Migra Well

Essential Nutrients for Migraine Management

To manage migraines, it is important to understand the specific functions of certain nutrients in brain and nerve health. These essential nutrients, including vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and botanicals can improve neurological function, stabilize nerve cells, and promote overall brain and nerve health. Knowing the primary food sources of these nutrients is key to making good nutritional choices for migraine health.

Key Vitamins and their Roles in Migraines

Vitamin B1 (Thiamine) - Crucial for Nervous System Function.

    1. Importance: Promotes nerve health and may help prevent migraines.
    2. Role in Migraines: Thiamine is vital for nervous system health, playing a crucial role in nerve transmission and brain metabolism. Deficiencies can lead to disrupted neurological function, which is a known trigger for migraines. Thiamine supplementation has been explored for its potential in reducing migraine frequency, by ensuring efficient energy metabolism in brain cells. When considering supplementation, it is important to consider, Benfotiamine, a derivative of thiamine (vitamin B1). Unlike regular thiamine, benfotiamine is fat-soluble, allowing it to be absorbed more easily and effectively into the body, particularly into cells of the nervous system. This enhanced absorption makes it a potentially more effective form of vitamin B1.
    3. Top Sources: Whole Grains, Pork, Nuts and Seeds, Legumes (beans and lentiles) and Yeast
    4. Lab Range: 74 - 222 nmol/L
    1. Target: >100 nmol/L
Ingredients or products containing vitamin B1, natural sources of minerals, healthy lifestyle and nutrition

Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin) - Involved in Energy Production.

    1. Importance: Reduces migraine frequency and intensity by improving mitochondrial efficiency.
    2. Role in Migraines: Riboflavin is integral to mitochondrial function, and migraines are often linked to mitochondrial dysfunction. Studies have shown that riboflavin can significantly reduce migraine frequency. It aids in the maintenance of energy production in brain cells and might help stabilize neuronal excitability, which is often heightened in migraine sufferers.
    3. Top Sources: Milk and dairy products, Eggs, Lean Meats, Green leafy vegetables like spinach and Fortified cereals and grains
    4. Lab Range: 5 - 40 µg/dL
    5. Target: >20 µg/dL
Nutritious ingredients containing vitamin B2, dietary fiber and minerals, healthy nutrition concept

Folate (B9) - Aids Cell Production and Maintenance

    1. Importance: Associated with reduced severity and frequency of migraines.
    2. Role in Migraines: Folate plays a key role in DNA synthesis and repair, and it's crucial for rapid cell division and growth, such as that seen in the nervous system. Adequate folate levels help maintain vascular health, which can be beneficial in preventing migraines, possibly by reducing homocysteine levels, a known risk factor for vascular diseases linked to migraines. The methylated form, 5-methyltetrahydrofolate, is advantageous for those with MTHFR gene mutations who cannot process folic acid efficiently.
    3. Top Sources: Leafy green vegetables like spinch and kale, Citrus fruits, Beans and Legumes, Avocado and Fortified grains 
    4. Lab Range:
      1. Folate RBC (B9): 140 - 628 ng/mL
      2. Folate Serum (B9): 5 - 40 nmol/L
    5. Target:
      1. Folate RBC (B9): >400 ng/mL
      2. Folate Serum (B9): >20 nmol/L
Nutritious ingredients containing vitamin B9, dietary fiber, natural minerals and folic acid, concept of healthy nutrition

Vitamin B12 - Vital for Brain Health and Nerve Function

    1. Importance: Deficiencies can contribute to neurological symptoms, including migraines.
    2. Role in Migraines: Vitamin B12 is essential for brain function and the maintenance of nerve sheaths. Deficiencies can lead to neurological disturbances that may trigger migraines. B12 plays a role in reducing homocysteine levels, high levels of which are associated with increased migraine risk. Supplementation may help reduce homocysteine levels, a risk factor for migraines, and support overall nerve health. In the context of supplementation, there are different forms of Vitamin B12, each with unique benefits:
      1. Methylcobalamin: This is the most active form of Vitamin B12 in the human body, particularly effective in nerve repair and maintenance. Methylcobalamin is readily utilized by the brain and is critical in maintaining the health of the nervous system. It is often recommended for migraine management due to its role in nerve cell protection and regeneration.
      2. Adenosylcobalamin: Also known as coenzyme B12, this form is essential for energy production. It plays a role in the metabolism of cells, particularly in the mitochondria. Since migraines can be linked to mitochondrial dysfunction, adenosylcobalamin can be beneficial in addressing this aspect of migraine pathology.
      3. Zydroxocobalamin: This form is a natural and unique B12 that the body easily converts. It is especially effective in detoxifying the body, which can be beneficial for individuals with migraines linked to toxin exposure or accumulation.
    3. Top Sources: Animal products like meat, fish, and dairy, Fortifies cereals, Nutritional yeast (for vegetarians and vegans), eggs and fortified plant-based milks
    4. Lab Range: 130 - 700 ng/L
    5. Target: >450 ng/L
Body building health food with high protein lean chicken, steak and pork meat, dairy, supplement powders, legumes, nuts, seeds, cereals, grain, ginkgo tea, vegetables and fruit. Top view on oak wood.

