Calcium: In research conducted at Mt. Sinai Medical Center, 1,000 mg per day of calcium helped ease PMS symptoms including mood swings, water retention, and cramps. Another study suggested that the effects of calcium are cumulative over time. In the study, women who supplemented with 1,200 mg of calcium per day reduced overall PMS symptoms by nearly half within two to three months. The National Institutes of Health recommends a dosage between 1,000 mg and 1,500 mg of calcium per day.
Evening primrose oil (EPO) has been shown to be effective in reducing symptoms of PMS including depression, irritability, and breast pain. Women who took 3,000 mg of EPO per day in six 500 mg capsules, throughout the month, reported relief from symptoms of PMS.
Magnesium relieved premenstrual mood fluctuations and depression according to self-reported menstrual distress questionnaire scores. Magnesium facilitates essential fatty acid metabolism and vitamin B6 activity. Recommended doses for magnesium are 300 mg, one to three times per day.
Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) may be unique in its ability to increase the production of serotonin and dopamine, important neuro-transmitters in the brain. Low levels of serotonin and dopamine are thought to contribute to PMS. Studies have typically used between 50 mg and 500 mg of vitamin B6 per day.
For some women, symptoms of PMS are severe and can make life difficult. A healthy diet, certain dietary supplements, exercise, and relaxation techniques can help alleviate symptoms of PMS.