A new study from researchers at the University of Newcastle’s Clinical Nutrition Research Centre in Australia finds that resveratrol supplements in post-menopausal women may reduce symptoms of menopause and improve quality of life.

Resveratrol is a naturally occurring compound found in the skin of red grapes. Some studies have found that resveratrol has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Studies suggest that resveratrol may relieve symptoms of type 2 diabetes and arthritis. It has also been linked to protection against the thickening of arteries that causes heart disease.

The Resveratrol Supporting Healthy Aging in Women (RESHAW) study is published in the journal of the North American Menopause Society, Menopause. This was a two-year study that included 125 healthy, post-menopausal women. The women were randomly assigned to receive resveratrol supplements (75 mg twice each day) or a placebo. Neither the women or researchers knew which group was getting a placebo or the supplement (double-blind study).

The women answered questions about their menopause symptoms, including pain perception, mood, depression, sleep quality, quality of life, and other menopausal symptoms, such as hot flashes. They were also given a test that measures blood flow in the brain.

At the end of the study the researchers concluded that the resveratrol group had significant improvements compared to the placebo group. These included less aches and pains, less hot flashes, better sleep, better quality of life, and better cerebrovascular function (as measured by the test that measures blood flow in the brain).

Menopause symptoms are caused by the loss of the female hormone estrogen that occurs with age. Resveratrol is a phytoestrogen—an estrogen-like compound that occurs naturally in foods.  The other treatment for menopause symptoms is hormone replacement estrogen. Hormone replacement therapy has been linked to a higher risk for heart disease, stroke, blood clots and breast cancer. Resveratrol may fill the need for an alternative option to manage menopausal symptoms, according the researchers.

Source: The study titled “Long-term Resveratrol Supplementation Improves Pain Perception, Menopausal Symptoms, and Overall Well-being in Postmenopausal Women,” University of Newcastle’s Clinical Nutrition Research Centre, Australia, Menopause, August 2020.