Vitamin D and Calcium in PMS.




Arch Inter Med

Related Monographs

Consumer Data: Calcium Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS) Vitamin D
Professional Data: Calcium Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS) Vitamin D


In 1994, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (4th Ed.) (DSM-IVR) included "premenstrual dysphoric disorder" among its catalog of disorders. PMS is a cluster of physical and emotional symptoms associated with the menstrual cycle. Most women experience some degree of PMS at some point in their menstrual history, although symptoms vary significantly from woman to woman. Reproductive hormones and neurotransmitters are thought to play a central role in PMS. Five to ten days prior to menses, estrogen levels rise and progesterone levels decline. These changes are accompanied by an increase in something known as follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) six to nine days prior to menstruation. Then, around two to eight days before menstruation aldosterone levels peak. Prolactin levels are elevated in most PMS patients. So you can see that a lot of changes are occurring in a short period of time.

There are many theories around what causes these major changes to occur and why they are more dramatic in some women and less dramatic in others. One theory is that the way that the body uses vitamins and minerals may be a factor. Another hypothesis is that there is some deviation in the viscosity or thickness of the blood along with a change in the amount of water within the red blood cells during the menstrual cycle.

In the most recent issue of Archives of Internal Medicine, researchers stated that women suffering from PMS have lower blood calcium and vitamin D levels. This study involved 1057 women free from PMS at baseline who then developed symptoms and 1968 women who were symptoms free. Using food frequency questionnaires, intake of vitamin D and calcium were measured in 1991, 1995, and 1999. After adjustment for age, smoking habits and other risk factors, the results showed that those with the highest intake of vitamin D had the lowest risk of PMS. The same was shown for dietary intake of calcium. Skim or low-fat milk was also associated with a lower risk of PMS. Concluding, the authors stated that although large clinical trails are needed, a high intake of vitamin D and calcium may reduce the risk of PMS.1


1. Bertone-Johnson ER, et al. Calcium and Vitamin D Intake and Risk of Incident Premenstrual Syndrome. Arch Inter Med. Jun 2005;165(11):1246-52.