There are several studies supporting use of Magnesium, CoQ10 and B2. This review is adapted from The Migraine Trust:
Studies have shown that migraineurs have low brain magnesium during migraine attacks1 and may also have a magnesium deficiency2, 3. Furthermore, magnesium deficiency may play a particularly important role in menstrual migraine4. Two controlled trials have shown that oral magnesium supplementation (taking in by mouth) is effective in headache prevention5, 6. A third study7 was negative, but this result has been attributed to the use of a poorly absorbed magnesium salt, as diarrhea occurred in almost half of patients in the treatment group. In general, the published trials yielded mixed results, with favorable effects reported for acute treatment of patients with aura and possibly also menstrual migraine prevention. Magnesium’s efficacy may depend on a “high dose” supplementation (over 600mg) for a minimum of 3 to 4 months to achieve any benefit from preventive therapy.
No adverse effects have been associated with taking magnesium as a naturally occurring substance in foods. The primary manifestation of excessive ingestion of magnesium from non-food sources is diarrhea, which is reversible and thus stops when you stop taking the magnesium.
In the only study involving riboflavin alone, Schoenen and others studied 55 migraine patients and reported that 59% of the participants who took 400 mg/day riboflavin for 3 months experienced at least 50% reduction in migraine attacks compared with 15% for placebo13. Statistically significant reductions in both migraine frequency and number of headache days were reported. Adverse events reported from studies investigating riboflavin have been limited to diarrhea and polyuria (passing of large volumes of urine), both occurring in extremely low numbers.
Thirty-two patients diagnosed as having migraine with or without aura were treated with CoQ10 at a dose of 150 mg per day in a controlled experiment10. No adverse events were associated with CoQ10 therapy in any of the trial participants. As a result of the treatment, 61.3% of the patients treated had a greater than 50% reduction in number of days with migraine headache. Only two participants showed no improvement with CoQ10 therapy in their migraine headache intensity compared with baseline (ie when the trial started). The average number of days with migraine headache during the baseline non-treatment phase was 7.34 and this decreased to 2.95 days by the end of the trial. The reduction in migraine frequency after 1 month of treatment was 13% and this improved to 55% by the end of 3 months of therapy. From this open-label (called “open” as participants were aware of whether they were taking CoQ10 or not) investigation, CoQ10 appears to be a good migraine preventive. The data presented in this trial suggest that CoQ10 starts to work within 4 weeks but usually takes 5 to 12 weeks to yield a significant reduction in days with migraine. An important finding from this study is that taking CoQ10 appears to be associated with no significant adverse events and is extremely well-tolerated. In another study11 migraine attack frequency after 4 months of treatment was reduced at least 50% in 48% of patients as compared to 14% for placebo. CoQ10 supplementation may be particularly effective in the treatment of childhood migraine12.
- Ramadan NM, Halvorson H, Vande-Linde A. Low brain magnesium in migraine. Headache. 1989;29:590–593.
- Trauinger A, Pfund Z, Koszegi T, et al. Oral magnesium load test in patients with migraine. Headache. 2002;42: 114–119.
- Mauskop A, Altura BM. Role of magnesium in the pathogenesis and treatment of migraine. Clin Neurosci. 1998; 5:24–27.
- Mauskop A, Altura BT, Altura BM. Serum ionized magnesium in serum ionized calcium/ionized magnesium ratios in women with menstrual migraine. Headache. 2001;42:242–248.
- Facchinetti F, Sances G, Borella P, et al. Magnesium prophylaxis of menstrual migraine: effects on intracellular magnesium. Headache. 1991; 31:298–301.
- Peikert A, Wilimzig C, Kohne-Volland R. Prophylaxis of migraine with oral magnesium: results from a prospective, multicenter, placebo-controlled and double-blind randomized study. Cephalalgia. 1996;16:257–263.
- Pfaffenrath V, Wessely P, Meyer C, et al. Magnesium in the prophylaxis of migraine—a double-blind placebo-controlled study. Cephalalgia. 1996; 16:436–440.
- TD Rozen, ML Oshinsky, CA Gebeline, KC Bradley, WB Young, AL Shechter & SD Silberstein. Open label trial of coenzyme Q10 as a migraine preventive. Cephalalgia, 2002, 22, 137–141.
- Sandor S, Di Clemente L, Coppola G, et al. Efficacy of coenzyme Q10 in migraine prophylaxis: A randomized controlled trial. Neurology. 2005; 64:713.
- Hershey AD, Powers SW, Vockell AL, Lecates SL, Ellinor PL, Segers A, Burdine D, Manning P, Kabbouche MA. Coenzyme Q10 deficiency and response to supplementation in pediatric and adolescent migraine. Headache. 2007 Jan; 47(1):73-80.
- Schoenen J, Jacquy J, Lenaerts M. Effectiveness of high-dose riboflavin in migraine prophylaxis. A randomized controlled trial. Neurology. 1998; 50:466-470.