Vitamin D - Involved in Nerve Health and Inflammation Reduction

    1. Importance: Adequate levels may help reduce migraine frequency.
    2. Role in Migraines: Vitamin D has been linked to various neurological functions, including pain modulation. Low levels of vitamin D are associated with increased frequency of migraines. It's believed that vitamin D can reduce inflammation and modulate neurotransmitter synthesis, thereby potentially reducing migraine severity and frequency.
    3. Top Sources: Sunlight exposure (primary source), Fatty fish like salmon and mackerel, Fortified dairy products and orange juice, egg yolks and mushrooms exposed to sunlight
    4. Lab Range: 30 - 100 ng/mL
    5. Target: ~40-60 ng/mL
rule of thirds photography of pink and white lotus flower floating on body of water

Key Minerals and their role in Migraines

Healthy food nutrition dieting concept. Assortment of high magnesium sources. White background.

Magnesium: Key in Nerve Function and Blood Vessel Relaxation

    1. Importance: Known to help prevent migraines by affecting neurotransmitter release.
    2. Role in Migraines: Magnesium is involved in over 300 biochemical reactions in the body, including nerve transmission and blood vessel regulation. It's known to prevent the wave of brain signaling, called cortical spreading depression, which is associated with migraines. Magnesium deficiency has also been linked to increased migraine frequency, and supplementation has shown effectiveness in migraine prophylaxis. Different forms of magnesium, like Dimagnesium Malate and Magnesium Bisglycinate, offer unique benefits: Dimagnesium Malate is known for its energizing properties, which can be helpful in combating the fatigue often associated with migraines. In contrast, Magnesium Bisglycinate is recognized for its calming effects on the nervous system, which can aid in reducing the intensity and frequency of migraines.
    3. Top Sources: Green Leafy vegetables like spinach, nuts and seeds: especially almonds and pumpkin seeds, Whole grains, Avocados, Beans and lentils
    4. Lab Range: 4.2 - 6.8 mg/dL
    5. Target: >6 mg/dL
Foods High in Zinc as octopus, beef, buckwheat, yellow cheese, spinach, avokado,pea, mushrooms, bean, radishes, eggs. Top view

Zinc: Role in Immune Function and Cellular Metabolism

    1. Importance: Its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties may reduce migraine severity.
    2. Role in Migraines: Zinc plays a crucial role in neural signaling and may help regulate neurotransmitters that influence migraines. It also has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, which are beneficial in managing migraine symptoms. Zinc deficiency can affect brain function and has been suggested to be associated with higher migraine susceptibility.
    3. Top Sources: Shellfish (especially oysters), Meat (particularly red meat), Legumes like chickpease and lentils, Dairy products, Seeds and nuts
    4. Lab Range: 70 - 100 µmol/L
    5. Target: >80 µmol/L

Antioxidants for Migraine Management

Antioxidants play a vital role in migraine management by combatting oxidative stress, which is often elevated in individuals with migraines. Oxidative stress can lead to inflammation and nerve cell dysfunction, contributing to the development and severity of migraine attacks. Ensuring an adequate intake of antioxidants can help mitigate these effects, supporting overall brain health and potentially reducing the frequency and intensity of migraines.

Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) - Energy Production and Antioxidant Defense

Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) - Energy Production and Antioxidant Defense

    1. Importance: Helps reduce migraine frequency by improving mitochondrial function.
    2. Role in Migraines: CoQ10 is crucial for energy production and acts as an antioxidant, protecting cells from oxidative damage. It has been shown to improve mitochondrial function, which is often impaired in people with migraines. Research indicates that CoQ10 supplementation can reduce the frequency of migraines, likely due to its role in energy metabolism and neuroprotection.
    3. Top Sources: Organ meats like liver and kidney, Fatty fish like trout and mackerel, Nuts and seeds (particularly sesame seeds and pistachios), Whole grains, Some vegetables and fruits, like broccoli and oranges
    4. Lab Range: 0.4 - 1.4 ug/mL
    5. Target: >1 ug/mL.
Alpha Lipoic Acid - A Potent Antioxidant

