Dietary minerals, reproductive hormone levels and sporadic anovulation: Associations in healthy women with regular menstrual cycles

Keewan Kim, Jean Wactawski-Wende, Kara A. Michels, Karen C. Schliep, Torie C. Plowden, Ellen N. Chaljub, Sunni L. Mumford

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Although minerals are linked to several reproductive outcomes, it is unknown whether dietary minerals are associated with ovulatory function. We hypothesised that low intakes of minerals would be associated with an increased risk of anovulation. We investigated associations between dietary mineral intake and both reproductive hormones and anovulation in healthy women in the BioCycle Study, which prospectively followed up 259 regularly menstruating women aged 18-44 years who were not taking mineral supplements for two menstrual cycles. Intakes of ten selected minerals were assessed through 24-h dietary recalls at up to four times per cycle in each participant. Oestradiol, progesterone, luteinising hormone (LH), follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), sex-hormone-binding globulin and testosterone were measured in serum up to eight times per cycle. We used weighted linear mixed models to evaluate associations between minerals and hormones and generalised linear models for risk of anovulation. Compared with Na intake ≥1500 mg, Na intake <1500 mg was associated with higher levels of FSH (21.3 %; 95 % CI 7.5, 36.9) and LH (36.8 %; 95 % CI 16.5, 60.5) and lower levels of progesterone (-36.9 %; 95 % CI -56.5, -8.5). Na intake <1500 mg (risk ratio (RR) 2.70; 95 % CI 1.00, 7.31) and Mn intake <1.8 mg (RR 2.00; 95 % CI 1.02, 3.94) were associated with an increased risk of anovulation, compared with higher intakes, respectively. Other measured dietary minerals were not associated with ovulatory function. As essential minerals are mostly obtained via diet, our results comparing insufficient levels with sufficient levels highlight the need for future research on dietary nutrients and their associations with ovulatory cycles.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)81-89
Number of pages9
JournalBritish Journal of Nutrition
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 14 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Anovulation
  • Dietary minerals
  • Premenopausal women
  • Reproductive hormones

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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