Ways To Balance Hormones Through Diet & Supplements

February 13, 2024

By Genester Wilson-King, MD FACOG

Over the past 30 years, the conversation around hormone therapy has become more popular. People of all genders are seeking ways to manage their hormones naturally. While hormone replacement therapy and bioidentical hormone therapy can offer several benefits, they may not be suitable for everyone due to potential adverse effects or personal preferences. Some may choose to manage their hormone levels through diet, exercise, and lifestyle changes. This post will explore alternative natural approaches to hormone regulation specifically relating to diet and supplements.

A balanced, healthy diet influences various hormonal processes that impact mood, ovulation, sexual desire, and fertility. Diets that lead to obesity, inflammation, and food sensitivities contribute to hormonal imbalances.1 Nutritional interventions, such as those outlined below, can support hormone production and homeostasis. It’s important to note that the scientific research on natural approaches to hormone management is ongoing, and individual responses to these methods can vary. And now let’s get into the details.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Omega-3 fatty acids are found in fatty fish like salmon, mackerel, and sardines, as well as chia seeds, flaxseeds, and walnuts. Vegan supplement sources include algal oil that has DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) and DPA (docosapentaenoic acid). Omega-3s have anti-inflammatory properties that can help reduce symptoms associated with hormone imbalances, such as dysmenorrhea, menstrual cramps, and hot flashes. Omega-3s also improve insulin sensitivity, which is particularly helpful for individuals with conditions like Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS).2

A comprehensive review on alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), a type of Omega-3 fatty acid, discussed its role in regulating blood pressure, improving neurological disorders, and balancing levels of sex hormones in women with PCOS and other conditions. The review highlights ALA’s potential anti-inflammatory properties and its ability to impact hormone levels, especially in post-menopausal individuals or those with metabolic disorders.3 As a general disclaimer with any supplement, make sure the dosage is correct to avoid taking too much or more than what is necessary for your situation.

Healthy Fats

Healthy fats play a vital role in hormone metabolism. They are involved in the synthesis and regulation of estrogen and progesterone. Sources of healthy fats in your diet, such as avocados and olive oil, can contribute to hormone balance.2 A 2006 study looked at adiponectin, a fat-derived hormone. This research suggests that dietary fats might influence the bioavailability and biological activities of adiponectin and leptin, which in turn may impact energy balance and metabolic health.4 A study in 2020 on women with PCOS demonstrated that dietary fat intake can influence serum leptin and ghrelin levels, which play crucial roles in appetite regulation and energy balance.5


Dietary fibers play an important role in hormone regulation, with potential implications for appetite control, metabolic health, and obesity management. Getting enough fiber is particularly beneficial for estrogen levels. Flaxseeds, high in fiber and Omega-3s, also contain phytoestrogens, which can support the effects of estrogen in the body. Whole grains, fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts, and seeds are also good sources of fiber.6

A few studies have examined the effects of total dietary fiber, insoluble and soluble fiber on estrogen (and other substances) levels. Soluble fiber is found in oats, peas, beans, apples, citrus fruit, carrots, and psyllium. For example, a 2021 study found there was a trend that the more soluble fiber leads to lower estrogen levels. Soluble fiber dissolves in water and becomes a gel-like material gathering up hormones as it makes its way through the gastrointestinal tract.7 In general, getting enough fiber is beneficial for both healthy digestion and maintaining hormone homeostasis.

Vitamin B6

Vitamin B6 is present in chickpeas, poultry, fish, potatoes, and bananas. Vitamin B6 has a role in hormone regulation and potential therapeutic implications for infertility, diabetes, and chronic inflammation. Vitamin B6 has the potential to raise progesterone levels while reducing estrogen levels, offering potential benefits for addressing estrogen dominance both during the premenstrual phase and in perimenopause and menopause. In certain scenarios, the use of vitamin B6 supplements has been based solely on empirical evidence. In some instances, there is a valid physiological or metabolic basis to suggest that doses of this vitamin above the average daily requirements may provide therapeutic benefits. Nevertheless, there is scant evidence of efficacy from well-designed controlled trials. Despite this, numerous anecdotal accounts report that people have had relief from symptoms while using B6 supplements.8

A 2020 study on infertile men demonstrated that antioxidant treatment, which included vitamin B6, improved serum gonadal hormones. This suggests that vitamin B6 and other antioxidants can positively affect male reproductive health by reducing oxidative stress and improving hormonal balance.9 Another study looked at vitamin B6 levels during the menstrual cycle and pregnancy. It showed significant fluctuations in homocysteine and other metabolites related to vitamin B6 activity. This investigation showcases the importance of vitamin B6 in supporting physiological changes during these times.10

Vitamin D

Vitamin D plays a crucial role in controlling the production and action of estrogen and progesterone. This vitamin is obtained from fatty fish, fortified dairy products, egg yolks, and sunlight exposure. An estimated 42% of Americans are vitamin D deficient.11 Vitamin D’s interaction with thyroid and parathyroid hormones is crucial for maintaining mineral homeostasis. A 2020 review emphasizes vitamin D’s role in stimulating or inhibiting hormone synthesis and release. This investigation highlights Vitamin D’s significance in physiological and pathological conditions related to hormone regulation.12


Zinc has been shown to regulate hormones which emphasizes its importance in reproductive health, neurological function, and endocrine system balance. It plays a role in the creation of growth hormone and its receptors. Zinc is also involved in the regulation of insulin. It is present in foods like oysters, beef, pumpkin seeds, cashews, and chickpeas.13 Research has revealed that zinc depletion inhibited the synthesis and secretion of thyroglobulin, a precursor of thyroid hormones. This indicates the critical role of zinc in thyroid hormone production.14


Leafy green vegetables, nuts, seeds, and whole grains are all rich sources of magnesium. This mineral can alleviate insomnia associated with perimenopause and menopause. It also has a calming effect, which may help with anxiety and aid in overall relaxation.15 Magnesium plays a crucial role in bone health and calcium, vitamin D, and parathyroid hormone functions. It boosts calcium absorption and is essential for the normal secretion of parathyroid hormone. Magnesium’s regulatory functions highlight its significance in bone homeostasis and mineral metabolism.16

Antioxidants and Polyphenols

Antioxidants and polyphenols are crucial for regulating cortisol levels. They are found in berries, dark chocolate, pecans, artichokes, and various fruits, vegetables, teas, and spices. Elevated cortisol levels are often observed in perimenopause and menopause.17

A 2021 study found that blueberries improved postprandial glucose management and insulin levels in sedentary people. This suggests that the polyphenols in blueberries can regulate insulin and help manage glucose.18 Other research found that dietary flavonoids, a family of natural polyphenols, can interfere with androgen synthesis and metabolism. This in turn may potentially regulate androgen levels and improve symptoms in people with an excess of this hormone.19


Maintaining a balanced diet rich in vitamins and supplements may help support general well-being and alleviate associated symptoms of hormone-related conditions. However, it’s essential to remember that no single nutrient or vitamin can guarantee hormone balance on its own. Always consult with a healthcare professional, especially if you have underlying health issues or are taking medications. This will help ensure a personalized, safe approach to hormone regulation.


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  18. Palma et al. (2021). Acute Consumption of Blueberries and Short-Term Blueberry Supplementation Improve Glucose Management and Insulin Levels in Sedentary Subjects. Journal of Nutrition and Metabolism, 28(6), 789-801.
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