Milk does relieve PMS symptoms

By Carrie Johnson Weimar • Published: October 24th, 2011
Category: Health in a Heartbeat

As advertising ideas go, most people agree now it was a pretty bad one. The California Milk Processor Board recently tried to market its product to men as a means of reducing the symptoms of premenstrual syndrome in women.

The centerpiece of the campaign was a special website, where the board offered up pre-approved apologies for harried husbands, such as I’m sorry for the things I did or didn’t do. It also featured an emergency milk finder so guys could get their ladies the delectable dairy drink stat.

The campaign was widely criticized for being sexist and offensive, and the board quickly pulled the plug. But was there any truth behind the ads? Could a dose of milk really help reduce PMS?

According to a study conducted on thousands of nurses during a 10-year period, there is validity to the claim.

PMS typically occurs between the time of ovulation and the first day of a woman’s period. The condition affects about three-fourths of women, and the most common symptoms include cramps, depression and irritability.

The research, conducted between 1991 and 2001, showed that women who had the most vitamin D and calcium from foods in their diet experienced fewer PMS symptoms than those who got little of these nutrients. The study also showed that women who drank at least two servings of low-fat or non-fat milk per day were at significantly lower risk for developing PMS, compared with women who had only one serving per week. This is no surprise considering each cup of milk packs in 300 milligrams of calcium and about 125 units of vitamin D.

So, while the California milk board’s ad campaign may have ultimately failed, at least it did bring to light an important fact. Milk can help reduce the symptoms of PMS, and that’s no joke.