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Veganism combats hot flushes during the menopause.

Veganism combats hot flushes during the menopause.

Scientific research shows the benefits of a change in eating habits, including a switch to a plant-based diet, for the onset of hot flushes associated with the menopause. Find out in this article how veganism puts an end to them!

Veganism as effective as hormone replacement therapy

Eat no animal products, plenty of fruit and vegetables and one portion of soya a day. Adopting this type of diet is almost as effective as hormone replacement therapy (HRT) in reducing hot flushes during the menopause, according to new scientific research published in Menopause. At least that’s what the authors of the study wrote in a press release. The study compared the 88% measured efficacy of such a diet with the 70-90% efficacy of HRT.

Carried out in 84 postmenopausal women suffering from at least two episodes of hot flushes per day, the study found that the adoption of a low-fat, vegan diet, including the equivalent of half a cup of cooked soy per day (86g), led to an 88% reduction in moderate to severe hot flushes. The women who followed this diet also lost an average of 8 pounds, or 3.6 kg, in twelve weeks.

The participants were randomly assigned to one of two groups: either to the intervention group, adopting the above-mentioned diet, or to the control group, which made no dietary changes. The experiment was carried out over twelve weeks, during which time the participants recorded the intensity and frequency of their hot flashes via a mobile application.

Better sleep, better quality of life

Hot flushes cause ‘recurrent discomfort’, sleep disturbance and impair women’s quality of life, the researchers point out, and they have identified the effect of diet on this menopausal symptom. Because heat waves are less frequent and less intense where grains, vegetables, legumes and other plant foods are prioritised, such as in Japan, China or rural Mexico. 

In addition, the data show that postmenopausal women experience hot flashes 15-40% of the time, as the diet of Japanese women changed between 1980 and 2000. more westernised over the years. 

“We still don’t understand why this combination works, but it seems that all three elements are necessary: avoiding animal products, reducing fat and increasing soy,” explained study co-author Dr Neal Barnard. professor, George Washington University School of Medicine, US.

“Our results reflect diets in other parts of the world, such as pre-Western Japan and modern Yucatan (Mexico), where a low-fat plant-based diet, including soy, is more common and menopausal women have fewer symptoms,” he added in a statement. 

Based on these results, the researchers believe that dietary modification should be considered as a “first-line therapy” in the treatment of hot flushes and night sweats, which they group under the term “difficult vasomotor symptoms”.

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