By Ana Mantica, September/October 2009
Feeling hot, hot, hot? If menopause is the cause, omega-3 fats may help, suggests a new study in the journal Menopause. Researchers gave a group of menopausal women capsules containing EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid)—the omega-3 fats found in fish. A second group got capsules of sunflower oil (no omega-3s). After eight weeks, only those in the omega-3s group reported fewer hot flashes. Scientists aren’t sure how the omega-3s might reduce hot flashes (or even what causes hot flashes in the first place). They think that omega-3s may assist in the production of neurotransmitters that help the body to maintain an even temperature. The findings are preliminary, and you’d need to eat five servings of fatty fish a week to match the dose in the study. If you’d like to pursue omega-3 supplements as a natural solution for soothing hot flashes, talk with your doctor.