Endometriosis is a chronic inflammatory disease in which endometrial tissue is present outside the uterus. It affects an estimated 10-20 % of women during their reproductive years. They often suffer from significant pain and subfertility.
This is thought to be caused by a combination of hormonal changes, elevated inflammatory and homocysteine levels, and increased oxidative stress. The latter seems to be involved in nociception as well.
While the disease itself is not curable, the body can be supported by a healthy diet. Just like every other woman planning for pregnancy, women with endometriosis ought to make sure they take up sufficient folate. Folate is a B-vitamin and is abundant in green, leafy vegetables. However, due to its sensitivity to light and heat, it is easily destroyed during meal preparation. Therefore, many women do not have a sufficient supply. Low maternal folate status, however, is a risk factor in the development of neural tube defects in the developing fetus.
Particularly for women with endometriosis, other micronutrients are important as well. They can contribute to maintenance of a balanced hormone and immune system, homocysteine metabolism, effective energy production, healthy mucosa, and protection from oxidative stress.
Protection from neural tube disorders
1 Health claims according to EU regulation