The supplements recommended below have been studied in clinical trials and have been found to be effective in connection with PMS. For best results you should take them over a period of three months, at the end of which you should be reassessed in order to monitor improvements and changes and then adjust the supplement programme according to your new condition.
Multivitamin and Mineral: A good quality multivitamin and mineral would form the foundation of your supplement programme to make sure that you are getting a 'little bit of everything'. You then add in those nutrients in slightly higher amounts which are known to be helpful for PMS.
Vitamin B6: A number of studies have shown the effectiveness of vitamin B6 on PMS. Vitamin B6 plays a vital part in synthesising certain brain chemicals (neurotransmitters) that control your mood and behaviour. In order for your body to convert B6 (as pyridoxine) into its active form (pyridoxal-5-phosphate) which your body can use, it needs other nutrients such as magnesium. So if you take B6 on its own but are deficient in other nutrients your body may not be able to use that B6 properly. DOSAGE: 50mg daily.
Vitamin E: This vitamin has been shown to be helpful for the breast symptoms associated with PMS and also the mood swings and irritability. DOSAGE: 400iu daily.
Magnesium is classed as 'nature's tranquilliser' and so is vital in those aspects of the pre-menstrual symptoms which relate to anxiety, tension, etc.. Women with PMS have been found to have lower levels of red blood cell magnesium than women who don't have symptoms and the supplementation of magnesium has been found to be extremely useful in alleviating many of the PMS symptoms and even more effective when taken with vitamin B6 at the same time. A magnesium deficiency can cause blood vessels to go into spasms so if you suffer from menstrual migraines, magnesium can be useful in preventing these spasms.
Essential Fatty Acids: Omega 6 essential fatty acids (linoleic acid) are converted to gamma linolenic acid (GLA) which is found in plants such as hemp seed, evening primrose, borage and starflower. Many women with PMS have been found to have an inherent problem in that their bodies seem to find it difficult to make this conversion to GLA. A number of studies have shown that (pre-menstrual syndrome) GLA is effective in reducing the symptoms of PMS and especially helpful to women whose main pre-menstrual symptoms is breast tenderness or fibrocystic breast disease. DOSAGE:
Dong Quai: Premenstrual and menstrual symptoms including abnormal menstrual flow, back pain, headaches, abdominal cramps and irregular menstruation have all been eased with the aid of the herb dong quai. The symptomatic improvements in PMS appear to be due to the active compounds in dong quai, which have been shown to have phytoestrogenic activity and both analgesic and circulatory benefits. DOSAGE: one to three capsules daily.