PMS Supplements: Pros, Cons, Benefits, Side Effects, and More
Premenstrual symptoms are challenging for many women. The good news is that supplements are available that can help relieve symptoms. Let's explore the benefits and potential side effects of some common PMS supplements.
What Causes PMS?
PMS is caused by various factors. These factors include hormonal fluctuations, neurotransmitter imbalances, and lifestyle choices. The cause of PMS is unique to each woman. Finding the right supplements can often make a significant difference in managing symptoms.
What Are Supplements That Can Help With PMS?
Chasteberry, also known as Vitex or Vitex agnus-castus, is a popular herbal supplement. It is from the berries of the chaste tree, native to the Mediterranean region. It has been used for centuries to balance hormones and relieve PMS symptoms.
Benefits of chasteberry:
Chasteberry works by regulating the pituitary gland and balancing prolactin levels. This helps reduce breast tenderness, bloating, mood swings, irritability, and other PMS symptoms. It also helps with symptoms associated with excessive estrogen and inadequate progesterone levels.
- Supports hormonal balance and regulation.
- Potential benefits for PMS symptoms such as breast tenderness, mood swings, and irritability.
- Generally well-tolerated with few reported side effects.
- Not recommended for use during pregnancy or while breastfeeding.
- Potential interactions with certain medications.
- It may interfere with hormonal contraceptives’ effectiveness.
- Some people may experience mild digestive upset, headache, or skin rash.
Gamma linoleic acid (evening primrose oil)
Gamma-linolenic acid (GLA) is an omega-6 fatty acid. It is in plant-based oils like evening primrose oil, borage oil, and blackcurrant seed oil. GLA is not produced in significant amounts by the body. It is an essential fatty acid that you need to obtain from your diet or supplementation.
Benefits of Gamma-Linolenic Acid (GLA) for PMS:
- Hormone Regulation: GLA helps in the production of hormone-like substances called prostaglandins. Prostaglandins play a role in regulating various physiological processes. GLA supports the production of beneficial prostaglandins and helps balance hormone levels. This results in reduced PMS symptoms like breast pain, bloating, and mood swings.
- Anti-Inflammatory Properties: GLA can help reduce inflammation in the body. With the reduced inflammation there is less pain, swelling, and discomfort during PMS.
- Skin Health: GLA promotes healthy skin. It helps maintain the skin’s moisture barrier and supports skin elasticity. It can also improve symptoms of skin conditions that are worse during PMS, like acne or eczema.
- Mood Stabilization: PMS is often characterized by mood swings, irritability, and depressive symptoms. GLA helps support healthy neurotransmitter function and mood stability. This supports emotional well-being during the menstrual cycle.
- Potential benefits for PMS symptoms such as breast pain, bloating, and mood swings.
- May help reduce inflammation and support feeling good.
- Generally well-tolerated with few reported side effects.
- Not recommended for individuals with bleeding disorders or epilepsy.
- Potential interactions with certain medications.
- Evening primrose oil is generally considered safe to use with birth control pills, but it’s best to consult with a healthcare professional for personalized guidance.
Magnesium and vitamin B6
Magnesium and Vitamin B6 are essential nutrients. They play an important role in hormone and neurotransmitter balance. A comprehensive magnesium supplement can provide muscle relaxation, mood stabilization, and pain relief.
Magnesium is an essential mineral involved in many biochemical processes in the body. It is important for muscle function, nerve transmission, energy production, and hormone regulation. Healthy magnesium levels make sure various enzyme systems and neurotransmitters are working right.
Vitamin B6 is one of the B-vitamins that helps in many metabolic processes. This includes making neurotransmitters like serotonin. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that helps regulate mood, sleep, and pain perception.
Benefits of magnesium and vitamin B6:
- Hormone Balance: Both magnesium and vitamin B6 are critical in hormone regulation. They support the balance between estrogen and progesterone. These are two key hormones that fluctuate during the menstrual cycle. Imbalances in these hormones can contribute to PMS symptoms. The combination of magnesium and vitamin B6 may help restore balance.
- Mood Stabilization: Magnesium and vitamin B6 are both important for neurotransmitter health. These nutrients are important for the production and regulation of neurotransmitters like serotonin. Serotonin impacts mood and emotional well-being. Supplementing with magnesium and vitamin B6 may help stabilize mood. This reduces irritability and eases depressive symptoms associated with PMS.
