Vitamin E may help relieve menstrual pain

January 29, 2002 in Nutrition Topics in the News, Vitamins, Minerals, Supplements, Women's Health

Vitamin E may help relieve menstrual pain

Vitamin E could help ease the pain of menstrual cramps, recent study findings from the University in Iran suggest.

High levels of hormone-like substances called prostaglandins have been implicated in painful menstruation (dysmenorrhea). Because vitamin E can help block prostaglandin formation, the researchers decided to test the vitamin as a treatment for dysmenorrhea.

The researchers studied 100 high school students aged 16 to 18 who reported experiencing mild, moderate or severe pain during menstruation. Half of the students took five vitamin E tablets per day for 2 days before and 3 days after they began menstruating, while the other half, the comparison group, took five inactive placebo tablets.

After 2 months, individuals in both the vitamin E group and the comparison group reported experiencing less menstrual pain than they did at the start of the study. Students in the vitamin E group, however, reported slightly less pain than those in the comparison group.

The difference between the two groups was less than one point, so it seems that vitamin E may not offer dramatic improvement.

Or perhaps the study was not long enough to see the full effect of the supplement. In the meantime 100 to 400 IU of vitamin E per day is certainly safe and may offer some benefit.

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