If you are wondering if you can use vitamins to balance hormones, or at least help the process, the answer is yes.
Nutrients, including vitamins, are the building blocks of everything in your body, including all of your hormones.
In fact, all of your hormones require adequate amounts of nutrients to be made. In other words, vitamins for hormonal balance may be just what you need.
Keep in mind, hormonal levels also can fluctuate if you are stressed out or your diet is highly processed too. So try to first have a healthy lifestyle and also heal your gut.
In this post, learn about the best vitamins for hormonal imbalance as well as herbs and minerals that may help you too.
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When it comes to hormone balancing supplements, you may not have first thought about vitamin D. But, you should know that vitamin D3 turns into a central-regulating hormone. This hormone is called calcitriol.
Vitamin D for hormonal balance may not be on your radar, but it should be.
Having plenty of vitamin D in the body helps improve thyroid function and is even critical for making sex hormones like estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone.
It also helps keep stress hormones in check, such as cortisol. Research also now shows that vitamin D helps the body make serotonin and dopamine too.
Using vitamin D also can help improve insulin levels by improving insulin sensitivity. It may even reduce the development of diabetes if given in therapeutic doses [R].
Studies show that vitamin D even reduces thyroid antibodies and is related to balanced sex hormones [R, R]. It is important to reduce thyroid antibodies that damage the thyroid tissue and the body over time. This is especially true for people with autoimmune disorders.
In other words, vitamin D is one of the best vitamins for hormone imbalances because it helps regulate all of your hormones.
It should come as no surprise that B vitamins balance hormones in the body, or at least they help get the job done. For example, vitamin B6 reduces mood swings and depressive symptoms associated with premenstrual syndrome in many clinical studies.
Vitamin B6 as the active form called P5P even influences how many hormones our genes make too [R]. These hormones include cortisol, estrogen, testosterone, and progesterone.
Folate, also known as vitamin B9, comes from leafy green vegetables. It is critical for ovarian health and fertility in women [R]. Variants in genes that help the body use folate can increase the risk of infertility in men. But using a natural supplement of folate, such as methyl folate, may improve fertility rates for men [R].
There is no question that vitamins for hormonal balance should include an optimal supply of B vitamins. The best way to do that is to use a vitamin B complex or an all-natural multivitamin with minerals.
Broccoli is full of healthy compounds that help the body recover from hormonal imbalances. This is especially true of compounds called diindolylmethane (DIM) and indole 3 carbinol (I3C). Other compounds in broccoli, such as sulforaphane, help the body to remove toxins as well.
Supplements that contain broccoli sprouts extract or DIM/I3C help the body’s hormone levels by helping neutralize harmful forms of estrogen in the body [R].
They also help improve hormone levels in men because they may slightly increase free testosterone while reducing harmful types of estrogen. So, you may not find vitamins to increase estrogen levels per se, but you will find that using broccoli extracts helps your body improve the quality of estrogen that it has.
So far, you have learned about some of the best vitamins for hormonal imbalance. You should also know that minerals like magnesium are important to help balance hormone levels while also improving energy levels.
Magnesium also helps regulate blood sugar levels, which in turn helps with hormone optimization in the body. One fascinating benefit of magnesium is that it improves thyroid hormones, including free T3 and free T4 levels [R].
Low levels of magnesium are related to thyroid diseases as well, so it is best to optimize magnesium-rich foods in your diet. You can also add a magnesium supplement when needed [R].
Magnesium may even help lower body weight among people who are insulin resistant because magnesium improves insulin sensitivity [R].
Insulin resistance can lead to imbalances of estrogen and testosterone in women, so magnesium is critical for hormonal balance [R]. You may be familiar with this phenomenon if you have polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS).
The same is true of men; insulin resistance causes disturbances in sex hormone levels.
Both magnesium and vitamin D work together because magnesium is critical for converting vitamin D into its active form in the body.
For this reason, both vitamin D and magnesium are nutrients that help balance PCOS hormones and may prevent excess weight gain.
While you may not have heard much about vitamin K2, it is a nutrient that should be on your radar for one of the vitamins to help balance hormones for females and males. This is because vitamin K2 helps to activate vitamin D, but it also may help improve your estradiol: estrone ratios [R].
Your body needs vitamin K2 to help hormones involved in making your bones strong and your heart healthy. This includes the hormone called osteocalcin.
Research is still early about the benefits of vitamin K2 for breast cancer, but this nutrient also may help ward off breast cancer cells too [R].
You should also know that almost everyone has vitamin K2 deficiency so a supplement could help so many people.
