Australian researchers have determined that daily vitamin supplements produced a two-fold reduction in disability caused by migraine headaches. Previous studies have found that CoQ10 and magnesium supplementation can help reduce the frequency and severity of migraines.
Researchers at the Genomoics Research centre in Brisbane have found that a gene that reportedly makes people susceptible to migraine attacks when it dysfunctions or has a mutation, leads to a higher level of the toxic amino acid homocysteine, known to increase the risk of heart attacks and strokes.
According to Professor Lyn Griffiths, “ These results provided compelling evidence that lowering plasma (blood) homocysteine levels via folic acid coupled with B6 and B12 vitamin supplementation improved health-related productivity and therefore quality of life for these patients.”
About 12 to 15 percent of people in the UK and US suffer from migraines, with more than twice as many women affected as men.
The headaches are usually preceded by flashes of light, blind spots, anxiety, or tingling in the arms or legs. They usually experience a pounding sensation on one side of the head and have nausea, vomiting and extreme light and noise sensitivity between 4 and 72 hours. The symptoms can been severe and debilitating.
The scientists recruited 52 people diagnosed with migraine with aura. They were randomly given either the vitamin supplements-a daily dose of 2mg of folic acid, 400 micrograms of b12 and 25 mg of B6, or a placebo for 6 months.
Those receiving the vitamins experienced a 39 percent reduction of their homocsyteine levels, which was statistically significant compared to the subjects receiving the placebo.
They also experienced a reduction in the prevalence of disability caused by the migraines from 60 per cent at the study’s launch to 30 per cent after 6 months- a fifty per cent reduction. There was no reduction that occurred in the group receiving the placebo.
The vitamin group participants also experienced a reduction in the severity of the pain and the frequency of the head ache, while the placebo group remained unchanged.
Professor Griffiths noted, “The success of our trial… has shown that safe, inexpensive vitamin supplements can treat migraine patients.”
Pharmacogentices and Genomics: In press
“The effects of vitamin supplementation and MTHFR (C677T) genotype on homeocysteine-lowering and migraine disability.