Journal of Nutrition & Food Sciences

Journal of Nutrition & Food Sciences
Open Access

ISSN: 2155-9600


Changes in Taste and Food Intake during the Menstrual Cycle

Diane Eloy Chaves Barbosa, Vanessa Rosse de Souza, Larissa Almenara Silva dos Santos, Claudete Corrêa de Jesus Chiappini, Solange Augusta de Sa and Vilma Blondet de Azeredo

Background: Dietary changes during the menstrual cycle may be the result of the interference of female hormones on taste; however, little is known about this possible relationship.
Objectives: The aim of this study was to evaluate the influence of the menstrual cycle on taste and food intake among young women.
Patients and Methods: Fifty women at childbearing age were followed during three months. Body mass index was used to assess the anthropometric nutritional status. Dietary intake was assessed by applying six dietary records. The taste of volunteers was evaluated in the luteal (LP) and follicular phases (FP) of the menstrual cycle through taste-intensity and constant stimulation tests. In the LP, blood was collected for determination of female hormones, insulin and ghrelin. Data are presented using descriptive statistics such as mean and standard deviation; ANOVA was used to compare means and significance level of 5% was adopted.
Results: The anthropometric nutritional status of volunteers remained unchanged during the studied phases. Protein was consumed in smaller amounts (p <0.05) in the LP (LP: 66.66 ± 17.85 g/day and FP: 74.01 ± 16.57 g/day). The average intake of minerals such as potassium, calcium and magnesium were below of the recommendations, while sodium intake was above of the recommended values. In the LP, volunteers showed decreased sensitivity to acid taste. Positive associations in the LP were found between bitter taste perception and the following variables: energy intake (r=0.49; p=0.01), carbohydrate (r=0.46; p=0.01) and lipid (r=0.39; p=0.04). Positive association was found between bitter taste perception and insulin (r=0.36, p=0.04) and negative association between ghrelin and acid taste perception (r=-0.36, p=0.04).
Conclusions: The menstrual cycle changed the acid taste perception, which can affect the food choices in the luteal phase and suggests that hormones insulin and ghrelin can influence taste perception, controlling food intake.