This new study is much more promising.
Migraine patients take note: I think this team from Brisbane may be on to something big.
Chain of events
Researchers at the Genomics Research Centre at Brisbane’s Griffith University have been doing their migraine homework.
Previous GRC research reveals a cascade that begins with a mutation of a specific gene, which prompts higher homocysteine levels, which disrupts the cells that line blood vessels in the brain, which triggers migraines in some patients.
With that in mind, the GRC team recruited more than 50 subjects who had migraine with aura. Subjects were randomly divided into two groups to receive either placebo or a regimen of B vitamins that have been shown to help control homocysteine levels: 2 mg of folic acid, 25 mg of B-6, and 400 micrograms of B-12.
After a six-month intervention, researchers reported these remarkable results:
- Homocysteine was lowered by nearly 40 percent in the B group, but only negligibly in the placebo group
- Prevalence of migraine disability fell from 60 percent at baseline to 30 percent in the B group, but no change in the placebo group
- Headache frequency and pain severity were reduced in the B group, but not in the placebo group
- The most pronounced response in the B group occurred in patients who were shown to have the mutated gene
Lead author of the study Prof. Lyn Griffiths was refreshingly optimistic when she considered the use of B supplements. She told NutraIngredients-USA that the trial’s success “has shown that safe, inexpensive vitamin supplements can treat migraine patients.”
Your migraine arsenal
The GRC study provides a welcome new advance in the growing arsenal that migraine patients have at their disposal.
In previous e-Alerts I’ve told you about several non-drug treatments that have been shown to successfully reduce migraine symptoms and help prevent migraine attacks.
“The Best Offense” (9/29/04)
As I mentioned above, riboflavin (vitamin B-2) supplements may reduce migraine frequency. In a study in which 23 subjects took 400 mg of riboflavin daily for six months, average frequency of migraines was cut in half.
“Power to the Powerhouses” (6/28/04)
In a Swiss study, researchers found that migraine frequency, total days with migraine, and total days with nausea were all significantly reduced with 300 mg of CoQ10 daily. Incidence of migraines was almost cut in half in the CoQ10 group. Researchers believe that CoQ10 helps prevent migraines by promoting proper respiration on the cellular level.
“Like Buttah” (1/19/05)
A large majority of migraine patients reported a 50 percent or greater reduction in their frequency of migraine attacks after taking 75 mg of Petadolex (a butterbur root extract) daily for four months.
Talk to your doctor about these supplements before adding them to your daily regimen. And please pass this link on to any friends or family members who suffer from migraines.