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Riboflavin in Migraine Headaches

Migraine is a very painful type of headache characterized by throbbing or pulsating pain in one area of the head. Affected individuals are very sensitive to sound and light during attacks and may also experience nausea and vomiting.

Good news is regular intake of riboflavin can decrease the severity and frequency of such attacks.

Riboflavin -- Overview

Also known as vitamin B2, riboflavin is a very important vitamin. Although the body does not have the ability to produce its own supplies, its role in maintain our health is indispensible, so it must be provided in our diet. Aside from assisting in the production of energy (metabolism of carbohydrates, fats and proteins), it also keeps they eyes and skin healthy.

A variety of foods contain good amounts of riboflavin including milk, eggs, meat, whole grains, yoghurt and green leafy vegetables. However, there are certain factors that may influence the availability of riboflavin in the body like excessive alcohol consumption and intake of oral contraceptives, both of which may lead to riboflavin deficiency. 

Riboflavin and Migraine

According to studies, riboflavin has possible preventive effect against migraine headaches. In order to test this claim, a study was conducted in Humboldt University in Berlin involving 23 people aged 20 to 65 who experience frequent migraine attacks. Each of them was given a daily dosage of 400mg of riboflavin for six months. Before the trial, frequency, duration, intensity and use of pain relievers were noted for 3 months as base lines. And again, these data were recorded during the 6 months of riboflavin treatment.

At the mid-point of the trial, it was noted that the average frequency of migraine attacks, as well as the use of pain relievers, were reduced in half. These values stayed the same until the end of the trial. Although the use of 400mg was considered high, none of the subjects reported any adverse reactions.

 

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