Vitamin D, Riboflavin, Coenzyme Q10 Deficiencies Linked To Migraine Headaches

Although there was no causal link proven, vitamin deficiencies have been found in a high percentage of children, teens and young adults with migraines, according to new research from the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center.

The study draws from a database which included patients with migraines who, according to Cincinnati Children’s Headache Center practice, had baseline blood levels checked for vitamin D, riboflavin, coenzyme Q10 and folate, all of which were implicated in migraines, to some degree, by previous and sometimes conflicting studies.

Many of the patients were put on preventive migraine medications and received vitamin supplementation, if levels were low. Since few received vitamins alone, the researchers could not say whether vitamins were effective in preventing migraines.

“Further studies are needed to elucidate whether vitamin supplementation is effective in migraine patients in general, and whether patients with mild deficiency are more likely to benefit from supplementation,"

says lead author Suzanne Hagler, MD, a Headache Medicine fellow in the division of Neurology at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center.

Causes Still Unclear

It is established that certain triggers can set off an episode of migraine, but the exact cause of migraines is unknown. They are thought to be the result of abnormal brain activity temporarily affecting nerve signals, chemicals and blood vessels in the brain.

Dr. Hagler found that girls and young women were more likely than boys and young men to have coenzyme Q10 deficiencies at baseline. Boys and young men were more likely to have vitamin D deficiency.

It was unclear whether there were folate deficiencies. Patients with chronic migraines were more likely to have coenzyme Q10 and riboflavin deficiencies than those with episodic migraines.

The findings were presented at the Annual Scientific Meeting of the American Headache Society.

Image: William Warby CC BY 2.0

Last Updated on January 31, 2023