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Dietary Intervention Cuts Menopause Symptoms

Findings seen with plant-based, low-fat diet with daily half cup of soybeans

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 26, 2022 (HealthDay News) — A plant-based, low-fat diet with daily soybeans significantly reduces the frequency and severity of postmenopausal hot flashes and associated symptoms, according to a study published online Oct. 18 in Menopause.

Neal D. Barnard, M.D., from the George Washington University School of Medicine & Health Sciences in Washington, D.C., and colleagues tested the effects of a dietary intervention on vasomotor symptoms and menopause-related quality of life. The analysis included 84 postmenopausal women reporting at least two moderate-to-severe hot flashes daily who were randomly assigned to an intervention of a low-fat, vegan diet and cooked soybeans (one half cup daily) or to a control group.

The researchers found that in the intervention group, moderate-to-severe hot flashes decreased by 88 percent versus 34 percent for the control group. Half of completers in the intervention group reported no moderate-to-severe hot flashes at 12 weeks, while among controls, there was no change from baseline. The intervention group also reported significant reductions in the Menopause-Specific Quality of Life questionnaire vasomotor, physical, and sexual domains.

“Our results mirror the diets of places in the world, like pre-Westernized Japan and modern-day Yucatán Peninsula, where a low-fat, plant-based diet including soybeans is more prevalent and where postmenopausal women experience fewer symptoms,” Barnard said in a statement.

Two authors disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry.

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