Your diet can influence the age of your menopause

By  ,  Onlymyhealth editorial team
May 03, 2018
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Quick Bites

  • Eating lots of carbohydrates may advance the start of menopause by one-and-a-half years
  • Eating a healthy diet including fresh legumes, peas and oily fish can help delay menopause
  • The age at which menopause begins could lead to some serious health problems in women

Do you eat too many carbohydrates? You might want to rethink about consuming too many carbs, especially pasta and rice. A new study has discovered that eating lots of carbohydrates may advance the start of menopause by one-and-a-half years. 

However, the study also found eating a healthy diet including fresh legumes, peas and oily fish can help delay menopause.

The study conducted by the University of Leeds, UK examined the relationship between diet and the onset of menopause. The lead author of the study, Yashvee Dunneram said, “There are a number of causes that have been considered for the relationship between age and start of menopause, such as genetic factors of behavioural and environmental exposures. But there are fewer studies that look at the impact of diet.”

For the study, the team examined data of 14,172 women between the age of 40 and 60. A detailed questionnaire and survey were collected that contained information on diet, reproductive history and health. 

A follow-up was conducted after 4 years in which researchers assessed the dietary patterns of the women who had started natural menopause since the initial collection of information.

According to a BBC report, the study is observational and cannot prove any cause, but the researchers have offered some explanation to support the study.

For example, Legumes and omega-3 fatty acids (present in oily fish) contain antioxidants, which help preserve menstruation for longer. Carbohydrates, on the other hand, boost oestrogen levels and interfere with sex hormone activity by increasing the risk of insulin resistance. 

The age at which menopause begins could lead to some serious health problems in women, said study’s co-author, Jade Cade, professor of nutritional epidemiology.

“A clear understanding of how diet affects the start of natural menopause will be very beneficial to those who may already be at risk or have a family history of certain complications related to menopause,” said Cade.

The findings were published in the BMJ Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health.

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