Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Weight loss resulting from a low-fat diet may help eliminate menopausal symptoms

Date:
July 11, 2012
Source:
Kaiser Permanente
Summary:
Weight loss that occurs in conjunction with a low-fat, high fruit and vegetable diet may help to reduce or eliminate hot flashes and night sweats associated with menopause, according to a new study.

Weight loss that occurs in conjunction with a low-fat, high fruit and vegetable diet may help to reduce or eliminate hot flashes and night sweats associated with menopause, according to a Kaiser Permanente Division of Research study that appears in the current issue of Menopause.

This Women's Health Initiative study of 17,473 women found that women on a diet low in fat and high in whole grains, fruit and vegetables, who had menopausal symptoms, who were not taking hormone replacement therapy, and who lost weight (10 or more pounds or 10 or more percent of their baseline body weight), were more likely to reduce or eliminate hot flashes and night sweats after one year, compared to those in a control group who maintained their weight.

Many women experience hot flashes at some point before or after menopause, when their estrogen levels are declining, explain the researchers.

"While the mechanism is not completely understood, hot flashes and night sweats are thought to be caused by a complex interaction that involves fluctuating hormone levels, the hypothalamus region of the brain that regulates body temperature, brain chemicals and receptors, and the body's blood vessels and sweat glands," said Candyce Kroenke, ScD, MPH, a research scientist with the Kaiser Permanente Northern California Division of Research and lead author of the study.

Although previous research has shown that high body weight and weight gain are associated with hot flashes and night sweats associated with menopause, this study is the among the first -- and the largest to date -- to analyze whether weight loss on a diet designed to reduce fat and increase whole grains, fruit and vegetable intake might ameliorate symptoms. It is also among the first to examine the influence of a dietary change on symptoms that include hot flashes and night sweats, said Kroenke.

"Since most women tend to gain weight with age, weight loss or weight gain prevention may offer a viable strategy to help eliminate hot flashes and night sweats associated with menopause," said Bette Caan, DrPH, a research scientist with the Kaiser Permanente Northern California Division of Research and the senior author of the study.

She explained that greater body fat provides insulation that may hinder heat loss, and hot flashes and night sweats provide a way to dissipate that heat.

"Weight loss, especially loss of fat mass but not lean mass, might also help alleviate hot flashes and night sweats," added Kroenke.

The investigators emphasize that further research is needed to better understand the relationship between diet, weight and hot flash/night sweat symptoms. They explain that the beneficial impact of a healthy diet alone (regardless of weight change) may also help ameliorate symptoms.

This study follows a related study published in March in the Journal of Clinical Oncology in which Kaiser Permanente researchers found that preventing weight gain after a breast cancer diagnosis may offer a viable intervention for relief of hot flashes. The researchers noted that intentional weight loss in breast cancer survivors requires further study.

The Women's Health Initiative Dietary Modification trial enrolled a diverse group of 48,835 post-menopausal women between 1993 and 1998 at 40 United States clinical centers to evaluate the effects of a low-fat dietary pattern on heart disease, breast and colorectal cancer, and fracture in post-menopausal women. The dietary intervention was aimed at reducing fat intake and increasing fruit, vegetable and whole grain intake. Although weight loss was not a goal, participants assigned to the intervention group lost on average 4.5 pounds between baseline and year one, compared to the control group.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Kaiser Permanente. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Kroenke, Candyce H.; Caan, Bette J.; Stefanick, Marcia L.; Anderson, Garnet; Brzyski, Robert; Johnson, Karen C.; LeBlanc, Erin; Lee, Cathy; La Croix, Andrea Z.; Park, Hannah Lui; Sims, Stacy T.; Vitolins, Mara; Wallace, Robert. Effects of a dietary intervention and weight change on vasomotor symptoms in the Women's Health Initiative. Menopause, 9 July 2012 DOI: 10.1097/gme.0b013e31824f606e

Cite This Page:

Kaiser Permanente. "Weight loss resulting from a low-fat diet may help eliminate menopausal symptoms." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 11 July 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/07/120711101030.htm>.
Kaiser Permanente. (2012, July 11). Weight loss resulting from a low-fat diet may help eliminate menopausal symptoms. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/07/120711101030.htm
Kaiser Permanente. "Weight loss resulting from a low-fat diet may help eliminate menopausal symptoms." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/07/120711101030.htm (accessed September 23, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Ebola Costs Keep Mounting

Ebola Costs Keep Mounting

Reuters - Business Video Online (Sep. 23, 2014) The WHO has warned up to 20,000 people could be infected with Ebola over the next few weeks. As Sonia Legg reports, the implications for the West African countries suffering from the disease are huge. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Liberia Pleads for Help to Fight Ebola

Liberia Pleads for Help to Fight Ebola

AP (Sep. 22, 2014) Liberia's finance minister is urging the international community to quickly follow through on pledges of cash to battle Ebola. Bodies are piling up in the capital Monrovia as the nation awaits more help. (Sept. 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Doctor Says Border Controls Critical

Ebola Doctor Says Border Controls Critical

AP (Sep. 22, 2014) A Florida doctor who helped fight the expanding Ebola outbreak in West Africa says the disease can be stopped, but only if nations quickly step up their response and make border control a priority. (Sept. 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Global Ebola Aid Increasing But Critics Say It's Late

Global Ebola Aid Increasing But Critics Say It's Late

Newsy (Sep. 21, 2014) More than 100 tons of medical supplies were sent to West Africa on Saturday, but aid workers say the global response is still sluggish. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins