Migraine dietary supplements

Are you the one who is fighting the most severe form of headache or migraine? Do migraine headaches intervene with your daily activities? Common headaches can be treated easily by popping up a medicine that is easily available over the counter, but some headaches like migraines that can be triggered at any point of time due to stress, hunger, or climatic change can make one's life difficult to get through the day.

Migraine is a complex primary headache condition with the involvement of some vascular phenomenon which includes over-sensitization of the brain, a painful response to normal stimuli, and inflammatory response. One can fight the fear of getting the next migraine attack through numerous breakthrough treatments available today. But, if you are searching for some supplements to find relief from migraine naturally by consuming certain vitamins and supplements then you consider the ones that have been shown to provide relief. Some natural supplements like vitamins and herbal preparations have shown efficacy for migraine prophylaxis and are also known to possess the least side effects. Some of the best supplements that can help prevent migraine attacks are listed below.

What are the best migraine supplements?

There are quite a few choices. Let's go through the ones with scientific studies.


1.  Probiotics- Altered gut-brain function can result in increased synthesis of Inflammatory mediators like cytokines and tumor necrosis which are the main factors involved in causing headaches, including migraines. Supplements like cephalalgia probiotics have shown positive effects on strengthening the gut and brain function by decreasing the inflammatory mediators in the bloodstream. Probiotics have shown a beneficial effect on reducing the duration, frequency, and severity of migraine headache attacks. [1]


2.  Nutraceuticals- A variety of natural migraine supplements that are derived from various food sources can provide physiological benefits against chronic diseases like a migraine. Supplements like vitamin D, riboflavin, coenzyme Q10, magnesium, melatonin and herbal preparations which include feverfew and butterbur, have been shown possessing efficacy in migraine prophylaxis as an alternative source of therapy for migraine sufferers. [3]. 


3. Magnesium for migraines- Magnesium is considered to be an important cofactor for many enzymatic reactions. Magnesium supplements for migraine is considered to play an effective role in treating migraines.  It also plays a central role in the synthesis of neurotransmitters and regulates nerve and muscle function. Magnesium for migraine patients is considered to be an important supplement and can be found abundantly in seeds, nuts, green leafy vegetables, avocado, cocoa, yogurt, tuna, and banana. Nutraceuticals in Acute and Prophylactic Treatment of Migraine Oved Daniel, MD1.4.


4. Feverfew- It is one of the best-studied plants that is used for migraine prophylaxis. Parthenolide is the main active component of feverfew that is known to possess antimigraine properties. Feverfew supplement for migraine is known to have anti-inflammatory effects and provides relief in migraine by inhibiting serotonin release from platelets and white blood cells. It promotes vascular smooth muscle relaxation and thereby provides calming effect during a migraine attack.

See: Yoga for migraine

5. Butterbur- Petasites hybridus is obtained as a purified extract from the butterbur plant. Several studies have evaluated the efficacy of P. hybridus in migraine prevention where it reduces the frequency and severity of migraine attacks. It has antihistamine properties and prevents the exacerbation of migraine caused by allergies. Petasites also exerts anti-inflammatory property whereby it inhibits the synthesis of leukotrienes and blocks calcium channels. 


6. Coenzyme q10- Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10), is an endogenous enzyme cofactor that is involved in various cellular processes like in the mitochondrial electron transport chain. Coenzyme Q10  has shown its efficacy in migraine prevention, where it acts as a vital cofactor in sustaining mitochondrial energy stores. Research has suggested that consuming Coenzyme q10 can reduce headache frequency, with minimal side effects.


7. Ginger - Ginger has shown various neurological afflictions in treating conditions like nausea and vomiting, some forms of headache, and epilepsy. Research has suggested that Calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) acts as a pivotal messenger in triggering the inflammatory process in migraine which is facilitated by the calcium influx. Ginger is known to interrupt the calcium signaling, and thereby inhibit the CGRP release thus showing anti-inflammatory propensity in treating migraines.

See: Acupuncture for migraines

8. Vitamin D- Vitamin D is an essential supplement that is known to have multiple roles and is associated with depression, chronic pain disorder, and several neurological disorders. Vitamin D plays an important role in the metabolism of neurotransmitters where it facilitates the differentiation of brain cells, stimulates the production of neurotrophic factors. Numerous studies have also shown that vitamin -D has a non-skeletal role of vitamin D in inflammation, immunity, which is considered a potential prophylactic agent or adjuvant in the management of migraines. [Effect of Vitamin D Deficiency on the Frequency of Headaches in Migraine.6.]


9. Riboflavin - It has been suggested in various research studies that mitochondrial energy depletion can trigger a migraine attack. Riboflavin, or vitamin B2,  which is considered to be an important cofactor in various oxidation-reduction reactions play a key role in the mitochondrial production of energy and thus its external administration can help prevent migraine attacks.


