Menopausal and postmenopausal women's risks for many diseases increases, and sticking to a healthy diet is one natural preventive measure. Recent studies that analysed the diets of peri- and postmenopausal Spanish women found vitamin D deficiency common.
Researchers at the Carlos III Institute of Health analysed food frequency questionnaire data collected between October 2007 and July 2008 from 3574 women living in seven Spanish cities who were participating in different projects, each with at least 500 women, and results from the questionnaire (that was validated for the Spanish population) showed 42 percent were obese (compared to 29 percent in the general population) and the average calorie intake was 2053 (43 percent from carbohydrates, 36 percent from fats and 20 percent from proteins); yet all the women consumed the recommended amounts of vitamins, except D and E, ScienceDaily reported.
The team was surprised by the low vitamin D intake for all the groups, found to be less than 50 percent of the recommended daily amounts, and averaging only 2.14 micrograms per day, or 39 percent of the recommended daily allowance.
To avoid serious health problems and diseases, including osteoporosis, diabetes, high blood pressure, stroke, heart attack and certain cancers, that have been associated with various physiological changes of menopause, the researchers recommended a diet with less protein and fat and more nuts, vegetables and carbohydrates, to correct low levels of vitamins E and D and achieve a better overall dietary balance.
A paper detailing the team's findings was published in the Spanish journal Nutrición Hospitalaria.
Other Spanish Foundation for Science and Technology] (FECYT) teams studied obesity and sexuality during menopause:
Body Mass Index (BMI) increases with age after menopause begins, one research team found, and obesity intensifies the symptoms of menopause, diminishes women's quality of life and increases many disease risks.
A paper documenting these findings was published in the journal Gynecological Endocrinology.
Between February and November 2010, another research team administered the Changes in Sexual Function Questionnaire (CCFS) to 117 menopausal and postmenopausal volunteers at two hospitals, and found over 64 percent reported experiencing sexual dysfunction, a set of problems that are often overlooked and left untreated, though sexual performance problems contribute to lowered self-esteem, anxiety, depression and decreases in life quality, according to the researchers.
A paper documenting the findings of this study was published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine.