Throughout your menstrual cycle, the levels of certain nutrients are thought to fluctuate. These nutrient fluctuations may cause some women to become deficient in certain vitamins and minerals at various points in their menstrual cycle, which is why some experts feel that certain vitamins and minerals may help ease PMS symptoms.
Calcium. In a recent study, researchers found that women with PMS who took a 500 milligram (mg) calcium supplement twice a day for the three months had significantly reduced levels of fatigue, appetite changes, and depression. Another study revealed that taking 1,200 mg of calcium a day helped reduce women’s emotional and physical PMS symptoms. Among all the supplements used to treat PMS, calcium has the strongest evidence to back its benefits.
Chastberry. Some studies have suggested that the herb chastberry may help relieve certain PMS symptoms, including negative mood, headache, breast fullness, and water retention. Chastberry extract comes from the fruit of a tree, and has been used of thousand years by women to ease hormonal problems. But evident is limited supporting chastberry for PMS symptoms management. More studies are needed to confirm its effects.
Vitamin B6. Vitamin B6 is a water-soluble vitamin that is essential to many of your body’s functions, including your metabolism, immune response, and nervous system functioning. Some evidence exists that supplementation with vitamin B6 may help relieve PMS symptoms, but more clinical trials are needed to determine if it really works. And since vitamin B6 deficiency is rare and extremely high levels of Vitamin B6 can cause serious health effects, it is especially importan to talk with your doctor before taking large doses of vitamin B6.
Magnesium. Because some evidence exists that a magnesium deficiency can lead to PMS symptoms, some researchers believe that magnesium supplementation may benefit women with PMS.
A recent study found that women with PmS who took magnesium supplements found that their PMS symptoms improved. Certain people are at increase risk of magnesium deficiency including those with diabetes, those taking certain medications. So talk to your doctor to see if magnesium deficiency might be a problem for you.
Vitamin E. Vitamin E is a fat-soluble vitamin that is abundant in nuts, seeds, and vegetable oils. There is preliminary evidence that vitamin E supplementation may benefit women with PMS symptoms. In fact, a recent study found that vitamin E supplements helped ease menstrual cycle-related breast pain.
Many herbs and supplements sold in the United States are not reviewed or approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). That means these products have not been tested by the FDA for their safety and effectiveness. It’s possible that the product you buy will be unsafe, ineffective, or both. The product may also be fraudulent.
If you’re interested in trying an alternative therapy to treat your depression, talk with your doctor, therapist, or psychiatrist. These professionals can help you determine which supplements are best for you. Not all patients with depression will benefit from alternative treatments. Still, it’s important to ask if you are interested.