Middle-aged women belong to a risk group for metabolic dysregulation and menopausal symptoms, mainly due to a dramatic hormonal shift. Supplementation with functional compounds or a single nutrient has been dominantly explored as a nutritional approach for improving aging-related health parameters. However, a meal-based approach might be another strategy for promoting the overall health of the target population. This pilot study aimed to develop a meal-based intervention for middle-aged women and to evaluate its potential health benefits. Considering the nutrient intake status of Korean middle-aged women, diets enriched with four major nutrients (isoflavone, omega-3, fiber, and calcium) were designed and provided to forty-nine women aged 50 to 65 with mild levels of menopausal symptoms for 8 weeks. In the post-intervention phase, they showed reduced body weight and body fat, and improved biochemical metabolic parameters with decreased levels of cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein-cholesterol, ApoB, and fasting insulin. Moreover, bone resorption markers and menopause symptoms were lower in the post-intervention phase. In conclusion, the meal-based intervention might be a prominent strategy for overall health promotion in relatively healthy middle-aged women and further investigation is needed to test its efficacy with a randomized controlled study.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
The research was funded by Ewha Womans University, Dr. Kitchen company, and the BK21 FOUR (Fostering Outstanding Universities for Research), funded by the Ministry of Education (MOE, Republic of Korea) and the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF-5199990614253, Education Research Center for 4IR-Based Health Care).
© 2023 by the authors.
- dietary intervention
- health promotion
- middle-aged women