Low fat vegan diet can reduce severe hot flushes by 92% in postmenopausal women, says research

Author: Maria Chiorando

Read Time:   |  14th April 2023

Vegan Food & Living may earn commission from the links on this page, but we only ever share brands that we love and trust.

Hot flushes, which inflammation and oxidative stress can contribute to, were found to decrease in those following a low fat vegan diet


A low fat vegan diet can reduce severe and moderate-to-severe hot flushes in postmenopausal women, says new research.

The research, by the pro plant-based Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, was published in the Maturitas journal

It posits that by consuming a low fat vegan diet, postmenopausal women in their study reduced their intake of hormone-disrupting dietary compounds called advanced glycation end-products (AGEs).

The research found this led to a 92 per cent decrease in severe hot flushes and an 88 per cent decrease in moderate-to-severe hot flushes.

AGEs and hot flushes

According to the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, AGEs ‘may be ingested through the diet, and animal products are generally higher in AGEs than plant foods’.

It notes that certain cooking methods, like grilling, can lead to significant formation of AGEs – ‘especially in animal-derived foods, which are also rich in fats’.

The impact of high amounts of AGEs circulating in the body is to cause inflammation and oxidative stress – both of which can contribute to hot flushes.

The research has shown that a low fat vegan diet can reduce severe and moderate-to-severe hot flushes in postmenopausal women. Image © vaaseenaa via Getty Images

The research has shown that a low fat vegan diet can reduce severe and moderate-to-severe hot flushes in postmenopausal women. Image © vaaseenaa via Getty Images

Hot flushes study

The research is an analysis of data from a Physicians Committee study published in the journal Menopause earlier this year.

This study included 84 postmenopausal women, who reported two or more moderate-to-severe hot flashes daily, who were randomly assigned to one of two groups.

These included the intervention group, which was asked to follow a low-fat vegan diet including half a cup of cooked soya beans a day, and the control group, which asked participants to continue their usual diets for 12 weeks. 

Both frequency and severity of hot flushes were recorded by participants using a mobile application.

A database with the AGE content of approximately 560 food items was used to assign dietary AGE scores.

The findings saw 63 participants providing complete hot flush and dietary data for the AGEs analysis. Dietary AGEs decreased 73 per cent in the vegan group, compared with a seven per cent increase in the control group. 

According to the researchers, around ’44 per cent of the reduction of the dietary AGEs in the vegan group was due to the reduction of meat intake, while 24 per cent due to decreased dairy intake’.

Meanwhile, it says, 80 per cent of the dietary AGEs from meat intake were derived from white meat consumption.

The organisation noted that the reduction in dietary AGEs with a low-fat plant-based diet was ‘associated with a significant reduction in the frequency of hot flashes independent of changes in energy intake and weight loss’.


Low fat vegan diet

In a statement, lead study author Hana Kahleova, MD, PhD, director of clinical research at the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, explained the mechanism between consuming meat and having hot flushes.

She said: “Eating meat increases the amount of hormone-disrupting advanced glycation end-products circulating in the body, which contributes to hot flushes.

“A low-fat vegan diet reduces intake of AGEs, improving hormonal balance and significantly decreasing hot flashes.”

Interested in learning more? Read how a plant-based diet can help ease the symptoms of perimenopause

Featured image © Valerii Honcharuk via Adobe Stock

Written by

Maria Chiorando

Maria is an editor and journalist. Her work has been published by the Huffington Post, the Guardian, TechnoBuffalo, Plant Based News, and Kent on Sunday among other national and regional titles.

We use cookies to give you a better experience on veganfoodandliving.com. By continuing to use our site, you are agreeing to the use of cookies as set in our Cookie Policy.

OK, got it