Nearly 10 years ago, the FDA approved the anti-depressant prescription drug Zoloft for the treatment of premenstrual syndrome (PMS) and one expert believes that is 10 years too long, especially when natural alternatives have been proven to reduce PMS symptoms without drugs.
“It seems almost alien to me why someone would take a drug to relieve PMS when the drug’s list of potential side effects – drowsiness, nausea, headache, loss of appetite, anxiety, panic attacks, hostility, aggressiveness, restlessness, and depression –
are almost an identical match for the symptoms of the ailment they’re trying to relieve,” said Michael Mooney, director of re-search and education at SuperNutrition Life Extension Research.
“There is a solid base of research that has shown that women can reduce PMS without taking a prescription drug. In fact, there are six simple, safe nutrients the body uses all the time that have been shown to reduce PMS discomfort – but they need to be taken in adequate potencies. These nutrients don’t have a list of side effects that sound worse than the PMS itself.”
Mooney cited six natural nutrients that have been shown to relieve PMS:
- Vitamin B6 – 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 is not just about getting some vitamin D, but rather getting a potent dose.
- Chaste tree berry – This extract has been shown to reduce PMS, based on a randomized placebo-controlled three-month study of PMS 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 percent 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 to 42 percent reduction in severity.
“The effects of these nutrients start the first month and generally reach maximum PMS reduction levels by month three,” Mooney added. “Women deserve to share the fruits of modern nutritional science and be informed that they can reduce their PMS discomfort without relying on drugs with all their dangerous side effects, but instead, by using nutrients that are natural to the body in the proven effective potencies.”