Could Migraines Be Caused By Vitamin Deficiencies?

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Those who suffer from migraines know how debilitating they can be. While many researchers have tried to identify the reason migraines happen, for the most part the cause of the headaches is somewhat of a mystery. Now, according to Eurekalert, one study suggests that the root of the problem is a deficiency in certain essential vitamins.

A high percentage of children, teens and young adults with migraines appear to have mild deficiencies in vitamin D, riboflavin and coenzyme Q10 — a vitamin-like substance found in every cell of the body that is used to produce energy for cell growth and maintenance.

These deficiencies may be involved in patients who experience migraines, but that is unclear based on existing studies.

Dr. Hagler’s study drew from a database that included patients with migraines who, according to Headache Center practice, had baseline blood levels checked for vitamin D, riboflavin, coenzyme Q10 and folate, all of which were implicated in migraines, to some degree, by previous and sometimes conflicting studies. Many were put on preventive migraine medications and received vitamin supplementation, if levels were low. Because few received vitamins alone, the researchers were unable to determine vitamin effectiveness in preventing migraines.

She found that girls and young woman were more likely than boys and young men to have coenzyme Q10 deficiencies at baseline. Boys and young men were more likely to have vitamin D deficiency. It was unclear whether there were folate deficiencies. Patients with chronic migraines were more likely to have coenzyme Q10 and riboflavin deficiencies than those with episodic migraines.

Previous studies have indicated that certain vitamins and vitamin deficiencies may be important in the migraine process.  If it were me, I would make sure the my levels of these aforementioned vitamins were within normal ranges (according to a natural health practitioner). 

Obviously the first course of action is a change in diet.  A high quality, nutrient-rich, whole food diet is the single most important change one could make when dealing with deficiencies.  Correcting any problems with digestion would be equally important.  When you have poor digestion you will likely have poor absorption of many nutrients. 

The second step would be supplementation of these specific vitamins.  Remember, supplementation only works on top of a good diet (thus the term “supplement”).  You cannot continue to eat poorly and supplement your way to good health!  

You can, of course, get your daily dose of folate through a high quality vitamin B complex, such as this one made by Life Extension.  Getting folate (vs. folic acid) from a food source like they’ve included is much preferred.

Vitamin D is one of the common vitamins in which we routinely find people suffering from deficiency.  A healthy dose of sunlight every day is important to help naturally raise our vitamin D levels.  However, due to many medications or other deficiencies, supplementation to that dose of sun will be helpful to build and maintain the necessary levels.  Innate Response is my favorite as it contains the necessary co-factors of K1 and K2. 

One of the mysteries, and highly beneficial qualities of CoQ10, is that it will help to “rescue” any tissue in need.  If you are on cholesterol medications (statins) it’s a necessity!  CoQ10 by Life Extension has all of the co-factors necessary for good absorption, including shilajit, and in a much more effective liquid gel cap (vs. the powdered, less effective form).

According to the study’s author, further research is needed to see if improving your levels of these vitamins could work as a preventative.  If you ask me, I say correct your deficiencies right away.  What can it hurt? 

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