A new study has found that B vitamins – especially B6, B12, and folic acid – can reduce the frequency and severity of migraines in some patients.
Migraine attacks are becoming more common in today’s chaotic world, lasting from several hours to days at a time, with symptoms becoming more debilitating over time.
Migraines are still one of the least understood and examined conditions in the medical field because of their complexity. They have several possible origins from neurological to environmental to genetics.
The hardest part about treating migraines is that each attack is different. The symptoms will vary in type and extent for everyone. Aside from the most common problems like searing, throbbing pain, some migraineurs experience an aura, sweating, chills, nausea, vomiting, and sensitivity to sensations like light and sound.
There are currently more than 300 million migraine and headache sufferers around the world, with about 15-18% being women and 6-7% of them men. Furthermore, about 20 million attacks happen daily.
What Causes Migraines?
This is one of the hardest questions to answer. Many studies have been dedicated to determining the cause of migraines; however, not one has managed to fully explain it, and the reason is that each body is different and, therefore, has a different cause.
This one is probably the one that I lean more towards. Our daily diet consists mostly of processed foods and our environments continuously depleting our stores of necessary nutrients. It is only natural that one of the primary causes of migraines is a vitamin or mineral deficiency.
A new study has found that B vitamins – especially B6, B12, and folic acid –can reduce the frequency and severity of migraines in some patients. This study was done over the course of six months, with data gathered from previous studies, including the 2004 study from the European Journal of Neurology, which highlighted the benefits of riboflavin.
Genetic Concerns and B Vitamins
Some people are more prone to migraines because of genetic makeup, which may be caused by higher levels of homocysteine. Homocysteine can be reduced with B vitamins. The right dose of B vitamins will depend greatly on genetic makeup, so it may take some time to find the right regimen.
According to Professor Lyn Griffiths, Director at the Genomics Research Center at Griffith University, patients with the TT genotype, having reduced enzymatic rates, metabolize and process less homocysteine when given the same vitamin doses over same period of time as those who are C allele carriers. There is, therefore, a smaller reduction of migraine symptoms in these patients.
Further, it may be the fact that those with TT genotype just need larger doses of B vitamins since they are more prone to disease. Additional studies are necessary to look at the genetic makeup of migraineurs.
It is important to understand that these are not the only causes for migraines, and no two cases will be the same. Migraines are a complex and difficult condition to treat and control, but innovative medical research has shown that functional medicine in the way of vitamin supplementation can go a long way to helping control and reduce symptoms.
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