Scientific Society Symposium

Diet and lifestyle interventions for midlife health and beyond

Margaret Rees (GB)

[Rees] University of Oxford, Newcastle upon Tyne

Women and healthcare practitioners are increasingly considering the effects of diet and lifestyle interventions. Vasomotor symptoms can continue for many years after the menopause. The effects of weight loss and the dietary components on hot flushes are complex. A Cochrane systematic review and a randomized controlled trial have shown no benefit of exercise on hot flushes but may improve psychological and somatic symptoms. The DASH and Mediterranean diets, together with a shift from saturated to unsaturated fats, has been recommended to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. Ensuring adequate intakes of calcium and vitamin D are essential to maintain bone health. While the Mediterranean diet and maintaining fish intake appear to be good for brain health, a randomized trial of supplements in people with prodromal Alzheimer’s disease has shown no benefit. Exercise is beneficial for cardiovascular, musculoskeletal and neurological health reducing cognitive decline. However the type needs to be tailored to an individual’s capability.