Research Highlight from Bioconcepts Australia
From princess to dragon, this is how many men would describe women “at that time of the month”. Now, there may be help at hand from an unlikely mineral, calcium. Concentrations of calcium fluctuate with the female menstrual cycle. Research is now showing that calcium supplementation may play a pivotal role in slaying the often moody dragon that is our premenstrual selves.
The main features of PMS are mood swings, tender breasts, food cravings, fatigue, irritability and depression beginning in the luteal phase of the menstrual cycle and resolving with the start of menstruation. On average 30-40% of the female population who are of reproductive age report experiencing some PMS symptoms during their luteal phase.
Adequate calcium intake can help to resolve any underlying physiological deficit, suppressing parathyroid hormone secretion and neuromuscular irritability. Moreover, combining calcium with vitamin B6 can lead to a further decrease in PMS symptoms.
More recently, scientific papers indicated that changes in extracellular calcium concentration in conjunction with hypocalcaemia could have stimulatory effects on neuromuscular junctions, leading to neuromuscular irritability, mania and agitation. Along with vitamin B6, calcium plays an essential role in the regulating of mood, psychological imbalances, particularly symptoms of stress, anxiety, fatigue, insomnia and depression. However, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, 73% of women and 51% of men do not meet their calcium requirements based on dietary intake.
Several interventional studies found that calcium supplementation we associated with reductions in the incidence of several PMS symptoms. In fact, daily intake of 500mg calcium led to a 75% reduction in overall symptoms of PMS after three months. In another study, 80mg vitamin B6 for two consecutive cycles reduced the symptoms of PMS.