The Association of Minimally Invasive Gynecologic Surgeons
…dedicated to safe, state-of-the-art surgery and health life-styles for women of all ages
R. Wayne Whitted MD, MPH
Paul A. Pietro MD
8740 N Kendall Dr. Suite 101
Miami, Florida 33176
Phone: 305-596-3744
Food and Nutrition
Supplement the diet with vitamin C, vitamin B-6, folic acid, calcium, magnesium, essential fatty acids such as
linoleic acid, and evening primrose oil.
Avoid caffeine, sugar, alcohol, and acid-forming foods (red meat, dairy products, heated or treated oils, and
excess carbohydrates, especially refined products).
Try a short juice fast to clear out the body, and follow up with cultured foods such as miso or tempeh, unless
you have a food allergy to soy products. After cleansing the body, plenty of fresh greens, fresh fruits in
season, and a reasonable quantity of whole grains provide strength. Include changes to stabilize
hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), such as eating smaller meals. As always, eating little or no animal fat
decreases harmful excess estrogen.
The following food items are especially good:
Soybean (Glycine max) and Other Beans:
Soybeans are high in estrogen-like plant compounds, genistein and daidzein. These prevent your body from
taking up the more harmful forms of estrogen circulating in your blood. These phytoestrogens take the place
of the bad estrogen, binding to the cell's estrogen receptor sites and prevent more harmful estrogens from
binding to these receptors. They also protect the body from pollutants that chemically mimic estrogen.
Bean sprouts supply more genistein (the more active of the two phytoestrogens) than soybeans. As beans
germinate, their genistein content increases. If the sprouts have fungi, the genistein content may increase as
much as hundred-fold!
Pinto beans, yellow split beans, black turtle beans, lima beans, anasazi beans, red kidney beans, red lentils,
black eyed peas, mung beans, adzuki beans, and fava beans are other sources of these important
If you have endometriosis eat as much edible beans as possible as often as possible. Eat salads made of
bean sprouts. Take bean soups, baked beans, and Mexican foods rich in beans such as burritos.
Flax (linum Usitatissimum):
Flaxseed contains generous amounts of compounds called lignans. These are believed to help control
endometrial cancer.
Flaxseed might be particularly helpful for anyone who is not a vegetarian, Vegetarians have high blood and
urine levels of lignans. Consuming meat suppresses lignans substantially. Flaxseed helps to supplement this
Peanut (Arachis hypogaea):
Peanuts contain many of the healthful substances as soybeans and other beans. Many people prefer the
taste of peanuts over soybeans.
The papery red membrane surrounding spanish peanuts is a source for oligomeric procyanidins (OPCs),
substances that may help control hormone dependent cancers and possibly endometriosis.
Alfalfa (Medicago sativa):
Alfalfa sprouts contain phytoestrogens. Use them liberally on salads. Eating them also reduces the risk of
contracting cancer. (Do not consume alfalfa if you or your family has a history of lupus.)
Evening Primrose Oil (Oenothera biennis):
EPO contains gamma-linolenic acid (GLA) and tryptophan, substances that promote good health in women.
Amanda M. Crawford, author of 'Herbal Remedies for Women' recommends the following nutritional
supplements daily for women suffering from endometriosis:
vitamin B complex (containing 2 milligrams B-6)
use as directed on label
folic acid 150 micrograms
liquid potassium (taken in recommended doses) 3 times a day
flax seed oil start at 1/8-teaspoon doses; increase to 1 teaspoon
per dose or more as tolerated
vitamin E 8-1 0 milligrams alpha-TE (alpha
tocopherol equivalent)
may use 200-600 IU (up to 1,200 IU maximum)
magnesium 400 milligrams
calcium 800 milligrams
vitamin A 800 RE (retinol equivalent); may use 5,000 IU (up to
50,000 IU for four months or less)
vitamin D 10 RE; may use 400 IU (up to 1,000 IU maximum)
vitamin C 300 milligrams (up to 1 0 grams)
evening primrose oil (for GLA - Gamma-Linolenic
eight 500 milligram capsules per day for six to ten
weeks, if women can afford this dose (most effective)
Though there is good evidence suggesting that lower doses of evening primrose oil (EPO) are of value for
reproductive imbalance (breast tenderness, PMS), higher doses are reportedly more effective for
reproductive damage (inflammation, pain). Other sources of essential fatty acids such as flax, borage, or
black currant seed oil are important for a rounded intake of healthy oils, but these do not act as quickly in
women with endometriosis. For this reason, higher doses of the more expensive EPO may have to be used
for the short term.