Science News: Migraines May Be Related to Nutrient Deficiencies

A high percentage of children, teens and young adults with migraines appear to have deficiencies in vitamin D, vitamin B2, folate, magnesium, and CoQ10 (a vitamin-like substance found in every cell of the body that is used to produce energy for cell growth and maintenance.)

Migraines — a recurrent throbbing headache that typically affects one side of the head and is often accompanied by nausea and disturbed vision — affect approximately 38 million men, women, and children in the U.S. and 1 billion people worldwide each year. Migraines are a neurological disorder, characterized by recurring headaches and considered to be the most common disorder of the nervous system.

Migraines can be debilitating. Every 10 seconds someone in the United States goes to the emergency room because of throbbing head pain, adding up to 1.2 million visits a day. Migraines are more common among women than in men because of hormonal influences.

Migraine symptoms strike like lightening, the causes can be mysterious, but recent research presented at the 58th Annual Scientific Meeting of the American Headache Society reveals that screening for vitamin deficiencies may be the key to unlock a quieter, calmer brain.

The cause of migraine is still unknown, however, it is believed that several factors contribute towards it, and one of those factors is nutrient deficiency. When researchers tested 7,691 patients for vitamin deficiencies, they found those who suffered from frequent migraines were significantly more likely to have low levels of vitamin D, vitamin B2, folate, and co-enzyme Q10.

Previously, a 2012 study linked migraines with magnesium deficiency. Those who suffer from migraines regularly have been found to have low levels of magnesium compared to those who don’t experience any migraines or headaches at all.

There have been other studies supporting the finding that migraine sufferers are more likely to be deficient in riboflavin, CoQ10 and vitamin D.

“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,” says Suzanne Hagler, MD, a Headache Medicine fellow in the division of Neurology at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center and lead author of the study.

The research showed that children with low levels of these nutrients in their bodies suffered from chronic migraines. The research’s result showed that around 15% of the young patients’ riboflavin levels were below the normal range. Similarly, 30% and 70% of the patients suffering from migraines had low levels of coenzyme Q10 and vitamin D respectively. The result of the study, however, was inconclus

ive as the children were given both; the migraine medicine and nutrients to treat the pain.

Before reaching for a supplement, consider getting safe sun exposure to optimize your vitamin D and increasing daily intake of foods rich in these nutrients:

  • Foods rich in vitamin B2 include: spinach, beet greens, Crimini mushrooms, pastured eggs, asparagus, and almonds.
  • Foods rich in vitamin CoQ10 include: grass-fed beef, herring, pastured chicken, rainbow trout, sesame seeds, broccoli, and cauliflower.
  • Foods rich in folate include: dark leafy greens, asparagus, broccoli, citrus fruits, peas, lentils, avocado, okra, and Brussels sprouts.
  • Foods rich in magnesium include: dark leafy greens, nuts and seeds, wild Alaskan salmon, avocado, and bananas.


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Distress or Chronic Stress

Distress or chronic stress is uncontrollable, prolonged, or overwhelming stress. Once stress becomes distress, the body manages to survive though not always to thrive. For example, when faced with periods of chronic stress, the body’s immune system function is lowered, and the digestive, excretory, and reproductive systems no longer function the way they should. In a state of distress, the cells of the immune system (and other body systems) are unable to respond normally and produce levels of inflammation which increase the risk of further health issues.


Homeostasis refers to your body’s ability to regulate itself and maintain a comparatively stable internal environment despite external and internal conditions and events.

Your body is designed to be in a state of homeostasis, where all the systems within are functioning optimally.


Stressor is anything that is perceived by the body as challenging, threatening or demanding.

Health Story

In the context of My Wellbeing Compass, your “Health Story” represents the combination of your dis-eases, conditions, symptoms and the history that binds them together. It is multi-layered and multi-dimensional. Unearthing and resolving the root causes at the core of your Health Story is the only way to truly rewrite this Story.

Natural Self-repair Mechanisms

The body is made up of intelligent, living cells that are dynamically connected. They communicate and just know what to do and when to do it in any given situation. They grow, replicate, repair, and age. Every 90 days, the body has a new bloodstream; every year, it manufactures billions of new cells; colon cells refresh every 4 days; the skin is entirely regenerated every 2-3 weeks; white blood cells regenerate in about 1 year; the liver renews itself at least once every 2 years; and the skeleton replaces its cells entirely every 10 years.

You are an incredibly complex, interactive, and dynamic living organism that is well-equipped with self-repair mechanisms that can fight infections, eliminate toxins, fix damaged DNA, destroy cancer cells, and even slow down aging.

This natural self-healing ability (also referred to as cellular intelligence or body’s innate intelligence) explains spontaneous remissions from seemingly “incurable” diseases.


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