A Japanese study (from Gifu University in Gifu, Japan) that monitored the diet and exercise levels of pre-menopausal women for a decade showed that the more a woman exercises and eats healthy, including a diet of fish and vegetable oils (i.e; polyunsaturated fats) the more likely she is to enter into menopause early.
For those who exercise a lot (8-10 hours per week), the chance of early menopause is 17 percent higher than women who do not work out and for those with a diet high in healthy oils, the higher percentage is about 15 percent. The average age to start menopause is about 52 years old but it can start in the 40s or well into the mid- or even late-50s.
The activities and diets of about 1,800 women between the ages of 35 and 56 were monitored over a period of 10 years to determine if lifestyle choices influenced the timing of menopause. The results were clear that they did. Women with less healthy diets who did not exercise much are less likely to enter menopause early.
Researchers believe that the fact that exercise reduces the amount of estrogen in a woman's body can trigger menopause earlier. This brings both good and bad news. Less estrogen in the body can reduce the risk of breast cancer but can also increase the risk of heart disease and osteoporosis.
However, experts don't believe these potential risks are high enough to warrant women to slow down their exercise regimes or change their diets. The advantages of this kind of lifestyle far outweigh any negatives.
FoxNews.com. Women Who Exercise Often Hit Menopause Earlier. Web. 12th Oct. 2011.
Menopause. University of Maryland Medical Center. Web. 12th Oct. 2011.
Would a study like this influence your lifestyle?
Reviewed October 13, 2011
by Michele Blacksberg RN
Edited by Jody Smith