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Essential Fatty Acid and Vitamin Combo May Reduce PMS Symptoms

A study published in the January 2010 issue of the journal Reproductive Health found that a supplement containing a combination of essential fatty acids and vitamins may significantly reduce symptoms of premenstrual syndrome (PMS).

According to the study authors, who are with the Federal University of Pernambuco in Brazil, 80-95% of women are estimated to suffer from at least one of the symptoms of PMS and 35% of those women have symptoms severe enough to affect their routine activities.

In order to find new, effective and natural ways to reduce PMS symptoms, the researchers recruited 120 women volunteers suffering from PMS. The women were randomly divided into three groups, each given either 1 gram daily of the supplement, 2 grams or a placebo.

The supplement contained, among other things, gamma linolenic acid, oleic acid, linoleic acid, other polyunsaturated acids and vitamin E.

Over the course of 6 months, the researchers measured the women’s PMS symptoms using the Prospective Record of the Impact and Severity of Menstruation (PRISM) calendar.

At the end of the study period the researchers found improvements in PMS symptoms among the group given 1 gram of the supplement and even more significant improvements for women given 2 grams.

This study adds yet another potential benefit of essential fatty acids. Over the past few years, essential fatty acids, particularly omega-3's, have gained an immense amount of attention for their numerous health benefits. Boosting heart health is the most scientifically backed benefit but studies have also shown that it may reduce the risk of age related vision loss, certain cancers and even boost mood.

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