Supplemental vitamin D and severity of premenstrual syndrome symptoms Original paper

In this randomized controlled trial, supplementation with vitamin D reduced the severity of premenstrual syndrome symptoms among women with vitamin D levels that were considered insufficient by the investigators.

This Study Summary was published on February 12, 2024.

Quick Summary

In this randomized controlled trial, supplementation with vitamin D reduced the severity of premenstrual syndrome symptoms among women with vitamin D levels that were considered insufficient by the investigators.

What was studied?

The effects of vitamin D supplementation on premenstrual syndrome (PMS) symptom severity among women with vitamin D insufficiency.

PMS symptom severity was assessed with a daily questionnaire during the 7 days preceding menstruation and up to 4 days after onset of menstruation. The participants reported the severity of 30 symptoms, such as anxiety, depression, irritability, cravings, fatigue, hot flashes, acne, muscle and joint pain, swelling, abdominal bloating, and breast tenderness.

Who was studied?

44 young women in Iran (ages 18–25, average of 22) without apparent health conditions and with regular menstrual cycles and an average serum vitamin D level of 21 ng/mL at baseline.

How was it studied?

This 6-month randomized controlled trial consisted of a 4-month intervention period, during which the participants took vitamin D supplements or a placebo, followed by a 2-month observation period during which PMS symptoms were recorded and serum vitamin D levels were assessed. The vitamin D dosage was 50,000 IU every 2 weeks.

What were the results?

Vitamin D supplementation reduced the severity of PMS symptoms in comparison with the placebo, leading to a greater reduction (improvement) in both psychological symptoms (–54% vs. –20%) and physical symptoms (–39% vs. –19%).

Serum vitamin D levels increased to an average of 40 ng/mL with supplementation. A smaller increase in serum vitamin D levels was observed in the placebo group compared to the vitamin D group (+2.1 ng/mL vs. +18.9 ng/mL).

Anything else I need to know?

This study classified serum 25(OH)D levels of 20–30 ng/mL as insufficient. At the time of writing, National Institutes of Health guidelines classify 20–50 ng/mL as adequate for bone and overall health in healthy individuals. See our Vitamin D research breakdown for more information regarding target serum vitamin D levels.

This Study Summary was published on February 12, 2024.