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Can B Vitamins Help Menopause Symptoms?

Alex Fulton

Written by Alex Fulton

Alex Fulton

Written by Alex Fulton

No matter where you are in your menopause journey, your body is at its best when it has adequate amounts of the nutrients it needs. Whether obtained through your daily diet or dietary supplements, specific nutrients can support your health and wellness during the menopausal transition and may even help ease some of your symptoms.

Without a doubt, B vitamins are among the most important nutrients to consider during menopause. Contributing to everything from energy production to brain function, B vitamins play a vital role in some of your body’s most important processes.

So, what exactly is vitamin B, and what kind of health benefits do b vitamins provide in menopause? Keep reading to learn more.

What is Vitamin B?

The B vitamins are composed of a group of eight specific vitamins, which is why it’s also commonly referred to as vitamin B complex. The eight B vitamins are:

  • B-1 (thiamine)
  • B-2 (riboflavin)
  • B-3 (niacin)
  • B-5 (pantothenic acid)
  • B-6 (pyridoxine)
  • B-7 (biotin)
  • B-9 (folic acid)
  • B-12 (cobalamin)

These vitamins are critical for maintaining healthy energy levels because they help the body effectively process and use carbohydrates, fat, and protein, for fuel. They also assist in maintaining the function of the body’s nervous system.1

Although all B vitamins are essential, two are notable for their importance in maintaining overall wellness as well as in helping to provide some specific menopausal symptom relief.

Vitamin B6

In addition to assisting in energy production, vitamin B6 helps the body maintain healthy levels of an amino acid called homocysteine, which is linked to an increased risk of fractures during menopause, if it’s produced in high amounts.2

Vitamin B6 additionally plays an important role in the creation of serotonin – which is a neurotransmitter, or chemical messenger known for communicating signals across the brain; serotonin is also a neurotransmitter associated with good mood.3 As women age, levels of serotonin tend to decrease, which can influence and intensify menopausal symptoms such as moodiness or feelings of depression.4 Therefore this may be a good B vitamin to consider for menopause.

Vitamin B6 may also help support brain health and cognitive function. During menopause, a common symptom experienced by many women is forgetfulness or mild issues with cognition – it’s often referred to as “brain fog.” According to Bonafide Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Alyssa Dweck, “More than 40% of women navigating through the hormonal changes of menopause often complain of general forgetfulness, difficulty concentrating, as well as other cognitive complaints.” These symptoms can be impacted by a myriad of outside influences, including interrupted sleep, an overload on multitasking, increased levels of stress, and changes in hormones, which are commonly experienced during menopause.

Getting adequate amounts of Vitamin B6 from your daily diet may help combat “brain fog”. While consuming foods such as fish and beef liver, in addition to potatoes, other starchy vegetables, and fruit, which provide B6, many try to avoid these food sources. You can also take a daily vitamin B supplement for menopause, of the recommended amount of 1.5mg, if you prefer.5

Vitamin B12

Vitamin B12 is vital in developing and maintaining nerve, brain, and red blood cells. Low levels of B12 have been shown to be associated with fatigue, memory problems, nerve damage, dementia, and more.6 Additionally, like vitamin B6, vitamin B12 also influences the body’s production of serotonin levels, which has a beneficial effect on overall mood and emotions.7

As we age, our bodies can lose some of its ability to absorb vitamin B12, which can lead to deficiencies that may cause fatigue, weakness and, in more severe cases, anemia.8 To combat B12 deficiencies during menopause and beyond, you can either choose to increase your dietary intake of certain foods, such as fish, meat, poultry, eggs, and dairy products, or by looking to fortified foods. Additionally, you can incorporate a dietary supplement of vitamin B for menopause, into your routine to ensure you get the recommended amount of 2.4mcg of vitamin B12, daily.9

Benefits of Vitamin B for Menopause

B vitamins promote overall health and wellness, but if you’re experiencing certain menopausal symptoms, or are looking to improve specific processes within your body, you may benefit from incorporating more vitamin B into your daily diet. Some specific benefits of B vitamins for menopause, include:

Menopause Stress Relief

Low levels of B-complex vitamins have been shown to increase anxiety and irritability while decreasing your ability to handle stress.10 Upping your dietary intake of B-complex vitamins during menopause, may help to lower your stress levels, which many women may feel intensify during this transitional period.

B Vitamins for Menopausal Mood Swings

As mentioned, vitamins B6 and B12 are involved in the production of the neurotransmitter, serotonin. Serotonin is nicknamed the “feel-good” neurotransmitter because it promotes a sense of wellbeing and helps stabilize your mood. If you’re experiencing more intense mood swings and feel that depressive moods are bringing you down, supplementing with B-vitamins for menopause may be just the thing to help even things out.11

Nervous System Support from B Vitamins During Menopause

The nervous system is responsible for regulating and maintaining balance in your body. B vitamins are used in many ways by the nervous system, including for the production of the protective sheaths that insulate nerve cells.12

The decrease in estrogen levels experienced during menopause influence the entire nervous system, leading to a potential increase in physical symptoms such as hot flashes as well as psychological symptoms, such as increased stress and anxiety.13 Taking B vitamins during menopause can help support the nervous system during this hormonal transition and potentially alleviate the severity of some of these symptoms.

