supplements for estrogen

What’s the Best Supplement for Estrogen

Dr. Jolene BrightenPublished: Last Reviewed: Balancing Your Hormones, Estrogen Dominance, Gut-Hormone Connection, Herbs & Supplements, Wellbeing Leave a Comment

Estrogen, primarily produced in the ovaries, plays a pivotal role in women's health, influencing everything from reproductive function to bone density and mood regulation.

This vital hormone isn't just about fertility — it's also a key player in longevity, brain function, and optimal cardiovascular health. However, fluctuating hormone levels, stress, dietary factors, and aging can all contribute to estrogen imbalances, leading to a myriad of symptoms and health issues.

In this article, we'll explore the importance of estrogen, signs of low estrogen levels, and how estrogen supplements (or, more accurately, dietary supplements that help the body make estrogen) work to restore hormonal balance.

You'll learn about estrogen supplements to consider trying, such as:

  • Chaste tree berry (vitex)
  • Black cohosh
  • Phytoestrogens
  • DIM
  • DHEA
  • Magnesium
  • Probiotics
  • Omega-3
  • Vitamin D3

From supporting adrenal production to nurturing gut health, let's look at the science behind estrogen balance supplements so you can control your hormonal health better.

Estrogen's Health Benefits and Functions

Estrogen, a group of hormones primarily produced in the ovaries, serves a multitude of functions in the body. It's responsible for regulating the menstrual cycle, maintaining vaginal health, promoting bone density, and supporting cognitive function.

Additionally, estrogen contributes to skin elasticity, mood stability, and overall vitality. In short, estrogen is crucial for maintaining physical and emotional well-being throughout someone's life.

How Estrogen Levels Fluctuate

Throughout a woman's menstrual cycle, as well as through the different stages of her life, estrogen levels change.

Menstrual Cycle

The follicular phase, the first half of the cycle from menstruation to ovulation, is when estrogen is the dominant hormone. Estrogen peaks during the mid-cycle ovulation phase when an egg is released from the ovary. Estrogen creates changes in the uterine lining to prepare for the potential implantation of a fertilized egg (conception and pregnancy). When you enter into the luteal phase, ovulation until the start of your period, progesterone is the dominant hormone, while estrogen is still present.

If pregnancy doesn't occur following ovulation, estrogen levels gradually decline, leading to menstruation. Then, the whole cycle starts again in the follicular phase as estrogen increases. During each menstrual cycle, estrogen levels typically reach their lowest point during menstruation and rise again as the cycle progresses.


During pregnancy, estrogen levels rise steadily to support fetal development. The predominant estrogen during pregnancy is known as estriol or E3. Whereas, estradiol or E2 is what is highest during the menstrual cycle.

Perimenopause and Menopause

During perimenopause estradiol continues to be produced initially until menstruation ceases and a woman enters into menopause.

In postmenopausal women, estrogen levels decline permanently as ovarian function diminishes. There are still circulating levels of estrogen, predominantly estrone or E1, however, these levels are significantly lower than they are during reproductive years. This is one primary cause of menopause symptoms, such as hot flashes, lower libido, weight changes, insulin resistance and others.

Causes of Low Estrogen

The years leading up to menopause (perimenopause) and post menopause are the primary reasons for low estrogen levels. However, other lifestyle habits and health conditions can influence the production of estrogen and contribute to low estrogen.

Potential reasons for low estrogen can include:

  • Chronic stress or hypothalamic pituitary adrenal axis (HPA- axis) dysfunction
  • Low body weight
  • Severe calorie restriction, dieting, or disordered eating behaviors
  • Excessive exercise
  • Chronic kidney disease
  • Autoimmune diseases (e.g. Addison's Disease)
  • Breastfeeding
  • Hysterectomy or ovarian surgery
  • Certain diseases and conditions (example: Turner syndrome, a genetic condition)
  • Chemotherapy or radiation
  • Pituitary gland dysfunction
  • Premature ovarian failure or primary ovarian insufficiency

Signs of Low Estrogen

Among both menopausal women and women in their reproductive years, low estrogen levels can manifest in a variety of ways, signaling an imbalance in hormonal levels.

