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J Steroid Biochem Mol Biol. 2010 Jul;121(1-2):434-7. doi: 10.1016/j.jsbmb.2010.03.076. Epub 2010 Apr 14.

Dietary vitamin D intake, 25-hydroxyvitamin D3 levels and premenstrual syndrome in a college-aged population.

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Division of Biostatistics and Epidemiology, Department of Public Health, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA 01003-9304, USA.


High dietary intake of vitamin D may reduce the risk of premenstrual syndrome (PMS), perhaps by affecting calcium levels, cyclic sex steroid hormone fluctuations, and/or neurotransmitter function. Only a small number of previous studies have evaluated this relationship and none have focused on young women. We assessed this relationship in a cross-sectional analysis within the UMass Vitamin D Status Study. Between 2006 and 2008, 186 women aged 18-30 (mean age=21.6 years) completed a validated food frequency questionnaire, additional questionnaires to assess menstrual symptoms and other health and lifestyle factors, and provided a fasting blood sample collected during the late luteal phase of their menstrual cycle. Among all study participants, results suggested the possibility of an inverse association between intake of vitamin D from food sources and overall menstrual symptom severity, though were not statistically significant; mean intakes in women reporting menstrual symptom severity of none/minimal, mild, and moderate/severe were 253, 214, and 194 IU/day, respectively (P=0.18). From among all study participants, 44 women meeting standard criteria for PMS and 46 women meeting control criteria were included in additional case-control analyses. In these women, after adjustment for age, body mass index, smoking status and total calcium intake, higher intake of vitamin D from foods was associated with a significant lower prevalence of PMS. Women reporting vitamin D intake from food sources of >or=100 IU/day had a prevalence odds ratio of 0.31 compared to those reporting<100 IU/day (95% confidence interval=0.10-0.98). Late luteal phase 25-hydroxyvitamin D3 levels were not associated with prevalent PMS. Results from this pilot study suggest that a relationship between vitamin D and PMS is possible, though larger studies are needed to further evaluate this relationship and to investigate whether 25-hydroxyvitamin D3 levels in the follicular or early luteal phases of the menstrual cycle may be related to PMS risk.

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