Migraines affect over 1 in 10 Australians, and are considered to be among the top ten disabling medical conditions in the world (1). For a lot of people who experience migraines they often come on very quickly with little warning, and the pain they have lasts hours or even days.
They can take a person out of action for a long time, and this sucks for everyone involved.
There’s plenty of different treatment options available for migraines, and there are excellent formulas combining some of these ingredients together, but I want to highlight the benefits of one of my favourite minerals, magnesium.
When there isn’t enough magnesium in the body, lots of things go out of whack, and for migraines in particular there are several ways this can bring them of and make them worse:
- Increased glutamate release, a neurotransmitter that is ‘excitatory’
- Reduced nitric oxide synthesis and release, resulting in reduced blood flow to the brain
- Increased platelet clumping and blood vessel constriction
- Inflammation of the neurons is increased because of impaired breakdown of certain pain chemicals that magnesium is involved in (Substance P) (2)
Magnesium supplementation has been shown to be helpful in the reduction of migraines, improving the duration, severity and also the frequency of them.
- Magnesium citrate was given at a dose of 600mg over a period of 3 months to people who experiences migraines without aura, and the frequency and severity of the migraines were significantly lower than those in the placebo group. (3)
- Other similar studies have found that the effect works best around week 9-12, and the reduction rate was 41.6% compared to 15.8% in the placebo group. (4)
2. Weglicki WB, Chmielinska JJ, Tejero-Taldo I, et al. Neutral endopeptidase inhibition enhances substance P mediated inflammation dye to hypomagnesemia. Magnes Res. 2009; 22(3).
3. Koseoglu E, Talaslioglu A, Gonul AS, et al. The effects of magnesium prophylaxis in migrain without aura. Magnes Res. 2008; 21(2): p. 101-108.
4. Peikert A, Wilimzig C, Kohne-Volland R. Prophylaxis of migraine with oral magnesium: results from a prospective, multi-center, placebo-controlled and double-blind randomized study. Cephalalgia. 1996; 16(4): p. 257-263.