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Am J Obstet Gynecol. 1993 May;168(5):1417-23.

Dietary calcium and manganese effects on menstrual cycle symptoms.

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Grand Forks Human Nutrition Research Center, United States Department of Agriculture, Grand Forks, ND 58202.



This exploratory study was designed to determine whether dietary calcium and manganese affect menstrual symptoms in healthy women.


Ten women with normal menstrual cycles completed the Menstrual Distress Questionnaire each cycle during a 169-day, live-in metabolic study of calcium and manganese nutrition. Women were assigned in a double-blind, Latin-square manner to each of four 39-day dietary periods: 587 or 1336 mg calcium per day with 1.0 or 5.6 mg manganese per day. Responses were analyzed by repeated-measures analysis of variance.


Increasing calcium intake reduced mood, concentration, and behavior symptoms generally (p < or = 0.05), reduced pain during the menstrual phase of the cycle (p = 0.034), and reduced water retention during the premenstrual phase (p = 0.041). In spite of increasing calcium intake, lower dietary manganese increased mood and pain symptoms during the premenstrual phase (p < or = 0.05).


Dietary calcium and manganese may have a functional role in the manifestation of symptomatology typically associated with menstrual distress.

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