Nutritional interventions help with mood, anxiety symptoms during menopause
Mood and anxiety symptoms experienced by women in the menopausal transition and in postmenopausal years may be effectively managed by nutritional interventions, according to a study.
Researchers conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized placebo-controlled trials that documented the effects of diet, food supplements, and nutraceuticals on depressive and anxiety symptoms in the present population.
The search yielded 32 studies that met the inclusion criteria. The outcomes examined were depressive symptoms in 15 studies, anxiety symptoms in one study, and both depressive and anxiety symptoms in 16 studies.
Two studies evaluated a nutritional intervention in combination with other interventions: one with lifestyle interventions (vitamin D plus lifestyle-based weight-loss program) and another with exercise (omega 3 plus exercise).
Pooled data showed that the interventions had a greater effect on outcomes as compared with placebo. This was true for both depressive symptoms (standardized mean difference, −0.35, 95 percent confidence interval [CI], −0.68 to −0.03; p=0.0351) and anxiety symptoms (standardized mean difference, −0.74, 95 percent CI, −1.37 to −0.11; p=0.0229).
A significant heterogeneity was detected in the pooled results due to differences in assessment tools for depression and anxiety, as well as the variety of nutritional interventions studied.
Meanwhile, subgroup analysis revealed that the nutritional interventions exerted a statistically significant effect on depressive and anxiety symptoms in women in the following menopausal status groups: perimenopausal or menopausal. Neither the type nor duration of nutritional intervention influenced the effect of the interventions on the outcomes.
Finally, older age was the only significant predictor of the effect size of nutritional interventions in the meta-regression.