Saturday, August 3, 2019

Some Keys to Preventing Migraine Headaches

Riboflavin deficiency linked to migraine
A 2017 study looked at riboflavin's influence on migraine and Parkinson’s Disease, highlighting its neuroprotective potential.  According to the study, "riboflavin ameliorates oxidative stress, mitochondrial dysfunction, neuroinflammation and glutamate excitotoxicity; all of which take part in the pathogenesis of Parkinson’s Disease, migraine headache and other neurological disorders."

Riboflavin may help by ameliorating many of these hallmarks of migraine, including oxidative stress, mitochondrial dysfunction, neuroinflammation, homocysteine neurotoxicity and glutamate excitotoxicity.
Are you getting enough riboflavin?
In conclusion, the authors of the study stated that:

"Riboflavin has demonstrated its ability to tackle significant pathogenesis-related mechanisms in neurological disorders, exemplified by the ones attributed to the pathogenesis of … migraine … In addition, riboflavin is required for pyridoxine activation.

Riboflavin and PLP, the active form of pyridoxine, play essential roles in homocysteine metabolism, and tryptophan-kynurenine pathway. Indeed, any accumulation of homocysteine or kynurenines due to vitamin insufficiency can lead to significant neurological consequences.

Taking into consideration the limited riboflavin absorption and utilization in 10–15% of global population, long term riboflavin insufficiency could participate in the development of multiple neurological disorders, emphasizing the importance of long-term riboflavin-sufficient diet especially in vulnerable populations."

Since Riboflavin is a water-soluble B vitamin which is not stored - you need to get a consistent supply from your diet and/or supplements. Foods rich in riboflavin include:
Beet Greens
Portabella mushrooms
Pastured Eggs
Organic turkey
Grass fed beef liver
Grass fed beef tenderloin
Identifying riboflavin deficiency, and dosing suggestions
Overt Riboflavin Deficiency is rare in the U.S., but older adults, women on birth control pills, alcoholics, pregnant and lactating women, vegans and those with liver disorders are at increased risk for deficiency.  Common signs and symptoms of deficiency include:

Swollen throat
Blurred vision
Itchy or cracking skin
Dermatitis around the mouth
Liver degeneration
Hair loss
 Reproductive problems

The recommended daily intake is 1.3 milligrams for adult men, 1.1 mg for adult women, 1.3 mg for male adolescents (14 to 18 years of age) and 1.0 mg for female adolescents.

If you struggle with migraines, however, you may need far higher doses.  A study found that 400 mg of riboflavin per day reduced migraine frequency by 50%, from four days a month to two days a month, after three months of use.    

Other vitamin deficiencies implicated in migraines

Other nutrients deficiencies that have been implicated in migraines include:

Vitamins B6, B12 and Folic acid — A 2009 study evaluated the effect of folic acid,  vitamin B6 and vitamin B12 in 52 patients diagnosed with migraine with aura. Compared to the placebo group, those receiving these supplements experienced a 50% reduction in the prevalence of migraine disability (from 60% to 30%) over a six-month period.

Magnesium — Magnesium also plays an important role in the prevention and treatment of migraines, and migraine sufferers are more likely to suffer from magnesium deficiency.
Since magnesium administration is both easy and safe, researchers have noted that empiric treatment with a magnesium supplement is justified for all migraine sufferers.  As a prophylactic, be prepared to boost your magnesium intake for at least three months to experience results, ideally in combination with CoQ10.

In many cases, receiving a high dose of magnesium can also abort an attack in progress. Magnesium Threonate may be your best option to prevent and treat migraines. It has superior absorbability compared to other forms of magnesium, and it crosses the blood-brain barrier makes it more likely to have a beneficial effect on your brain.

Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) — A 2016 migraine study involved 7,420 children, teens and young adults, found 51% had low levels of CoQ10, 31% had low vitamin D status and 16% had low levels of riboflavin.

Those suffering from chronic migraines were overall more likely to have CoQ10 and riboflavin deficiency compared to those with episodic migraines. Another 2015 study found supplementation with a proprietary combination of magnesium, riboflavin and CoQ10 for three months lowered migraine frequency from 6.2 days at baseline to 4.4 days at three months. Pain intensity was also significantly reduced. Foods rich in CoQ10 include grass fed beef, herring, organic pastured chicken, sesame seeds, broccoli and cauliflower.
Preventing Migraines
Like most issues, prevention is the best form of treatment for migraines, because treating migraines after they start is notoriously ineffective!   To learn how to develop a comprehensive and proven natural strategy to prevent migraines watch this great interview video where Dr. Mercola interviews one of the leading clinicians for migraines Suzy Cohen aka “America’s Pharmacist”:

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