The relationship between endometriosis and diet

Hum Fertil (Camb). 2023 Jul;26(3):649-664. doi: 10.1080/14647273.2021.1995900. Epub 2021 Oct 27.


Endometriosis is an oestrogen dependent, benign, chronic inflammatory disease characterised by ectopic endometrial implants. Current medical practices for the treatment of the disease are associated with several side effects over long periods, making the effect of diet on endometriosis an important aspect. To alleviate this need, we review related literature to identify the association between nutrients and endometriosis and to find the probable therapeutic effects of the nutrients and foods on endometriosis. Despite variations among the findings, several of the prior studies point to an inverse relationship between endometriosis and the consumption of fruits, vegetables, dairy products, and omega-3 fatty acids. Another common finding among the studies is the increased risk of endometriosis with higher consumption of trans-unsaturated fatty acids and red meat. Due to the limited size of the samples in existing literature, however, significance of the association between diet and endometriosis is not conclusive. Further research is needed to better identify the role of diet on endometriosis.

Keywords: Endometriosis; diet; dysmenorrhea; fish oil; nutrition; risk factors.

Publication types

  • Review