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Eur J Nutr. 2015 Dec;54(8):1323-32. doi: 10.1007/s00394-014-0812-y. Epub 2014 Dec 14.

The influence of the menstrual cycle on energy balance and taste preference in Asian Chinese women.

Author information

1
Clinical Nutrition Research Centre, Singapore Institute for Clinical Sciences, 14 Medical Drive, Singapore, 117069, Singapore.
2
Department of Biological Sciences, Faculty of Science, National University of Singapore, 3 Science Drive, Singapore, 117543, Singapore.
3
Department of Endocrinology, Tan Tock Seng Hospital, 11 Jalan Tan Tock Seng, Singapore, 308433, Singapore.
4
Office of Clinical Sciences, Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School, 8 College Road, Singapore, 169857, Singapore.
5
Clinical Nutrition Research Centre, Singapore Institute for Clinical Sciences, 14 Medical Drive, Singapore, 117069, Singapore. Jeya_Henry@sics.a-star.edu.sg.
6
Department of Biochemistry, Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, National University of Singapore, Singapore, 117599, Singapore. Jeya_Henry@sics.a-star.edu.sg.

Abstract

PURPOSE:

In Caucasian women, research has shown that energy balance and taste preference change throughout the menstrual cycle. However, the contributory role of the menstrual cycle to obesity and insulin resistance among Asian women remains unclear. We investigate the impact of the menstrual cycle on energy balance and taste preference in Singaporean Chinese females.

METHODS:

Thirty-one healthy young Chinese female subjects with regular menstrual cycles were recruited. Anthropometrics, body composition, energy intake, resting metabolic rate, premenstrual syndrome (PMS) severity and taste preference to sucrose were assessed during three phases (menses, follicular and luteal), over one (N = 18) to two (N = 13) menstrual cycles.

RESULTS:

For all subjects (N = 31), we found significant reductions in energy, fat intake (p < 0.05) and taste preference for sucrose (p < 0.05) in the luteal phase compared to early follicular phase as far as Cycle 1 is concerned. No significant differences were observed for carbohydrate and protein intake as well as PMS score. In those evaluated for two full cycles (N = 13), we found that taste preference for sucrose and PMS score were significantly higher in the menstrual phase in Cycle 2 (p < 0.05). No significant differences were observed in energy and macronutrient intake throughout Cycle 2. RMR was similar across the three phases. However, non-significant cyclic variations were noted within and between the cycles.

CONCLUSION:

Cyclic variations in energy intake and expenditure contributed by sensory and behavioural changes occur during the menstrual cycle. Whether this contributes to cyclic weight gain is speculative and remains to be proven. Further research in non-Caucasians spanning more than one menstrual cycle is needed to establish the impact of the menstrual cycle on taste preference and energy balance.

KEYWORDS:

Energy balance; Menstrual cycle; Premenstrual syndrome; Taste preference

PMID:
25504446
DOI:
10.1007/s00394-014-0812-y
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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