Evaluation of the effect of omega-3 fatty acids in the treatment of premenstrual syndrome: A pilot trial

Complementary Therapies in Medicine, 05/09/2013

The purpose of the present study is to evaluate the effect of omega–3 fatty acids on the treatment of PMS. It appears that omega–3 fatty acids may reduce the psychiatric symptoms of PMS including depression, nervousness, anxiety, and lack of concentration and may also reduce the somatic symptoms of PMS including bloating, headache and breast tenderness. These effects increased by longer duration of treatment.


  • A randomized double blind controlled trial was performed on 184 eligible women.
  • The eligible women were randomly assigned into two groups.
  • The number of women who have finalized the study with us was 124.
  • In the case group (omega–3 group=group A, n=70), omega–3 in an amount of 2g was prescribed for a one per day basis on a single dosage (two 1g pearls), and in the control group (placebo group=group B, n=69) 2 placebo soft gel, which were completely similar to omega–3 soft gels, were prescribed.
  • The severity and duration of each of the symptoms were compared in both groups 1.5 and 3months after the beginning of treatment.


  • There were no significant differences between the two groups according to age, BMI, level of education, and the severity and duration of primary symptoms.
  • After 45days from starting omega–3, the mean severity of depression (P=0.03), anxiety (P=0.02), lack of concentration (P=0.03) and bloating (P=0.02) in the case group, were all significantly lower than in the control group.
  • The duration of depression (P=0.04) and bloating (P=0.031) in the case group were less than in the control group.
  • After 90days from starting the treatment, the mean severity of depression (P=0.007), anxiety (P=0.004), lack of concentration (P=0.009), bloating (P=0.004), nervousness (P=0.01) and the duration of depression (P=0.01), nervousness (P=0.02), anxiety (P=0.03), lack of concentration (P=0.02), bloating (P=0.004), headache (P=0.04) and breast tenderness (P=0.02) were all lower in the case group.

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