Calcium was shown to reduce the physical and psychological symptoms of PMS by nearly 50% in a study published in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology in 1998.1 Magnesium was shown to reduce bloating, water retention, and breast tenderness by 40% in a 1998 study in the Journal of Womens Health.2 The Mayo Clinic records that vitamin E is thought to help regulate the production of prostaglandins.3 Prostaglandins are a hormone that can help to alleviate cramps and breast tenderness.
Lets not forget the mood swings which many women suffer. In a study published in the Journal of Reproductive Medicine in June of 1987, a connection was shown between vitamin B6 and PMS.4 Thiamine has been shown to improve mood as well.5
Another issue for women is the onset of perimenopause (the period of time before cessation of ovulation) and menopause. Vitamin E comes to the rescue again in alleviating the discomfort of hot flashes.6 Wild yam (due to their containing progesterone type substances) and licorice are also shown to be nutritionally beneficial to relieving menopause.7 One of the unsung heroes in the nutrient division is essential fatty acids or EFA's. EFA's help the body create and balance hormone levels according to numerous studies.8
4. Stewart, A. (June 1987) "Clinical and biochemical effects of nutritional supplementation on the premenstrual syndrome." Journal of Reproductive Medicine, 32(6): 435-41.
6. Benton, D., et al. (Jan 1997). "Thiamine supplementation improves mood and cognitive functioning." Psychotherapy (Berlin) 129:66-72.