Menopause 'eased by alcohol and dieting'
HEALTHY eating -- plus the occasional tipple -- can help women escape symptoms of the menopause, research suggests.
Two US studies showed how middle-aged and older women can benefit from a slimming diet and "moderate" amounts of alcohol.
Losing weight as a result of cutting down on fat and eating large amounts of fruit and vegetables was found to reduce or even eliminate hot flushes and night sweats.
Separate research showed that a glass or two of wine or beer a day may lower the risk of developing brittle and easily broken bones. The bone-thinning disease osteoporosis is associated with hormonal changes after the menopause.
Both studies were published in the journal 'Menopause'.
The first involved 17,473 participants in the Women's Health Initiative (WHI), an investigation of ways to improve the health of post-menopausal women.
Those who managed to slim were less troubled by hot flushes and night sweats after a year than women who maintained their weight.
Success came with losing 10 or more pounds, or 10pc of body weight, after switching to a low-fat diet high in wholegrains, fruit and vegetables.
The women who lost weight were more likely to experience a reduction of symptoms or to eliminate them altogether.
Researchers on the second study found evidence of the protective effect of moderate drinking in 40 women with no history of osteoporosis.
During a two-week period when the women stopped drinking, their bone turnover increased. Less than a day after the women went back to drinking, their bone-turnover rates returned to previous levels.