Magnesium plus Vitamin B6 and PMS

The End of PMS with Vitamin B6 and Magnesium

 PMS (Pre-menstrual Syndrome) is a term used to describe any symptoms which occur any time after ovulation and disappear almost as soon as the period arrives. PMS affects millions of women around the world and is known as the most important disorder in women. It has been estimated that 80-90% of women experience the symptoms of PMS in reproductive age, among whom the symptoms are severe in 3-8%. 

The diagnostic criteria of American Psychiatry Association (APA) for diagnosis of PMS are as follows: if at least five of the following symptoms and signs are present in the daily symptom record form during the last week of the luteal phase up to the first four day of the next menstrual cycle for at least two cycles, and the signs and symptoms interfere with the daily life and relationship of the individual, and the symptoms do not originate from the aggravation of psychiatric disorders.

PMS is a condition that affects a woman’s emotions, physical health, and behavior during certain days of the menstrual cycle. Levels of estrogen and progesterone increase during certain times of the month. An increase in these hormones can cause mood swings, anxienty, and irritability. Ovarian steroids also modulate activity in parts of your brain associated with premenstrual symptoms. Serotonin levels affect mood. Serotonin is a chemical in your brain and gut that affects your moods, emotions, and thoughts.

The symptoms of PMS include:

  • Abdominal bloating
  • Abdominal pain
  • Sore breasts
  • Acne
  • Food cravings, especially for sweets
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea
  • Headaches
  • Sensitivity to light or sound
  • Fatigue
  • Irritability
  • Changes in sleep patterns
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Sadness
  • Emotional outbursts

One of the treatment approaches proposed for the syndrome is the supplementation therapy, including those containing magnesium (Mg). Abraham was the first one who proposed magnesium deficiency as the underlying causes as well as the aggravation factor of the PMS symptoms. He believed that the relief of the symptoms after administration of Mg results from the relaxing effect of Mg in controlling the neuromuscular stimulations. 

The Mg level of erythrocytes and leukocytes of women with PMS is lower than that in the women without the syndrome. Although the effect of pure Mg supplement on treatment of PMS symptoms has been confirmed in different studies, it seems that better results can be achieved by combination of Mg and vitamins. One of the suggested combinations for treatment of PMS symptoms is the combination of vitamin B6 and Mg. 

Fathizadeh et al indicated that combination of Mg and vitamin B6 was more effective than Mg and placebo on decreasing the PMS symptoms. De souza et al carried out a study to determine the potential effect of combination of Mg and vitamin B6, and demonstrated that both Mg and combination of Mg and vitamin B6 can relieve the PMS symptoms. They reported that vitamin B6 decrease the severity of the symptoms more effectively. However, in Fathizadeh et al study, the combination of Mg and vitamin B6 showed the highest effectiveness in relieving the PMS symptoms. 

In another study on the effect of Mg on the PMS symptoms, Facchinetti et al reported that after two months of Mg administration, the group that received Mg experienced a significant decrease in the severity of the PMS symptoms compared with the placebo group (p< 0.04). Moreover, they reported a significant decrease in the severity of water retention (p < 0.03) and pain (p < 0.04) symptoms.

Considering the results, the combination of Mg and vitamin B6 is an effective and affordable treatment in PMS. With regard to the periodic and chronic nature of the syndrome, administration of the drug seems to be feasible.

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Fathizadeh N, Ebrahimi E, Valiani M, et al. Evaluating the effect of magnesium and magnesium plus vitamin B6 supplement on the severity of premenstrual syndrome. Iran J Nurs Midwifery Res. 2010 Dec; 15(Suppl1): 401–405.
De Souza MC, Walker AF, Robinson PA, Bolland K. A synergistic effect of a daily supplement for 1 month of 200 mg magnesium plus 50 mg vitamin B6 for the relief of anxiety-related premenstrual symptoms: a randomized, double-blind, crossover study. J Womens Health Gend Based Med. 2000;9(2):131–9.
Walker AF, De Souza MC, Vickers MF, Abeyasekera S, Collins ML, Trinca LA. Magnesium supplementation alleviates premenstrual symptoms of fluid retention. J Womens Health. 1998;7(9):1157–65.
Facchinetti F, Borella P, Sances G, Fioroni L, Nappi RE, Genazzani AR. Oral magnesium successfully relieves premenstrual mood changes. Obstet Gynecol. 1991;78(2):177–81. 
Ebrahimi E, Khayati Motlagh Sh, Nemati S, Tavakoli Z. Effects of Magnesium and Vitamin B6 on the Severity of Premenstrual Syndrome Symptoms. J Caring Sci. 2012 Dec; 1(4): 183–189.