A recent study found that many children and young adults suffering from migraines are deficient in essential nutrients including vitamin D, coenzyme Q10 and riboflavin. Physicians are now wondering whether supplementation might be a good treatment option for these young migraine sufferers.
“Further studies are needed to elucidate whether vitamin supplementation is effective in migraine patients in general, and whether patients with mild deficiency are more likely to benefit from supplementation,” said Dr. Suzanne Hagler, a Headache Medicine fellow in the division of Neurology at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, and lead author on the study. While the study suggests that these patients had vitamin deficiencies, the researchers were unable to determine what effect this finding has on onset or severity of migraine symptoms.
Hagler and her colleagues conducted their study at the Cincinnati Children’s Headache Center. Their finders were presented last week at the 58th Annual Scientific Meeting of the American Headache Society.
The Headache Center maintained a database of patients whose baseline levels of multiple nutrients – including vitamin D, riboflavin, coenzyme Q10 and folate – were implicated as a potential cause of migraines. To correct these imbalances, many patients were given both migraine medications and vitamin supplements.
As most patients received a combination treatment as opposed to vitamin supplementation alone, Hagler and her team were unable to make conclusions based on a vitamin’s ability to prevent migraines. The researchers did however, identify some interesting gender-associated vitamin deficiency trends.
Of the patient population studied, the researchers found that girls were more likely to have coenzyme Q10 deficiencies, compared to boys. Young men, on the other hand, were more likely to have a vitamin D deficiency.
Patients suffering from chronic migraines were also more likely to have riboflavin and coenzyme Q10 deficiencies, compared to those with episodic migraines. The researchers were unable to determine whether any of the migraine patients had folate deficiencies.
While previous studies have implicated various vitamin deficiencies as a potential cause for some types of migraines, this research has produced conflicting results. More controlled research must be done to determine whether vitamin supplementation could be an effective treatment for migraines.