Study Shows Vitamin B2 Prevents Migraines
Following is a news release based on an article published in the February issue of Neurology, the scientific journal of the American Academy of Neurology . The AAN is an association of more than 15,000 neurologists and neuroscience professionals dedicated to improving patient care through education and research. For a copy of the full article or for more information, contact Sarah Parsons at 695-2732 or by e-mail
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Study Shows Vitamin B2 Prevents Migraines ST. PAUL, MN Taking vitamin B2 every day can help prevent migraines, according to a report in the February issue of Neurology, the scientific journal of the American Academy of Neurology.
Participants who took vitamin B2, or riboflavin, experienced 37 percent fewer migraines than those who took a placebo during a three-month study. Participants took a high dose of the vitamin Ã± 400 mg.
The vitamin had the most benefit on migraines after two months of daily use, according to neurologist and study author Jean Schoenen, MD, PhD, of the University of LiÃge in Belgium. The vitamin also decreased the number of days the migraines lasted.
RiboflavinÃs effectiveness compares well with other drugs used to prevent migraines, and also has fewer side effects, Schoenen said. The double-blind, randomized study involved 55 patients in Belgium and Luxembourg who experienced between two and eight migraine attacks per month.
A Magnesium Deficiency Can Contribute To Headaches
Magnesium helps the body regulate nerve and muscle function, maintain blood sugar levels, and regulate blood pressure. Dr. Sara Crystal, MD, Neurologist and Headache Specialist, andCove medical advisor, told INSIDER there is good evidence that magnesium deficiency can contribute to migraines. Thats why she said many people find magnesium supplements helpful in treating these symptoms.
Since magnesium is considered a natural relaxer of the muscle and nervous system, Morrison said its not surprising that a lack of this mineral causes muscle tension, cramps, insomnia and widespread pain, including headaches. Good food sources include legumes, nuts, seeds, green leafy vegetables, fortified foods like breakfast cereal, milk, and yogurt.
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Ways To Get Vitamins Into Your Diet
Eating a varied diet will most likely provide many of the vitamins a person needs. Good sources of many different vitamins include:1-5
- Lean meats like chicken
- Healthy fats, like avocados, vegetable oils, and fatty fish
This is not a complete list of all foods that contain vitamins. In many cases, foods in the United States are fortified. This means foods that normally do not contain vitamins have vitamins added. Cereals, grains, and milk are commonly fortified foods.1-5
Outside of our diet, vitamins can also be taken as supplements. Vitamin supplements usually come in pill form. They can be purchased over the counter at a pharmacy or grocery store.1-5
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Who Should Consider Magnesium
Because magnesium is extremely safe, anyone who experiences migraine may want to talk to their doctor about using it as a preventive treatment.
Due to the way magnesium works, it can be especially helpful for people who have migraine with aura. People with menstrual migraine also seem to benefit from daily magnesium.
Migraine Headaches Connected To Hormones Lifestyle
To understand how all this works, it’s helpful to know how migraine headaches develop. The tendency to get them is inherited. They plague teen girls and adult women especially, although a small number of young boys and adult men get migraines as well, researchers say.
Female hormones such as estrogen influence migraines, though it’s not clear why. The drop in estrogen levels that occurs a few days before a normal menstrual period seems to increase the chances of a migraine, possibly by priming blood vessels in the brain.
If a woman is taking birth control pills, their headaches are most likely to occur during their “off week,” when estrogen levels drops. Some women start getting migraines only at menopause, when their period stops. For others, menopause is the first real relief from migraines.
Lifestyle and environment can also trigger migraines. Weather changes, altitude changes, bright lights, sleep problems, stress, smells, cheeses, caffeine, monosodium glutamate , nitrates, or aspartame are just some of a long list of potential triggers. Every migraine patient has their own headache trigger pattern.
The evolution of a migraine starts with this trigger: When your brain perceives the trigger, it begins a cascade of events. The headache will start developing within two hours or two days. In the beginning, blood vessels in your forehead start to swell up. This causes nerve fibers, which are coiled around the blood vessels, to release chemicals causing pain and inflammation.
