Obese women may be able to naturally reduce the severity of menopause-related hot flashes by improving their nutrition and losing weight, according to a new University of California, San Francisco study.
For the research, lead investigator Alison Huang and her colleagues enrolled 338 women over the age of 50 who were either overweight or obese and who reported being bothered by hot flashes.
Of this group, a total of 226 participants were randomly assigned to participate in an intensive weight loss intervention program, while the others were used as controls.
During the study period, women in the intervention group followed a 1,200 calorie to 1,500 calorie nutrient-rich diet and got at least 200 minutes of exercise per week. After six months, these women lost between seven and nine pounds.
At the conclusion of the research, the investigators found that women in the intervention group reported significant improvements in the severity and duration of hot flashes. Participants in the control group reported no such benefits.
"Our findings indicate that women who are overweight or obese and experience bothersome hot flashes may also experience improvement in these symptoms after pursuing behavioral weight loss strategies; however, improvements in weight or body composition may not be the only mediators of this effect," wrote the authors.