Migraines usually describe a moderate or severe headache felt as a pulsating pain on one side of the head. A number of distinctive symptoms tend to accompany the painful headache, such as a sensitivity to light or sound. While there’s no cure for migraines, a number of treatments are available to help reduce the symptoms. One study suggests a natural supplement may reduce the frequency of migraines.
One study, published in the Journal of Research in Medical Sciences, suggests that vitamin D supplementation may help reduce the frequency of migraine attacks.
In that study, participants were given 50,000 international units of vitamin D per week.
This adds to an existing body of research linking a vitamin D deficiency to an increased risk of chronic headaches.
One study analysed the serum vitamin D levels and occurrence of headache in approximately 2,600 men aged between 42 and 60 years in 1984-1989.
In 68 per cent of these men, the serum vitamin D level was below 50 nmol/l, which is generally considered the threshold for vitamin D deficiency.
Chronic headache occurring at least on a weekly basis was reported by 250 men, and men reporting chronic headache had lower serum vitamin D levels than others.
When the study population was divided into four groups based on their serum vitamin D levels, the group with the lowest levels had over a twofold risk of chronic headache in comparison to the group with the highest levels.
Chronic headache was also more frequently reported by men who were examined outside the summer months of June through September.
Thanks to UVB radiation from the sun, the average serum vitamin D levels are higher during the summer months.
According to the NHS, 10 micrograms a vitamin D supplementation a day will be enough for most people.
Exceeding this dosage can pose health risks, such as causing too much calcium to build up in the body (hypercalcaemia), warned the NHS.
Research also suggests taking vitamin B-2 supplements may also prevent migraines.
It may have an effect on the way cells metabolise energy, according to Mark W. Green, MD, a professor of neurology, anesthesiology, and rehabilitation medicine, and a director of headache and pain medicine at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.
A research review published in the International Journal for Vitamin and Nutrition Research concluded that riboflavin can play a positive role in reducing the frequency and duration of migraine attacks, with no serious side effects.
Although there is not a specified vitamin B supplement dosage, the NHS warned against taking too much as it could be harmful.
According to the health body, maintain a generally healthy lifestyle should also reduce the risk of migraines.
The health site suggested regular exercise, sleep and meals, as well as staying hydrated and limiting intake of caffeine and alcohol to stave off the risks.
“If your migraines are severe or you have tried avoiding possible triggers and are still experiencing symptoms, a GP may prescribe medicines to help prevent further attacks,” it added.