Dietary intake and menopausal symptoms in postmenopausal women: a systematic review

Climacteric. 2021 Apr;24(2):128-138. doi: 10.1080/13697137.2020.1828854. Epub 2020 Oct 28.

Abstract

Despite literature pointing to a relation between dietary intake and menopausal symptoms, most studies have evaluated either only supplements or only specific nutrients or foods. Therefore, this study aimed to provide a systematic review of the literature regarding the association between dietary intake and menopausal symptoms in postmenopausal women. A systematic search was conducted across PubMed/Medline, Web of Science, Scopus, and Embase to identify studies published between 2009 and 2019. We identified 3828 studies; after screening, 73 studies were reviewed and 19 of these investigated nutrient and food intake and eating patterns associated with the intensity of menopausal symptoms. Studies evaluating diet quality or dietary patterns showed an association between lower intensity of psychological symptoms, sleep disorders, and vasomotor, urogenital, and somatic symptoms and higher consumption of vegetables, whole grains, and unprocessed foods. Also, the intensity of these symptoms is associated with high-processed foods, saturated fats, and sugars. Regarding nutrient and/or specific food, the studies indicated an association between caffeine intake and type of fat intake and the intensity of menopausal symptoms. Dietary intake was found to be associated with the severity of menopausal symptoms; however, evidence for the association between dietary intake and menopausal symptoms is inconsistent and inconclusive, and is provided by a small number of studies.

Keywords: Dietary intake; food consumption; menopausal symptoms; postmenopausal women; review.