Struggling With Period Cramps? This Vitamin Could Be The Key To Easing Them

·2-min read

80% of people with periods experience menstrual cramps at some point in their lives. Whether you only experience light cramps on the first day of your period or suffer with a condition like endometriosis which can cause life-disrupting symptoms, you’ll likely know that period cramps can throw off your day and make you, at the very least, quite uncomfortable. 

The NHS recommends that period pain is managed with aspirin, ibuprofen or paracetamol and if these methods aren’t helpful, speak to your doctor for a stronger painkiller such as Naproxen or Codeine.

However, for those looking for an alternative to take in combination with painkillers or to try to treat the pain naturally, research has found that Vitamin E can be effective in helping to curb period pain.

Vitamin E For Period Pain

Recent research has found that vitamin E supplementation can ease or minimise period cramps, making them more tolerable and allowing sufferers to still go about their day with ease. For a long time we’ve known that vitamin E promotes healthy skin and bones and recently, the antioxidant properties of the vitamin have become more clear. 

These antioxidant properties are what research suggests reduces period pain. This is because they reduce the release of arachidonic acid and its conversion to prostaglandin - the concentration of which causes the muscle cramps that are experienced during periods.

One way that practitioners have relied on in the past is the combined contraceptive pill which can reduce prostaglandins and the volume of menstrual fluid. Researchers believe, however, that while this is an appropriate treatment for adults, vitamin E could be an attractive option for addressing cramps, especially young people.

Which Foods Have Vitamin E?

If you are considering adding vitamin E supplements to your diet, make sure that you discuss this with your GP first to ensure that you’re taking the right amount for your body and that the supplements don’t interfere with any other medications that you’re taking.

However, you can quite easily add the vitamin to your diet naturally with foods. 

Foods that are high in vitamin E include:

  • Sunflower oil 

  • Sunflower seeds

  • Almonds

  • Peanuts & peanut butter 

  • Spinach

  • Red bell pepper

  • Asparagus

  • Mangoes

  • Avocados