Women whose diets are rich in omega-3 oils are less likely to develop endo, while those whose diets are heavily laden with trans fats might be more likely to develop the condition, suggests research in the journal Human Reproduction.
The study - which is the largest to have investigated the link between diet and endometriosis risk - found that while the total amount of fat in the diet did not matter, the type of fat did. Women who ate the highest amount of omega-3 fatty acids were 22 percent less likely to be diagnosed with endometriosis than those who ate the least, and that those who ate the most trans fats had nearly a 50 percent increased risk.
The findings not only suggest that diet may be important in the development of endometriosis, but they also provide more evidence that a low fat diet is not necessarily the healthiest and further bolster the case for eliminating trans fats from the food supply, said the study's leader, Dr. Stacey Missmer, from Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School in Boston.
"Millions of women worldwide suffer from endometriosis. Many women have been searching for something they can actually do for themselves, or their daughters, to reduce the risk of developing the disease, and these findings suggest that dietary changes may be something they can do. The results need to be confirmed by further research, but this study gives us a strong indication that we're on the right track in identifying food rich in Omega-3 oils as protective for endometriosis and trans fats as detrimental," Dr. Missmer concluded.
Early period pain linked to endo
New endo test is quick, accurate
Pollutants implicated in endometriosis
Source: European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology