Women's diets 'can affect age of menopause onset'

Kenny Tucker
May 2, 2018

Natural menopause was delayed by 3.3 years per portion/day among those with a high intake of oily fish and delayed by 0.9 years per portion/day among those with a high intake of fresh legumes.

The study showed those who go through the menopause earlier were more prone to developing osteoporosis and heart disease, while those who do so later than usual were more likely to develop ovarian, womb and breast cancers.

Study co-author Janet Cade, Professor at the University of Leeds, said, "The age at which menopause begins can have serious health implications for some women". "But there are fewer studies that look at the impact of diet", said study lead author Yashvee Dunneram, a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Leeds in Britain.

As such, we can not really recommend women to consume these specific foods to influence their onset of natural menopause.

But those having a daily serving of oily fish such as salmon, mackerel and sardines typically experienced it three years later.

The researchers found that the average age of menopause was 51 but that there were trends in timing that were associated with certain foods. The results were revealed Monday in a study published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health.

The research, published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, drew on data from women in the United Kingdom over a period of four years.

Out of the whole group, about 900 women between the ages of 40 and 65 had experienced the start of their menopause by the time of the follow up.

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The women provided information on potentially influential factors such as weight history, physical activity levels, and reproductive history. Studies have shown that the need for hormone therapy came the later, the more menu women had fish and legumes.

A diet high in carbs could bring on an earlier menopause, a study suggests.

According to the study's discussion, fresh legumes and oily fish are good sources of antioxidants, which could partly explain the association, as egg maturation and release are harmed by chemicals containing oxygen.

Refined carbohydrates were found to increase the risk of insulin resistance which could interfere with sex hormones and boost oestrogen levels, increasing the possibility for an earlier menopause.

Similarly, omega-3 fatty acids found in oily fish, also stimulate antioxidant capacity in the body.

"Our findings confirm that diet may be associated with the age at natural menopause". "There are too many other factors involved".

Scientists have described how women can delay the arrival of menopause.

'Unfortunately, a big limitation of these observational studies, is their inability to prove that dietary behaviour actually causes early menopause'. "Until we have that type of proof, I see no reason for people to change their diet".

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