Ginger safely reduces menstrual pain
In Canada and the UK, doctors prescribe mefenamic acid, an NSAID, for menstrual pain, but this type of medicine can have harsh side effects. In this study, 122 female students with moderate to severe menstrual pain took 250 mg of ginger root capsules every six hours, or 250 mg of mefenamic acid every eight hours, from the onset of menstruation through two pain-free monthly cycles.
At the start of the study, women in both groups averaged moderately high pain. After one month, both groups averaged mild to moderate pain, and after two months, reported having only mild pain on average, with ginger as effective as NSAIDs.
More vitamin D, less depression
“Vitamin D deficiency and insufficiency occur at high rates in healthy young women,” doctors said, noting low vitamin D levels are linked to depressive symptoms. In this study, 185 female undergraduates living in the Pacific Northwest during fall, winter and spring academic terms reported depressive symptoms weekly for four weeks. Doctors measured vitamin D levels at weeks one and five.
Nearly half the women started the study with low levels of vitamin D, and levels declined for all women from fall through winter. Depressive symptoms also increased, causing doctors to suggest a link to low levels of vitamin D. Women of color were more likely to be deficient in vitamin D and to have greater depressive symptoms.
Doctors said seasonal changes in vitamin D may be an underappreciated cause of seasonal affective disorder (SAD), and that taking vitamin D supplements is simple, affordable, and safe.