Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) affects many women and results in mood swings, fatigue, irritability, impaired sleep, and food cravings. Women with PMS often have lower zinc levels than women without PMS, so zinc supplementation could be a potential PMS treatment.

The study

In this three-month randomized controlled trial, 57 young women with PMS, but no depression or anxiety, were assigned to supplement either 30 mg of zinc per day or placebo. Participants completed quality of life and sleep questionnaires at the beginning and end of the study.

The results

While the zinc group experienced minor improvements in quality of life and sleep quality, there were no large differences between groups. Larger, longer duration studies may help researchers better understand the role of zinc in PMS.


Zinc is an important micronutrient and a component of over 300 enzymes in the human body. It is especially integral to the function of the hippocampus (a structure in the brain), which is why low zinc levels are sometimes linked to neuropsychological dysfunction, such as depression. Zinc’s role in sleep is still unclear, but it may be involved in inhibiting the brain’s “wakefulness” pathway. It is also required for the production of melatonin, a sleep-regulating hormone.

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This Study Summary was published on August 6, 2020.