(NEW YORK) — Women who suffer from premenstrual syndrome, or PMS, know the physical and emotional symptoms can often be miserable. Now researchers say a common mineral may bring relief.
Many women take iron supplements to fight fatigue. A study reported in the American Journal of Epidemiology finds that an iron-rich diet can relieve the symptoms of PMS by up to 40 percent.
The researchers at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst started studying the total iron intake — from both diet and supplements — of some 3,000 women without PMS.
Over 10 years, a little more than 1,000 of them were diagnosed with PMS, while the others remained free of symptoms.
Those who took in over 20 milligrams a day of iron from plant-based sources and supplements reduced their risk for PMS, according to the study findings.
Scientists think the connection is that iron is needed to produce serotonin, a brain chemical involved in regulating moods.
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