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Over 200 women to take part in premenstrual syndrome trial


26 July 2004
The Australian Centre for Complementary Medicine Education and Research (ACCMER) at Southern Cross University (SCU) is seeking over 200 Northern Rivers and Gold Coast women who experience premenstrual syndrome (PMS) to participate in a study looking at how multivitamin, mineral and herbal supplements could help reduce symptoms associated with PMS.

PMS, or PMT as it commonly known in Australia, while often the subject of many lighthearted conversations, has a serious side.

A recent study reported that 55% of women experience PMS symptoms that interfere with their lifestyle, and for some it can have a real impact on their physical, mental and emotional health.

Cathy Avila, Study Coordinator of the PMS Multivitamin, Mineral and Herbal study, said PMS was not just chocolate cravings and bad moods.

“PMS can impact on all areas of a woman’s life, from her sense of physical and mental well being through to the state of her relationships and work absenteeism.

“Many women feel guilty about their premenstrual mood changes and behaviour and feel frustrated by their inability to ‘control’ their emotions and this in turn affects their self esteem,” said Ms Avila.

This is the second trial of the multivitamin, mineral and herbal supplement used in the first PMS study. The first trial which involved 80 women from the region showed a 50% reduction in PMS symptoms for those receiving the multivitamin, mineral and herbal supplement.

“We got very positive results, from the first trial of the supplement, so I would encourage women who are searching for ways to alleviate their PMS symptoms to call us if they would like to join the second trial,” said Ms Avila.

Current medical treatments for PMS include use of the oral contraceptives; diuretics, and pain killers. Side-effects form these drugs can be significant and none of these treatments provides a cure.

Naturopaths recommend various herbs and supplements for women with PMS – and many women report good results, however few of these have been studied scientifically.

Researchers are looking for 220 healthy women who regularly experience PMS are between the age of 18 and 45 years old and not currently being treated for PMS or taking daily medications.

To give as many women as possible access to the study it will be run from 3 centres; the Gold Coast, Lismore and Ballina.

Potential volunteers for the study should contact Cathy Avila at the Southern Cross University’s School of Natural and Complementary Medicine on 02 6626 9183.

The Australian Centre for Complementary Medicine (ACCMER) is a unique joint venture between the University of Queensland and Southern Cross University and is involved in a range of scientific research into the safety and effectiveness of complementary medicine.

For more information: Kasturi Shanahan, Media Officer – 0439 858 057 or
Brigid Veale, Media Officer – 0439 680 748