Essential fatty acids (EFAs), are ones the body must get from diet. They help maintain the reproductive system and may ease breast tenderness, bloating and depression in PMS, according to researchers. In one study, 120 women with PMS took one or two doses of an EFA supplement or a placebo, beginning on the 15th day of the menstrual cycle (near ovulation) and continued for 15 days. The supplement contained 210 mg of gamma linolenic acid, 345 mg of linoleic acid, 175 mg of oleic acid, 250 mg of other polyunsaturated fatty acids, and 20 mg of vitamin E.
After three cycles, PMS symptoms had improved for both the EFA and placebo groups compared to the start of the study. By six months, while there was no further improvement for the placebo group, symptoms for the EFA group continued to improve, particularly in the two-dose group.