Eating a vegan, plant-based diet “may be helpful for women in menopausal transition”, according to a study published in the journal Maturitas and published online by the U.S. National Institute of Health
“Lifestyle modifications that may reduce menopausal symptoms have generated much interest”, begins the study’s abstract. “The vegetarian diet has been associated with a lower risk of chronic disease as well as a more healthy hormonal milieu. Our objective in this cross-sectional study was to survey peri- and postmenopausal women to investigate menopausal symptoms and dietary pattern.”
For the study, researchers “investigated vasomotor and physical symptoms as measured by the Menopause-specific Quality of Life Questionnaire (MENQOL) and dietary pattern classified by animal protein intakes reported in response to food frequency questions.” Survey distribution “was aimed at female vegans, vegetarians, and omnivores between the ages of 45 and 80 years, who were active on senior and vegetarian social networking websites and at vegan restaurants and events.”
Out of 754 participants who completed the survey, “604 reported they were perimenopausal or postmenopausal, of whom 539 also completed the food frequency questions.” Researchers “compared vasomotor and physical symptoms in omnivores (consumed meat and/or poultry at least monthly) and vegans (abstained from all animal proteins) using general linear models; covariates included age, exercise, hormone replacement therapy, presence of reproductive organs, and age at menopause.” Among perimenopausal women, “vegans reported less bothersome vasomotor and physical symptoms than omnivores. For both symptom types, more vegetables and less flesh food were associated with less bothersome symptoms.”
The study concluded by stating that “Eating a plant-based diet may be helpful for women in menopausal transition who prefer a natural means to manage their symptoms.”
For more information on this study, conducted by researchers at Benedictine University in Illinois and Fairleigh Dickinson University in New Jersey, can be found by clicking here.