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Riboflavin For Migraine Attacks
Riboflavin plays an important role in the functioning of the mitochondria, the energy powerhouses of the cells. Because the dysfunction of mitochondria is believed to play a role in some migraine attacks, researchers have been studying the effect of riboflavin to treat or prevent migraine.1
In the 2018 Migraine In America survey, respondents were asked What else, if anything, do you use on a regular basis to treat migraine and/or its symptoms? Out of the 4,356 respondents, 8 out of 10 reported using alternative therapies, including taking vitamins and supplements such as riboflavin.
How Else Can I Get Riboflavin
For people who need more riboflavin than they can get from food, supplements are the best choice. Keep in mind that if youâre using riboflavin for migraine treatment, the supplements you can get at the pharmacy may not make the cutâtheyâre usually 100-200 mg doses, but youâll need 400 mg of riboflavin for migraine prevention.
Getting a supplement that combines riboflavin with another vitamin is a great way to kill two birds with one super healthy stone, but not all multivitamins are created equal. Magnesium and Coenzyme Q10 can enhance riboflavinâs preventive benefits, but thereâs less evidence for the effectiveness of other additives, like butterbur and feverfew.
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Vitamins B6 B9 And B12
The flavoenzyme 5,10-methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase regulates the flow of folate between the production of nucleotides and the supply of methyl groups during methionine synthesis and has major effects on the distribution of intracellular folate . MTHFR also plays a pivotal role in the pathogenesis of migraine and hyperhomocysteinemia. The MTHFR enzyme encoded by MTHFR catalyzes the reduction of 5,10-methylenetetrahydrofolate to 5-methyltetrahydrofolate, an ethyl group donor to the intermediary metabolite homocysteine during its metabolism to methionine. Methionine is used in the synthesis of the universal methyl donor S-adenosylmethionine. Upon donation of the methyl group, S-adenosylmethionine is converted to S-adenosylhomocysteine, which is subsequently hydrolyzed to homocysteine and adenosine .
Hyperhomocysteinemia is caused by abnormal methionine biosynthesis due to deficiencies in folate, vitamin B12, and vitamin B6 . Folate is also needed to drive the methionine synthesis pathway, as a lack of dietary folate and/or reduced MTHFR enzymatic activity can result in increased homocysteine levels in blood plasma . This relationship makes homocysteine a key intermediate in one-carbon metabolism and further clarifies the involvement of B vitamins in transferring one-carbon units and their relation to the plasma concentrations of total homocysteine .
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B Vitamins And Headaches
Many people take multivitamins containing several of the B vitamins. This is also known as a B complex supplement, which usually contains eight B vitamins in one serving. There are many health benefits of B vitamins, but too much may have side effects.
Excessive vitamin B3 consumption commonly causes skin flushing and headaches. People with vitamin B12 deficiency may be prescribed a high dosage as treatment, though this may yield headaches as a side effect.
Ironically, B vitamin deficiencies are also associated with chronic headaches. According to a June 2018 study published in Neurological Sciences, researchers found a correlation between vitamin B12 deficiency and tension headaches in children. To avoid B vitamin headaches, aim for the recommended dietary allowance of 2.6 micrograms.
- Stomach pain
- Gastrointestinal problems
One of the most common symptoms of taking vitamins in any dose is nausea or upset stomach. This can often be attributed to taking vitamins on an empty stomach. In cases where vitamins cause nausea, Cleveland Clinic recommends taking vitamins with food, lowering your dose, getting vitamins from food sources and opting for an easy-to-digest formula.
