HealthDay News — Intake of some food groups and nutrients may affect the timing of menopause, according to a study published in the Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health.

Yashvee Dunneram, from the University of Leeds in the United Kingdom, and colleagues studied women aged 40 to 65 years participating in the U.K. Women’s Cohort Study, who had experienced natural menopause and responded to a food frequency questionnaire.

The researchers found that over a four-year follow-up period, 914 women experienced a natural menopause. Natural menopause was delayed by 3.3 years per portion/day among those with a high intake of oily fish and delayed by 0.9 years per portion/day among those with a high intake of fresh legumes.

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Refined pasta and rice were associated with 1.5 years earlier menopause per portion/day. A higher intake of vitamin B6 and zinc was also associated with later age at menopause (0.6 years per mg/day and 0.3 years mg/day, respectively).

“Our results suggest that some food groups (oily fish, fresh legumes, refined pasta and rice) and specific nutrients are individually predictive of age at natural menopause,” the authors write.

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