Hot flash sufferers, take note: researchers from the Mayo Clinic have demonstrated that a very tiny food can make a very big difference in the way menopausal women experience hot flashes.
The study, conducted by Sandhya Pruthi, MD, et al., indicates that the addition of flaxseeds (a little brown seed prized for its important levels of omega-3 fatty acids) to the daily diet can cut the potency of hot flashes by half. The study studied 29 menopausal women who reported having had hot flashes upwards of fourteen times a week for a month or longer, and who were not following any treatment program for their menopause symptoms.
For the first week of the study, the hot flash sufferers made no lifestyle changes, but kept a record observing the regularity and strength of their hot flashes, and how it influenced their quality of life. After the first week, the team had the subjects add two tablespoons of crushed flaxseeds two times a day to their diet (sprinkled over cereal, yogurt or fruit, or mixed into juice).
The women continued with the flaxseed diet for six weeks, continuing to note their hot flashes in their record. The results of the study demonstrate that adding flaxseed to the diet reduced the daily number of hot flashes by half, and lessened the intensity of hot flashes by 57%. Some mild side effects were reported, including abdominal bloating and diarrhea.
Although more comprehensive research still needs to be done before the hot flash-relieving power of the flaxseed is proven, this first study is promising enough to give hope to millions of menopausal women.