Review: nutrition in postmenopausal women

Posted September 9, 2022.

Discussing current scientific evidence on the association of nutritional patterns with body composition and cardiovascular risk markers in postmenopausal women was the main objective of the literature review conducted by the INCT Hormona teams at the Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul (UFRGS), Universidade de Passo Fundo (UPF), and Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais (UFMG). The study, titled “Nutrition in menopausal women: a narrative review”, can be read in full at: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/34201460/

According to Dr. Thais Rasia da Silva, who is a member of INCT Hormona, the research groups have been evaluating the potential effects of nutrition on the health of postmenopausal women for 10 years. “Several association studies and, more recently, a clinical trial have been published over the years, and this literature review aimed to compile our data with other results obtained in other populations”, she explains.

Dr. Silva said the group found no evidence to justify the prescription of high-protein diets for muscle mass gain, that is, the current recommended dietary allowance for protein (0.8 g protein/kg body weight) appears to be sufficient to maintain muscle mass in postmenopausal women. “The review also showed that, in overweight women or women with obesity, the low glycemic index diet appears to be more effective in reducing body fat”, she comments.  

The team concluded that the Mediterranean diet can significantly reduce the rate of bone loss in women with osteoporosis and is likely to reduce blood pressure levels and the risk of cardiovascular disease in postmenopausal women. Low calorie intake was also shown to prevent metabolic changes. Dr. Thaís Rasia da Silva explains that further studies, mostly evaluating the effects of diets with greater consumption of plant-based foods instead of animal-based foods, are expected to be conducted in the next few years. “Our research group continues to evaluate nutritional data obtained from postmenopausal women, which will soon result in new publications exposing the possible mechanisms by which nutrients and other bioactive compounds interfere with body composition and cardiovascular risk”, she concludes.