• Maria Cecelia Pfund, FRHC Nutrition Specialist

Vitamin D and Calcium May Ease PMS

Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) affects women before their menstrual period begins with several symptoms that include: depression, irritability, abdominal cramping and headaches. Fortunately, researchers are studying and finding possible solutions to alleviate these undesirable symptoms. According to observations from the Harvard Nurses' Health Study, women who consumed high amounts of vitamin D through food or supplements were 40% less likely of experiencing PMS than those with lower vitamin D intake. Vitamin D and calcium are closely related in most diets because both are available in fortified milk, including soy milk. Researchers found that when it comes to cow’s milk, only reduced-fat milk effectively lowered the risk of developing PMS. The link between fat and its interference with the efficacy in decreasing PMS is unclear, but the nurses' study also found that overweight women were more likely to develop PMS. In conclusion, vitamin D and calcium could help to lower PMS symptoms. Nevertheless, the importance of eating healthy and maintaining a normal weight are equally important. Take-Home Message • The chances of having PMS could be decreased by adequate calcium and vitamin D intake. If consuming it from diet is challenging, supplements are always an option. Reference Minaya, M. (2006, February 19). Study links calcium, vitamin D to easing of PMS symptoms. Chicago Tribune. Retrieved from http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2006-02-19/features/0602190448_1_calcium-and-vitamin-vitamin-d-intake-pms

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