Vitamins and Supplements for Migraines
Migraines are pulsing and throbbing headaches that can ruin an otherwise good day. There are many factors that cause migraines such as stress and dehydration.
In the 1980s, medication for migraines were developed. However, these medications can cause serious side effects. Moreover, some people are not able to take these drugs if they are at risk of medical conditions such as heart disease.
Nowadays, people want a more natural approach to preventing migraine headaches. Some vitamins and supplements may help in reducing migraine attacks, plus side effects are less likely. But, these vitamins and supplements are not instant treatments, it may take some time to be effective.
It’s also important to note that these natural treatments may not work for everyone. Some may also experience some mild side effects. Consult your health provider to find the right treatment for you.
Here are some vitamins and supplements that may help you with your migraine headaches:
Magnesium is a major mineral that maintains blood pressure, nerve, and muscle functions. Research has shown that people with recurring migraines have lower levels of magnesium than those who don’t have migraine attacks.
As a result, experts believe that magnesium plays an important role in treating and preventing migraines.
The British Association for the Study of Headaches recommends taking 400-600 mg of magnesium per day to prevent migraines. It’s best to take magnesium supplements for at least 3 months to find out if it works for you or not.
Here are some foods that are rich in magnesium:
- Pumpkin or squash seeds
- Low-fat yoghurts
- Tuna, mackerel, and Pollock fish
- Black beans
- Dark chocolate
Some side effects to take note of are diarrhoea, cramping, and nausea. This can mean you’re taking above the recommended dosage.
2. Riboflavin or Vitamin B2
Vitamin B2 or riboflavin is responsible for converting food into fuel. It also helps metabolise protein and fats. People who suffer with migraines show a glitch in the metabolic process.
There are limited studies on why Vitamin B2 helps in preventing migraines, but it is noticeable that those who have Vitamin B2 deficiency are more prone to migraine.
Studies show that low levels of certain B vitamins, including vitamin B2, can lead to brain fog symptoms. Consuming vitamin B2 or riboflavin helps in guarding against brain fog and keeps the nervous system functioning properly.
A review of 9 studies showed that participants who took 400 mg of vitamin B2 for 3 months showed reduced pain, frequency, and duration associated with migraine headaches.
A cohort study of 1,385 elderly and middle-aged groups was conducted from January 2014 to December 2017. Studies showed that by increasing the intake of riboflavin the multi-dimensional cognitive function was improved.
Vitamin B2 can be found in foods such as:
- Green veggies
- Enriched flour
The good news is that vitamin B2 does not have any serious side effects. But, it can make your urine colour orange—which is normal.
Health organisations recommend taking 400 mg of vitamin B2 daily to help prevent migraines.
3. Coenzyme Q10 (300 Mg)
Coenzyme Q10 is a substance found inside the body. Cells use this substance to produce the energy needed for maintenance and growth.
Compared to Vitamin B2, there is little evidence for the effectiveness of CoQ10 for migraines.
According to author Peter S. Sandor, “A lack of cell energy in the brain may be a cause of migraine, CoQ10 may give a boost to those cells and help prevent migraine.”
A small trial was conducted in 2019 on women with migraines. Participants who took 400 mg of CoQ10 per day for three months showed a decrease in the duration, frequency, and severity of migraine attacks.
Another study found that taking the addition of 100 mg of CoQ10 to your migraine medication daily reduced the severity of migraine attacks per month.
Researchers concluded that CoQ10 has a significant effect on reducing the frequency and duration of migraine.
Some common side effects include:
- Skin rash
- Stomach pain
It is recommended to take between 100-200 mg of CoQ10 per day. It should be taken for at least 3 months to see if it works for you.
4. 5-hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP)
(Precursor to Serotonin/ Melatonin)
5-HTP is a supplement that is used as an alternative treatment for migraines and headaches. It is used by the body to produce serotonin which is an important substance for normal brain and nerve function. Serotonin has a significant role in emotional moods, sleep, inflammation, pain control, and other body functions.
Despite the limited research, several studies found that 5-HTP is an effective supplement to reduce the severity, frequency, and duration of migraine attacks.
In 2011, an experiment was conducted to two siblings with a rare type of migraine called hemiplegic migraine. The study concluded that 5-HTP improved their migraine symptoms.
It is recommended to take 200 to 600 mg of 5-HTP supplements daily for adults. For children, 20 mg per 10 pounds of their body weight is recommended.
5-HTP has several side effects including:
- Loose stools or diarrhoea
Some people prefer taking L-tryptophan. L-tryptophan is an essential amino acid that helps the body produce proteins and brain-signalling chemicals. Both 5-HTP and L-tryptophan are used to synthesise the pathway of serotonin or melatonin. Studies have shown that L-tryptophan is best in treating insomnia, depression, sleep disorders, and anxiety. Additionally, it plays an important role in cognition, behaviour, and mood. Many women also use this to ease mood swings caused by premenstrual syndrome.
Low levels of L-tryptophan have been linked to depression. However, there is limited research to back such claims.
But, which one is better? It really depends on what you’re looking for. 5-HTP synthesises serotonin more effectively and faster than L-tryptophan—making it a better option for improving mood.
If your main goal is to improve your overall well-being and sleep, you may consider taking L-tryptophan.
