31 Oct Beat premenstrual blues with B6
Tend to feel down, teary or even downright depressed during Week 4, the premenstrual week of your cycle? If so, you’re not alone. Millions of women feel blue during their premenstrual phase due to plunging estrogen, which can reduce your brain’s level of serotonin, a chemical that helps regulate mood and sleep.
To the rescue: Vitamin B6, which is found in fortified cereal, potatoes, bananas, beans, eggs, poultry and sunflower seeds. Two recent analyses of 19 studies—one in the British Medical Journal and one if the journal Family Practice—reveal that women who popped up to 100 mg. daily of a B6 supplement were significantly less likely to be depressed and more likely to enjoy an upbeat mood during their premenstrual phase than those who took a placebo. The link? Vitamin B6 prompts the brain to produce serotonin, boosting sagging levels right back up.
For best results, try taking a daily B-complex supplement, since other B vitamins have also been shown to raise levels of mood-lifting brain chemicals, including GABA and dopamine.