What You Need to Know About Magnesium for Migraine Prevention
When you frequently have migraine attacks, it might be challenging to use traditional painkillers like paracetamol and ibuprofen to treat it.
Luckily, there are alternative ways to help prevent magnesium and one potential remedy is magnesium.
Based on research, magnesium is a safe, inexpensive, and well-tolerated option for preventing migraine symptoms such as sensitivity to light and sound, nausea, visual disturbances, severe headache and vomiting.
In this article, you will learn everything about magnesium and how it can help prevent migraines.
What is Magnesium?
Magnesium is a natural metal element and is the second most abundant mineral in your body (Sometime abbreviated as the chemical symbol Mg). Basically, it helps in the functioning of bones, protein, and DNA. It also plays a role in making blood pressure stable, regulating muscle and nerve function, and keeping the heart healthy. In fact it is involved in over 300 reactions in the body!
Does Magnesium Prevent Migraine?
Based on multiple studies. Magnesium deficiency might contribute to migraines and headaches. Research also says that a drop in magnesium levels cause blood vessels in the brain to constrict. Low brain magnesium is also though to promotes neurotransmitter hyperactivity and nerve excitation that can lead to headaches.
But, how do you know if you have magnesium deficiency?
Honestly, there’s no way to tell unless you have symptoms of severe magnesium deficiency such as weakness, nausea, fatigue, and loss of appetite. However it is widely recognised that modern diets have led to a lack of magnesium leading to the rising the need for supplementation.
Magnesium also prevents or blocks signals in the brain that often lead to migraines with an aura or virtual disturbances. That’s why magnesium is more effective for people whose migraines include aura.
The American Migraine Foundation recommends taking a 400-500 mg supplement of magnesium supplements to prevent migraine attacks, but up to 1200mg is also suggested by leading commentators.
Experts also believe that taking high doses of magnesium—about 500 mg —for at least 4 months increases the chances of preventing migraines.
How Do I Use Magnesium for Migraines?
You can take magnesium in the form of a Capsule or tablet.
Here are the various forms of magnesium available as a supplement:
- Magnesium carbonate
- Magnesium chloride
- Magnesium citrate
- Magnesium oxide
The body absorbs these types of magnesium at different rates. Sometime, it may be difficult for the body to absorb magnesium that’s why some people add magnesium to their diet.
The good news is you can increase magnesium in your diet! In fact, a magnesium-rich diet helps keep you fit and healthy because these foods tend to be high in fibre.
Here are some excellent sources of magnesium:
- Leafy green vegetables
- Milk and yoghourt
Why are there low levels of magnesium in modern diets?
Some reasons include:
- Soil depletion - Our expectations of planet Earth are quite high considering we have been farming our lands for millennia and intensively farming in the last few hundred years. In practice what has happened is that the soil has been depleted of nutrients. Studies as far back as the 1930s pointed out that soil quality had degraded. A 2004 study published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition compared nutrient content with 1950 levels and found declines to be as much as 40%.
- Intensive Farming – evidence is mounting to suggest that modern crop varieties which grow much faster are less able to take up nutrients.when crops are artificially selected in this way, they may grow bigger and faster, but might not necessarily have the ability to make or uptake nutrients at the same, faster rate.
- Industrial Distribution – Most of the food we get from supermarkets has been gathered, stored refrigerated and processed at an industrial level. This means that some of the produce we're getting even if it comes from fields only a few miles away can take months or even years before it arrives at a supermarket shelf or packet. The length of time it takes and the changing of environment tends to degrade the food and the ability of key nutrients to be delivered to our bodies.
- Absorption- Modern highly processed Western diets and and medication can prevent magnesium absorption in the body
Bespoke Biotics offer a Mag-Shield PRO Magnesium Citrate 500 mg supplement which is easier and faster to absorb compared to other magnesium supplements. One 500 mg capsule provides 150 mg active magnesium in a highly bioavailable form.
Magnesium Citrate is one of the easiest forms of magnesium that the body can absorb so it is more effective than some higher dosed alternatives.
Adults can take 2-4 capsules per day.
