It is recommended that women with premenstrual symptoms (PMS) switch to a diet including more complex carbohydrates and less sugar in order to alleviate their symptoms. While these dietary modifications may be helpful, a recent study indicates that carbohydrates in the diet is not associated with a woman’s risk of developing PMS symptoms.
In this study, researchers examined data from a large long-term study of female nurses between the ages of 25 and 42 years who were followed prospectively. Compared to 2,426 women without PMS, the 1,234 women who were diagnosed with PMS during the 14 year course of follow-up did not differ with regard to daily intake of total sugar, added sugars, natural sugars, sucrose, fructose or glucose.
While this is good news on one level, we must not ignore the studies which have associated high carb diets with an elevated risk for obesity, diabetes, and some types of cancer. As is the case with so many of our recommendations, moderation is probably the best approach.
Ruta Nonacs, MD PhD
Eating Carbs Not Linked to Risk for PMS (Medscape – free subscription)