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Magnesium for Migraines – Is it Enough?

Under: Magnesium, Migraine & Headache, Nutrients

Studies have shown migraine sufferers with poor cerebrovascular tone have low levels of magnesium. Magnesium is a natural mineral that is necessary for healthy bodily function as it promotes heart health, stabilizes blood pressure, regulates nerve and muscle function, and builds bone, DNA, and protein. Magnesium is intimately involved in the control of N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) glutamate receptors which play an important role in pain transmission in the nervous system and in the regulation of cerebral blood flow. Magnesium ions plug the NMDA receptors which render calcium unable to exert its vasodilatory effects.

Magnesium has numerous effects that support cerebrovascular tone and function including the following mechanisms of action:

  • Inhibition of platelet aggregation
  • Interference with synthesis, release, and action of inflammatory mediators
  • Direct alterations of cerebrovascular tone
  • Inhibition of vasospasm
  • Stabilization of cell membranes

Numerous studies support the use of magnesium as a supplement for preventing migraine headaches.  In fact, many studies have shown that serum levels of magnesium were substantially lower in migraine sufferers than in the general population of people who didn’t get migraines. The researchers found that as serum levels of magnesium decreased the frequency of migraine attacks significantly increased.

Magnesium supplementation in the correct forms and amounts has to be part of any migraine sufferer’s regimen. But is it enough?

The answer is yes, for some sufferers, and, no, for many other sufferers.  This is because there is not just ONE malfunctioned or dysfunctional mechanism or imbalance that is known to cause migraine attacks.

Some of the dysfunctional brain processes that have been shown to be present in migraine sufferers during migraine attacks include:

  • Excessive platelet aggregation resulting in vasospasms due to serotonin release
  • Decrease in the brain cell’s mitochondrial energy reserves
  • Inflammation

So while magnesium certainly plays a role in helping to prevent or balance some of these contributing factors, by itself, it doesn’t work for every chronic migraine sufferer.

We do not know which individual factor or combination of factors contributes to migraine occurrence in each individual.  Therefore, a comprehensive nutritional approach using three natural ingredients; magnesium, riboflavin and feverfew to provide three different mechanisms of action can be extremely beneficial to migraine sufferers.

In addition to magnesium for adult and pediatric migraine sufferers, riboflavin and feverfew are listed in the American Academy of Neurology’s Evidence-Based Guidelines for Migraine Prevention. 

Riboflavin (Vitamin B-2)
Research has shown that a mitochondrial defect may reduce an individual’s threshold to migraine triggers and lead to migraines. A deficiency of mitochondrial energy reserves has been observed in many people exhibiting poor cerebrovascular tone. Riboflavin is a water-soluble vitamin that helps the body convert food to energy. It is a precursor of flavin adenine dinucleotide (FAD) and flavin mononucleotide (FMN ) which unlike CoQ10 are involved in all three cellular energy production processes; glycolysis, Krebs cycle, and electron transport. At the proper dose, riboflavin helps maintain healthy mitochondrial energy reserves which is very beneficial to migraine sufferers.

The herb feverfew (Tanacetum Parthenium) has been recorded as a medicinal remedy for millennia. Commonly recommended for its ability to reduce platelet aggregation which can lead to vasoconstriction and support cerebrovascular tone, feverfew is rich in compounds known as sesquiterpene lactones and glycosides.  Scientific studies show feverfew inhibits platelet aggregation and the release of serotonin from platelets and polymorphonuclear leukocyte granules. Feverfew also inhibits pro-inflammatory prostaglandin synthesis and the release of arachidonic acid.

All 3 ingredients have been recommended for years by many doctors and top headache specialists based on clinical studies.  (Read JANA Report – Journal of the American Nutraceutical Association


MigreLief™ and this information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease or illness. Please consult with your licensed medical practitioner if you have, or suspect you may have, a health problem.