5. Vitamin D3
Vitamin D3 helps the body absorb calcium to maintain strong bones. Vitamin D2 is derived from plant sources, while vitamin D3 comes from animal sources. Experts are investigating the link between migraine and vitamin D deficiency. Low levels of vitamin D are also associated with dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
Here are the best sources of vitamin D3:
- Sockeye salmon
- Rainbow trout
- Beef liver
In 2015, a study was conducted on people who had about 4 to 14 migraine attacks per month where vitamin D3 and simvastatin were combined. They saw a reduction in the number of migraines per month. Those who took the placebo had one more migraine headache per month, on average.
In another study, a group of 12 males and 36 females with migraine ages 18 to 65 years were randomly assigned to take either vitamin D3 or placebo for 24 weeks. From the 4-week baseline to 24 weeks, supplementation of vitamin D3 showed a reduction in the number of migraine frequency compared to placebo. There were, however, no differences in pressure pain thresholds, migraine severity, or temporal summation.
Bromelain is a type of natural enzyme that helps break down protein. It can be found in the stem and fruit of a pineapple. It is also sold as a dietary supplement. Bromelain helps ease certain kinds of headaches, especially those from sinus infection or inflammation. People use bromelain to ease pain, muscle soreness, kidney stones, burns, and many other conditions. However, there is no scientific evidence that supports such claims.
According to Dr. Russell H. Greenfield, bromelain acts as an anti-inflammatory and helps reduce swelling. If being used to relieve sinus pain or headache, he recommends taking 200 mg of bromelain twice daily.
Bromelain helps reduce sinus pain by thinning the accumulated mucus—allowing it to train properly. Several studies have shown that taking bromelain together with antibiotics or antihistamine will help in rapidly reducing nasal swelling.
Due to its anti-inflammatory properties, bromelain may also help ease migraine headaches, tensions, and allergies.
N-acetyl cysteine or NAC is a form of amino acid L-cysteine. It has been used for decades to treat psychological disorders, lung conditions, and to improve athletic performance. Doctors believe that NAC helps in stimulating the synthesis of glutathione—a compound that helps fight free radicals that can cause damage and inflammation. Taking glutathione supplements does not adequately restore GSH levels in the brain because it cannot penetrate the blood-brain barrier.
NAC is also commonly used to treat cough, dry eye, flu, and many other conditions. It also boosts dopamine levels, reduces anxiety and depression, improves memory and mood, and clears up brain fog.
In a study conducted by the University of Notre Dame Australia, it was suggested that migraine can be caused by the inflammation of the brain’s coverings and the release of free radicals. 90 participants were asked to take NAC 600 mg, vitamin C, and vitamin E for 3 months. By the end of the trial period, the subjects reported a 30% decrease in migraine episodes per month.
Natural Supplements Offered by Bespoke Biotics
When you have migraines, you know how these pulsing and throbbing headaches can impact your daily activities. While medications can help you manage migraines, you might experience side effects. That’s the reason why some people find “natural” supplements to find relief.
The good news, these supplements have evidence that they may help in migraine prevention.
- Magnesium - Magnesium helps maintain blood pressure, nerve function, and muscle function. Several studies have proven the benefits of taking magnesium supplements to help prevent migraine attacks.
- Riboflavin - Vitamin B2 or riboflavin helps reduce oxidative stress related to migraine. An analysis of multiple studies showed that taking at least 400 mg of riboflavin daily can significantly decrease migraine symptoms, duration, and frequency.
- Coenzyme Q10 - CoQ10 helps reduce the levels of enzymes that lead to nerve inflammation. According to experts, CoQ10 helps reduce the duration and frequency of migraine headaches, but does not reduce the severity of migraine.
Here are some of the supplements we offer at Bespoke Biotics:
Migrasoothe-Pro - Riboflavin 400 mg + Enhanced Supplements
1 per day Morning
Mag-Shield Pro - Magnesium Citrate 500 mg
4 per day
/ 2 Evening
Cor Shield Coenzyme Q10 - 300 mg
1 per day Morning
If you’ve been taking a certain supplement and haven’t seen any improvement, you may be lacking other important supplements that work synergistically to help improve or prevent migraine headaches.
We recommend taking the following:
- Magnesium 2/4 caps
- CoQ10 (at least 300mg/day)
- L-Tryptophan - This is included in the Migrasoothe Pro product
Information provided by this article and our company is not a substitute for direct, individual medical treatment or advice. It is the responsibility of you and your healthcare providers to make all decisions regarding your health.
Why choose MigraSoothe by Bespoke Biotics?
MigraSoothe-B, MigraSoothe + Herbs, and MigraSoothe-Pro have been exclusively developed by Bespoke Biotics using their unique formulation.
- Compared to Chinese-made alternatives, our supplements have proportionally compact capsules that are easy to swallow.
- Our vitamin B2 is fermentically synthesized for optimal purity, and we use new and improved biotechnology and metabolic engineering techniques to increase the yield of vitamin B2.
- Our supplements are optimized for bioavailability, making them fast-absorbing and convenient to take with just one capsule per dose.
- Best of all, our supplements are made in Great Britain in a GMP standard production facility, ensuring the same grade of quality as pharmaceutical drugs.