Menopause shake that claims to banish your hormonal blues …created by a woman who used it to cure her own
- Rebekah Brown began going through the perimenopause in 2019, then aged 46
- The mother-of-three began blending ingredients to help with hormone balance
- She debuted MPowder containing key midlife nutrients after lockdown last year
During their 16 years of marriage, dinner with her husband on Valentine’s Day had always been an immovable fixture in Rebekah Brown’s diary.
However busy their life with three teenage children, full-time jobs and ageing parents became, this one date night was sacrosanct. But in 2019, Rebekah, then 46, a successful advertising planner, found she simply couldn’t face it.
‘I had no conversation to offer, my face had broken out in awful spots, I felt bloated and none of my clothes fitted,’ she says. ‘I felt so unattractive and joyless, like a walking black cloud.’
What Rebekah didn’t know was that she was going through the perimenopause — the period leading up to menopause that can last several years. It’s a little understood time when our fertility hormones gradually dial down and psychological symptoms such as anxiety, irritability, loss of confidence and exhaustion can ramp up.
Rebekah Brown (pictured) created MPowder after blending foods to help with hormone balance, when she went through perimenopause
These are often mistakenly written off as the pressures of midlife or the assumption we’re simply ‘getting on a bit’.
Eventually, a friend suggested she might be going through perimenopause. Rebekah went to her doctor, only to be told she was too young to be ‘menopausal’ (the word perimenopause wasn’t even mentioned).
‘Like 75 per cent of women in the UK who go to the doctor with symptoms, I was turned away because I was too young to be “menopausal”,’ she says.
So she found herself in the supplement aisle of a health food store, looking for anything that might make her feel better. ‘I went to the menopause section and it felt like the end-of-life aisle,’ she says.
She started to research foods known to help with hormone balance, such as soy and cruciferous veg.
But getting medicinal doses of hormone-balancing nutrients on to her plate to make a real difference was unrealistic, not to mention unpalatable — how much flaxseed and kale can one person eat? So she bought a dehydrator and began blending the foods into a powder to mix with water. It was fine, except the result tasted like old socks.
‘Despite the taste, I started to feel better, my energy levels returned, the bone ache went, my sleep improved and my skin cleared up,’ she says. ‘An important part of the puzzle was looking after myself better. I opted for a more plant-based diet and I took up yoga.’ To overcome the taste issue, she enlisted a nutritional flavour expert, and a naturopath advised her to make sure her blend was safe.
Rebekah (pictured) is set to debut a menopause blend next year in addition to a post-menopausal blend
MPowder is the result. It was launched just after lockdown in September last year with its first product a Peri-Boost powder for women in perimenopause. It is made of 24 ingredients that have 100 per cent of the recommended daily dose of many key midlife nutrients such as magnesium, vitamin D3 and vitamins A, B, C and E and iodine.
Thanks to the cacao, it’s surprisingly tasty. I happily drank my daily three tablespoons just with water. I’m a few years into my perimenopause journey and take a whole host of supplements already — along with daily yoga and HRT — so it’s hard to know what difference this made to me.
I do think I’d have been glad of it in my mid-40s, however, when I felt exhausted and overwhelmed with no idea why.
A menopause blend is set to follow next year and post-menopause blend after that. After testing the new blend on herself, Rebekah recruited 40 perimenopausal women via Instagram to take one scoop of the powder every day for eight weeks to see whether it had any effect on their symptoms. They completed a widely used psychometric test, the Menopause-Specific Quality of Life Survey (MENQOL), to find the most common symptoms.
MPowder (pictured) has racked up glowing testimonial online, after being used by women experiencing anxiety, weight concern and aching joints or bones
None reported ‘classic’ menopausal symptoms such hot flushes or vaginal dryness. The most common were anxiety, weight concern, aching joints or bones, bloating, changes in skin, hair and nails, feeling worn out and difficulty sleeping.
At the end of the trial, in which they also received lifestyle therapies such as yoga, 70 per cent noticed an improvement in their skin, 60 per cent said their muscles and joints ached less and more than half said they were not as concerned with their weight. Eighty-nine per cent of them reported improvements across all symptoms.
There are glowing testimonials online, but what does menopause doctor Louise Newson think? ‘If you want to improve your symptoms short-term [supplements] are fine but you’ve got to remember there are health risks for the menopause — heart disease, osteoporosis . . .’ You can’t replace your hormones naturally. Supplements shouldn’t be considered an alternative to HRT (hormone replacement therapy), she stresses.
Rebekah adds: ‘We’re not looking to compete with HRT but to provide the nutritional support that HRT doesn’t.’
Her Valentine’s Day dinner this year couldn’t have been more different. ‘I felt much better. I’d got my spark back.’
Peri-Boost costs £69 for a 30-day supply, mpowder.store.
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