Just about every pharmacy and supermarket is stocked with all manner of nutritional supplements which aim to improve health by adding vitamins, minerals, herbs, and botanical and amino acids to your diet. We have designed supplements specifically for migraine based on research and the advice of headache specialists. We took the research and designed migraine dietary supplements that are right for you.
Migraine Dietary Supplements To Know About
People with migraine are often deficient in a mineral called magnesium. Are you frequently cold when others aren’t? Do you have poor circulation in the hands and feet? Bad PMS cramps? These could be indicators that you need more magnesium in your diet. The knock against magnesium, though, is that most of its seven forms can result in diarrhea. Ask your physician if one of these varieties could improve your diet: Magnesium malate, magnesium glycinate, or magnesium-L-threonate.
Additional supplements for migraine prevention that people with migraine may consider adding to their diets include:
- the vitamin Riboflavin, also known as B2
- the antioxidant Coenzyme Q10, also known as CoQ10
- the plant extract Butterbur, which comes from the leaves and roots of the plant petasites hybridus, is known for its anti-inflammatory properties.
- Note: When butterbur is processed incorrectly it presents major safety concerns in the form of liver toxicity. Butterbur is only safe to take when it is “PA-free,” meaning absent of the chemical pyrrolizidine alkaloids, the culprit when it comes to liver damage.
- the plant extract feverfew, part of the daisy family with age-old anti-inflammatory properties. Its name comes from the Latin word febrifugia meaning “fever reducer” and was used by the ancient Greeks.
Your Migraine Dietary Supplement Checklist:
- Consult your doctor. Because supplements are available without a prescription, you might be tempted to go it alone. But some may have dangerous interactions with prescription or OTC drugs you may be taking. Your doctor will determine which supplement is right for your medical profile and recommend appropriate dosages. For example, some supplements may not be appropriate during pregnancy or when breastfeeding; some have low absorption levels and thus act as a laxative; and some herbs can become toxic at certain levels.
- Research the manufacturer. In the US, supplements are not regulated by the FDA, and so have not been through the rigorous and expensive clinical trials that would verify their effectiveness, purity, and marketing claims. Though companies are expected to guarantee their products’ safety and that claims made on the label are accurate and truthful, they do not have to prove that their products are effective. The FDA is responsible for taking action against any unsafe dietary supplements only after a product reaches the market.
- Buy from a reputable source. Quality control is essential to ensure ingredients are pure and match the label. Better products are often independently verified by a third-party to ensure that what is in each pill is what is claimed on the label. If in doubt, ask your health care provider for recommendations.
- Know the best way to ingest the supplement. Some supplements need to be taken with food or fats for best absorption.
- Avoid blended supplements. This type of supplement has not been studied and should be avoided. Blends rarely undergo the clinical testing that single supplements do and are more likely to have contamination.
- For more answers: The National Institute of Health’s Office of Dietary Supplements is a great online resource with information and tips on topics such as how to evaluate sources of healthcare information, and a list of independent third-party organizations that quality test products.
Currently, the biggest concern with migraine dietary supplements are purity, efficacy and contamination issues, due to the lack of rigorous industry standards. This should be factored into any decision-making. So too should be the potential of supplements to render relief. As with many things in the migraine world, there’s some educated guesswork in determining if migraine dietary supplements are a useful add-on to someone’s diet. This is definitely not a realm to freelance your own solutions, so consult with your doctor to determine your plan.