PMS & PMDD Folk Cures: Acne, Soy, & Yogurt

by Dr. Daniel J. Heller September 16, 2011

We’re in the home stretch of our review of the Yahoo article “Natural Remedies for Hormonal Health Problems.” The first section included a discussion of whether banana bread is really a hormonal health remedy, while the second focused on flaxseed as a source of fiber and phytoestrogens. 

We begin the final installment with “Banish Menstrual Bloating With Nuts.” You won’t find a bigger fan of nuts than us: we like them as a source of protein, healthy fats, and heart-healthy plant sterols. But PMS bloating is something in which we are experts, so we suggest you read what we have to say about it. The Yahoo story says all nuts are a source of the anti-inflammatory fat ALA, alpha-linolenic acid. If you want to supplement your diet with vegetarian Omega 3 fats like ALA, your best bet is flax seeds, which we discussed in our last post. Walnuts are the best source of ALA in the nut family. The single best source for all the benefits of Omega 3 fats is cold-water, wild caught fish, or our enteric coated Omega 3 Fish Oil. 

Next we come to “Avoid Acne Flare Ups With Fortified Cereal.” We’re happy to learn that some cereals contain as much as 15 milligrams of zinc, an essential skin and immune system nutrient, though that amount is unlikely to have too much effect on acne. And we’d be wary of trying to treat acne with two of the most common food allergens, wheat and dairy. Plus, the worst acne food is sugar, which makes it’s way into many cereals. In fact, a good first nutrition step to fight acne is to cut out all sweets. A dietary supplement with more than 15 milligrams of zinc might help as well. But the best plan is a holistic program designed for overall optimal hormone balance.

Another tip from this article was to “Cure Cramps With Yogurt.” This is a very unlikely remedies: by itself, yogurt is probably won’t “cure” menstrual cramps (though, again, we like the alliteration!)  We think we have much better advice for women with PMS cramps, and menstrual cramps. More people are deficient in magnesium than calcium, because magnesium is harder to get from our diet, and people tend to take calcium supplements without any magnesium in them, so we don’t think using calcium by itself, for cramps or anything else, is such a good idea.

On the other hand, yogurt is a good food source of calcium. I recommend plain non-fat yogurt, not the sugary flavored variety that are more popular. No one needs more refined sugar than they already get. Since cramps are an inflammatory condition, the authors should have known better than to chance the misunderstanding that people would end up eating more sugar.

Next up, “Fighting Severe PMS with Fish Oil.”  Ah, now we are in complete agreement! Fish oil and its omega-3 fats are anti-inflammatory and help fight depression, plus they prevent heart disease. You can’t go wrong. Which is why we’ve included fish oil in our program for severe PMS. You know, I wonder if they got this idea from us…

The article concludes with “Preventing Spotting With Soy.” Well, I’m glad they finally got around to soy. This is actually a variation on the hot flashes idea I mentioned in the second post in this series, since soy is a source of phytoestrogens. If this advice was intended for perimenopausal and menopausal women, who can certainly be susceptible to spotting, I’m all for it. But spotting in women in their premenopausal years can be the result of a wide range of conditions. Finally, but perhaps most important of all: spotting can be a symptom of a serious condition. No matter your age, if spotting continues, you should consult with your gynecological health professional.

I’ve had fun with this Yahoo article, but I do find it lacking in substance. Banana bread, fine as an occasional treat, shouldn’t be thought of as a remedy for anything. And the average American should be eating less beef, not more. A lot of this article was pure conjecture, and has never been put to any kind of clinical test. Fortunately, you’re a click away from excellent information on hormonal health remedies and natural relief for PMS and PMDD, so we hope you’ll find our site educational and informative.

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About The PMS Comfort Blog

The PMS Comfort Blog is our informal way of keeping you up to date on women’s health issues that we think are important; timely; underappreciated; useful; or just interesting. And, we’ll admit, sometimes we can’t resist poking some good-natured fun at the way the mainstream media portrays health, natural health, and women’s health issues. As always, we’d love to hear from you and are interested in knowing what you think and feel about these or other topics. Leave a comment for us, we’ll always respond. And, if there’s a women’s health topic that’s of interest to you, or that you find confusing, let us know! We want this blog to be helpful to you.


Dr. Daniel Heller is the primary author of this blog, the developer of our PMS Natural Relief Programs, and the founder of He is a holistic naturopathic doctor in Northern California with over 16 years experience helping thousands of women recover from PMS, PMDD, as well as helping women, children, and families find natural answers to all manner of health challenges.


PMS Comfort is here to support you with detailed, practical knowledge presented in a balanced manner you can trust. We are committed to educating, informing, and empowering womenregarding PMS, PMDD, and women’s health, and to providing natural relief for premenstrual symptoms.



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