Riboflavin and Migraine

Even though good scientific evidence may be lacking, many migraine sufferers take supplements. Placebo responses are high (nothing wrong with that) but there are occasional safety concerns, especially regarding butterbur. Widely used are magnesium, feverfew, and riboflavin.

A new study seems to explain why some but not all patients respond to riboflavin and supports the view that this is not just a placebo response.

Forty-two migraine patients were found to have low blood levels of riboflavin, were treated with high doses of 200–400mg, were re-tested to be sure they were no longer deficient and then followed for two years.

All reported at least a 50% reduction in headache frequency and severity. Thirty-five of the 42 did well on nutritional therapy alone and only 7 needed to add a prescribed preventative.

It seems plausible that the migraine patients who respond to riboflavin in fact are deficient in it. Nutritional assessment may help in customizing therapy.

This study was presented by Achari et al at the AHS 2019 annual meeting.

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