Symptoms of low estrogen can significantly impact a woman's quality of life and may indicate the need for intervention, including the use of supplements for estrogen and lifestyle changes to optimize healthy estrogen levels.

Common signs and symptoms of low estrogen include:

  • Irregular menstrual cycles
  • Vaginal dryness
  • Hot flashes and night sweats
  • Decreased libido
  • Mood swings
  • Fatigue
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Changes in weight
  • Breast tenderness or shrinking
  • Dry, thinning skin
  • Headaches

There are also what are considered to be more odd symptoms of menopause that can be attributed to low estrogen, like itchy ears.

Supplements for Estrogen: How to Naturally Raise Levels

Fortunately, several supplements can help support estrogen levels naturally, supporting overall hormonal balance and well-being. These include:

  • Chaste tree berry (vitex)
  • Black cohosh
  • Phytoestrogens
  • Diindolylmethane (DIM)
  • Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA)
  • Magnesium
  • Probiotics
  • Vitamin D3

Here's more about these estrogen supplements to consider trying:

Chaste Tree Berry (Vitex Agnus-Castus)

Also known as vitex, chaste tree berry is a popular herbal remedy that can help regulate menstrual cycles, reduce PMS symptoms, and support healthy hormone production. It works by indirectly influencing hormone levels through its effects on the pituitary gland.

Studies suggest that when certain herbs for menopause are used together, including chaste tree berry and black cohosh, they can help naturally reduce menopausal symptoms tied to low estrogen, such as flushing, sweating, sleep disturbances, and anxiety.

In women who are experiencing hormone imbalances, chaste tree berry is an herbal supplement that can be an effective part of an overall lifestyle plan to eliminate hormone imbalances and optimize sex hormones.

The takeaway: Chastetree berry may benefit women's hormones during reproductive years through postmenopause.

Black Cohosh

Black cohosh is another herb commonly used to alleviate menopausal symptoms tied to low estrogen. It contains compounds, including phytoestrogens, that mimic estrogen's effects in the body, potentially helping to alleviate hot flashes, night sweats, and mood swings.

Studies show that also posses many other phytochemicals, such as flavonoids, that allow it to act as a selective estrogen receptor modulator (SERM), helping to promote estrogen balance.

There have been reports of liver toxicity and injury in some individuals. Speaking with your medical provider and ensuring you are selecting a quality source is important.

The takeaway: Black cohosh may offer relief from common low estrogen symptoms. Caution should be used when selecting this herb.


Phytoestrogens and isoflavones (which are related and found in over 300 plants) can mimic the effects of natural estrogen, helping to fill the gap caused by declining estrogen levels. These plant-derived compounds are found in soy, red clover, flax seeds, and other herbs and may have a mild estrogen-boosting effect.

In fact, supplements and products containing these two compounds are sometimes used as alternatives to hormone replacement therapy due to their ability to potentially benefit overall hormonal health. 

That said, while phytoestrogens can help with menopause symptom relief, they do not replace the benefits that HRT provides for brain, heart, and bone health. Always discuss with your doctor what is best for your health.

The takeaway: Phytoestrogen as part of a healthy diet may offer protective benefits when estrogen is low.

Soy Isoflavones

In the case of soy as part of a dietary strategy, they won't change low estrogen symptoms dramatically and it can take 3 months to feel the benefits.

In Asian populations, where soy is a normal part of their diet, we do see benefits of lowered risk for certain cancers. This includes foods like edamame, tofu, and tempeh.

However, it is unclear if soy isolates, processed soy foods (like fake meats), or soy supplements increase cancer risk. 

The takeaway: Eating whole soy foods (that is minimally processed) may offer benefits in postmenopausal women.

DIM (Diindolylmethane)

DIM is a compound derived from certain plants that supports estrogen metabolism by promoting the conversion of estradiol, the most potent form of estrogen, into less active metabolites.

It's helpful for maintaining a favorable estrogen profile as it can increase beneficial estrogen metabolites (2OHE1) and discourage the production of problematic estrogen metabolites (such as 16OHE1). In cases where estrogen imbalance is contributing to symptoms, including those experienced by women in perimenopause and menopause, supplementing with DIM can help.

