Does CoEnzyme Q10 Deficiency Make Migraines Worse?

Migraine headaches affect more than 35 million people in the US each year and nearly 1 billion others worldwide. Multiple research studies associate migraines with Coenzyme Q10, Vitamin B2 (riboflavin), Vitamin D, and Magnesium deficiencies. In many cases, simply increasing the intake of foods that contain these nutrients is enough to reduce or suppress migraine symptoms.

Today, however, we’re going to review just one of those important nutrients: Coenzyme Q10.

What are Migraines?

Let’s start with the basics.  Migraines are more than just severe headaches. They are neurological disorders that affect the central nervous system (CNS) and commonly cause:

  • High sensitivity to sound, light, touch, and smell
  • Numbness in the face or extremities
  • Visual disturbances (“aura”)
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Dizziness

 

Migraine Causes

Although migraines are the 3rd most common health disorder worldwide, researchers are not yet sure what causes them.

Here’s what we do know:  Migraines are more common in women than men, mainly because women experience more hormonal fluctuations than men on average. Most people who get migraines are between 35-55 years of age, but children, the elderly, and men still get them. Some migraines are caused by genetics, and others by dietary and lifestyle behaviors.

What I want to focus on today is a specific deficiency that may be causing migraine headaches, and give you a list of some foods that can increase levels.

Coenzyme Q10 Deficiency

Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) is a vitamin-like substance that occurs naturally in humans. It has antioxidant properties that help the cells resist and repair damage from unstable molecules called free radicals.

CoQ10 is found in the heart muscle, pancreas, kidneys, and liver. Its primary benefit is in maintaining the mitochondrial health of the body’s cells.

Mitochondria are largely responsible for the processes of energy production and respiration. When mitochondria are not functioning properly, the heart muscle, skeletal muscles, liver, and other organs can be stressed.

CoQ10 deficiency symptoms include:

  • Compromised immune system function
  • Low energy levels (chronic fatigue)
  • Some neurological disorders
  • Chronic pain
  • Depression
  • Obesity

 

Levels of CoQ10 decrease naturally with age; however, those with chronic conditions like Parkinson’s disease, cardiovascular disorders, and migraines are more likely to have low CoQ10 levels.

CoQ10 helps maintain proper hormonal balance in the body and keeps energy levels in a healthy range. It may sometimes be necessary to supplement with coenzyme Q10, but first, try adding CoQ10-rich foods to your diet.  These include:

  • Beef (grass-fed is best for you)
  • Broccoli
  • Boiled eggs
  • Cauliflower
  • Chicken
  • Herring
  • Mackerel
  • Roasted peanuts, sesame seeds, pistachio nuts
  • Oranges
  • Strawberries
  • Trout

 

If supplementation is what you prefer, be sure to research your brands first and avoid harmful preservatives and cheap fillers.

Migraines are neurological disorders that can cause severe headaches and various other debilitating symptoms. While research shows that Coenzyme Q-10 deficiency can contribute to migraines, you can start to improve levels immediately by eating foods rich in this nutrient or trying a safe over-the-counter supplement.

 

Sources:

Science Daily – Many with migraines have vitamin deficiencies

TMAI – Vitamin B2 and CoQ10 in Migraine

PharmaNord – Low CoQ10 in Children with Migraine

Dr. Mercola – The Vitamin Deficiency That Can Cause Migraines

Migraine.com – Coenzyme Q10

Healthline – 5 Supplements That Can Treat Migraines