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Say Goodbye to PMS With Calcium and Vitamin D

According to estimates, up to 20 percent of all women suffer from premenstrual syndrome (PMS). While the symptoms of PMS might vary from person to person, they usually include conditions such as depression, irritability, cramping and headaches. Oftentimes, these conditions are severe enough to interfere with a woman's ability to function throughout the day. As a result, scientists have looked for various remedies that could reduce, or even prevent, many of the symptoms that occur with PMS.

In this study, researchers looked at the levels of calcium and vitamin D intake in a group of approximately 3,000 women, more than a third of whom had experienced symptoms of PMS over a 10-year period. Results showed that women consuming the highest amounts of calcium were 20 percent less likely to suffer from PMS than women who consumed the lowest amounts of calcium. In addition, women with the highest levels of vitamin D intake were 41 percent less likely to develop symptoms of the condition compared to women taking the least amount of vitamin D.

Of course, vitamin D and calcium also play key roles in the prevention of another condition many women are prone to develop as they age - osteoporosis. Here are some general daily intake guidelines for women and men to follow, to ensure they get enough calcium and vitamin D in their diet:
Recommended Dietary Intake - Calcium and Vitamin D
Age Group (Males & Females) Calcium (mg) Vitamin D (mg)
7-12 months 270 5
1-3 years 500 5
4-8 years 800 5
9-13 years 1,300 5
14-18 years 1,300 5
19-50 years 1,000 5
50-70 years 1,200 10
> 70 years 1,200 15
During pregnancy (<19 years) 1,300 5
During pregnancy (19-50 years) 1,000 5
While lactating: (<19 years) 1,300 5
While lactating (19-50 years) 1,000 5


  1. Bertone-Johnson ER, Hankinson SE, Bendich A, et al. Calcium and vitamin D and risk of incident premenstrual syndrome. Archives of Internal Medicine 2005;165:1246-1252.
  2. Dietary Reference Intakes for Calcium, Phosphorus, Magnesium, Vitamin D and Fluoride, 1997. Washington, DC: National Academies Press.
  3. Dietary Supplement Fact Sheet: Vitamin D. Office of Dietary Supplements, National Institutes of Health. http://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/vitamind.asp
  4. Fact sheet on calcium. Harvard University Health Services Web site: http://huhs.harvard.edu/clinicalservices/nutritionknowhow/calcium.htm.


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Date Last Modified - Wednesday, 17-Dec-2008 12:43:01 PDT