A Connection Between Diet and Endometriosis

Although eating more fresh fruit and green vegetables may lower a woman's risk of endometriosis, unfortunately, eating red meat and ham increases the odds, according to a recent study of Italian women.

Researchers used interviews and structured questionnaires to compare the medical and reproductive history, lifestyle and diet of more than 500 women with clinically confirmed endometriosis with a similar number with no history of the disease. Scientists believe endometriosis affects 5 percent of the women in Italy and probably the rest of Europe.

Patients were asked about their diets in the year leading up to the interview, including how many times a week they ate portions of selected dietary items in the Italian diet and their alcohol and coffee consumption.

The study found women reduced their risk of endometriosis by 40 percent when they ate higher amounts of green vegetables and fresh fruit. However, for those who ate more beef, other red meat and ham, a woman's risk of endometriosis increased from 80-100 percent.

Science Blog July 14, 2004

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