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Magnesium And Riboflavin For Migraine: A Review
Magnesium and Riboflavin for Migraine: A Review
Migraine, defined as an episodic headache disorder accompanied by neurological symptoms, is one of the most debilitating and under-diagnosed neurological conditions afflicting otherwise healthy people. Migraine headaches are most common in people aged 35-45 years and affect more than 11 million Americans . As many as 5.5 million patients experience at least one migraine attack per month. Patients complain of increased sensory sensitivity, gastrointestinal disturbances, vasomotor symptoms, and pain, which can be disabling. Self-reports of pain intensity are high, rating an average of 7 on a 10-point scale.1-4
Despite the marked symptoms and disability associated with migraines, 31% of American patients with frequent migraines reported in a telephone survey never seeing a doctor for diagnosis or care.7,8 In fact, up to 57% of people who meet the criteria for migraines have not been diagnosed by a physician.9 It is therefore not surprising that the most popular therapy for these patients was over-the-counter medications , followed by prescription medication only , and combinations of prescription and OTC medications .10
CAM Therapies for Headache
Because of similar findings, some experts have recommended trying safe and possibly effective CAM therapies for selected patients.16 One review article cites positive evidence for magnesium, feverfew, and riboflavin and recommends their use in combination.17
Are You Getting Enough B2 Supplement For Migraine What The Research Says
The recommended daily allowance for riboflavin is 1.1 mg/day for men and 1.3 mg for women. However, most Americans consume more than that, making the typical symptoms of riboflavin deficiency quite rare.
However, evidence has also pointed to a relationship between improper mitochondria function and migraine. Therefore, studies have begun investigating whether B2which boosts mitochondria functionmay relieve migraine.
Studies on B2 for migraine treatment have been consistent in finding that B2 is efficacious and well-tolerated, including:
- In a randomized study of 55 people with migraine, half took a 400 mg dose of B2 daily for 12 weeks the other half was given a placebo. Compared to the placebo group, the riboflavin group saw a reduction in attack frequency, and their number of headache days was cut down by two per month.
- In a randomized trial of 130 people with migraine, half were given a placebo, half were given a supplement containing high doses of riboflavin, magnesium, and coenzyme Q10. After three months, the supplement-takers had fewer migraine days, and migraine intensity was significantly reduced.
Because such studies have shown riboflavins efficacy in relieving headaches, the American Academy of Neurology and the American Headache Society now recommend B2 for migraine. In addition, the Canadian Headache Society recommends 400 mg per day of riboflavin for migraine headache prevention.
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What They Are Used For
A dietary supplement is a product that contains ingredients to supplement your diet. The dietary ingredients in these products may include: vitamins, minerals, herbs, amino acids, and substances such as enzymes. People take supplements for a variety of reasons, but usually to boost their diet or to try and help with their health.
Many people with migraine try supplements to help their symptoms. There are many different supplements that claim to be helpful for migraine and headache. However, there is limited evidence about how effective these are. Only a few have some evidence to show potential benefit including riboflavin , magnesium and Co-enzyme Q10.
What Happens If I Take Riboflavin And It Doesn’t Work
If you’ve been taking riboflavin for three or four months and seen no difference, it might be time to try switching to magnesium or CoQ10, or a preventive medication like anticonvulsants or antidepressants.
We know it can be frustrating to have to try multiple migraine treatments before you find “the one.” That’s why we wrote an article full of advice about what to do when your treatment’s not working.
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What Else Can I Do
Besides taking supplements and medications, people who experience migraines should also evaluate and identify what triggers symptoms. For example, lack of sleep, changes in routine, stress, caffeine, and alcohol are all common migraine triggers. To learn more about treating migraines, speak with a healthcare provider.
Types Of Headache Pain
There are a number of drug treatments that can help in preventing migraines, as well as lessening the frequency and duration of migraine attacks.
Lifestyle changes can also be influential, such as moderating caffeine consumption, avoiding skipping meals, managing allergies, removing food triggers from the diet and performing regular exercise. In addition to these medications and lifestyle modifications, there are a number of natural supplements that can help .
Here is a visual of the eleven types that we will go over in this article.
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Finding Your Migraines Window Of Vulnerability
The FDA is currently reviewing a new migraine drug called Trexima, which combines the migraine drug Imitrex and naproxen sodium contained in Aleve and other over-the-counter medications. The triptan prevents blood vessels from dilating. This dilating leads to migraine pain the anti-inflammatory drug prevents release of an inflammation-triggering enzyme, according to product developers.
