Migraine associated with nutritional deficiencies

In their poster presentation, Suzanne Hagler, MD, of the University of Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center and colleagues note than a reduction in migraine has been observed or suspected in association with increased levels several nutritional compounds. The current study examined data from children, teenagers and young adults who had undergone blood testing for riboflavin, folate, vitamin D and CoQ10. A small percentage of the subjects were subsequently treated with nutritional supplements, if levels were found to be low.

Ninety-one percent of the subjects had vitamin D levels of 40 ng/mL or less and 83% had CoQ10 concentrations of 0.7 mcg/mL or less—levels at which the researchers indicated that supplementation is recommended. Dr Hagler's team discovered a greater likeliness of vitamin D deficiency in boys and young men with migraine and an increase in CoQ10 deficiencies among girls and young women with the condition. Chronic migraine patients were likelier to be deficient in riboflavin and CoQ10 than subjects with sporadic migraine.

Due to the fact that few of the patients received supplements to treat their deficiencies, the researchers could not evaluate their effectiveness in migraine prevention.

"Vitamin deficiencies may be implicated in the perpetuation of migraines, but the relationships are still poorly understood," Dr Hagler and colleagues conclude. "Further studies are needed to elucidate whether vitamin supplementation is effective in migraine patients in general, and whether patients with mild deficiency are more likely to benefit from supplementation."