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B vitamins may help reduce the risk of PMS

March 7, 2011

A new US study suggests that higher dietary intakes of the vitamins B1 and B2 may reduce the incidence of premenstrual syndrome (PMS) by about 35 percent.

In the observational study, data from 1,057 women with PMS and 1,968 women without premenstrual syndrome (PMS) were analyzed (1). The results showed that women with the highest average intakes of vitamin B1 (thiamin) and vitamin B2 (riboflavin) from food sources two to four years prior to diagnosis were associated with a 35 percent lower incidence of PMS than women with the lowest average intakes. On the other hand, no benefits were observed with other B vitamins.

The researchers noted that the link between
B vitamins and PMS would be biologically plausible since B vitamins such as thiamine and riboflavin are known to play important roles in the synthesis of various neurotransmitters involved in PMS. While most women experience mild emotional or physical premenstrual symptoms, 8–20 percent of women experience symptoms severe enough to substantially interfere with daily activities and relationships. Beyond the B vitamins, there is also some evidence for the potential of a diet rich in calcium and vitamin D to lower the risk of developing PMS (2).

References

  1. Chocano-Bedoya P. O. et al. Dietary B vitamin intake and incident premenstrual syndrome. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 2011.
  2. Bertone-Johnson E. R. et al. Calcium and vitamin D intake and risk of incident premenstrual syndrome. Arch Intern Med. 2005; 165(11):1246–1252.