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Migraine Treatment Omaha NE

Read more about Vitamin B6, B12 and Folic Acid Reduces Migraine Severity and Frequency.

Oluyemisi Modupeore Odugbesan
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Migraine Treatment

Vitamin B6, B12 and Folic Acid Reduces Migraine Severity and Frequency.
Date: Thursday, June 25, 2009
Source: Pharmacogenetics and Genomics
Related Monographs: Vitamin B6, Migraine, Vitamin B12, Folic Acid
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As anyone who has experienced one knows, there is absolutely nothing like a migraine headache. A migraine headache can be debilitating for hours and sometimes for days. The migraine headache is considered a vascular headache, although the precise mechanism and cause remain unknown. There are several known triggers, some of which include food allergies, blood sugar disturbances, stress load, mechanical injury, and hormonal fluctuations. Treating a migraine means working with these triggers. The majority of people suffering from classic migraine have an aura that develops 10-30 minutes prior to development of the actual headache. According to recent studies, the aura is believed to be the response to a trigger that creates a neuronal depression. This may result in as much as a 25-35 percent reduction in cerebral blood flow, and is certainly enough to cause the symptoms associated with the aura.

Vitamin B6 also known as pyridoxine is a water-soluble B vitamin that functions as a cofactor in more than one hundred enzyme reactions. Many of its activities are related to the metabolism of amino acids and other proteins including hemoglobin, serotonin, hormones, and prostaglandins. After entering a cell, vitamin B6 is phosphorylated and converted into its active form, pyridoxal 5 phosphate (PLP). Vitamin B6 deficiency is one of the most common nutritional deficiencies. Much of this is due to the fact that a lot of vitamin B6 is lost during cooking and food processing. A U.S. Department of Agriculture study reported that 80 percent of Americans consume less than the recommended dietary allowance (RDA) for pyridoxine.

Folic acid is a member of the water-soluble B vitamin group. Isolated in 1946 from spinach leaves, its name comes from folium, the Latin word for leaf. In the body, folic acid is converted to a more biologically active form. Folic acid is necessary for the production of both DNA and RNA. It is therefore essential for proper cellular division and the transmission of the genetic code to all newly formed cells. It is also essential for the health of red blood cells and the production of proteins and various amino acids. In women, folic acid is crucial for closure of the fetus' neural tube during pregnancy. This makes adequate folic acid levels essential for preventing neural tube birth defects such as spina bifida.

Cobalamin is the common name of vitamin B12 because it contains the heavy metal cobalt, which gives this water-soluble vitamin its red color. Vitamin B12 is essential for growth and plays a role in metabolism within cells, especially those of the gastrointestinal tract, bone marrow and nervous tissue.

A study published in an upcoming issue of Pharmacogenetics and Genomics examined whether the combination of vitamins B6, B12 and folic acid can reduce migraine disability. The randomized, double-blind placebo, controlled trial included 52 patients diagnosed with migraine with aura. The patients were randomly assigned to receive either vitamin supplements providing a daily dose of 2 mg of folic acid, 25 mg of vitamin B6 and 400 micrograms of B12, or placebo for six months. The results revealed that vitamin supplementation reduced homocysteine by 39 percent compared with baseline, which was a reduction that was greater than placebo and considered statistically significant. The researchers also found that the patients who received supplements saw a reduction in the prevalence of migraine disability from 60 percent at the start of the study to 30 percent after 6 months. There was no reduction observed in the placebo group. Furthermore, headache severity and frequency were reduced in the vitamin B group while no changes were noted in the placebo group. These results suggest that larger trials are now warranted to determine whether vitamin B therapy is a safe, inexpensive and effective option for the treatment of migraine headaches.1

1 Lea R, Colson N, Quinlan S, Macmillan J, Griffiths L. The effects of vitamin supplementation and MTHFR (C677T) genotype on homocysteine-lowering and migraine disability. Pharmacogenet Genomics. Jun2009;19(6):422-8.

This information is educational in context and is not to be used to diagnose, treat or cure any disease. Please consult your licensed health care practitioner before using this or any medical information.
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