If you're experiencing low estrogen symptoms, lower doses of DIM (50-100 mg/day) are more ideal as higher doses could lead to excess estrogen clearance. The ideal is to support the liver in creating more favorable estrogen metabolites.

DIM intake may be associated with a decreased risk of breast cancer by creating a more favorable 2-hydroxyestrone (2OHE1) to 16-hydroxyestrone (16OHE1) ratio. There have been several small trials showing beneficial estrogen outcomes in those who supplement with DIM. Human studies are limited at this time, which means we need more research to evaluate the full benefit DIM may have in cancer prevention.

The takeaway: DIM will not raise estrogen levels, but may help create more favorable estrogen metabolite profiles in balancing 2OHE1 and 16OHE1.

Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA)

DHEA is an abundant steroid hormone produced by the adrenal glands that is needed to make other hormones, including estrogen and testosterone. Research suggests DHEA supplements can help naturally increase estrogen levels.

DHEA can lead to symptoms of acne, hair loss, and symptoms of excess estrogen. It is commonly found over-the-counter, but can aggravate symptoms of hormone imbalance in some people.

The takeaway: While DHEA can help raise estrogen levels, it should not be used without consulting with a healthcare provider first to prevent side effects.


Magnesium plays a crucial role in hormone regulation, including estrogen metabolism. It also supports adrenal function and the HPA axis, which is essential for estrogen production, and helps modulate stress hormone levels, which can indirectly affect estrogen levels.

Consider taking magnesium glycinate (300 milligrams daily) to improve your magnesium levels, cope with stress better, sleep more soundly, and help ward off PMS and menopause symptoms. You'll find this form of magnesium in my Magnesium Plus formula, which is helpful for supporting hormonal pathways as well as a positive mood and sleep.

Magnesium deficiency and suboptimal levels of magnesium has been linked with anxiety and depression, which are two conditions that may be more pronounced in menopause.

Dietary sources of magnesium include nuts and seeds, as well as avocado. 

The takeaway: Magnesium can support brain, metabolic, bone, and mood health. It is an ideal nutrient to include in your diet and consider supplementing with.


Probiotics help to maintain a healthy gut microbiome, which is directly linked to hormone regulation. By supporting a healthy gut microbiome and estrobolome, probiotics may enhance the metabolism of estrogen precursors, leading to optimized estrogen levels and reduced menopausal symptoms.

Several strains of probiotics in particular, Lactobacillus bacteria, Lactobacillus reuteri, and Lactibacillus rhamnosus, seem to be especially helpful in protecting against the effects of low estrogen, including bone loss, leaky gut, and inflammation.

Estrogen and the microbiome are intimately tied. When estrogen declines, as is the case in postmenopausal women, microbial diversity can also decrease.

Additionally, probiotics have been shown to have other positive effects in estrogen-deficient women, including improvements in vascular function.

The takeaway: Probiotics may support microbial diversity in the gut and support menopausal symptoms and health.

Vitamin D

Healthy vitamin D levels are important for women at any age and can be especially helpful in post-menopausal women for mood and bone health support. 

Vitamin D deficiency is linked to several hormone imbalances, including estrogen and insulin. In addition, vitamin D is associated with improved quality of life in postmenopausal women due to it's association with lower osteoporosis, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, cancer, infections, and neurodegenerative disease risk.

When supplementing with vitamin D3, you always want to couple it with K2 to ensure calcium goes to the bones, rather than the blood vessels. Ideal supplementation depends on your current levels, with most people doing well with 1,000-2,000 IU daily. 

The takeaway: If your estrogen levels are low, you may be at increased risk for osteoporosis, insulin resistance, and other chronic conditions. Vitamin D3 with K2 may be a beneficial supplement to consider.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Estrogen is a key hormone in immune system regulation, joint health, and collagen production. When levels decline some people experience more inflammation, increased joint pain, and unfavorable changes in their skin.

Supplementing with omega-3 for menopause support offers anti-inflammatory benefits, along with mood and cardiovascular support.

Robust clinical trials are lacking with regards to the benefits of omega-3 for hot flashes, but some studies do suggest they may be beneficial in reducing night sweats.

Coupled with moderate exercise, omega-3 supplementation has been shown to have a positive effect on estrogen in postmenopausal women. 

