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Migraine

A migraine is an intense and prolonged headache that may or may not be preceded by an aura. Supplementation for migraines either reduces the severity of a migraine or, when taken daily, reduces the monthly frequency of migraines.

Our evidence-based analysis on migraine features 9 unique references to scientific papers.

Research analysis led by Kamal Patel.
All content reviewed by the Examine.com Team. Published: Jul 5, 2013
Last Updated:

Frequently Asked Questions about Migraine

Does aspartame cause headaches?

Human Effect Matrix

The Human Effect Matrix looks at human studies (it excludes animal and in vitro studies) to tell you what supplements affect migraine
Grade Level of Evidence
Robust research conducted with repeated double-blind clinical trials
Multiple studies where at least two are double-blind and placebo controlled
Single double-blind study or multiple cohort studies
Uncontrolled or observational studies only
Level of Evidence
? The amount of high quality evidence. The more evidence, the more we can trust the results.
Outcome Magnitude of effect
? The direction and size of the supplement's impact on each outcome. Some supplements can have an increasing effect, others have a decreasing effect, and others have no effect.
Consistency of research results
? Scientific research does not always agree. HIGH or VERY HIGH means that most of the scientific research agrees.
Notes
grade-b Strong Very High See all 5 studies
Feverfew appears to be strongly effective in reducing migraines when the population in question are people with high frequency migraines possibly accompanied by auras. Feverfew is not as effective, although still somewhat effective, in persons with less frequent migraines.
grade-b Notable Moderate See all 7 studies
Riboflavin supplementation appears to be quite effective in reducing migraine frequency based on preliminary research. The effect of riboflavin on intensity is still undetermined, and the optimal dose is not known as while most studies use 400mg one found similar benefits with 25mg.
grade-c Notable - See study
Seems to reduce symptoms of migraines a bit more than other PMS related symptoms, but for the most part the reduction seen in migraines is solely a reduction of PMS symptoms.
grade-c Minor - See study
Degree of improvement is not overly remarkable, with portions of the trial not outperforming placebo.
grade-c Minor - See study
Acute inhalation of lavender at the onset of a migraine is associated with less pain symptoms than placebo scent
grade-c Minor - See study
One study has noted a reduction in symptoms of migraines associated with oral magnesium supplementation
grade-c - - See study
No detectable influence of melatonin on migraines that exceeds placebo

References

  1. Evaluation of Consumer Complaints Related to Aspartame Use.
  2. Maher TJ, Wurtman RJ. Possible neurologic effects of aspartame, a widely used food additive. Environ Health Perspect. (1987)
  3. Kühn R, Graner H, Soukup P. {Experiences in the expert evaluation of nucleus pulposus prolapse}. Beitr Orthop Traumatol. (1975)
  4. Aspartame ingestion and headaches.
  5. Levy PS, Hedeker D, Sanders PG. Aspartame and headache. Neurology. (1995)
  6. Roberts HJ. Aspartame and headache. Neurology. (1995)
  7. Schiffman S. Aspartame and headache. Neurology. (1995)
  8. Newman LC, Lipton RB. Migraine MLT-down: an unusual presentation of migraine in patients with aspartame-triggered headaches. Headache. (2001)
  9. Pisarik P, Kai D. Vestibulocochlear toxicity in a pair of siblings 15 years apart secondary to aspartame: two case reports. Cases J. (2009)