5 Beneficial Supplements for PMS
Purabi Gunjal (she/her)

Purabi Gunjal (she/her)

Jun 10Nutrition

5 Beneficial Supplements for PMS

Premenstrual syndrome or PMS begins 1-2 weeks before periods and commonly affects more than 90% of menstruators. Tissues throughout the body are sensitive to rising and falling levels of the hormones estrogen and progesterone may also influence chemicals in the brain, including a substance called serotonin, which affects mood. However, no two people will experience the same combination of symptoms; even the intensity of the symptoms will vary from person to person.

Emotional symptoms of PMS

  • Anxiety
  • Mood swings
  • Depression
  • Appetite changes
  • Food cravings
  • Irritability or anger
  • Insomnia
  • Crying spells
  • Lack of concentration

Physical symptoms of PMS

  • Abdominal cramping
  • Back pain
  • Joint or muscle pain
  • Bloating
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhoea
  • Fatigue
  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Acne
  • Weight gain
  • Breast tenderness
  • Breast pain


Should you take supplements for PMS? 

There are specific supplements known to alleviate PMS symptoms. It is not a compulsion for every menstruator to take these supplements. Anyone who experiences intense PMS symptoms and period pain that interferes with their daily routine and work will require these supplements. However, always remember to consult your healthcare practitioner before starting them.

Which supplements are beneficial for PMS? 

Although many supplements claim to ease PMS symptoms, there is not enough evidence and research about all of them.

But, the following 5 supplements have proven to be beneficial.

  • Calcium
  • Vitamin B6 or Pyridoxine
  • Magnesium
  • Omega-3 fatty acids
  • Evening primrose oil

Sometimes even the most nutritious diet cannot meet the recommended dosage of certain vitamins and minerals. In that case, taking supplements helps meet the dosage requirements.


Low levels of calcium in the body are associated with higher severity of PMS symptoms. You can start with increasing calcium-rich sources in your diet. If you cannot meet the required daily amounts through food, you can get on a calcium supplement after consulting your doctor. Calcium helps in reducing bloating and fatigue, two of the most common PMS symptoms.

For optimum calcium absorption, your Vitamin D levels should be adequate. Having vitamin D deficiency will hamper calcium absorption in the body. Hence, most of the calcium supplements already have some amount of Vitamin D in them. But it is recommended to get tested to understand the nutrient deficiencies in your body.

It eases: bloating, fatigue

Recommended dosage: It can be beneficial to start with 500 mg calcium per day. You can start taking it 10-12 days before your period starts. If your diet lacks calcium, you can take the supplements on the other days as well.


  • Do not take high amounts of calcium, as that can cause constipation.
  • If you are taking antibiotics or thyroid medications, consult your doctor to understand if you can take calcium supplements.
  • Do not take calcium supplements along with an iron supplement.
  • Even though these are OTC supplements, still always talk to your doctor first.

Vitamin B6 or Pyridoxine 

Vitamin B6, one of the B complex vitamins, plays a crucial role in producing neurotransmitters. This water-soluble vitamin helps in managing all your mood-related PMS symptoms like mood swings, irritability, anxiety. During PMS, the water retention in the body causes bloating and breast tenderness. Taking Vitamin B6 also helps alleviate these symptoms.

It eases: mood swings, irritability, anxiety, bloating, breast tenderness

Recommended dosage: You can have 50-100 mg Vitamin B6 per day. But the dosage will vary depending on the amount you are already getting from your diet. Also, since it is a water-soluble vitamin, your body is not going to store it. Hence, you will have to take it every day.


  • Do not take it with any anti-seizure medicines.


We get magnesium from food, but it is not enough. Hence, to meet our magnesium requirements we have to eat them in large quantities. Since that is not possible, taking a magnesium supplement is recommended. It helps reduce many PMS symptoms such as cramps, mood swings, anxiety, breast tenderness and insomnia. It also helps in improving bone mass and sleeping pattern.

It eases: painful cramps, constipation, anxiety, mood swings, breast tenderness, insomnia

Recommended dosage: Taking 200-250 mg magnesium per day can help.


  • If you are taking diuretics, antibiotic treatments, or proton-pump inhibitors, consult your doctor before starting magnesium supplements. You can mostly take them, but the timings of taking the drugs will be different.

Omega-3 fatty acids

Omega-3 fatty acids are anti-inflammatory and help reduce acne, breast tenderness, breast pain, hair fall and oily skin. Due to period cramps and constipation, the muscles get strained. Getting enough omega-3 fatty acids can improve your muscle recovery. The Omega-3 capsules comprises Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). Remember that the ratio of EPA: DHA should be 3:2 for maximizing the benefits.

It eases: acne, breast tenderness, breast pain, hair fall, oily skin, muscle pain

Recommended dosage: 1000-2000 mg per day is advisable. The dosage can vary if you are already eating omega-3 rich foods in your diet. Depending on your medical condition, you may even require a higher dosage. But, it is safe to consume this supplement.


  • You must avoid taking this supplement if you are taking any anticoagulant or antipsychotic drugs. Inform your doctor, and they can come up with a suitable alternative for you.

Evening primrose oil 

Evening primrose oil is available as oil or capsules and helps with various PMS symptoms like acne, anxiety, depression, bloating, breast pain and tenderness. Researchers have found that it works better when consumed in combination with Vitamin B6. For this supplement to start showing results, you need to take it continuously for 8-10 months.

It eases: acne, anxiety, depression, bloating, breast pain, breast tenderness

Recommended dosage: 1200-1500 mg evening primrose oil per day. You need to consume it daily for at least 10 months to achieve significant results.


  • Talk to your doctor before taking this supplement to understand whether you require it and if it’s safe for your consumption.

Bottom line

For those who experience severe PMS symptoms that hamper their daily work and activities, home remedies and dietary changes may not be enough. Although they do help in easing the symptoms, still taking certain supplements can prove immensely beneficial. By regular recommended consumption of the supplements, you will observe changes in both physical and emotional PMS symptoms. But, never self-prescribe; let your doctor take the decision.

Disclaimer: This information is educational and should not be construed as medical advice. Please consult your doctor before making any dietary changes or adding supplements.

Proactive For Her is a digital clinic for women, offering accessible, personalised, and confidential healthcare solutions. We offer out-patient care, diagnostic services and programs for various health concerns of Indian women, across their lifetime - from puberty to pregnancy to menopause.