Vasomotor Symptoms

Postmenopausal Vasomotor Symptoms Significantly Improve With Dietary Intervention

The occurrence of postmenopausal vasomotor symptoms—also known as “hot flashes”—and other symptoms were reduced after the introduction of a plant-based diet, proving to be more effective and presenting fewer risks than hormone replacement therapy, according to a recent study.

“Postmenopausal vasomotor symptoms cause recurrent discomfort, disrupt sleep, and reduce quality of life,” the researchers wrote.

Participants in the study were split into 2 successive cohorts where they either participated in a low-fat, vegan diet, or a control group with no dietary changes. A total of 84 postmenopausal women who reported at least 2 moderate-to-severe vasomotor symptoms daily participated in the study in which they recorded their frequency and severity of hot flashes using a mobile application for 12 weeks.

The cohort of women who changed their diet reported a decrease in vasomotor by 88% (P < 0.001) compared with 34% of women in the control group (P < 0.001). Further, at the final week, 50% of women reported no vasomotor symptoms at all with the change in diet.

“This study has several strengths,” the researchers wrote. “Because participants were not confined to a metabolic ward and used widely available foods, rather than commercial products, the findings readily translate to nonresearch settings.”


—Jessica Ganga


Barnard ND, Kahleova H, Holtz DN, et al. A dietary intervention for vasomotor symptoms of menopause: a randomized, controlled trial. Menopause. Published online October 18, 2022. doi:10.1097/GME.0000000000002080