How does Vitamin B3 (niacin) help a woman to deal with the symptoms of pms (Pre-menstrual Syndrome)?

There are millions of woman all around the world looking for the answer to that question and hoping that niacin might help them with these symptoms.

These women experience fatigue, tiredness, mood swings, nervousness, food cravings, depression, irritability and aggression. They also suffer from cramping and bloating.

Can Vitamin B3 (Niacin) help deal with all of this? How can these women use Vitamin B3 (niacin) to deal with these symptoms?

vitamin b3 niacin for pmsLet’s look at what a deficiency of niacin can cause. If you are deficient in Vitamin B3 (niacin) you can be tired, irritable and nervous. Niacin (vitamin B3) plays a vital role in the production of serotonin, which is a critical component in dealing with mood swings and depression. Vitamin B3 (niacin) also has the capacity to convert food to energy and manage blood glucose. If you can do this you will have more energy and less fatigue. Niacin (vitamin B3) is also good for menstrual cramps and spasms and is known to help with pms induced headaches.

So if Vitamin B3 (niacin) is a good source of relief for certain pms symptoms, how much niacin should I take? That is the next question that these women ask. What is the dosage and form that Vitamin B3 (niacin) should be taken during a women’s period in order to treat these symptoms?

Niacin is found in food and also in supplements. Many foods have niacin added to them in order to fortify them with niacin (vitamin B3). In some foods the niacin is unavailable to us unless the food is cooked. Corn is a very good example of this. Other foods such as fish, bread, nuts, tomatoes, soybeans and peas all contain available niacin whether cooked or raw.

Yeast, green vegetables, cereals, grains, meat, eggs, and milk also contain Niacin (vitamin B3) as well as tryptophan being turned into niacin (vitamin B3). Seldom is Vitamin B3 (niacin) found to exist alone, it is usually combined with the other part of the Vitamin B complex including riboflavin, thiamine, folic acid, cycanocobalamin, pyridoxine and pantothenic acid.

So what is the right dose to take of (niacin) vitamin B3?

Niacin (vitamin B3) has not been shown to be effective specifically for pms or for headaches, through controlled scientific studies. However there is plenty of anecdotal evidence for this from women who have treated pms symptoms with herbal and vitamin regimes.

There are recommended doses of niacin (vitamin B3) recommended by the Food and Nutrition Barn. This includes a recommendation for 14 to 18 milligrams of niacin every day for adult women up to a maximum of 35 milligrams in one day.

It would appear that taking this amount of niacin ( vitamin B3) could be very effective for the 70-80% of all women in the United States – those who suffer from the symptoms of pms. This would be particularly true for the women who suffer especially from fatigue, exhaustion, and mood swings because niacin (vitamin B3) is able to take carbohydrates in the body and turn it into energy. Niacin (Vitamin B3) also turns glucose into energy.  This not only helps with the fatigue and exhaustion, but it also deals with food cravings that happen during pms as it helps to control blood sugar levels as well. 

Also with vitamin B3 “Researchers found that most women with PMS and children with autism have vitamin B3 (niacin) deficiency leading to nervous tension including irritability, aggression, depression and learning difficulty.”

doctorThe FDA recommends no more than 14 milligrams per day for women unless they are pregnant or breast feeding.

This is what is known as the RDA or recommended daily allowance. Women using Vitamin B3( niacin) for cramps, headaches and mood swings during the menstrual cycle will find that it works much better and doses are easier to regulate if taken in a supplement that combines it with other members of the B complex and other vitamins and minerals.

Another important factor to consider is that serotonin plays a major role in mood regulation for all of us. Under normal circumstances dietary tryptophan is converted by the body into serotonin to keep most of us mentally healthy.

Serotonin is so important to mental health that it is a major factor in anti-depression medications as they are designed to increase its amount in our body if we are suffering from a clinical depression.

