What Foods Can Hasten, or Delay, Menopause?


Including refined carbohydrates like rice and white pasta in your diet may advance the start of menopause by nearly one-and-a-half years, a study has warned. A diet rich in legumes (think peas and beans) also was associated with a later onset, though to a lesser degree than oily fish.

In contrast, each additional serving of refined carbs was associated with a year-and-a-half earlier menopause.

Past research shows early menopause increases the risk of osteoporosis and cardiovascular disease.

Lead author Yashvee Dunneram, of the School of Food Science and Nutrition, said: "This study is the first to investigate the links between individual nutrients and a wide variety of food groups and age at natural menopause in a large cohort of British women".

As such, we can not really recommend women to consume these specific foods to influence their onset of natural menopause. Oily fish have been linked to a three-year delay in menopause in a new study. The results were revealed Monday in a study published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health.

Researchers from the University of Leeds used data from 14,000 women in the United Kingdom and a follow-up survey four years later.

It found that more than 900 women between the ages of 40 and 65 had experienced a natural start to the menopause by that time.

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But scientists found diets could determine its timing and that it could have "serious health implications for some women".

The women provided information on potentially influential factors such as weight history, physical activity levels, and reproductive history.

The study involved 914 women in the UK. For example, a woman who routinely eats two portions of fish per day will experience menopause on average three years later than a woman who only eats one portion per day. Additionally, a higher daily consumption of vitamin B-6 and zinc was also associated with later menopause.

The maturation of eggs and their release, says the team, are affected negatively by reactive oxygen species. "I am not yet convinced that diet alone can account for the age of the onset of the menopause", she said in a statement.

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.

According to Medical News Today, types of oily fish include salmon, trout, mackerel, tuna, and sardines, among others, and they note that oily fish has the benefit of being rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which is good for your heart. It is tempting to speculate that this provides a recipe for delaying menopause.

They stressed though that the findings were taken from an observational study, and as such, more research is needed to see if food does definitely cause changes to a woman's menstrual cycle.