Associations of menstrual pain with intakes of soy, fat and dietary fiber in Japanese women

Eur J Clin Nutr. 2005 Jan;59(1):88-92. doi: 10.1038/sj.ejcn.1602042.


Objective: Intakes of soy, fat, and dietary fiber may be associated with the symptoms of dysmenorrhea through their biological effects on estrogens or prostaglandin production. The present study was to examine the relationships between intakes of soy, fat, and dietary fiber and the severity of menstrual pain.

Design: Cross-sectional study.

Setting: Three colleges and two nursing schools.

Subjects: A total of 276 Japanese women aged 19-24 y.

Methods: Intakes of nutrients and foods including soy products, isoflavones, fats and dietary fiber were estimated by a validated semiquantitative food frequency questionnaire. Severity of menstrual pain was assessed by the multidimensional scoring system reported by Andersch and Milson.

Results: Intake of dietary fiber was significantly inversely correlated with the menstrual pain scale (r=-0.12, P=0.04) after controlling for age, smoking status, age at menarche and total energy intake. Neither soy nor fat intake was significantly correlated with menstrual pain after controlling for the covariates.

Conclusions: The cross-sectional difference in dietary fiber intake across the level of menstrual pain was small in magnitude but warrants further studies.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Age of Onset
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Diet Surveys
  • Dietary Fats / administration & dosage*
  • Dietary Fiber / administration & dosage*
  • Dysmenorrhea / epidemiology*
  • Energy Intake / physiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Isoflavones / administration & dosage*
  • Japan / epidemiology
  • Menarche / physiology
  • Smoking
  • Soy Foods*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires


  • Dietary Fats
  • Dietary Fiber
  • Isoflavones