Q: Dear Dr. Mao,
What do you know about fish oil reducing menstrual pain?
A: Fish oil supplements, a good source of omega-3 fatty acids, appear to be helpful for the treatment of painful menstruation.
In a study of adolescents aged 15 to 18, fish oil was found to significantly reduce menstrual pain.
It is believed that the omega-3 fatty acids in fish oil may help relieve dysmenorrhea (excessively painful menstrual pain) by affecting the metabolism of prostaglandins and other factors involved in ain and inflammation.
There are many different types of fish oil products available. Cod liver oil is probably not the best choice due to the potential for excessive intake of vitamin A and vitamin D.