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Protein intake and the risk of premenstrual syndrome

  • Serena C Houghton (a1), JoAnn E Manson (a2) (a3) (a4), Brian W Whitcomb (a1), Susan E Hankinson (a1) (a2), Lisa M Troy (a5), Carol Bigelow (a1) and Elizabeth R Bertone-Johnson (a1)...



To examine the relationship between protein intake and the risk of incident premenstrual syndrome (PMS).


Nested case–control study. FFQ were completed every 4 years during follow-up. Our main analysis assessed protein intake 2–4 years before PMS diagnosis (for cases) or reference year (for controls). Baseline (1991) protein intake was also assessed.


Nurses’ Health Study II (NHS2), a large prospective cohort study of registered female nurses in the USA.


Participants were premenopausal women between the ages of 27 and 44 years (mean: 34 years), without diagnosis of PMS at baseline, without a history of cancer, endometriosis, infertility, irregular menstrual cycles or hysterectomy. Incident cases of PMS (n 1234) were identified by self-reported diagnosis during 14 years of follow-up and validated by questionnaire. Controls (n 2426) were women who did not report a diagnosis of PMS during follow-up and confirmed experiencing minimal premenstrual symptoms.


In logistic regression models adjusting for smoking, BMI, B-vitamins and other factors, total protein intake was not associated with PMS development. For example, the OR for women with the highest intake of total protein 2–4 years before their reference year (median: 103·6 g/d) v. those with the lowest (median: 66·6 g/d) was 0·94 (95 % CI 0·70, 1·27). Additionally, intakes of specific protein sources and amino acids were not associated with PMS. Furthermore, results substituting carbohydrates and fats for protein were also null.


Overall, protein consumption was not associated with risk of developing PMS.


Corresponding author

*Corresponding author: Email


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