Antioxidants and Menopause

Antioxidants and Menopause

Menopause, a form of reproductive aging, is defined as the permanent cessation of ovarian follicular activity and eventually, the menstrual cycle. Normally, menopause is a natural process of the body; however, it
can be the result of other causes such as surgery, chemotherapy, or iatrogenic insult. Additionally,
two hormones (progesterone and estrogen) integral to reproductive aging are no longer produced during menopause. Specifically, the decline and eventual cessation of estrogen production has been shown to cause a variety of symptoms during menopause, affecting each woman differently. These include hot flushes, night sweats, breast tenderness, vaginal dryness, irregular menses, mood changes, vaginal atrophy, osteoporosis, heart disease, and sometimes premature ovarian failure. Many therapies have targeted this hormonal decline in estrogen and have also expanded to include lifestyle modifications, such as diet and exercise. Additionally, foods rich in antioxidants have been shown to be of great benefit in women experiencing menopausal
symptoms because they help to eliminate oxidative stress within the body. Overall, this paper will discuss in great detail the stress of free radicals and antioxidant deficiencies, both of which play a role in the pathogenesis of menopause.

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