Supplements can be beneficial in managing your migraine, especially if you are missing any vital nutrients from your diet.
Magnesium is a popular supplement among those living with migraine as migraine episodes have been linked to magnesium deficiency. Some small studies and case reports suggest the use of magnesium may be helpful for those with migraine with aura and menstrual migraine.
According to the American Migraine Foundation, daily doses of 400 to 500 mg of magnesium may help prevent migraines in some people. It can also be taken during attacks to try and reduce symptoms.
A review of the research on magnesium’s effectiveness for migraine prevention notes that migraine attacks have been linked to magnesium deficiency in some people. As an alternative to tablets, spices, nuts, cereals, coffee, cocoa, tea, and vegetables are rich sources of magnesium. Leafy vegetables, as well as grains and nuts, generally have higher magnesium content than meats and dairy products.
Vitamin B2 in a relatively high dose has been found to be helpful for chronic migraine. A study found that taking 400mg of riboflaven (B2) per day, 200mg in the morning and 200mg at night, can reduce severity and frequency of migraine attacks without side effects.
Vitamin D is important for our health, so if sunshine is a trigger for you and you avoid it, check in with your GP to see if you would benefit from a supplement. At least one study suggests that vitamin D supplementation may help reduce the frequency of migraine attacks.
A number of studies have looked at Vitamin E for menstrual migraine and found 400IU daily, or even just for five days starting two days before your period, can be beneficial in reducing attack frequency and severity. It was also found to reduce noise and light sensitivity.
While there isn’t a lot of evidence available on CoQ10’s effectiveness for preventing migraine attacks, it may help decrease the frequency of migraine headaches. It’s classified in the American Headache Society’s guidelines as “possibly effective.” Larger studies are needed to provide a definitive link.
The typical dosage of CoQ10 is up to 100 mg taken three times per day. This supplement may interact with certain medications or other supplements, so check with your doctor.
Feverfew leaves contain parthenolide and other ingredients that can inhibit the release of serotonin and prostaglandin. Serotonin and prostaglandin are naturally occurring substances that dilate blood vessels and can trigger migraine. Studies have shown that feverfew may help reduce the frequency and duration of migraine attacks. It can also help reduce symptoms of migraine, such as pain, nausea, vomiting, and light or noise sensitivity.
Butterbur has been shown to reduce migraine frequency over time, however, this herbal extract has been linked to safety concerns of liver toxicity so is no longer recommended.
Remember, any plan to start taking supplements should be discussed with your doctor.
Read more about supplements at The Migraine Trust or the American Headache Society