Vitamin Deficiencies May Play a Part in Migraines

Research from 2016 could clear some of the fog surrounding contributing factors in migraines: the study, reported on in a press release from the Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, found that a high percentage of children, teens, and young adults who experienced migraines had mild deficiencies in vitamin D, riboflavin, and coenzyme Q10. The study included data from patients with migraines at the Cincinnati Children’s Headache Center, many of whom were taking migraine medications and vitamins. Blood tests to check patients’ vitamin D, riboflavin, coenzyme Q10, and folate levels revealed that:

  • Girls and young women were more likely to have a coenzyme Q10 deficiency than boys and young men.
  • Males were more likely to have a vitamin D deficiency than females.
  • Coenzyme Q10 and riboflavin deficiencies were more common in those with chronic migraines than in those with episodic migraines.
  • A relationship between folate deficiency and migraines could not be established in this study.

Relationships between migraine headaches and vitamin D, riboflavin, coenzyme Q10, and folate deficiencies have been noted in previous studies; however, the findings have been inconsistent. Trials using vitamins to treat migraines have also turned up conflicting results. Unfortunately, this study was unable to shed light on the effectiveness of vitamins in migraine treatment because too few patients were taking vitamins alone, but there is hope that these findings might spur more clinical research into their potential benefits. In the meantime, if you’re searching for help with migraines, research has shown that acupuncture and extracts from the plants butterbur and feverfew may provide some relief.

Source: Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center

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