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Lower Risk of PMS in Women with High Intake of B Vitamins

On : 22 January, 2013

In : PMS


Dietary B vitamin intake and incident premenstrual syndrome

Author Affiliations

  1. 1From the Departments of Public Health (POC-B, LC-T, CB, and ERB-J) and Nutrition (AGR), School of Public Health and Health Sciences, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA; the Division of Preventive Medicine (JEM) and Channing Laboratory (JEM, SEH, and WCW), Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA (JEM); the Departments of Epidemiology (JEM, SEH, and WCW) and Nutrition (WCW), Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, MA; and the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology,


Background: Thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin B-6, folate, and vitamin B-12 are required to synthesize neurotransmitters that are potentially involved in the pathophysiology of premenstrual syndrome (PMS).

Objective: The objective was to evaluate whether B vitamin intake from food sources and supplements is associated with the initial development of PMS.

Design: We conducted a case-control study nested within the Nurses’ Health Study II cohort. Participants were free of PMS at baseline (1991). After 10 y of follow up, 1057 women were confirmed as cases and 1968 were confirmed as controls. Dietary information was collected in 1991, 1995, and 1999 by using food-frequency questionnaires.

Results: Intakes of thiamine and riboflavin from food sources were each inversely associated with incident PMS. For example, women in the highest quintile of riboflavin intake 2-4 y before the diagnosis year had a 35% lower risk of developing PMS than did those in the lowest quintile (relative risk: 0.65; 95% CI: 0.45, 0.92; P for trend = 0.02). No significant associations between incident PMS and dietary intakes of niacin, vitamin B-6, folate, and vitamin B-12 were observed. Intake of B vitamins from supplements was not associated with a lower risk of PMS.

Conclusions: We observed a significantly lower risk of PMS in women with high intakes of thiamine and riboflavin from food sources only. Further research is needed to evaluate the effects of B vitamins in the development of premenstrual syndrome.

The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition February 23,2011


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