How does nutrition affect menopause?
The so-called menopause includes the gradual absence of menstruation in older women. However, exactly this menopause can be a very difficult time for many sufferers. For some women, menopause can even have serious health consequences. These women could now benefit from the results of a recent study. The researchers found that diet affects the timing of menopause.
The University of Leeds scientists found in their current study that women's diet can affect the timing of menopause. The doctors published the results of their current study in the English-language journal "Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health".
What foods affect menopause?
For their study, the experts analyzed the data from more than 14,150 women in the United States. They found that certain foods can delay the onset of menopause. The research team associated the consumption of fatty fish with a three-year delay in menopause. Legumes, including peas and green beans, have also been associated with a delay in menopause. A diet high in carbohydrates (like refined pasta and rice), on the other hand, led to menopause starting about a year and a half earlier than the average.
Subjects had to take part in various surveys
For the study, the researchers used an average age of 51 for the start of menopause in women as a yardstick. In the United States, the National Institute on Aging states that menopause usually begins between the ages of 45 and 55 and lasts for about seven years. At the beginning of the study, the participants underwent a survey on reproductive history, health and nutrition. A follow-up survey then took place four years later. During this period, natural menopause began in more than 900 women between the ages of 40 and 65.
Some women will benefit from the results
The results of the current study could affect women at risk of particularly difficult menopause, explains Professor Janet Cade from the University of Leeds. A clear understanding of how diet affects the onset of natural menopause will be very beneficial for women who have an increased risk of premature menopause or a family history of certain menopause complications, the expert added.
What do vegetable proteins do in food?
This research is contributing to a growing body of evidence suggesting that foods can have an impact on the time of menopause. For example, a 2017 U.S. study linked foods that were high in plant proteins - including whole grains, soy, and tofu - with a lower risk of early menopause.
The influence of diet was examined particularly closely
There are a number of causes that have been considered for the relationship between age and onset of menopause, such as genetic factors or behavioral and environmental pressures. Unfortunately, there are only a few studies that look at the influence of nutrition, explains study author Yashvee Dunneram from the University of Leeds. The research team also considered factors such as weight and the use of hormone replacement therapies in the study, but no genetic factors were considered. (as)