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Riboflavin for migraine prevention

Analysis by Dr. Joseph Mercola Fact Checked

riboflavin for migraine treatment

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  • While the exact mechanisms behind migraines remain unclear, a number of different hypotheses have been raised. It appears to be a disorder of your central nervous system. Mitochondrial dysfunction also appears to be part of the puzzle
  • The influence of neurotransmitters may also play a role, as may nutritional deficiencies. Studies have identified several nutritional deficiencies that significantly raise your risk of migraines, including riboflavin (vitamin B2) deficiency
  • Riboflavin has been shown to ameliorate hallmarks of migraine, including oxidative stress, mitochondrial dysfunction, neuroinflammation, homocysteine neurotoxicity and glutamate excitotoxicity
  • Foods rich in riboflavin include spinach, beet greens, crimini and portabella mushrooms, pastured eggs, asparagus, almonds, organic turkey, grass fed beef liver and beef tenderloin
  • In one study, 400 milligrams of riboflavin per day reduced migraine frequency by 50%, from four days a month to two days a month, after three months of use

Migraine affects an estimated 1 in 7 people worldwide, and is the third most common disease globally. In the U.S., self-reported migraine and severe headache affects 1 in 6 Women are up to three times more likely to suffer with migraines than men, likely due to hormone fluctuations.

Despite its high prevalence, decades of research have failed to pin down the exact mechanisms behind the attacks — most of which tend to recur once or twice a month. The pain, which often occurs on one side of the head only, can be moderate to severe in intensity.

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