To tackle migraine headaches of various descriptions magnesium should be combined with:
- Migrasoothe-B or Migrasoothe-Pro 400mg of Riboflavin which is recommended by the National Institute of Clinical Excellence in the UK as well as American Australian and Canadian clinical bodies for reduction of migraine frequency. The strength of riboflavin is over 400 times typical High Street available doses. Many scientific studies have shown that lower quantities of riboflavin for example even 200 mg do not affect migraine at all.
- Cor Shield 300Mg of Coenzyme Q10. CoQ10 Triple strength helps in converting nutrients into energy-producing adenosine triphosphate—which helps in fuel energy transfer within cells.
There are many other supplements which are also help but these are a formidable combination to start with. You can buy 60 days supply directly from Bespoke Biotics website. Simply take
- 2x Mag-Shield Magnesium capsules per day combined
- 1x Migrasoothe Riboflavin 400Mg capsule
- 1x Coenzyme Q 10 Capsule.
Side Effects and Risks
Increasing magnesium levels does not appear to have any serious side effects and risks. However, taking much more than the recommended dose of magnesium supplements can cause adverse effects such as vomiting, diarrhoea, bleeding disorders, kidney problems, and cramps, especially if taking typical High Street magnesium supplements with magnesium oxide.
Avoid taking magnesium supplements if you’re taking a type of antibiotics known as aminoglycosides.
Magnesium can also affect the absorption of antibiotics in the body. Antibiotics should be taken at least 2 hours before or 4-6 hours after taking magnesium supplements.
Pregnant women should consult their doctor before taking a magnesium supplements, especially if taking magnesium sulphate and magnesium oxide.
Please note whilst there no side-effects from taking magnesium if you are taking our migraine relief triple pack your Pee will turn bright yellow due to the addition of riboflavin also known as vitamin B2. This is perfectly normal and maybe something you've experienced before by taking some other multivitamins.
What do specialist doctors say about the role of Magnesium in migraines headaches?
Dr. Margaret Slavin is an associate professor of the Department of Nutrition and Food Studies at George Mason University says:
"Magnesium is one of the major minerals of the body. It performs literally hundreds of functions in the body, and there are several, honestly, that might have something to do with migraine. Magnesium is associated with enzymes in the body. Enzymes are proteins that control the rate of different metabolic reactions that are happening in the body. So, basically, they control what goes on, what biochemistry, and how we function as biological organisms.
So magnesium has a role in kind of tuning that system and which enzymes and which reactions are happening. And it is especially important in the regulation of energy metabolism, playing a key role in the conversion of the energy we consume as food...magnesium plays a key role in that process in the mitochondria of our cells that perform that work. ...
It also has a role in blocking certain receptors in the brain that may have a role in the process of aura, the symptom that often precedes the pain phase of migraine. And so there may be some role of magnesium to play in preventing aura. And we also see magnesium can regulate release of certain inflammatory substances with migraine. So all of these things overlap with migraine and could help to explain why magnesium helps.."
What type of magnesium does Dr. Margaret Slavin recommend:
"So you’ll see when you go shopping for supplements, they will say magnesium oxide, magnesium citrate, magnesium glycinate. Magnesium oxide is the one that was most commonly used... However, it’s also the least bioavailable, “bioavailable” meaning when we take the pill and it runs through our intestines, we absorb a smaller proportion of it than some of the others, like magnesium citrate." so Magnesium Citrate like Mag-Sheild pro is a great choice.
There are various forms of migraine headache which can be relieved with magnesium especially when combined with riboflavin and CoQ10
- intractable migraine
- period and periodic migraine
- hormonal migraine
- ocular/optic migraine
- familial migraine
- hemiplegic migraine
- plain hemiplegic migraine
- ophthalmoplegic migraine
- episodic migraine
- sinus related migraine
- vestibular migraine
- migraine with aura
- chronic migraines
- silent migraine
- complex migraine
- abdominal migraine
- cyclical migraine
It's always worth speaking to a neurologist if you need to understand the type of migraine you actually have. Clinical research indicates that these over-the-counter supplements do help what can be a very debilitating condition. But in addition there may be alternative therapies for example like exercise, massage, acupuncture or prescription remedies.
Information provided by this post 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.