Calcium Reduces PMS Symptoms


Calcium supplements reduce PMS symptoms by almost half. That's the finding of a study by Susan Thys-Jacobs, MD, of Columbia University in New York. The randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study was conducted on 441 women, ages 18 to 45, at 12 health centers nationwide. Every women that took part in the study had confirmed PMS.


The women either took 1,200 mg chewable calcium supplements or a placebo every day for three months. They kept a PMS diary to measure 17 symptoms on a four-point scale. Symptoms monitored included mood swings, irritability, water retention, food cravings, headache and cramping. At the end of the study symptom scores were averaged to give each woman a general score for each menstrual cycle.


The results showed that the women taking the calcium supplement experienced an overall 48% reduction in symptom severity during the third cycle, while those taking the placebo had a 30% reduction.


Nearly all the symptoms were found to be significantly improved in the group taking the calcium supplement. Emotional symptoms dropped by 45% (vs. 28% for placebo), water retention by 36% (vs. 24%), food cravings by 54% (vs. 34%) and pain by 54% (vs. a 15% pain increase).


Recent studies have shown that abnormal calcium regulation may be responsible for PMS, this study appears to back these findings.


American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, 1998 Aug;179: 444-52


Disclaimer: The information presented is for information purposes only. It is based on scientific studies or traditional usage. Consult a health care professional before using supplements or making any changes in prescribed medications. Information and statements regarding dietary supplements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease