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Study: Omega-3s may lower the risk of developing endometriosis

March 30, 2010 by  

Study: Omega-3s may lower the risk of developing endometriosis Consuming foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids can significantly reduce a woman’s risk of developing endometriosis, a painful condition that causes sections of the womb lining to grow outside of the uterus, a new study has found.

Endometriosis, which has no cure, is a debilitating disease that affects approximately 10 percent of women over the age of 18 and often leads to infertility.

In the study, lead investigator Stacey Missmer, an assistant professor of obstetrics, gynecology and reproductive biology at Harvard Medical School, analyzed the diets of more than 70,000 women who took part in the U.S. Nurse’s Health Study. After 12 years of follow-up, the researchers discovered that 1,199 women had been diagnosed with endometriosis.

After comparing the subjects’ dietary questionnaires to the incidence of endometriosis, Missmer found that women who ate foods with the highest levels of omega-3s had a 22 percent lower risk of developing the condition than those who consumed minimal amounts of the nutrient.

Meanwhile, the research team also discovered that women who consumed high levels of trans fats had a 48 percent increased risk of endometriosis.

Foods rich in omega-3s include tuna, salmon and many vegetables. Fish oils and related compounds are also available in the form of nutritional supplements.
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