Low-Fat, Vegan Diet Intervention May Reduce Hot Flashes

Significant declines in severe hot flashes associated with changes in the gut microbiome
Low-Fat, Vegan Diet Intervention May Reduce Hot Flashes
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Medically Reviewed By:
Mark Arredondo, M.D.

FRIDAY, Dec. 15, 2023 (HealthDay News) -- A low-fat vegan diet that includes soy may result in gut microbiome changes that are associated with a decrease in postmenopausal hot flashes, according to a study published in the December issue of Complementary Therapies in Medicine.

Hana Kahleova, M.D., Ph.D., from the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine in Washington, D.C., and colleagues randomly assigned 84 postmenopausal women to an intervention of a low-fat, vegan diet and cooked soybeans (½ cup [86 g] daily) or their usual diet for 12 weeks. Microbiome analysis was conducted in a subset of 11 women.

The researchers found that in the subset of women who underwent microbiome testing, total hot flashes decreased by 95 percent during the dietary intervention, with severe hot flashes disappearing (from 0.6 to 0.0/day; moderate-to-severe hot flashes decreased by 96 percent. There were no significant differences observed in the intervention group for alpha and beta diversity between baseline and 12 weeks. Changes in the relative abundance of Porphyromonas and Prevotella corporis were associated with a decline in severe day hot flashes, even after adjusting for changes in body mass index. There was an association seen between changes in relative abundance of Clostridium asparagiforme and reduction in total severe hot flashes and severe night hot flashes.

"Women who want to fight hot flashes should feed the bacteria in their gut a vegan diet rich in fruits, vegetables, grains, and beans, which also leads to weight loss and protects against heart disease and type 2 diabetes," Kahleova said in a statement.

Abstract/Full Text

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