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Diets High in These Two B Vitamins May Reduce PMS Symptoms

Diets high in B vitamins may help reduce premenstrual symptoms (PMS) according to a new study published in the February 2011 issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

The study was conducted by researchers at Harvard University, the University of Massachusetts and the University of Iowa. They compared data from 1,057 women with PMS to 1,968 women without PMS who participated in the Nurses’ Health Study.

The researchers found that women with the highest intake of the two B vitamins thiamine and riboflavin had a 35% lower incidence of PMS than women with the lowest intakes. Other B vitamins such as niacin, folate, B6, and B12 appeared to have no effect on PMS symptoms.

The positive effect was only seen with thiamine and riboflavin derived from food sources.

The researchers noted that thiamine and riboflavin are known to play an important role in the synthesis of various transmitters involved in PMS, and this would explain their ability to reduce PMS symptoms.

B vitamins play a very important role in many essential functions in the human body including nervous system function, red blood cell formation, and hormone function. Previous studies have also found a potential link between these important vitamins and reductions in the risk of stroke, hearing loss and birth defects.

Our bodies do not naturally synthesize B vitamins. However, it is easy to increase your intake of these essential vitamins by eating more vitamin B rich foods. Some foods rich in B vitamins include broccoli, asparagus, potatoes, tuna and salmon. Many milk and flour products are also fortified with B vitamins.

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