Riboflavin for Migraines

By: Li Ming Wong

Correcting dietary insufficiencies may help reduce headache frequency for migraineurs. Many migraineurs find relief by adding vitamin supplements to their daily regimen.

Taking vitamin B2, also known as riboflavin, has been shown in numerous studies to help reduce the number of migraine attacks people suffer from. Initial studies involved a high dosage of 400mg. This is two hundred times the amount of B2 in a typical diet. The high dosage involved caused a rare side effect of vitamin B2 supplementation to show itself; diarrhea.

In 2005, a new study measured the effectiveness of B2 at much lower doses, only 25mg a day. This lower dose was just as effective at reducing migraine frequency as the higher dose used in earlier studies.

Riboflavin has the potential to enhance energy production in brain cells. Migraine sufferers tend to have impaired energy production in cells in their brains and supplementing with riboflavin may help.

Magnesium, another nutrient important to energy production, is also proven to reduce migraine frequency among sufferers. Diuretics, alcohol, and chronic medical conditions all deplete magnesium in the body. Adding magnesium-rich foods to their diet, things like spinach, bananas, nuts, and whole-grain cereals, helps many migraineurs restore this vital mineral to their system.

If dietary changes don't help, a dose of up to 400mg of magnesium per day may help. Migraineurs should be careful not to overdo it with both dietary changes and supplementation. Signs of magnesium overdosing include drowsiness, lethargy, and diarrhea.

Another potentially helpful supplement is vitamin E. Vitamin E aids in circulation and 400 IU (international units) daily helps many migraineurs reduce the frequency of their headaches. Fish oil pills with the right balance of omega-3 fatty acids are believed to lessen the intensity of an existing migraine and help stave them off.

Consult with a doctor before adding any supplements to your regular treatment plan.

Headaches
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 

» More on Headaches