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[News] High meat diet 'linked to early periods'

From BBC News:

Girls who eat a lot of meat during childhood tend to start their periods earlier than others, a study suggests.

UK researchers compared the diets of more than 3,000 12-year-old girls. They found high meat consumption at age three (over eight portions a week) and age seven (12 portions) was strongly linked with early periods. Writing in Public Health Nutrition, the researchers said a meat-rich diet might prepare the body for pregnancy, triggering an earlier puberty.

During the 20th Century, the average age at which girls started their periods fell fairly dramatically, although it now seems to be levelling off. This is widely thought to be due to better nutrition and rising levels of obesity, which has an impact on hormones.

In the latest study, the team used data from a group of children followed from birth. At the age of 12 years eight months, they split the girls into those who had already started their periods and those who had not.

Comparing their diets at the ages of three, seven and 10, they found that meat intake at a young age was strongly linked with earlier periods. In fact, at age seven there was a 75% increased chance of having a period by age 12 in those eating the most meat compared with those who ate the least. Although this finding was independent of body weight, the study repeated previous research showing that bigger girls tend to menstruate early.

Starting periods at an early age has been linked with an increased risk of breast cancer, possibly because women are exposed to higher levels of oestrogen over their lifetime.

Rest of the article @ BBC

I wonder if anyone has done a long term study of the health of vegans, in terms of cancer rates, general sickness, mental acuity, and lifespan, compared to the general population.

yeah, I remember that. There was also something about the less-meat group having periods less often (~ 5 weeks) and going through menopause earlier.

I think that's an interesting statistic, because typically I only become menstrual every five weeks not four. Wonder if that has to do with my diet? This used to perplex me (and cause me concern) because one month I'd start on the 8th, the next the 13th, then on the 24th the month after, etc. rather than always being able to expect my period on the first or last week of a given month. However, I do recall that when I came home from the homeless shelter at 14 (and had re-acquired meat into my diet due to my living situation) that I began having periods quite reguarly on the first week of the month usually on the 8th. But that changed after I started eating less meat (which was almost exclusively chicken, being that that was the only meat I found palatable) I my period went back to the progressive pattern I described.

I think I'll finally have to check out the China Study. That's really interesting.



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