Menstrual Pains Eased With Vitamin E

In what looks like a follow up to a study I posted on my Web site three years ago is more evidence vitamin E can be a natural remedy for menstrual cramps.

Studying this vitamin's beneficial effects on more than 250 teenage girls living in Iran, researchers found a vitamin E supplement taken two days before a monthly period reduced cramping far more significantly than taking standard pain remedies like ibuprofin. In fact, young women who took vitamin E over a four-month period reduced their period of cramping to two hours versus 17 hours for those who took conventional remedies and a placebo.

Vitamin E acts on two enzymes in the body, inhibiting the formation of prostaglandins -- hormone-like substances that cause the uterus to contract in order to expel the uterine lining -- and menstrual cramps, according to researchers.

Girls in the vitamin E group took 200 mg of the vitamin twice a day, starting two days before they expected their periods and continuing through the third day of menstruation. Just 4 percent reported using ibuprofen, compared with 89 percent of girls in the placebo group.

As I've said often particularly lately, if you want to take vitamin E, make sure it's not a synthetic variation of the real thing. Ideally, you should use a natural type consisting of mixed tocopherols that includes gamma tocopherol. And one with tocotrienols would be even better.

BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Volume 112, Issue 4, April 2005: 466-469

Yahoo News April 22, 2005

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