Higher Fiber, Later Periods

Girls who eat foods rich in fiber can reduce their risk of having their first period early by almost 50 percent, according to a study published in the April 2002 issue of Public Health Nutrition.

Pre-pubertal girls aged 6 to 14 were interviewed to determine their diet, physical activity, and family history. This information was updated annually for 3 years. After adjusting for other variables, girls who consumed an average of at least 25 grams of fiber per day were only 54 percent as likely as their matched peers to have an early first period. Early age at first period results in greater estrogen exposure for girls, which can have long-lasting effects, such as increasing the risk of breast cancer as an adult.

Published on: June 10, 2002
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Dr. Greene is a practicing physician, author, national and international TEDx speaker, and global health advocate. He is a graduate of Princeton University and University of California San Francisco.
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