B vitamins from diet may lower PMS rates
New research has shown that women who eat a diet rich in B vitamins have less risk of premenstrual syndrome (PMS). Women who ate more foods such as spinach and fortified cereal had about a 25% lower risk of PMS.Â However, the same was not true for women who got their B vitamins from supplements.
Women with PMS might want to evaluate their diet and make sure they’re having a reasonable amount of thiamine- and riboflavin-rich foods.
The US researchers looked at the diets of more than 3000 women who filled out food surveys three times over 10 years. During this time, about 1000 women had symptoms of moderate to severe PMS such as anxiety, depression, irritability, abdominal pain, fatigue and bloating.Â Higher amounts than the American recommended intake were needed to show a benefit; Women who reported eating about 1.9 mg of thiamine per day were less likely to have PMS — about two in five developed PMS compared to three in five women who ate about 1.2 mg/day.Â The rates were the same for women who ate about 2.5 mg of riboflavin per day compared to women who ate around 1.4 mg per day.Â However, the researchers believed that this amount is not hard to achieve in the diet.
But like all research which shows an association, this study does not prove that B vitamins, like thiamine and riboflavin, stave off PMS. It’s possible, for example, that women who eat more of these vitamins also have other habits or characteristics that have an effect.
Am J Clin Nutr 2011.