Premenstrual syndrome : Why should food supplement brands turn their attention to it ?

Premenstrual syndrome

Premenstrual syndrome appeals more and more to food supplement brands. Indeed, the number of food supplement brands offering solutions for this time of the menstrual cycle, often causing inconveniences, is rising. And this is good news !

 

Several studies show that premenstrual pain affects 75% of women of reproductive age.[1] In France, it represents 15 million women, i.e., nearly one in two women!  This is a first answer to the question “Why premenstrual syndrome is worth interest.

 

Let’s discover, thereafter, what the Premenstrual Syndrome represents and what it is related to.

 

 

1/ What is Premenstrual Syndrome ?

 

The Premenstrual Syndrome refers to all the physical and psychological symptoms occurring about one week before the start of menstrual bleeding and disappearing two days after its beginning. Scientists did not yet establish clear and definite symptoms for it. However, we know it encompasses physical and psychological pain: the Premenstrual Syndrome expresses through abdominal cramps, strong headache, acute fatigue, anxiety etc. There could be more than 150 symptoms mentioned to describe the Premenstrual Syndrome.

 

The precise mechanisms of this disorder remain poorly known. We know the Premenstrual Syndrome is linked to ovulation and the menstrual cycle, specifically with the hormonal process accompanying the cycle. In fact, the hormonal secretion modification occurs during the ovarian cycle, and this translates with an increase of estrogen synthesis by the ovaries.

 

Thus, it turns out that estrogen rate modifications cause breast pain or mastodynia. This pain is often due to water retention accompanying a drop in blood hormone levels.

 

Besides, those female hormones affect the whole body. They act upon the brain (in the hippocampus, involved in memory). It can be assumed that hormonal variations can trigger attention disorders.[2] Moreover, irritability and anxiety are also directly linked to estrogen levels.[3]

 

Eventually, the Premenstrual Syndrome is probably linked to changes in serotonin levels (estrogens are involved in the synthesis of serotonin).  Yet, serotonin, the hormone of happiness, is involved in mood swings such as depression. The drop of estrogen levels, by modifying serotonin levels, seems to be directly linked to women mood swings during the Premenstrual Syndrome.

 

 

2/ What are the female health disorders linked with the Premenstrual Syndrome ?

 

In France, for 10% of women, a more severe conditions adds up to an often intense Premenstrual Syndrome: endometriosis. Nearly 2,5 million4 suffer from endometriosis, this disease is still uncurable to this day.

 

Endometriosis is an inflammatory and chronic disease of the female reproductive system characterized by the development of uterine lining (the endometrium) outside the uterus, colonizing other organs. One in ten women is affected by this condition.

 

This affection causes essentially abdominal pain crisis (sometimes unbearable, specifically during menstruation and sexual intercourse) and fertility issues.

 

Endometriosis is still poorly known by health professionals, too often under-diagnosed and badly cared for.

 

To another level, we can mention primary dysmenorrhea that manifests through pain during menstruation. It is very common and generally non serious.[4]

 

It is a phenomenon mediated by inflammatory mediators (such as prostaglandin) produced by the uterus. Prostaglandins are substances inducing uterine contractions and easing uterine mucosa expulsion. A prostaglandin excess induces an abnormal rise in uterine muscle contractions, responsible for the pain.

 

Secondary dysmenorrhea, on the other hand, is defined with menstrual pain linked to an identifiable health condition such as endometriosis.

 

 

3/ How to help prevent and ease pains due to the Premenstrual Syndrome ?

 

While online drugstores can offer up to 800 food supplements references to ease stress, about thirty references only address the Premenstrual Syndrome.

 

On the ground, our teams realized that few pharmacists are used to recommend food supplements for menstrual troubles. There is still a lot of education to provide for about this health issue.

 

Hence, it leaves an available market segment for food supplements new brands or laboratories.

 

The plants that are frequently used for this female health problem are the chaste tree, common yarrow, evening primrose and more recently saffron. Each of these plants act on the different symptoms of the Premenstrual Syndrome. The food supplement galenic form allowing their action is also different according to the plant used.

 

Finally, to optimize your formulation and innovate in the field of female health, do not hesitate in contacting Kares-up.

 

Amaury ROBIN
Senior market analyst and technical support at Kares-up

Raphaëlle DA COSTA
Founder of Kares-up

 

 

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[1] Zaafrane F, Faleh R, Melki W, Sakouhi M, Gaha L. An overview of premenstrual syndrome. J Gynecol Obstet Biol Reprod (Paris). nov 2007;36(7):642‐52

[2] Daniel JM. Effects of Oestrogen on Cognition: What Have We Learned From Basic Research? Journal of Neuroendocrinology. 2006;18(10):787‑95.

[3] Bäckström T, Mattsson B. Correlation of Symptoms in Pre-Menstrual Tension to Oestrogen and Progesterone Concentrations in Blood Plasma. NPS. Karger Publishers; 1975;1(2):80‑6.

[4] Édition professionnelle du Manuel MSD. Dysménorrhée – Gynécologie et obstétrique; [cité le 5 déc 2021].

 

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