Omega 3 Fatty Acid / Fish Oil / Dha / Epa
How much: 1,000-2,000 mg / day;
Omegas are all the rage these days. What exactly are they and why though!? Well dig into the why in a moment as for what fish oil capsules are healthy fats derived from fish containing Eicosapentaenoic acid and Docosahexaenoic acid which are classified as omega-3 fatty acids. These fatty acids are found plentifully in salmon and other fish and in flaxseed.
Every time I turn around it seems that fish oil supplementation can be used to support yet another medical condition. Its no coincidence or quack attack though the more we learn about healthy fats and omegas the more we understand and realize their plentiful anti-inflammatory properties on the body.
According to The American Heart Association, omega 3 fatty acids also supercharge macrophages, specialized cells that destroy bacteria and eliminate dead cells. They also make platelets less sticky, potentially decreasing the formation of blood clots. The molecules also have been shown to play a role in tissue regeneration. In a study on migraine and omega 3 fatty acids, fish oil was found to decrease the intensity of headaches by close to 50% and the severity of migraines by upwards of 70%. Yas! In a study on 15 participants 9 found significant migraine relief from fish oil supplementation. If you want to check out a brand I love that doesnt smell or taste fishy click here. Keep those healthy fats bumpin yall.;
Alternative Choices For Migraine Pain
While medications are the mainstay of migraine treatment, they’re not a cure-all. For women who are pregnant or hoping to be, supplements are a safe alternative. For people who can’t get enough relief from prescriptions or who dislike the side effects, supplements can also help.
“Almost anyone, including children, can take magnesium,” DeRossett tells WebMD. “The only side effect is diarrhea. Some people get it, some don’t. For some, it’s dependent on how high the dosage is.”
She recommends magnesium “more than other supplements, and have found it to have the most robust effect in preventing migraines,” she says. “I advise vitamin B-2 if a patient has a predisposition to diarrhea.” Some supplements combine magnesium, vitamin B-2, and the herb feverfew. Coenzyme Q10, which the body produces naturally, has also been shown to cut migraine attacks, but it’s pricier than the others, she adds.
You have to take magnesium for three months to get a benefit, says DeRossett. “People sometimes give up on it too soon.” Taking the correct dosage is important as well: 500 mg magnesium, 400 mg riboflavin , and 150 mg coenzyme Q10.
The herb butterbur can also help prevent migraine attacks, she adds. A recent study found that a daily 75 mg butterbur supplement cut migraine frequency by more than 50%.
Vitamin D3 Plus A Statin
In another study published in the Annals of Neurology, 57 adult migraineurs were assigned to take either a vitamin D3 supplement twice daily along with a cholesterol-lowering medication called Zocor , or two placebo pills twice daily.
Research has found that certain cholesterol-lowering medications like simvastatin can protect against vitamin D deficiency by helping to increase vitamin D blood levels.;
When compared to the placebo group, the participants who took both the vitamin D supplement and simvastatin had a greater decrease in their number of migraine days over the 24-week study period.
More specifically, nearly one-third of the participants taking the vitamin D supplement and simvastatin experienced a 50% decrease in their number of migraine days by the end of the 24-week study.;
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Previous Research Disputes Vitamin Ties
Most importantly, we need to remember that this is not the first time researchers have looked at vitamin levels as a possible cause or contributor to migraines. Theres been enough research done on vitamin D for people to conclude that there is;no link between the nutrient and migraines. There is little support for other nutrients cited in this stud, as well.
Overall, this leads us to conclude that vitamin deficiency cant be a major contributor to migraines for many people.
Vitamin D And The Brain
Vitamin D is often called the “sunshine vitamin” because it’s produced in the skin when exposed to sunlight. Once synthesized in the skin, it travels through the lymphatic system to the liver and kidneys, where it is converted into an active hormone. This hormone then circulates through the bloodstream and binds to vitamin D receptors in the brain.
Experts believe that by binding to these receptors, the vitamin D hormone may regulate the release of neurotransmitters, like serotonin, melatonin, and dopamine. And because vitamin D has potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, it helps protect the brain from oxidative stresssomething that is closely associated with increased migraine risk.
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Are There Any Other Supplements To Know About
Yep, and itâs too many to list here. But two that you may come across pretty often are feverfewâan herb that touts headache-busting benefitsâand butterbur, a medicinal shrub thatâs been used to treat everything from stomach pain to UTIs .
