Vitamines and minerals do we get from our food and while some of us lack some of the vitamines we need, others may reach the recommended dosage of vitamines and minerals but may not always be the optimal dosage for our bodies. Most vitamines and minerals can be supplemented but beware that certain vitamines and minerals can be toxic if taken too much. Some of the vitamines and minerals below have shown to help women with PMS while others haven’t done so in scientific studies but may have effects anyway. What can help you is a matter of trial and error.
Studies show that calcium can help reduce some PMS symptoms, such as fatigue, cravings, and depression. Calcium is found in foods such as milk, cheese, and yogurt. Some foods, such as orange juice, cereal, and bread, have calcium added (fortified). A total calcium intake of 1,200 to 1,500 milligrams per day, is suggested along with food to make sure that the calcium is properly absorbed.
Vitamin B6 may help with PMS symptoms, including moodiness, irritability, forgetfulness, bloating, and anxiety. Vitamin B6 can be found in foods such as fish, poultry, potatoes, fruit (except for citrus fruits), and fortified cereals. 100 milligrams per day may relieve some symptoms, including depression. Be aware that B-6 is harmful in doses above 100 milligrams per day!
Magnesium may help relieve some PMS symptoms, including migraines, bloating and water retention. If you get menstrual migraines, talk to your doctor about whether you need more magnesium. Magnesium is found in green, leafy vegetables such as spinach, as well as in nuts, whole grains, and fortified cereals. Studies have shown that modest amounts, 200 milligrams per day, could reduce water retention and bloating.
Polyunsaturated fatty acids (omega-3 and omega-6)
Studies show that taking a supplement with 1 to 2 grams of polyunsaturated fatty acids may help reduce cramps and other PMS symptoms. Good sources of polyunsaturated fatty acids include flaxseed, nuts, fish, and green leafy vegetables.
Although not completely confirmed, it has been seen that that a dose of 400 IUs of vitamin E per day alleviated PMS symptoms more than a placebo.
The underground stems and root of black cohosh are used fresh or dried to make tea, capsules, pills, or liquid extracts. Black cohosh is most often used to help treat menopausal symptoms, and some women use it to help relieve PMS symptoms.
Dried ripe chasteberry is used to prepare liquid extracts or pills that some women take to relieve PMS symptoms. Women taking hormonal birth control or hormone therapy for menopause symptoms should not take chasteberry.
Evening primrose oil
The oil is taken from the plant’s seeds and put into capsules. Some women report that the pill helps relieve PMS symptoms, but the research results are mixed.
5-HTP is a metabolite of tryptophan and precursor of serotonin and melatonin. 5-HTP plays a role in mood, sleep, anxiety, and pain sensation. 5-HTP should not be used while using SSRI.
Gamma aminobutyric acid (GABA)
GABA is the major inhibitory neurotransmitter. It can reduce pain levels and hypersensitivities in the peripheral nervous system. Research shows GABA can cross the blood-brain barrier and helps support normal mood. Poor diet, oxidative stress and other factors can deplete normal levels of GABA and may result in anxiety, irritability, and insomnia.
Bioidentical progesterone cream
Progesterone can provide balance and relief to women experiencing hormonal fluctuations. Since an imbalance between progesterone and estrogen can cause similar symptoms as PMS it can be wise to clarify any imbalances between the two hormones. Progesterone cream should not be used while using birth control pills.