the three estrogen typers. This may result in chronic inflammation, oxidative stress, and a host of different health complaints such as dry mucosa, cardiovascular disease, aching joints, loss of muscle mass (sarcopenia), overweight, and metabolic disturbances.
The two omega-3 fatty acids, EPA and DHA, are structural components of cell membranes and carry out loads of different biochemical processes. Still, we don’t know much about the effect of these fatty acids in relation to menopause.
EPA and DHA are primarily found in oily fish, and the study aimed at investigating how fish oil supplementation of menopausal women affected their muscle strength, blood pressure, lipid metabolism, and levels of markers of inflammation and oxidative stress.

  • Menopause is often characterized by chronic low-grade inflammation and oxidative stress
  • Oxidative stress is when free radicals outnumber the protective antioxidants and are therefore able to attack cells and tissues

High-dosed fish oil supplementation during menopause improves health and mood

The current study included 20 healthy women with an average age of 65 years, who were asked to engage in resistance training for eight weeks. The women were split into two groups. One group got three large fish oil capsules daily with 2.1 grams of EPA and 0.7 grams of DHA. The other group got matching placebo. All participants went through measurements of their physical capacity, blood pressure, triglyceride levels, and levels of biomarkers of systemic inflammation and oxidative stress at baseline and after the study had been completed.
In both groups, the women’s physical capacity was increased, which is a natural result of training. However, it was only the women in the fish oil group that had increased handgrip strength. The women in the fish oil group also had a significant drop in blood pressure, triglyceride levels, and levels of markers of inflammation (TNF-α and IL-6) and oxidative stress (MDA and 8-OHdG). These changes were not seen in the placebo group.
According to the scientists, menopausal women who engage in resistance training and take high-dosed fish oil supplements for eight weeks can improve their muscle function and attenuate different metabolic disturbances that can otherwise increase the risk of cardiovascular disease.
The study supports earlier research where it has been shown that fish oil supplementation has a positive effect on vaginal dryness. Post-menopausal fish oil supplementation can also counteract depression and dementia that is often caused by chronic low-grade brain inflammation.

Omega-3 fatty acids and their role in menopause

  • Counteract inflammation and oxidative stress
  • Improve circulation and blood pressure
  • Support cognitive skills and mood
  • Counteract aching joints
  • May help reduce vaginal dryness
  • Keep skin soft and pliable


Sang-Rok Lee and Dean Directo. Fish Oil Supplementation with Resistance Exercise Training Enhances Physical Function and Cardiometabolic Health in Postmenopausal Women. Nutrients 2023

David Mischoulon et al. Omega-3 Fatty Acids for Major Depressive Disorder with High Inflammation: A Randomized Dose-Finding Clinical Trial. The Journal of Clinical Psychiatry. 2022

Australian Menopause Centre. How Omega-3 Can Provide Relief for Menopausal Symptoms. 2016

Pernille Lund. Sund og smuk – hele livet. Forlaget Ny Videnskab. 2016

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