Energy-containing beverages: reproductive hormones and ovarian function in the BioCycle Study1-3

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Abstract

Background:

Energy-containing beverages are widely consumed among premenopausal women, but their association with reproductive hormones is not well understood.

Objective:

The objective was to assess the association of energy-containing beverages, added sugars, and total fructose intake with reproductive hormones among ovulatory cycles and sporadic anovulation in healthy premenopausal women.

Design:

Women (n = 259) in the BioCycle Study were followed for up to 2 menstrual cycles; they provided fasting blood specimens during up to 8 visits/cycle and four 24-h dietary recalls/cycle.

Results:

Women who consumed ≥1 cup (1 cup = 237 mL) sweetened soda/d had 16.3% higher estradiol concentrations compared with women who consumed less sweetened soda (86.5 pg/mL compared with 74.4 pg/mL, P = 0.01) after adjustment for age, BMI, race, dietary factors, and physical activity. Similarly elevated estradiol concentrations were found for ≥1 cup cola/d and noncola soda intake. Neither artificially sweetened soda nor fruit juice intake ≥1 cup/d was significantly associated with reproductive hormones. Added sugar above the average US woman's intake (≥73.2 g/d) or above the 66th percentile in total fructose intake (≥41.5 g/d) was associated with significantly elevated estradiol but not consistently across all models. No associations were found between beverages, added sugars, or total fructose intake and anovulation after multivariate adjustment.

Conclusions:

Even at moderate consumption amounts, sweetened soda is associated with elevated follicular estradiol concentrations among premenopausal women but does not appear to affect ovulatory function. Further research into the mechanism driving the association between energy-containing beverages and reproductive hormones, and its potential implications for women's health, is warranted.

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