The only caution in taking vitamin K2 supplements is if you are on a medication called warfarin. In this case, you should check with your doctor first before taking it.
As you may know, stress hormones can affect your body’s ability to make sex hormones, including estrogen, testosterone, and progesterone.
Stress hormones like cortisol are made by the adrenal glands and when you are under chronic stress, you get zapped of your hormonal balance too.
Adaptogens are herbs and foods like medicinal mushrooms that help the body resist stress and to make you more resilient.
A good example of an adaptogen herb that helps hormones is called ashwagandha. A recent research study found that using ashwagandha for 8 weeks in overweight men increased testosterone levels and DHEA, which is the substance that your body uses to make sex hormones [R].
Women also reap the benefits of adaptogens. A recent study showed that using ashwagandha improved sexual function in women [R].
Other adaptogens like Reishi mushrooms are known to help improve the body’s sensitivity to hormones like estrogen in women while reducing cancer risk.
Early research even shows that ashwagandha may reduce the growth of breast cancer too [R].
Common adaptogens include Reishi mushrooms, ashwagandha, maca root, ginseng, cordyceps, Rhodiola, turmeric, and tulsi (holy basil). Adaptogens can be great supplements for hormones because they help bring the body back into balance in countless ways.
Using zinc also helps reduce insulin resistance and reduces menstrual pain [R]. Men benefit from zinc as well because it improves testosterone levels and even may reduce the risk of breast growth in men.
Women should also be aware that using oral contraception can increase zinc losses [R].
If you are looking for an all-natural way to get more vitamins to balance hormones, organ meats are a great option. Organ tissues are the places where nutrients are stored and also contain hormone building blocks. This is especially true if you eat kidney organ meats.
In fact, beef liver or chicken liver is the most nutrient-dense food on the planet. That is why organ meat supplements and/or desiccated liver are among the best vitamins for hormone balance for men and women.
Traditional medicine practices often use a like-treats-like approach as well, so adding in organ meats closely follows these practices for healing.
For me, adding in a good organ meats supplement is very beneficial for regulating menstrual cycles and mood swings too.
But, like many natural things, no money drives the research to prove this, so the only way to know if it will work for yourself is to try it.
Eating organ meats or taking organ meats supplements are luckily very safe because humans have eaten them since the dawn of time.
Herbs have been used for thousands of years to help both men and women optimize hormones and reproductive health. Among the most commonly used herbs are adaptogenic herbs as above and herbs that help balance hormones like black cohosh, chaste berry, red clover, and more. And the proof is in the reviews of these herbs; hundreds of positive reviews for their intended purposes.
Here are a couple of examples you may want to try.
Adrenal Assist is a blend of herbs and vitamins that help promote proper adrenal gland function. It contains the following vitamins to regulate hormones: Vitamin B5, Vitamin B6, Vitamin C, Zinc, and Magnesium. Rich in adaptogen herbs, Adrenal Assist helps create resilience to stress and includes Eleutherococcus, American Ginseng, Rhodiola, Ashwagandha, Astragalus, Holy basil, Schizandra, and Maca. This blend is great for both men and women alike.
Now Menopause Support is a highly rated herbal product that is helpful for balancing hormones during menopause, but also helpful for women at any age to help normalize mood and premenstrual issues. It contains standardized extracts of the following herbs: Dong Quai, Red Raspberry, Chaste Tree Extract, Red Clover, Black Cohosh, Soy Isoflavone, Wild Yam, Licorice Root, Ginger, and 5-HTP. Nut & Egg Free; Vegetarian; Dairy, and Gluten Free, but does contain soy so it should be avoided by people who are allergic or sensitive to soy.
Vitamins to balance hormones summary
Using nutrients to help balance your hormone levels can be rewarding because it often gets to the root cause of imbalanced hormones. These nutrients can include vitamin D, B-vitamins, vitamin K2, magnesium, and zinc. Organ meats are rich in all of these nutrients and support the traditional approach of like-treats-like. Additionally, adaptogen herbs can help calm stress and balance hormones as well.
Disclaimer: The information on this website has not been evaluated by the Food & Drug Administration or any other medical body and is shared for educational purposes only. While The Healthy RD’s posts are backed by research, you are unique, so you must seek care from your own dietitian or healthcare provider. This post is not meant to diagnose or treat any conditions. Consult your doctor or healthcare provider before making changes to your supplement regimen or lifestyle.
Heidi Moretti, MS, RD is The Healthy RD. A registered dietitian for 20 years, has a passion for functional nutrition and natural medicine. Has researched supplements and plants as medicine throughout her career. Loves helping people gain function and vitality by tackling the root causes of illness.