at the NYU Center for Musculoskeletal Care, agreed. "It's important to speak with your physician before supplementing with any minerals," she said. "Too much iron can cause serious problems, and supplementing with something like zinc can knock your copper balance off. There's a delicate balance in the body, and women need to be very thoughtful before they start using supplements."
Heller explained that it's difficult to tease out the effect of any one particular nutrient. But, she added, "If a woman wants to shift to a more plant-based diet, it may contribute overall to reduced oxidative stress and inflammation, which may help reduce the symptoms of PMS, and heart disease and other conditions."
While the study found an association between dietary iron and zinc and decreased PMS symptoms, it did not prove a cause-and-effect relationship.
Learn more about premenstrual syndrome from the U.S. Office on Women's Health.
SOURCES: Elizabeth Bertone-Johnson, Sc.D., associate professor, University of Massachusetts Amherst; Samantha Heller, M.S., R.D., clinical nutritionist, NYU Center for Musculoskeletal Care, New York City; Fredric Moon, D.O., medical director, general obstetrics and gynecology, Winthrop University Hospital, Mineola, N.Y.; Feb. 26, 2013, American Journal of Epidemiology, online
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