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Can Hydrogen-Rich Water Alleviate Premenstrual Symptoms?

Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS) affects a significant portion of women in their reproductive years, presenting a mix of psychiatric and somatic symptoms that can disrupt daily life. Traditional treatments vary, but a novel approach involving hydrogen-rich water (HRW) has recently been explored due to its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. A groundbreaking study from Ankara University in Turkey has provided new insights into the potential benefits of HRW for women suffering from PMS, suggesting it could improve both symptoms and overall quality of life.

Understanding the Study

The research was a meticulously designed randomised controlled trial involving 65 women diagnosed with PMS. The participants were divided into two groups: one group consumed 1500-2000 mL of HRW daily and the control group had placebo water. The treatment spanned from day 16 of the menstrual cycle to day 2 of the following cycle over three consecutive cycles. Data were collected using the Premenstrual Syndrome Scale (PMSS) and the World Health Organization’s Quality of Life Short Form (WHOQOL-BREF).

Symptom Severity and Quality of Life

The study’s results were telling. The HRW group showed significantly lower scores on the PMSS, indicating that the severity of PMS symptoms were much reduced compared to the placebo group. Notably, these improvements were observed in the first and second follow-ups, affirming the consistency of HRW’s effects over time.

In terms of quality of life, the HRW group reported better outcomes in the physical health and psychological domains during the first follow-up. Although the improvements in social and environmental domains were not significant, the positive changes in physical and psychological well-being are noteworthy, as these areas are often most affected by PMS symptoms.

Menstrual calender pms
Is your approaching period heralded by a change in mood? This is a common symptom of PMS.

The Role of Hydrogen-Rich Water

HRW is believed to exert its beneficial effects through its antioxidant properties, selectively neutralizing harmful reactive oxygen species without affecting beneficial ones. This selective action helps mitigate oxidative stress, a condition commonly linked with inflammation and cited as a potential contributor to PMS.

hydrogen rich water for PMS
Consuming 1.5-2L of hydrogen-rich water for half of each month can improve symptoms and quality of life.

Broader Implications

This study is the first of its kind to examine the effects of HRW on symptoms women experience with PMS. The outcome indicates HRW is a simple, non-invasive treatment option that could be easily adopted. The implications of this research extends beyond just symptom management; the findings suggest a role for HRW in enhancing overall quality of life, thus it becomes a valuable consideration for not only women who suffer with PMS, but also for health practitioners seeking alternative PMS treatments to offer patients.

Considerations and Future Directions

While the study presents HRW as a promising treatment for PMS, as in most research, there are some limitations. The follow-up period was short, and the study’s focus was a specific population (nursing students from a single university). Future research should aim to confirm whether these findings persist with a more diverse population and over a longer period. This will help to determine the long-term effects and potential of HRW in PMS treatment.

Conclusion

The consumption of hydrogen-rich water could be a breakthrough in managing premenstrual syndrome, offering a low-cost, accessible treatment that enhances the quality of life while alleviating symptoms. As the quest for effective PMS management continues, HRW presents a compelling avenue that warrants further exploration and could pave the way for an innovative, zero-risk, sustainable approach to this very common women’s health problem. And others may be revealed in the future.

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Reference: Aker, M.N., Gönenç, İ.M., Çalişici, D. et al. The effect of hydrogen-rich water consumption on premenstrual symptoms and quality of life: a randomized controlled trial. BMC Women’s Health 24, 197 (2024). https://doi.org/10.1186/s12905-024-03029-8

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