Coenzyme Q10 helps prevent migraine The 56th Annual Meeting of American Academy of Neurology in San Francisco was the site of a presentation on April 28 of the finding that coenzyme Q10 can help prevent migraine. Coenzyme Q10 is a popular antioxidant nutritional supplement that is involved in the production of energy within the mitochondria of the cell and has been found to be helpful for a number of conditions.
In a double-blind study, researchers led by Peter S. Sandor, MD, of University Hospitals in Zurich, Switzerland, randomized 42 participants who had an average of 4.4 migraine headaches per month to receive 100 milligrams coenzyme Q10 or a placebo three times per day for three months. At the study’s conclusion, the subjects who received coenzyme Q10 were found to have had fewer migraine attacks and fewer days with a headache and nausea, while the placebo group did not significantly improve. Forty-eight percent of those who received coenzyme Q10 reported experiencing half the amount of migraine attacks during the study period as they had experienced before the study, compared to 14.3 percent of the placebo group.
Dr Sandor commented, "We found that coenzyme 10 had a significant effect on reducing migraine. We also found that the only side effect appeared to be an allergic skin rash in one patient. This compares with side effects of fatigue, weight gain, dry mouth, and other side effects found with other methods to prevent migraine.
He explained, "A lack of cell energy in the brain may be a cause of migraine. CoQ10 may give a boost to those cells and help prevent migraine."
Migraine Nondrug alternative therapies offer effective methods to prevent migraine. For most migraineurs, prevention therapy is successful and easily managed. Physicians skilled in migraine therapy are generally more aware of the synergistic effects of nondrug therapies.
Feverfew (Tanacetum parthenium) extracts are used widely in the United Kingdom and Germany. Feverfew works by inhibiting human blood aggregation and serotonin secretion. In a double-blind, placebo-controlled crossover study conducted in Israel, 57 patients were selected at random and divided into two groups. Both groups were treated with feverfew in the initial phase lasting two months. During the second and third phases, a double-blind, crossover study was conducted. The results showed that feverfew caused a significant reduction in pain intensity compared with placebo. Symptoms, such as vomiting, nausea, and sensitivity to noise and light, were also dramatically reduced (Palevitch et al. 1997).
Vitamin B2 (riboflavin) is used as a prophylactic treatment for migraine. In a study conducted at the University of Liege (Belgium), Department of Neurology, it was postulated that since the brains of migraineurs were characterized by reduced mitochondrial phosphorylation, riboflavin could be used because of its potential to increase mitochondrial energy efficiency, and that a prophylactic effect may be realized. A group of 49 patients who have migraine were studied: 45 had common migraine and 4 had classic or "aura" migraine history. Patients were given 400 mg of riboflavin as a single oral dose for at least 3 months. Mean global improvement between the groups was 68.2%. It was concluded that high-dose riboflavin could be an effective, low-cost prophylactic treatment for migraine devoid of short-term side effects (Schoenen et al. 1994).
CoQ10 is an essential component of the respiratory cycle of the cell that takes place in the mitochondria and generates ATP, the cell’s energy currency.*
Orally administered coQ10 goes directly to the mitochondria where it works to regulate the oxidation of fats and sugars into energy—an important function since the natural production of coQ10 declines with advancing age. When the body has an ample amount of coQ10 the mitochondria can work most efficiently throughout the entire body, in cells everywhere, including the most densely populated area, the heart.
Feverfew has been used for centuries to help support normal cerebral vascular blood flow. Feverfew contains the active ingredient, parthenolide, a substance that supports healthy platelet function that contributes to its beneficial action. This formulation contains a standardized extract of 600 mcg of parthenolide in each capsule.