It has been estimated that up to 20 percent of all women suffer from premenstrual syndrome (PMS). While the symptoms of PMS may vary from person to person, they usually include conditions such as depression, irritability, cramping and headaches. Oftentimes, these conditions are severe enough to interfere with a woman's ability to function throughout the day. As a result, scientists have looked for various remedies that could reduce, or even prevent, many of the symptoms that occur with PMS.
In this study, researchers looked at the levels of calcium and vitamin D intake in a group of approximately 3,000 women, more than a third of whom had developed PMS over a 10-year period. Results showed that women who consumed the highest amounts of calcium were 20 percent less likely to have PMS than women who consumed the lowest amounts of calcium. In addition, women with the highest levels of vitamin D intake were 41 percent less likely to develop PMS compared to women taking the least amount of vitamin D.
Foods that contain substantial amounts of calcium and vitamin D include skim milk, low-fat milk, and some cheeses. Vitamin D and calcium are also available in supplement form. For more information on ways to increase levels of calcium and vitamin D in your diet, talk with your doctor.
Bertone-Johnson ER, Hankinson SE, Bendich A, et al. Calcium and vitamin D and risk of incident premenstrual syndrome. Archives of Internal Medicine 2005;165:1246-1252.