Omega-3 fatty acids are found in fatty fish, chia seeds, flaxseeds, eggs, and walnuts.

When supplementing with omega-3, select ones that have undergone 3rd party screening and contain at least 750 mg of EPA.

Supporting Adrenal Production of Estrogen

The adrenal glands, located atop the kidneys, are responsible for producing hormones, including DHEA and cortisol, particularly during times of stress. Healthy adrenals also aid in maintaining normal energy, mood, focus, and libido.

As previously discussed, DHEA is a molecule the body can use to make estrogen and testosterone. By supporting adrenal function through stress management techniques, adequate sleep, and supplementation, you can indirectly help promote estrogen production.

Below are strategies that can help support the adrenals:

  • Reduce stress: A healthy lifestyle, routine, and consistency play a large role in adrenal health and the ability to cope with stressors. Make a point to fit in time for relaxation, whether by clearing some things from your schedule, trying meditation or mindfulness, exercising, or spending time outdoors in nature.
  • Get enough sleep: Carve out time to sleep for seven to nine hours per night, which is the amount most adults need for optimal health.
  • Adaptogens: Certain herbs can help your adrenals, including adaptogenic herbs that may help balance adrenal output.
  • B vitamins: B vitamins play an essential role in helping the adrenals respond to stress and produce hormones. If the body does not have enough B vitamins, the adrenals cannot perform at maximum capacity. B-Active Plus is a full-spectrum B vitamin complex that can help you get the range of B vitamins that may be missing in your diet.
  • Bioidentical hormones: Some people can benefit from prescription hormone replacements in addition to taking the steps above.

Related: Reduce Your Stress Today for Better Hormones.

Consider Taking Adrenal Support

My Adrenal Support formula may help boost your ability to cope with stress as it contains adaptogens like ashwagandha, holy basil, and Rhodiola, all of which support a healthy stress response.

In addition to adaptogenic herbs, it provides B vitamins and vitamin C to support adrenal, hypothalamic, and pituitary (HPA axis) function, which controls hormone output.

Estrogen's Connection to Gut Health

Gut health plays a significant role in estrogen metabolism and excretion. In fact, your gut is the largest endocrine (hormone-producing) organ in your body, responsible for making more than 50 hormones.

The gut microbiome, including the estrobolome — a collection of bacteria involved in estrogen metabolism — helps to regulate estrogen levels by optimizing estrogen metabolism and reducing dysbiosis (imbalanced gut flora that can disrupt hormone production).

Your gut also houses roughly 70 to 80% of your immune system, and an unhealthy gut can be a source of inflammation that leads to HPA dysregulation, which interferes with hormone production.

Related: Gut Health and Hormones: Why is a Healthy Gut Microbiome Important for Hormone Balance

Importance of the Estrobolome

The estrobolome is the part of the gut microbiome that's involved in estrogen metabolism.

Various bacteria produce an enzyme called beta-glucuronidase, which regulates estrogen levels. This enzyme changes the structure of estrogen, allowing it to be reabsorbed into the body.

An impaired estrobolome can lead to low estrogen symptoms or high estrogen (estrogen dominance, which is also problematic), as well as low estrogen. It all depends on the amount of beta-glucuronidase activity, which is why balance of gut health is key. 

The factors below can all negatively impact the estrobolome; therefore, it's important to get them under control to return estrogen levels to within the normal range:

  • Antibiotic use
  • Lack of exercise
  • Chronic stress
  • Drinking too much alcohol
  • Not including enough diversity of food and plants
  • Smoking
  • Poor sleep
  • NSAID and other medications
  • Lack of dietary prebiotics
  • Use of birth control pills
  • A diet heavy in ultra-processed foods

How to Support Your Gut and Estrobolome

Implement these diet and lifestyle changes to assist in a healthy microbiome and estrobolome:

  • Eat an anti-inflammatory diet: Focus on fiber-rich foods (at least 25 grams per day), healthy fats like fish, olive oil, seeds, and nuts, and lean proteins. You can grab my free recipe guide here to get started.
  • Stay hydrated: Drink lots of water and avoid too much alcohol and stimulants.
  • Exercise moderately: Exercise can help fight inflammation and the effects of stress. However, it's important not to overdo it or push too hard. Aim for moderate or gentle movements like walking, yoga, and strength training if you're experiencing low estrogen.
  • Probiotic supplementation: Probiotics are the beneficial bacteria that inhabit the gut and support the growth and diversity of beneficial organisms that are key regulators in hormone health. The best probiotic for gut and hormone health should provide organisms (like helpful bacteria and prebiotics) specific to women's needs, which you'll find in my Women’s Probiotic.

