Food groups and nutrients consumption and risk of endometriosis: a systematic review and meta-analysis of observational studies

Nutr J. 2022 Sep 22;21(1):58. doi: 10.1186/s12937-022-00812-x.


Dietary factors may play a role in the etiology of endometriosis and dietary intake of some food groups and nutrients could be associated with endometriosis risk. This systematic review and meta-analysis of observational studies was conducted to summarize the findings on the association between dietary intakes of selected food groups and nutrients (dairy, fats, fruits, vegetables, legumes, and animal-derived protein sources), and the risk of endometriosis among adult women. PubMed, Scopus, and ISI Web of Science were systematically searched up to September 2022. The inverse variance-weighted fixed-effect method was used to estimate the effect size and corresponding 95% CI. A total of 8 publications (4 studies) including 5 cohorts and 3 case-control with a sample size ranging from 156 to 116,607 were included in this study. A higher intake of total dairy [all low-fat and high-fat dairy foods] was associated with decreased risk of endometriosis (RR 0.90; 95% CI, 0.85 to 0.95; P < 0.001; I2 = 37.0%), but these associations were not observed with intakes of low or high-fat dairy, cheese or milk. Increased risk of endometriosis was associated with higher consumption of red meat (RR 1.17; 95% CI, 1.08 to 1.26; P < 0.001; I2 = 82.4%), trans fatty acids (TFA) (RR 1.12; 95% CI, 1.02 to 1.23; P = 0.019; I2 = 73.0%), and saturated fatty acids (SFA) (RR 1.06; 95% CI, 1.04 to 1.09; P < 0.001; I2 = 57.3%). The results of this meta-analysis suggest that there may be differing associations between dietary intake of dairy foods, red meat, SFAs, and TFAs and the risk of endometriosis. It may be useful to extend the analysis to other types of food groups and dietary patterns to obtain a complete picture. Additionally, further investigations are needed to clarify the role of diet in the incidence and progression of endometriosis.Trial registration: PROSPERO, CRD42020203939.

Keywords: Diet; Endometriosis; Food groups; Meta-analysis; Systematic review.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Dairy Products / analysis
  • Diet / adverse effects
  • Diet, Fat-Restricted
  • Dietary Fats
  • Endometriosis* / epidemiology
  • Fatty Acids
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Nutrients
  • Observational Studies as Topic
  • Trans Fatty Acids*
  • Vegetables


  • Dietary Fats
  • Fatty Acids
  • Trans Fatty Acids