A study from the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine gave 84 postmenopausal women experiencing hot flushes, either a low-fat vegan diet including half a cup of soya beans a day or, their normal diet for 12 weeks. In the vegan group, the frequency of hot flushes was reduced by 88 per cent with half experiencing none at all.
“We do not fully understand yet why this combination works,” said Neal Barnard, adjunct professor at the George Washington University School of Medicine and lead researcher on the study, in a statement. “But it seems that these three elements are key – avoiding animal products, reducing fat, and adding a serving of soybeans.”
A second study from the same group found that the low-fat vegan diet was associated with significant changes in the gut microbiome that was linked to the reduction in severe hot flushes.
Barnard ND, Kahleova H, Holtz DN et al. 2023. A dietary intervention for vasomotor symptoms of menopause: a randomized, controlled trial. Menopause. 30 (1) 80-87.
Kahleova H, Holtz DN, Strom N et al. 2023. A dietary intervention for postmenopausal hot flashes: a potential role of gut microbiome. An exploratory analysis. Complementary Therapies in Medicine. 79:103002.