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A Few Natural Tips for Women

Between premenstrual syndrome (PMS) and female endocrine disorders like polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), women can have it tough. But thank goodness the natural products industry in constantly evolving with new research, new discoveries and new ways to help aggravate, thwart and prevent women’s health woes.

NewsMax.com listed a few natural supplements that are good for women with PCOS’s many symptoms. The list included chaste berry for fertility, buckwheat and omega-3s for polycystic ovaries, saw palmetto for testosterone reduction, ginseng for menstrual irregularities, and biotin (a B vitamin) for improved glucose tolerance and management of insulin resistance.

On a separate note, a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found high intake of B vitamins—specifically thiamine (vitamin B1) and riboflavin (vitamin B2) only sourced from food—significantly lowered the risk of PMS in women (Feb. 23, 2011). Researchers conducted a case-control study nested within the Nurses’ Health Study II cohort. Participants were free of PMS at baseline (1991). After 10 years of follow up, 1,057 women were confirmed as cases and 1968 were confirmed as controls. Dietary information was collected in 1991, 1995 and 1999 by using food-frequency questionnaires.

Intakes of thiamine and riboflavin from food sources were each inversely associated with incident PMS. For example, women in the highest quintile of riboflavin intake 2 to 4 years before the diagnosis year had a 35-percent lower risk of developing PMS than did those in the lowest. No significant associations between incident PMS and dietary intakes of niacin, vitamin B-6, folate and vitamin B-12 were observed. Interestingly, intake of B vitamins from supplements was not associated with a lower risk of PMS.

Which foods are rich in thiamine and riboflavin? Thiamine is found in pork and yeast, with cereal grains an important source due to their ubiquity. Other food sources include oatmeal, flax, kale, eggs and oranges. Riboflavin can be found in milk, cheese, leafy green vegetables and almonds.

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