Studies Prove Riboflavin Therapy Stops Migraines
Riboflavin (Vitamin B2) is made up of two enzymes, Flavin adenine dinucleotide (FAD) and Flavin Mononucleotide (FMN), both of which play a major role in the development of migraine headaches.
It appears that these enzymes are required by the mitochondrial electron transport chain. This means that if Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin) is insufficient, the mitochondrial oxygen metabolism in the brain results in the pathology of a migraine headache.
One such study was a randomized placebo-controlled trial done in 1998. The trial explored the effect of 400 mg of riboflavin per day on fifty-four men and women with a history of migraine headaches for a period of three months. The treatment seemed to be most effective in reducing the frequency and duration of migraine attacks by the third month.
The trial concluded:
“Because of its high efficacy, excellent tolerability, and low cost, riboflavin is an interesting option for migraine prophylaxis and a candidate for a comparative trial with an established prophylactic drug.”
A 2004 study published in the European Journal of Neurology also explored the effect of “high dose” riboflavin therapy on the frequency, duration, and intensity of migraines suffered by individuals aged twenty to sixty-five.
Again the dosage used was 400 mg for a period of three months. The result proved to be similar to the 1998 study with a decreased frequency of headaches:
“In line with previous studies our findings show that riboflavin is a safe and well-tolerated alternative in migraine prophylaxis.”
It’s all about Stress!
We have known for quite some time that one major “trigger” for migraines is emotional stress.
During stressful periods, your body “constricts”, so-to-speak, reducing blood flow and oxygen delivered to all areas of the body, including the brain.
It is also known that stress depletes the body of vital nutrients, mainly the B vitamins, and that when people experience chronic emotional stress they also feel fatigued. This certainly offers another explanation for a subclinical riboflavin deficiency resulting in migraine headaches, including ocular migraines (see image to the right).
It’s important to note that all prescription drugs (as well as OTC drugs) result in vitamin depletion, and this is an unfortunate cycle that too many people fall into.
I have used this therapy myself and have recommended it to many of my patients. I have to say, the results have been amazing!