Ample calcium and vitamin D in the diet prevent premenstrual syndrome in some women, a new study suggests.
Each month, as menstruation approaches and begins, most women experience at least mild symptoms such as depression, irritability, discomfort, or fatigue. In 8 to 20 percent of premenopausal women, these problems are severe enough to warrant a diagnosis of premenstrual syndrome, or PMS. That disorder is defined by symptoms that interfere with normal activities and relationships.
Studies have shown that calcium supplements, as well as antidepressant medications known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SN: 10/7/00, p. 231: Available to subscribers at http://sciencenews.org/articles/20001007/fob7.asp), can ease PMS.
No relationship was obvious between calcium consumption and risk of developing the disorder among women who don't have PMS, says epidemiologist Elizabeth R. Bertone-Johnson of the University of Massachusetts in Amherst.
To investigate t