Fibrocystic Breast Disease

Fibrocystic Breast Disease

Helpful Natural Supplements and Treatments


Fibrocystic breast disease (FBD) is pain in the breasts (mastalgia) associated with lumps (cysts). Besides increased tenderness, symptoms include aching and swollen breasts. Symptoms usually appear one week before menstruation and disappear one week after menstruation. The cause is believed to be a hormonal imbalance between estrogen and progesterone. Women who have fibrocystic breast disease are at a greater risk for getting breast cancer.


There are several natural supplements that may help with Fibrocystic Breast Disease. Consult with your healthcare provider to see which of the following supplements may be appropriate for you.*

*PLEASE NOTE: It is very important to make sure that supplements do not interfere with your medications or an existing health condition. First check with your doctor before trying any supplements.

Vitamins & Minerals

Iodine: It is not clear why this trace mineral is helpful for FBD. Studies have shown that molecular iodine is better than sodium iodide or protein-bound iodine for this condition. Iodine is also important for thyroid function, since it is a component of thyroid hormone.

Less Helpful: Vitamin B6 (if condition is PMS associated), Vitamin E.

Other Supplements

Omega-6 Fatty Acid (GLA): Good sources of this fatty acid are borage oil, evening primrose oil (EPO), and black current seed oil. Research has been done mostly on EPO, but all sources of GLA (gamma linolenic acid) may be helpful.


Chasteberry (Vitex agnus-castus): Besides fibrocystic breast disease, chasteberry can help with PMS. It may take several months of use before symptoms are reduced.

Less Helpful: red clover (if condition is PMS associated).


Some women find that regular exercise is helpful. Avoiding caffeine (coffee, tea, chocolate, and soft drinks), and the use of chasteberry, may be what is most helpful for reducing some symptoms associated with fibrocystic breast disease.


Jellin, JM, editor. Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database, 2008.
John Pillepich. The Nutraceutical Reference Guide, 2005.


*First check with your doctor if you have a medical condition or are taking prescription medications.

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