By I.Soussis MD
Research on the link between caffeine and endometriosis does not give a definite answer.
A 1993 study released by the Harvard School of Public Health found that women who drank two or more cups of caffeinated coffee per day, or four cans of soda, were twice as likely to develop endometriosis.
A meta-analysis of eight studies (including a total of 1,407 women with endometriosis) conducted in order to establish whether caffeine influences the risk of endometriosis, provided no evidence of an association between coffee/caffeine consumption and the risk of endometriosis.
Many believe that caffeine intake increases estrogen levels, which may increase the chance of developing endometriosis or worsening the symptoms of the condition.
Caffeine inhibits the liver’s ability to reduce our estrogen levels. Εstrogen levels, which are increased by the caffeine intake cannot be reduced by the body’s natural functions.
Studies have shown that women who drink one cup of coffee per day have higher estrogen levels than women who drink none and that women who drink 4-5 cups of coffee per day have 70% higher estrogen levels than other women. Coffee consumption and total caffeine use may increase the levels of oestradiol in the first part of the cycle, independently of related habits of alcohol or tobacco use.
High intake of caffeine (from various sources) may be linked to the development of endometriosis. Coffee/caffeine consumption, as currently used in diet, does not carry a health risk. Women need to establish whether their own consumption of caffeine is related to the severity of the symptoms of endometriosis.