Omega-3 and omega-6 influence the age of menopause and first period

Omega-3 and omega-6 influence the age of menopause and first period
Omega-3 and omega-6 influence the age of menopause and first period

This discovery could have a beneficial effect for women who have early puberty or menopause.

Dr. Manousaki and her team support the hypothesis that omega-3 and omega-6 supplements could protect those who are more at risk of having menopause at a young age.

The average age of menopause is 50 years. We are talking about early menopause from the age of 45 and early menopause before the age of 40, explained Dr. Manousaki.

To validate the benefits of fatty acids in this context, clinical studies are however necessary. “We cannot conclude this on the basis of our data, but it is surely further evidence which supports this type of studies which are essential before being able to conclude that in fact supplementation with omega-3 or omega- 6 can have a beneficial effect,” indicated the researcher.

Its results could move things forward. “For example, if a pharmaceutical company were to invest in a randomized clinical trial, we must have evidence that this randomized trial will bring the expected results,” she explains. Future clinical trials could build on his study.

If pharmaceutical companies become more interested in the role of fatty acids, it could change the lives of millions of women around the world. By validating these benefits on menopause, women would have access to an inexpensive intervention improving their health.

The effects of obesity

The results of Dr. Manousaki and her team are based on the analysis of a database including hundreds of thousands of women. These cohorts resulting from international collaboration were able to provide genetic information and clinical data.

“Our objective was to identify metabolites, that is to say substances which are products of metabolism and which circulate in the blood, on the longevity of women’s reproductive capacity, which is defined by the age of the first menstruation, what we call the menstrual age, and the age of menopause,” describes Dr. Manousaki.

She also looked at the impact of obesity on puberty and menopause. “We did this because we know that being overweight predisposes to early puberty in girls (and) studies have linked obesity with early menopause,” says the researcher.

Regarding the age of first menstruation, she discovered a probable effect of excess weight which would explain the link between this metabolite and household age. “These amino acids could delay the age of first menstruation,” she says. At the same time, (…) since there is an effect of obesity that we found in this association, I would say that we have less evidence that supplementation on little girls could protect them against premature puberty.

The average age of first menstruation in girls is 12.5 years, but between 10 and 15 years of age can be considered normal.

There are other factors that influence the age of menarche and menopause, including genetics. Girls whose family members have had early puberty are predisposed to this too, and the same applies to menopause.

There are also certain illnesses or medications that can interfere with the physiological process. Nutrition, exercise and other lifestyle habits also have an impact. Other factors such as endocrine disruptors or other substances that are present in plastic, food and the environment in general can have an effect on the age of puberty in girls and boys.

There is growing evidence that menopause or early childbearing has adverse health effects, said Dr. Manousaki. For example, there are increased risks of developing psychological problems, growth problems, cardiometabolic diseases or certain types of cancer.

“This knowledge reinforces the importance of carrying out studies to test the effectiveness of certain interventions in modifying the reproductive longevity of women,” concludes the researcher.

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