B Vitamins Reduce PMS Symptoms

A diet rich in B vitamins could protect women from the bothersome symptoms of Premenstrual Syndrome or PMS. Despite studies, spanning for several decades, scientists have failed to discover the causes of PMS. Health experts believe that there are over 150 symptoms of PMS that makes diagnosis a challenging task.

PMS Symptoms

The series of physical and psychological symptoms associated with PMS develop after ovulation and subside naturally after the menstrual period begins.

menstrual period

Some studies suggest that nearly 80 per cent of women experience some form of PMS symptom. However, others believe that the number is overestimated and about 20 to 30 per cent of women suffer from clinically significant PMS. The common symptoms of PMS include bloating, acne, breast tenderness, changes in appetite, food cravings and fatigue. Mood swings, depression and irritability are common emotional problems that might develop after ovulation. Less than 10 per cent women suffer from Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder, a severe form of PMS.

symptoms of PMS

A study, reported in the current edition of the Journal of Clinical Nutrition, suggests that a diet loaded with vitamin B rich food could bring down the risk of developing PMS. Thiamine or vitamin B1 and riboflavin or vitamin B2 are especially effective in preventing the symptoms of PMS.

Vitamin B1 and B2

However, B vitamins obtained from supplements might not protect a woman from PMS. Researchers tracked the effect of diet on PMS in more than 3000 women for over ten years. During the course of the study over 1000 women developed symptoms of moderate to severe PMS including abdominal pain, bloating, fatigue, depression, anxiety and irritability.

depression and anxiety

The findings showed that women who consume around 1.9mg of thiamine and 2.5mg of riboflavin per day are less likely to experience PMS symptoms. About three in five women who ate 1.2mg of thiamine and 1.4mg of riboflavin develops PMS.


According to the authors of the study, you can easily meet your minimum thiamine requirement by consuming two to thee bowls of cereals fortified with the B vitamin, three ounces of red meat or 3/4cup of dried beans. One to two bowls of cereals or three ounces of liver could supply your body enough riboflavin needed for preventing PMS.