Healthy Adrenal Function

The adrenal glands are responsible for the release of stress hormones, like cortisol, as well as the production of estrogen and other sex hormones in the body. B vitamins work to support the adrenals’ ability to produce and release these hormones.14

The adrenal glands also help regulate the body’s stress response, so supporting them with B vitamins can help you to more effectively manage the stressors that menopause (and life in general) can throw at you.15

Vitamin B Rich Foods

Given the importance of B vitamins for menopause general health and wellness, it’s fortunate that so many foods are abundant in them. Some of the most vitamin B-rich foods include:

  • Eggs
  • Spinach and other leafy greens
  • Salmon
  • Beef, turkey, and chicken
  • Chickpeas, beans, lentils, and other legumes
  • Oysters, mussels, and other shellfish
  • Milk and yogurt

B vitamins are water-soluble, meaning your body doesn’t actively store them, but rather excretes what it doesn’t need through the urine. Because of this, B vitamins must be regularly consumed in the form of food or dietary supplements in order to maintain the appropriate amounts in the body.

Choosing the Best Vitamin B Complex for Menopause

Although getting nutrients from the food you eat is ideal, you may not always be able to get enough vitamin B from your diet alone. You could consider incorporating a high-quality, vitamin B-complex in the form of a dietary supplement to help fill any nutritional gaps you may be experiencing and to potentially ease some of your menopause symptoms, including stress, mood swings, and fatigue.16 But how do you know what is the best vitamin b complex for menopause?

When choosing a vitamin B supplement, consider looking for one that contains all eight essential B vitamins. Amounts may vary from product to product, so it’s a good idea to check that the one you’re considering contains the recommended daily allowance (RDA) of each B vitamin. Also consider a supplement that contains vitamin B12 in the form of methylcobalamin, since that is the form most easily absorbed and utilized by the body.17

Remember, it’s always best to speak with your healthcare provider before starting a new supplement, no matter what it is. They know your medical history best and can better advise on what to consider.

Whether through your diet or a nutritional supplement, prioritizing B vitamins during menopause can help provide your body with the support it needs to enable you to thrive and feel your best.


  1. Milart P, Woźniakowska E, Wrona W. Selected vitamins and quality of life in menopausal women. Prz Menopauzalny. 2018;17(4):175-179. Doi:10.5114/pm.2018.81742
  2. Milart P, Woźniakowska E, Wrona W. Selected vitamins and quality of life in menopausal women. Prz Menopauzalny. 2018;17(4):175-179. Doi:10.5114/pm.2018.81742
  6. Milart P, Woźniakowska E, Wrona W. Selected vitamins and quality of life in menopausal women. Prz Menopauzalny. 2018;17(4):175-179. Doi:10.5114/pm.2018.81742
  10. Young LM, Pipingas A, White DJ, Gauci S, Scholey A. A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of B Vitamin Supplementation on Depressive Symptoms, Anxiety, and Stress: Effects on Healthy and ‘At-Risk’ Individuals. Nutrients. 2019;11(9):2232. Published 2019 Sep 16. Doi:10.3390/nu11092232
  11. Sangle P, Sandhu O, Aftab Z, Anthony AT, Khan S. Vitamin B12 Supplementation: Preventing Onset and Improving Prognosis of Depression. Cureus. 2020;12(10):e11169. Published 2020 Oct 26. Doi:10.7759/cureus.11169
  12. Calderón-Ospina CA, Nava-Mesa MO. B Vitamins in the nervous system: Current knowledge of the biochemical modes of action and synergies of thiamine, pyridoxine, and cobalamin. CNS Neurosci Ther.2020;26(1):5-13. Doi:10.1111/cns.13207
  13. Genazzani AR, Spinetti A, Gallo R, Bernardi F. Menopause and the central nervous system: intervention options. Maturitas. 1999 Jan 4;31(2):103-10. Doi: 10.1016/s0378-5122(98)00112-1. PMID: 10227002.
  14. Camfield DA, Wetherell MA, Scholey AB, et al. The effects of multivitamin supplementation on diurnal cortisol secretion and perceived stress. Nutrients. 2013;5(11):4429-4450. Published 2013 Nov 11. Doi:10.3390/nu5114429
  15. Genazzani AR, Spinetti A, Gallo R, Bernardi F. Menopause and the central nervous system: intervention options. Maturitas. 1999 Jan 4;31(2):103-10. doi: 10.1016/s0378-5122(98)00112-1. PMID: 10227002


    Post comment

    This article really helped me to understand how important vitamins are in menopause. I will be incorporating B vitamins in my everyday after speaking with my MD.

    This article really helped me to understand how important vitamins are in menopause. I will be incorporating B vitamins in my everyday after speaking with my MD. on

    Regarding vitamin b12, it used to come from the soil. Humans and animals do not make b12. Animals are supplemented with b12 in their food. Most of us should be checking our b12 levels and finding a good source of b12.

    Rhonda on

    This was very informative and helpful. Thank you

    Christina on

    I am very glad that I read this article on B12 for women . I am healthy – thank Goodness to good genes and carefully eating foods for the health value . I am grateful for this article and will start taking B12 supplements I am 50+

    BShariff on

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