According to the study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine high intake of calcium and vitamin D may reduce the risk of premenstrual syndrome (PMS). Previous studies have shown that blood calcium and vitamin D levels are lower in women with PMS.PMS that occurs monthly during the reproductive age of a women, is a characterized by hormonal changes which produces a number of symptoms in a significant number of women for up to two weeks prior to menstruation. Sometimes the PMS could be very severe that it might warrant medical management. These symptoms tend to taper off with menstruation.
The case control study had included women aged 27 to 44 years and free of PMS at baseline in 1991 from the Nurses Health Study II cohort. There were about 1057
women who developed the premenstrual syndrome over 10 years of follow up and 1968 women with no diagnosis of premenstrual syndrome. A questionnaire to assess the food intake and frequency and thereby the amount of calcium and Vitamin D consumed was administered to the group at three time points , i.e.in the years 1991, 1995 and 1999.
The results was then adjusted for age, parity, smoking status, and other risk factors. The study showed that those women who had consumed more calcium had lower risk of developing the premenstrual syndrome . A similar finding was seen in the association between Vitamin D and risk of developing PMS. Women with high intake of Vitamin D had lesser relative risk of developing PMS. Another point that was brought out by the study was that the intake of skim or low-fat milk was also associated with a lower risk of developing PMS.
The role of calcium and vitamin D in reducing the risk of osteoporosis has been well documented. This study adds further impetus to the importance of adequate amounts of calcium and vitamin D in a healthy diet for young women also.