While some people may report benefits from these supplements, and feverfew is considered safe by the National Institutes of Health, there are few studies on either, and the American Migraine Foundation suggests that current studies arenât necessarily reliable. There are also side effects that make them a riskier choice. For example, Crystal shares, âthe butterbur plant contains chemicals called pyrrolizidine alkaloids that can be toxic to the liver, so only PA-free butterbur products should be used.â
On the other hand, some less rigorously tested supplements may actually be worth your time. A recent study published in the medical journal BMJ backed up earlier research that suggested that a diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids, essential nutrients found in fish and other foods, can help reduce the frequency and severity of migraine attacks. If youâre not a big fan of seafood, you may be able to get the same benefit by taking fish oil supplements. There arenât many side effects of fish oil, and theyâre generally mild . That said, it is possible to get too much fish oil, so be sure to talk to a doctor before starting any new supplements.
The Best Supplements For Migraines
As always, anyone suffering from any form of chronic pain should always refer to their doctor for the best course of action before embarking on any form of treatment. If youve already done so and are ready to feel relief, however, weve rounded up a selection of tried-and-tested supplements for nixing and in some cases, preventing migraines.Keep scrolling for Womans Worlds picks for the best supplements for migrainesto find out what each one does;;and where to find them.
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Which Supplements Work Best For Migraine Prevention
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Finding an abortive and/or preventative treatment that works is often akin to finding the holy grail for those of us with migraine disease. It can be even more difficult for those of us who have limitations on the prescription drugs we can take and/or tolerate. Dietary supplements* may offer an alternative set of treatment options for those of us who have had bad reactions to pharmaceuticals, prefer not to take pharmaceuticals, or have many drug-to-drug interactions that prevent us from taking certain pharmaceuticals.
At the recent Migraine World Summit, Dr. Andrea Harriott, a board-certified neurologist and headache specialist at the John R. Graham Headache Center at Brigham and Womens Hospital in Boston, offered her insights and recommendations for supplements when it comes to preventing or aborting a migraine attack.
What We Know So Far
According to the National Headache Institute, one of the most common symptoms of vitamin D deficiency is headache. Even so, the precise relationship between vitamin D and various subtypes of primary headachesincluding migraines and tension headachesis still unclear. There are a few theories that provide good leads.
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Vitamin B2 And Butterbur
Riboflavin or B2 occurs in dairy products, grains and certain plants, and it may have an effect on your cells energy metabolism. As a water-soluble vitamin;its eliminated through the urinary system fairly rapidly, so for treatment and prevention purposes doctors recommend taking two doses of 200 mg each per day. This helps;maintain your levels of B2 for a longer period each day. A dosage of 75 mg a day of butterbur is reputed to have a similar effect to riboflavin, although patients claim it doesnt help as much as the B2.
Negative reactions: Side effects of riboflavin are usually minimal, although high doses can cause your urine to develop an orange color. Patients suffering from hepatitis, cirrhosis of the liver or biliary obstruction may need to take a higher dosage more often to get the same absorption results.
Whats The Effect Of Vitamin E On The Treatment Of Menstrual Migraine
Simply stated, it could help. The dosage is 400 IU. This vitamin is helpful to relax the blood vessels, although magnesium is the primary relaxer of the blood vessels.
Herbs provide only minute amounts of vitamins and minerals and the reason why they may help would be because they generally contain medicinal constituents that fill in the metabolic gaps we all have.
A period vitamin is probably the easiest way to get in most of the vitamins and minerals for the day plus it will also contain some herbs that support your period during the entire menstrual cycle from period to period. Its taken once daily. It could also contribute greatly to your cessation of migraines.
Start reading up on nutrition and youll find it fascinating. Its also a way for you to be empowered to take care of your own health.
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One Part Of A Complex Puzzle
All of this is not to say that vitamins dont have a role to play in your migraines. Migraines are a complex condition that likely has many contributing factors. Doctors should explore all possibilities including nutrient deficiencies to try to ease the burden of migraines.
One important contributing cause that many people overlook is temporomandibular joint disorders , which can cause muscle tension and nerve pressure that contribute to the frequency and intensity of migraines.;Unfortunately taking vitamins for TMJ wont treat you. You will need TMJ treatment;instead. It can help many people who arent getting good results from their current migraine therapy.
Want to learn whether TMJ treatment can help with your migraines in Rochester, NY? Please call;;for an appointment with a;TMJ dentist;at Contemporary Dentistry.
Questioning The Effectiveness Of Supplements For Migraines
The quality of supplements you choose is important.;
Try to get the best quality supplements for migraines you can afford to take for a while. It might take a few months to get the desired results. My super expensive doctor only prescribes Thorne brand.
