Being vegan can alleviate rashes: Switching to a plant-based soy-rich diet causes an 84 percent reduction in the possible symptoms of menopause-without medication
- George Washington University experts recruited 38 menopausal women
- Half were placed on a low-fat, plant-based diet, including soy beans cooked daily
- Of these, 59% ceased to have moderate to severe rashes within 12 weeks
- The team thinks the benefits stem from the ‘isoflavone’ compounds in beans
- The finding may offer an alternative to traditional, estrogen-based medicines
- Long used to treat rashes, such medications have now been linked to breast cancer
Women who switch to a vegan diet rich in soy during menopause can reduce the number of rashes they experience by up to 84 percent without using drugs.
This is the conclusion of a study conducted by researchers from George Washington University after diet tests involving 38 women over a 12-week period.
Not only did the average number of moderate to severe rashes drop from five to one per day in the diet, but they were completely eliminated in 59 percent of the subjects.
The tested diet did not contain medications or hormonal extracts, the team explained — but instead combined a high-fat, plant-based diet with cooked soy beans.
It is estimated that about four-fifths of menopausal women suffer from hot flashes, which first appear as a heat rising in the chest.
They usually lead to sweating, redness of the face and a rapid heartbeat – with attacks that usually last from two to thirty minutes and recur throughout the day.
While estrogen-based medications have long been given to treat these symptoms, they have recently been found to increase the risk of conditions including breast cancer.
Women who switch to a vegan diet rich in soy during menopause can reduce the number of rashes they experience (as seen in the picture) by up to 84 percent without medication (stock image)
E PLOT OF ME Soy Beans
In addition to a dramatic reduction in hot flashes, many of the participants who underwent the soy-rich diet also reported improvements in mood, overall energy, and sexual symptoms.
‘This was basically a savior for me. I have restored my quality of life, “said one anonymous study participant.
Another said, “I’m sleeping better, and my hot flashes were drastically reduced.”
Moreover, some of the participants said that the diet led to better digestion and significant weight loss.
“Before you jump into any kind of medicine, I would try this route because it is easy,” said one subject.
“Anyone can do it,” she concluded.
‘This is a game changer for women aged 45 and over, “said the paper ‘s author and clinical researcher Neal Barnard of George Washington University.
“Most of us now know that we can get quick relief from the most severe and distressing symptoms of menopause without medication,” he added.
In their study, Professor Barnard and colleagues recruited 38 menopausal women who reported experiencing two or more heat rashes each day.
The team divided participants into two groups, one of whom adhered to their usual diet, while the other switched to a low-fat, vegan diet — one that had half a cup of soy cooked on the menu each day — for a total of 12. week
“Previous studies have shown that soy can be beneficial, so we decided to try a dietary change,” explained the paper’s author Hana Kahleova of the Washington DC-based Committee of Responsible Physicians.
Each subject recorded the frequency and severity of their rashes on a mobile app, while their other vasomotor, psychosocial, physical, and sexual symptoms were assessed using the ‘Menopause Specific Quality of Life Questionnaire’.
Furthermore, each woman was given a digital self-calibration scale with which she could track changes in their body weight on a daily basis, and participated in Zoom weekly calls to catch up with the research team.
Overall, the group that followed a soy-rich vegan diet reported an average decrease of 79 percent in the total number of hot rashes they experience — and an 84 percent decrease in moderate to severe episodes in particular.
By the end of the study, most [59 per cent] of women on a soy-rich plant-based diet reported no longer experiencing moderate to extreme heat, ‘Kahleova explained.
“They experienced significant improvements in their quality of life.”
Similar changes were not observed by women in the control group, who all adhered to their usual diets.
The researchers recruited 38 menopausal women who reported experiencing two or more heat rashes each day. The team divided the participants into two groups, one of which adhered to their usual diet, while the other switched to a low-fat, vegan diet — one that had half a cup of cooked soy, as in the picture, on the menu every day — for a total of 12 weeks
The team suspects that the beneficial effects of soy may be derived from so-called isoflavones-containing compounds which intestinal bacteria metabolize to the equator, a known nonsteroidal estrogen compound.
Previous studies have linked it to reducing the incidence and severity of hot flashes – and have shown that those in vegan or vegetarian diets produce higher levels of the compound.
The full findings of the study were published in Menopause: The Journal of the Menopausal Society in North America.
Menopause occurs when a woman stops menstruating and cannot get pregnant naturally.
It is a natural part of aging, which occurs in women between 45 and 55 years old.
However 1 in 100 women may experience menopause before the age of 40, which is known as premature menopause or premature ovarian failure.
Symptoms often include hot flashes, night sweats, low mood, decreased libido, vaginal dryness, a growth of facial hair, and difficulty sleeping.
According to NHS advice, symptoms can start months or even years before your periods stop and last for about four years after your last period.
Premature or early menopause can occur at any age, and in many cases, there is no clear cause.