An Australian study followed 6,040 menopausal women over a period of 9 years, evaluating the relationship between dietary patterns and menopausal hot flashes and night sweats (vasomotor menopausal symptoms). The study found that women who ate more fruit and followed a Mediterranean-style diet had about 20% fewer symptoms, while women who ate a diet high in fat and sugar, had 23% more symptoms. If dietary patterns are proven to be a risk factor in menopausal wellbeing, then certain lifestyle choices may help women prevent and control menopausal symptoms by themselves.
Five women scientists from the University of Queensland studied the group of women, born between 1946 and 1951, who were part of the Australian Longitudinal Study on Women’s Health. The initial data was taken in 2001 and then every 3 years over the 9 year period.
The researchers concluded: “Consumption of a fruit or Mediterranean-style diet decreased the risk of reporting VMSs (vasomotor menopausal symptoms), whereas consumption of a high-fat and -sugar diet increased the risk of VMSs. These results may eventually lead to a basis for the development of dietary preventive measures for VMSs.” The study is reported in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.