For years the anti-depressant prescription drug Zoloft has been prescribed to treat premenstrual syndrome (PMS) but one expert believes that there are alternatives that can be used to reduce PMS symptoms (no drugs included).
With side effects such as drowsiness, nausea, headache, loss of appetite and anxiety, Dr. Michael Mooney suggests using the following natural nutrients to help relieve the effects of PMS.
Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) – According to a study of 630 women published in the British Journal of Clinical Practice, 100 mg to 150 mg of supplemental vitamin B6 reduced PMS in about 66 percent of the women, while 160 mg to 200 mg of vitamin B6 reduced PMS in about 79 percent of the women.
Vitamin D – The Archives of Internal Medicine published a study in 2005 which concluded that women with a higher median vitamin D intake of 706 IU per day had significantly less (or no) PMS than subjects who got a median of the least amount of vitamin D, 112 IU per day. So it’s not just about getting some vitamin D, but rather getting a potent dose.
Chaste tree berry (Vitex) – This extract has been shown to reduce PMS, based on a randomized placebo-controlled 3-month study of premenstrual syndrome in 170 women (average age 36) which was published in the British Medical Journal. The results showed that 20 mg of chaste berry extract reduced PMS about 28% better than placebo. The women noted significant reductions in irritability, mood disturbances, anger, headache, and breast fullness compared to the placebo group.
Calcium carbonate – The Journal of General Internal Medicine published the results of a study that concluded that calcium carbonate could reduce pain and water retention before and during a woman’s cycle. This randomized placebo-controlled study of 78 women showed a 58 percent better reduction in PMS with 1,000 mg of calcium carbonate than with placebo during the luteal and menstrual phases of the reproductive cycle.
Magnesium – Two double-blind, placebo-controlled studies published in the Journal of Women’s Health showed that magnesium at 360 mg per day reduced headaches and pain, and at 200 mg reduced weight gain, fluid retention, swelling of extremities, breast tenderness and abdominal bloating.
Vitamin E – The Journal of Reproductive Medicine published a study that showed vitamin E reduced 15 categories of PMS symptoms. This randomized, placebo-controlled study confirmed a previous study that showed all major categories of PMS symptoms are improved with a daily supplementation of 400 IU of vitamin E.” In all 15 categories of symptoms, vitamin E supplemented women reported 27-42 percent reduction in severity.
___________________________________________________________Michael Mooney is the Director of Research and Education for SuperNutrition Life Extension Research (www.supernutritionusa.com). He is the author of the optimal health handbook, Built to Survive. He is a scientific advisor for medical researchers and has appeared as a nutritional expert on both radio and TV health-oriented talk shows. He is a nutritional consultant to athletes and nutritional doctors.