A new study published by the American Journal of Epidemiology found that women with a higher iron intake had about a 35% lower risk of being diagnosed with premenstrual syndrome PMS than women who had a lowest iron intake. Researchers at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst compared the mineral intakes from food as well as supplements for nearly 1,060 women, ages 25 to 42, who had been diagnosed with PMS against those of 1,970 women who had few PMS symptoms.
After evaluating data, researchers concluded that iron supplements may ease the severity of PMS symptoms. PMS affects anywhere from 8 to 15 percent of women during their childbearing years and is characterized by physical and emotional symptoms ranging from breast tenderness and food cravings to fatigue and moodiness.
However, not all forms of dietary iron are the same. It was primarily the iron found in plant foods and in supplements that reduced a woman’s chances of developing PMS, while iron coming from animal sources did not have the same effect. Additionally the same study found that an intake of more than 15 milligrams a day from zinc supplements, not from food sources, was associated with a lower risk of PMS. Recommend daily intake for women experiencing PMS symptoms are 18 mg a day of iron and 8 mg a day of zinc.