-- Margaret Steele
MONDAY, March 14 (HealthDay News) -- Women may be less likely to
develop premenstrual syndrome if they eat a diet rich in two types
of B vitamins, a new study suggests.
Women who consumed thiamine (B1) and riboflavin (B2) in their
food significantly reduced their risk of PMS, the data suggested.
Thiamine is found in fortified cereals, whole grains, beans and
nuts, and researchers said eating two to three servings of
thiamine-rich foods a day appeared to thwart PMS.
Riboflavin is available in milk, eggs, meat and green
vegetables. Eating one to two servings of fortified cereal or six
to seven servings of foods such as spinach, cow or soy milk, or red
meat seemed to have a beneficial effect, the researchers found.
The study, led by Dr. Patricia O. Chocano-Bedoya of the
University of Massachusetts, Amherst, followed more than 3,000
women participating in the U.S. Nurses Health Study II. All of the
women were free of PMS at the start of the study, and they filled
out dietary questionnaires three times between 1991 and 1999.
"We observed a significantly lower risk of PMS in women with high intakes of thiamine and riboflavin from food sources only," the authors concluded.
Specifically, women with the highest riboflavin intake had a 35
percent lower risk of developing the physical and emotional
symptoms of PMS symptoms compared with those who consumed the
least, the researchers found.
According to background information in the study, thiamine and
riboflavin may have an impact on brain neurotransmitters such as
serotonin and dopamine, which have been linked to PMS.
However, the study, published recently online in the
American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, doesn't actually prove that these vitamins will prevent PMS. Other factors could play a role as well, the researchers said.
PMS is a cluster of symptoms that can range from mild to severe.
A woman with PMS may experience physical or emotional changes
several days before the start of her period. These may include
swollen, tender breasts; acne; joint pain; memory problems; anxiety
and/or depression, and for some women these changes affect their
quality of life.
Intake of vitamin-B supplements did not appear to influence
development of PMS. Nor did consumption of niacin, vitamin B-6,
folate, and vitamin B-12 in foods, the researchers said.
The authors said additional research should further explore the
link between these two B vitamins and the development or treatment
The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists has
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