- Muscle Relaxation and Pain Relief: Magnesium has muscle-relaxing properties. Vitamin B6 helps in the metabolism of certain neurotransmitters that influence pain perception. This eases muscle tension, cramps, and reduces pain related to PMS.
- Water Retention Reduction: Some women experience bloating and water retention during PMS. Magnesium, with vitamin B6, helps reduce fluid retention.
Having multiple forms of magnesium is important in addressing numerous body functions.
- Magnesium Glycinate: Magnesium glycinate is calming and promotes relaxation. It helps relieve muscle tension and cramps. It reduces irritability and mood swings associated with PMS. This promotes better sleep quality and contributes to PMS symptom relief.
- Magnesium Taurate: The combination of magnesium and taurine offers benefits for PMS symptoms. Taurine supports cardiovascular health and heart function. This can reduce certain PMS symptoms like bloating and water retention.
- Magnesium Orotate: Magnesium orotate supports energy production and cardiovascular health. Optimizing energy metabolism may improve energy during the PMS period.
- Sucrosomial Magnesium: Sucrosomial magnesium is a form of magnesium that is very well absorbed. Its enhanced bioavailability enhances the effectiveness of magnesium supplementation in relieving PMS symptoms.
- Magnesium Citrate: Magnesium citrate is a mild laxative and can help temporarily reduce constipation. Constipation is a common issue during PMS.
- Magnesium Chelate: Magnesium chelate comes in various forms. They offer good bioavailability and absorption. They reduce muscle tension, abdominal discomfort, and support relaxation related to PMS.
- Magnesium Malate: Magnesium malate combines magnesium with malic acid. They are important in energy production. This helps with energy and discomfort associated with PMS.
- Combination supports hormone regulation, mood stabilization, and muscle relaxation.
- Potential benefits for PMS symptoms such as mood swings, muscle cramps, and water retention.
- Magnesium supports relaxation and energy production.
- Potential gastrointestinal side effects with high doses of magnesium.
- Potential interactions with certain medications.
- Magnesium and Vitamin B6 are generally safe to use with birth control pills. Consult with a healthcare professional for personalized guidance. It may not be for you if you have a hormone-related disease or are taking other medications.
Calcium is an essential mineral and is important in promoting strong bones and teeth. Calcium also has potential benefits for managing certain symptoms associated with PMS.
Benefits of calcium:
- Muscle Relaxation: Calcium is involved in muscle contraction and relaxation processes. Adequate calcium levels can support muscle function. It helps reduce muscle cramps and tension during PMS.
- Mood Stabilization: Calcium helps with neurotransmitter regulation and it helps with mood stabilization. This helps with mood swings, irritability, and sadness associated with PMS.
- Water Retention Reduction: Some women experience bloating and water retention during PMS. Calcium regulates fluid balance in the body. This assists in reducing excess fluid retention, thereby alleviating bloating and discomfort.
- Bone Health: Calcium is vital for maintaining healthy bones. Women are particularly susceptible to bone loss and osteoporosis. Calcium intake is important for long-term bone health.
Calcium is found in various foods. Food sources include dairy products, dark leafy green vegetables, almonds, tofu, sardines, and fortified foods. Incorporating these calcium-rich foods into your diet can help ensure an adequate intake of this mineral.
If dietary intake of calcium is not enough you may need to take a calcium supplement. Calcium supplements are available in various forms, including calcium carbonate and calcium citrate. Calcium absorption is best when taken with vitamin D.
Calcium supplementation is important if you are not getting enough in your diet. Keep in mind, that too much calcium through supplementation may have potential risks.
Too much calcium can interfere with the absorption of other essential minerals. It can also contribute to the formation of kidney stones in susceptible individuals. It is important not to take more than the recommended dosage.
- Potential benefits for PMS symptoms such as mood swings, bloating, and irritability.
- Supports bone health and health throughout your body.
- Easily available
- Generally considered safe with minimal side effects.
- High doses of calcium may interfere with the absorption of other minerals.
- Potential gastrointestinal side effects with high doses of calcium.
- Calcium supplements are generally safe to use with birth control pills and hormone-related diseases, but it’s best to consult with a healthcare professional for personalized guidance.
