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Friday, 21 June, 2002, 23:07 GMT 00:07 UK
Carbohydrate drink 'cure' for PMS
Woman with PMS
Women taking the drink said their symptoms faded
Women suffering from premenstrual syndrome can alleviate their symptoms with a carbohydrate-rich drink, say scientists.

Women were given the drink, PMS Escape, twice daily in the five days before their period.

The American researchers found that the women, who had mild to moderate symptoms, had less negative mood swings and food cravings after taking the supplement, which increased the brain chemical serotonin.

The drink is fruit-flavoured and contains carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals.


The women that we helped really liked it and were enthusiastic

Professor Ellen Freeman,
University of Pennsylvania

But the data in the study, published in the International Journal of Gynaecology and Obstetrics, has been criticised by Professor of gynaecology John Studd.

He said it had used just over 50 women and was too small and "utterly illogical."

Professor Ellen Freeman, of the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, who led the study, disagreed and said it the drink had shown clear benefits for women suffering from mild to moderate symptoms.

"The women that we helped really liked it and were enthusiastic, and it was very easy to use."

'False hope'

She said one of the benefits of the drink was that it could be taken when symptoms first occurred.

Professor Studd, of London's Chelsea and Westminster Hospital, said he felt the study was "without foundation", and would give false hope to many women.

"We need treatment that works with a vigorous scientific trial," he said.

"It is utterly illogical. You certainly want a larger trial."

He added that women wanting to alleviate symptoms of premenstrual syndrome should do more exercise and avoid stress in the days leading up to their periods.

"It is a very serious disorder and we do not make it better by taking a calorie-rich beverage."

A recent study from Scandinavia indicated that grass pollen could also be used to treat PMS.

Scientists found that the pollen extract helped reduce fluid retention, weight gain and bloatedness as well as irritability and unhappiness.

See also:

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