NUTRITIONAL APPROACH TO MIGRAINES – When Migraine Sufferers Get These 3 Factors Under Control, the Results Can Be Life Changing
1. Maintain normal platelet aggregation
2. Reduce or eliminate vasospasms
3. Maintain normal mitochondrial energy reserve in the brain.
ACTIVATING DYSFUNCTIONAL BRAIN PROCESSES
Though the exact cause of migraines is not known, certain triggers like tyramine in aged cheeses, chocolate, scents/perfumes, bright lights, changes in weather/temperature/humidity/altitude, over-use of headache medications, stress, hormonal fluctuations and much more, can activate certain processes in the brain that increase the risk of migraines occurring.
The dysfunctional processes that these triggers can activate are:
* Excessive platelet aggregation which can result in changes in blood vessels associated with migraines.
* Decrease in the cellular energy reserves in the brain that are common to migraine sufferers.
A NUTRITIONAL APPROACH TO MIGRAINE CONTROL: Riboflavin, Magnesium and Feverfew for maintaining normal cerebrovascular tone and function
All 3 of these ingredients are listed in the American Academy of Neurology’s Guidelines for Migraine Prevention.
Magnesium: Research studies show that almost half of all migraine sufferers have low blood levels of Magnesium, which is critical in controlling vasospasms (the contraction and dilation of blood vessels in the brain which occurs during migraines).
Riboflavin: Migraine sufferers also suffer mitochondrial energy deficiencies, which Riboflavin (Vitamin B-2) can improve when given in high dosages.
Feverfew: Research studies show Feverfew inhibits blood platelet aggregation and is anti-inflammatory.
For adults and children over the age of 2 who suffer migraines chronically, this combination is a great place to start and is a good alternative to the chronic use of NSAIDs like aspirin, and ibuprofen without the negative side-effects.
THE POWER OF FEVERFEW
The herb Feverfew (Tanacetum Parthenium) has been recorded as a medicinal remedy for millennia. One can find references to the Latin “febrefugia” from which Feverfew gets its name in Old Saxon records. Hildegard of Bingen, a great 12th century abbess and healer made mention of it in her herbal tomes. Febrefugia literally means “Fever flies,” and has always been used as a fever reducer among other purposes. In even more ancient times, the Greeks used Feverfew to treat melancholy which was characterized as much by debilitating headaches as it was by long-term depression.
Historically Feverfew has also been used as a dietary supplement for headaches, constipation, diarrhea, and dizziness. But one of the greatest boons in the modern era is the discovery of Feverfew as an aid for migraine headaches.
FEVERFEW and MIGRAINES
Commonly recommended for its ability to support cerebrovascular tone, Feverfew is rich in compounds known as sesquiterpene lactones. One of the more important of these compounds is parthenolide, which represents 85% of the sesquiterpene lactone content in Feverfew. Some scientific studies indicate that while parthenolide may be important there may very well be other phytochemicals in Feverfew that are as of yet unidentified and play a role in its effectiveness.
Scientific studies have found parthenolide inhibits platelet aggregation and the release of serotonin from platelets and polymorphonuclear leukocyte granules. It has also been shown to inhibit pro-inflammatory prostaglandin synthesis and the release of arachadonic acid. Each of these phenomena is associated with migraines. European studies have shown the benefits of feverfew on long-term cerebrovasular tone in multiple human studies.
INHIBITING BLOOD PLATELET AGGREGATION
Feverfew can help to prevent the clumping together of platelets in the blood – part of the sequence of events leading to the formation of a clot). Over aggregation of platelets in the blood appear just before a migraine forcing a release of serotonin. Serotonin causes the blood vessel to constrict. Scientific studies have found parthenolide inhibits platelet aggregation and the release of serotonin from platelets and polymorphonuclear leukocyte granules, thus keeping the blood vessel normal resulting in less painful, less frequent or cessation of migraines. European studies have shown the benefits of Feverfew on long-term cerebrovascular tone in multiple human studies.
The nutritional support provided by the combination of magnesium, riboflavin (B-2) and feverfew has been shown to have therapeutic benefits for the prevention of migraines and is a great place for migraine sufferers to start.
CLICK HERE for case reports published in The Journal of the American Nutraceutical Association (JANA Report) on these three ingredients.
To the Best of Health,
Curt Hendrix, M.S., C.C.N., C.N.S.