A diet high in calcium and vitamin D may actually reduce your risk of premenstrual syndrome (PMS), according to a 10-year study conducted at the University of Massachusetts. While past research indicated that calcium eases symptoms of PMS, it did not show that it could prevent PMS. Also, few studies have explored the link between vitamin D and PMS.
For the study, researchers analysed information from the ongoing Nurses' Health Study II. Participants included women aged 27 to 44 who were free from PMS symptoms at the start of the study. All were given food frequency questionnaires that evaluated their intake of calcium- and vitamin Dâ€“rich foods, including milk, yogurt, hard cheese, cottage cheese and spinach. They were also asked about multivitamin, calcium and vitamin D supplement use.
Women who consumed large amounts of calcium (on average, 1,200 milligrams a day) and vitamin D (on average, 400 international units a day) from food were significantly less likely to suffer from PMS during the course of the study. Too few women in the study took supplements, so researchers couldn't determine whether they helped prevent PMS.
The study's authors say that further research is needed to confirm these findings, but since calcium and vitamin D may also reduce risk of osteoporosis and some cancers, it makes sense for women to include these nutrients in their diets.