10.  Melatonin- Melatonin is a hormone that regulates the sleep cycle by modulating the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN) activity and circadian system through the hypothalamic-pineal axis. Melatonin has proved its efficacy in treating cluster headache, menstrual migraine, migraine with or without aura, and chronic migraine. Melatonin has anti-inflammatory properties, and protect against toxic free radicals, it also reduces the upregulation of proinflammatory cytokines and thereby shows its anti-migraine activity. [Use of melatonin versus valproic acid in the prophylaxis of migraine patients: A double-blind randomized clinical trial.7.]


11. Diet- Consuming a diet rich in Vitamin D, Magnesium, Riboflavin can help improve and treat migraine sufferings.  Eliminating gluten-containing food and foods that are allergens and IgG based can also help reduce the frequency and duration of migraine attacks. [IgG-Based Elimination Diet in Migraine Plus Irritable Bowel Syndrome. Headache.2.]

Research in efficacy of taking supplements in migraine

A combination of coenzyme Q10, feverfew, and magnesium for migraine prophylaxis: a prospective observational study.8.

68 Adult patients suffering from migraines were enrolled in the study to investigate the effect of Feverfew (Tanacetum parthenium L.), magnesium and coenzyme Q10 for migraine prophylaxis. The patients after a month baseline period were supplemented with one tablet of 100 mg feverfew, 100 mg coenzyme Q10 and 112.5 mg magnesium per day for 3 months. After three months of taking these supplements, the patients reported a significant reduction in migraine headaches when compared to the baseline phase. The decrease was found to be progressive over the period of supplementation. Along with these patients also reported a decrease in anxiety and depressive symptoms and overall improvement of quality of life was also observed.

The results of this study suggest that supplements like feverfew, coenzyme Q10, and magnesium can be beneficial and safe to use for the prevention of migraine in adult patients.

Summary

Proprietary supplements like feverfew, coenzyme Q10,  magnesium, Vitamin D, Riboflavin, Melatonin, and magnesium are considered to be the best supplements for the prophylaxis of migraine. These supplements can help or result in optimum responses if used in conjunction with conventional treatments as part of a multidisciplinary treatment plan. Intake of these supplements cannot only effectively reduce various symptoms of migraines but also has potential savings to the health care system. These supplements are simple to use, easily available at cheaper costs and may be effective in controlling migraines. However, the efficacy of these supplements in treating migraine deserves further research in a larger population with more data.

References

1. Dai, Yu-Jie & Wang, Hai-Yan & Wang, Xi-Jian & Kaye, Alan & Sun, Yong-Hai. (2017). Potential Beneficial Effects of Probiotics on Human Migraine Headache: A Literature Review. Pain physician. 20. E251-E255. 
2. Aydinlar, Elif & YALINAY DIKMEN, PINAR & Tiftikci, Arzu & Saruc, Murat & Aksu, Muge & Gunsoy, Hulya & Tozun, Nurdan. (2012). IgG-Based Elimination Diet in Migraine Plus Irritable Bowel Syndrome. Headache. 53. 10.1111/j.1526-4610.2012.02296.x. 
3. D’Onofrio, Florindo & Raimo, Simona & Spitaleri, Daniele & Casucci, Gerardo & Bussone, Gennaro. (2017). Usefulness of nutraceuticals in migraine prophylaxis. Neurological Sciences. 38. 117-120. 10.1007/s10072-017-2901-1. 
4. Daniel, Oved & Mauskop, Alexander. (2016). Nutraceuticals in Acute and Prophylactic Treatment of Migraine. Current Treatment Options in Neurology. 18. 10.1007/s11940-016-0398-1. 
5. Slavin, Margaret & Bourguignon, Julia & Jackson, Kyle & Orciga, Michael-Angelo. (2016). Impact of Food Components on in vitro Calcitonin Gene-Related Peptide Secretion—A Potential Mechanism for Dietary Influence on Migraine. Nutrients. 8. 406. 10.3390/nu8070406. 
6. Song, Tae-Jin & Chu, Min & Sohn, Jong-Hee & Ahn, Hong-Yup & Lee, Sun & Cho, Soo-Jin. (2018). Effect of Vitamin D Deficiency on the Frequency of Headaches in Migraine. Journal of Clinical Neurology. 14. 366. 10.3988/jcn.2018.14.3.366. 
7. Ebrahimi-Monfared, Mohsen & Sharafkhah, Mojtaba & Abdolrazaghnejad, Ali & Mohammadbeigi, Abolfazl & Faraji, Fardin. (2017). Use of melatonin versus valproic acid in prophylaxis of migraine patients: A double-blind randomized clinical trial. Restorative Neurology and Neuroscience. 35. 385-393. 10.3233/RNN-160704. 
8. Guilbot, Angèle & Bangratz, Marie & Abdellah, Samira & Lucas, Christian. (2017). A combination of coenzyme Q10, feverfew and magnesium for migraine prophylaxis: A prospective observational study. BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine. 17. 433. 10.1186/s12906-017-1933-7. 

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