Antioxidant combo may offer relief from migraines

June 7, 2006 in Nutrition Topics in the News, Vitamins, Minerals, Supplements

Antioxidant combo may offer relief from migraines

Results from a small study suggest that daily doses of antioxidants may reduce the frequency and severity of migraine headaches for patients who don't response to drug treatment.

In the study, eleven men and women with a long history of migraines had fewer and less severe headaches, on average, after taking daily capsules containing an extract of pine bark, vitamin C and vitamin E for three months.

To investigate, researchers treated the participants with 10 capsules containing 120 mg pine bark extract, 60 mg vitamin C and 30 IU vitamin E every day for three months. Study participants completed a test designed to assess the amount of disability caused by migraine before and after the three-month treatment period.

After three months, the patients had an average 50.6-percent improvement in test scores. In the three months before the treatment, they reported an average of 44.4 days of headache, compared to 26.0 days during the three-month treatment. Before treatment, participants rated their headache severity, on average, as 7.5 out of 10; this fell to 5.5 out of 10 after treatment.

It is suspected that damaging molecules known as free radicals, which are produced by normal metabolism, may contribute to the development of migraine. Antioxidants neutralize free radicals and could thus help prevent migraine from occurring.

These latest findings were reported in the journal Headache.

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