Riboflavin supplementation reduces headache severity in migraine patients
Delhi: Supplementation with riboflavin may decrease the severity of headache in migraine patients deficient in vitamin B3 and other micronutrients, suggests a recent study.
In the study presented at the American Headache Society (AHS) Annual Meeting 2019, the participants who received nutritional supplements experienced a 50% or greater reduction in headache severity and frequency. Also, after treatment, a majority of the patients became migraine-free.
Previous studies have shown an association between riboflavin and migraine. In clinical trials, 200-mg to 400-mg supplementation with riboflavin appeared effective in reducing both migraine frequency and severity. However, researchers did not assess vitamin B2 levels at study entry.
Madhureeta Achari, a neurologist in the University of Texas Medical School, Houston, and colleagues assessed 42 patients (84% women; mean age, 35.5 years) with migraine whose serum riboflavin levels were in the deficient range. The cohort included patients who experienced migraine with aura and those who had migraine without aura, as well as other patients with chronic migraine.
The investigators provided supplements to increase serum riboflavin to a high level. They monitored complete vitamin and micronutrient levels through serial laboratory measurements over 2 years.
Rescue medications were allowed, including over-the-counter treatments and triptans.
Key findings of the study include:
- In total, 35 of the 42 participants did well on nutritional therapy alone. The remaining seven required additional prophylactic medications to treat their migraines.
- The number of migraine days per month was reduced from an average of 14.4 at baseline to 3.4 after riboflavin treatment. In addition, 81% of the participants were migraine-free at 2 years.
- Results showed that the number of migraine days per month was reduced from an average of 14.4 at baseline to 3.4 after riboflavin treatment.
- 81% of the participants were migraine-free at 2 years.