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Omega-3s and vitamin E reduce menstrual pain

The body produces hormone-like substances called prostaglandins, which help smooth muscle contract and relax, blood vessels dilate and contract, and can cause inflammation.

Doctors believe there is a link between prostaglandins and painful uterine contractions during menstruation. Omega-3s are anti-inflammatory, and vitamin E suppresses the production of prostaglandins.

In this study, 100 women, age 18 to 25, took a daily dose of 180 mg EPA plus 120 mg DHA from fish oil, 200 IU of vitamin E, the omega-3s and vitamin E together, or a placebo. After eight weeks, while the placebo group did not improve, those taking omega-3s or vitamin E alone had some improvement, but women taking omega-3s plus vitamin E reported the greatest relief from menstrual pain.

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