Eating large amounts of carbohydrates can approach the menopause

Eating large amounts of carbohydrates can approach the menopause

Eating large amounts of carbohydrates can approach the menopause

Previous studies have suggested that earlier onset of menopause is associated with lower bone density, osteoporosis and increased risk of cardiovascular diseases, while later menopause has been associated with a higher risk for breast, ovarian and endometrial cancers.

Given these health effects, knowing which factors influence the onset of menopause is important.

"This study doesn't prove a link with the foods mentioned, but certainly contributes to the limited knowledge we now have on why some women go through menopause earlier than others", a nurse who serves as chairwoman of the British Menopause Society tells the BBC.

Meanwhile, including an extra portion of oily fish such as mackerel or salmon was associated with a delay of more than three years. A diet rich in legumes (think peas and beans) also was associated with a later onset, though to a lesser degree than oily fish.

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

The research is published online in the Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health.

Experts caution that women shouldn't rush to change their diets as the result of this particular study.

The study of women from England, Scotland, and Wales, which is the first of its kind in the United Kingdom, found the average age of menopause to be 51 and certain foods seemed to be associated with its timing.

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. A higher intake of vitamin B6 and zinc was also associated with later age at menopause (0.6 years per mg/day and 0.3 years mg/day, respectively).

Among women who had not had any children, a higher intake of grapes and poultry was linked with later menopause. "I am not yet convinced that diet alone can account for the age of the onset of the menopause", she said in a statement. "This may be relevant at a public health level since age at natural menopause may have implications on future health outcomes", they wrote. Professor Saffron Whitehead of St George's University of London, told Science Media Centre that readers should know that the study is "simply observational". However, the scientists speculate on some potential mechanisms behind the associations that they found.

Similarly, omega-3 fatty acids found in oily fish, also stimulate antioxidant capacity in the body. Researchers said the antioxidants found in legumes might affect the maturation and release of eggs, helping to preserve menstruation for longer.

Women who ate lots of vegetables such as green beans and peas went through the menopause around a year later than those who did not eat them. This can interfere with the activity of sex hormones and boosting oestrogen levels, leading to quicker depletion of egg supply, the researchers said.

Related news