St. John’s Wort
St. John’s Wort (Hypericum perforatum) has been used for centuries to support emotional well-being and relieve pain associated with the premenstrual period.
Benefits of St. John’s Wort
- Mood Stabilization: St. John’s Wort is known for its mood-stabilizing effects. It contains several active compounds, including hypericin and hyperforin. These influence neurotransmitters such as serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine. St. John’s Wort helps even out emotions during the premenstrual period.
- Inflammation-Balancing and Antioxidant Effects: St. John’s Wort exhibits inflammation-balancing and antioxidant properties. These properties have neuroprotective effects. This results in a positive impact on mental health.
- Nerve Pain Relief: St. John’s Wort is used to help relieve nerve pain, including neuralgia. The analgesic properties of St. John’s Wort help with pain-related symptoms during PMS.
- Potential benefits for mood stabilization and boosting mood.
- May help reduce emotional and craving symptoms associated with PMS.
- Easy to get and budget-friendly.
- Minimal side effects.
- Potential interactions with certain medications, including birth control pills and antidepressants.
- May cause sensitivity to sunlight in some people.
- St. John’s Wort can interact with birth control pills and reduce their effectiveness. It’s crucial to consult with a healthcare professional before using St. John’s Wort if you are taking hormonal contraceptives.
Traditional Chinese Medicine: BIOptimizers Cycle Care (Coming Soon)
BIOptimizers Cycle Care uses Traditional Chinese Medicine to treat PMS symptoms. The herbs in this formula have been used for centuries to help regulate hormones, reduce pain, ease cramps, and improve mood during PMS.
The formula includes the herbs Chai Hu, Bai Shao, Dang Gui, and many others. They work together to provide comprehensive relief by treating the underlying causes of the symptoms.
The combination of BIOptimizers Cycle Care and a magnesium supplement, like Magnesium Breakthrough, offers a comprehensive approach to managing PMS symptoms. The combination provides synergistic effects and addresses the underlying factors contributing to PMS.
How Long Does It Take for a PMS Supplement to Work?
How long it takes for a PMS supplement to work is different from person to person. Some people may experience noticeable improvements within a few weeks of starting supplementation. Others may take a longer time before they have symptom relief.
Most holistic practitioners recommend trying these supplements for at least 3 cycles to see the effects they have on your body.
Several factors can influence the timeframe:
- Individual Variations: Each person’s body is unique. An individual’s response to supplements can differ. Hormone levels, metabolic rate, and individual biochemistry affect how fast you respond. Some people are more sensitive to the effects of supplements. They experience quicker results. Others may need more time for the supplements to exert their effects.
- Severity of Symptoms: How bad your PMS symptoms are can impact the time it takes for supplements to work. If your symptoms are more intense or chronic, it may take longer for the body to rebalance. It also affects how well the supplements address the underlying issues. Consistent and long-term supplementation may be necessary to achieve noticeable improvements.
- Dosage and Duration: How much of and how often you take a supplement can also influence how fast it works. Being consistent for a few menstrual cycles is important. This gives the supplements enough time to take effect. Sometimes your dosage needs to be adjusted before you feel relief.
- Underlying Imbalances: PMS symptoms are caused by underlying imbalances. These include hormonal fluctuations, neurotransmitter dysregulation, inflammation, and nutrient deficiencies. Addressing these imbalances and achieving optimal balance takes time. PMS supplements support the body’s natural healing processes. It takes time to restore balance and reduce symptoms.
- Lifestyle Factors: Lifestyle factors, such as diet, exercise, and stress levels. How well you take care of yourself can influence how well your PMS supplements work. A healthy lifestyle includes a balanced diet, regular physical activity, stress management, and consistent sleep. This helps improve the effectiveness of supplements.
- Holistic Approach: Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) formulas address imbalances in the body. BIOptimizers Cycle Care uses a combination of herbs to treat the underlying cause of PMS symptoms.
- Herbal Synergy: By combining herbs in TCM formulas the therapeutic effect is more than one herb by itself. It provides a broader spectrum of benefits compared to single herbs.
- Potential Symptom Relief: BIOptimizers Cycle Care includes herbs that address PMS symptoms. Mood swings, menstrual pain, bloating, and irritability are all addressed.
