To explore the association of dietary habits and Mediterranean diet adherence with menopausal symptoms.
The present study included 172 women recruited from the FLAMENCO project. Menopausal symptoms were assessed with the Kupperman Menopausal Index and the Cervantes Menopause and Health Subscale from the validated Cervantes Scale. A food frequency questionnaire was employed to evaluate dietary habits. Adherence to the Mediterranean diet was assessed with the Mediterranean diet score.
Intake of poultry and skimmed dairy products was associated with a worse Kupperman Menopausal Index score (βb: 0.17, P
= 0.03 and βb: 0.18, P = 0.01, respectively). On the contrary, soy milk consumption was associated with a better Kupperman Menopausal Index score (βb: -0.17, P = 0.02). Poultry and skimmed dairy were associated with worse scores in the total Cervantes Menopause and Health Subscale score (βb: 0.22, P = <0.01 and βb: 0.19, P = 0.01, respectively), whereas soy milk and vegetables were associated with a better total Cervantes Menopause and Health Subscale score (βb: -0.20, P = 0.01 and βb: -0.17, P = 0.03, respectively). Regarding vasomotor symptoms, a greater consumption of poultry was associated with worse symptomatology (βb: 0.18, P = 0.02), and soy milk consumption was associated with fewer vasomotor symptoms (βb: -0.15, P = 0.04). In addition, women with numerous or severe vasomotor symptoms showed a greater consumption of skimmed dairy products (P < 0.05).
This study seems to indicate that some women with mild menopausal symptoms may derive benefit from lower consumption of poultry and skimmed dairy products and a greater consumption of vegetables and soy milk.