Ask your healthcare practitioner for the best quality brand they can recommend for you.;
Migraine for Dummies says that getting rid of a full-fledged migraine with nothing but herbal remedies ranks right up there with cleaning up an oil spill with tissues.
So be aware that you may require a stronger method of treatment for your migraine episodes.
As you can see there are so many different supplements for migraines and headaches available. I am sure I have not listed them all and new discoveries are being made all the time.
Some of these above have not passed through the most stringent clinical tests but the first six have been rigorously tested and succeeded through controlled clinical trials proving their efficacy.
No matter what you eventually decide upon to try for your migraine treatment, always discuss it with your doctor first.
This is a complex neurological medical condition and the supplements for migraines, herbs, alternative treatments, and medications you choose to use should not be taken without checking for contraindications or drug interactions.;
Stay well, and I wish you great success using supplements for migraines as natural prevention.
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Other Vitamin Deficiencies Associated With Migraines
In addition to the aforementioned vitamin deficiencies, people who lack sufficient amounts of folate and coenzyme Q10 may be more prone than others to migraine attacks.
Folate is a B-vitamin used to produce red and white blood cells in bone marrow, RNA and DNA, as well as transform carbohydrates into energy. Folate-deficiency anemia may develop in individuals who lack folic acid, a synthesized version of folate, in the blood. In this instance, an individual may experience migraines, along with a lack of energy, decreased appetite, pale skin and other physical symptoms.
A recent study published in The Journal of Headache and Pain highlighted the use of folic acid to treat migraine symptoms. The study revealed migraine patients who were given 2 mg of folic acid in conjunction with vitamins B12 and B6 achieved greater success in reducing their migraine symptoms than patients who received 1 mg of folic acid in combination with vitamins B12 and B6.
Coenzyme Q10 is a vitamin-like substance found in cells. Roughly one out of every 100,000 people are coenzyme Q10-deficient, the U.S. National Library of Medicine notes. Furthermore, a coenzyme Q10 deficiency may put a person at risk for migraines, heart disease and other medical issues.
Which Should I Choose
Butterbur should probably be off the list for the time being, until a proven safe preparation is available, but when this is sorted, it looks to have encouraging potential.
Feverfew has a less attractive success record than the other substances discussed here.
Of the three supplements, Magnesium, Co-enzyme Q10 and Riboflavin, all seem to give broadly similar results. Co-enzyme Q10 has the least potential side effects so that would be a good one to start with. Remember you need to give each a decent trial period and it is best to keep a daily diary of your headaches so you can accurately chart the effect of the medication. Unfortunately there is no way to predict which medication will be successful for any particular person, so a process of trial and error is necessary. Another approach to choosing is to go for a medication which might also help another condition. So in the case of these supplements, Magnesium may have benefits for people with fibromyalgia which commonly co-exists with migraine.
Ive quoted availability and dosages from Boots the Chemist, Holland and Barrett, Amazon and the internet. I chose these as they are widely available throughout the country, not because they offer any special benefit, or because I wish to endorse these companies in any way. None of these products are available on NHS prescription, so you will have to purchase them if you want to try them but do let your doctor know you are using them.
How Do Supplements Work To Treat Migraine
Supplements can impact body and brain functions in all kinds of different ways, some of which have been shown to reduce migraine frequency or the severity of migraine headaches .
For some people, a deficiency in a vitamin or mineral may trigger a migraine or increase its intensity, so balancing that with supplements can help.
With that said, no treatment is proven to work for everyone. As you probably already know, everyoneâs migraine patterns are differentâyour triggers are different than your sisterâs, and your frequency might be 3x what your co-worker experiences. And the treatment plan that works for others may not work for you.
What Is The Best Magnesium For Migraine
When people search for a new magnesium supplement without knowing what to look for, they usually focus on price. This means many arent getting the full potential out of the supplements theyre taking. This could be because our body doesnt agree with that particular form of magnesium. Or it could be that the supplement contains additional fillers or potential Migraine triggers, making it poor quality and more difficult to absorb.
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Finding Your Migraine’s 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.
“We’re looking for migraine drugs that don’t have the limitations or side effects of antiseizure or blood-pressure-lowering drugs,” Nissan tells WebMD. “CGRP doesn’t 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.
Could Easing Your Headache Pain Be As Simple As Taking A Vitamin
Auras, blinding pain, nausea. If youve ever had a migraine, you know how truly painful and debilitating they can be. If you get them regularly, youre probably ready to try just about anything to stop them, from daily prescription medications to biofeedback sessions. Still searching for the perfect solution? Take heart: Good news may be on the horizon. New research is showing that relief may be possible by simply taking a daily vitamin D supplement.
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