- Generally Well-Tolerated: TCM herbs have minimal side effects.
- TCM herbs can interact with some medications and there are some health conditions that you shouldn’t take them with.
- BIOptimizers Cycle Care contains some herbs that may affect how hormonal birth control works. There is no direct evidence that specific herbs reduce the effectiveness of hormonal birth control but it is important to consult with a healthcare professional.
- Quality and sourcing: The quality and sourcing of TCM herbs can vary. It’s important to get them from reputable sources to ensure purity and effectiveness.
When it comes to managing PMS symptoms, finding the right supplements can make a significant difference in how you feel throughout your cycle.
BIOptimizers’ Magnesium Breakthrough, combined with their BIOptimizers Cycle Care, offers a powerful approach to PMS symptom relief.
They address hormone balance, muscle relaxation, physical discomfort, and mood. This provides a holistic and comprehensive solution for managing PMS symptoms. Just remember, your symptoms are unique to you. Consult with a healthcare provider such as a naturopathic doctor or herbalist to find the best options for your specific needs.
- Hajirahimkhan A, Dietz B, Bolton J. Botanical modulation of menopausal symptoms: Mechanisms of action? Planta Med. 2013;79(07):538-553. doi:10.1055/s-0032-1328187
- Dietz BM, Hajirahimkhan A, Dunlap TL, Bolton JL. Botanicals and their bioactive phytochemicals for women’s health. Pharmacol Rev. 2016;68(4):1026-1073. doi:10.1124/pr.115.010843
- Sultana A, Rahman K, Heyat MBB, Sumbul, Akhtar F, Muaad AY. Role of inflammation, oxidative stress, and mitochondrial changes in premenstrual psychosomatic behavioral symptoms with anti-inflammatory, antioxidant herbs, and nutritional supplements. Oxid Med Cell Longev. 2022;2022:1-29. doi:10.1155/2022/3599246
- Mahboubi M. Evening primrose (Oenothera biennis) oil in management of female ailments. J Menopausal Med. 2019;25(2):74. doi:10.6118/jmm.18190
- Sureja VP, Kheni DB, Dubey VP, et al. Efficacy and tolerability evaluation of a nutraceutical composition containing Vitex agnus-castus extract (EVX40TM), pyridoxine, and magnesium in premenstrual syndrome: A real-world, interventional, comparative study. Cureus. 2023;15(8). doi:10.7759/cureus.42832
- Boyle N, Lawton C, Dye L. The effects of magnesium supplementation on subjective anxiety and stress—A systematic review. Nutrients. 2017;9(5):429. doi:10.3390/nu9050429
- Fathizadeh N, Ebrahimi E, Valiani M, Tavakoli N, Yar MH. Evaluating the effect of magnesium and magnesium plus vitamin B6 supplement on the severity of premenstrual syndrome. Iranian Journal of Nursing and Midwifery Research. 2010;15(Suppl1):401.
- Wyatt KM, Dimmock PW, Jones PW, Shaughn O’Brien PM. Efficacy of vitamin B-6 in the treatment of premenstrual syndrome: systematic review. BMJ. 1999;318(7195):1375-1381. doi:10.1136/bmj.318.7195.1375
- Abdi F, Ozgoli G, Rahnemaie FS. A systematic review of the role of vitamin D and calcium in premenstrual syndrome. Obstet Gynecol Sci. 2019;62(2):73. doi:10.5468/ogs.2019.62.2.73
- Siminiuc R, Ţurcanu D. Impact of nutritional diet therapy on premenstrual syndrome. Front Nutr. 2023;10. doi:10.3389/fnut.2023.1079417
- Maleki-Saghooni N, Karimi FZ, Moghadam ZB, Najmabadi KM. The effectiveness and safety of Iranian herbal medicines for treatment of premenstrual syndrome: A systematic review. Avicenna Journal of Phytomedicine. 2018;8(2):96.
- Nobakht SZ, Akaberi M, Mohammadpour AH, Moghadam AT, Emami SA. Hypericum perforatum: Traditional uses, clinical trials, and drug interactions. Iranian Journal of Basic Medical Sciences. 2022;25(9):1045. doi:10.22038/IJBMS.2022.65112.14338