Different nutrient intake and prevalence of gastrointestinal comorbidities in women with endometriosis

J Physiol Pharmacol. 2019 Apr;70(2). doi: 10.26402/jpp.2019.2.09. Epub 2019 Aug 20.


Even though endometriosis presents one of the most common gynaecological diseases, the pathogenesis is insufficiently studied. Besides immunologic, inflammatory or oxidative processes, recent studies also suggest an influence of nutrition on disease onset and progression. Because data about the actual nutrient intake of endometriosis patients are scarce, we aimed to examine the actual nutrient intake and potential influencing factors in these women. A total of 156 women with endometriosis (EM) and 52 age-matched controls were included in this retrospective case-control study. All women filled in a validated food frequency questionnaire to acquire the nutrient intake of the past 12 months and a disease-related questionnaire for the determination of disease status, clinical symptoms and comorbidities. Patients with endometriosis suffered significantly more from diet-related comorbidities like food intolerances (25.6% versus 7.7%; P = 0.009) and allergies (57% versus 31%; P < 0.001) compared to controls. Also gastrointestinal symptoms, including constipation, flatulence, pyrosis, diarrhea or frequent defecation, were higher in the EM group (77% versus 29%; P < 0.001). The nutrient intake of patients with endometriosis differed significantly compared to controls with a significantly lower ingestion of organic acids (P = 0.006), maltose (P = 0.0.16), glycogen (P = 0.035), tetradecenoic acid (P = 0.041), methionine (P = 0.046), lysine (P = 0.048), threonine (P = 0.046) and histidine (P = 0.049). The total intake of animal proteins was significantly lower in the EM group compared to the controls (P = 0.047). EM patients showed a decreased intake of vitamin C (P = 0.031), vitamin B12 (P = 0.008) and magnesium (P = 0.043) compared to controls. This study confirms a high association of endometriosis and gastrointestinal disorders accompanied by an altered nutrient intake. A dietary intervention by a professional nutritionist may help to reduce disease burden in the affected women.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Diet
  • Endometriosis / etiology*
  • Energy Intake / physiology*
  • Female
  • Gastrointestinal Diseases / etiology*
  • Humans
  • Prevalence
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Vitamins / administration & dosage


  • Vitamins