Obstet Gynecol 2000 Feb;95(2):245-50
Diet and sex-hormone binding globulin, dysmenorrhea, and premenstrual
Barnard ND, Scialli AR, Hurlock D, Bertron P. Department of Obstetrics
and Gynecology, Georgetown University School of Medicine, Washington,
DC, USA. firstname.lastname@example.org
OBJECTIVE: To test the hypothesis
that a low-fat, vegetarian diet reduces dysmenorrhea and premenstrual
symptoms by its effect on serum sex-hormone binding globulin concentration
and estrogen activity.
METHODS: In a crossover design, 33 women followed a low-fat, vegetarian
diet for two menstrual cycles. For two additional cycles, they followed
their customary diet while taking a supplement placebo pill. Dietary intake,
serum sex-hormone binding globulin concentration, body weight, pain duration
and intensity, and premenstrual symptoms were assessed during each study
RESULTS: Mean (+/- standard deviation [SD]) serum sex-hormone binding
globulin concentration was higher during the diet phase (46.7 +/- 23.6
nmol/L) than during the supplement phase (39.3 +/- 19.8 nmol/L, P < .001).
Mean (+/- SD) body weight was lower during the diet (66.1 +/- 11.3
kg) compared with the supplement phase (67.9 +/- 12.1 kg, P < .001). Mean
dysmenorrhea duration fell significantly from baseline (3.9 +/- 1.7
days) to diet phase (2.7 +/- 1.9 days) compared with change from baseline
to supplement phase (3.6 +/- 1.7 days, P < .01). Pain intensity fell
significantly during the diet phase, compared with baseline, for the
worst, second-worst, and third-worst days, and mean durations of premenstrual
concentration, behavioral change, and water retention symptoms were
reduced significantly, compared with the supplement phase.
CONCLUSION: A low-fat vegetarian diet was associated with increased
serum sex-hormone binding globulin concentration and reductions in body
weight, dysmenorrhea duration and intensity, and premenstrual symptom
duration. The symptom effects might be mediated by dietary influences
on estrogen activity.