Also in the pipeline: A drug that shows promise as both in preventing migraines and in stopping a migraine once one starts, says George R. Nissan, DO, director of research for the Diamond Headache Clinic in Chicago. The drug works by inhibiting a protein released during inflammation, called calcitonin gene-related peptide . CGRP is found in high levels in migraine patients.
Were looking for migraine drugs that dont have the limitations or side effects of antiseizure or blood-pressure-lowering drugs, Nissan tells WebMD. CGRP doesnt cause constriction of blood vessels, so there would be fewer worries for patients with heart disease, and fewer limitations on its use. However, it may take years until we see it FDA-approved.
Stephen Silberstein, MD, professor of neurology and director of the Thomas Jefferson University Headache Center in Philadelphia, has led pioneering studies into this window of vulnerability during a migraine headache.
Best Supplements For Migraine Relief
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A migraine is an intense and prolonged headache, which usually lasts from between 4 and 72 hours . They can be accompanied by other symptoms, such as nausea, vomiting, sensitivity to light, sound, and odor. They can also occur with or without aura . Physical activity can also increase the severity of pain .
Migraines are socially and financially debilitating, for both individuals and society as a whole . They occur more often in women as a result of hormonal influences . The main cause of migraines is unknown but a variety of genetic and environmental factors are involved in their development . We also know that there are different types.
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Dont Fall Asleep On Supplements
Some research has linked melatonin supplements to a decrease in migraines. Melatonin is typically accessible to get over-the-counter and may be less expensive than some other supplement options. However, the hormone can have a side effect of drowsiness, so this one may be best to save for nighttime.
Prevention: The Future Of Migraine Therapy
Stopping a migraine headache before it ever begins is the new focus of treatments.
Until a few decades ago, people had little more than aspirin to fight the throbbing, debilitating pain of a migraine headache. Then, in the 1980s, researchers developed strong drugs to halt migraine pain once it begins. But those drugs have serious side effects. Some people cannot take them if they are at risk for heart disease or other conditions. Also, if the drugs are not taken within the first hour of migraine headache pain, they don’t help much.
These older drugs are still prescribed. But more recently, the approach to taming this lion has made a 360-degree turn. Now, prevention is the focus. It involves disabling a migraine headachebefore the pain ever begins. One method is to take non-migraine drugs daily to help prevent a migraine from starting. The drugs affect brain chemicals or blood vessel inflammation that lead to migraines.
Another is to fine-tune treatment for each patient. The goal is to take fewer drugs, avoid many side effects, and have better control of the beast. For example, you become aware of your pattern of getting a migraine headache, learn what triggers it, and take certain drugs during your own window of vulnerability – that is, the brief window of time you can most benefit from a drug.
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Vitamin B12 Deficiency Symptoms
Signs of vitamin B12 deficiencies take about two years or more before they are noticed. The symptoms listed below may start a bit sooner.
The causes of this can be due to anemias, chronic alcoholism, gastric bypass surgery, and lack of intrinsic factor. Lack of intrinsic factor is perhaps the most common cause. This may be eitheran inheirited problem, or it can be the result of drugs such as H2 blockers and proton pump inhibitors. These are medications that reduce stomach acid which is needed forintrinsic factor to bind to B12 in food sources and carry it across the gut to the rest of the body.
An additional medication that could cause B12 deficiency can be metformin which is a common medication used in diabetes. At the present time, studies have indicatedthat 10-30% of diabetics who take metformin are at risk for vitamin B12 deficiency symptoms. A good way to counter act this effect is to take sublingual vitamin B12.
The following are vitamin b12 deficiency symptoms:
- Confusion or change in mental status
- Tingling in hands and feet
- Unexplained worsening of neuropathies, such as carpel tunnel syndrome
- improved mood
- less neuropathic pain
- less tingling
Another benefit may be reducing the pain that MS patients feel from nerve damage caused by MS. Many of these people have pain in theirarms and legs in addition to weakness. This is because there are different nerve fibers for sensation than there are for muscle strength.
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