News flash – go vegan to combat menopause

| 5 February 2024
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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.

About the author
Dr. Justine Butler
I joined Viva! as a health campaigner in 2005 after graduating from Bristol University with a PhD in molecular biology. My scientific training helped me research and write numerous reports, guides and fact sheets for Viva! including Meat the Truth, Fish-Free for Life, One in Nine (breast cancer and diet) and the substantial report on the detrimental health effects of consuming dairy; White Lies. This accompanied Viva!’s report The Dark Side of Dairy which spelt out the inherent cruelty of dairy farming. We were the first UK group to take on the dairy industry in this way, and many of our supporters go vegan after reading these reports.

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