Diet and endometriosis risk: A literature review

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Abstract

A connection between dietary factors and endometriosis onset has become a topic of interest mostly due to the observation that physiological and pathological processes of the disease can be influenced by diet. This paper systematically reviews prior publications dealing with this aspect in order to identify potentially modifiable risk factors. Comprehensive searches in the electronic databases MEDLINE, EMBASE and Science Citation Index Expanded were conducted to identify published studies evaluating the association between food intake (nutrients and food groups) and endometriosis. Eleven studies were identified: 10 case-control and one cohort study. Information on diet was collected using food frequency questionnaires in seven studies, while in one study the questionnaire focused on caffeine and alcohol intake. Women with endometriosis seem to consume fewer vegetables and omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids and more red meat, coffee and trans fats but these findings could not be consistently replicated. Most data have also been discussed herein in light of the available experimental and animal model results. At present, evidence supporting a significant association between diet and endometriosis is equivocal. Further studies are needed to clarify the role of diet on endometriosis risk and progression. A connection between dietary factors and endometriosis onset has become a topic of interest mostly due to the observation that physiological and pathological processes of the disease can be influenced by diet. We have herein systematically reviewed prior publications dealing with this aspect in order to identify risk factors for the disease. Comprehensive searches in the electronic databases MEDLINE, EMBASE and Science Citation Index Expanded were conducted to identify studies published on the relationship between endometriosis and both nutrients and food groups. We identified 11 studies: 10 case-control studies and one cohort study. Information on diet was collected using food frequency questionnaires in seven studies. A protective effect on endometriosis risk has been suggested for vegetable consumption and omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid intakes, whereas a negative impact has been reported for red meat consumption and trans fats and coffee intakes, but these findings could not be consistently replicated. Evidence supporting a role of diet on endometriosis risk is equivocal. Further studies are needed to clarify the role of diet on endometriosis risk and progression.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)323-336
Number of pages14
JournalReproductive BioMedicine Online
Volume26
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2013

Keywords

  • coffee
  • endometriosis
  • fat
  • nutrition
  • vegetables
  • vitamin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Reproductive Medicine
  • Developmental Biology

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