Alpha Lipoic Acid - A Potent Antioxidant

  1. Importance: Alpha Lipoic Acid is known for its antioxidant properties and is suggested to aid in reducing oxidative stress.
  2. Role in Migraines: Alpha Lipoic Acid (ALA) is recognized for its potent antioxidant properties. It may play a role in reducing oxidative stress, which is thought to be a contributing factor in migraine pathogenesis. By mitigating oxidative damage, ALA could potentially lessen the frequency and severity of migraines.
  3. Top Sources: Organ meats like liver and kidney, Spinach, Broccoli, Brussels Sprouts and Tomatoe
  4. Lab Range: Typically not measured in standard lab tests.
  5. Target: Dosage as recommended by a healthcare provider.
peanuts and cashews, pistachios, prunes, figs, cherry tomatoes on a white background.
dried fruit and nuts pattern

Melatonin - Dual action sleep and antioxidant

  1. Importance: Melatonin, known for regulating sleep, also exhibits powerful antioxidant properties. Its dual role in enhancing sleep quality and combating oxidative stress makes it a noteworthy component in migraine management strategies.
  2. Role in Migraines: Melatonin has emerged as a promising agent in migraine prevention. A study comparing melatonin with amitriptyline, a common migraine medication, found melatonin to be equally effective in reducing migraine frequency, with fewer side effects. This suggests melatonin's potential as a natural alternative for migraine prophylaxis, especially considering its role in regulating sleep and reducing oxidative stress.
  3. Top Sources: Tart Cherries and Nuts and Seeds
    1. Lab Range: Typically not measured in standard lab tests due to its natural fluctuation over the day.
  4. Target: Dosage as recommended by a healthcare provider, often starting at low doses such as 1-3 mg for migraine management.

Botanicals for Migraine Management

Botanicals play a pivotal role in migraine management, particularly by modulating inflammation and supporting the gut-brain axis. These natural remedies exert their effects through various mechanisms, such as anti-inflammatory actions and antioxidant properties, offering a complementary approach to traditional migraine treatments.

Turmeric powder and fresh turmeric on wooden background.

Curcumin (Turmeric): A Natural Inflammation Fighter

  1. Importance: Curcumin, the active compound in turmeric, is renowned for its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, beneficial for brain and nerve health.
  2. Role in Migraines: Curcumin’s primary mechanism in migraine relief lies in its potent anti-inflammatory action, which helps reduce neurogenic inflammation often associated with migraines. Longvida Curcumin, in particular, is effective due to its ability to cross the blood-brain barrier, directly targeting the neurological aspects of migraine.
  3. Top Food Sources: Turmeric root or powder, used in curries, teas, and as a spice in various dishes.
Fresh Ginger on Wood Background

Ginger: Natural Analgesic and Antiemetic

  1. Importance: Ginger possesses potent anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties, beneficial in managing migraines.
  2. Role in Migraines: Ginger works as a natural analgesic and antiemetic, making it effective in supporting migraine symptoms like nausea and pain. It inhibits prostaglandin synthesis, a process involved in the generation of pain and inflammation, thus providing support in migraines.
  3. Top Food Sources: Fresh or dried ginger root, used in cooking, teas, and as a spice.
frankincense essential oil on a wooden background

Boswellia: Anti-Inflammatory

  1. Importance: Boswellia is known for its potent anti-inflammatory effects, useful in reducing migraine-related inflammation.
  2. Role in Migraines: Boswellia helps in migraine management by inhibiting leukotriene synthesis, a key mediator in inflammatory processes. This action reduces the inflammatory response associated with migraines, potentially diminishing the frequency and severity of migraine attacks.
  3. Top Food Sources: Boswellia is not commonly found in foods and is typically taken as a supplement.
grounded grape seed grist and fruits, seeds on black wood table

Grape Seed: Botanical Antioxidant

  1. Importance: Grape seed extract is a powerful antioxidant, important in protecting against oxidative stress implicated in migraines.
  2. Role in Migraines: Grape seed extract combats oxidative stress and inflammation, two critical factors in migraine pathophysiology. Its antioxidant properties can protect nerve cells and reduce the intensity of migraine attacks.
  3. Top Food Sources: Grapes, particularly the seeds; grape seed oil; supplements.
Pine Bark: Natural Oxidative Stress Shield

Pine Bark: Natural Oxidative Stress Shield

  1. Importance: Pine bark is rich in antioxidants, helping reduce oxidative stress, a contributing factor in migraines.
  2. Role in Migraines: Pine bark extract aids in migraine management by reducing oxidative stress and inflammation in the brain. These properties help alleviate the frequency and severity of migraine symptoms.
  3. Top Food Sources: Pine bark is not typically consumed in foods and is available as a supplement.


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