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Krill oil combats PMS

A small, preliminary study has shown that a supplement containing krill oil, a handful of vitamins and soya extracts reduces premenstrual syndrome [PMS]. Michael Wakeman, a researcher at the University of Birmingham in England, writes about this in Nutrition and Dietary Supplements.

Wakeman performed an experiment with 29 women aged 18-42, all of whom had a normal menstrual cycle but experienced PMS around the time of menstruation. The symptoms of PMS are varied and are summarised in the table below.

Krill oil combats PMS

Krill oil combats PMS
For a period of three months the women were given 2 capsules daily of the supplement Cleanmarine, a product manufactured by the Irish company Novabrand. The daily dose provided 350 mg krill oil, 1.4 mg thiamine hydrochloride, 1.6 mg riboflavin, 2 mg pyridoxine hydrochloride, 50 mg soya isoflavones and 50 mg rosemary extract.

Epidemiological research has shown that women who take relatively high amounts of thiamine and riboflavin are less likely to be troubled by PMS. [Am J Clin Nutr. 2011 May;93(5):1080-6.] A couple of studies that were published in the 1980s showed that high doses of pyridoxine reduced the severity of PMS symptoms. [Obstet Gynecol. 1987 Aug;70(2):145-9.] But the doses were about fifty times as high as the amount used in Cleanmarine.

Several studies have shown that soya extracts reduce PMS. [Br J Nutr. 2005 May;93(5):731-9.] [Maturitas. 2004 Jan 20;47(1):1-9.]

Krill oil is the main component in Cleanmarine. Krill oil contains omega-3 fatty acids, and several studies have shown that a dose of 2 g per day reduces PMS. [Complement Ther Med. 2013 Jun;21(3):141-6.]

The omega-3 fatty acids found in krill oil are present in a different form than the fatty acids in fish oil. In fish oil, omega-3 fatty acids take the form of fat, or to use the scientific term, a triglyceride. The omega-3 fatty acids in krill oil take the form of a phospholipid. The body absorbs omega-3 fatty acids in the form of a phospholipid better than those in the form of a triglyceride.

Krill oil combats PMS

Before and after the period of supplementation the women were asked to give their symptoms a score on a scale of 0 [not bothered at all] to 5 [really bothered by]. So there was no control group, which meant that Wakeman was not able to filter out the placebo effect of his study. Hmm...

The supplement reduced symptoms by an average of 44 percent. The best responders reported an 80 percent reduction in symptoms; the worst responders reported a 10 percent reduction.

Krill oil combats PMS

Wakeman acknowledges that the lack of a control group is a shortcoming of the study. "The results suggest Cleanmarine represents a likely safe and effective first stage intervention for PMS and is worthy of further investigation in this condition in a double-blind placebo-controlled setting using a validated instrument to collect symptom data", he wrote.

But even this proviso doesn't stop him from blowing his own trumpet in the media. "I have done extensive research on PMS and its symptoms", said Wakeman in Waterford Today. [ 12 February 2014] "The results from my study show that by taking krill oil combined with specific vitamins the symptoms of PMS can be significantly reduced."

On the site Wakeman goes a step further. [ 25-Apr-2014] "Other products targeting PMS, like Evening Primrose Oil, tend to benefit individual symptoms of PMS rather than address the majority of symptoms that contribute to the syndrome, for example evening primrose specifically benefits breast pain", he says there. "This formula has been put together to try to relieve more symptoms."

"The formulation of Cleanmarine was based on a literature review looking at other ingredients that would complement krill oil in relieving the most troublesome symptoms of PMS, so the formula has a highly evidence-based rationale."

These are exactly the kind of statements you'd expect from someone who has developed and launched their own supplement. But according to the publication in Nutrition and Dietary Supplements, this is not the case. "The author reports no conflicts of interest in this work", is what it says there.

Once again: Hmm...

Nutrition and Dietary Supplements 2013:5 1725.

Krill oil makes you more intelligent and prevents depression 18.01.2014

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