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Foods that Promote Endometriosis: Watch Out!

Foods that Promote Endometriosis

Function and dysfunction of the female immune system plays important role in the initiation and progression of the endometriosis and its relation to infertility and cancer.

Endometriosis can be caused by decreased clearance of peritoneal fluid endometrial cells resulting from reduced natural killer cell activity. Decreased cell-mediated cytotoxicity toward autologous endometrial cells is associated with endometriosis. Based on this theory, women exposed to polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) may have a higher prevalence of endometriosis.

These “organochlorines” are known to impair the immune system which, in turn, can compromise a woman’s ability to clear random endometrial glands present in the pelvis. Since PCBs are found in high concentration in fatty foods, including but not limited to red meat, fatty fishes, and certain dairy, it is advisable that women with endometriosis limit/eliminate such food from their diet.

Ronald Burmeister, MD, in Rockford, Illinois, has reported the diminution of pain and symptoms in several women with endometriosis by following a vegetarian and low-fat diet.

Foods that Can Promote Endometriosis

Evidence suggests that vegetarian women have much lower levels of pollutants in their breast milk compared with other women. These chemicals have a very long half-life and can remain in the body for up to 15 years; therefore, the earlier in life that one begins a plant-based diet, the better.


TABLE. Dietary Recommendations for Endometriosis
– Fatty foods, including but not limited to red meat, fatty fishes, and certain dairy Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) are found in high concentrations in fatty foods
– Excess caffeine and alcohol
– Low-fat foods Helps eliminate PCBs
– Organically grown foods; nonorganic fruits and vegetables should be peeled Helps eliminate PCBs
– Legumes, nuts, and lean white meats Good protein source
– Foods rich in vitamins, antioxidants, iron, and magnesium, such as fruits, green leafy vegetables, spinach, carrots, cruciferous vegetables (eg, broccoli, kale, cauliflower, sprouts), legumes, and grains Helps boost the immune system and counteracts secondary anemia
– High-fiber foods, including vegetables,
fruits, and whole grains such as oats, rice, corn, nuts, seeds, legumes.
Aids in maintenance of regular bowel movements to eliminate toxins and hormone byproducts
– Water Maximizes body functions and helps eliminate toxins


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