Vitamin B2 Helps Prevent Migraines

Migraines affects 26 million Americans, affecting their ability to function at work and at home. Migraine sufferers experience blinding pain usually accompanied by vertigo, nausea and vomiting, and an extreme sensitivity to light. Taking a high dose of vitamin B2 (riboflavin) every day may help prevent migraines. Vitamin B2 may provide an attractive alternative to existing migraine therapies due to its low cost, beneficial effect and lack of side-effects. Vitamin B2 is required for cells to efficiently use energy. When it is not available, the energy "powerhouses" of the cell, the mitochondria, cannot function properly -- and in some patients, this may trigger migraine. Previous reports have suggested that migraine patients' brains have reduced energy reserves between attacks.

Patients on vitamin B2 had 37% fewer migraines with a dose of 400 mg of B2 daily for three months.. The effect of vitamin B2 was most pronounced on attack frequency and the number of days with migraine headache, while it had only a marginal improvement over placebo in decreasing the severity of migraines. The effect of riboflavin begins after 1 month but is maximal only after 3 months of treatment. Riboflavin may work best for those who have moderate migraine headaches a few times a month.

Neurology (1998;50:466-470)

COMMENT: It appears that this inexpensive non toxic approach might be a simple solution to decrease the frequency of mgraines. It is interesting that the B2 had no effect on the headache severity. I have seen many, if not most people decrease the severity of the migraines by following the diet program. Frequently there is some type of food allergy involved. If that is not sucessful, biofeedback is a very helpful tool to address the frustration or anger that can trigger within a 24-48 hour period after the onset of the frustration.

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