PMS update

We’ve updated the HEM for PMS. Alas, there’s little research on supplements other than Vitex agnus-castus, and besides a few vitamins and minerals, it’s unclear what’s worth looking into.

Written by Wyatt Brown
Last Updated:

We recently updated the Human Effect Matrix (HEM) for premenstrual syndrome (PMS). For this update, we reviewed any study we could find, on any supplement, for the various symptoms.

Many supplements look promising, but only a few have a decent amount of research.

Vitex agnus-castus has the most, and studies are overwhelmingly in agreement that it has a notable effect, but even then, there aren’t enough high-quality studies for us to ascertain how effective it really is.

The possibility of various nutrients helping (such as the minerals calcium and magnesium and the vitamins B6 and D) is quite interesting, with the caveat that many of the studies were done in locations where nutrient deficiencies are more common. The effects of nutrient supplementation depend on an individual’s baseline status; people without low levels seldom see much benefit.

We tried to specify which domain of symptoms (psychological or physical) was affected, but many studies lump all symptoms in a common score. The results of those studies may be less useful for women who only have a few symptoms.

For the full breakdown, see the Human Effect Matrix for premenstrual syndrome.