by Rachel Burt, Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner at Roswell OB/GYN…………………………………
Women often come into our office complaining of premenstrual symptoms that start approximately 1 week or so prior to their periods. These symptoms may include both physical and emotional changes, such as bloating, breast tenderness, irritability, sleeplessness or mood swings. We have often recommended lifestyle changes such as exercise, and even in more extreme cases we might recommend medication. However, a new study by the University of Massachusetts Amherst School of Public Health suggests certain mineral supplements can significantly reduce the symptoms.
The 10 year study enrolled over 3000 women to assess the effect of mineral supplements on their PMS symptoms. The results suggest 3 minerals can significantly effect the development of PMS symptoms: iron, zinc and potassium. Consuming approximately 20 mg per day of non-heme iron daily can reduce your risk by 30 to 40 percent. Non heme iron is found in plant foods and supplements. Approximately 1 to 1.5 servings of iron fortified cereal is equal to the 20 mg that proved effective. Increased levels of zinc also reduce a woman’s risk for PMS. The dosage required to see an effect was 15 mg per day. In contrast, increased potassium intake caused an increase risk for PMS symptoms.
As this is the first study of its kind evaluating the relationship between minerals and PMS symptoms, other studies are necessary to prove the results can be replicated. Also, please consult your healthcare provider to discuss supplements effects on any current medical condition and avoid high dosages of any supplement.
If you have any concerns, please schedule an appointment with your healthcare provider at 770 751 3600 or online at