Women searching for ways to ward off
the anxiety and irritability caused by premenstrual syndrome may be
able to find answers as nearby as their local supermarket.
study published Monday finds that a diet rich in calcium and Vitamin
D -- available in milk, cheese, yogurt and fortified orange juice --
appears to help women reduce the risk of PMS symptoms.
findings support earlier research indicating calcium seems to help
women cope with PMS.
But the new study also suggests that when calcium is combined
with enough vitamin D, it may help prevent PMS
"It seems that women who eat more foods high in
calcium and vitamin D have less risk of experiencing PMS,"
said the study's lead author, Dr. Elizabeth Bertone-Johnson of
the University of Massachusetts. "It's very exciting, and could end
up being good news for many women out there."
however, that the research is too preliminary to recommend diet
changes for women in general and that more thorough studies are
Researchers say women who ate four servings or more a
day of a dairy product, including milk, were less likely to develop
feelings of anxiety, loneliness, irritability, tearfulness and
tension that characterize PMS.
Estimates are that 8 percent
to 20 percent of women may have premenstrual syndrome.
study compared the diets and supplement use over 10 years of 1,057
women, ages 27-44, who were diagnosed with PMS to 1,968 women who
didn't have PMS.
All the women were part of the large, long-running Nurses
Health Study and answered food questionnaires and other health
surveys in 1991, 1995 and 1999.
researchers were able to control for other factors that might affect
The study, which appears in Monday's Archives of
Internal Medicine, was supported by a grant from GlaxoSmithKline,
The manufacturer of calcium supplements, as well as grants from
National Cancer Institute, National Institutes
of Health and the Department of Health and Human Services.
A co-author, Adrianne Bendich, is an employee
of GlaxoSmithKline, but the scientists said the company had no
control over the study design or analysis.