Supplement with Estrogen: Considerations for Hormone Replacement Therapy

Leading up to menopause, estrogen levels naturally decline as ovarian function diminishes. As mentioned above, this hormonal shift can lead to a range of symptoms, including hot flashes, brain fog, and night sweats, which might become noticeable as early as a woman's late 30s or early 40s.

While many women may find relief from menopause symptoms through lifestyle modifications and natural supplements, others may require hormone replacement therapy (HRT) to supplement estrogen levels. HRT is a medical intervention that requires guidance from a healthcare provider in order to ensure it will be safe and beneficial. It can be effective when used properly to help ease the transition and alleviate some of the symptoms of menopause.

Women under the age of 35 who have low estrogen but aren’t in perimenopause or menopause yet may also be prescribed HRT to supplement estrogen and prevent common health risks associated with low estrogen, like cardiovascular disease, bone loss, dementia, and bone fractures.

Recent research suggests that supplementing with estrogen HRT earlier in postmenopause (close to the onset of menopause and prior to age 60) may confer more benefit than starting it at a later time. Those who begin supplementing with estrogen earlier may benefit from reduced risk of cardiovascular disease, cognitive decline, and bone loss.

However, HRT should always be individualized to each woman's needs, taking into account her medical history, risk factors, and preferences. To see if it's right for you, discuss estrogen replacement therapy with your provider.

Try Supplementing with Balance — Women's Hormone Support

For help naturally supporting hormonal production and balance, including during perimenopause and menopause, my Balance supplement can be beneficial, as it may help manage symptoms of low estrogen. It contains a blend of herbs, vitamins, minerals, and natural ingredients designed to support hormonal equilibrium.

Balance includes the herb chaste tree berry that helps to mimic estrogen's beneficial effects.

Additionally, it includes vitamins B6, B12, folate, calcium, and magnesium to further support healthy hormone production and other concerns during menopause, such as loss of bone density.

Furthermore, sulforaphane, myrosinase, and DIM provide a trifecta to support optimal estrogen metabolism. The combination of these three ingredients aids the liver in producing the most beneficial estrogen metabolites, making it an ideal formulation for those in the transition into menopause and those who choose hormone therapy.

Key Takeaways on Estrogen Supplements

Certain estrogen supplements can be valuable tools for increasing estrogen levels naturally and supporting overall hormonal balance. By incorporating targeted supplements, supporting adrenal function, and nurturing gut health, women can optimize estrogen levels and alleviate symptoms associated with hormonal imbalances. As always, it's essential to consult with a healthcare provider before starting any new supplement regimen, especially if you're considering hormone replacement therapy.

Do you regularly struggle with period problems? Check out this Period Solutions guide to help achieve your goal of easier periods and balanced hormones.

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About The Author

Dr. Jolene Brighten

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Dr. Jolene Brighten, NMD, is a women’s hormone expert and prominent leader in women’s medicine. As a licensed naturopathic physician who is board certified in naturopathic endocrinology, she takes an integrative approach in her clinical practice. A fierce patient advocate and completely dedicated to uncovering the root cause of hormonal imbalances, Dr. Brighten empowers women worldwide to take control of their health and their hormones. She is the best selling author of Beyond the Pill and Healing Your Body Naturally After Childbirth. Dr. Brighten is an international speaker, clinical educator, medical advisor within the tech community, and considered a leading authority on women’s health. She is a member of the MindBodyGreen Collective and a faculty member for the American Academy of Anti Aging Medicine. Her work has been featured in the New York Post, Forbes, Cosmopolitan, Huffington Post, Bustle, The Guardian, Sports Illustrated, Elle, and ABC News. Read more about me here.