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Vitamin B and folic acid 'can relieve migraine'

health and fitness Updated: Feb 07, 2009 15:39 IST

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Vitamin B and folic acid can reduce the likelihood and severity of migraines by reducing the levels of an amino acid, a new study has revealed.

A team at Griffith University has based its findings on an analysis of a clinical trial which has shown that folate and vitamin B could help significantly reduce the frequency as well as severity and disability of the disorder.

"The trial provided vitamin B supplements and folic acid to more than 50 long-term migraine sufferers for six months. Results showed a drastic improvement in headache frequency, pain severity and associated disability for those treated," lead researcher Prof Lyn Griffiths said.

Migraine causes people to have higher levels of the amino acid homocysteine, which is known to cause an increased risk of stroke and other coronary diseases. What's worrying is that a migraine attack causes severe headache associated with nausea and vomiting.

"The recent trial was founded on the theory vitamin B supplements and folic acid will reduce the homocysteine and in turn, improve migraine symptoms. The success of our trial has shown safe, inexpensive vitamin supplements can treat migraine patients.

"We are now going to undertake a more extensive trial and further studies to find out the best dosage of the vitamin supplements for individuals as this may vary depending on a patient's genetic profile.

"Current treatments for migraine are not always effective and can be expensive and cause adverse effects," Prof Griffiths said.