Studies: Could More Calcium Improve Your PMS? -

Calcium is an essential element most widely known for its effects on bone health and its implications on osteoporosis.  However most people don’t know that calcium levels have also been implicated in affecting mood in women that suffer from the Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS). PMS may cause mood swings, irritability, fatigue, and depression*.

Calcium Levels and Your Premenstrual Mood

Calcium levels have been studied in relation to the premenstrual syndrome. A study conducted by the University of Massachusetts (1) evaluated calcium and vitamin D levels in women aged 27 to 44 years old by evaluating their food intakes via a food frequency questionnaire.  Researchers found that calcium from food intake had an inverse relationship with PMS incidence. Additionally, they also found that the use of antidepressants was more associated in women in with PMS.  Finally, women with more milk consumption (a well known source of calcium) also had a lower incidence of PMS.  These results suggest that calcium intake is vital and that its effects may go so far as to affect mood in women*.

The Effects Of Calcium Supplementation On Mood

One way in which researchers can test for the effectiveness of a substance is by supplementation. Calcium’s effects on mood have also been tested through supplementation as well. A Columbia University study (2) supplemented calcium carbonate to women aged 18 to 45 years old in the United States, and documented their symptoms. Researchers found that calcium supplementation was able to produce a 50% reduction in PMS symptom scores. This reduction included improved depression, mood swings, irritability and headaches.  A study in Iran (3) also had similar findings after supplementing young college students with calcium for three months. Calcium supplementation significantly reduced depression and sadness in women with PMS. Both studies suggest imply that calcium supplementation is beneficial for mood and is associated with a lower incidence of PMS symptoms*.

You can find calcium in your diet by eating:

  • Milk
  • Yogurt
  • Vegetables like broccoli, kale, and mustard greens
  • Salmon

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(1) Calcium and vitamin D intake and risk of incident premenstrual syndrome. Bertone-Johnson ER Arch Intern Med. 2005 Jun 13;165(11):1246-52.
(2) Calcium carbonate and the premenstrual syndrome: effects on premenstrual and menstrual symptoms. Premenstrual Syndrome Study Group., Thys-Jacobs S, Am J Obstet Gynecol. 1998 Aug;179(2):444-52.
(3) Effects of calcium supplement therapy in women with premenstrual syndrome., Ghanbari Z, Taiwan J Obstet Gynecol. 2009 Jun;48(2):124-9. doi: 10.1016/S1028-4559(09)60271-0.

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.