Nature’s Cures for Monthly Cramps
by Dr. Jeremy Sims
Back in the early seventies, researchers discovered a substance, Prostaglandin F2 Alpha (PGF2 Alpha). On further investigation this was found to be released as the lining of the womb breaks down during the second half of the menstrual cycle, and it is PGF2 Alpha which causes the spasms experienced by over 60% of women as period cramps.
There is now growing evidence that we can at least partly reduce this release of PGF2 Alpha through simple dietary modification. Eating low-saturated fat, high complex carbohydrate diets can be highly beneficial. This means reducing dairy products, meat and eggs, and cutting out fried foods at the time of your period. However, ensure that you increase your intake of essential fatty acids at this time – the omega oils as they are more commonly known. These produce less PGF2 Alpha on breakdown by your metabolism and raise levels of specific hormones that act to prevent cramps. Fish oil capsules are a good source of omega oils, cod liver oil capsules for instance. Taken daily they may have considerable effect on the intensity and frequency of menstrual pains. Alternatively, evening primrose oil, another rich source of essential fatty acids, can have similar and equal effectiveness. In this case take two to three capsules twice a day during your period.
In addition to the above, there are a number of vitamin and mineral supplements which may protect against cramps or at least reduce their severity. At the time leading up to your period consider supplementing with vitamin B6 (100mg per day), vitamin E (50 iu three times per day) and magnesium (100 mg three to four times per day).
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Dr. Sims is the Medical Director of FitStop, the UK's foremost group of health and fitness centers, and an expert on matters relating to fitness of body and mind. Having trained as a GP, he now works full-time in health promotion and has written extensively on the subject, including a monthly medical column in Mensa magazine with the TV psychiatrist, Dr Raj Persaud. Dr. Sims was the original Virgin.Net online doctor.
Article courtesy of MediaPeak, http://mediapeak.com