If you have a niacin (vitamin B3) deficiency your body will not convert tryptophan into serotonin. Instead the body will convert the tryptophan into niacin. So you have a double whammy with this in that pms often causes depression but if you do not have enough niacin (Vitamin B3) in your system your body will take the normal material (dietary tryptophan) and convert it to niacin instead of much needed serotonin.

In addition there is a condition known as adrenal fatigue. This condition occurs when the adrenal glands are under too much stress, as in pms, and discontinue producing enough cortisol. Cortisol is a hormone and it also helps the body to manage stress. When too much pms stress contributes to adrenal fatigue then the body shows signs of increased blood sugar levels when the body is under stress. This just adds to all the other issues women with pms have to deal with. Niacin (vitamin B3) helps to control pms related stress so that this entire syndrome of pms  stress causing a reduction in cortisol and leading to Adrenal fatigue, does not even begin let alone play out.

Instead of taking Vitamin B3 (niacin) by itself for pms issues it is much more effective to take something like Period Vitamin. Period Vitamin is specifically designed to work against many of the symptoms of pms including cramps, mood swings, headaches, bloating, fatigue and other pms pain. Period Vitamin contains 40mg of niacin along with other B vitamins like B6 and B12, minerals and herbs. It is the specific combination of vitamins, herbs and minerals that makes Period Vitamin so effective for most women.

period vitaminA supplement like Period Vitamin will not only address the symptoms of pms but some of the actual causes of those symptoms like prevent bloating rather than acting as a diuretic, or stimulating the production of serotonin rather than artificially providing an anti-depressant.

This is because Period Vitamin contains so many different vitamins, minerals and herbs designed for the maximum fight against all the varied symptoms of pms. These include mood swings, headaches and cramps that are aided by vitamin B3 (niacin), but also back ache, bloat and fluid retention, insomnia, acne, loss of appetite, vomiting, nausea, and all the rest.

In addition to Vitamin B3 (niacin), Period Vitamin contains things like Chasteberry for improving the hormonal balance between estrogen and progesterone. Chasteberry is known to help with irritability, breast pain, mood swings, acne, fluid retention and headaches. It also contains EPO (Evening Primrose Oil) which helps with pms associated depression, breast tenderness, cramps, and irritability. White willow bark, red raspberry and black cohosh are all also included in Period Vitamin to fight the pms symptoms of pain, cramps, swelling, insomnia and anxiety.

Some of the vitamins found in Period Vitamin in addition to the B complex include Vitamin K which assist in regulating blood flow and blood clotting during the entire cycle, Vitamin C which increases the potency of Evening Primrose Oil and controls bleeding, Vitamin E which is an antioxidant and assists with the treatment of depression, moodiness, sore breasts, cramps, insomnia and headaches and Vitamin A which especially helps to fight period associated acne.

In addition Period Vitamin also contains the minerals of  calcium, iron and magnesium. Calcium helps to eliminate pain, bloat and cramps.

“A 10-year study at the University of Massachusetts – Amherst revealed women who included a sufficient amount of calcium in their diets reduced PMS symptoms by 30%.  And according to Boston’s Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center a large double-blind, placebo-controlled study found calcium significantly reduced mood swings, pain, bloating, depression, back pain, and food cravings.”

Iron or ferrous fumarate is important more in the nature of not having enough than otherwise. An iron deficiency can cause an even heavier menstrual blood flow and lead to even greater pms issues. So having enough iron is critical to the treatment of pms symptoms.

Magnesium also helps with the effectiveness of EPO (Evening Primrose Oil) and also “Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center reports Magnesium effective in controlling mood swings and reducing fluid retention related to PMS. In another study reported by Beth Israel, women experienced significant reduction in weight gain, breast tenderness, swelling and bloating.”

So it is better to get your Vitamin B3 (niacin) from a combination supplement like Period Vitamin. However no matter how you get the needed levels of niacin (Vitamin B3) into your system in order to facilitate treating or eliminating the symptoms of pms.